The Interview: Henry Kissinger
As we celebrate our 30th anniversary, TNI Editor Jacob Heilbrunn sits down with the former Secretary of State.
He is also a Convicted Wanted Felon for Mass Murder and Genocide,He’s a Convicted and Wanted Felon for Crimes against Humanity and Convicted and wanted Felon for WAR CRIMES in Indochina, Bangladesh, Chile, Cyprus and East Timor.
The one and only KHAZARIAN SCUMBALL
August 19, 2015
The National Interest’s editor, Jacob Heilbrunn, spoke with Henry Kissinger in early July in New York.
Jacob Heilbrunn: Why is realism today an embattled approach to foreign affairs, or perhaps not as significant as it was when you had figures such as Hans Morgenthau, George F. Kennan, Dean Acheson, then yourself in the 1970s—what has changed?
Henry Kissinger: I don’t think that I have changed my view on this subject very much since the seventies. I have always had an expansive view of national interest, and much of the debate about realism as against idealism is artificial. The way the debate is conventionally presented pits a group that believes in power as the determining element of international politics against idealists who believe that the values of society are decisive. Kennan, Acheson or any of the people you mentioned did not have such a simplistic view. The view of the various realists is that, in an analysis of foreign policy, you have to start with an assessment of the elements that are relevant to the situation. And obviously, values are included as an important element. The real debate is over relative priority and balance.
Heilbrunn: One of the things that struck me in the new biography of you by Niall Ferguson is his quotation from your personal diary from 1964. You suggested rather prophetically that “the Goldwater victory is a new phenomenon in American politics—the triumph of the ideological party in the European sense. No one can predict how it will end because there is no precedent for it.”
Kissinger: At the convention, it seemed to be true to somebody like me, who was most familiar with the politics of the Eastern Establishment. Later in life, I got to know Goldwater and respected him as a man of great moral conviction and integrity.
Heilbrunn: Right, but I was more interested in your interpretation of the ideological force that emerged in ’64.
Kissinger: It was a new ideological force in the Republican Party. Until then, the Eastern Establishment view based on historic models of European history was the dominant view of foreign policy. This new foreign-policy view was more missionary; it emphasized that America had a mission to bring about democracy—if necessary, by the use of force. And it had a kind of intolerance toward opposition. It then became characteristic of both the extreme Right and the extreme Left, and they changed sides occasionally.
Heilbrunn: And they both vehemently attacked the Nixon administration.
Heilbrunn: I remember that in your memoirs, you indicate that you were perhaps most astonished to be attacked from the right—
Kissinger: Totally unprepared.
Heilbrunn: —for allegedly appeasing the Soviet Union.
Kissinger: Well, and some, like Norman Podhoretz—who’s a good friend today—attacked me from both the left and the right sequentially.
Heilbrunn: I’d forgotten that he’d managed that feat. In the end, though, détente played a critical role in bringing down the Soviet Union, didn’t it?
Kissinger: That is my view. We viewed détente as a strategy for conducting the conflict with the Soviet Union.
Heilbrunn: I’m amazed that this doesn’t get more attention—in Europe, this is the common view, that détente was essential toward softening up Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, and getting over the memory of World War II, whereas in the United States we have a triumphalist view.
Kissinger: Well, you have the view that Reagan started the process with his Evil Empire speech, which, in my opinion, occurred at the point when the Soviet Union was already well on the way to defeat. We were engaged in a long-term struggle, generating many competing analyses. I was on the hard-line side of the analysis. But I stressed also the diplomatic and psychological dimensions. We needed to wage the Cold War from a posture in which we would not be isolated, and in which we would have the best possible basis for conducting unavoidable conflicts. Finally, we had a special obligation to find a way to avoid nuclear conflict, since that risked civilization. We sought a position to be ready to use force when necessary but always in the context of making it clearly demonstrable as a last resort. The neoconservatives took a more absolutist view. Reagan used the span of time that was available to him with considerable tactical skill, although I’m not sure that all of it was preconceived. But its effect was extremely impressive. I think the détente period was an indispensable prelude.
Heilbrunn: The other monumental accomplishment was obviously the opening to China. Do you feel today that—
Kissinger: —Reducing the Soviet role in the Middle East. That was not minor.
Heilbrunn: That’s correct, and saving Israel in the ’73 war with the arms supply.
Kissinger: The two were related.
Heilbrunn: Is China the new Wilhelmine Germany today? Richard Nixon, shortly before he died, told William Safire that it was necessary to create the opening to China, but we may have created a Frankenstein.
Kissinger: A country that has had three thousand years of dominating its region can be said to have an inherent reality. The alternative would have been to keep China permanently subdued in collusion with the Soviet Union, and therefore making the Soviet Union—already an advanced nuclear country—the dominant country of Eurasia with American connivance. But China inherently presents a fundamental challenge to American strategy.
Heilbrunn: And do you think they’re pushing for a more Sinocentric world, or can they be integrated into some sort of Westphalian framework, as you outlined in your most recent book, World Order?
Kissinger: That’s the challenge. That’s the open question. It’s our task. We’re not good at it, because we don’t understand their history and culture. I think that their basic thinking is Sinocentric. But it may produce consequences that are global in impact. Therefore, the challenge of China is a much subtler problem than that of the Soviet Union. The Soviet problem was largely strategic. This is a cultural issue: Can two civilizations that do not, at least as yet, think alike come to a coexistence formula that produces world order?
Heilbrunn: How greatly do you rate the chances of a real Sino-Russian rapprochement?
Kissinger: It’s not in either of their natures, I think—
Heilbrunn: Because the Russians clearly would like to create a much closer relationship.
Kissinger: But partly because we’ve given them no choice.
Heilbrunn: How do you think the United States can extricate itself from the Ukraine impasse—the United States and Europe, obviously?
Kissinger: The issue is not to extricate the United States from the Ukrainian impasse but to solve it in a way conducive to international order. A number of things need to be recognized. One, the relationship between Ukraine and Russia will always have a special character in the Russian mind. It can never be limited to a relationship of two traditional sovereign states, not from the Russian point of view, maybe not even from Ukraine’s. So, what happens in Ukraine cannot be put into a simple formula of applying principles that worked in Western Europe, not that close to Stalingrad and Moscow. In that context, one has to analyze how the Ukraine crisis occurred. It is not conceivable that Putin spends sixty billion euros on turning a summer resort into a winter Olympic village in order to start a military crisis the week after a concluding ceremony that depicted Russia as a part of Western civilization.
So then, one has to ask: How did that happen? I saw Putin at the end of November 2013. He raised a lot of issues; Ukraine he listed at the end as an economic problem that Russia would handle via tariffs and oil prices. The first mistake was the inadvertent conduct of the European Union. They did not understand the implications of some of their own conditions. Ukrainian domestic politics made it look impossible for Yanukovych to accept the EU terms and be reelected or for Russia to view them as purely economic. So the Ukrainian president rejected the EU terms. The Europeans panicked, and Putin became overconfident. He perceived the deadlock as a great opportunity to implement immediately what had heretofore been his long-range goal. He offered fifteen billion dollars to draw Ukraine into his Eurasian Union. In all of this, America was passive. There was no significant political discussion with Russia or the EU of what was in the making. Each side acted sort of rationally based on its misconception of the other, while Ukraine slid into the Maidan uprising right in the middle of what Putin had spent ten years building as a recognition of Russia’s status. No doubt in Moscow this looked as if the West was exploiting what had been conceived as a Russian festival to move Ukraine out of the Russian orbit. Then Putin started acting like a Russian czar—like Nicholas I over a century ago. I am not excusing the tactics, only setting them in context.
Heilbrunn: Another country that’s obviously taken a lead role in Europe is Germany—on Ukraine, on Greece—
Kissinger: They don’t really seek that role. The paradox is that seventy years after having defeated German claims to dominating Europe, the victors are now pleading, largely for economic reasons, with Germany to lead Europe. Germany can and should play an important role in the construction of European and international order. But it is not the ideal principal negotiating partner about the security of Europe on a border that is two hundred miles from Stalingrad. The United States has put forward no concept of its own except that Russia will one day join the world community by some automatic act of conversion. Germany’s role is significant, but an American contribution to Ukrainian diplomacy is essential to put the issue into a global context.
Heilbrunn: Is that absence a mistake, then?
Kissinger: If we treat Russia seriously as a great power, we need at an early stage to determine whether their concerns can be reconciled with our necessities. We should explore the possibilities of a status of nonmilitary grouping on the territory between Russia and the existing frontiers of NATO.
The West hesitates to take on the economic recovery of Greece; it’s surely not going to take on Ukraine as a unilateral project. So one should at least examine the possibility of some cooperation between the West and Russia in a militarily nonaligned Ukraine. The Ukraine crisis is turning into a tragedy because it is confusing the long-range interests of global order with the immediate need of restoring Ukrainian identity. I favor an independent Ukraine in its existing borders. I have advocated it from the start of the post-Soviet period. When you read now that Muslim units are fighting on behalf of Ukraine, then the sense of proportion has been lost.
Heilbrunn: That’s a disaster, obviously.
Kissinger: To me, yes. It means that breaking Russia has become an objective; the long-range purpose should be to integrate it.
Heilbrunn: But we have witnessed a return, at least in Washington, DC, of neoconservatives and liberal hawks who are determined to break the back of the Russian government.
Kissinger: Until they face the consequences. The trouble with America’s wars since the end of the Second World War has been the failure to relate strategy to what is possible domestically. The five wars we’ve fought since the end of World War II were all started with great enthusiasm. But the hawks did not prevail at the end. At the end, they were in a minority. We should not engage in international conflicts if, at the beginning, we cannot describe an end, and if we’re not willing to sustain the effort needed to achieve that end.
Heilbrunn: But we seem to recapitulate this over and over again.
Kissinger: Because we refuse to learn from experience. Because it’s essentially done by an ahistorical people. In schools now, they don’t teach history anymore as a sequence of events. They deal with it in terms of themes without context.
Heilbrunn: So they’ve stripped it of all context.
Kissinger: Of what used to be context—they put it in an entirely new context.
Heilbrunn: The kind of book you wrote—your first book, for example—would never pass muster in political science today because it’s not filled with abstract theories. It actually tells a narrative lesson.
Kissinger: That’s why I get attacked from the left and the right—because I don’t fit either of their categories.
Heilbrunn: Speaking of history, what is your assessment of Germany’s role in Europe right now? Are we back to a new German problem, where southern Europe views them as an occupying power, and in Germany itself there are hints of nationalism—I wouldn’t say that it’s an efflorescence.
Kissinger: Well, there are hints. Some groups in Germany, in the group below fifty, sometimes act as if the country that once sought to shape Europe by force now claims the right to reshape it by absolute moral judgment. It’s unfair to tempt Germany into such a role. It’s easy domestic politics for the countries of southern Europe to blame the Germans rather than themselves. What is the German sin in Greece? The Germans are saying that what is put forward as a bailout perpetuates irresponsibility. They are seeking to define a responsible process of recovery. Considering that their history has made inflation such a nightmare to Germans, I have sympathy for their position. Germany has never in its national history starting in 1871 had to run an international system. From 1871 to 1890, Bismarck conducted a spectacular tour de force that was not sustainable. You can’t have a great policy if it requires a genius in every generation. But from 1890 to the end of the Second World War—nearly a century—Germany was embattled in its perception of the world around it. Britain and France have much more experience in multilateral diplomacy. So I have sympathy for the German dilemma. They can help, they may be decisive in helping, but they need a bigger, more global framework, which we need to contribute.
Heilbrunn: The Atlanticist generation in Germany and the approach it embodied have largely disappeared.
Kissinger: That’s a pity.
Heilbrunn: The younger CDU [Christian Democratic Union] politicians that I’ve met are not that interested in the United States, which is a dramatic shift, since the whole Adenauer policy was based on Westbindung.
Kissinger: It’s partly their fault and partly our fault.
Heilbrunn: I saw Robert McFarlane recently, who worked for you, and in the Reagan administration. He said to me, “The last strategic thinker as an American president was Richard Nixon.” Is that true?
Kissinger: I think that’s right. He had substantial strategic vision. At the end of the first volume of my memoirs, White House Years, I wrote that the question is: What would have happened if the establishment that Nixon both admired and feared had shown him some love? Would he have retreated further into the wilderness of his resentments, or would such an act have liberated him? I leave it open.
Heilbrunn: Do you trace many of the problems in American foreign policy back to Vietnam, to that shattering of foreign-policy consensus?
Kissinger: I think Vietnam was the pretext. It made the protest legitimate. Because after all, you had student demonstrations in the Netherlands, which had no Vietnam, and in France.
Heilbrunn: Nixon was clearly somebody who had a tremendous amount of foreign-policy experience before he became president in 1969.
Kissinger: And he was thoughtful, and his psychological attitude made him unwilling to deal with too many people, so he had to think and read—he couldn’t push a button and get a Google answer—and travel. He was not threatened personally when he traveled abroad, so he was at ease in many conversations with foreign leaders. For all of these reasons, he thought deeply about foreign affairs.
Heilbrunn: He must have learned a lot from Eisenhower, too, I assume.
Kissinger: Well, like everything with Nixon, it was always a good combination of resentment and admiration, so nothing was ever unambiguous.
Heilbrunn: Do you think that Barack Obama is a realist—he’s reluctant to get involved in Ukraine, for example—or do you think that’s overdone?
Kissinger: Well, on the prudential level he’s a realist. But his vision is more ideological than strategic.
Heilbrunn: Thank you for the interview.
The Case Against Henry Kissinger
The making of a war criminal
by Christopher Hitchens
Harpers magazine, March 2001
THE 1968 ELECTION * INDOCHINA * CHILE
It will become clear, and may as well be stated at the outset, that this is written by a political opponent of Henry Kissinger. Nonetheless, I have found myself continually amazed at how much hostile and discreditable material I have felt compelled to omit. I am concerned only with those Kissingerian offenses that might or should form the basis of a legal prosecution: for war crimes, for crimes against humanity, and for offenses against common or customary or international law, including conspiracy to commit murder, kidnap, and torture.
Thus, I might have mentioned Kissinger’s recruitment and betrayal of the Iraqi Kurds, who were falsely encouraged by him to take up arms against Saddam Hussein in 1972-75, and who were then abandoned to extermination on their hillsides when Saddam Hussein made a diplomatic deal with the Shah of Iran, and who were deliberately lied to as well as abandoned. The conclusions of the report by Congressman Otis Pike still make shocking reading and reveal on Kissinger’s part a callous indifference to human life and human rights. But they fall into the category of depraved realpolitik and do not seem to have violated any known law.
In the same way, Kissinger’s orchestration of political and military and diplomatic cover for apartheid in South Africa presents us with a morally repulsive record and includes the appalling consequences of the destabilization of Angola. Again, though, one is looking at a sordid period of Cold War and imperial history, and an exercise of irresponsible power, rather than an episode of organized crime. Additionally, one must take into account the institutional nature of this policy, which might in outline have been followed under any administration, national security adviser, or secretary of state.
Similar reservations can be held about Kissinger’s chairmanship of the Presidential Commission on Central America in the early 1980s, which was staffed by Oliver North and which whitewashed death-squad activity on the isthmus. Or about the political protection provided by Kissinger, while in office, for the Pahlavi dynasty in Iran and its machinery of torture and repression. The list, it is sobering to say, could be protracted very much further. But it will not do to blame the whole exorbitant cruelty and cynicism of decades on one man. (Occasionally one gets an intriguing glimpse, as when Kissinger urges President Ford not to receive the inconvenient Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, all the while posing as Communism’s most daring and principled foe.)
No, I have confined myself to the identifiable crimes that can and should be placed on a proper bill of indictment, whether the actions taken were in line with general "policy" or not. These include, in this installment, the deliberate mass killing of civilian populations in Indochina and the personal suborning and planning of murder of a senior constitutional officer in a democratic nation-Chile-with which the United States was not at war. In a second installment we will see that this criminal habit of mind extends to Bangladesh, Cyprus, East Timor, and even to Washington, D.C.
Some of these allegations can be constructed only prima facie, since Mr. Kissinger-in what may also amount to a deliberate and premeditated obstruction of justice-has caused large tranches of evidence to be withheld or possibly destroyed. We now, however, enter upon the age when the defense of "sovereign immunity" for state crimes has been held to be void. As I demonstrate below, Kissinger has understood this decisive change even if many of his critics have not. The House of Lords’ ruling in London, on the international relevance of General Augusto Pinochet’s crimes, added to the splendid activism of the Spanish magistracy and the verdicts of the International Tribunal at The Hague, has destroyed the shield that immunized crimes committed under the justification of raison d’etat. There is now no reason why a warrant for the trial of Kissinger may not be issued in any one of a number of jurisdictions and no reason why he may not be compelled to answer it. Indeed, as I write, there are a number of jurisdictions where the law is at long last beginning to catch up with the evidence. And we have before us in any case the Nuremberg precedent, by which the United States solemnly undertook to be bound.
A failure to proceed will constitute a double or triple offense to justice. First, it will violate the essential and now uncontested principle that not even the most powerful are above the law. Second, it will suggest that prosecutions for war crimes and crimes against humanity are reserved for losers, or for minor despots in relatively negligible countries. This in turn will lead to the paltry politicization of what could have been a noble process and to the justifiable suspicion of double standards.
Many if not most of Kissinger’s partners in politics, from Greece to Chile to Argentina to Indonesia, are now in jail or awaiting trial. His own lonely impunity is rank; it smells to heaven. If it is allowed to persist then we shall shamefully vindicate the ancient philosopher Anacrusis, who maintained that laws were like cobwebs-strong enough to detain only the weak and too weak to hold the strong. In the name of innumerable victims known and unknown, it is time for justice to take a hand.
In December 2, 1998, Michael Korda was being interviewed on camera in his office at Simon & Schuster. As one of the reigning magnates of New York publishing, he had edited and "produced" the work of authors as various as Tennessee Williams, Richard Nixon, Joan Crawford, and Joe Bonanno. On this particular day, he was talking about the life and thoughts of Cher, whose portrait adorned the wall behind him. And then the telephone rang and there was a message to call "Dr." Henry Kissinger as soon as possible. A polymath like Korda knows-what with the exigencies of publishing in these vertiginous days-how to switch in an instant between Cher and high statecraft. The camera kept running, and recorded the following scene for a tape that I possess:
Asking his secretary to get the number (7597919-the digits of Kissinger Associates), Korda quips dryly, to general laughter in the office, that it "should be 1-800-CAMBODIA . . .1-800-BOMB-CAMBODIA." After a pause of nicely calibrated duration (no senior editor likes to be put on hold while he’s receiving company, especially media company) it’s "Henry-Hi, how are you? . . . You’re getting all the publicity you could want in the New York Times but not the kind you want… I also think it’s very, very dubious for the administration to simply say yes, they’ll release these papers . . . no . . . no, absolutely . . . no . . . no . . . well, hmmm, yeah. We did it until quite recently, frankly, and he did prevail . . . Well, I don’t think there’s any question about that, as uncomfortable as it may be . . . Henry, this is totally outrageous . . . yeah . . . also the jurisdiction. This is a Spanish judge appealing to an English court about a Chilean head of state. So it’s, it . . . Also, Spain has no rational jurisdiction over events in Chile anyway, so that makes absolutely no sense . . . Well, that’s probably true . .. If you would. I think that would be by far and away the best. .. Right, yeah, no, I think it’s exactly what you should do, and I don’t think it should be long, and I think it should end with your father’s letter. I think it’s a very important document . . . Yes, but I think the letter is wonderful, and central to the entire book. Can you let me read the Lebanon chapter over the weekend?" At this point the conversation ends, with some jocular observations by Korda about his upcoming colonoscopy: "a totally repulsive procedure."
By means of the same tiny internal camera, or its forensic equivalent, one could deduce not a little about the world of Henry Kissinger from this microcosmic exchange. The first and most important is this: Sitting in his office at Kissinger Associates, with its tentacles of business and consultancy stretching from Belgrade to Beijing, and cushioned by innumerable other directorships and boards, he still shudders when he hears of the arrest of a dictator. Syncopated the conversation with Korda may be, but it’s clear that the keyword is "jurisdiction." What had the New York Times been reporting that fine morning? On December 2, 1998, its front page carried the following report from Tim Weiner, the paper’s national-security correspondent in Washington. Under the headline "U.S. Will Release Files on Crimes Under Pinochet," he wrote:
Treading into a political and diplomatic confrontation it tried to avoid, the United States decided today to declassify some secret documents on the killings and torture committed during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in Chile….
The decision to release such documents is the first sign that the United States will cooperate in the case against General Pinochet. Clinton Administration officials said they believed the benefits of openness in human rights cases outweighed the risks to national security in this case. But the decision could open "a can of worms," in the words of a former Central Intelligence Agency official stationed in Chile, exposing the depth of the knowledge that the United States had about crimes charged against the Pinochet Government….
While some European government officials have supported bringing the former dictator to court, United States officials have stayed largely silent, reflecting skepticism about the Spanish court’s power doubts about international tribunals aimed at former foreign rulers, and worries over the implications for American leaders who might someday also be accused in foreign countries.
President Richard M. Nixon and Henry A. Kissinger, who served as his national security advisor and Secretary of State, supported a right-wing coup in Chile in the early 1970s, previously declassified documents show.
But many of the actions of the United States during the 1973 coup, and much of what American leaders and intelligence services did in liaison with the Pinochet Government after it seized power, remain under the seal of national security. The secret files on the Pinochet regime are held by the C.l.A., the Defense Intelligence Agency the State Department, the Pentagon, the National Security Council, the National Archives, the Presidential libraries of Gerald R. Ford and Jimmy Carter, and other Government agencies. According to Justice Department records, these files contain a history of human rights abuses and international terrorism:
* In 1975 State Department diplomats in Chile protested the Pinochet regime’s record of killing and torture, filing dissents to American foreign policy with their superiors in Washington.
* The C.l.A. has files on assassinations by the regime and the Chilean secret police. The intelligence agency also has records on Chile’s attempts to establish an international right-wing covert-action squad.
* The Ford Library contains many of Mr. Kissinger’s secret files on Chile, which have never been made public. Through a secretary, Mr. Kissinger declined a request for an interview today.
One must credit Kissinger with grasping what so many other people did not: that if the Pinochet precedent became established, then he himself was in some danger. The United States believes that it alone pursues and indicts war criminals and "international terrorists"; nothing in its political or journalistic culture yet allows for the thought that it might be harboring and sheltering such a senior one. Yet the thought had very obliquely surfaced in Weiner’s story, and Kissinger was a worried man when he called his editor that day to discuss the concluding volume of his memoirs (eventually published under the unbearably dull and self-regarding title Years of Renewal), which was still in progress.
"Harboring and sheltering," though, are understatements for the lavishness of Henry Kissinger’s circumstances. His advice is sought, at $30,000 an appearance, by audiences of businessmen and academics and policymakers. His turgid newspaper column is syndicated by the Los Angeles Times and appears as far afield as the Washington Post. His first volume of memoirs was in part written, and also edited, by Harold Evans, who with Tina Brown is among the many hosts and hostesses who solicit Kissinger’s company, or perhaps one should say society, for their New York soirees. At different times, he has been a consultant to ABC News and CBS; his most successful diplomacy, indeed, has probably been conducted with the media (and his single greatest achievement has been to get almost everybody to call him "Doctor"). Fawned on by Ted Koppel, sought out by corporations and despots with "image" problems or "failures of communication," and given respectful attention by presidential candidates and those whose task it is to "mold" their global vision, this man wants for little in the pathetic universe that the "self-esteem" industry exists to serve. Of whom else would Norman Podhoretz write, in a bended-knee encomium to the second volume of Kissinger’s memoirs, Years of Upheaval:
What we have here is writing of the very highest order. It is writing that is equally at ease in portraiture and abstract analysis; that can shape a narrative as skillfully as it can paint a scene; that can achieve marvels of compression while moving at an expansive and leisurely pace. It is writing that can shift without strain or falsity of tone from the gravitas befitting a book about great historical events to the humor and irony dictated by an unfailing sense of human proportion.
A critic who can suck like that, as was once dryly said by one of my moral tutors, need never dine alone. Nor need his subject. Except that, every now and then, the recipient (and donor) of so much sycophancy feels a tremor of anxiety. He leaves the well-furnished table and scurries to the bathroom. Is it perhaps another disclosure on a newly released Nixon tape ? Some stray news from Indonesia portending the fall or imprisonment of another patron (and perhaps the escape of an awkward document or two)? The arrest or indictment of a torturer or assassin, the expiry of the statute of secrecy for some obscure cabinet papers in a faraway country? Any one of these can instantly spoil his day. As we see from the Korda tape, Kissinger cannot open the morning paper with the assurance of tranquility. Because he knows what others can only suspect, or guess at. And he is a prisoner of the knowledge, as, to some extent, are we.
Notice the likable way in which Michael Korda demonstrates his broad-mindedness with the Cambodia jest. Everybody "knows," after all, that Kissinger inflicted terror and misery and mass death on that country, and great injury to the United States Constitution at the same time. (Everybody also "knows" that other vulnerable nations can lay claim to the same melancholy and hateful distinction as Cambodia, with incremental or "collateral" damage to American democracy keeping pace.) Yet the pudgy man standing in black tie at the Vogue party is not, surely, the man who ordered and sanctioned the destruction of civilian populations, the assassination of inconvenient politicians, the kidnapping and disappearance of soldiers and journalists and clerics who got in his way. Oh, but he is. He’s exactly the same man. And that may be among the most nauseating reflections of all. Kissinger is not invited and feted because of his exquisite manners or his mordant wit (his manners are in any case rather gross, and his wit consists of a quiver of borrowed and second-hand darts). No, he is sought after because his presence supplies a frisson, the authentic touch of raw and unapologetic power. There’s a slight guilty nervousness on the edge of Korda’s gag about the indescribable sufferings of Indochina. And I’ve noticed, time and again, standing at the back of the audience during Kissinger speeches, that laughter of the nervous, uneasy kind is the sort of laughter he likes to provoke. In exacting this tribute, he flaunts not the "aphrodisiac" of power (another of his plagiarized bons mots) but its pornography.
DRESS REHEARSAL: THE SECRET OF ’68
There exists, within the political class of Washington, D.C., an open secret that is too momentous and too awful to tell.
Although it is well known to academic historians, senior reporters, former Cabinet members, and ex-diplomats, it has never been summarized all at one time in any one place. The reason for this is, on first viewing, paradoxical. The open secret is in the possession of both major political parties, and it directly implicates the past statecraft of at least three former presidencies. Thus, its full disclosure would be in the interest of no particular faction. Its truth is therefore the guarantee of its obscurity; it lies like Poe’s "purloined letter" across the very aisle that signifies bipartisanship.
Here is the secret in plain words. In the fall of 1968, Richard Nixon and some of his emissaries and underlings set out to sabotage the Paris peace negotiations on Vietnam. The means they chose were simple: they privately assured the South Vietnamese military rulers that an incoming Republican regime would offer them a better deal than would a Democratic one. In this way, they undercut both the talks themselves and the electoral strategy of Vice President Hubert Humphrey. The tactic "worked," in that the South Vietnamese junta withdrew from the talks on the eve of the election, thereby destroying the peace initiative on which the Democrats had based their campaign. In another way, it did not "work," because four years later the Nixon Administration tried to conclude the war on the same terms that had been on offer in Paris. The reason for the dead silence that still surrounds the question is that in those intervening years some 20,000 Americans and an uncalculated number of Vietnamese, Cambodians, and Laotians lost their lives. Lost them, that is to say, even more pointlessly than had those slain up to that point. The impact of those four years on Indochinese society, and on American democracy, is beyond computation. The chief beneficiary of the covert action, and of the subsequent slaughter, was Henry Kissinger.
I can already hear the guardians of consensus, scraping their blunted quills to dismiss this as a "conspiracy theory." I happily accept the challenge. Let us take, first, the Diaries of that renowned conspirator (and theorist of conspiracy) H. R. Haldeman, published in May 1994.1 choose to start with them for two reasons. First, because on the logical inference of "evidence against interest" it is improbable that Mr. Haldeman would supply evidence of his knowledge of a crime, unless he was (posthumously) telling the truth. Second, because it is possible to trace back each of his entries to its origin in other documented sources.
In January 1973, the Nixon-Kissinger Administration-for which Haldeman took the minutes-was heavily engaged on two fronts. In Paris again, Henry Kissinger was striving to negotiate "peace with honor" in Vietnam. In Washington, D.C., the web of evidence against the Watergate burglars and buggers was beginning to tighten. On January 8,1973, Haldeman records:
John Dean called to report on the Watergate trials, says that if we can prove in any way by hard evidence that our [campaign] plane was bugged in ’68, he thinks that we could use that as a basis to say we’re going to force Congress to go back and investigate ’68 as well as ‘7I, and thus turn them off.
Three days later, on January 11, 1973, Haldeman hears from Nixon ("the P," as the Diaries call him):
On the Watergate question, he wanted me to talk to [Attorney General John] Mitchell and have him find out from [Deke] De Loach [of the FBI] if the guy who did the bugging on us in 1968 is still at the FBI, and then [FBI acting director Patrick] Gray should nail him with a lie detector and get it settled, which would give us the evidence we need. He also thinks I ought to move with George Christian [President Johnson’s former press secretary, then working with Democrats for Nixon], get LBJ to use his influence to turn off the Hill investigation with Califano, Hubert, and so on. Later in the day, he decided that wasn’t such a good idea, and told me not to do it, which I fortunately hadn’t done.
On the same day, Haldeman reports Henry Kissinger calling excitedly from Paris, saying "he’ll do the signing in Paris rather than Hanoi, which is the key thing." He speaks also of getting South Vietnam’s President Thieu to "go along." On the following day:
The P also got back on the Watergate thing today, making the point that I should talk to Connally about the Johnson bugging process to get his judgment as to how to handle it. He wonders if we shouldn’t just have Andreas go in and scare Hubert. The problem in going at LBJ is how he’d react, and we need to find out from [Deke] De Loach who did it, and then run a lie detector on him. I talked to Mitchell on the phone on this subject and he said De Loach had told him he was up to date on the thing because he had a call from Texas. A Star re’ porter was making an inquiry in the last week or so, and LBJ got very hot and called Deke and said to him that if the Nixon people are going to play with this, that he would release [deleted material-national security], saying that our side was asking that certain things be done. By our side, I assume he means the Nixon campaign organization. De Loach took this as a direct threat from Johnson…. As he recalls it, bugging was requested on the planes, but was turned down, and all they did was check the phone calls, and put a tap on the Dragon Lady [Mrs. Anna Chennault].
This bureaucratic prose may be hard to read, but it needs no cipher to decode itself. Under intense pressure about the bugging of the Watergate building, Nixon instructed his chief of staff, Haldeman, and his FBI contact, Deke DeLoach, to unmask the bugging to which his own campaign had been subjected in 1968. He also sounded out former president Johnson, through former senior Democrats like Texas governor John Connally, to gauge what his reaction to the disclosure might be. The aim was to show that "everybody does it." (By another bipartisan paradox, in Washington the slogan "they all do it" is used as a slogan for the defense rather than, as one might hope, for the prosecution.)
However, a problem presents itself at once: how to reveal the 1968 bugging without at the same time revealing what that bugging had been about. Hence the second thoughts ("wasn’t such a good idea . . ."). In his excellent introduction to The Haldeman Diaries, Nixon’s biographer Professor Stephen Ambrose characterizes the 1973 approach to Lyndon Johnson as "prospective blackmail," designed to exert backstairs pressure to close down a congressional inquiry. But he also suggests that Johnson, himself no pushover, had some blackmail ammunition of his own. As Professor Ambrose phrases it, the Diaries had been vetted by the National Security Council, and the bracketed deletion cited above is "the only place in the book where an example is given of a deletion by the NSC during the Carter Administration." "Eight days later Nixon was inaugurated for his second term," Ambrose relays. "Ten days later Johnson died of a heart attack. What Johnson had on Nixon I suppose we’ll never know."
