We're Sorry

I was reading through the FY2010 Department of Defense Authorization Act today (don't ask why) and I found this odd little section, an apology of sorts. Note the disclaimer toward the end. Is an apology without any self-requirement to act actually an apology?

apology to native peoples of the united states
    Sec. 8113. (a) Acknowledgment and Apology- The United States, acting through Congress--
      (1) recognizes the special legal and political relationship Indian tribes have with the United States and the solemn covenant with the land we share;
      (2) commends and honors Native Peoples for the thousands of years that they have stewarded and protected this land;
      (3) recognizes that there have been years of official depredations, ill-conceived policies, and the breaking of covenants by the Federal Government regarding Indian tribes;
      (4) apologizes on behalf of the people of the United States to all Native Peoples for the many instances of violence, maltreatment, and neglect inflicted on Native Peoples by citizens of the United States;
      (5) expresses its regret for the ramifications of former wrongs and its commitment to build on the positive relationships of the past and present to move toward a brighter future where all the people of this land live reconciled as brothers and sisters, and harmoniously steward and protect this land together;
      (6) urges the President to acknowledge the wrongs of the United States against Indian tribes in the history of the United States in order to bring healing to this land; and
      (7) commends the State governments that have begun reconciliation efforts with recognized Indian tribes located in their boundaries and encourages all State governments similarly to work toward reconciling relationships with Indian tribes within their boundaries.
    (b) Disclaimer- Nothing in this section--
      (1) authorizes or supports any claim against the United States; or
      (2) serves as a settlement of any claim against the United States.

    1 comment:

    DaveRobFreeman said...

    There was some talk about "getting along" in section 5, but the disclaimer is all about NOT putting your money where your mouth is. Just like slave reparations, we can't go to income redistribution on that scale. I might might even have to reach into my wallet. Let's see: 313 days of labor times 50 years times X number of slaves compounded at 3% interest... hmmm whom do I have to work for the next 30 years to pay for all that free labor to my forefathers?