Lone Eagle Crisis
With their new freedom, the corporations of North America increased their exploitation of the continent’s resources with a vengeance. In what the media dubbed “The Resource Rush,” corporate coalitions demanded and were granted access to oil, mineral, and land resources on federal lands. Again, and again, in the years of 2002-2008, the government invoked the right of eminent domain to bring property under its control, only to license its exploitation to a corporate sponsor. Taking the brunt of this landgrab were the Indian reservations and federal parklands.
Conservationists and Indian-rights groups expressed their shock and disgust, though corporate influence and paramilitary power made it dangerous to object. Angry and frustrated, the more radical elements founded the Sovereign American Indian Movement (SAIM), whose roots traced back to the Indian-rights struggles of the twentieth century.
The growing tension and hatreds finally erupted in 2009. On May 5, United Oil Industries announced that it had acquired the right to exploit the petrochemical resources in one-quarter of the remaining federal parks and one-tenth of the Indian lands, which the government had just confiscated. SAIM reacted immediately. A small band entered the Shiloh Launch Facility in northwest Montana, capturing a missile silo. To this day, no one knows how the raiders managed to bypass the security patrols, but once inside the missile silo, they met up with John Redbourne, a USAF major and a full-blood Dakota Sioux. After knocking his partner unconscious, Redbournce took the man’s keys and codes to unlock the launch failsafes.
Issuing a demand for the return of all Indian land, the Shiloh raiders threatened to launch the silo’s missiles. Ten days of tense negotiations ended when a black-garbed delta team invaded the silo. During the struggle, which resulted in the death of all of the occupying Indians, a Lone Eagle missile was launched. NORAD command in Cheyenne Mountain watched helplessly as the missile headed for the Middle East. All their autodestruct signals went unheeded, and the military had no interceptors in position to down the bird. Though denying responsibility for the launch, President Bush informed the governments of Iran, Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistan of the targets of each of the missile’s multiple warheads, hoping to avert a full-scale retaliation by giving the governments enough warning to use their semi-secret ballistic defenses to stop the missile.
Iran was understandably skeptical of Washington’s claims that the Lone Eagle was an isolated accident and not a ploy to make a surgical strike against selected Iranian and Yemeni targets. They put their forces on full alert. As tank divisions began preparations to invade Israel, all the Iranian citizens were ordered to shelters. In the United States, however, the public was unaware that it was perilously close to nuclear war.
President Bush waited anxiously, and as later revealed in the celebrated “Back-Room Tapes,” alternately wept, ranted, and prayed. Two hours later, President Ahmadinejad tersely informed him that the warheads had been stopped. A privately conducted stress analysis of Ahmadinejad voice later indicated only a 79 percent probability that he spoke the truth, but neither seismic nor space-based sensors recorded any nuclear explosions at that time. Explosion or not, there was definitely fallout from the incident.
When the American public learned of the Lone Eagle crisis, the outcry was enormous. Goaded by corporate propagandists, the people began to blame SAIM, and by implication, all Native Americans. This fit well with the larger plans of the megacorporations, principally United Oil Industries, which was not satisfied with their rate of acquisition. By 2010, they had applied enough pressure to pass the Re-Education and Relocation Act. This new law called for the confinement of anyone connected in any way to SAIM. Abuses of the law were rampant because of the general hatred of Indians. Thousands of innocent Native Americans were sent to concentration camps, euphemistically called “re-education centers.” Among those shipped to the Abilene camp was Daniel Coleman, future Prophet of the Great Ghost Dance and the first war shaman of the Native American Nations. History knows him as Daniel Howling Coyote.
In a government economy measure, Congress soon contracted out management of the re-education camps to the corporations. As the camps dropped out of the media spotlight, overcrowding, poor sanitation, and insufficient medical care began to plague the inmates of the camps. Was this a deliberate plan of genocide, as Coleman would one day claim? In one of the great ironies of history, however, the isolation of many tribes in the re-education camps spared them from the scourge that hit the world in 2010.