The professor’s conclusion here is arguably too tentative. There is a well-understood principle known as "Mutual Assured Destruction," whereby both sides possess more than enough material with which to annihilate the other. The answer to the question of what the Johnson Administration "had" on Nixon is a relatively easy one. It was given in a book entitled Counsel to the President, published in 1991. Its author was Clark Clifford, the quintessential blue-chip Washington insider, who was assisted in the writing by Richard Holbrooke, the former assistant secretary of state and current ambassador to the United Nations. In 1968, Clark Clifford was secretary of defense and Richard Holbrooke was a member of the American negotiating team at the Vietnam peace talks in Paris.
From his seat in the Pentagon, Clifford had been able to read the intelligence transcripts that picked up and recorded what he terms a "secret personal channel" between President Thieu in Saigon and the Nixon campaign. The chief interlocutor at the American end was John Mitchell, then Nixon’s campaign manager and subsequently attorney general (and subsequently Prisoner Number 24171-157 in the Maxwell Air Force Base prison camp). He was actively assisted by Madame Anna Chennault, known to all as the "Dragon Lady." A fierce veteran of the Taiwan lobby, and all-purpose right-wing intriguer, she was a social and political force in the Washington of her day and would rate her own biography.
Clifford describes a private meeting at which he, President Johnson, Secretary of State Dean Rusk, and National Security Adviser Walt Rostow were present. Hawkish to a man, they kept Vice President Humphrey out of the loop. But, hawkish as they were, they were appalled at the evidence of Nixon’s treachery. They nonetheless decided not to go public with what they knew. Clifford says that this was because the disclosure would have ruined the Paris talks altogether. He could have added that it would have created a crisis of confidence in American institutions. There are some things that the voters can’t be trusted to know. And even though the bugging had been legal, it might not have looked like fair play. (The Logan Act flatly prohibits any American from conducting private diplomacy with a foreign power.) In the event, Thieu pulled out of the negotiations anyway, ruining them just three days before the election. Clifford is in no doubt of the advice on which he did so:
The activities of the Nixon team went far beyond the bounds of justifiable political combat. It constituted direct interference in the activities of the executive branch and the responsibilities of the Chief Executive, the only people with authority to negotiate on behalf of the nation. The activities of the Nixon campaign constituted a gross, even potentially illegal, interference in the security affairs of the nation by private individuals.
Perhaps aware of the slight feebleness of his lawyerly prose, and perhaps a little ashamed of keeping the secret for his memoirs rather than sharing it with the electorate, Clifford adds in a footnote:
It should be remembered that the public was considerably more innocent in such matters in the days before the Watergate hearings and the 1975 Senate investigation of the CIA.
Perhaps the public was indeed more innocent, if only because of the insider reticence of whiteshoe lawyers like Clifford, who thought there were some things too profane to be made known. He claims now that he was in favor either of confronting Nixon privately with the information and forcing him to desist, or else of making it public. Perhaps this was indeed his view.
A more wised-up age of investigative reporting has brought us several updates on this appalling episode. And so has the very guarded memoir of Richard Nixon himself. More than one "back channel" was required for the Republican destabilization of the Paris peace talks. There had to be secret communications between Nixon and the South Vietnamese, as we have seen. But there also had to be an informant inside the incumbent administration’s camp, a source of hints and tips and early warnings of official intentions. That informant was Henry Kissinger. In his own account, RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon, the disgraced elder statesman tells us that, in mid-September 1968, he received private word of a planned bombing halt. In other words, the Johnson Administration would, for the sake of the negotiations, consider suspending its aerial bombardment of North Vietnam. This most useful advance intelligence, Nixon tells us, came "through a highly unusual channel." It was more unusual even than he acknowledged. Kissinger had until then been a devoted partisan of Nelson Rockefeller, the matchlessly wealthy prince of liberal Republicanism. His contempt for the person and the policies of
Richard Nixon was undisguised. Indeed, President F Johnson’s Paris negotiators, led by Averell Harriman, considered Kissinger to be almost one of themselves. He had made himself helpful, as Rockefeller’s chief foreign-policy adviser, by supplying French intermediaries with their own contacts in Hanoi. "Henry was the only person outside of the government we were authorized to discuss the negotiations with," Richard Holbrooke told Walter Isaacson. "We trusted him. It is not stretching the truth to say that the Nixon campaign had a secret source within the U.S. negotiating team."
So the likelihood of a bombing halt, wrote Nixon, "came as no real surprise to me." He added: "I told Haldeman that Mitchell should continue as liaison with Kissinger and that we should honor his desire to keep his role completely confidential." It is impossible that Nixon was unaware of his campaign manager’s parallel role in colluding with a foreign power. Thus began what was effectively a domestic covert operation, directed simultaneously at thwarting the talks and embarrassing the Hubert Humphrey campaign.
Later in the month, on September 76 to be precise, and as recorded by Nixon in his memoirs, "Kissinger called again. He said that he had just returned from Paris, where he had picked up word that something big was afoot regarding Vietnam. He advised that if I had anything to say about Vietnam during the following week, I should avoid any new ideas or proposals." On the same day, Nixon declined a challenge from Humphrey for a direct debate. On October 12, Kissinger once again made contact, suggesting that a bombing halt might be announced as soon as October 23. And so it might have been. Except that for some reason, every time the North Vietnamese side came closer to agreement, the South Vietnamese increased their own demands. We now know why and how that was, and how the two halves of the strategy were knit together. As far back as July, Nixon had met quietly in New York with the South Vietnamese ambassador, Bui Diem. The contact had been arranged by Anna Chennault. Bugging of the South Vietnamese offices in Washington, and surveillance of the "Dragon Lady," showed how the ratchet operated. An intercepted cable from Diem to President Thieu on the fateful day of October 23 had him saying: "Many Republican friends have contacted me and encouraged us to stand firm. They were alarmed by press reports to the effect that you had already softened your position." The wiretapping instructions went to one Cartha DeLoach, known as "Deke" to his associates, who was J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI liaison officer to the White House. We met him, you may recall, in H. R. Haldeman’s Diaries.
In 1999 the author Anthony Summers was finally able to gain access to the closed FBI file of intercepts of the Nixon campaign, which he published in his 2000 book, The Arrogance of Poquer: The Secret World of Richard Nixon. He was also able to interview Anna Chennault. These two breakthroughs furnished him with what is vulgarly termed a "smoking gun" on the 1968 conspiracy. By the end of October 1968, John Mitchell had become so nervous about official surveillance that he ceased taking calls from Chennault. And President Johnson, in a conference call to the three candidates, Nixon, Humphrey, and Wallace (allegedly to brief them on the bombing halt), had strongly implied that he knew about the covert efforts to stymie his Vietnam diplomacy. This call created near-panic in Nixon’s inner circle and caused Mitchell to telephone Chennault at the Sheraton Park Hotel. He then asked her to call him back on a more secure line. "Anna," he told her, "I’m speaking on behalf of Mr. Nixon. It’s very important that our Vietnamese friends understand our Republican position, and I hope you made that clear to them…. Do you think they really have decided not to go to Paris?"
The reproduced FBI original document shows what happened next. On November 2,1968, the agent reported:
MRS. ANNA CHENNAULT CONTACTED VIETNAMESE AMBASSADOR, BUI DIEM, AND ADVISED HIM THAT SHE HAD RECEIVED A MESSAGE FROM HER BOSS (NOT FURTHER IDENTIFIED), WHICH HER BOSS WANTED HER TO GIVE PERSONALLY TO THE AMBASSADOR. SHE SAID THAT THE MESSAGE WAS THAT THE AMBASSADOR IS TO "HOLD ON, WE ARE GONNA WIN" AND THAT HER BOSS ALSO SAID "HOLD ON, HE UNDERSTANDS ALL OF IT." SHE REPEATED THAT THIS IS THE ONLY MESSAGE. "HE SAID PLEASE TELL YOUR BOSS TO HOLD ON. SHE ADVISED THAT HER BOSS HAD JUST CALLED FROM NEW MEXICO.
Nixon’s running mate, Spiro Agnew, had been campaigning in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that day, and subsequent intelligence analysis revealed that he and another member of his staff (the one principally concerned with Vietnam) had indeed been in touch with the Chennault camp.
The beauty of having Kissinger leaking from one side and Anna Chennault and John Mitchell conducting a private foreign policy on the other was this: It enabled Nixon to avoid being drawn into the argument over a bombing halt. And it further enabled him to suggest that it was the Democrats who were playing politics with the issue. On October 25, in New York, he used his tried-and-tested tactic of circulating an innuendo while purporting to disown it. Of LBJ’s Paris diplomacy he said, "I am also told that this spurt of activity is a cynical, last-minute attempt by President Johnson to salvage the candidacy of Mr. Humphrey. This I do not believe."
Kissinger himself showed a similar ability to play both ends against the middle. In the late summer of 1968, on Martha’s Vineyard, he had offered Nelson Rockefeller’s files on Nixon to Professor Samuel Huntington, a close adviser to Hubert Humphrey. But when Huntington’s colleague and friend Zbigniew Brzezinski tried to get him to make good on the offer, Kissinger became shy. "I’ve hated Nixon for years," he told Brzezinski, but the time wasn’t quite ripe for the handover. Indeed, it was a very close-run election, turning in the end on the difference of a few hundred thousand votes, and many hardened observers believe that the final difference was made when Johnson ordered a bombing halt on October 31 and the South Vietnamese made him look like a fool by boycotting the peace talks two days later. Had things gone the other way, of course, Kissinger was a near-certainty for a senior job in a Humphrey administration.
With slight differences of emphasis, the larger pieces of this story appear in Haldeman’s work as cited and in Clifford’s memoir. They are also partially rehearsed in President Johnson’s autobiography, The Vantage Point, and in a long reflection on Indochina by William Bundy (one of the architects of the war) entitled rather tritely The Tangled Web. Senior members of the press corps, among them Jules Witcover in his history of 1968, Seymour Hersh in his study of Kissinger, and Walter Isaacson, editor of Time magazine, in his admiring but critical biography, have produced almost congruent accounts of the same abysmal episode. The only mention of it that is completely and utterly false, by any literary or historical standard, appears in the memoirs of Henry Kissinger himself. He writes just this:
"Several Nixon emissaries-some self appointed- telephoned me for counsel. l took the position that I would answer specific questions on foreign policy, but that I would not offer general advice or volunteer suggestions. This was the same response I made to inquiries from the Humphrey staff."
This contradicts even the self-serving memoir of the man who, having won the 1968 election by these underhanded means, made as his very first appointment Henry Kissinger as national security adviser. One might not want to arbitrate a mendacity competition between the two men, but when he made this choice Richard Nixon had only once, briefly and awkwardly, met Henry Kissinger in person. He clearly formed his estimate of the man’s abilities from more persuasive experience than that. "One factor that had most convinced me of Kissinger’s credibility," wrote Nixon later in his own delicious prose, "was the length to which he went to protect his secrecy."
That ghastly secret is now out. In the January 1969 issue of the Establishment house organ Foreign Affairs, published a few days after his appointment as Nixon’s right -hand man, there appeared Henry Kissinger’s own evaluation of the Vietnam negotiations. On every point of substance, he agreed with the line taken in Paris by the Johnson-Humphrey negotiators. One has to pause for an instant to comprehend the enormity of this. Kissinger had helped elect a man who had surreptitiously promised the South Vietnamese junta a better deal than they would get from the Democrats. The Saigon authorities then acted, as Bundy ruefully confirms, as if they did indeed have a deal. This meant, in the words of a later Nixon slogan, "Four More Years." But four more years of an unwinnable and undeclared and murderous war, which was to spread before it burned out, and was to end on the same terms and conditions as had been on the table in the fall of 1968.
This was what it took to promote Henry Kissinger. To promote him from a mediocre and opportunistic academic to an international potentate. The signature qualities were there from the inaugural moment: the sycophancy and the duplicity; the power worship and the absence of scruple; the empty trading of old non-friends for new non-friends. And the distinctive effects were also present: the uncounted and expendable corpses; the official and unofficial Iying about the cost; the heavy and pompous pseudo-indignation when unwelcome questions were asked. Kissinger’s global career started as it meant to go on. It debauched the American republic and American democracy, and it levied a hideous toll of casualties on weaker and more vulnerable societies.
THE CRIME OF WAR, AND BOMBING FOR VOTES
Even while compelled to concentrate on brute realities, one must never lose sight of that element of the surreal that surrounds Henry Kissinger. Paying a visit to Vietnam in the middle 1960s, when many technocratic opportunists were still convinced that the war was worth fighting and could be won, the young Henry reserved judgment on the first point but developed considerable private doubts on the second. He had gone so far as to involve himself with an initiative that extended to direct personal contact with Hanoi. He became friendly with two Frenchmen who had a direct line to the Communist leadership in North Vietnam’s capital. Raymond Aubrac, a French civil servant who was a friend of Ho Chi Minh, and Herbert Marcovich, a French microbiologist, began a series of trips to North Vietnam. On their return, they briefed Kissinger in Paris. He in his turn parlayed their information into high-level conversations in Washington, relaying the actual or potential negotiating positions of Pham Van Dong and other Communist statesmen to Defense Secretary Robert McNamara. (In the result, the relentless bombing of the North made any "bridge-building" impracticable. In particular, the now forgotten American destruction of the Paul Doumer Bridge outraged the Vietnamese side.)
This weightless mid-position, which ultimately helped enable his double act in 1968, allowed Kissinger to ventriloquize Governor Rockefeller and to propose, by indirect means, a future détente with America’s chief rivals. In his first major address as a candidate for the Republican nomination in 1968, Rockefeller spoke ringingly of how "in a subtle triangle with Communist China and the Soviet Union, we can ultimately improve our relations with each-as we test the will for peace of both."
This foreshadowing of a later Kissinger strategy might appear at first reading to illustrate prescience. But Governor Rockefeller had no more reason than Vice President Humphrey to suppose that his ambitious staffer would defect to the Nixon camp, risking and postponing this same détente in order later to take credit for a debased simulacrum of it.
Morally speaking, Kissinger treated the concept of superpower rapprochement in the same way as he treated the concept of a negotiated settlement in Vietnam: as something contingent on his own needs. There was a time to feign support of it and a time to denounce it as weak-minded and treacherous. And there was a time to take credit for it. Some of those who "followed orders" in Indochina may lay a claim to that notoriously weak defense. Some who even issued the orders may now tell us that they were acting sincerely at the time. But Kissinger cannot avail himself of this alibi. He always knew what he was doing, and he embarked upon a second round of protracted warfare having knowingly helped to destroy an alternative that he always understood was possible. This increases the gravity of the charge against him. It also prepares us for his improvised and retrospective defense against that charge: that his immense depredations eventually led to "peace." When he announced that "peace is at hand" in October 1972, he made a boastful and false claim that could have been made in 1968. And when he claimed credit for subsequent superpower contacts, he was announcing the result of a secret and corrupt diplomacy that had originally been proposed as an open and democratic one. In the meantime, he had illegally eavesdropped and shadowed American citizens and public servants whose misgivings about the war, and about unconstitutional authority, were mild compared with those of Messieurs Aubrac and Marcovich. In establishing what lawyers call the men’s area, we can say that in Kissinger’s case he was fully aware of, and is entirely accountable for, his own actions.
Upon taking office at Richard Nixon’s | side in the winter of 1969, it was | Kissinger’s task to be plus royalist que le roi in two respects. He had to confect a rationale of "credibility" for punitive action in an already devastated Vietnamese theater, and he had to second his principal’s wish that he form part of a "wall" between the Nixon White House and the Department of State. The term "two track" was later to become commonplace. Kissinger’s position on both tracks, of promiscuous violence abroad and flagrant illegality at home, was decided from the start. He does not seem to have lacked relish for either commitment; one hopes faintly that this was not the first twinge of the "aphrodisiac."
President Johnson’s "bombing halt" had not lasted long by any standard, even if one remembers that its original conciliatory purpose had been sordidly undercut. Averell Harriman, who had been LBJ’s chief negotiator in Paris, later testified to Congress that the North Vietnamese had withdrawn 90 percent of their forces from the northern two provinces of South Vietnam, in October and November 1968, in accordance with the agreement of which the "halt" might have formed a part. In the new context, however, this withdrawal could be interpreted as a sign of weakness, or even as a "light at the end of the tunnel."
The historical record of the Indochina war is voluminous, and the resulting controversy no less so. This does not, however, prevent the following of a consistent thread. Once the war had been unnaturally and undemocratically prolonged, more exorbitant methods were required to fight it and more fantastic excuses had to be fabricated to justify it. Let us take four connected cases in which the civilian population was deliberately exposed to indiscriminate lethal force, in which the customary laws of war and neutrality were violated, and in which conscious lies had to be told in order to conceal these facts and others.
The first such case is an example of what Vietnam might have been spared had not the 1968 Paris peace talks been sabotaged. In December 1968, during the "transition" period between the Johnson and Nixon administrations, the United States military command turned to what General Creighton Abrams termed "total war" against the "infrastructure" of the Vietcong/National Liberation Front insurgency. The chief exhibit in this campaign was a six-month clearance of the province of Kien Hoa. The code name for the sweep was Operation "Speedy Express."
It might, in some realm of theory, be remotely conceivable that such tactics could be justified under the international laws and charters governing the sovereign rights of self-defense. But no nation capable of deploying the overwhelming and annihilating force described below would be likely to find itself on the defensive. And it would be least of all likely to find itself on the defensive on its own soil. So the Nixon-Kissinger Administration was not, except in one unusual sense, fighting for survival. The unusual sense in which its survival was at stake is set out, yet again, in the stark posthumous testimony of H. R. Haldeman. From his roost at Nixon’s side he describes a Kissingerian moment on December 15, 1970:
"K[Kissinger] came in and the discussion covered some of the general thinking about Vietnam and the F’s big peace plan for next year, which K later told me he does not favor. He thinks that any pullout next year would be a serious mistake because the adverse reaction to it could set in well before the t72 elections. He favors, instead, a continued winding down and then a pullout right at the fall of ,72 so that if any bad results follow they will be too late to affect the election."
One could hardly wish for it to be more plainly put than that. (And put, furthermore, by one of Nixon’s chief partisans with no wish to discredit the re-election.) But in point of fact, Kissinger himself admits to almost as much in his own first volume of memoirs, The White House Years. The context is a meeting with General de Gaulle, in which the old warrior demanded to know by what right the Nixon Administration subjected Indochina to devastating bombardment. In his own account, Kissinger replies that "a sudden withdrawal might give us a credibility problem." (When asked "where?" Kissinger hazily proposed the Middle East.) It is important to bear in mind that the future flatterer of Brezhnev and Mao was in no real position to claim that he made war in Indochina to thwart either. He certainly did not dare try such a callow excuse on Charles de Gaulle. And indeed, the proponent of secret deals with China was in no very strong position to claim that he was combating Stalinism in general. No, it all came down to "credibility" and to the saving of face. It is known that 20,763 American, 109,230 South Vietnamese, and 496,260 North Vietnamese servicemen lost their lives in Indochina between the day that Nixon and Kissinger took office and the day in 1973 that they withdrew American forces and accepted the logic of 1968. Must the families of these victims confront the fact that the chief "faces" at risk were those of Nixon and Kissinger?
Thus the colloquially titled "Christmas bombing" of North Vietnam, continued after that election had been won, must be counted as a war crime by any standard. The bombing was not conducted for anything that could be described as "military reasons" but for twofold political ones. The first of these was domestic: a show of strength to extremists in Congress and a means of putting the Democratic Party on the defensive. The second was to persuade South Vietnamese leaders such as President Thieu-whose intransigence had been encouraged by Kissinger in the first place-that their objections to American withdrawal were too nervous. This, again, was the mortgage on the initial secret payment of 1968.
When the unpreventable collapse occurred in Cambodia and Vietnam, in April and May 1975, the cost was infinitely higher than it would have been seven years previously. These locust years ended as they had begun-with a display of bravado and deceit. On May 12, 1975, in the immediate aftermath of the Khmer Rouge seizure of power, Cambodian gunboats detained an American merchant vessel named the Mayague. The ship was stopped in international waters claimed by Cambodia and then taken to the Cambodian island of Koh Tang. In spite of reports that the crew had been released, Kissinger pressed for an immediate face-saving and "credibility"-enhancing strike. He persuaded President Gerald Ford, the untried and undistinguished successor to his deposed former boss, to send in the Marines and the Air Force. Out of a Marine force of 110, 18 were killed and 50 were wounded. Twenty-three Air Force men died in a crash. The United States used a 15,000-ton bomb on the island, the most powerful non-nuclear device that it possessed. Nobody has the figures for Cambodian deaths. The casualties were pointless, because the ship’s company of the Mayaguez were nowhere on Koh Tang, having been released some hours earlier. A subsequent congressional inquiry found that Kissinger could have known of this by listening to Cambodian broadcasting or by paying attention to a third-party government that had been negotiating a deal for the restitution of the crew and the ship. It was not as if any Cambodians doubted, by that month of 1975, the willingness of the U.S. government to employ deadly force.
In Washington, D.C., there is a famous and hallowed memorial to the American dead of the Vietnam War. Known as the "Vietnam Veterans Memorial," it bears a name that is slightly misleading. l was present for the extremely affecting moment of its dedication in 1982 and noticed that the list of nearly 60,000 names is incised in the wall not by alphabet but by date. The first few names appear in 1959 and the last few in 1975. The more historically minded visitors can sometimes be heard to say that they didn’t know the United States was engaged in Vietnam as early or as late as that. Nor was the public supposed to know. The first names are of the covert operatives, sent in by Colonel Edward Lansdale without congressional approval to support French colonialism. The last names are of those thrown away in the Mayaguez fiasco. It took Henry Kissinger to ensure that a war of atrocity, which he had helped to prolong, should end as furtively and ignominiously as it had begun.
A SAMPLE OF CASES: KISSINGER’S WAR CRIMES IN INDOCHINA
Some statements are too blunt for everyday, consensual discourse. In national "debate," it is the smoother pebbles that are customarily gathered from the stream and used as projectiles. They leave less of a scar, even when they hit. Occasionally, however, a single hard-edged remark will inflict a deep and jagged wound, a gash so ugly that it must be cauterized at once. In January 1971 there was a considered statement from General Telford Taylor, who had been chief U.S. prosecuting counsel at the Nuremberg trials. Reviewing the legal and moral basis of those hearings, and also the Tokyo trials of Japanese war criminals and the Manila trial of Emperor Hirohito’s chief militarist, General Yamashita Tomoyuki, Taylor said that if the standard of Nuremberg and Manila were applied evenly, and applied to the American statesmen and bureaucrats who designed the war in Vietnam, then "there would be a very strong possibility that they would come to the same end [Yamashita] did." It is not every day that a senior American soldier and jurist delivers the opinion that a large portion of his country’s political class should probably be hooded and blindfolded and dropped through a trapdoor on the end of a rope.
In his book Nuremberg and Vietnam, General Taylor also anticipated one of the possible objections to this legal and moral conclusion. It might be argued for the defense, he said, that those arraigned did not really know what they were doing; in other words, that they had achieved the foulest results but from the highest and most innocent motives. The notion of Indochina as some Heart of Darkness "quagmire" of ignorant armies has been sedulously propagated, then and since, in order to make such a euphemism appear plausible. Taylor had no patience with such a view. American military and intelligence and economic and political teams had been in Vietnam, he wrote, for much too long to attribute anything they did "to lack of information." It might have been possible for soldiers and diplomats to pose as innocents until the middle of the 1960s, but after that time, and especially after the My Lai massacre of March 16, 1968, when serving veterans reported major atrocities to their superior officers, nobody could reasonably claim to have been uninformed, and of those who could, the least believable would be those who-far from the confusion of battle-read and discussed and approved the panoptic reports of the war that were delivered to Washington.
General Taylor’s book was being written while many of the most reprehensible events of the Indochina war were still taking place, or still to come. He was unaware of the intensity and extent of, for example, the bombing of Laos and Cambodia. Enough was known about the conduct of the war, however, and about the existing matrix of legal and criminal responsibility, for him to arrive at some indisputable conclusions. The first of these concerned the particular obligation F of the United States to be aware of, and to respect, the Nuremberg principles:
"Military courts and commissions have customarily B rendered their judgments stark and unsupported by opinions giving the reasons for their decisions. The Nuremberg and Tokyo judgments, in contrast, were all based on extensive opinions detailing the evidence and analyzing the factual and legal issues, in the fashion of appellate tribunals generally. Needless to say they were not of uniform quality, and often reflected the logical shortcomings of compromise, the marks of which commonly mar the opinions of multi-member tribunals. But the process was professional in a way seldom achieved in military courts, and the records and judgments in these trials provided a much needed foundation for a corpus of judge-made international penal law. The results of the trials commended themselves to the newly formed United Nations, and on Dec. 11, 1946, the General Assembly adopted a resolution affirming "the principles of international law recognized by the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal and the judgment of the Tribunal."
However history may ultimately assess the wisdom or unwisdom of the war crimes trials, one thing is in disputable: At their conclusion, the United States Government stood legally, politically and morally committed to the principles enunciated in the charters and judgments of the tribunals. The President of the United States, on the recommendations of the Departments of State, War and Justice, approved the war crimes programs. Thirty or more American judges, drawn from the appellate benches of the states from Massachusetts to Oregon, and Minnesota to Georgia, conducted the later Nuremberg trials and wrote the opinions. General Douglas MacArthur, under authority of the Far Eastern Commission, established the Tokyo tribunal and confirmed the sentences it imposed, and it was under his authority as the highest American military officer in the Far East that the Yamashita and other such proceedings were held. The United States delegation to the United Nations presented the resolution by which the General Assembly endorsed the Nuremberg principles.
"Thus the integrity of the nation is staked on those principles, and today the question is how they apply to our conduct of the war in Vietnam, and whether the United States Government is prepared to face the consequences of their application."
Facing and cogitating these consequences himself, General Taylor took issue with another United States officer, Colonel William Corson, who had written that
"[r]regardless of the outcome of . . . the My Lai courts-martial and other legal actions, the point remains that American judgment as to the effective prosecution of the war was faulty from beginning to end and that the atrocities, alleged or otherwise, are a result of a failure of judgment, not criminal behavior."
To this Taylor responded:
"Colonel Corson overlooks, I fear, that negligent homicide is generally a crime of bad judgment rather than evil intent. Perhaps he is right in the strictly causal sense that if there had been no failure of judgment, the occasion for criminal conduct would not have arisen. The Germans in occupied Europe made gross errors of judgment which no doubt created the conditions in which the slaughter of the in habitants of Klissura [a Greek village annihilated during the Occupation] occurred, but that did not make the killings any the less criminal."
Referring this question to the chain of command in the field, General Taylor noted further that the senior officer corps had been
"more or less constantly in Vietnam, and splendidIy equipped with helicopters and other aircraft, which gave them a degree of mobility unprecedented in earlier wars, and consequently endowed them with every opportunity to keep the course of the fighting and its consequences under close and constant observation. Communications were generally rapid and efficient, so that the flow of information and orders was unimpeded.
These circumstances are in sharp contrast to those that confronted General Yamashita in 1944 and 1945, with his troops reeling back in disarray before the oncoming American military powerhouse. For failure to control his forces so as to prevent the atrocities they committed, Brig. Gens. Eghert F. Bullene and Morris Handwerk and Maj. Gens. James A. Lester, Leo Donovan and Russel B. Reynolds found him guilty of violating the laws of war and sentenced him to death by hanging."
Nor did General Taylor omit the crucial link between the military command and its political supervision, again a much closer and more immediate relationship in the American-Vietnamese instance than in the Japanese-Filipino one, as the regular contact between, say, General Creighton Abrams and Henry Kissinger makes clear:
"How much the President and his close advisers in the White House, Pentagon and Foggy Bottom knew about the volume and cause of civilian casualties in Vietnam, and the physical devastation of the countryside, is speculative. Something was known, for the late John McNaughton (then Assistant Secretary of Defense) returned from the White House one day in 1967 with the message that "We seem to be proceeding on the assumption that the way to eradicate the Vietcong is to destroy all the village structures, defoliate all the jungles, and then cover the entire surface of South Vietnam with asphalt."
This was noticed (by Townsend Hoopes, a political antagonist of General Taylor’s) before that metaphor had been extended into two new countries, Laos and Cambodia, without a declaration of war, a notification to Congress, or a warning to civilians to evacuate. But Taylor anticipated the Kissinger case in many ways when he recalled the trial of the Japanese statesman Koki Hirota,
"who served briefly as Prime Minister and for several years as Foreign Minister between 1933 and May, 1938, after which he held no office whatever. The so-called "rape of Nanking" by Japanese forces occurred during the winter of 1937-38, when Hirota was Foreign Minister. Upon receiving early reports of the atrocities, he demanded and received assurances from the War Ministry that they would be stopped. But they continued, and the Tokyo tribunal found Hirota guilty because he was "derelict in his duty in not insisting before the Cabinet that immediate action be taken to put an end to the atrocities," and "was content to rely on assurances which he knew were not being implemented." On this basis, coupled with his conviction on the aggressive war charge, Hirota was sentenced to be hanged."
Melvin Laird, as secretary of defense during the first Nixon Administration, was queasy enough about the early bombings of Cambodia, and dubious enough about the legality or prudence of the intervention, to send a memo to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, asking, "Are steps being taken, on a continuing basis, to minimize the risk of striking Cambodian people and structures? If so, what are the steps? Are we reasonably sure such steps are effective?" No evidence has surfaced that Henry Kissinger, as national security adviser or secretary of state, ever sought even such modest assurances. Indeed, there is much evidence of his deceiving Congress as to the true extent to which such assurances as were offered were deliberately false. Others involved-such as Robert McNamara; McGeorge Bundy, national security adviser to both Kennedy and Johnson; and William Colby-have since offered varieties of apology or contrition or at least explanation. Henry Kissinger, never. General Taylor described the practice of air strikes against hamlets suspected of "harboring" Vietnamese guerrillas as "flagrant violations of the Geneva Convention on Civilian Protection, which prohibits ‘collective penalties,’ and reprisals against protected persons,’ and equally in violation of the Rules of Land Warfare." He was writing before this atrocious precedent had been extended to reprisal raids that treated two whole countries-Laos and Cambodia-as if they were disposable hamlets.
For Henry Kissinger, no great believer in the boastful claims of the war makers in the first place, a special degree of responsibility attaches. Not only did he have good reason to know that field commanders were exaggerating successes and claiming all dead bodies as enemy soldiers- a commonplace piece of knowledge after the spring of 1968-but he also knew that the issue of the war had been settled politically and diplomatically, for all intents and purposes, before he became national security adviser. Thus he had to know that every additional casualty, on either side, was not just a death but an avoidable death. With this knowledge, and with a strong sense of the domestic and personal political profit, he urged the expansion of the war into two neutral countries-violating international law-while persisting in a breathtakingly high level of attrition in Vietnam itself.
From a huge menu of possible examples, I have chosen cases that involve Kissinger ~ directly and in which I have myself been _ , able to interview surviving witnesses. The first, as foreshadowed above, is Operation "Speedy Express":
My friend and colleague Kevin Buckley, then a much admired correspondent and Saigon bureau chief for Newsweek, became interested in the "pacification" campaign that bore this breezy code name. Designed in the closing days of the Johnson-Humphrey Administration, it was put into full effect in the first six months of 1969, when Henry Kissinger had assumed much authority over the conduct of the war. The objective was the American disciplining, on behalf of the Thieu government, of the turbulent Mekong Delta province of Kien Hoa.
On January 22, 1968, Robert McNamara had told the Senate that "no regular North Vietnamese units" were deployed in the Delta, and no military intelligence documents have surfaced to undermine his claim, so that the cleansing of the area cannot be understood as part of the general argument about resisting Hanoi’s unsleeping will to conquest. The announced purpose of the Ninth Division’s sweep, indeed, was to redeem many thousands of villagers from political control by the National Liberation Front (NLF), or "Vietcong" (VC). As Buckley found, and as his magazine, Newsweek, partially disclosed at the rather late date of June 19, 1972,
"All the evidence I gathered pointed to a clear conclusion a staggering number of noncombatant civilians perhaps as many as 5,000 according to one official-were killed by U.S. firepower to "pacify" Kien Hoa. The death toll there made the My Lai massacre look trifling by comparison….
