• By Lt. Tim McMillan

Standing Rock and the Ghost of General Custer.

I truly had no idea the rabbit hole I would be jumping into when I decided to try to get to the bottom of the Standing Rock and Dakota Access Pipeline debate.

I have to admit I have a lot of experience doing research and investigations both professionally and academically. However, whenever I peeled back one layer of truth, suddenly new confusions would emerge.

In the end, the road to gaining a true understanding of the pipeline conflict, is a path beset with disorientation and deception. I ebbed and flowed between thinking I had gained some level of understanding to feeling like I was no better than when I started.

I feel it is vital to now point out the fact that the entire pipeline issue exist in so much darkness, with very little glimmers of truth, itself demonstrates the power that big oil companies wield. It also reveals how marginalized Native Americans still are in America.

When it came to the entire DAPL issue, I had to accept that the head of truth and the tail of lies had been cut off and the body was left on its own to determine which righteous direction to follow. This forced me to acknowledge that my pursuits were no longer merely for understanding. Rather it was wisdom that presented the only illumined path.

Wisdom is pure veracity beyond reproach and is the uncontaminated blueprint to life. To gain understanding, one must seek knowledge and only through knowledge can one bring wisdom to light. The pursuit of wisdom is not an easy endeavor as it inherently begins in the realm of the unknown and unseen.

However, it was in my pursuit of knowledge of wisdom that suddenly the cloud of confusion began to disappear and understanding started to emerge.

In the end, I must hold firm to my belief in saying or doing what is right. It is under this precedent that I say the Native Americans are right, and they deserve all of our support.

Try to remove all of your preconceived notions and emotions regarding the DAPL. Take away, your politically influenced thoughts that you must feel a certain way to stay true to your party of choice. Stop letting your beliefs be persuaded by the concept that supporting the police equates to supporting DAPL forcing one to narrow their mind. Stop trying to determine if it is the “Water Protectors” or the Pipeline Advocates who are really right.

Rather, do nothing other than examine what the word “right” really means. Right is a modernized form of the old English word “riht” meaning to straighten or direct. The word is also associated with many other root words that are associated with acting in accordance of a rulers will. Instead of looking for who is right, focus your mind on what is righteous. Let your thoughts be directed to what are the chief attributes of ethical behavior and what is righteous. Righteousness does not need to be “right” because it doesn’t need to be straightened or directed. Rather righteousness’ actions are justified beyond rebuke.

Regardless of your contemporary feelings, the Native Americans pursuit is righteous beyond a shadow of a doubt. Ultimately, the land belongs to them, as it always has. The Native American’s existed on this continent first. When white immigrants came to their land, they brought with them a xenophobic perception of manifest destiny, and that the land inherently now belonged to them. Fueled by greed and a thirst for resources that seemingly can never be quenched. The United States of America, has imposed its will on the land’s native inhabitants, the moment it decided the Native’s had something the country wanted. The Native American’s enjoyed richness in resources, not because they were inferior. Rather, Native American’s have experienced these lush assets because they loved the land, and the land has loved them back.

The issue stripped away from all modern and personal views comes down to who do we want to be and what do we want to continue to allow ourselves to do. Shall America continue to allow a legacy of genocide, cultural annihilation and broken promised treaties to define who we are? In the end, we must not stand for who is right in Standing Rock right now. Rather, we must stand for what is righteous and is the most ethical thing to do. It is with that standard that I say, I STAND WITH STANDING ROCK and I hope you do too.

Tim McMillan is a retired police lieutenant and investigative intelligence analyst; and holds BA's in mathematics and cognitive psychology. Primarily, focusing on the Defense and Intelligence Communities, he now uses his unique background, coupled with a willingness to examine any mystery, to deliver groundbreaking investigative reporting. Tim is a contributor for The War Zone, Vice, and Popular Mechanics

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© Lieutenant Tim McMillan All Rights Reserved by The Raziel Group LLC