Of Military Commissions, the Constitution and American Indian Memory

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Turtle Goes to War: Of Military Commissions, the Constitution and American Indian Memory

Preface to the Online Edition, 2004

I originally wrote Turtle Goes to War in 2001 and early 2002.  It was published in a very small edition in order to get it out while it was still most timely.  In agreeing to requests to republish it here, I elected not to update the original text.  Since it first appeared, however, over two years ago, time has not stood still.


The military tribunals created pursuant to President George W. Bush’s military order of November 13, 2001 have begun preliminary procedures to try defendants.  Detentions at Guantanamo and elsewhere and the workings of the tribunals have been vigorously contested by both civilian and military lawyers, acting on behalf of detainees and defendants.  The United States Supreme Court has ruled that claims of military exigency do not give the armed forces and the administration unfettered power to act.  While these are hopeful developments, the danger has not disappeared.  The war on terror continues.  Indefinite detentions continue as well, and legal precedents have been set that come back to haunt the country.  A Native American perspective on the events discussed remains relevant, and the story it tells is, in some sense, timeless.


In republishing the book here, I have omitted the fore material (title page, table of contents, etc), the bibliography, and the table of cases.  The original edition also had an appendix, containing the text of President’s Bush’s November 13, 2001 order; this too has been omitted.  Copies of these materials may be requested by contacting INAS.


The book should be cited as Jace Weaver, Turtle Goes to War: Of Military Commissions, the Constitution and American Indian Memory (New Haven, CT: Trylon and Perisphere Press, 2002).  Copyright by Jace Weaver, 2002, 2004.  All rights reserved.

Preface to 2002 Edition of Turtle Goes to War