The Ninth Division put all it had into the operation. Eight thousand infantrymen scoured the heavily populated countryside, but contact with the elusive enemy was rare. Thus, in its pursuit of pacification, the division relied heavily on its 50 artillery pieces, 50 helicopters (many armed with rockets and mini guns) and the deadly support lent by the Air Force. There were 3,381 tactical air strikes by fighter bombers during "Speedy Express." …
"Death is our business and business is good," was the slogan painted on one helicopter unit’s quarters during the operation. And so it was. Cumulative statistics for "Speedy Express" show that 10,899 "enemy" were killed. In the month of March alone, "over 3,000 enemy troops were killed . . . which is the largest monthly total for any American division in the Vietnam War," said the division’s official magazine. When asked to account for the enormous body counts, a division senior officer explained that helicopter gun crews often caught unarmed "enemy" in open fields….
There is overwhelming evidence that virtually all the Viet Cong were well armed. Simple civilians were, of course, not armed. And the enormous discrepancy between the body count [11,000] and the number of captured weapons  is hard to explain-except by the conclusion that many victims were unarmed innocent civilians….
The people who still live in pacified Kien Hoa all have vivid recollections of the devastation that American firepower brought to their lives in early 1969. Virtually every person to whom I spoke had suffered in some way. "There were 5,000 people in our village before 1969, but there were none in 1970," one village elder told me. "The Americans destroyed every house with artillery, air strikes, or by burning them down with cigarette lighters. About 100 people were killed by bombing, others were wounded and others became refugees. Many were children killed by concussion from the bombs which their small bodies could not withstand, even if they were hiding underground."
Other officials, including the village police chief, corroborated the man’s testimony. I could not, of course, reach every village. But in each of the many places where I went, the testimony was the same 100 killed here, 700 killed there."
Other notes by Buckley and his friend and collaborator Alex Shimkin (a worker for International Voluntary Services who was later killed in the war) discovered the same evidence in hospital statistics. In March 1969, the hospital at Ben Tre reported 343 patients injured by "friendly" fire and 25 by "the enemy," an astonishing statistic for a government facility to record in a guerrilla war in which suspected membership in the Vietcong could mean death. And Buckley’s own citation for his magazine-of "perhaps as many as 5,000" deaths among civilians in this one sweep- is an almost deliberate understatement of what he was told by a United States official, who actually said that "at least 5,000" of the dead "were what we refer to as non-combatants"-a not too exacting distinction, as we have already seen, and as was by then well understood.
Well understood, that is to say, not just by those who opposed the war but by those who were conducting it. As one American official put it to Buckley,
"The actions of the Ninth Division in inflicting civilian casualties were worse [than My Lai]. The sum total of what the 9th did was overwhelming. In sum, the horror was worse than My Lai. But with the 9th, the civilian casualties came in dribbles and were pieced out over a long time. And most of them were inflicted from the air and at night. Also, they were sanctioned by the command’s insistence on high body-counts…. The result was an inevitable outcome of the unit’s command policy."
The earlier sweep that had mopped up My Lai-during Operation "Wheeler Wallawa"- had also at the time counted all corpses as those of enemy soldiers, including the civilian population of the village, who were casually included in the mind-bending overall total of 10,000.
Confronted with this evidence, Buckley and Shimkin abandoned a lazy and customary usage and replaced it, in a cable to Newsweek head quarters in New York, with a more telling and scrupulous one. The problem was not "indiscriminate use of firepower" but "charges of quite discriminating use-as a matter of policy in populated areas." Even the former allegation is a gross violation of the Geneva Convention; the second charge leads straight to the dock in Nuremberg or The Hague.
Since General Creighton Abrams publicly praised the Ninth Division for its work, and drew attention wherever and whenever he could to the tremendous success of Operation "Speedy Express," we can be sure that the political leadership in Washington was not unaware. Indeed, the degree of micromanagement revealed in Kissinger’s memoirs quite forbids the idea that anything of importance took place without his knowledge or permission.
Of nothing is this more true than his own individual involvement in the bombing and invasion of neutral Cambodia and Laos. Obsessed with the idea that Vietnamese intransigence could be traced to allies or resources external to Vietnam itself, or could be overcome by tactics of mass destruction, Kissinger at one point contemplated using thermonuclear weapons to obliterate the pass through which ran the railway link from North Vietnam to China, and at another stage considered bombing the dikes that prevented North Vietnam’s irrigation system from flooding the country. Neither of these measures (reported respectively in Tad Szulc’s history of Nixon-era diplomacy, The Illusion of Peace, and by Kissinger’s former aide Roger Morris) was taken, which removes some potential war crime from our bill of indictment but which also give an indication of the regnant mentality. There remained Cambodia and Laos, which supposedly concealed or protected North Vietnamese supply lines.
As in the cases postulated by General ‘ Telford Taylor, there is the crime of aggressive war and then there is the question of war crimes. In the postwar period, or the period governed by the U.N. Charter and its related and incorporated conventions, the United States under Democratic and Republican administrations had denied even its closest allies the right to invade countries that allegedly gave shelter to their antagonists. Most famously, President Eisenhower exerted economic and diplomatic pressure at a high level to bring an end to the invasion of Egypt by Britain, France, and Israel in October 1956. (The British thought Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser should not control "their" Suez Canal, the French believed Nasser to be the inspiration and source of their troubles in Algeria, and the Israelis claimed that he played the same role in fomenting their difficulties with the Palestinians. The United States maintained that even if these propaganda fantasies were true, they would not retrospectively legalize an invasion of Egypt. ) During the Algerian war of independence, the United States had also repudiated France’s claimed right to attack a town in neighboring Tunisia that succored Algerian guerrillas, and in 1964, at the United Nations, Ambassador Adlai Stevenson had condemned the United Kingdom for attacking a town in Yemen that allegedly provided a rear guard for rebels operating in its then colony of Aden.
All this law and precedent was to be thrown to the winds when Nixon and Kissinger decided to aggrandize the notion of "hot pursuit" across the borders of Laos and Cambodia. As William Shawcross reported in his 1979 book, Sideshow, even before the actual territorial invasion of Cambodia, for example, and very soon after the accession of Nixon and Kissinger to power, a program of heavy bombardment of the country was prepared and executed in secret. One might with some revulsion call it a "menu" of bombardment since the code names for the raids were "Breakfast," "Lunch," "Snack," "Dinner," and "Dessert." The raids were flown by B-52 bombers, which, it is important to note, fly at an altitude too high to be observed from the ground and carry immense tonnages of high explosive; they give no warning of approach and are incapable of accuracy or discrimination. Between March 1969 and May 1970, 3,630 such raids were flown across the Cambodian frontier. The bombing campaign began as it was to go on-with full knowledge of its effect on civilians and flagrant deceit by Mr. Kissinger in this precise respect.
To wit, a memorandum prepared by the Joint Chiefs of Staffand sent to the Defense Department and the White House stated plainly that "some Cambodian casualties would be sustained in the operation" and that "the surprise effect of attack could tend to increase casualties." The target district for "Breakfast" (Base Area 353) was inhabited, explained the memo, by about 1,640 Cambodian civilians; "Lunch" (Base Area 609), by 198 of them; "Snack" (Base Area 351), by 383; "Dinner" (Base Area 352), by 770, and "Dessert" (Base Area 350), by about 120 Cambodian peasants. These oddly exact figures are enough in themselves to demonstrate that Kissinger must have been Iying when he later told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that areas of Cambodia selected for bombing were "unpopulated."
As a result of the expanded and intensified bombing campaigns, it has been officially estimated that as many as 350,000 civilians in Laos and 600,000 in Cambodia lost their lives. (These are not the highest estimates. ) Figures for refugees are several multiples of that. In addition, the widespread use of toxic chemical defoliants created a massive health crisis that naturally fell most heavily on children, nursing mothers, the aged, and the already infirm. That crisis persists to this day.
Although this appalling war, and its appalling consequences, can and should be taken as a moral and political crisis for American institutions, for at least five United States presidents, and for American society, there is little difficulty in identifying individual responsibility during this, its most atrocious and indiscriminate stage. Richard Nixon, as commander in chief, bears ultimate responsibility and only narrowly escaped a congressional move to include his crimes and deceptions in Indochina in the articles of impeachment, the promulgation of which eventually compelled his resignation. But his deputy and closest adviser, Henry Kissinger, was sometimes forced, and sometimes forced himself, into a position of virtual co-presidency where Indochina was concerned.
For example, in the preparations for the invasion of Cambodia in 1970, Kissinger was caught between the views of his staff-several of whom resigned in protest when the invasion began and his need to please his president. His president listened more to his two criminal associates-John Mitchell and Bebe Rebozo-than he did to his secretaries of state and defense, William Rogers and Melvin Laird, both of whom were highly skeptical about widening the war. On one especially charming occasion, Nixon telephoned Kissinger, while drunk, to discuss the invasion plans. He then put Bebe Rebozo on the line. "The President wants you to know if this doesn’t work, Henry, it’s your ass." "Ain’t that right, Bebe?" slurred the commander in chief. (The conversation was monitored and transcribed by one of Kissinger’s soon-to-resign staffers, William Watts.) It could be said that in this instance the national security adviser was under considerable pressure; nevertheless, he took the side of the pro-invasion faction and, according to the memoirs of General William Westmoreland, actually lobbied for that invasion to go ahead.
A somewhat harder picture is presented by former chief of staff H. R. Haldeman in his Diaries. On December 22, 1970, he records:
"Henry came up with the need to meet with the P to’ day with Al Haig and then tomorrow with Laird and Moorer because he has to use the P to force Laird and the military to go ahead with the P’s plans, which they won’t carry out without direct orders."
In his White House Years, Kissinger claims that he usurped the customary chain of command whereby commanders in the field receive, or believe that they receive, their orders from the president and then the secretary of defense. He boasts that he, together with Haldeman, Alexander Haig, and Colonel Ray Sitton, evolved "both a military and a diplomatic schedule" for the secret bombing of Cambodia. On board Air Force One, which was on the tarmac at Brussels airport on February 24,1969, he writes, "we worked out the guidelines for bombing of the enemy’s sanctuaries." A few weeks later, Haldeman’s Diaries for March 17 record:
"Historic day. K[issinger]’s "Operation Breakfast" finally came off at 2:00 PM our time.
K[issinger] really excited, as was P[resident]."
The next day’s entry:
"K[issinger]’s "Operation Breakfast" a great success.
He came beaming in with report, very productive."
It only got better. On April 22, 1970, Haldeman reports that Nixon, following Kissinger into a National Security Council meeting on Cambodia, "tumed back to me with a big smile and said, ‘K[issinger]’s really having fun today, he’s playing Bismarck."’
The above is an insult to the Iron Chancellor. When Kissinger was finally exposed in Congress and the press for conducting unauthorized bombings, he weakly pleaded that the raids were not all that secret, really, because Prince Sihanouk of Cambodia had known of them. He had to be reminded that a foreign princeling cannot give permission to an American bureaucrat to violate the United States Constitution. Nor, for that matter, can he give permission to an American bureaucrat to slaughter large numbers of his "own" civilians. It’s difficult to imagine Bismarck cowering behind such a contemptible excuse. (Prince Sihanouk, it is worth remembering, later became an abject puppet of the Khmer Rouge.)
Colonel Sitton, the reigning expert on B-52 tactics at the Joint Chiefs of Staff, began to notice that by late 1969 his own office was being regularly overruled in the matter of selecting targets. "Not only was Henry carefully screening the raids," said Sitton, "he was reading the raw intelligence" and fiddling with the mission patterns and bombing runs. In other departments of Washington insiderdom, it was also noticed that Kissinger was becoming a Stakhanovite committeeman. Aside from the crucial 40 Committee, which planned and oversaw all foreign covert actions, he chaired the Washington Special Action Group (WSAG), which dealt with breaking crises; the Verification Panel, concerned with arms control; the Vietnam Special Studies Group, which oversaw the day-to-day conduct of the war; and the Defense Program Review Committee, which supervised the budget of the Defense Department.
It is therefore impossible for him to claim that he was unaware of the consequences of the bombings of Cambodia and Laos; he knew more about them, and in more intimate detail, than any other individual. Nor was he imprisoned in a culture of obedience that gave him no alternative, or no rival arguments. Several senior members of his own staff, most notably Anthony Lake and Roger Morris, resigned over the invasion of Cambodia, and more than two hundred State Department employees signed a protest addressed to Secretary of State William Rogers. Indeed, both Rogers and Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird were opposed to the secret bombing policy, as Kissinger himself records with some disgust in his memoirs. Congress also was opposed to an extension of the bombing (once it had agreed to become informed of it), but even after the Nixon-Kissinger Administration had undertaken on Capitol Hill not to intensify the raids, there was a 21 percent increase of the bombing of Cambodia in the months of July and August 1973. The Air Force maps of the targeted areas show them to be, or to have been, densely populated.
Colonel Sitton does recall, it must be admitted, that Kissinger requested the bombing avoid civilian casualties. His explicit motive in making this request was to avoid or forestall complaints from the government of Prince Sihanouk. But this does no more in itself than demonstrate that Kissinger was aware of the possibility of civilian deaths. If he knew enough to know of their likelihood, and was director of the policy that inflicted them, and neither enforced any actual precautions nor reprimanded any violators, then the case against him is legally and morally complete.
As early as the fall of 1970, an independent ‘ investigator named Fred Branfman, who spoke Lao and knew the country as a civilian volunteer, had gone to Bangkok and interviewed Jerome Brown, a former targeting officer for the United States Embassy in the Laotian capital of Vientiane. The man had retired from the Air Force because of his disillusionment at the futility of the bombing and his consternation at the damage done to civilians and society. The speed and height of the planes, he said, meant that targets were virtually indistinguishable from the air. Pilots often chose villages as targets, because they could be more readily identified than alleged Pathet Lao guerrillas hiding in the jungle. Branfman, whom I interviewed in San Francisco in the summer of 2000, went on to provide this and other information to Henry Kamm and Sydney Schanberg of the New York Times, to Ted Koppel of ABC, and to many others. Under pressure from the United States Embassy, the Laotian authorities had Branfman deported back to the United States, which was probably, from their point of view, a mistake. He was able to make a dramatic appearance on Capitol Hill on April 22, 1971, at a hearing held by Senator Edward Kennedy’s subcommittee on refugees. His antagonist was the State Department’s envoy, William Sullivan, a former ambassador to Laos. Branfman accused him in front of the cameras of helping to conceal evidence that Laotian society was being mutilated by ferocious aerial bombardment.
Partly as a consequence, Congressman Pete McCloskey of California paid a visit to Laos and acquired a copy of an internal U.S. Embassy study of the bombing. He also prevailed on the U.S. Air Force to furnish him with aerial photographs of the dramatic damage. Ambassador Sullivan was so disturbed by these pictures, some of them taken in areas known to him, that his first reaction was to establish to his own satisfaction that the raids had occurred after he left his post in Vientiane. (He was later to learn that, for his pains, his own telephone was being tapped at Henry Kissinger’s instigation, one of the many such violations of American law that were to eventuate in the Watergate tapping-and-burglary scandal, a scandal that Kissinger was furthermore to plead-in an astounding outburst of vanity, deceit, and self-deceit-as his own alibi for collusion in the 1974 Cyprus crisis.)
Having done what he could to bring the Laotian nightmare to the attention of those whose constitutional job it was to supervise such questions, Branfman went back to Thailand and from there to Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia. Having gained access to a pilot’s radio, he tape-recorded the conversations between pilots on bombing missions over the Cambodian interior. On no occasion did they run any checks designed to reassure themselves and others that they were not bombing civilian targets. It had been definitely asserted, by named U.S. government spokesmen, that such checks were run. Branfman handed the tapes to Sydney Schanberg, whose New York Times report on them was printed just before the Senate met to prohibit further blitzing of Cambodia (the very resolution that was flouted by Kissinger the following month).
From there Branfman went back to Thailand and traveled north to Nakhorn Phanom, the new headquarters of the U.S. Seventh Air Force. Here, a war room code-named Blue Chip served as the command and control center of the bombing campaign. Branfman was able to pose as a new recruit just up from Saigon and ultimately gained access to the war room itself. Consoles and maps and screens plotted the progress of the bombardment. In conversation with the "bombing officer" on duty, he asked if pilots ever made contact before dropping their enormous loads of ordnance. Oh, yes, he was assured, they did. Were they worried about hitting the innocent? Oh, no-merely concerned about the whereabouts of CIA "ground teams" infiltrated into the area. Branfman’s report on this, which was carried by Jack Anderson’s syndicated column, was uncontroverted by any official denial.
The reason that the American command in Southeast Asia finally ceased employing the crude and horrific tally of ~ "body count" was that, as in the relatively small but specific case of Operation "Speedy Express" cited above, the figures began to look ominous when they were counted up. Sometimes, totals of "enemy" dead would turn out, when computed, to be suspiciously larger than the number of claimed "enemy" in the field. Yet the war would somehow drag on, with new quantitative goals being set and enforced. Thus, according to the Pentagon, the following are the casualty figures between the first Lyndon Johnson bombing halt in March 1968 and February 26, 1972:
South Vietnamese regulars: 86,101
The U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Refugees estimated that in the same four-year period, rather more than 3 million civilians were killed, injured, or rendered homeless.
In the same four-year period, the United States dropped almost 4,500,000 tons of high explosive on Indochina. (The Pentagon’s estimated total for the amount dropped in the entire Second World War is 2,044,000.) This total does not include massive sprayings of chemical defoliants and pesticides.
It is unclear how we count the murder or abduction of 35,708 Vietnamese civilians by the ClA’s counter-guerrilla "Phoenix program" during the first two and a half years of the Nixon-Kissinger Administration. There may be some "overlap." There is also some overlap with the actions of previous administrations in all cases. But the truly exorbitant death tolls all occurred on Henry Kissinger’s watch; were known and understood by him; were concealed from Congress, the press, and the public by him; and were, when questioned, the subject of political and bureaucratic vendettas ordered by him. They were also partly the outcome of a secretive and illegal process in Washington, unknown even to most Cabinet members, of which Henry Kissinger stood to be, and became, a prime beneficiary.
On that closing point one may once again cite H. R. Haldeman, who had no further reason to lie and who had, by the time of his writing, paid for his crimes by serving a sentence in prison. Haldeman describes the moment in Florida when Kissinger was enraged by a New York Times story telling some part of the truth about Indochina:
"Henry telephoned J. Edgar Hoover in Washington from Key Biscayne on the May morning the Times story appeared.
According to Hoover’s memo of the call, Henry said the story used "secret information which was extraordinarily damaging." Henry went on to tell Hoover that he "wondered whether I could make a major effort to find out where that came from . . . and to put whatever resources I need to find out who did this. l told him I would take care of this right away."
Henry was no fool, of course. He telephoned Hoover a few hours later to remind him that the investigation be handled discreetly “so no stories will get out." Hoover must have smiled, but said all right. And by five o’clock he was back on the telephone to Henry with the report that the Times re. porter ‘may have gotten some of his information from the Southeast Asian desk of the Department of Defense’s Public Affairs Office." More specifically, Hoover suggested the source could be a man named Mort Halperin (a Kissinger staffer) and an. other man who worked in the Systems Analysis Agency…. According to Hoover’s memo, Kissinger "hoped I would follow it up as far as we can take it and they will destroy whoever did this if we can find him, no matter where he is."
"The last line of that memo gives an accurate reflection of Henry’s rage, as I remember it.
Nevertheless, Nixon was one hundred percent behind the wiretaps. And I was, too.
And so the program started, inspired by Henry’s rage but ordered by Nixon, who soon broadened it even further to include newsmen. Eventually, seventeen people were wiretapped by the FBI including seven on Kissinger’s NSC staff and three on the White House staff."
And thus, the birth of the "plumbers" and of the assault on American law and democracy that they inaugurated. Commenting on the lamentable end of this process, Haldeman wrote that he still believed that ex-president Nixon (who was then still alive) should agree to the release of the remaining tapes. But:
"This time my view is apparently not shared by the man who was one reason for the original decision to start the taping process. Henry Kissinger is determined to stop the tapes from reaching the public….
Nixon made the point that Kissinger was really the one who had the most to lose from the tapes becoming public. Henry apparently felt that the tapes would expose a lot of things he had said that would be very disadvantageous to him publicly.
Nixon said that in making the deal for custody of his Presidential papers, which was originally announced after his pardon but then was shot down by Congress, that it was Henry who called him and insisted on Nixon’s right to destroy the tapes. That was, of course, the thing that destroyed the deal."
A society that has been "plumbed" has the right to demand that its plumbers be compelled to make some restitution by way of full disclosure. The litigation to put the Nixon tapes in the public trust is only partially complete; no truthful account of the Vietnam years will be available until Kissinger’s part in what we already know has been made fully transparent.
Until that time, Kissinger’s role in the violation of American law at the close of the Vietnam War makes the perfect counterpart to the 1968 covert action that helped him to power in the first place. The two parentheses enclose a series of premeditated war crimes that still have power to stun the imagination.
CHILE ( PART I ): STATESMAN AS HITMAN
In a famous expression of his contempt for democracy, Kissinger once observed that he saw no reason why a certain country should be allowed to "go Communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people." The country concerned was Chile, which at the time of this remark had a justified reputation as the most highly evolved pluralistic democracy in the Southern Hemisphere of the Americas. The pluralism translated, in the years of the Cold War, into an electorate that voted about one-third conservative, one-third socialist and Communist, and one-third Christian Democratic and centrist. This had made it relatively easy to keep the Marxist element from having its turn in government, and ever since 1962 the CIA had-as it had in Italy and other comparable nations- largely contented itself with funding the reliable elements. In September 1970, however, the left’s candidate actually gained a slight plurality of 36.2 percent in the presidential elections. Divisions on the right, and the adherence of some smaller radical and Christian parties to the left, made it a moral certainty that the Chilean Congress would, after the traditional sixty-day interregnum, confirm Dr. Salvador Allende as the next president. But the very name of Allende was anathema to the extreme right in Chile, to certain powerful corporations (notably ITT, PepsiCola’ and the Chase Manhattan Bank) that did business in Chile and the United States, and to the CIA.
This loathing quickly communicated itself to President Nixon. He was personally beholden to Donald Kendall, the president of Pepsi-Cola, who had given him his first international account when, as a failed politician, he had joined a Wall Street law firm. A series of Washington meetings, within eleven days of Allende’s electoral victory, essentially settled the fate of Chilean democracy. After discussions with Kendall, with David Rockefeller of Chase Manhattan, and with CIA director Richard Helms, Kissinger went with Helms to the Oval Office. Helms’s notes of the meeting show that Nixon wasted little breath in making his wishes known. Allende was not to assume office. "Not concerned risks involved. No involvement of embassy. $10,000,000 available, more if necessary. Full-time job-best men we have…. Make the economy scream. 48 hours for plan of action."
Declassified documents show that Kissinger- who had previously neither known nor cared about Chile, describing it offhandedly as "a dagger pointed at the heart of Antarctica"-took seriously this chance to impress his boss. A group was set up in Langley, Virginia, with the express purpose of running a "two track" policy for Chile, one the ostensible diplomatic one and the other- unknown to the State Department or the U.S. ambassador to Chile, Edward Korry-a strategy of destabilization, kidnapping, and assassination designed to provoke a military coup.
There were long- and short-term obstacles to the incubation of such an intervention, especially in the brief interval available before Allende took his oath of office. The long-term obstacle was the tradition of military abstention from politics in Chile, a tradition that marked off the country from its neighbors. Such a military culture was not to be degraded overnight. The short-term obstacle lay in the person of one man: General Rene Schneider. As chief of the Chilean Army, he was adamantly opposed to any military meddling in the electoral process. Accordingly, it was decided at a meeting on September 18, 1970, that General Schneider had to go.
The plan, well documented by Seymour Hersh and others, was to have him kidnapped by extremist officers, in such a way as to make it appear that leftist and pro-Allende elements were behind the plot. The resulting confusion, it was hoped, would panic the Chilean Congress into denying Allende the presidency. A sum of $50,000 was offered around the Chilean capital, Santiago, for any officer or officers enterprising enough to take on this task. Richard Helms and his director of covert 77 operations, Thomas Karamessines, told Kissinger that they were not optimistic. Military circles were hesitant and divided, or else loyal to General Schneider and the Chilean constitution. As Helms put it in a later account of the conversation: "We tried to make clear to Kissinger how small the possibility of success was." Kissinger firmly told Helms and Karamessines to press on in any case.
Here one must pause for a recapitulation. An unelected official in the United States is meeting with others, without the knowledge or authorization of Congress, to plan the kidnapping of a constitutionally minded senior officer in a democratic country with which the United States is not at war and with which it maintains cordial diplomatic relations. The minutes of the meetings may have an official look to them (though they were hidden from the light of day for long enough), but what we are reviewing is a "hit," a piece of state-supported terrorism.
Ambassador Edward Korry has testified ~ that he told his embassy staff to have ,L~ nothing to do with a group styling itself Patria y Libertad, a quasi-fascist group intent on defying the election results. He sent two cables to Washington warning his superiors to have nothing to do with them either. He was unaware that his own military attaches had been told to contact the group and to keep the fact from him. And when the outgoing president of Chile, the Christian Democrat Eduardo Frei, announced that he was opposed to any American intervention and would vote to confirm the legally elected Allende, it was precisely to this gang that Kissinger turned. On September 15, 1970, Kissinger was told of an extremist right-wing officer named General Roberto Viaux, who had ties to Patria y Libertad and who was willing to accept the secret American commission to remove General Schneider from the chessboard. The term "kidnap" was still being employed at this point and is often employed still. Kissinger’s "track two" group, however, authorized the supply of machine guns as well as tear-gas grenades to Visux’s associates and never seem to have asked what they would do with the general once they had kidnapped him.
Let the documents tell the story. A CIA cable to Kissinger’s "track two" group from Santiago dated October 18, 1970, reads (with the names still blacked out for "security" purposes and cover identities written in by hand, in my square brackets, by the ever-thoughtful redaction service) as follows:
1. [Station cooptee] MET CLANDESTINELY EVENING 17 OCT WITH [two Chilean Armed Forces officers] WHO TOLD HIM THEIR PLANS WERE MOVING ALONG BETTER THAN HAD THOUGHT POSSIBLE. THEY ASKED THAT BY EVENING 18 OCT [cooptee] ARRANGE FURNISH THEM WITH EIGHT TO TEN TEAR GAS GRENADES. WITHIN 48 HOURS THEY NEED THREE 45 CALIBRE MACHINE GUNS (‘GREASE GUNS") WITH 500 ROUNDS AMMO EACH. [One officer] COMMENTED HAS THREE MACHINE GUNS HIMSELF BUT CAN BE IDENTIFIED BY SERIAL NUMBERS AS HAVING BEEN ISSUED TO HIM THEREFORE UNABLE USE THEM.
2. [Officers] SAID THEY HAVE TO MOVE BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE THEY NOW UNDER SUSPICION AND BEING WATCHED BY ALLENDE SUPPORTERS. [One officer] WAS LATE TO MEETING HAVING TAKEN EVASIVE ACTION TO SHAKE POSSIBLE SURVEILLANCE BY ONE OR TWO TAXI CABS WITH DUAL ANTENNAS WHICH HE BELIEVED BEING USED BY OPPOSITION AGAINST HIM.
3. [Cooptee] ASKED IF [officers] HAD AIR FORCE CONTACTS. THEY ANSWERED THEY DID NOT BUT WOULD WELCOME ONE. [Cooptee] SEPARATELY HAS SINCE TRIED CONTACT [a Chilean Air Force General] AND WILL KEEP TRYING UNTIL ESTABLISHED. WILL URGE [Air Force General] MEET WITH [other two officers] ASAP. [Cooptee] COMMENTED TO STATION THAT [Air Force General] HAS NOT TRIED CONTACT HIM SINCE REF A TALK.
4. [Cooptee] COMMENT: CANNOT TELL WHO IS LEADER OF THIS MOVEMENT BUT STRONGLY SUSPECTS IT IS ADMIRAL [Deleted]. IT WOULD APPEAR FROM [his contacts’] ACTIONS AND ALLEGED ALLENDE SUSPICIONS ABOUT THEM THAT UNLESS THEY ACT NOW THEY ARE LOST. TRYING GET MORE INFO FROM THE EVENING 18 OCT ABOUT SUPPORT THEY BELIEVE THEY HAVE.
5. STATION PLANS GIVE SIX TEAR GAS GRENADES (ARRIVING NOON 18 OCT BY SPECIAL COURIER) TO [cooptee] FOR DELIVERY TO [Armed Forces officer] INSTEAD OF HAVING [False Flag officer] DELIVER THEM TO VIAUX GROUP. OUR REASONING IS THAT [cooptee]DEALING WITH ACTIVE DUTY OFFICERS. ALSO [False Flag officer] LEAVING EVENING 18 OCT AND WILL NOT BE REPLACED BUT [cooptee] WILL STAY HERE. HENCE IMPORTANT THAT [cooptee] CREDIBILITY WITH [Armed Forces officers] BE STRENGTHENED BY PROMPT DELIVERY WHAT THEY REQUESTING. REQUEST HEADQUARTERS AGREEMENT BY 1500 HOURS LOCAL TIME 18 OCT ON DECISION DELIVERY OF TEAR GAS TO [cooptee] VICE [False Flag officer].
6. REQUEST PROMPT SHIPMENT THREE STERILE 4s CALIBRE MACHINE GUNS AND AMMO PER PARA 1 ABOVE, BY SPECIAL COURIER IF NECESSARY. PLEASE CONFIRM BY 2000 HOURS LOCAL TIME 18 OCT THAT THIS CAN BE DONE So [cooptee] MAY INFORM [his contacts] ACCORDINGLY.
The reply, which is headed IMMEDIATE SANTIAGO (EYES ONLY [deleted]), is dated October 18 and reads as follows:
SUB-MACHINE GUNS AND AMMO BEING SENT BY REGULAR [deleted] COURIER LEAVING WASHINGTON 0700 HOURS 19 OCTOBER DUE ARRIVE SANTIAGO LATE EVENING 20 OCTOBER OR EARLY MORNING 21 OCTOBER. PREFERRED USE REGULAR [deleted] COURIER TO AVOID BRINGING UNDUE ATTENTION TO OP.
A companion message, also addressed to "SANTIAGO 562," went like this:
1. DEPENDING HOW [cooptee] CONVERSATION GOES EVENING 18 OCTOBER YOU MAY WISH SUBMIT INTEL REPORT [deleted] so WE CAN DECIDE WHETHER SHOULD BE DISSEMED.
2. NEW SUBJECT: IF [cooptee] PLANS LEAD COUP, OR BE ACTIVELY AND PUBLICLY INVOLVED, WE PUZZLED WHY IT SHOULD BOTHER HIM IF MACHINE GUNS CAN BE TRACED TO HIM. CAN WE DEVELOP RATIONALE ON WHY GUNS MUST BE STERILE? WILL CONTINUE MAKE EFFORT PROVIDE THEM BUT FIND OUR CREDULITY STRETCHED BY NAVY [officer] LEADING HIS TROOPS WITH STERILE GUNS? WHAT IS SPECIAL PURPOSE FOR THESE GUNS? WE WILL TRY SEND THEM WHETHER YOU CAN PROVIDE EXPLANATION OR NOT.
The full beauty of this cable traffic cannot be appreciated without a reading of an earlier message, dated October 16. (It must be borne in mind that the Chilean Congress was to meet to confirm Allende as president on the twenty-fourth of that month)
I. POLICY, OBJECTIVES AND ACTIONS WERE REVIEWED AT HIGH USG [United Stares Government] LEVEL AFTERNOON 15 OCTOBER. CONCLUSIONS, WHICH ARE TO BE YOUR OPERATIONAL GUIDE, FOLLOW:
2. IT IS FIRM AND CONTINUING POLICY THAT ALLENDE BE OVERTHROWN BY A COUP. IT WOULD BE MUCH PREFERABLE TO HAVE THIS TRANSPIRE PRIOR TO 24 OCTOBER BUT EFFORTS IN THIS REGARD WILL CONTINUE VIGOROUSLY BEYOND THIS DATE. WE ARE TO CONTINUE TO GENERATE MAXIMUM PRESSURE TOWARD THIS END UTILIZING EVERY APPROPRIATE RE' SOURCE. IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT THESE ACTIONS BE IMPLEMENTED CLANDESTINELY AND SECURELY SO THAT THE USG AND AMERICAN HAND BE WELL HIDDEN. WHILE THIS IMPOSES ON US A HIGH DEGREE OF SELECTIVITY IN MAKING MILITARY CONTACTS AND DICTATES THAT THESE CONTACTS BE MADE IN THE MOST SECURE MANNER IT DEFINITELY DOES NOT PRECLUDE CONTACTS SUCH AS REPORTED IN SANTIAGO 544 WHICH WAS A MASTERFUL PIECE OF WORK.
