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Trust
Cobell plaintiffs: Swimmer to blame for trust woes


"If anyone should know about what's wrong with the government's Indian Trust program, Ross Swimmer should know. When he was head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs in the Reagan Administration, he found the trust operations so troublesome that he championed effort to give the entire operation to a large commercial bank.

Reporters should know that the record of the government's current management of this case is far different than the cheery picture that Mr. Swimmer states.

Record keeping? Many leases were never recorded and records were destroyed by the thousands. There are photographs of barns filled with rotting trust records are on file in the courts. If there has been such "good faith" over trust operations, as Swimmer claims, how could three cabinet secretaries and others been held in contempt of court over production of records and failures to begin the long-promised accountings?

And if the records are so safe, why could hackers easily tap into the Interior computers? If this is not all about the government's mismanagement, why is the case still in court after 10 years?"

Get the Story:
Comment by Bill McAllister: Check the Records, Mr. Swimmer (Nieman Watchdog 9/19)

Relevant Links:
Indian Trust: Cobell v. Norton - http://www.indiantrust.com
Office of Special Trustee - http://www.ost.doi.gov
Cobell v. Norton, Department of Justice - http://www.usdoj.gov/civil/cases/cobell/index.htm

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