Gateway Pacific Terminal Consultant Threatens Journalists at IC Magazine, Whatcom Watch
Powder River Basin in focus ⬿

Gateway Pacific Terminal Consultant Threatens Journalists at IC Magazine, Whatcom Watch

Support our journalism. Become a Patron!
February 22, 2014

February 22, 2014

Gateway Pacific Terminal Consultant Threatens Journalists
at IC Magazine, Whatcom Watch

Inquiries to

In a letter dated February 5, 2014, Gateway Pacific Terminal consultant Craig Cole accused IC Magazine columnist Jay Taber and Whatcom Watch reporter Sandra Robson of committing libel, going so far as to threaten a lawsuit against Whatcom Watch for publishing Robson’s January 2014 article, “What Would Corporations Do? Native American Rights and the Gateway Pacific Terminal”.

Robson’s article and Taber’s subsequent editorial, “Echoes of Racism”, expose the convergence of Peabody Coal, Pacific International Terminals, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad and the Tea Party with the “Ku Klux Klan of Indian country”– Citizens Equal Rights Alliance — as a looming threat to Lummi Nation and the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians that has resolved to stop schemes for exporting Tar Sands oil, Bakken Shale oil and Powder River Basin coal from proposed terminals on the Salish Sea between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia.

In her article, Robson notes that Alliance for Northwest Jobs and Exports (ANWJE), a front group created by Edelman PR for SSA Marine/Pacific International Terminal’s Gateway Pacific Terminal project, has hired Mariana Parks as spokesperson. Robson reveals Parks’ work history includes significant stints with two former Republican Attorneys General in Washington State, Rob McKenna and Slade Gorton. Both McKenna and Gorton are well-known for fighting tribal sovereignty. Says Robson, “In 1997, as a Senator, Gorton championed anti-Indian legislation, based on an HR 2107 rider that would have diminished, if not totally destroyed, the validity of Indian tribes as sovereign nations.”

Elsewhere, Robson examines the organizing efforts of Citizens Equal Rights Alliance (CERA), which on April 6, 2013 held a conference in Bellingham, Washington to stoke the flames of racial resentment in the Pacific Northwest region. In 2011, a year before their permit application was submitted to Whatcom County, Pacific International Terminals illegally and intentionally bulldozed a registered Native American archaeological burial site at Cherry Point, the location of its proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal. In November 2013, the consortium behind the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal laundered $149,000 through the Washington Republican Party to elect pro-coal candidates to the Whatcom County Council.

Since threatening Taber, Robson and Whatcom Watch, Cole has benefited from the efforts of Cascadia Weekly editor Tim Johnson to create disunity among Taber and Robson’s supporters, causing some to question if he, too, was threatened or bribed by Cole, or is otherwise attempting to make sure Cascadia Weekly continues receiving advertising money from Gateway Pacific Terminal.




We're fighting for our lives

Indigenous Peoples are putting their bodies on the line and it's our responsibility to make sure you know why. That takes time, expertise and resources - and we're up against a constant tide of misinformation and distorted coverage. By supporting IC you're empowering the kind of journalism we need, at the moment we need it most.

independent uncompromising indigenous
Except where otherwise noted, articles on this website are licensed under a Creative Commons License