3. AFTER THE MOST CAREFUL CONSIDERATION IT WAS DETERMINED THAT A VIAUX COUP ATTEMPT CARRIED OUT BY HIM ALONE WITH THE FORCES NOW AT HIS DISPOSAL WOULD FAIL. THUS, IT WOULD BE COUNTERPRODUCTIVE TO OUR [track two] OBJECTIVES. IT WAS DECIDED THAT [CIA] GET A MESSAGE TO VIAUX WARNING HIM AGAINST PRECIPITATE ACTION. IN ESSENCE OUR MESSAGE IS TO STATE, "WE HAVE REVIEWED YOUR PLANS, AND BASED ON YOUR INFORMATION AND OURS, WE COME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT YOUR PLANS FOR A COUP AT THIS TIME CANNOT SUCCEED. FAILING, THEY MAY REDUCE YOUR CAPABILITIES FOR THE FUTURE. PRESERVE YOUR ASSETS. WE WILL STAY IN TOUCH. THE TIME WILL COME WHEN YOU TOGETHER WITH ALL YOUR OTHER FRIENDS CAN DO SOMETHING. YOU WILL CONTINUE TO HAVE OUR SUPPORT.' YOU ARE REQUESTED TO DELIVER THE MESSAGE TO VIAUX ESSENTIALLY AS NOTED ABOVE. OUR OBJECTIVES ARE AS FOLLOWS: (A) TO ADVISE HIM OF OUR OPINION AND DISCOURAGE HIM FROM ACTING ALONE; (B) CONTINUE TO ENCOURAGE HIM TO AMPLIFY HIS PLANNING; (C) ENCOURAGE HIM TO JOIN FORCES WITH OTHER COUP PLANNERS SO THAT THEY MAY ACT IN CONCERT EITHER BEFORE OR AFTER 24 OCTOBER. (N.B. SIX GAS MASKS AND SIX CS CANNISTERS [sic] ARE BEING CARRIED TO SANTIAGO BY SPECIAL [deleted] COURIER ETD WASHINGTON 1100 HOURS 16 OCTOBER.)
4. THERE IS GREAT AND CONTINUING INTEREST IN THE ACTIVITIES OF TIRADO, CANALES, VALENZUELA ET AL. AND WE WISH THEM MAXIMUM GOOD FORTUNE.
5. THE ABOVE IS YOUR OPERATING GUIDANCE. NO OTHER POLICY GUIDANCE YOU MAY RECEIVE FROM [indecipherable: State] OR ITS MAXIMUM EXPONENT IN SANTIAGO, ON HIS RETURN, ARE TO SWAY YOU FROM YOUR COURSE.
6. PLEASE REVIEW ALL YOUR PRESENT AND POSSIBLY NEW ACTIVITIES TO INCLUDE PROPAGANDA, BLACK OPERATIONS, SURFACING OF INTELLIGENCE OR DISINFORMATION, PERSONAL CONTACTS, OR ANYTHING ELSE YOUR IMAGINATION CAN CONJURE WHICH WILL PERMIT YOU TO PRESS FORWARD OUR [deleted] OBJECTIVE IN A SECURE MANNER.
Finally, it is essential to read the White House "MEMORANDUM OF CONVERSATION, dated October 15, 1970, to which the above cable directly refers and of which it is a more honest summary. Present for the "HIGH USG LEVEL" meeting were, as noted in the heading, "Dr. Kissinger, Mr. Karamessines, Gen. Haig." The first paragraph of their deliberations has been entirely blacked out, with not so much as a scribble in the margin from the redaction service. (Given what has since been admitted, this sixteen-line deletion must be well worth reading.) Picking up at paragraph two, we find:
2. Then Mr. Karamessines provided a rundown on Viaux, the Canales meeting with Tirado, the latter's new position (after Porta was relieved of command "for health reasons") and, in some detail, the general situation in Chile from the coup possibility viewpoint.
3. A certain amount of information was available to us concerning Viaux's alleged support throughout the Chilean military. We had assessed Viaux's claims carefully, basing our analysis on good intelligence from a number of sources. Our conclusion was clear: Viaux did not have more than one chance in twenty-perhaps less-to launch a successful coup.
4. The unfortunate repercussions, in Chile and internationally, of an unsuccessful coup were discussed. Dr. Kissinger ticked off his list of these negative possibilities. His items were remarkably similar to the ones Mr. Karamessines had prepared.
5. It was decided by those present that the Agency must get a message to Viaux warning him against any precipitate action. In essence our message was to state: "We have reviewed your plans, and based on your information and ours, we come to the conclusion that your plans for a coup at this time cannot succeed. Failing, they may reduce your capabilities for the future. Preserve your assets. We will stay in touch. The time will come when you with all your other friends can do something. You will continue to have our support."
6. After the decision to de-fuse the Viaux coup plot, at least temporarily, Dr. Kissinger instructed Mr. Karamessines to preserve Agency assets in Chile, working clandestinely and securely to maintain the capability for Agency operations against Allende in the future. [Italics added.]
7. Dr. Kissinger discussed his desire that the word of our encouragement to the Chilean military in recent weeks be kept as secret as possible. Mr. Karamessines stated emphatically that we had been doing everything possible in this connection, including the use of false flag officers, car meetings and every conceivable precaution. But we and others had done a great deal of talking recently with a number of persons. For example, Ambassador Korry's wide-ranging discussions with numerous people urging a coup "cannot be put back into the bottle." [Three lines of deletion follow ] (Dr. Kissinger requested that copy of the message be sent to him on 16 October.)
8. The meeting concluded on Dr. Kissinger's note that the Agency should continue keeping the pressure on every Allende weak spot in sight-now, after the 24th of October, after 5 November, and in' to the future until such time as new marching orders are given. Mr. Karamessines stated that the Agency would comply.
So "track two" contained two tracks of its own. "Track two/one" was the group of ultras led by General Roberto Viaux and his sidekick, Captain Arturo Marshal. These men had tried to bring off a coup in 1969 against the Christian Democrats; they had been cashiered and were disliked even by conservatives in the officer corps. "Track two/two" was a more ostensibly "respectable" faction headed by General Camilo Valenzuela, the chief of the garrison in the capital city, whose name occurs in the cables above and whose identity is concealed by some of the deletions. Several of the CIA operatives in Chile felt that Viaux was too much of a madman to be trusted. And Ambassador Korry's repeated admonitions also had their effect. As shown in the October 15 memo cited above, Kissinger and Karamessines developed last-minute second thoughts about Viaux, who as late as October 13 had been given $20,000 in cash from the CIA station and promised a life-insurance policy of $250,000. This offer was authorized directly from the White House. With only days to go, however, before Allende was inaugurated, and with Nixon repeating that "it was absolutely essential that the election of Mr. Allende to the presidency be thwarted," the pressure on the Valenzuela group became intense. As a direct consequence, especially after the warm words of encouragement he had received, General Roberto Viaux felt himself under some obligation to deliver and to disprove those who had doubted him.
On the evening of October 19, 1970, the Valenzuela group, aided by some of Viaux's gang, and equipped with the tear-gas grenades delivered by the CIA, attempted to grab General Schneider as he left an official dinner. The attempt failed because Schneider left in a private car and not the expected official one. The failure produced an extremely significant cable from CIA headquarters in Washington to the local station, asking for urgent action because "HEADQUARTERS MUST RESPOND DURING MORNING 20 OCTOBER TO QUERIES FROM HIGH LEVELS." Payments of $50,000 each to Valenzuela and his chief associate were then authorized on condition that they make another attempt. On the evening of October 20 they did. But again there was only failure to report. On October 22 the "sterile" machine guns mentioned above were handed to Valenzuela's group for yet another try. Later that same day General Roberto Viaux's gang finally murdered General Rene Schneider.
According to the later verdict of the j' Chilean military courts, this atrocity partook of elements of both tracks of "track two." In other words, Valenzuela was not himself on the scene, but the assassination squad, led by Viaux, contained men who had participated in the preceding two attempts. Viaux was convicted on charges of kidnapping and of conspiring to cause a coup. Valenzuela was convicted of the charge of conspiracy to cause a coup. So any subsequent attempt to distinguish the two plots from each other, except in point of degree, is an attempt to confect a distinction without a difference.
It scarcely matters whether Schneider was slain because of a kidnapping scheme that went awry (he was said by the assassins to have had the temerity to resist) or whether his assassination was the objective in the first place. The Chilean military police report, as it happens, describes a straightforward murder. Under the law of every law-bound country (including the United States), a crime committed in the pursuit of a kidnapping is thereby aggravated, not mitigated. You may not say, with a corpse at your feet, "I was only trying to kidnap him." At least, you may not say so if you hope to plead extenuating circumstances.
Yet a version of "extenuating circumstances" has become the paper-thin cover story with which Kissinger has since protected himself from the charge of being an accomplice, before and after the fact, in kidnapping and murder. And this sorry euphemism has even found a refuge in the written record. The Senate intelligence committee, in its investigation of the matter, concluded that since the machine guns supplied to Valenzuela had not been actually employed in the killing, and since General Viaux had been officially discouraged by the CIA a few days before the murder, there was therefore "no evidence of a plan to kill Schneider or that United States officials specifically anticipated that Schneider would be shot during the abduction."
Walter Isaacson, in his biography of Kissinger, takes at face value a memo from Kissinger to Nixon after his meeting on October 15 with Karamessines, in which he reports to the president about the Viaux plot, saying that he had "turned it off." He also takes at face value the claim that Viaux's successful hit was essentially unauthorized. These excuses and apologies are as logically feeble as they are morally contemptible. Henry Kissinger bears direct responsibility for the Schneider murder, as the following points demonstrate:
1) Bruce MacMaster, one of the "False Flag" agents mentioned in the cable traffic above, a career CIA man carrying a forged Colombian passport and claiming to represent American business interests in Chile, has told of his efforts to get "hush money" to jailed members of the Viaux group, after the assassination and before they could implicate the agency.
2) Colonel Paul M. Wimert, a military attaché in Santiago and chief CIA liaison with the Valenzuela faction, has testified that after the Schneider killing he hastily retrieved the two payments of $50,000 that had been paid to Valenzuela and his partner, and also the three "sterile" machine guns. He then drove rapidly to the Chilean seaside town of Vina del Mar and hurled the guns into the ocean. His accomplice in this action, CIA station chief Henry Hecksher, had assured Washington only days before that either Viaux or Valenzuela would be able to eliminate Schneider and thereby trigger a coup.
3) Look again at the White House/Kissinger memo of October 15 and at the doggedly literal way it is retransmitted to Chile. In no sense of the term does it "turn off" Viaux. If anything, it incites him-a well-known and boastful fanatic- to redouble his efforts. "Preserve your assets. We will stay in touch. The time will come when you with all your other friends can do something. You will continue to have our support." This is not exactly the language of standing him down. The remainder of the cable speaks plainly of the intention to "DISCOURAGE HIM FROM ACTING ALONE, to "CONTINUE TO ENCOURAGE HIM TO AMPLIFY HIS PLANNING, and to "ENCOURAGE HIM TO JOIN FORCES WITH OTHER COUP PLANNERS SO THAT THEY MAY ACT IN CONCERT EITHER BEFORE OR AFTER 24 OCTOBER." (Italics added.) The last three stipulations are an entirely accurate, not to say prescient, description of what Viaux actually did.
4) Consult again the cable received by Henry Hecksher on October 20, referring to anxious queries "from high levels" about the first of the failed attacks on Schneider. Thomas Karamessines, when questioned by the Senate intelligence committee about the same phrase in a similar cable sent to another CIA agent in Santiago, testified of his certainty that the term "high levels" referred directly to Kissinger. In all previous communications from Washington, as a glance above will show, that had indeed been the case. This on its own is enough to demolish Kissinger's claim to have "turned off" "track two" (and its interior tracks) on October 15.
5) Ambassador Edward Korry later made the obvious point that Kissinger was attempting to build a paper alibi in the event of a failure by the Viaux group: "His interest was not in Chile but in who was going to be blamed for what. He wanted me to be the one who took the heat. Henry didn't want to be associated with a failure, and he was setting up a record to blame the State Department. He brought me in to the President because he wanted me to say what I had to say about Viaux; he wanted me to be the soft man."
The concept of "deniability" was not as well understood in Washington in 1970 as it has since become. But it is clear that Henry Kissinger wanted two things simultaneously: He wanted the removal of General Schneider, by any means and employing any proxy. (No instruction from Washington to leave Schneider unharmed was ever given; deadly weapons were sent by diplomatic pouch, and men of violence were carefully selected to receive them.) And he wanted to be out of the picture in case such an attempt might fail, or be uncovered. These are the normal motives of anyone who solicits or suborns murder. Kissinger, however, needed the crime very slightly more than he needed, or was able to design, the deniability. Without waiting for his many hidden papers to be released or subpoenaed, we can say with safety that he is prima facie guilty of direct collusion in the murder of a constitutional officer in a democratic and peaceful country.
Christopher Hitchens, formerly Washington editor of Harper's Magazine, is the author of books on the Cyprus crisis Kurdistan, Palestine, and the Anglo-American relationship. He is a regular columnist for Vanity Fair and The Nation.
Fascism, state terror and power abuse
Will Henry Kissinger be Brought to Trial?
World's number one state terrorist at large? Is he above the law? A defining case for the West's judicial credibility
You can get a copy of the 80 minute BBC4 documentary: The Trials of Henry Kissinger
See the book by Christopher Hitchens - 'The Trial of Henry Kissinger' £15/$22 published by Verso. Hitchens' chilling account of this global 'luminary''s involvement in Indochina, Bangladesh, Chile, Cyprus, East Timor and Washington DC terrorist attacks presents what seems like a watertight case for Kissingers's prosecution.
The Kissinger Poll
Should Henry Kissinger stand trial for war crimes?
13Dec01 - Asheville Global Report - Henry Kissinger and Gerald Ford Lied to the American Public about East Timor
25Apr02 - Independent - Henry Kissinger's speech to the Institute of Directors at the Albert Hall, London
11Sep01 - BBC - Kissinger accused over Chile plot
These two stories appeared on 11th September 2001 - coincidence?
11Sep01 - Washington Post - Family of Slain Chilean Sues Kissinger
07Jun11 - The Right Change's blog - Inform yourself on the Bilderberg Group
Inform yourself on the Bilderberg Group
A prominent member of Switzerland’s largest political party has called upon federal authorities to arrest Henry Kissinger as a war criminal if he attends the 2011 Bilderberg conference of global power brokers which is set to begin on Thursday at the Hotel Suvretta House in St. Moritz.
Swiss People’s Party representative Dominique Baettig wrote a letter to the General Prosecutor of the Swiss Federation in which he asked, “In the name of Cantonal Sovereignty and independence, but especially of the Justice’s independence from executive power – may it be Federal or Cantonal – I ask you to check abroad for Arrest Warrants delivered by various Courts, Judges and also for all valid criminal complaints against the persons who were, amongst others, cited as mere examples in my (enclosed) letters to Mrs. Simonetta Sommaruga, Federal Counselor and Mrs. Barbara Janom Steiner, Cantonal Counselor and of course, to arrest them before diligent extraditions.”
Baettig is no fringe figure, he’s the equivalent of a US Congressman, representing the Canton of Jura on the National Council of Switzerland. His party, the Swiss People’s Party, is the largest party in the Federal Assembly, with 58 members of the National Council and 6 of the Council of States.
Baettig’s letter also calls for the apprehension of George W. Bush and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, but neither are likely to be attending the conference. However, Kissinger is a regular Bilderberg attendee and is almost certain to be present in St. Moritz.
Kissinger, National Security Advisor and later Secretary of State for President Nixon and President Ford, has been accused of being complicit in a number of war crimes in Indochina, Bangladesh, Chile, Cyprus and East Timor. Numerous activists have attempted to arrest him over the years under the Geneva Conventions Act.
In The Trial of Henry Kissinger, author Christopher Hitchens documents how Kissinger personally approved bombing campaigns that resulted in thousands of civilian casualties as well as signing off on the use of the deadly chemical Agent Orange. United States General Telford Taylor, the former chief prosecuting officer at the Nuremberg trials, stated that Kissinger committed war crimes by giving the nod to bomb Vietnamese villages during the war.
Although Bilderberg’s primary confab will take place in St. Moritz, other associated meetings will also occur in Zurich and Geneva. Unlike the small group of independent journalists who will travel to the location to do the job that the castrated establishment media refuses to undertake, Bilderberg elitists can rely on private jets and helicopters to transport them between the different locations.
In recent years, Bilderberg luminaries have decried the increasing number of demonstrators and independent journalists who descend on the scene of each annual meeting, which is the primary reason why members will be hopping around to different locations within the small country of Switzerland to escape the glare of reporters and the unwanted attention of protesters.
Claims by apologists that Bilderberg is merely a talking shop that has no influence on setting policy have been vehemently debunked in recent years. Bilderberg chairman Étienne Davignon last year bragged about how the Euro single currency was a brainchild of the Bilderberg Group.
“A meeting in June in Europe of the Bilderberg Group- an informal club of leading politicians, businessmen and thinkers chaired by Mr. Davignon- could also ‘improve understanding’ on future action, in the same way it helped create the Euro in the 1990s, he said,” reported the EU Observer in March 2009.
The foundations for the EU and ultimately the Euro single currency were laid by the secretive Bilderberg Group in the mid-1950’s. Bilderberg’s own leaked documents prove that the agenda to create a European common market and a single currency was formulated by Bilderberg in 1955.
As we first reported in 2003, a BBC investigative team were allowed to access Bilderberg files which confirmed that the EU and the Euro were the brainchild of Bilderberg.
During an interview with a Belgian radio station last year, former NATO Secretary-General and Bilderberg member Willy Claes admitted that those who attend the conference are mandated to implement decisions that are formulated during the confab within their respective spheres of influence.
02Dec06 - Catholic Register - Kissinger to Serve As Papal Adviser?
Pope Benedict XVI has invited Henry Kissinger, former adviser to Richard Nixon, to be a political consultant and he accepted.
BY EDWARD PENTIN
November 26-December 2, 2006 Issue
VATICAN CITY - Over the course of his long and controversial career, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has had many titles. Now he reportedly has one more - adviser to the Pope.
According to the Italian newspaper La Stampa, Pope Benedict XVI has invited the 83-year-old former adviser to Richard Nixon to be a political consultant, and Kissinger has accepted.
Quoting an "authoritative" diplomatic source at the Holy See, the paper reported Nov. 4 that the Nobel laureate was asked at a recent private audience with the Holy Father to form part of a papal "advisory board" on foreign and political affairs.
As the Register went to press, Kissinger's office was unable to confirm or deny the report. La Stampa stood by its story, although the Italian press is less rigorous in its authentication of stories as is the United States Press.
If true, there is speculation on which issues Kissinger would advise the Holy Father. Relations with Islam, Palestine and Israel, and Iraq - Kissinger has been critical of the conduct of the war but opposes a quick withdrawal - are likely to be high up on the agenda.
It has also been speculated that, in view of the Muslim hostility to Benedict's recent Regensburg speech, Kissinger might provide advice on dealing with an increasingly fractious Islamic world.
Furthermore, like the Pope, Kissinger has analyzed the challenges of globalization and might provide advice in this area as well.
"The idea [of his appointment] sounds like a good one," said veteran Vatican journalist Sandro Magister. "But so would it also be to consult other experts on geopolitics with different orientations."
As possible expert advisers with different perspectives, Magister listed Catholic philosopher and former diplomat Michael Novak; Bernard Lewis, professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University; and foreign policy experts such as Charles Kupchan and G. John Ikenberry.
The recruitment of Kissinger would not be unprecedented. Experts from a variety of disciplines, including the realm of economics, politics and philosophy, are regularly invited to advise popes and Vatican officials on current affairs.
Pope John Paul II was close friends with Zbigniew Brzezinski, the Polish-born national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, partly because both had a common Polish heritage (though this caused the Soviets to suspect the Vatican of "fixing" the election of Karol Wojtyla, which occurred during the Carter presidency).
Similarly to John Paul and Brzezinski, Benedict and Kissinger are close in age and were both born in Bavaria (a Jew, Kissinger and his family fled Nazi Germany before World War II).
In recent years, other figures invited to share their expertise with the Holy See have included Paul Wolfowitz, a former President Bush adviser and now president of the World Bank; Michel Camdessus, the former director of the International Monetary Fund; American economist Jeffrey Sachs and Hans Tietmeyer, former governor of Germany's central bank.
The pontifical academies also regularly call on academic luminaries as consultants, such as Nobel laureates Gary Becker, the successor to Milton Friedman at the Chicago School of Economics, and Italian medical researcher Rita Levi-Montalcini.
In comments to the Register, Novak said that "many, maybe most" of these experts are not Catholic, but that the Pope "can call in certain experts he wants to talk to, or hear a paper from, with discussion in a small group."
Novak said this is true of both Benedict XVI and John Paul II, whom he described as having "very curious and searching minds."
Any appointment of Kissinger is likely to cause some unease, however. One Iranian radio station is already reporting the news as a "papal-Jewish conspiracy," while others object to the Pope consulting with someone who has been widely identified with the realpolitik school of political analysis, an approach that places practical considerations before morality.
Yet like Pope John Paul II, Benedict XVI is winning recognition for his intellectual ability and his capacity to discuss international issues with a diverse spectrum of world figures, ranging from the Dalai Lama to the late atheist polemicist Oriana Fallaci and to Mustapha Cherif, an Algerian Muslim philosopher whom he met this month.
"Such an appointment would really show Benedict XVI to be contrary to his media image, as someone who's willing to listen to other voices not in accordance with his views," said one Holy See diplomat about the reported enlistment of Kissinger as a papal adviser. "It's always helpful to hear different voices offering different views."
writes from Rome.
Teflon Tyrants: After Pinochet, Prosecute Kissinger
Commentary, Roger Burbach and Paul Cantor,
Pacific News Service, Dec 14, 2004
Editor's Note: The arrest by Chile of former military strongman Augusto Pinochet is a human rights victory. But complicent in the rise of Pinochet and his crimes, the writers say, is former Nixon advisor Henry Kissinger and other U.S. officials.
The Chilean government has arrested Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who led a brutal military coup in 1973 and ruled the country with an iron hand until 1990. The United States should now follow suit by prosecuting Henry Kissinger, President Richard Nixon's former national security advisor, for breaking U.S. and international law by helping foment the coup that brought Pinochet to power.
Before Pinochet, Chile had a well-deserved reputation as one of the most vibrant democracies in the world. It had a democratically elected president and a Congress just as we do. It had a wide range of political parties from the far right to the far left, all of which participated in the political process. It had numerous newspapers, magazines and radio stations that together represented the views of people across the political spectrum. All of its citizens, including illiterates, had a right to vote.
Pinochet, with Kissinger's help, changed all that.
The military junta Pinochet led dissolved Congress, outlawed political parties and the largest labor union in the country, censored the press, banned the movie "Fiddler on the Roof" as Marxist propaganda, publicly burned books ("on a scale seldom seen since the heyday of Hitler," according to the New York Times), expelled students and professors from universities, designated military officers as university rectors and arrested, tortured and killed thousands who opposed the regime.
Among those who died in the coup and its aftermath were: Salvador Allende, Chile's democratically elected president; Victor Jara, its most famous folk singer; Carlos Prats, the commander in chief of the Chilean armed forces until the coup plotters forced him out of office; Jose Toha, a former vice president; Alberto Bachelet, an air force general who opposed the coup; and two North American friends of ours, Charles Horman and Frank Terrugi.
The Pinochet regime was condemned for torturing political prisoners and for other human rights abuses by the United Nations, the Organization of American States, Amnesty International and many other respected international organizations. Among those tortured was a 24-year-old young man who, according to the Wall Street Journal, "was stripped naked and given electrical shocks...They started with wires attached to his hands and feet and finally to his testicles." Newsweek magazine wrote on March 31, 1975, "Each day Chileans are picked up for interrogation by the secret police. Some are held for weeks without charge, many are tortured, a few disappear altogether."
Chile, in sum, became a nightmare society. Even when Pinochet finally gave up power in 1990 to an elected government, he continued to dominate the country's politics as commander in chief of the military.
Only recently has the country demonstrated a determination to face its past head-on and bring those responsible for murder and torture under the Pinochet regime to justice, including the ex-dictator himself. Indeed, up until only a short time ago, Pinochet in Chile used to be like Kissinger in the United States. He was the Teflon man. No charges against him could be made to stick.
Three events provided Chileans with the resolve to take on the former tyrant. The first was his arrest in England in 1998 on a warrant issued by a Spanish judge charging him with human rights abuses. The second was the publication by the news media of documents indicating that he enriched himself at the expense of his own people in a variety of illicit ways. The third was a report by a government-sponsored commission detailing the torture of 45,000 people that took place under his regime.
So now, the 89-year-old ex-dictator -- his former friends deserting him in droves, his cultivated image of the tough but honorable savior of his country in tatters -- is under house arrest in his own country. He's trying to avoid prosecution by claiming he is too old and too feeble-minded to face a trial. What about Kissinger?
Innumerable reports in this country, beginning with a 1975 U.S. Senate document titled, "Covert Action in Chile," have made it clear that Kissinger was responsible for directing the CIA and other intelligence agencies to destabilize the Allende government. Kissinger's motivation was to prevent what he considered a communist government from gaining a foothold in Latin America. "I don't see why we need to stand idly by and let a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people," he said after Salvador Allende was elected president.
Now, Pinochet's arrest reminds us that Henry Kissinger and others in our country who are responsible for undermining democracy and condoning human rights abuses need to be held accountable for their crimes. Until that happens, the rest of the world has a right to be incredulous when our leaders proclaim they want to spread democracy and human rights abroad.
Paul Cantor is a professor of economics at Norwalk Community College in Connecticut. He lived in Chile from 1970 to 1973. Roger Burbach also resided in Chile and is the author of "The Pinochet Affair: State Terrorism and Global Justice" (Zed Books, 2003).
Kissinger Accused of Blocking Scholar
June 5, 2004
By DIANA JEAN SCHEMO
The chief Latin American expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, the nation's pre-eminent foreign policy club, has quit as a protest, accusing the council of stifling debate on American intervention in Chile during the 1970's as a result of pressure from former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger.
Kenneth Maxwell, a senior fellow for inter-American affairs at the council, announced his resignation in May 13 letters to James F. Hoge Jr., the editor of Foreign Affairs magazine, where Mr. Maxwell had reviewed a book on American involvement in Chile, and to Richard Haass, president of the council's board.
"There is a question of principle at stake here," Mr. Maxwell wrote to Mr. Hoge. "It was made abundantly clear to me, as you know, that there was intense pressure on you, on Foreign Affairs and on my employer, the Council on Foreign Relations, from Henry Kissinger and others, to close off this debate about accountability and Mr. Kissinger's role in Chile in the 1970's."
Mr. Kissinger is traveling, said an assistant, Jesse Incao, and could not be reached for comment.
Officials at the Council on Foreign Relations strenuously denied that Mr. Kissinger, whose friends include some of the council's biggest donors, had exerted any pressure, directly or indirectly, to silence Mr. Maxwell on this issue.
The roots of the current dispute date back to last winter, after Mr. Hoge invited Mr. Maxwell to write an extended review of "The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability" by Peter Kornbluh (New Press), a book that re-examines the American role in helping to unseat Salvador Allende, the socialist president who died during the military coup that brought the brutal regime of Gen. Augusto Pinochet to power. The book is based on 25,000 United States government documents that were declassified in recent years.
Mr. Maxwell's essay largely summarized the unresolved questions surrounding American actions in Chile, mentioning three issues in particular: the 1970 assassination of a Chilean general, René Schneider; the September 1973 coup against Allende; and the assassination of Orlando Letelier, Allende's former foreign minister, in September 1976.
The review, though critical of Mr. Kornbluh's book in some respects, said that it confirmed "the deep involvement of the U.S. intelligence services in Chile prior to and after the coup."
The review outraged William Rogers, the former assistant secretary of state for Latin American Affairs under Mr. Kissinger and a vice president of his consulting firm, Kissinger Associates, who wrote a lengthy response in the following issue of Foreign Affairs.
"There is, in short, no smoking gun," Mr. Rogers wrote. "Yet the myth persists. It is lovingly nurtured by the Latin American left and refreshed from time to time by contributions to the literature and Mr. Maxwell's review of that book."
Mr. Maxwell fired back, "William Rogers overreaches." He added, "To claim that the United States was not actively involved in promoting Allende's downfall in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary verges on incredulity."
After the exchange, Mr. Hoge said, Mr. Rogers approached him once again, saying that Mr. Maxwell's response to his letter had raised new charges that he felt entitled to address. Specifically, Mr. Rogers felt he and Mr. Kissinger were being accused of complicity in the Letelier assassination, Mr. Hoge recalled.
Mr. Maxwell said that he was not accusing the men of complicity but rather of failing to stop the campaign to assassinate opposition figures abroad. He cited an August 1976 order from Mr. Kissinger to ambassadors in South America, to warn governments there that the United States would not countenance political assassinations on its territory. At least in Chile, that order appears not to have been delivered, nor was it insisted upon. The next month, Letelier's car was blown up by Chilean secret service agents on a Washington street.
Mr. Hoge said he had told Mr. Rogers that if he stuck to the historical issue, the journal would not run any response from Mr. Maxwell this time.
"He promised me that I would have the last word and that Maxwell was shut off," Mr. Rogers said in an interview this week.
Mr. Maxwell agreed he had said he wouldn't need to respond as long as there were no personal attacks, but he changed his mind after seeing the actual letter.
Mr. Hoge still said no.
Mr. Hoge said he was not reacting to any private pressure from board members or elsewhere, but felt that the time had come to put an end to a debate that was going nowhere.
"I thought both of them had had a good go at their feelings of the Pinochet book," Mr. Hoge said.
Whether or not there were any hidden strings pulled to give Mr. Rogers the final word, as Mr. Maxwell claims, the dispute underscores an intense competition under way to shape the way that history is told, particularly regarding the United States involvement in Chile, as more and more documents touching on Mr. Kissinger's legacy are released.
"The key is the suppression of debate on foreign policy by a major figure in a major foreign policy magazine," said Mr. Maxwell, who is now headed for Harvard University as a senior fellow at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies.
Nor was Mr. Kornbluh pleased. He, too, had tried to submit a letter, but was also turned down.
"I thought that Foreign Affairs was being grossly unfair to me as the author of the book that was the foundation for the entire debate, and to Ken Maxwell, who was obviously their own analyst and their own reviewer," Mr. Kornbluh said.
The incident has sparked dismay in some quarters. A letter to Foreign Affairs from Latin American experts who are members of the council severely criticized the way the prestigious journal handled the dispute, particularly in denying Mr. Maxwell the right to reply. The decision, it said, "denied readers an opportunity to weigh competing views, contrary to the journal's policies and traditions."
This time, Mr. Hoge said, the dissent would appear in the letters column of Foreign Affairs' next issue.
Henry Kissinger was on Europe1 radio station this morning
You can listen his 11 minute interview by famous Jean-Pierre Elkabach french journalist:
HK was at the french Senate yesterday and he is on his way to China and will be back in the US next monday.
Quotes (not exact wording):
"Before it was a national threat, it's more an individual threat now"
"It's like in 1648, we need a new system"
Kissinger approved Argentinian 'dirty war'
Declassified US files expose 1970s backing for junta
Duncan Campbell in Los Angeles
Saturday December 6, 2003
Henry Kissinger gave his approval to the "dirty war" in Argentina in the 1970s in which up to 30,000 people were killed, according to newly declassified US state department documents.
