27 March 2005

Bush Breaks Red Lake Silence

As usual, Bush leaves a pile of Tatanka Cesli on a Rez's doorstep and calls it a gift...


Bush Breaks Silence on School Shooting
Fri Mar 25, 2005 04:44 PM ET
By Adam Entous

CRAWFORD, Texas (Reuters) - President Bush offered federal help and
personal prayers on Friday to the Red Lake Indian reservation in
northern Minnesota after being criticized for remaining silent for
days about the deadliest U.S. school shooting in six years.

Bush, on vacation at his Crawford, Texas, ranch, spoke for five
minutes to Floyd Jourdain, chairman of the Red Lake Chippewa tribe,
about Monday's rampage in which a 16-year-old killed nine people and

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Bush sent his condolences to the "entire Red Lake community," and "pledged continued help from the federal government."

"The president ended the call by saying he is praying for the
victims and the families," Perino said, adding that Bush would
discuss the shooting publicly in his weekly radio address on

While White House spokesman Scott McClellan spoke briefly about the
shooting on Tuesday, Bush steered clear of the incident in public
remarks, focusing instead on the fate of brain-damaged Florida woman
Terri Schiavo.

Bush's silence drew fire from some American Indians, including Clyde
Bellecourt, a Chippewa Indian who is the founder and national
director of the American Indian Movement in Red Lake.

"It's kind of late," Bellecourt said of Bush's call to Jourdain. "He
should have been the first one to reach out to the Red Lake Indian

Bellecourt cited Bush's decision to rush back to the White House
from his Texas ranch last weekend to sign unprecedented emergency
legislation allowing Schiavo's case to be reviewed in federal

"He does not have any problems flying in to restore the feeding tube
to Terri Schiavo. I'm sure if this happened in some school in Texas
and a bunch of white kids were shot down, he would have been there
too," Bellecourt said.

Perino said the president had tried calling Jourdain on Thursday,
but got voice mail instead.

The White House said the FBI has jurisdiction in the case and has
responded by sending 10 victim specialists to Red Lake.

Perino said FBI specialists were now in Minnesota doing a "needs
assessment." The FBI could provide funds to help victims with grief
counseling and funeral arrangements.

Monday's rampage by Jeff Weise was the worst U.S. school shooting
since the Columbine massacre in 1999 killed 15.
Weise identified himself as an "angel of death" and a "NativeNazi"
in online material.


Post a Comment

<< Home