Mr Kissinger, who was America's secretary of state, is shown to have urged the Argentinian military regime to act before the US Congress resumed session, and told it that Washington would not cause it "unnecessary difficulties".
The revelations are likely to further damage Mr Kissinger's reputation. He has already been implicated in war crimes committed during his term in office, notably in connection with the 1973 Chilean coup.
The material, obtained by the Washington-based National Security Archive under the Freedom of Information Act, consists of two memorandums of conversations that took place in October 1976 with the visiting Argentinian foreign minister, Admiral César Augusto Guzzetti. At the time the US Congress, concerned about allegations of widespread human rights abuses, was poised to approve sanctions against the military regime.
According to a verbatim transcript of a meeting on October 7 1976, Mr Kissinger reassured the foreign minister that he had US backing in whatever he did.
"Look, our basic attitude is that we would like you to succeed," Mr Kissinger is reported as saying. "I have an old-fashioned view that friends ought to be supported. What is not understood in the United States is that you have a civil war. We read about human rights problems, but not the context.
"The quicker you succeed the better ... The human rights problem is a growing one ... We want a stable situation. We won't cause you unnecessary difficulties. If you can finish before Congress gets back, the better. Whatever freedoms you could restore would help."
One day earlier, October 6 1976, Adml Guzzetti was told by a senior state department official, Charles Robinson, that "it is possible to understand the requirement to be tough". Mr Robinson is also reported as saying that "the problem is that the United States is an idealistic and moral country and its citizens have great difficulty in comprehending the kinds of problems faced by Argentina today".
"There is a tendency to apply our moral standards abroad and Argentina must understand the reaction of Congress with regard to loans and military assistance. The American people, right or wrong, have the perception that today there exists in Argentina a pattern of gross violations of human rights."
The US ambassador to Argentina, Robert Hill, had been putting pressure on the regime to stop human rights abuses. But after Adml Guzzetti returned from Washington, Mr Hill wrote from Buenos Aires to complain that the Argentinian foreign minister had not heard the same message from Mr Kissinger.
Adml Guzzetti had told the ambassador that Mr Kissinger had merely urged Argentina to "be careful", and had said that if the terrorist problem could be resolved by December or January, "serious problems could be avoided in the US". Mr Hill wrote at the time: "Guzzetti went to US fully expecting to hear strong, firm, direct warnings on his government's human rights practices. He has returned in a state of jubilation, convinced that there is no real problem with the USG [government] over that issue."
The then US assistant secretary of state for inter-American affairs, Harry Shlaudeman, who attended both the Kissinger and the Robinson meetings with Adml Guzzetti, replied to Mr Hill: "As in other circumstances you have undoubtedly encountered in your diplomatic career, Guzzetti heard only what he wanted to hear. He was told in detail how strongly opinion in this country has reacted against reports of abuses by the security forces in Argentina and the nature of the threat this poses to Argentine interests."
However, as the newly released documents make clear, Adml Guzzetti was correct to believe that the regime had, in effect, been given carte blanche by the US government to continue its activities.
In a previously released cable, Mr Hill reported how his human rights concerns were dismissed by the Argentinian president, Jorge Videla: "[The] president said he had been gratified when Guzzetti reported to him that secretary of state Kissinger understood their problem and had said he hoped they could get terrorism under control as quickly as possible.
"Videla said he had the impression senior officers of the USG [government] understood situation his government faces, but junior bureaucrats do not. I assured him this was not the case. We all hope Argentina can get terrorism under control quickly - but to do so in such a way as to do minimum damage to its image and to its relations with other governments. If security forces continue to kill people to tune of brass band, I concluded, this will not be possible."
The revelations, which were also announced at a conference in Argentina yesterday, confirm suspicions at the time that the regime would not have continued to carry out atrocities unless it had the tacit approval of the US, on which it was dependent for financial and military aid.
The junta, which ruled Argentina from 1976 to 1983, fell after the military's defeat in the Falklands war. During its period in power an estimated 30,000 people may have been arrested, tortured and killed. Many bodies have never been found.
An investigation into those crimes has begun in Argentina.
Mr Kissinger has been asked by the Chilean authorities to give evidence in connection with human rights abuses during the 1973 Chilean coup and the support he gave to the former dictator, General Augusto Pinochet. He is likely to be asked to do the same in Argentina.
He reportedly does not travel abroad without consulting his lawyers about the possibility of his arrest.
Hollinger supported Kissinger magazine
By Abigail Rayner in New York
December 04, 2003
DETAILS of the intimate relationships between independent board members and Hollinger International continued to emerge yesterday as it transpired that the publisher of The Daily Telegraph supported a magazine connected to Henry Kissinger and Richard Perle.
Hollinger has been handing more than $200,000 (£116,000) a year for an unknown period to the National Interest, a foreign affairs magazine. Mr Perle, Dr Kissinger and Lord Black of Crossharbour offer editorial advice and the latter two sit on the editorial board.
The magazine is produced through a partnership with Hollinger and the Nixon Centre, but the newspaper publisher has never disclosed its full relationship to the publication.
Nixon Centre is a research institution of which Dr Kissinger is honorary chairman and Lord Black a board member.
Hollinger says it is reviewing all business investments to ensure that they are appropriate. It has stopped supplying about $375,000 a year to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a London-based research institute of which Lord Black is a member.
Lord Black stepped down as chief executive of Hollinger International last month after it emerged that he and other executives, and the parent company Hollinger Inc, had received $32.5 million in non-compete payments not been approved by the board.
Henry Kissinger and Gerald Ford Lied to the American Public about East Timor
Asheville Global Report 12/13/2001
Title: Documents Show US Sanctioned Invasion of East Timor Author: Jim Lobe, (IPS)
Faculty evaluator: Student researcher: Connie Lytle,
Corporate media coverage: San Diego Union, A-29, 12/12/01
The release of previously classified documents makes it clear that former President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, in a face-to-face meeting in Jakarta, gave then President Suharto a green light for the 1975 invasion of East Timor.
According to documents released by the National Security Archive (NSA), in December of 2001(the 26th anniversary of Indonesia’s invasion of East Timor) Suharto told Ford during their talks on December 6, 1975 that, "We want your understanding if it was deemed necessary to take rapid or drastic action [in East Timor]." In a previously secret memorandum, Ford replied, "We will understand and not press you on the issue. We understand the problem and the intentions you have." Kissinger similarly agreed, with reservations about the use of U.S. made arms in the invasion. Kissinger went on to say regarding the use of U.S. arms, " It depends on how we construe it, whether it is self-defense or is a foreign operation," suggesting the invasion might be framed in a way acceptable to U.S. law. Kissinger added, "It is important that whatever you do succeed quickly…the U.S. administration would be able to influence the reaction in America if whatever happens after we return [to the U.S.]. If you have made plans, we will do our best to keep everyone quiet until the President returns home."
For years Henry Kissinger has denied that any discussion of East Timor took place in Jakarta. The newly released dialogue between the three adds significantly to what is known about the role the US played in condoning the Indonesian invasion. The dialogue was part of a batch of documents on U.S. policy effecting East Timor obtained through the National Security Archive. Indonesia invaded East Timor the day after Ford and Kissinger left. As many as 230,000 East Timorese died as a result of Indonesia's invasion and the 23-year occupation of the country. As much as one third of the population died as a result of starvation, disease, caused by counter-insurgency operations carried out by the Indonesian army from 1976 to 1999. According to Amnesty International, East Timor represents one of the worst cases of genocides in the 20th century.
Under international pressure Indonesia allowed a plebiscite in 1999, in which East Timorese overwhelmingly voted for independence. After the vote Jakarta-backed militias rampaged the territory, burning and looting the country. The UN Security Council authorized an Australian-led international force to restore order. East Timor is now an independent country.
Kissinger shuns summons
By Patrick Bishop in Paris - 31/05/2001 - Daily Telegraph
HENRY KISSINGER, the former US Secretary of State, left Paris yesterday after declining to answer the questions of a French magistrate seeking information about political killings in Chile.
The American embassy told Judge Roger Le Loire that he should ask the State Department for details of American knowledge of the murder and disappearance of political opponents - including five French nationals - under the Pinochet regime after the 1973 coup.
Mr Kissinger was visiting Paris when police delivered a summons to the Ritz, where he was staying, asking him to present himself at the Palais de Justice.
The embassy later sent a letter to M Le Loire saying other obligations had prevented the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize winner from replying to the request and that he should direct his questions to Washington through official channels.
A State Department spokesman said it would pass on to the French authorities what information it had about the disappearance of French citizens during the post-coup era.
Maitre William Bourdon, representing families of the missing French nationals, said Mr Kissinger - Secretary of State from 1973-77 - had a duty to tell what he knew. M Le Loire is pursuing a campaign to discover the fate of the five French people who went missing in the years after Gen Pinochet came to power.
One, Jean-Yves Claudet-Fernandez, disappeared during an operation codenamed "Condor" in which Chile and other South American regimes co-operated to eradicate political opponents. M Le Loire says the Americans knew about the plan.
BBC Four Documentary - The Trials of Henry Kissinger http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcfour/documentaries/features/feature_kissinger.shtml
Photograph lawsuit - Kissinger picking his nose and eating the bogey? http://thememoryhole.org/pol/kissinger-nose.htm
Declassified Documents Relating to the Military Coup in Chile September 11th 1973 http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB8/nsaebb8i.htm
Kissinger Watch - Brought to you by the International Campaign Against Impunity - Inspired by the success of the Pinochet Watch bulletin 'Kissinger Watch' will be published as an email bulletin distributed several times per annum. To subscribe to KissingerWatch (free of charge), send an email to: email@example.com
His own lonely impunity is rank; it smells to heaven. If it is allowed to persist then we shall shamefully vindicate the ancient philosopher Anacharsis, who maintained that laws were like cobwebs; strong enough to detain only the weak, and too weak to hold the strong. In the name of innumerable victims known and unknown, it is time for justice to take a hand. http://www.trialofhenrykissinger.org
Henry Kissinger - WANTED POSTER
Kissinger Associates, Inc.
350 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10022
(212) 759-7919 http://www.zpub.com/un/wanted-hkiss.html
The use of poison gas during an illegal U.S. black operation in Laos. CNN story censored. Kissinger's continuing influence over what the US government does, and what is reported about what the government does, can clearly be seen in a relatively recent media event: Kissinger's significant behind-the-scene role in effecting CNN's retraction of the "Tailwind" story. http://www.eclipse.net/~tgardnet/kiss/kisskill.html
Before Donald Rumsfeld, who visited Afganistan on Sunday December 16th 2001, the last senior US figure to visit Afghanistan was Henry Kissinger in 1974 http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,4321105,00.html
Kissinger heaps praise on Bush
Eric Black and Kavita Kumar, Star Tribune
Published May 2, 2003
In an event interrupted by protesters, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger told a Minneapolis audience Thursday night that President Bush's leadership and the war in Iraq have the potential to be significant turning points for the better in world history.
Before a sold-out crowd of 1,700 at the Minneapolis Convention Center, Kissinger predicted that in the near future, Syria would moderate its anti-American conduct and its support for terrorism, that Iraq would become a democracy and that a breakthrough might occur in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Kissinger, 79, whose family fled Nazi Germany when he was a teenager, said that "anybody who has experienced a totalitarian state can never forget what America has meant to the world." He noted that the U.S. system is a product of unique historical experiences, difficult to duplicate or to transplant into Muslim societies where secular democracy has seldom thrived.
He was optimistic nonetheless about a U.S.-fostered transition to democracy in Iraq because, Kissinger said, "anyone who has seen the president in action knows he will fulfill the goals he has set for himself."
After he was introduced by Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Kissinger gave a talk full of praise for Bush, which was delivered just as Bush was preparing to declare the end to major combat in Iraq from aboard an aircraft carrier in the Pacific. Bush's military actions in both Iraq and Afghanistan were "essential in light of the challenges we faced" after the Sept. 11 attacks, Kissinger said.
"I am convinced history will record that President Bush saved not only America's security but the world's prospects for progress by the courage with which he faced those challenges," he said.
Kissinger spoke at the annual dinner of the Center of the American Experiment, a conservative Minneapolis think tank, which has brought in big names for its annual banquet before, including Margaret Thatcher, Mikhail Gorbachev, Colin Powell and former President George Bush.
Kissinger, 79, was national security adviser (1969-75) and secretary of state (1973-77) under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. He now chairs an international consulting firm based in New York.
Last year, President Bush nominated Kissinger to be chairman of a commission to investigate the Sept. 11 attacks. Kissinger accepted, then later declined on the grounds of possible conflicts with his consulting work.
Kissinger's speech was interrupted three times by protesters in the audience who tried to read a statement accusing him of war crimes during his years in power. Police quickly escorted them out. No arrests were made. Kissinger joked briefly about the protesters after each interruption, then resumed his remarks.
Before the banquet, about 75 protesters greeted arriving guests with chants of "Henry Kissinger, you can't hide. We charge you with genocide."
Dave Bicking, 52, a Minneapolis auto mechanic, along with his 17-year-old daughter was one of seven protesters ejected from the dinner. He said he has followed Kissinger's career since college and he "pretty much despised the guy from the beginning."
He considers Kissinger a war criminal based on his role as an architect of U.S. policy in Vietnam, Chile, East Timor and other matters. Kissinger's policies and actions share the responsibility for more than 1 million deaths, Bicking said.
"So when I heard that Kissinger was coming to town, I thought: 'This guy can't just be honored as a hero and go about his business like that.' If justice was done, he should be tried, convicted and behind bars. But if that can't happen, at least he shouldn't be able to have a fancy fundraising dinner in peace."
In the full text of the statement, the protesters noted that Kissinger is wanted for questioning in connection with international human rights cases by courts in several countries. Few in the audience could hear the protesters, who tried to direct some of their remarks to the attendees, including Pawlenty, accusing them of supporting Kissinger's alleged crimes.
Sister Jane McDonald from Minneapolis followed some attendees to the door saying, "He's a war criminal. You should know the truth about Kissinger."
A few people accepted the fliers she tried to give them, but most ignored her.
Sarah Janecek, a Republican analyst who attended the event, said she was a little surprised by the protesters and some of the signs such as one that read "Killionaires for Kissinger," but shrugged them off. "The guy has served our country, he's retired, so what's the point?" she said.
Tickets ranged from $150 for a single seat to $10,000 for a table of 10 seats. That price included opportunities for guests to attend a pre-dinner reception with Kissinger and to be photographed with him. The center declined to divulge how much Kissinger was paid for his hourlong talk.
Eric Black is at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kavita Kumar is at email@example.com
Ex-Kissinger partner to rule Iraq
Ex-Reagan aide to head civilian administration
Julian Borger in Washington Friday May 2, 2003 The Guardian
Paul Bremer, a former US diplomat and terrorism expert, will be Iraq's civilian administrator, it was reported yesterday.
The appointment is seen in Washington as a victory for the secretary of state, Colin Powell, in his battle with the Pentagon for control of Iraq's future.
Mr Bremer, who was Ronald Reagan's adviser on counter- terrorism and now runs a crisis consultancy, will oversee the Pentagon's man in Baghdad, the retired general Jay Garner, who is expected to leave Iraq in the next few months.
A spokesman at Mr Bremer's Marsh Crisis Consulting office would not comment on yesterday's press reports. The White House is expected to announce his appointment before the end of the week.
Gen Garner, a personal friend of the defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, is controversial because of his links to the arms industry and his public statements in support of Ariel Sharon's government in Israel.
He made it clear that he saw his role as head of the office of reconstruction and humanitarian aid (ORHA) as transitory. But it was unclear until yesterday whether the new US administrator in Iraq would be chosen by the Pentagon or the state department.
However, the role of civilian administrator may prove to be a poisoned chalice as Iraqis grow restive under foreign occupation. The killing of at least 15 demonstrators by US troops during protests in Falluja this week illustrate how quickly the occupation can turn bloody.
Gen Garner's British deputy at ORHA, Major-General Tim Cross, said that getting the Iraqi ministries back on their feet was progressing faster than they had hoped for, and that ORHA could be handing over to an Iraqi interim administration soon.
"I hope we will be out of here by June," he said.
Six of the opposition parties involved in talks on the future of Iraq in London have been discussing a strategy since Wednesday. They will meet other groups and representatives in a national council at the end of the month to choose an interim administration.
ORHA's view is that the feared humanitarian crisis has not occurred, the damage to infrastructure is minimal, and the Iraqis have been quick to begin organising themselves to revive their ministries.
Mr Bremer will then focus on the political transition. He is reputed to be a consummate diplomat, having served 23 years in the state department. He then worked in Henry Kissinger's global consulting practice before setting up his own business in 2001.
Longtime Kissinger Deputy Joining Cohen Group
Wednesday April 30, 1:23 pm ET
WASHINGTON, April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- With thirty-two years of significant experience in foreign policy in both the public and private sectors, Christine Vick has joined The Cohen Group as Vice President.
Since 1996, Ms. Vick has been a partner at Andreae, Vick & Associates, LLC, an international consulting firm based in Washington, D.C. The firm provided its clients with advice and assistance in regard to policy issues and political dynamics in markets around the world. Ms. Vick's client work included extensive dealings in China and Turkey geared to problem solving and developing commercial opportunities.
Ms. Vick began her foreign policy career at the State Department in 1971, and began her work with then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in 1973. Four years later, she accompanied Dr. Kissinger to the private sector, and continued on for a 15-year association with him as Vice President of Kissinger Associates. During this period, Ms. Vick worked extensively with multinational clients in various sectors and senior officials in the U.S. government.
From 1991 until 1996, Ms. Vick served as Senior Policy Advisor at the international law firm of Powell, Goldstein, Frazer & Murphy as well as the Managing Director of Powell Goldstein International Consulting.
In addition to her full-time position as Vice President of The Cohen Group, Ms. Vick serves on the board of directors of the American Turkish Council and is Chairman of the Eisenhower Institute. She is a member of the advisory boards of the Center for International Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, her alma mater, and ChinaOnline, LLC.
Also joining The Cohen Group from the former Andreae, Vick & Associates are Cameron Turley, who previously served at the State Department's Foreign Service Institute and speaks Mandarin Chinese, and Taite Bergin, who formerly worked at the International Trade Administration at the Commerce Department and speaks Spanish and Japanese. Mr. Turley will be an Associate with the Group, and Ms. Bergin will be an Executive Assistant.
Ms. Vick's arrival follows last month's addition of retired four-star General Joseph W. Ralston, the former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who just completed a distinguished 37-year Air Force career by serving as the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO forces. General Ralston has joined The Cohen Group as Vice Chairman.
About The Cohen Group:
The Cohen Group opened its doors in January 2001 with the objective of helping multinational clients identify and pursue opportunities around the world. A strategic alliance with Piper Rudnick, the national law firm specializing in business, real estate and technology, helps The Cohen Group maintain the unique ability to provide clients with truly comprehensive tools for understanding and shaping their business, political, legal, regulatory, and media environments. Since its start in early 2001, The Cohen Group has developed a team of skilled professionals of diverse backgrounds who serve a wide array of clients in the US, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. For more information, see www.cohengroup.net
Blackstone names O'Neill as adviser
10Mar03 - Reuters - Kissinger joined Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst on European acquisitions
March 10, 2003 1:03:00 PM ET
NEW YORK, March 10 (Reuters) - Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, who resigned under pressure from the Bush Administration last December, was named special advisor to Blackstone Group, the privately held New York investment bank, the firm said.
O'Neill, treasury secretary for two years and former chief executive of aluminum producer Alcoa Inc (AA), will advise Blackstone on operational and related issues to its portfolio companies, Blackstone said. O'Neill will also join Blackstone's advisory board.
Blackstone didn't say which of its portfolio companies that O'Neill may advise it on. Blackstone has invested in more than 60 companies and has significant investments in American Axle, Allied Waste, Graham Packaging and many others.
The O'Neill appointment is the latest in a string of former government officials to join private buyout firms, which raise investor capital to buy, build and sell companies.
Carlyle Group, a rival buyout firm based in Washington, is perhaps best known for a roster of advisers that includes former President George Bush; Frank Carlucci, the former defense secretary; John Major, the former U.K. prime minister, and others.
However, other buyout firms have also tapped well-known names to help open doors for new business opportunities or give advice on the management of their companies. Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger last year joined Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst on European acquisitions, while Clayton Dubilier & Rice signed up former General Electric chief executive Jack Welsh.
Blackstone said O'Neill was tapped mainly for his management abilities. Prior to his 12 years at the helm of Alcoa, O'Neill was with International Paper Co. (IP), where he became president in 1985.
"His track record as an extremely successful CEO will be of immense value to our firm," said Stephen Schwarzman, Blackstone chief executive, in a statement.
In the first major shake-up of the Bush Administration economic team, O'Neill resigned in early December along with Bush chief economic advisor Larry Lindsey amid criticism that the president's policies were failing to reverse the economy's deterioration.
O'Neill sustained criticism for his blunt views which regularly sent currency markets roiling, and generated controversy by touring Africa last year with Bono, lead singer of Irish rock band U2 and critic of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.
Blackstone is one of the largest private equity funds, with about $24 billion under management in alternative assets including hedge, buyout and real estate investments. It also advises companies on mergers, acquisitions and restructurings. REUTERS
Kissinger resigns as head of Sept 11 commission
By Adam Entous
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Under fire for potential conflicts of interest, former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has abruptly resigned as chairman of an independent commission investigating the government's failure to prevent the September 11 attacks.
"This is a moment of disappointment for me, of course. ... My hope is that, by the decision to step aside now, the joint commission can proceed without further controversy," Kissinger said on Friday in a letter to President George W. Bush, who tapped him for the high-profile job.
The announcement, which followed the resignation of former Democratic Sen. George Mitchell as vice chairman of the commission, threw the September 11 investigation into disarray.
Kissinger's selection had sparked considerable controversy, both because of his policy-making role during the Vietnam War and the bombing of Cambodia, and because he is now a high-priced private international consultant. A new documentary called "The Trials of Henry Kissinger" alleged Kissinger was an international war criminal.
The 10-member commission was charged with investigating possible intelligence, aviation security, immigration or other policy lapses related to the September 11 attacks that killed more than 3,000 people.
The Bush administration initially opposed the commission, arguing a congressional investigation was better equipped to preserve national security secrets. Victims' families led a public campaign and pressured Bush to back down.
He appointed Kissinger, one of the most controversial American statesmen of the last half-century, to serve as chairman on November 27.
In his letter of resignation, Kissinger, 79, said he was confident he could have resolved potential conflicts of interest with his consulting firm, Kissinger Associates, but was concerned that "the controversy would quickly move to the consulting firm I have built and own."
"I have, therefore, concluded that I cannot accept the responsibility you proposed," said Kissinger, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and secretary of state under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.
Kissinger has stated publicly there are no conflicts between the commission's work and clients at his New York-based consulting service.
But congressional Democrats had demanded that he fully disclose his business clients, and relatives of the victims asked for information about his business interests to see if he had any potential conflicts.
"In the end, he (Kissinger) would've been willing and was going to make his client list public. But he reached the conclusion that even after he had done that, people still would've said 'it's not enough; you must stop making a living; you must sever your ties to all your clients; you can no longer have Kissinger Associates,'" a senior White House official said.
NEW CHAIRMAN SOUGHT 'QUICKLY'
Bush promised to "work quickly" to name a new chairman to the commission "whose mission will be to uncover every detail and learn every lesson of September 11."
"It is with regret that I accept Dr. Kissinger's decision to step down as chairman of the National Commission to investigate the events of September 11, 2001 and the years that led up to that event," Bush said in a statement.
"As I stated at the time of his appointment, Dr. Kissinger is one of our nation's most accomplished and respected public servants. I thank him for his willingness to consider serving his country once again."
Kissinger called White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card on Friday afternoon and told him he had made his mind up to step down. "This came as a surprise," a White House official said.
Earlier this week Mitchell, the former Senate Democratic leader, announced he would not serve on the panel, citing time pressures. Democrats have recommended former House International Relations Committee chairman Lee Hamilton to take Mitchell's place.
When he signed legislation creating the commission, Bush urged its members to expedite their work, due to be completed within the next 18 months, and directed them to "follow all the facts wherever they lead."
But a senior administration officials conceded: "The resignations of Senator Mitchell and Secretary Kissinger means the commission is not getting off to as quick a start as the president would've hoped."
Democrats have named five representatives to the September 11 commission, including Hamilton as vice chairman. Republicans still must name three more members.
In a statement issued late on Friday, Hamilton said Democratic members of the commission "support complete disclosure and we will each comply fully with the requirements."
The return of Cover-up Kissinger
"The only time I ever interviewed Kissinger, he told me three lies in the first sentence he spoke, each word. Dropping. From. His. Mouth. Like. A. Stone. He lies with more authority than anyone I have ever known."
Plus, Bush hawks and Christian right go batty over Islam
[If this author really believes that the pope, the knights templar etc. who were behind the crusades were Christians she needs her head examined - they were bloodthirsty, looting murderers, not Christians]
Good grief. I turn my back for 10 minutes, and they bring back the old War Criminal.
Two generations of Americans have come to adulthood since Henry Kissinger last held political power, so I need to explain that War Criminal is not an affectionate sobriquet: The man is, in fact, a war criminal -- wanted for questioning in Chile, Argentina and France (concerning French citizens who disappeared in Chile). He cannot travel to Britain, Brazil and many other countries because they cannot guarantee his immunity from legal proceedings.
In addition to his role in the Chilean coup that brought the regime of Gen. Pinochet to power, Kissinger is wanted for questioning about the international terrorist network called Operation Condor, which conducted killings, kidnappings and bombings in several countries, including this one: the 1976 bombing in Washington, D.C., that killed a noted Chilean dissident and his companion.
Kissinger's most notorious crime was the secret bombing of Cambodia and Laos during the Vietnam War. William Shawcross argued persuasively in his book "Sideshow: Kissinger, Nixon and the Destruction of Cambodia" that the Cambodian bombing unleashed the Khmer Rouge on that country -- which, if true, certainly ups Kissinger's body count.
He is also a notorious liar. He has lied repeatedly to Congress, the press and the public; he is a toady to power and a lackey of the Establishment, and for many years now the hireling of despotic regimes around the world. Old Cover-Up Kissinger, the man who double-crossed the Iraqi Kurds... just the man to lead an independent inquiry into 9-11.
The cynicism of this insult to the families of those who died on 9-11 is just flabbergasting. We knew the Bush administration opposed the whole idea of an independent inquiry, but this adds supreme insult to injury.
The cover-up has already started: Kissinger insists he need not reveal the identities of his client regimes. He said law firms are not required to reveal the names of their clients. That's a two-lie answer, no record for Henry the K. He doesn't run a law firm, he runs an international consulting business. And in the second place, law firms are indeed obliged to publicly register their lobbying clients. The only time I ever interviewed Kissinger, he told me three lies in the first sentence he spoke, each word. Dropping. From. His. Mouth. Like. A. Stone. He lies with more authority than anyone I have ever known.
For those of you who are interested in learning more about our most famous living war criminal, I recommend Seymour Hersh's book "The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House," which was widely attacked but no factual error was ever found in it. Also, Christopher Hitchens' "The Trial of Henry Kissinger" is a definitive argument for the war criminal charge.
If you want to get something good out of this cynical ploy, you can at least haul out your old Tom Lehrer records and tool down memory lane. Lehrer, the great social satirist, stopped writing the day they gave Henry Kissinger the Nobel Peace Prize.
Meanwhile, our neo-con hawks have moved from the bellicose to the bizarre. Ken Adelman, a member of Bush's Defense Policy Board, has joined several other hawks in direct attacks on Islam. Calling Islam a peaceful religion "is an increasingly hard argument to make," announced Adelman. "The more you examine the religion, the more militaristic it seems. After all, its founder, Mohammed, was a warrior, not a peace advocate like Jesus."
Another member of the Pentagon advisory board, Eliot Cohen, says, "Nobody would like to think that a major world religion has a deeply aggressive and dangerous strain in it -- a strain often excused or misrepresented in the name of good feelings. But uttering uncomfortable and unpleasant truths is one of the things that defines leadership."
The Christian right has gone completely batty on the subject: Rev. Jerry Falwell called Mohammed "a terrorist," Rev. Franklin Graham said Islam is "evil" and so forth.
Let's see, where does that leave Christianity, the religion of peace and love, founded by the Prince of Peace?
Among the more notable Christian crimes were the unbearably bloody Crusades, the Thirty Years War, the Inquisition, innumerable pogroms, regular slaughter of Protestants, counter-slaughter by Protestants, genocide against Native Americans (featuring biological warfare), slavery, the Holocaust, ethnic cleansing, Northern Ireland... and the list goes on and on and on.
People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Especially when they are making bellicose statements and beating the war drums relentlessly for what may be an unnecessary war.
Kissinger Promises No Conflict With Panel
Thursday December 12, 2002 11:50 PM
WASHINGTON (AP) - Henry Kissinger on Thursday promised relatives of Sept. 11 victims that his business interests would not conflict with his new role as chairman of a panel investigating the attacks, leaders of two relatives' groups said.
The assurances came as the White House and congressional Democrats clashed on whether the former secretary of state must disclose his business clients to serve on the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks. Kissinger was appointed by President Bush.
It was not clear how much information Kissinger was willing to disclose or whether it would satisfy lawmakers.
Stephen Push, a leader of Families of Sept. 11, said Kissinger outlined procedures he was considering for the commission's 10 members to disclose potential conflicts of interest. Push declined to provide details, but said it would not require Kissinger to release a list of his consulting firm's clients.
Kristen Breitweiser of September 11th Advocates described the procedures outlined by Kissinger as ``a suggestion. If he is able to do the suggestion, I would be satisfied.''
Push said relatives still want Kissinger to abide by any legal requirements for disclosure. ``We're not suggesting this as an alternative to following the law,'' he said.
Push and Breitweiser were among 11 relatives who met with Kissinger in his New York office. Kissinger did not return messages seeking comment.
The commission will investigate events surrounding the attacks, examining issues including aviation security, immigration and U.S. diplomacy. It will build on a congressional inquiry into intelligence failures that was completed this week.
Some politicians and commentators have called on Kissinger to sever ties with his firm because of possible conflicts. The panel's original vice chairman, George Mitchell, resigned from the commission Wednesday, partly because of similar pressures to quit his law firm.
Senate Democrats claim all commission members, including Kissinger, are required to submit financial disclosures that would reveal potential conflicts. That view was supported by a report issued last week by Congress' research arm, the Congressional Research Service.
But the White House claims Kissinger, as Bush's sole appointee, is not required to submit a report. It says federal law does not require presidential appointees to submit disclosures if they are not drawing salaries, as is the case with Kissinger.
A second Congressional Research Service report, though, said all members of the commission - including a presidential appointee - would be bound by Senate ethics requirements. That report was released Thursday by the office of Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., chairman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.
The dispute is the latest involving a commission that will begin its work early next month. Family members and congressional Democrats have questioned whether the Bush administration wants an honest evaluation of the attacks, with the report coming out less than six months before the 2004 presidential election.
Negotiations setting up the commission were bogged down by disputes over the commission's makeup and rules, with lawmakers and the White House accusing the other of trying to manipulate it for political purposes.
Relatives have criticized Senate Republican leader Trent Lott, R- Miss., for choosing former Sen. Slade Gorton, R-Wash., as one of his two appointees to the commission. They consider Gorton too close to the aviation industry.
Lott has promised to consult with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a close ally of the families, in choosing his second appointee. The families and McCain have been pushing for former Sen. Warren Rudman, R-N.H., who led an advisory group that warned of U.S. vulnerability to terrorist attacks before Sept. 11.
Push said Lott is refusing to appoint Rudman. A Lott spokesman did not respond to messages.
But Push said the relatives were encouraged by the meeting with Kissinger.
``I think we started to develop a good working relationship,'' he said.
The Kissinger commission
Saturday, November 30, 2002 - The New York Times
In naming Henry Kissinger to direct a comprehensive examination of the U.S. government's failure to prevent the Sept. 11 attacks, President George W. Bush has selected a consummate Washington insider. Kissinger obviously has a keen intellect and vast experience in national security matters. Unfortunately, his affinity for power and the commercial interests he has cultivated since leaving government may make him less than the staunchly independent figure that is needed for this critical post. Indeed, it is tempting to wonder if the choice of Kissinger is not a clever maneuver by the White House to contain an investigation it long opposed.
It seems improbable to expect Kissinger to report unflinchingly on the conduct of the government, including that of Bush. He would have to challenge the established order and risk sundering old friendships and business relationships.
, in theory, should provide the definitive account of how a raft of government agencies - including the White House, Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation - left the United States so vulnerable to terrorist attack. That final reckoning is overdue and so far absent from the narrower inquiries done by Congress and individual agencies. It is essential to ensuring that past mistakes are not repeated.
The new inquiry will be undone if the 10-member panel is hesitant to call government organizations and officials to account. There can be no place for the kind of political calculation and court flattery that Kissinger practiced so assiduously during his tenure as President Richard Nixon's national security adviser and secretary of state. Nor is there any tolerance for the kind of cynicism that Kissinger applied to the prosecution of the Vietnam War.
The commission will be made up of five Republicans and five Democrats. Choosing its remaining members and staff director wisely will also be vital to its success. They must be fiercely independent and unafraid to challenge some of Washington's most powerful institutions. We were mildly encouraged to hear Kissinger say that he would "accept no restrictions" on the commission's work. To deliver on that promise, Kissinger must start by severing all ties to Kissinger Associates, the lucrative consulting business he has built up during the past two decades. As a consultant, Kissinger offered not just his own foreign policy expertise, but his famously easy access to the powerful and well connected.
Not long after Bush announced the appointment of Kissinger on Wednesday, Democratic congressional leaders picked one of their brethren, former Senator George Mitchell, to serve as vice chairman. Like Kissinger, Mitchell has great experience and an understanding of how the world works - and is not known for rocking established institutions.
The commission offers both men a chance for the kind of career-crowning legacy that many public personages dream of. But that would require rising above Washington's usual hedging and horse-trading. If they succeed, they could help the United States recover from the grievous wounds of Sept. 11 and make sure the country is never so vulnerable again.
Britain accused of sacrificing new court
"Diplomats said they could not yet answer the so-called "Kissinger question": what would happen in an ICC prosecution of a former US government official - the defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, for example...."
Ian Black in Brussels Tuesday October 1, 2002 The Guardian
The EU came under furious criticism last night after seeking to end a row with the US by agreeing terms for giving American citizens immunity from prosecution by the new International Criminal Court.
Under heavy pressure from Washington, London persuaded its partners to accept a compromise allowing member states to sign individual immunity agreements with the US, a retreat from its previous united opposition to US immunity.
Britain, Italy and Spain are now expected to go ahead and make separate agreements with the US.
Peter Hain, the foreign office minister, insisted that strict extradition principles would be respected.
But Britain, whose diplomacy was crucial to the new approach, was attacked by Amnesty International for "betraying" its commitment to the new court."US pressure has paid off," said Dick Oosting, director of its EU office.
"The EU has allowed the US to shift the terms of the debate from legal principle to political opportunism."
Foreign ministers meeting in Brussels approved a plan which lets member governments agree not to extradite American soldiers or officials to the ICC if Washington guarantees that US war crimes suspect will be tried at home.
Germany said it was unhappy with the deal but signed it anyway. Sweden and other countries were reluctant but acknowledged that a united EU position was better than none.
The court, due to start work in next year, will try individuals for genocide, war crimes and human rights abuses.
The US, which fears its personnel overseas could face politically motivated charges, opposes the court and has lobbied other countries to sign immunity agreements.
Yesterday's deal was the subject of bitter haggling which underlined European concern about US unilateralism and the EU's difficulty in agreeing a common position.
Per Stig Moeller, the foreign minister of Denmark, which holds the EU presidency, insisted that no concessions had been made. "If individual states stay within these red lines... the court will not be undermined."
Britain was singled out for criticism by Human Rights Watch. "The British role was both ill-considered and damagingly effective," its spokesman Richard Dicker said.
"The British operate as if one more concession will appease those in the Bush administration who are sworn to destroy this court. It represents a betrayal by the Blair government of its earlier support for the ICC."
Amnesty said: "The political impact of this decision will be to bolster the US administration's efforts in its relentless campaign to undermine the effectiveness of the ICC."
Under the terms agreed the US will have to drop its demand for a blanket exemption and limit immunity to individuals sent abroad by the government.
Diplomats said they could not yet answer the so-called "Kissinger question": what would happen in an ICC prosecution of a former US government official - the defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, for example - accused of atrocities in a future war against Iraq, especially one not fought under UN authority.
The conditions agreed by the 15 can apply either to new bilateral agreements or existing agreements on extradition and judicial cooperation.
Joschka Fischer, the German foreign minister, insisted that Berlin would not make an agreement with the US, and sought to accentuate the importance of the court.
"This is very important because the Milosevics and Pinochets of tomorrow will be brought to justice," he said.
Britain had warned the rest of the EU that their failure to reach agreement could endanger UN peacekeeping operations, because the US might veto them in the security council.
Jack Straw, the foreign secretary, told colleagues that though agreeing immunity arrangements was "not an ideal step to take", the highly sensitive issue had to be resolved.
So far 139 states have signed the ICC's founding treaty and 80 have ratified it. But the Bush administration withdrew its signature in April.
Brussels was furious when Romania, a candidate for EU membership, keen to win US support for its Nato membership, agreed never to take US citizens to the court.
NYT twisted the hawk Kissinger into a fake dove
By Barbara Amiel - Tue Sept 24 - 2002
What is going on at the New York Times? In a front-page news story on August 16, the Times managed to change Henry Kissinger into a dove on the issue of military action against Saddam Hussein instead of the hawk he actually is.
The two reporters who wrote the story took an op-ed piece written by Kissinger for the Washington Post four days earlier - in which he argued that the reasons for war against Iraq were strong enough to justify “an imperative for pre-emptive action” - and twisted this into a caution against such action. Not easy.
To justify running this story on page one for two consecutive days, the reporters linked it to an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal on August 15, written by Brent Scowcroft, the former national security adviser to George Bush Senior. Scowcroft is a legitimate member of the Republican anti-war faction.
Using his piece as a news-hook, the reporters cobbled together a story headlined “Top Republicans break with Bush on Iraq strategy”. There was nothing newsworthy in the article except for the presence of Henry Kissinger as a break-away Republican.
The new-look Henry K was so blatant a piece of deception that, on August 19, the Wall Street Journal parted with its tradition of keeping quiet about its competitor’s editorial policies and published a leader with a damning indictment of the “tendentious” claims of the New York Times, suggesting that the paper keep “its opinions on its editorial page”.
More than 100 years ago, the New York Times, under owner Adolph Ochs, adopted the slogan: “All the news that’s fit to print”. Ochs and his descendants built up so formidable a franchise that by this century it looked like the paper might actually be able to fulfil that promise physically. But critics are now asking if the New York Times only prints news it considers ideologically fit.
Newspapers often have agendas - issues and values - they want to promote. Readers can decide if the agenda is legitimate - so long as they know what it is. Having an agenda is not wrong, but pretending you don’t when you do is. Even worse is to falsify facts, report selectively, or take quotes out of context to serve your agenda.
For most of its 106 years under the stewardship of the Ochs-Sulzberger family, the Times had an agenda that was pretty obvious. It was a pro-Republican newspaper until the election of Franklin D Roosevelt. Though the paper criticised Roosevelt between elections, from that point on they switched to the Democratic Party and became a newspaper that pretty much reflected the liberal values that have long dominated New York City political elites.
By 1972, the paper had reached a position where it could endorse George McGovern in the presidential election. McGovern’s platform had such highlights as the distribution of America’s wealth to the population by giving $1,000 handouts to every citizen.
The paper became a staunch opponent of the war in Vietnam and of President Nixon. It supported what is generally conceded as the most inept American presidency in the past 80 years, that of Jimmy Carter. In a word, the New York Times cantered at full tilt to the Left.
This was reflected in its op-ed pages, columnists and staff choices. In recent years, two men, Abe Rosenthal and John Vinocur, were both ideally qualified to be editor of the Times but were considered ideologically unsuitable. The newspaper became increasingly politically correct even under the benign and commercially brilliant stewardship of Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, grandson of Adolph Ochs.
In 1996, Arthur (known as “Punch” Sulzberger) resigned and his son, Arthur “Pinch” Sulzberger, took over. Staff held their breath. Would Pinch be as hands-off as Punch? The answer was pretty much yes, though Pinch was more modern or “sensitive” to gender and race issues than his old-fashioned liberal dad.
But Pinch had a very particular idea of where he wanted the New York Times to go: out went Abe Rosenthal and in came a new team headed by executive editor Howell Raines, a vehement Left-wing columnist from decades back.
Partisanship is not necessarily wrong for a newspaper. The tradition of parti pris papers is strong in Europe and well known in Britain. Raines kept the ideologically unpredictable columnist William Safire and the op-ed pages reflect a sprinkling of differing views.
What has been happening at the Times is far more ominous than just veering to the support of one party or one ideology. The tradition of the New York Times was to be the paper of record for its liberal readers. And in this voyage, the Times has mirrored the sad story of American liberalism, which is largely the story of liberalism derailed.
There is a type of liberalism, pioneered in America, which tries to be fairer than fair. But trying to be better than fair is like trying to bend over backwards to be straighter than vertical or defining “objective” as being neutral between good and evil. That path leads straight to moral equivalence.
In the 1980s, this pseudo “objectivity” and “fairness” expressed itself in an impartiality between totalitarian systems and the free world. Currently, it expresses itself in the notion that Palestinian actions against civilians have the same moral legitimacy as those of Israelis against the intifada.
Impartiality may be a virtue but, as columnist George Jonas wrote in the Ottawa Citizen, “to be impartial between tyranny and democracy the better to protect human rights is like being impartial between wood and copper the better to conduct electricity. In plain words, it’s nonsense.”
Super-liberalism has led the Times into a lot of nonsense. The Israeli government is routinely described in its news stories as following “hardline” policies while no such negative description is given to governments such as those of Saudi Arabia or the Palestinian Authority. Indeed, the Saudis are routinely described as “moderates” in news stories or “pro-West” allies of America - even as they fund al-Qa’eda and their official newspapers spout virulent hatred of the West.
This double standard has long been evident in the pages of the New York Times, but it finally burst through to even the most undiscerning reader when, after a demonstration by several hundred thousand Jews in New York supporting Israel, the Times chose to illustrate its account with a front-page photograph of pro-Palestinian Arabs holding up a banner. The outcry following this (and the cancellation of some subscriptions) resulted in an apology - sort of - from the Times.
In domestic policy, the same standards apply. The New York Sun (in which my husband is a passive investor) has a website at http://www.smartertimes.com which notes daily the double standards of the New York Times.
I highly recommend the site, though I sometimes disagree with its reasoning. (For example: I found it unappetising to make innuendoes about pecuniary motives for Brent Scowcroft’s stand against military action in the Middle East. His arguments do not convince me, but they are respectable arguments from an accomplished former general and public official.)
It was the smartertimes site that pointed out the distortion of the then senator John Ashcroft’s remarks on abortion. Ashcroft was quoted in the New York Times as saying that the American people and a majority of Congress “want to eliminate this gruesome procedure from our nation’s hospitals and clinics”.
In fact, he was not speaking about abortion in general as the Times said, but partial-life abortions. Once again, the New York Times had to correct the “error”.
But though the paper occasionally gets caught out - when its distortions are truly egregious - similar instances occur daily on its news pages, which are increasingly dedicated to the implementation of a New Left agenda domestically and internationally.
Important stories from the Middle East are buried or played down. Dubious domestic sources are given legitimacy, such as the Reverend Al Sharpton, a demagogue whose criticisms of racial policies are printed without mention of his involvement in and support to this day of the false charges of rape brought by a black woman against fictional white aggressors.
Super-liberalism has sub-liberal consequences. Because super-liberalism has no reality behind it, the truth has to be distorted. The news has to be re-written or spun to suit the agenda if it involves topics the paper considers of vital ideological importance, such as the unseating of President George W Bush, the prevention of war against Iraq, the creation of a Palestinian state without regard to the security of Israel.
Ultimately, in such a wonderland, the super-liberals have to rise to the defence of suicide bombers. Day has to become night. Henry Kissinger must be made into an anti-Bush dove.
And that is what is wrong with the New York Times. It pretends that it has no agenda but distorts news stories to fulfil it. I don’t think Adolph Ochs would recognise this New York Times as the legitimate standard bearer of “All the news that’s fit to print”.
But George Orwell would see what has been going on. Perhaps the slogan should be re-written: “All the Newspeak fit to print”.
This article was published in London Daily Telegraph and Daily Times is reproducing it to give its readers a glimpse of the opposing viewpoint.
Argentina's 'dirty war' hounding Kissinger
Documents revive debate on U.S. role
BY TIM JOHNSON - Posted on Fri, Aug. 30, 2002 - Miami Herald
WASHINGTON - For all his renown as one of the world's leading voices on international affairs, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's twilight years are not passing so easily. At age 79, his legacy is the subject of scrutiny, protests, international legal disputes and even a federal lawsuit.
Now, there are even more questions, thanks to the release by the State Department earlier this month of 4,667 official U.S. documents relating to the ''dirty war'' in Argentina from 1976 until 1983 in which military death squads killed thousands of suspected leftists.
The new batch of declassified cables has revived debate that surged last year with publication of The Trial of Henry Kissinger, a polemical book by British writer Christopher Hitchens, who suggested that the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize laureate should be tried for war crimes.
The newly released documents reveal that Argentine military officers believed they had the green light from Washington -- and perhaps Kissinger -- to carry out the brutal campaign.
The hounding of Henry Kissinger is the result not only of declassified U.S. documents but also global trends empowering judges to reach across frontiers, a desire by aggrieved relatives to seek justice, and perhaps a dose of publicity-seeking by his many ideological opponents. And it has forced Kissinger to watch his step abroad out of concern that a judge might order his arrest:
• In mid-March, Kissinger canceled a trip to Brazil amid reports a judge might detain him.
• In April, protesters taunted him outside London's Royal Albert Hall.
• A month later, police arrived at his Paris hotel to serve him with questions from a French judge. Chile's Supreme Court, meanwhile, also wants answers from Kissinger about a 1973 coup.
''His movements are somewhat restricted because of the legal actions being taken against him,'' said Riordan Roett, director of Western Hemisphere studies at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.
Kissinger's office in New York City referred calls to William Rogers, his lawyer, who rejected any suggestion that Kissinger gave a green light to human rights abuses in the Southern Cone countries. Rogers said ''a cabal of Hitchens-minded people'' is attacking Kissinger to ``create some notoriety for themselves.''
''It's show business. This stuff is utterly tendentious. There has never been a credible objective analysis that he has committed an international crime,'' Rogers said.
Rogers, who served as assistant secretary of state for Latin America under Kissinger, dismissed suggestions from Kissinger critics that he supported efforts to crush armed leftists in the Southern Cone region as part of the great battle against the Soviet Union. In both Chile and Argentina, Soviet- or Cuban-backed guerrillas carried out rebel campaigns.
``I don't think this [region] was terribly important in the Cold War context. As Henry once said, `Chile is a dagger pointed straight at the heart of Antarctica, Rogers said.
The newly released documents contain a handful of accounts of how Argentine military officers interpreted Kissinger's views of their campaign to crush leftist subversives.
Argentina's military, which held power from 1976 until 1983, snatched between 9,000 and 30,000 people off the streets, leaving them ''missing'' and inflicting scars that still affect the nation.
One document from Oct. 19, 1976, noted that Argentina's foreign minister returned from Washington ''in a state of jubilation,'' convinced after meeting Kissinger, who was then secretary of state in the Ford administration, that U.S. officials simply wanted the Argentine terror campaign over quickly. The impression left the Argentine official ''euphoric,'' the cable said.
Kissinger left his post in early 1977, when President Carter came to office and declared that U.S. relations with foreign partners would depend on their human rights record.
Even out of office, Kissinger had an impact in Argentina, the diplomatic cables show. As the Carter administration sharpened its attack on Argentina's military junta for its atrocities, Kissinger traveled to Buenos Aires as ''the guest'' of the dictator, Gen. Jorge Rafael Videla, to view the 1978 World Cup soccer tournament, the U.S. ambassador wrote in a June 1978 cable.
According to the cable by Raul Castro, a former governor of Arizona who was then the U.S. ambassador, Kissinger held an ''off the cuff talk'' at one point with prominent foreign affairs experts.
''He explained his opinion [that] GOA [government of Argentina] had done an outstanding job in wiping out terrorist forces. But also cautioned that methods used in fighting terrorism must not be perpetuated,'' the cable said.
''My only concern,'' Ambassador Castro concluded, 'is that Kissinger's repeated high praise for Argentina's action in wiping out terrorism and his stress on the importance of Argentina may have gone to some considerable extent to his hosts' heads.
``Despite his disclaimers that the methods used in fighting terrorism must not be perpetuated, there is some danger that Argentines may use Kissinger's laudatory statements as justification for hardening their human rights stance.''
The latest round of declassification has renewed bitter feelings among some retired senior State Department officials with long-held beliefs that Kissinger signaled to the Argentine military that he did not disapprove of their repression, as long as it was done speedily.
''I think he was complicit,'' said Patricia Derian, who was an assistant secretary of state for human rights under President Carter. ``He was in a position to influence them greatly -- both in and out of office. Mistreatment of citizens by a government was given the nod.''
Rogers, the Kissinger attorney, called the suggestion of complicity ''appalling'' and inaccurate. ``What was done down there was done by the Argentines. We weren't controlling it.''
In his speech in London on April 24, Kissinger referred obliquely to the notion that he might be obligated to respond some day in a court of law for his foreign policy record.
''No one can say that he served in an administration that did not make mistakes,'' Kissinger said. ``The issue is whether 30 years after the event, courts are the appropriate means by which determination is made.''
Kissinger is also facing a passel of legal troubles related to the 1970-1973 rule in Chile of Salvador Allende, the first socialist president elected there in a popular vote, and U.S. support for an army coup against him that installed a military dictatorship that ruled until 1990.
Last Sept. 10, two surviving sons of a Chilean military commander slain in 1970 filed a federal lawsuit in Washington seeking $3 million from Kissinger and then CIA Director Richard Helms for allegedly supporting the military squad that carried out the assassination.
The commander, Gen. Rene Schneider, was no friend of Allende but adamantly opposed a U.S.-supported military revolt to block his ascension to power. Schneider was shot on his way to work on Oct. 22, 1970, two days before Congress was to confirm Allende in the presidency.
An attorney for Schneider's sons, René and Raúl, said the suit is based on declassified U.S. documents released over the past two years that identify Kissinger as coordinator of a ''Track II'' plan in 1970 that gave $35,000 to the squad after it carried off the Schneider slaying.
''Our case shows, document by document, that he was involved in great detail in supporting the people who killed Gen. Schneider, and then paid them off,'' attorney Michael Tigar said.
In a separate case, the Chilean Supreme Court has sent a series of questions to the U.S. State Department, in what is called letters rogatory, seeking responses from Kissinger about the death of Charles Horman, an American killed in the days following the 1973 coup that toppled Allende. The U.S.-supported coup brought Gen. Augusto Pinochet to power.
The State Department said it responded to the Chileans last week but declined to disclose the content of the response.
In still a third matter, a criminal judge in Chile said he might investigate Kissinger in relation to Operation Condor, in which military dictatorships in the Southern Cone exchanged information to help each other kidnap and kill hundreds of political opponents.
If declassified documents have caused problems for Kissinger, it may not be over. When Kissinger left office in early 1977, he took with him tens of thousands of pages of transcripts of telephone conversations.
In February, Kissinger was pressured to turn those over to the National Archives and Records Administration, and they are under review.
They may be released to the public sometime in 2003.
Chile: Complaint against Kissinger
Der Spiegel, 22.7.2002
Thanks to Kissinger Watch bulletin for this http://www.icai-online.org
Rene Schneider (60), Programme director of the Chilean public television station TVN is the son of the Chilean army general who was killed in 1970 with the support of the CIA. Last September he filed a civil suit against Kissinger for the murder of his father.
Spiegel: The new International Criminal Court has just been set up in The Hague; could Kissinger be tried there?
Schneider: I believe Kissinger and the US Government have to explain a lot of things that happened in the late sixties and in the seventies in countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia and Chile – before this court or any other court. Kissinger's position, of course, is different: He thinks he acted for the good of the US to defend the security and the values of his country. This was understood as permission to act in foreign countries as deemed necessary.
Spiegel: The assassination of your father was planned to induce the military to stage a coup d’Etat against the detested Allende?
Schneider: It is not acceptable that my father “was to be removed” in the interest of the USA, as Kissinger said more or less literally according to a tape. My father, like many other soldiers from Latin America, attended training courses in the US and was not anti-American. He merely defended the Constitution of his country.
Spiegel: What do you want to achieve with your lawsuit, 32 years after the murder?
Schneider: First, I want to make clear that it is a civil suit and not criminal proceedings. Our aim is to open a trial. It would also be of great importance for a judge to rule that Kissinger bears individual responsibility for his acts. This important step was taken by the courts with respect to Pinochet, who could not hide behind his official position. The court proceedings were only abandoned due to health reasons.
Spiegel: Why has the process against Kissinger stalled?
Schneider: Kissinger’s defence lawyers claim that the State -and not the individual- was responsible for the actions. Since these were political decisions, Congress has to decide on this, not the courts. The defence has presented this position – now we are waiting for the judges' statement.
Kissinger may face extradition to Chile
Judge investigating US role in 1973 coup considers forcing former secretary of state to give evidence
Jonathan Franklin in Santiago and Duncan Campbell in Los Angeles
Guardian Wednesday June 12, 2002
Henry Kissinger may face extradition proceedings in connection with the role of the United States in the 1973 military coup in Chile.
The former US secretary of state is wanted for questioning as a witness in the investigation into the events surrounding the overthrow of the socialist president, Salvador Allende, by General Augusto Pinochet.
It focuses on CIA involvement in the coup, whether US officials passed lists of leftwing Americans in Chile to the military and whether the US embassy failed to assist Americans deemed sympathetic to the deposed government.
Chile's Judge Juan Guzman is so frustrated by the lack of cooperation by Mr Kissinger that he is now considering an extradition request to force him to come to Chile and testify in connection with the death of the American film-maker and journalist Charles Horman, who was killed by the military days after the coup.
Horman's story was told in the 1982 Costa-Gavras film, Missing, starring Jack Lemmon and Sissy Spacek.
Judge Guzman is investigating whether US officials passed the names of suspected leftwing Americans to Chilean military authorities. Declassified documents have now revealed that such a list existed. Sergio Corvalan, a Chilean lawyer, said that he could not divulge the "dozens" of names on the list.
At the time of his death, Horman was investigating the murder of Rene Schneider, the chief of staff in the Chilean army whose support for Allende and the constitution was seen as an obstacle to the coup.
The CIA had been involved with groups plotting Schneider's murder, providing them with weapons and advice, according to a CIA internal inquiry in 2000. It found that the agency had withdrawn its support for the plotters before the murder but had paid them $35,000 afterwards "to maintain the goodwill of the group".
At the time of his murder, Schneider had five young children, who filed suit in a Washington DC court last year against Mr Kissinger and other top officials in the Nixon administration. They are seeking $3m (£2.15m) in damages.
Horman's wife, Joyce, suspects that he was targeted because he unwittingly stumbled upon a gathering of US military personnel in Chile in the days before the coup.
The American journalist Marc Cooper and the British journalist Christopher Hitchens have been in Santiago during the past month to give evidence in the investigation of America's role.
Cooper, who was Allende's translator at the time of the coup and now writes for the Nation and LA Weekly, knew Horman and gave sworn testimony last month.
Cooper said: "Guzman says that if the US doesn't act soon on his request to gather testimony from Kissinger and other US officials, he'll have no choice but to file for their extradition to Chile."
Cooper, who wrote the book Pinochet and Me about his time in Chile, said that the Nixon government had been more interested in supporting General Pinochet than in investigating the deaths of its citizens at the hands of the Chilean military.
This is not the first attempt to interview Mr Kissinger about the turbulent period in Latin America.
During a visit to London in April, judges in Spain and France unsuccessfully tried to question him about America's role in Operation Condor, which has been described as a coordinated hit squad organised from Chile and including six South American nations aimed at dealing with leftwing opposition groups.
Several declassified documents which have emerged over the past two years have shown an increasingly visible American hand in Operation Condor.
Hitchens gave evidence on the Operation Condor case which he researched for his book, The Trial of Henry Kissinger, published last year.
In Santiago, Hitchens said: "Today Henry Kissinger is a frightened man. He is very afraid of the exposure that awaits him."
Mr Kissinger's lawyer William Rodgers, said that such questions should properly be directed to the US state department and not to Mr Kissinger.
Kissinger to advise Hicks Muse on Europe
31May02 - 3:46 PM - By Dane Hamilton
NEW YORK, May 31 (Reuters) - Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was named European adviser to Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, the latest Washington power broker to join a major U.S. private equity firm, the firm said.
Kissinger, considered the most influential foreign policy adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, is joining the European strategy board of Hicks Muse, a $10 billion fund based in Dallas, Hicks Muse announced.
It is the latest assignment for the 79-year-old statesman and 1973 Nobel Peace Prize winner. New York-based Kissinger Associates gives geopolitical advice to financial firms including J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., American International Group Inc., American Express Co., Forstmann Little & Co. and others.
Private equity or buyout firms, which take large stakes in companies with the aim of selling them at a profit later, often hire Washington insiders to open doors for potential business transactions. The hard negotiations are done by the firms' financial engineers.
"Few people would not return Henry's phone call," said John Muse, founder and partner in Hicks Muse, told Reuters. "Kissinger is very well known and connected in the European landscape on history and economic development. He will help us get better access and better information on people."
In recent years, large U.S. buyout firms like Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., Carlyle Group and Blackstone Group have targeted Europe as a new growth market to offset a slump in the U.S. deal making market. Such firms have targeted corporate divestitures as a key growth opportunity where Europe is considered farther behind than the U.S. market.
Kissinger joins other top government officials at buyout firms, notably Washington-based Carlyle Group, a $13 billion fund whose roster of advisers includes former President George Bush, ex-Secretary of State James Baker and former British Prime Minister John Major.
Hicks Muse also said Richard Fisher, former Deputy U.S. Trade Representative under President Clinton, will join the firm's Latin American strategy board. At the same time, Kissinger McLarty Associates, an affiliated firm founded by Kissinger and Mack McLarty, former White House chief of staff, announced that Fisher had joined the firm as managing partner.
Hicks Muse, said Muse, has significant assets in various Latam countries, but is particularly concerned with Argentina, which recently faced a major debt crisis and currency tumult that could affect media assets held jointly with Liberty Media.
"No one in the country is better qualified to help us understand the macro environment in Latin America better than Richard," said Muse. "For now, we have definitely pulled in our horns and become more cautious in the region. We have a lot of capital there we are husbanding carefully."
Muse said Kissinger would be paid a fee for being on the firm's European board and would also likely get consulting fees for additional work. Brian Mulroney, the former Canadian prime minister, is also adviser to Hicks Muse.
23May02 - Workers' World - She defied Henry Kissinger
Nguyen Thi Binh, vice president of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, met with a group of U.S. activists in New York on May 9. Many remembered her as the incomparable Madame Binh who had headed the delegation of the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam at the Paris peace talks in the 1970s. She had faced down former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who threatened the Vietnamese with nuclear bombs several times during the negotiations. Her skill and grace under pressure gave inspiration to women everywhere to take their place in the leadership of progressive causes.
Madame Binh thanked the movement here for its work to stop the war. She also explained that Vietnam today, although reunited and at peace, continues to suffer serious health problems from the heavy use of toxic chemicals--like Agent Orange--that the U.S. dropped all over the countryside. Its economy is still one of the poorest in Asia, and has never received the reparations promised for the terrible damage done by the U.S. war.
Reprinted from the May 23, 2002, issue of Workers World newspaper
The doctor versus the judges
This article appeared in the Daily Telegraph, owned by Conrad Black, fellow Bilderberger with Kissinger. If D'Ancona is to be believed this is the ONLY media interview given by Kissinger on his visit to Europe. Ensuring he is portrayed in a good light.
Note the expression "there is absolutely no respectable evidence of his own or the US Government's involvement in these cases." In fact there is plenty of evidence - and the evidence is mounting Mr Kissinger - you cannot expect sycophantic journalists to lie for you for ever.[TG]
Daily Telegraph - 28Apr02
HENRY KISSINGER'S visit to London last week was overshadowed by the campaign of European judges to settle 30-year-old scores. In his only interview of the trip, he tells Matthew d'Ancona why he is undeterred.
'If you're here to see Kissinger, you are scum," chants the mob outside the Royal Albert Hall. Well, I guess that's me, then. [among others such as 'Kissinger, Terrorist; Police Protect the Criminals; and Hey, Hey, Henry K, How Many Kids Did you Kill Today? TG]
On the road, dozens of demonstrators are blocking the traffic in a sit-down protest. Their comrades brandish placards with slogans such as "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer", which seem to hold the good doctor responsible for just about every misfortune to befall humanity since the Flood.
Inside the hall, 2,800 businessmen are awaiting Henry Kissinger's speech to the Institute of Directors' annual convention. But first I am whisked off to meet him in a tiny, brightly-lit changing room which is being used as an improvised audience chamber for the morning.
As I enter, Lord Young of Graffham, Margaret Thatcher's Trade and Industry Secretary, is leaving. Deep in the bowels of the Albert Hall, the baying crowd can no longer be heard. But Dr Kissinger's numerous Special Branch officers are taking no chances: officially, I am told, he is not here yet.
In fact, he is most definitely here. Reclining on a sofa, immaculate in dark suit and maroon polka dot tie, the former American Secretary of State takes the melee around him in his stride, issuing instructions to his entourage in the unmistakable, slow baritone.
His visit has been overshadowed by requests from French and Spanish judicial investigators to question him in connection with "Operation Condor", an alleged campaign of terror in Latin America during the 1970s when he was in office. Has it spoiled his trip to Britain to be hounded in this way?
"Look," he says, examining the back of his hand, "this is, as it happens, the first country I came to after I left Germany in 1938.
"It was only for a few weeks, but, nevertheless, it was my first experience of freedom. It's a country in which I served in the 84th infantry division in 1944. It is a country with which I have a long association and I have many friends here."
True: but that hasn't stopped Baltasar Garzon - the magistrate who attempted to extradite General Pinochet in 1998 - and others from trying to intercept the 78-year-old Dr Kissinger on his trip to London.
The campaign, he says, is an abuse of the principles it claims to uphold: "What they are attempting to do is to use universal human rights to settle scores from 30 years ago. They're not making any charges involving universal violations. They're getting into specific issues of the management of American foreign policy with respect to one very geographically confined situation."
He is annoyed by "major misrepresentation" in the press of the last attempt to apprehend him, in Paris last year. On that occasion, Judge Roger Le Loire issued a summons to Dr Kissinger to appear as a witness in the Pinochet case.
The matter was handed over to the US Government and he did not, as was widely reported, "flee" the French capital: "I maintained my regular schedule and I left on the flight two days later exactly as planned."
The real question is whether Dr Kissinger, chased around Europe by campaigning lawyers, expects ultimately to face cross-examination. "The issue last time was alleged complicity in the disappearance of a Frenchman in Argentina [Jean-Yves Claudet-Fernandez, a member of the Chilean Left, who disappeared in Buenos Aires in 1975].
"I'd never heard of the Frenchman - as you would expect. I'd never heard of the case. But my position is that if the US Government thinks it is appropriate for me to answer the questions of foreign judges about the conduct of American policy I will cooperate to the fullest extent."
This seems an unlikely outcome, given that there is absolutely no respectable evidence of his own or the US Government's involvement in these cases. Even so he believes that the new vogue for pursuing unsettled scores from the Cold War using human rights legislation may be storing up serious trouble for the future.
"People should ask whether it is actually feasible to conduct international policy if high officials, 30 years after the event, are hounded on tactical matters, on individual matters about which common sense tells you they couldn't possibly have any knowledge. The pursuit of high officials of foreign governments - especially friendly governments - should be reserved for truly major human rights violations."
Nonetheless, it is clear that being hounded by continental lawyers has not diminished his sense of humour (later, he says the reason that he speaks so slowly is that he is translating himself into English). He chuckles when I quote a passage from his most recent book Does America Need A Foreign Policy? (2001) on future diplomacy in the Middle East in which he predicted that "the American contribution will depend on its ability to insist on a strategic and political concept for the enterprise".
He knows what I am going to ask: do President Bush and his recent envoy in the Middle East, Colin Powell, have such a "concept"? The man whose shuttle diplomacy secured the Arab-Israeli ceasefire in 1973 smiles wryly, and chooses his words with care.
"I do not think they have yet settled on what the precise concept is, but I hope they will before Colin Powell launches himself into the region again. On this particular trip, his mission was to calm the situation. And that he did."
He admits that he was "concerned at the beginning" that America might be seen to be weakening its position on Palestinian terrorism, but applauds Powell for "eliminating the incipient fatalism" on both sides of the conflict.
On the day we meet, the papers are full of stories about the Bethlehem siege and the aftermath of the Jenin confrontation, with calls for international diplomatic intervention becoming ever more clamorous.
Dr Kissinger's warning is that the objectives of any subsequent interference must be utterly realistic: "When one enters a negotiation, one ought to be able to describe the outcome towards which one is aiming," he says.
"I believe that simple coexistence between the Israelis and Arabs would be a tremendous achievement. It should not simply be a ratification of the status quo. It should give the Palestinians satisfaction of some of their demands". But questions such as the fate of Palestinian refugees and the final borders of a Palestinian state must, he says, be deferred for now.
As for Yasser Arafat, Dr Kissinger believes that only pressure from Arab states can dislodge him. "It's not possible for Israel to say who should be the Palestinian negotiator.
We should say to the Arab states: given your interests, and given your constructive approach, you have to settle who should perform that role. And if you decide on Arafat, you have to take into account what will happen if he is untrustworthy."
Dr Kissinger is full of praise for the Prime Minister's conduct since September 11, although he says that if he lived in Britain he would probably vote Conservative.
In answer to one of my questions, he admits that Tony Blair's evangelical foreign policy - which he calls "Gladstonian" - contrasts sharply with his own "Disraelian" preference for realpolitik and geopolitical realism. "I question the idea of universal crusades," he says, "because I think, looking at it as an American, they will eventually go beyond our capacity."
Realistic to the last: unlike the mob outside, and, one suspects, the judges who think they can outfox this formidable survivor.
Vietnam says Kissinger should bear responsibility for Vietnam War
Fri Apr 26,10:05 AM ET - Associated Press
HANOI, Vietnam - Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger should "bear responsibility" for the human suffering caused by the Vietnam War, Vietnam's government said Friday.
During a speech by Kissinger in London on Wednesday, dozens of protesters outside the meeting hall accused him of war crimes for his role in U.S. actions in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia during the war.
Kissinger ignored the protesters, but acknowledged in his speech that mistakes had "quite possibly" been made by administrations in which he served.
Asked to comment on the accusations, Vietnamese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Phan Thuy Thanh noted that Kissinger had served as U.S. President Richard Nixon's national security adviser and secretary of state during the war.
"We hold that as a key official with an important role in the U.S. administration during the time the United States waged a war of aggression against Vietnam, Mr. Kissinger should bear responsibility for the losses and suffering caused by the war to the Vietnamese people," she said in a brief statement. She did not elaborate.
The war, which spilled over into neighboring Cambodia and Laos, ended with a communist victory in 1975 over the U.S.-backed government of South Vietnam. An estimated 3 million Vietnamese and more than 58,000 Americans perished in the conflict.
Thousands of other Vietnamese continue to be affected by poisonous defoliants used by U.S. forces during the war, and by accidental explosions of buried bombs and shells left over from the fighting.
Kissinger's co-speakers at the Royal Albert Hall
1000: Opening: George Cox, Director General, IOD
1022: Mary Robinson, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
1047AM: Richard Greenhalgh, chairman, Unilever UK
1102: Malcolm Brinded, Shell UK
1145: Henry Kissinger, former US Secretary of State
1422: Sharon Reed and William Sargent, Framestore
1455: William S. Farish, US Ambassador to the UK
1543:: Clare Furse, chief executive, London Stock Exchange
1558: Andrew Pinder, UK government e-envoy
1630: Stephen Covey, business author
Henry Kissinger: America's new challenge
From a speech by the former US National Security Adviser to the Institute of Directors at the Albert Hall, London
25 April 2002 http://www.independent.co.uk
There are problems in the European-American relationship. A new generation is coming into power in Europe and the Soviet threat is gone. On the US side there has been a shift in the geographic locus of power. My generation had experience of Europe, we took vacations there, we knew Europeans. The new generation of US leaders is from the south. It's an explanation of a US policy often termed "unilateral".
At the end of World War Two the generation of leaders had experience in international affairs even though their countries had been greatly weakened by the war. Leaders are now more preoccupied with their own politics at home. For all of these reasons, dialogue has been more difficult. Europe has been absorbed by its own integration. American has, by definition, been sidelined by the events. This is the context in which events are evolving.
For America the most immediate problem has been the terrorist attacks. In Europe every country has suffered direct attacks from abroad. America never had and never imagined it would.
In American history every problem has proved to be solvable. There is a natural proclivity to eliminate the source of danger. This sometimes clashes with the European attitude in which problems sometimes have to be managed rather than solved and in which there are no final solutions.
The great achievement of Britain in the 19th century was that it was able to translate its power into consensus. The challenge for America is to do the same.
Met asked to question Kissinger
Giles Tremlett in Madrid
Guardian - Thursday April 18, 2002
The Spanish judge who was responsible for the arrest of General Augusto Pinochet in Britain in October 1998 is attempting to have Henry Kissinger interviewed by British police when he arrives in London next week.
Judge Baltasar Garzon has told the British authorities via Interpol that he wants the former US secretary of state questioned as a witness in his investigations into the torture, genocide and acts of terrorism allegedly committed by the Chilean dictator and other military strongmen in Latin America.
If the request was accepted, Mr Kissinger - Richard Nixon's assistant for national security from 1969-1973 and secretary of state between 1973-1977 - would have his first ever personal encounter with international human rights law at the hands of Metropolitan police officers, who would present him with a list of questions from Judge Garzon.
Mr Kissinger has managed to avoid similar requests from courts in France and Chile in the past year.
William D Rogers, a member of Kissinger Associates in Washington, said yesterday he believed Mr Kissinger still planned to travel to London and was prepared to "provide whatever evidence his memory can generate". But, he added, Judge Garzon ought to direct his questions to the US state department.
The document sent by Judge Garzon to Interpol on Monday said he needed to know if Mr Kissinger would be in London "in order to request that he declare before the competent authorities in relation to the case in which Augusto Pinochet has been indicted by this court".
Any questions are likely to concentrate on Operation Condor, a secret agreement under which half a dozen Latin American military regimes allegedly agreed to eradicate leftwing opponents. Spanish prosecutors claimed that documents released recently by the CIA showed that the US knew about Operation Condor and trained many of the military officers from the death squads.
Mr Kissinger is not a suspect in the case and would simply be required to answer questions as a witness.
The request to question Mr Kissinger was sparked by lawyers representing victims of Gen Pinochet's regime who spotted an article in The Guardian last month which said that Mr Kissinger was due to be a speaker at the Royal Albert Hall on April 24, as part of a convention organised by the Institute of Directors.
A Met spokeswoman said she was unable to say whether Judge Garzon's request had been received or acted on.
However, an Institute of Directors spokesman said they were still expecting Mr Kissinger to speak at the conference next week.
Prosecuting lawyers were confident yesterday that, due to treaties signed by Britain and Spain on judicial cooperation and terrorism, Mr Kissinger would not be able to avoid questioning in Britain.
"Mr Kissinger has two options: either he can travel and expose himself to questioning or he can not travel," Carlos Slepoy, a Madrid-based prosecution lawyer, said.
"If he does not go, it would be a demonstration that he wants to avoid a justice system which, at the moment, is only asking him what he knows."
Henry Kissinger - If You Want To Kill, Do It Fast [Kissinger quote]
Translated by Maria Gousseva
On April 17, it became known that Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon intended to interrogate ex-US State Secretary Henry Kissinger about the case of Operation Condor. The judge is known with its insistence. That was because of this inquiry several years ago, that the former Chilean dictator was detained in Great Britain. Thanks to Garzon, Russian media magnate Vladimir Gusinsky spent several months in prison. And now Garzon encroached upon Henry Kissinger.
And what's the matter? What is it, the Operation Condor?
It was planned in 1975, in Santiago, at the meeting of police leaders of South America, for fighting against enemies of dictators - Augusto Pinochet (Chile), Hugo Banzer (Bolivia), Alfredo Stroessner (Paraguay), Figeredo (Brasilia) - and governments Isabel Peron (Argentina) and Juan Maria Bardaberri (Uruguay). A system was created for exchange of information, physical annihilation of suspect elements and for coordination of "death squadrons" activities in Argentina, Bolivia, Brasilia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Ecuador, and Chile. "Death squadrons" acted in spite of national borders. This could be seen from archives found in Paraguay in 1992. So, in 1975 in Rome, Chilean Vice President Bernardo Leighton (who was Vice President in Christian democrat Eduardo Frei's government and convinced opponent of Salvador Aliende, as well as of Pinochet) and his wife were wounded.
In 1976, in Washington, foreign minister of Aliende's government, Orlando Letelier (to the point, Henry Kissinger's friend) was killed in a car explosion. Among the greatest victims of Operation Condor, there was general Carlos Prats, Uruguayan politicians Selmar Michelini and Hector Gutierrez Ruiz. Main supporters of such actions were Chileans, while their main executor was DINA - secret political police with colonel Manuel Contreraz, whose direct curator was Augusto Pinochet.
So, and why Henry Kissinger? It is not a secret that Americans did their best to avert Salvador Aliende' coming to power. This could be seen from minutes of Committee 40 sittings, headed by Henry Kissinger. The committee worked out and coordianted activities aimed initially at averting Aliende's coming to power, and afterwards - at weakening and destabilizing his government. It was not without Kissinger's assistance, that FBI helped Pinochet to identify and to detain in Paraguay Chilean oppositionist George Isaak Fuentez Alarchon.
Interrogations and tortures of Alarchon were leaded by Contreras, paid by CIA. These data could be found in CIA memorandum from August 1978 and which was declassified several years ago, as well as other documents of the Department of State and of FBI.
Apropos, Baltasar Garzon was not the first who tries to interrogate Henry Kissinger. May 28, 2001, a similar attempt was made by French judge Roge Le Loir. Though, former Secretary of State, who was in Paris at that time, did not come according to subpoena and hastily left French capital. At that he was supported by US embassy in Paris and by State Department of the US which discreetly informed French side that for receiving information diplomatic channels should be used. While Le Loir addressed to Washington in 1999 through diplomatic channels, but he received no answer.
One more judge, Argentine Rodolfo Canocoba Chorral investigating cases of human rights' violation, kidnapping and murders of dissidents by Latin-American special services in 2001 took a decision about imprisonment pending trial of Jorge Rafael Videla (1976-1981 Argentine dictator) and about arrest if his property in sum of 1 million dollars because of accusing him of implication in a criminal organization carrying out Condor Operation. In the framework of the case, kidnapping of at least 80 people is being investigated. The judge addressed to the Interpol to arrest ex-Paraguayan dictator Alfredo Stroessner, Manuel Contreras and three officers and a policemen from Uruguay, who committed over 20 kidnappings in Buenos Aires. The judge confirmed that he could call ex-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and ex-Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. Rodolfo Chorral hoped in particular that through putting Henry Kissinger to the investigation, it will manage to get new information about Operation Condor.
While Chilean judge Juan Gusman Tapia who carried on the case of Pinochet addressed to US authorities asking for permission about receiving information from Kissinger about the fate of US journalist Charles Horman, killed by Pinochet's agents in 1973. Apropos, Horman became pre-image of main character of well-known Costa-Gavras film "Missing" which was awarded in 1982 with US Academy of Cinema's prize. According to one of the authors of a book about Videl, Kissinger once said to Argentine foreign minister of dictatorship time: "If you want to kill, do it fast." Therefore, now US administration defends a person, who is wanted to testify in two continents.
Baltasar Garzon hardly will be more lucky than his colleagues from other countries. However, the Spanish judge is known with his insistence and his principles. So, the "great Henry" should better not appear in Spain in the nearest future, not to get to prison.
One more time it should be noticed that US authorities fully mastered the principle of double standards. For the sake of justice (as it is understood in Washington) the White House is ready to send soldiers even to Antarctica. While at the same time, it did not want to help to other countries' justice. For, Kissinger is being called only to testify. Could it be, that official Washington is afraid of Kissinger's evidence to damage US prestige as the main bastion of democracy? Probably, it is really so. Therefore, ex-Secretary of State hardly will appear before Spanish trial.
April 24 2002 - protest rally at Royal Albert Hall as Kissinger dares to come to London
Stop Kissinger and the Corporate Criminals
Henry Kissinger, the world's greatest living war criminal, is coming to speak to top business people in London. http://www.resist.org.uk/diary/kissinger.html
Come to the Protest - People Not Profit, Peace Not War!
8.30am, Wednesday 24 April
Royal Albert Hall
South Kensington tube
The talk is being organised by the terminally misguided Institute of Directors who are contactable at (0207) 766 8919
Henry Kissinger was Richard Nixon’s Secretary of State, his second in command.
He was a driving force behind the US war on Vietnam which killed 1 million Vietnamese people.
Kissinger was directly responsible for ordering the carpet-bombing of Cambodia in 1969.
He gave full backing and military assistance to the Pinochet coup in Chile, later sanctioning the murder of Orlando Letelier in Washington in 1976.
Kissinger backed the Pakistani government in opposing Bangladeshi indpendence. Once again he supplied arms and intelligence.
He gave the go-ahead for the Indonesian invasion of East Timor in 1975. Over 200,000 people were killed as a result.
He was also responsible for souring relations between Turkey, Greece and Cyprus, a division which still produces murder and maiming.
Kissinger’s legacy of American brutality around the world survives. He remains a hero to the warmongers in Washington and Downing Street.
Kissinger is arriving in London to talk to the top 2,000 businessmen in Britain. He has his snout in the corporate trough too. Kissinger Associates’ clients have included Union Carbide, Coca-Cola, American Express, ITT Lockheed, Arco and HSBC.
About the 2002 Institute of Directors Annual Convention
The Annual Convention is the Institute's flagship event attracting over 2500 directors annually and is an essential date in your diary - informative, interactive, and inspiring and not to be missed.
The IoD Annual Convention is Europe's largest gathering of business leaders and the most prestigious event in the UK corporate calendar.
Attended every year by some 2,500 senior business decision-makers and their guests, the Convention is addressed by business and political leaders of unrivalled stature. It is your opportunity to learn from these inspirational individuals and understand how the most crucial issues in today's world will effect your business.
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explore business opinion on the most crucial, and controversial issue of the moment
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enjoy the rare opportunity to learn from, and by inspired by Dr Henry Kissinger - one of the world's most respected individuals
understand the relationship between globalisation and corporate social responsibility
network with over 2000 fellow business leaders
hear Dr Stephen Covey - one of Time magazine's top 25 most influential Americans and author of world-famous The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
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Kissinger cancels Brazil visit to avoid protests
Story Filed: Tuesday, February 26, 2002 12:42 PM EST
Sao Paulo, Feb 26, 2002 (EFE via COMTEX) -- Former U.S. Secretary of State and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Henry Kissinger cancelled a planned March visit to Sao Paulo to avoid protests by human rights groups, the Brazilian press said Tuesday.
These groups allege that Kissinger supported "Operation Condor" - a collaborative effort by the military regimes of Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Paraguay to track down their political enemies in the 1970s - during his time in office.
Kissinger had intended to visit Sao Paulo March 12-13 to participate in the 65th anniversary of the Israelite Congregation of Sao Paulo, one of the largest Jewish organizations in Brazil. He was also to be awarded the Cruzeiro do Sul (Southern Cross) Order of Merit by President Fernando Henrique Cardoso.
Kissinger informed event organizers of his decision, citing "unforeseen" circumstances, several newspapers reported Tuesday.
Jewish community leaders, however, told the press that fear of protests from human rights groups was the real motive for Kissinger's cancellation.
"It is unofficially known that Kissinger, after being informed of objections by certain groups (to the award), decided to avoid a politically embarrassing situation," Rabbi Henry Sobel of the Sao Paulo Israelite Congregation said.
Several human rights groups have collected signatures in the last few weeks petitioning Cardoso not to bestow Brazil's highest honor on Kissinger.
"We strongly urge (the government) not to bestow this honor, in the name of democracy, human rights, and human dignity," said a message from one group posted on the Internet.
Students protest as Kissinger visits college
The Irish Examiner - Thursday 28 Feb 2002
by Sean O'Riordan and Brian O'Mahony
ANGRY students protested at former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's visit to University College Cork yesterday.
Dr Kissinger was shielded by gardaí and college security staff as he made his way into the university's Boole library.
More than 400 students took part in the protest, chanting "The Hague not the Boole" and "No grand prize for genocide", claiming Dr Kissinger should be indicted for war crimes. They then held a minute's silence for what they called the victims of Dr Kissinger's foreign policy.
Two women from the Cork Atlantis Foundation approached gardaí manning the barriers and demanded they arrest Mr Kissinger.
English and sociology student Tracey Ryan, from Tipperary, said: "I'm outraged that he was invited here, especially as there was no consultation with the students."
Dave Edmond, 55, said: "I came to join the students. If we didn't protest we'd be genuflecting to American power."
Once inside Dr Kissinger said: "I have not responded to accusations like this in the past."
He dismissed the claims against him as "distortions and misrepresentations of the facts". He added: "Things have been taken out of context. They are fundamentally beneath contempt."
During the questions and answers session after the conference Dr Kissinger rejected out of hand suggestions that the US "illegally bombed Cambodia" during the Vietnam war.
He said that when President Richard Nixon took office 500 Americans were dying every week in Vietnam.
After "repeated warnings" to the North Vietnamese to quit the Cambodia region bordering Vietnam, the US had bombed the area.
The zone that was attacked had been cleared of Cambodians and the country did not object to the campaign. That was a matter of record, Dr Kissinger said.
Groups including the Cork Peace Alliance, Earthwatch and the Socialist Party joined in yesterday's protest.
Dozens of students sat in front of Dr Kissinger's car. Gardaí warned them they could be arrested for obstruction but the students refused to budge.
They braced themselves for trouble but the gardaí suddenly dispersed, leaving the protesters perplexed.
It later emerged that Dr Kissinger had been taken out a back door.
Visiting Kissinger enraged by link to Milosevic
Olivia Kelleher - Irish Independent - Thursday 28th February 2002
FORMER US Secretary of State, Dr Henry Kissinger, denied being a war criminal yesterday, claiming it was an insult to human intelligence for protestors in Cork to compare him with Slobodan Milosevic.
Protestors at University College Cork chanted and waved banners bearing the slogan 'The Milosevic of Manhattan' prior to the arrival of the 56th US Secretary of State, who was in office during the controversial Nixon administration.
"These people are throwing around allegedly criminal charges without a shred of real evidence. I don't know who they represent but I wish their knowledge equalled their passion."
The elderly statesman, who was visiting the university to deliver a speech at an MBA Association of Ireland business conference, said he has never replied to derogatory remarks in the media.
"I consider them (the accusations) fundamentally beneath contempt. They are based on distortions and misrepresentations."
The focus of Kissinger's' address was on US foreign policy particularly in aftermath of September 11.
Dr Kissinger said the international scene is experiencing an extraordinary period of change for which there is no historical precedent. One of the biggest challenges facing the US administration, he said, was to bring countries together to prevent the spread of biological and chemical weapons.
Dr Kissinger's visit was condemned by human rights organisations who claim he flouted international law in his dealings with Bangladesh, Chile and East Timor.
The Irish Times
Saturday 2nd March 2002
HENRY KISSINGER IN CORK
Sir, - Please allow me to summarise future European foreign policy, as advocated by Dr. Henry Kissinger, speaking in University College Cork:
1. Russia is a threat (or will be, once again, in a few years time).
2. Japan is a threat.
3. China is a threat.
4. The United States is not a threat to anyone.
5. Europe should ally itself with the United States in opposing the threat of 1 to 3 above (and all others).
Our future is secure. - Yours, etc.,
Sir, - I would like to commend the students and workers who gave Henry Kissinger an appropriate welcome TO UCC last Wednesday. Their principled stand throws into relief the moral bankruptcy of the assorted worthies who fêted this grotesque fraud.
Kissinger's crimes against humanity are a matter of public record. For those seeking the "real evidence" demanded by Kissinger in Cork, I would recommend Christopher Hitchens's damning book The Trial of Henry Kissinger (Verso, 2001). - Is mise,
DONAL Ó DRISCEOIL,
Kissinger And Nixon: Elder Bush 'Too Weak' For China
Kissinger Wiretaps to be Released
By Claire Soares - 12Feb02
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former President George Bush was dismissed as "too weak" for a secret breakthrough mission to China in the 1970s by then-President Richard Nixon and his foreign policy adviser Henry Kissinger, according to a White House telephone transcript obtained by Reuters on Monday.
When Nixon proposed Bush as a cloaked emissary for a trip that would eventually pave the way for the reopening of U.S.-Chinese relations, Kissinger responded, "Absolutely not, he is too soft and not sophisticated enough."
The gravelly voiced national security adviser, who ended up undertaking the diplomatic journey himself, added: "Bush would be too weak."
"I thought so, too, but I was trying to think of somebody with a title," Nixon replied. At the time of the call -- April 27, 1971 -- Bush was U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
The transcript is one of more than 20,000 pages documenting Kissinger's telephone diplomacy, which are to be made available to the public after being kept under lock and key for three decades.
On Monday the National Archives took delivery of copies of Kissinger's telephone transcripts made between 1969 and 1974.
A National Archives spokeswoman said the documents would be kept at College Park, Maryland. Researchers will sift through and then officially release them to the public, in a process that could take up to a year.
"These are the Kissinger wire-taps," said Thomas Blanton, director of the National Security Archive at George Washington University, who lobbied for public access to the papers.
"U.S. foreign policy has never been so centralized in two people as it was in the Kissinger-Nixon era. And these transcripts put you in the room when Kissinger's talking to his boss and every world leader," Blanton added.
ACCESS FIERCELY GUARDED
Until recently, Kissinger, 78, fiercely guarded access to his transcripts, saying they were personal and 90 percent of the information was in documents already in the public domain.
His papers were kept in the Library of Congress, with Kissinger designated as the gatekeeper. Five years after his death the papers were due to pass into public hands.
Monday's bequest was his second in a year. After pressure from Blanton's organization, Kissinger last August gave the State Department 10,000 pages of documents. He was secretary of State between 1973 and 1977, under first Nixon and then Gerald Ford.
"Once the State Department took the official position that these were government records then Kissinger could hardly say no when, at our request, the National Archives came calling for the White House transcripts," Blanton said.
German-born Kissinger shaped policies behind major world events of the 1970s, including the growing contact between Israel and the Arab world and U.S.-Soviet arms control talks.
Secrecy was a Kissinger hallmark. After rejecting Bush for the Chinese mission, he went on to negotiate himself on behalf of Nixon to open the Communist country to the West without even telling the then-U.N. ambassador.
Kissinger won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973 for his role in talks to end the Vietnam War.
But in the 1971 declassified transcript he boasted: "Mr. President, I have not said this before but I think if we get this thing working, we will end Vietnam this year."
Kissinger, who set up a consulting firm, continues to be an independent diplomatic mover-and-shaker, recently urging nuclear-armed rivals India and Pakistan to sort out their differences at the negotiating table.
Kissinger addressed SAS at Stirling Lines HQ in January
Is this how bin Laden escaped?
Bruce Anderson says that American fear of casualties almost certainly stopped the SAS from killing Osama bin Laden
Early last month, a distinguished American went to see a British regiment. After more than 30 years at the centre of events, Henry Kissinger has an excuse for being blasé about such excursions. Yet there was none of that on this occasion. The helicopter was fog-bound and it is a long journey to Hereford by road, but Dr Kissinger’s hosts at the SAS’s Stirling Lines HQ were delighted by his obvious enthusiasm. In turn, he was ‘tremendously impressed’ by their ‘high motivation and professionalism’.
The visit was not confined to pleasantries at senior level. The Doctor had a lively meeting with 70 SAS men of all ranks. The regiment is much the least hierarchical outfit in the British army; the respect due to rank has to be earned, and constantly re-earned. As the men are used to speaking their minds to their own officers, they naturally extend the same courtesy to everyone else. Nor are they big on ‘Sirs’. Dr Kissinger was addressed as ‘Boss’ or ‘Boss Kissinger’, which amused him. Indeed, his unstuffiness and evident enthusiasm for vigorous debate impressed a group of men who pride themselves on being hard to impress. ‘Good bloke, that,’ said a sergeant afterwards: probably the most complimentary remark he had ever made about someone of his own sex.
Boss Kissinger rapidly realised that he would have to defend his country. He was talking to men with a grievance, who believed that American generals had let bin Laden escape. Some of Dr Kissinger’s audience had just come back from Afghanistan. They had taken part in the attack on the cave complex at Tora Bora, where two squadrons of the SAS went into action: a significant proportion of its total strength. Fully manned, a squadron has 64 men; not since the second world war have so many SAS men fought in the same engagement.
It is to be hoped that someone will eventually write an account of the battle of Tora Bora, for it was a feat of arms; an epic of skill and courage, even by the standards of the SAS.
And not only British skill and courage. The SAS was fighting alongside Delta Force, the US army’s special forces, and though the Brits did not think that the Yanks were quite their equal, our men were impressed by their men. Delta Force is not the same as the SAS. Much larger, its nearest British equivalent would be the SAS, merged with 3 (commando) brigade and 16 (air assault) brigade. As a result of Afghanistan, there are now pressures in the Pentagon to create an inner-core special force on British lines. Donald Rumsfeld’s enthusiasm for the SAS goes beyond tributes at press conferences; he wants one of his own.
But the SAS was happy enough with Delta Force. It was the American high command which let their own men down, and everyone else. The SAS and Delta Force won a victory for the West. The American generals then ensured that the full fruits of victory could not be harvested.
By the end of the battle, the SAS was certain that it knew where bin Laden was: in a mountain valley, where he could have been trapped. The men of the SAS would have been happy to move in for the kill, dividing themselves into beaters and guns. Going round the side, the guns would have positioned themselves at the head of the valley to cut off bin Laden’s retreat. The beaters would then have swept up the glen. If such a drive had taken place, the SAS is convinced that bin Laden would not have escaped. It would have been happy to fight alongside Delta Force and would have been glad of the assistance of American ground-attack aircraft. But it would also have been confident that it could finish the job on its own.
It did not get the chance. The SAS was under overall US command, and the American generals faltered. Understandably enough, they wanted Delta Force to be in at the death; they would have preferred it if bin Laden had fallen to an American bullet. So would Delta Force; every bit as much as the SAS, its men were raring to go. It was their commanders who held them back.
Being in at such a death involves the risk of death. It seems unlikely that bin Laden could have been bagged without casualties. The men on the ground did not quail at that prospect; the generals on the radio did. They wanted Delta Force to kill bin Laden; they were not prepared to allow their men to be killed in the process. They would not even allow USAF ground-attack aircraft to operate below 12,000 feet. As far as the SAS could tell, their hope was that the ragged-trousered militants of the Northern Alliance would do most of the dangerous stuff — and take most of the casualties — while Delta Force came in for the coup de grâce. Nor were the American generals willing to allow the SAS to win the glory which they were denying to American troops.
So strategy was sabotaged by schizoid irresolution. There followed hours of fiffing and faffing, while gold coins were helicoptered in, to encourage the Northern Alliance. The USA is the greatest military power in the history of the planet, spending well over $300 billion a year on defence, yet everything was paralysed because it would not allow its fighting men to fight. While the generals agonised about bodybags, bin Laden was escaping.
Henry Kissinger tried to put all this in context. He told the SAS that in his first five weeks as National Security Adviser, the US lost at least 400 lives every week in Vietnam, and that was only a small percentage of the total casualties. The scars of those losses in a lost war take a long time to heal.
Naturally, Henry Kissinger was only prepared to explain the American generals’ mindset, not to criticise it. There are reports that Secretary Rumsfeld is less restrained, and that he has made his dissatisfaction clear. But if Dr Kissinger is right, Mr Rumsfeld will have to do more than that. The SAS formed the firm impression that in Dr Kissinger’s view, Iraq will be the next big target; that it is no longer a question of whether, but when.
If so, it is time for the Americans to discard fantasies about toppling Saddam by airpower plus local surrogates: Northern Kurds, Southern Shia, et al. If the US wants to get Saddam, it will have to go in and get him, with a full-scale invasion. But are the generals who hung back at Tora Bora the right men to invade Iraq?
When Charles Guthrie was Chief of our General Staff, he had a simple principle when choosing generals. His reading of military history had taught him that the generals who rise to the top during long periods of peace are rarely fitted to fight a war. So he was determined to promote men whose temperament was not that of a peacetime soldier, and to ensure that all the key commands in the British army were held by warriors.
It is now time for Donald Rumsfeld to retire a number of his Vietnamised, risk-averse generals, and to replace them with warriors. After all, he will shortly have a war to fight.
Humanitarians Pursue Kissinger for South American Murders
Posted: 3/11/01 18:30:47 Australian Broadcasting Corporation
A Nobel Peace Prize winner has joined court action seeking to try former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger for torture, disappearances and murders in South America during his time in office.
Guatamalan indigenous leader Rigaberta Menchu has joined individuals and human rights groups in the suit against Dr Kissinger and former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet.
Courts in Chile are being asked to rule that the two men were responsible for Operation Condor, a secret agreement between various South American governments to eliminate opposition in the 1970s.
Ms Menchu, who won the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize, has joined the prosecution after meeting with the head of Chile's appeals court.
She says declassified CIA documents will prove that Dr Kissinger and General Pinochet co-authored Operation Condor as part of a wider plan to prevent any leftist governments being elected in South America.
Kissinger accused over Chile plot
Mr Kissinger has denied his involvement
Tuesday, 11 September, 2001, 02:53 GMT 03:53 UK
A lawsuit has been filed against the former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger over his alleged role in the death of the former Chilean army commander, General Rene Schneider, in 1970. The suit was filed in Washington by members of the general's family. They accuse Mr Kissinger of being involved in what they say was a US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) plot to kill him.General Schneider died after resisting a kidnapping attempt which, the family says, was part of a wider plot to prevent the Chilean Marxist leader, Salvador Allende, from becoming president.Mr Kissinger has repeatedly denied any involvement in General Schneider's death. The court action follows several requests by judges in Chile and Argentina judges to question Mr Kissinger over human rights abuses committed during the military regimes of the 1970s.The BBC correspondent in Washington says the lawsuit stems from an investigation by a US television network, which claims that CIA communications contradict Mr Kissinger's version of events. Conspiracy
General Schneider's family say the botched kidnapping attempt took place as part of a covert White House campaign to prevent Socialist Salvador Allende from becoming president.
General Pinochet ousted President Allende
Both Mr Kissinger and his boss, the then-president Richard Nixon, were heavily involved in backing anti-Allende factions in Chile, the indictment alleges. The general was a key player in Chile at the time as he had provided crucial backing to Mr Allende after his narrow presidential election victory on 4 September 1970. In an apparent attempt to remove Mr Allende's military support, coup plotters attempted to kidnap General Schneider, but shot him when he reached for his gun in self-defence. He died two days after the attempt on 24 October 1970 in Santiago's Military Hospital. 'No connection'
Mr Kissinger, President Nixon's national security adviser at the time, and later secretary of state for both Mr Nixon and his successor, Gerald Ford, has always denied his involvement.
Mr Kissinger served under the late former president Nixon
In 1975, a US Senate investigation established that America had indeed backed a coup which eventually brought down Mr Allende three years later, and set up the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet.However, Mr Kissinger testified before the Senate hearing that he cut off all support for the coup plotters the week before General Schneider was murdered.A high-ranking State Department official referred to previously declassified documents about the situation in Chile during the 1960s and '70s, saying "the documents speak for themselves".
Family of Slain Chilean Sues Kissinger, Helms
Military Leader Was Killed in Kidnap Attempt Linked to Nixon Administration
By Bill Miller - Washington Post Staff Writer - Tuesday, September 11, 2001; (same day as the terrorist attack on the World Trade Centre)
The family of Chilean military commander Rene Schneider, who was killed 31 years ago during a botched kidnapping, filed a federal lawsuit in Washington yesterday accusing Henry A. Kissinger, Richard M. Helms and other officials in the Nixon administration of orchestrating a series of covert activities that led to his assassination.
The lawsuit, which attorneys said is based heavily upon recently declassified CIA documents, seeks more than $3 million in damages from Kissinger, Helms and the U.S. government for "summary execution," assault and other civil rights violations. It alleges that Schneider was targeted because he stood in the way of a military coup designed to keep leftist Salvador Allende from taking power as Chile's president. At the time, Kissinger was Nixon's national security adviser, and Helms headed the CIA.
The suit revisits one of Chile's most notorious crimes and marks the first time that high-level U.S. officials have been sued in connection with the shooting. Schneider was the left-leaning head of the Chilean Armed Forces, and his murder was long considered to have been carried out by right-wing extremists within the military. The suit focuses on U.S. government ties to the assailants that were described in the declassified papers.
"The United States did not want Allende to assume the presidency, and my father was the only political obstacle for a military coup," said Schneider's eldest son, also named Rene Schneider, who resides in Chile. He and his brother, Raul, an artist living in Paris, are the named plaintiffs. "Obviously, he had to be taken out of the way."
The family chose to sue after carefully reviewing the materials that became public in the past two years, Schneider said. The documents, he said, "made me realize that my father's death is perhaps the one crime perpetrated outside the U.S. that most clearly links back to the U.S. government, the CIA, and Kissinger in particular.
"I don't want revenge," he said. "I want the truth to be established."
Kissinger did not return a telephone message left at his New York office. Helms denied wrongdoing but would not discuss details, saying that he hadn't seen the suit and that "it's a long and complicated case."
In his 1979 autobiography, Kissinger denied involvement in Schneider's death. He wrote that the group that tried to kidnap Schneider "proceeded on its own in defiance of CIA instructions and without our knowledge."
The role of the United States in Schneider's death has been studied for years. A Senate committee in 1975 found evidence that U.S. officials hoped to instigate a coup to stop Allende and provided arms and encouragement to those plotting the general's kidnapping. But the committee said its evidence showed the CIA had withdrawn support of the kidnapping before it was carried out and never envisioned that he would be killed.
Thousands of additional documents were declassified in recent years and provided a more comprehensive account of what happened. In addition, the CIA provided a report to Congress last year that detailed the agency's activities in Chile in the early 1970s.
According to the Schneider family, the materials showed that the CIA continued to encourage a coup in the days leading to the kidnapping. The CIA also provided $35,000 to some of those jailed for Schneider's death, the suit said.
"Every single factual assertion in this complaint is based on a document that has been furnished by the U.S. government," said Michael E. Tigar, the family's attorney.
The chain of events began Sept. 15, 1970, when Nixon met with Kissinger and Helms and ordered that action be taken to prevent Allende from assuming office after an election in which he had won the most votes. According to the lawsuit, Nixon said he was not concerned about risks and authorized $10 million to be spent on a military coup.
But military officials in Chile made clear that Chile's commander in chief, Schneider, would not go along with a coup, the suit said. The lawsuit said Kissinger and the CIA supported a secret plan to kidnap Schneider so that the military could take over before Allende's election could be approved by Chile's Congress.
On the morning of Oct. 22, 1972, after two aborted kidnapping attempts, Schneider was ambushed en route to work. The general's car was surrounded by about six cars, and struck from behind by one of them. The kidnappers smashed the back-seat windows on both sides. As Schneider was getting out his gun to defend himself, the assailants shot him. He died three days later at a military hospital, one day after Allende's victory was ratified.
Allende remained in power until a 1973 military coup that was indirectly supported by the CIA; he killed himself while under siege. Gen. Augusto Pinochet then began a 17-year reign in which thousands of people were killed or tortured. Pinochet was arrested in London in 1998 and indicted in Chile last year. But an appellate court recently suspended the legal proceedings because of concerns about his mental fitness for trial.
Military courts in Chile found that Schneider's death was caused by two military groups, one led by Roberto Viaux and the other by Camilo Valenzuela. Viaux and Valenzuela, both generals, were convicted of charges of conspiring to cause a coup, and Viaux also was convicted of kidnapping. The CIA aided both groups, the lawsuit said.
In a section of his autobiography entitled "The Coup That Never Was," Kissinger recounted the September 1970 meeting with Nixon and the plans to move forward with a secret coup agenda. He said there was less to the plan "than met the eye" because Nixon had a history of backing off plans as their implications became clearer.
Kissinger wrote that he ended the plan Oct. 15 and that Viaux's group acted on its own. He also wrote that no one, not even Viaux, ever intended to assassinate Schneider.
Peter Kornbluh, a Chile expert at the nonprofit National Security Archive, who lobbied for full declassification of Chile documents, said the lawsuit could force Kissinger, Helms and others to provide more information about what took place.
"This crime was Chile's equivalent of the Kennedy assassination at the time," Kornbluh said. "It was an unparalleled, unprecedented act of political terrorism."
Kissinger has faced other recent scrutiny. In May, he declined to appear before a French judge who wanted to question him about allegations of human rights violations in Latin America during the 1970s. He referred the request to the State Department.
Staff writer Anthony Faiola, staff researcher Robert Thomason and special correspondent Pascale Bonnefoy contributed to this report. Bonnefoy reported from Santiago, Chile.
Family To Sue Kissinger For Death
1970 Kidnapping Of General Led To Death - Was Henry Kissinger To Blame?
September 9, 2001
60 Minutes has learned that the family of a murdered Chilean general plans to file a lawsuit seeking damages against Henry Kissinger for his alleged role in the death of Gen. Rene Schneider, the commander of the Chilean Army who was killed by kidnappers in 1970. Citing recently declassified government documents, the civil suit is expected to claim that the CIA supported a kidnapping plot which led to the death of the Chilean general. The CIA’s support for the kidnapping was part of a larger effort by the Agency to instigate a coup in Chile – an objective ordered by President Nixon and overseen by Kissinger. Bob Simon reports.
Rene Schneider Jr., son of the late general, tells Simon, “I always wanted to put all this behind me, but we have a duty to humanity to speak about this. It would be irresponsible to remain silent.” Accounts of the former U.S. ambassador to Chile and the embassy’s former military attaché - both of whom appear in the report - and the documents tell the Cold War story of the Nixon administration’s desire to thwart leftist politician Salvadore Allende’s successful election to Chile’s presidency. The Nixon White House sought a military coup in Chile before Allende’s inauguration, but Schneider, a constitutional defender, stood in the way. Schneider was shot by the would-be kidnappers when he reached for his revolver.
Kissinger declined to speak to 60 Minutes, but when questioned about Chile in the past, he has responded that he personally cut off support for the coup conspirators during a meeting with the CIA on Oct. 15, 1970, a few days before Schneider’s murder. CIA officials, however, differed with Kissinger on this point in subsequent investigations. The Senate committee that investigated the matter could not determine who was telling the truth.
Chile Judge May Question Kissinger
SANTIAGO, July 5 (AP)- Thursday July 5 4:30 PM ET
The judge who indicted Gen. Augusto Pinochet wants to question former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger about the assassination of an American filmmaker in Chile during the former dictator's rule, a court official said Thursday.
Judge Juan Guzman has prepared more than 50 questions to be posed to Kissinger about the killing of Charles Horman shortly after the 1973 coup led by Pinochet, Supreme Court clerk Carlos Meneses said. Guzman also prepared questions for Nathaniel Davis, the U.S. ambassador to Chile at the time.
No details about the questions were immediately available, but they are believed to center on any knowledge the U.S. officials may have had about the case. The Supreme Court must approve the questions before they are sent to Kissinger and Davis through the Foreign Ministry and the State Department. Approval is considered certain.
Kissinger was former President Richard Nixon's assistant for national security affairs from 1969 to 1973 and was secretary of state from 1973 to 1977.
Guzman, who indicted Pinochet on human rights charges, is also handling a criminal lawsuit filed in Chile against the former ruler by Horman's widow, Joyce. Horman was arrested Sept. 17, 1973, six days after the bloody coup in which Pinochet toppled Marxist President Salvador Allende.
He was taken to the main Santiago soccer stadium, which was used as a detention camp, where he was killed. According to an official report, hundreds were tortured and executed at the site. Horman's case was the subject of the film "Missing," starring Sissy Spacek and Jack Lemmon.
Joyce Horman's legal action against Pinochet is sponsored in Chile by local lawyers Sergio Corvalan and Fabiola Letelier - sister of Orlando Letelier, a Chilean socialist killed by a car bombing in Washington, D.C., in 1976. That crime was subsequently traced to Pinochet's security services.
Joyce Horman came to Chile last December to file suit against Pinochet. At the time, she said she decided to act because documents declassified by the Clinton administration had shed new light on her husband's case. "I hope to get more truth and more justice, and I expect the United States government will support this effort," she said.
The 85-year-old Pinochet, meanwhile, remained at the Santiago Military Hospital recovering from dental surgery. "My father has deteriorated, his condition has worsened," Pinochet's younger son, Marco Antonio, said as he left the hospital after visiting his father. Pinochet's daughter, Lucia, angrily rejected suggestions by opponents that the hospitalization may be an attempt to escape legal problems, saying: "We do not lie about my father's health."
Pinochet been hospitalized repeatedly in recent months - times that coincided with rulings in his legal fight against trial on human rights charges.
Rulings are expected as early as next week on appeals he has filed over his indictment on charges of covering up 18 kidnappings and 57 homicides in the case known as the "Caravan of Death," a military operation that executed political prisoners shortly after the coup.
Kissinger shuns summons
By Patrick Bishop in Paris - 31/05/2001 - Daily Telegraph
HENRY KISSINGER, the former US Secretary of State, left Paris yesterday after declining to answer the questions of a French magistrate seeking information about political killings in Chile.
The American embassy told Judge Roger Le Loire that he should ask the State Department for details of American knowledge of the murder and disappearance of political opponents - including five French nationals - under the Pinochet regime after the 1973 coup.
Mr Kissinger was visiting Paris when police delivered a summons to the Ritz, where he was staying, asking him to present himself at the Palais de Justice.
The embassy later sent a letter to M Le Loire saying other obligations had prevented the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize winner from replying to the request and that he should direct his questions to Washington through official channels.
A State Department spokesman said it would pass on to the French authorities what information it had about the disappearance of French citizens during the post-coup era.
Maitre William Bourdon, representing families of the missing French nationals, said Mr Kissinger - Secretary of State from 1973-77 - had a duty to tell what he knew. M Le Loire is pursuing a campaign to discover the fate of the five French people who went missing in the years after Gen Pinochet came to power.
One, Jean-Yves Claudet-Fernandez, disappeared during an operation codenamed "Condor" in which Chile and other South American regimes co-operated to eradicate political opponents. M Le Loire says the Americans knew about the plan.
US bars Kissinger in Pinochet probe
BBC - Tuesday, 29 May, 2001, 13:36 GMT 14:36 UK
A US embassy has reportedly told a French judge probing the 1970s disappearance of French citizens in Chile that it does not want him to question former secretary of state Henry Kissinger.
French Judge Roger Le Loire is looking into allegations that five French citizens who disappeared in Chile during General Augusto Pinochet's military regime were kidnapped and tortured. French justice officials on Monday delivered a summons to a Paris hotel where Mr Kissinger was staying on a private visit. But the US embassy in Paris told a French court that Mr Kissinger had other obligations and was unable to appear, judicial sources said on condition of anonymity.
The former US secretary of state under Presidents Richard M Nixon and Gerald Ford, was under no legal obligation to answer the summons. A spokesman for the US embassy said officials wished the court had not gone directly to Mr Kissinger with the request.
"We understand that the court is examining a period when Dr Kissinger was an official of the US Government," spokesman Richard Lankford said. "We therefore believe the court should present its request through government channels to the Department of State."
Lawyer William Bourdon, who represents families of French citizens who disappeared during the 1973-1990 Pinochet regime, had requested the summons. Mr Kissinger's testimony is wanted in connection with alleged exchanges between US and Chilean secret services that took place after the 1973 coup that brought General Pinochet to power.
A Chilean judge has indicted General Pinochet on homicide and kidnapping charges, holding him responsible for the atrocities committed by the Caravan of Death, a military group that executed 75 political prisoners shortly after the coup in which the general ousted President Salvador Allende.
General Pinochet is currently under house arrest and awaiting trial in Chile.
The Trial of Henry Kissinger by Christopher Hitchens (Verso, £15)
Saturday June 16, 2001 - The Guardian
The United States believes that it alone pursues and indicts war criminals; nothing in its political or journalistic culture allows for the fact that it might be harbouring or sheltering such a senior one. Yet one man has now grasped what so many others have not: if Augusto Pinochet is not immune then no one is. And that man is now extremely twitchy.
It is hard to imagine that the pudgy man in the black tie who picks up $25,000 for an after-dinner speech, is the same man who ordered or sanctioned the destruction of civilian populations, the assassination of inconvenient politicians and the kidnapping and disappearance of soldiers, journalists and clerics who got in his way. But it is.
In writing this book I have been amazed by the wealth of hostile and discreditable material, such as the betrayal of the Iraqi Kurds and the support for South African destabilisation of Angola, that I have been compelled to omit.
Morally repulsive as these may be, I have limited myself to those Kissingerian offences, as revealed in declassified documents, for which there is a prima facie case for prosecution on counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and offences against international law.
Kissinger symbolises the pornography of power. In 1968, he was negotiating a Vietnam peace treaty in Paris for President Johnson. He did a deal with the Republicans to sabotage the peace negotiations to help secure Richard Nixon's election to president. In return, the world's self-styled "greatest peacemaker" would be promoted under the new administration. Kissinger's venality extended the war by four years and cost the lives of millions of Vietnamese, Cambodians and Laotians - not to mention many thousands of US servicemen.
Indictments should also include deliberate mass killings of civilian populations in Indochina, collusion in mass murder and assassination in Bangladesh, the personal planning of the murder of General Schneider in Chile, involvement in a plan to murder Archbishop Makarios in Cyprus and the incitement and enabling of genocide in East Timor.
In the name of innumerable victims, it is time for justice to take a hand. So, Harold Evans and Tina Brown, the next time Kissinger attends one of your elegant soirees, rather than fawning to him, why don't you arrest him?
And if you really are pressed: The digested read, digested ...
A compelling polemic that makes Hitler seem like a straightforward kinda guy, and will leave Augusto Pinochet and Slobodan Milosevic hoping they get to do their time in solitary
Research on Kissinger carried out by Trident Ploughshares 2000
"In the United States, as you know, we are sympathetic with what you are trying to do here." - To Augusto Pinochet, June 8, 1976
"I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its people." - About Chile prior to the CIA overthrow of the popularly elected government of Salvadore Allende
"Covert action should not be confused with missionary work." - To Congress in explaining why the US betrayed the Iraqi Kurds in 1975.
Crimes Around the World
Kissinger and Ford visited Jakarta in early December, 1975. Less than 48 hours after they left, Indonesia invaded East Timor, beginning a genocidal campaign that would claim the lives of over 200,000 East Timorese. Philip Liechty, the CIA desk officer in Jakarta, said, "They came and gave Suharto the green light. Š We were ordered to give the Indonesian military everything they wanted. I saw all the hard intelligence; the place was a free-fire zone. Women and children were herded into school buildings that were set alight - and all because we didn't want some little country being neutral or leftist at the United Nations."
The CIA sponsored the 1973 coup against the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende, funding reactionary military elements and helping them to draw up lists of over 20,000 people to be assassinated after the coup. Kissinger was an integral part of this, arguing for the coup as above. He was also in charge when Chilean secret police murdered Orlando Letelier and Ronnie Moffit in Washington in 1976.
In 1969, Kissinger and Nixon authorized the "secret" bombing of Cambodia, a neutral country, followed by the overthrow of its legitimate government in 1973. "U.S. B-52s pounded Cambodia for 160 consecutive days [in 1973], dropping more than 240,000 short tons of bombs on rice fields, water buffalo, villages Š and on such troop positions as the guerrillas might maintain." All of this against a peasant society with no air defense whatsoever. Estimates are that over 500,000 people were killed, and the country's agricultural base destroyed, leading to widespread starvation.
Not only did Kissinger and Nixon continue the war for several years, after saying they wouldn't, they escalated it in many ways. They mined North Vietnam's harbors and reinstated the bombing of North Vietnam, ordering the massive bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong, some of the most severe aerial assaults in history. Their policies resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese, and the destruction of the country.
Kissinger is also responsible for crimes in too many other countries to name, including Palestine, where his support for Israel enabled them to continue their occupation of the West Bank and other areas, and Bangladesh, where Nixon's "tilt" toward Pakistan caused the murder of millions.
'U.S. backed invasion of E.Timor'
East Timor and the USA Source: The Hindu (http://www.hinduonnet.com) By Amit Baruah
SINGAPORE, DEC. 7 (2001). Twenty-six years to the day, the Indonesian dictator, General Suharto, ordered his troops to invade East Timor with the full backing of the United States Government, declassified documents posted on the website of the National Security Archive of the George Washington University show. Operation Komodo was launched on December 7, 1975, a day after Gen. Suharto held talks with the then U.S. President, Mr. Gerald Ford, and the powerful Secretary of State, Dr. Henry Kissinger, in Indonesia.
A declassified ``secret'' cable dated December 6, 1975, shows a confident Gen. Suharto pushing Mr. Ford and Dr. Kissinger on the East Timor issue, something which the two leaders have been quiet about. Gen. Suharto: ``....It is now important to determine what we can do to establish peace and order for the present and the future in the interest of the security of the area and for Indonesia. These are some of the considerations that we are now contemplating. We want your understanding if we deem it necessary to take rapid or drastic action.``
Mr. Ford: ``We will understand and will not press you on the issue. We understand the problem you have and the intentions you have.''
Dr. Kissinger: ``It depends on how we construe it; whether it is in self-defence or it is a foreign operation. It is important that whatever you do succeeds quickly. We would be able to influence the reaction in America if whatever happens after we return....we understand your problem and the need to move quickly but I am only saying that it would be better if it were done after we returned....whatever you do, however, we will try to handle in the best way possible.''
Mr. Ford: ``We recognise that you have a time factor. We have merely expressed our view from our particular point of view.'' To a question from Dr. Kissinger whether a long guerrilla war was anticipated in the then Portuguese colonial possession, Gen. Suharto responded: ``There will probably be a small guerrilla war....the UDT (Timorese Democratic Union) represents former Government officials and Fretilin (Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor) represents former soldiers. They are infected the same is the Portuguese Army with communism.'' With those words, Gen. Suharto ended the conversation on East Timor and turned to the issue of ``trade relations'' between Indonesia and the United States. And, then, there was no stopping Gen. Suharto. He sent in his troops, who according to one account, killed between 60,000 to 100,000 East Timorese in the period 1975-76 alone.
Both Mr. Ford and Dr. Kissinger seemed to be smarting from the debacle of Vietnam and the fall of Saigon in April 1975. In an earlier meeting with Gen. Suharto at Camp David on July 5, 1975, Mr. Ford said: ``Let me say that we are as firmly committed and interested in Southeast Asia. The events in Indochina have in no way diminished our interest or commitment in the area.''
The issue of East Timor and possible Indonesian action was raised by the General at the Camp David meeting. He told Mr. Ford, as per the contents of another declassified document, ``....The third point I want to raise is Portuguese decolonisation....with respect to Timor, we support carrying out decolonisation through the process of self-determination.''
``In ascertaining the views of the Timor people, there are three possibilities: independence, staying with Portugal, or to join Indonesia. With such a small territory and no resources, an independent country would hardly be viable. With Portugal it would be a big burden with Portugal being so far away. If they want to integrate into Indonesia as an independent nation, that is not possible because Indonesia is a unitary State. So the only way is to integrate into Indonesia,'' the document, as seen on the website, said.
So, Gen. Suharto had prepared his ground well before acting as he did. He had softened the Americans up before making his move. There is little doubt that the Indonesian dictator, who ruled his country for 32 long years, comes across as a canny politician, who had no doubts about his course of action.
US Endorsed Indonesia's East Timor Invasion: Secret Documents
Thursday, December 6, 2001 by Agence France Presse
The United States offered full and direct approval to Indonesia's 1975 invasion of East Timor, a move by then-president Suharto which consigned the territory to 25 years of oppression, official documents released Thursday show.
The documents prove conclusively for the first time that the United States gave a 'green light' to the invasion, the opening salvo in an occupation that cost the lives of up to 200,000 East Timorese.
General Suharto briefed US president Gerald Ford and his secretary of state Henry Kissinger on his plans for the former Portuguese colony hours before the invasion, according to documents collected by George Washington University's National Security Archive.
When Ford and Kissinger called in Jakarta on their way back from a summit in Beijing on December 6, 1975, Suharto claimed that in the interests of Asia and regional stability, he had to bring stability to East Timor, to which Portugal was trying to grant autonomy.
"We want your understanding if we deem it necessary to take rapid or drastic action," Suharto told his visitors, according to a long classified State Department cable.
Ford replied: "We will understand and will not press you on the issue. We understand the problem you have and the intentions you have."
Kissinger, who has denied the subject of Timor came up during the talks, appeared to be concerned about the domestic political implications of an Indonesian invasion.
"It is important that whatever you do succeeds quickly, we would be able to influence the reaction in America if whatever happens, happens after we return.
"The president will be back on Monday at 2:00 pm Jakarta time. We understand your problem and the need to move quickly but I am only saying that it would be better, if it were done after we returned."
The invasion took place on December 7, the day after the Ford-Suharto meeting.
Kissinger has consistently rejected criticism of the Ford Administration's conduct on East Timor.
During a launch in 1995 for his book "Diplomacy," Kissinger said at a New York hotel it was perhaps "regrettable" that for US officials, the implications of Indonesia's Timor policy were lost in a blizzard of geopolitical issues following the Vietnam War.
"Timor was never discussed with us when we were in Indonesia," Kissinger said, according to a transcript of the meeting distributed by the East Timor Action network -- which advocated independence for East Timor.
"At the airport as we were leaving, the Indonesians told us that they were going to occupy the Portuguese colony of Timor. To us that did not seem like a very significant event."
The documents also show that Kissinger was concerned at the use of US weapons by Indonesia during the East Timor invasion.
By law, the arms could only be used in self defense, but it appears that Kissinger was concerned mostly on the interpretation of the legislation -- not the use of the weapons.
"It depends on how we construe it, whether it is in self-defense or is a foreign operation," he is quoted as saying.
The eastern part of the island of Timor, situated north of the Australian coast, was invaded by Jakarta in 1975 and annexed the following year.
After a 25-year independence campaign and guerrilla war, the territory voted overwhelmingly for independence in August 1999 in a referendum which triggered a wave of murderous violence by pro-Jakarta militias.
Restoring Chile's Past by Marc Cooper
Sunday, June 3, 2001 - Los Angeles Times
When the names of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger popped up intertwined in the news last week, it was a magical moment for human rights activists worldwide. For Kissinger, no doubt, it was something very different: a source of great displeasure, certainly, and perhaps a harbinger of worse things to come.
Last Monday, an appeals court in Santiago ordered Pinochet to submit to the humiliation faced by any common criminal: to have his fingerprints and mug shots, front and profile, taken by the national police. The former general's defense lawyers are still fighting bitterly to spare him this humiliation.
But the battle was lost even before their defeat last week. For those of us who survived Pinochet's 1973 military coup and his ensuing 17 bloody years of dictatorship, and especially for the relatives of those who didn't, the fight has never been about the narrow issue of hauling the 85-year-old former general before a police camera or a magistrate's bench. Much more important has been to correct the historical record and to forever bestow upon Pinochet and his collaborators their soiled legacy: primary responsibility for the murder, or "disappearance," of more than 3,100 civilians, and the systematic torture and jailing of ten of thousands of others. The human rights battle in Chile transcended individual trials and focused on rescuing and restoring a collective, historic memory that was nearly expunged by the powerful and the arrogant.
Which brings us to Kissinger. At roughly the same hour that this latest decision in the Pinochet case came down, agents of the French police arrived at the Ritz Hotel in Paris, where Kissinger was participating in a seminar, and served him with a summons requesting that he testify as a witness in the investigation of five French citizens who disappeared under Pinochet's rule.
The summons, which carried no legal obligation for Kissinger to appear, was issued at the request of William Bourdon, a lawyer representing the French victims. Bourdon insists it is "essential" that the former secretary of state testify, given the manifold exchanges between the U.S. and Chilean intelligence services at the time Kissinger was overseeing the U.S. foreign policy apparatus.
Kissinger, who first served as President Richard M. Nixon's national security advisor and then as secretary of State from 1973 to 1977 under both Nixon and Gerald R. Ford, was neck deep in U.S. intrigues that led to Pinochet's ascension. Kissinger was point man in the covert plotting by the U.S. to destabilize and overthrow the elected Chilean government of Socialist Salvador Allende, for whom I served as translator in the early 1970s. One of those plots resulted in the kidnap and murder of Chilean Army Chief of Staff Rene Schneider. Recently declassified U.S. documents suggest that Kissinger and the Nixon administration actively supported Pinochet's 1973 coup against Allende, in which the Chilean president perished, and more than a century of Chilean democratic rule was ended.
Those same documents further reveal that Kissinger's State Department had knowledge of "Operation Condor," a scheme concocted by Pinochet and other South American dictators to coordinate the assassination of opposition leaders. The most dramatic of those killings took place just blocks from Kissinger's Foggy Bottom offices in September 1976, when Pinochet's secret police set off a car bomb in downtown Washington D.C., killing Chilean dissident Orlando Letelier and his American associate Ronni Moffit.
While Kissinger obviously has much he could tell about these dark chapters, he ignored the French summons and flew on to Italy. The U.S. Embassy in Paris told the French court that issued the subpoena that it did not want Kissinger questioned, and that he had other pressing "obligations." It was not surprising. As the Chileans like to say, in this world there are Big Dogs and Little Dogs. And Kissinger is about as big as they get.
But he should neither be cocky nor confident, for his circumstances are starting to become tantalizingly similar to the discredited dictator he once coddled. When Chilean courts originally refused to prosecute Pinochet, his victims turned to international venues for justice. In 1998 Pinochet, while on a private visit to London, was finally arrested by British police acting on a warrant issued by crusading Spanish Judge Baltazar Garzon. Garzon has been investigating the deaths of Spanish citizens in Operation Condor.
In Kissinger's case, it is Parisian Judge Roger Le Loire who has been investigating the disappearance of his countrymen into the macabre abyss of Condor, and he has already issued his own warrant for Pinochet's arrest. Two years ago, Judge Le Loire reportedly sent a request to the Clinton administration asking permission to question Kissinger, but his request was ignored. So when Kissinger showed up on his own private visit to Paris last week, the judge allowed attorney Bourdon to send police to his hotel with the written request to testify.
In Argentina, yet another magistrate, Federal Judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral, told reporters a few days ago that as part of his own probe into Operation Condor, he will most likely subpoena Kissinger as either a "defendant or suspect."
The Argentine judge, nevertheless, went on to muse that getting Kissinger to actually show up would be "very problematic." After all, Kissinger's place in history still rests primarily on his reported mastery at shuttle diplomacy, on his reputation for brilliance as a geo-political strategist, on his lucrative corporate and media consultancies, and on his winning of the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize.
But then again, as recently as 1998, Pinochet was also a snarling and fearsome Big Dog, considered absolutely untouchable by human law. In the face of overwhelming prima facie evidence of massive crimes, only a single courageous Chilean judge dared to entertain even the most basic charges against him. When the general retired from his armed forces command in 1998, the U.S. press celebrated him (with only casual mention of his human rights record) as the prescient architect of a pro-American, free-market economic model. The post-Soviet Russians held him up as an example of inspired anticommunist governance. His own country lauded him as a "liberator," rewarding him with the title of senator-for-life.
And yet, a scant three years later, reduced to something more like a whimpering puppy, stripped of his parliamentary immunity, wanted by a long list of European courts and under formal indictment in Chile, Pinochet pathetically scampers to avoid putting inked fingers to paper.
One way or another, the registry of Augusto Pinochet's fingerprints and mug shots will take place. And the images of the fallen hero that will flash around the globe will be sure to haunt the midnight nightmares of Henry Kissinger. As they well should.
Marc Cooper is a contributing editor to the Nation and author of "Pinochet and Me: A Chilean Anti-Memoir."
U.S. Victims of Chile's Coup: The Uncensored File By DIANA JEAN SCHEMO
New York Times - February 13, 2000
Twenty-six years ago, as the forces of Gen. Augusto Pinochet overthrew the Socialist government of Salvador Allende, two American supporters of President Allende were killed in Chile under circumstances that stirred suspicions of C.I.A. involvement.
American officials categorically denied any role in the young men's deaths, which were dramatized in the 1982 movie "Missing."
Compelled by the Freedom of Information Act, the government in 1980 released the results of classified internal investigations, heavily censored in black ink, that appeared to clear the American and Chilean governments of any responsibility.
But now, those thick black lines have been stripped away. Spurred by the arrest of General Pinochet in 1998, President Clinton has ordered the declassification of "all documents that shed light on human rights abuses, terrorism and other acts of political violence during and prior to the Pinochet era in Chile."
Some of those documents make clear for the first time that the State Department concluded from almost the beginning that the Pinochet government had killed the men, Charles Horman, 31, and Frank Teruggi, 24. The investigators speculated, moreover, that the Chileans would not have done so without a green light from American intelligence.
"U.S. intelligence may have played an unfortunate part in Horman's death," said one newly declassified memo. "At best, it was limited to providing or confirming information that helped motivate his murder by the government of Chile. At worst, U.S. intelligence was aware the government of Chile saw Horman in a rather serious light and U.S. officials did nothing to discourage the logical outcome of government of Chile paranoia."
With most of the blacked-out portions now restored, the documents declassified by the State Department illustrate how exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act -- a law that was meant to reduce secrecy -- can be misused.
Two principal exceptions that the department used allow the government to withhold information on the grounds of national security and executive privilege. "They're not protecting national security information at all," said Peter Kornbluh of the nonprofit National Security Archives, which promotes the declassification of government documents. "Preventing embarrassment is not an exemption clause."
Even after extensive Senate intelligence committee hearings in the 1970's, the American role in the overthrow of Mr. Allende remains a matter of dispute and conjecture. Mr. Kornbluh said that other government agencies responsible for carrying out United States policy in Chile, including the C.I.A. and the Pentagon, have so far failed to release key records on the era.
Regarding Mr. Horman's death, Mark Mansfield, a spokesman for the C.I.A., recently released a 22-year-old letter denying any role by the agency and said it would show the public files on the case this spring.
The State Department refused to address questions about the two deaths, saying few of the people involved in the case still work for the government. The former officials, most of them retired and scattered around the country, largely disavow any responsibility for what happened.
Mr. Horman's widow, Joyce, is hoping that enough has changed to finally learn what really happened to her husband. She is asking for Washington's help in her quest for an honest explanation of his murder from the new Socialist government in Chile.
"I want to know who gave the order," said Mrs. Horman, who has never remarried. "Nobody's held accountable."
Her husband and Mr. Teruggi were friends who belonged to a group of young left-of-center Americans attracted by Mr. Allende's socialist experiment in the early 1970's. In Santiago, they worked for a newsletter that reprinted articles and clippings from American newspapers critical of United States policy.
When General Pinochet seized power on Sept. 11, 1973, Mr. Horman was at Viña del Mar, a coastal resort, with Terry Simon, a family friend from New York who was vacationing in Chile.
Ms. Simon said she and Mr. Horman saw American warships offshore and spoke to American naval officers stationed in nearby Valparaiso, who appeared elated at the coup's success. The two interpreted what they saw as proof of American connivance in the military takeover.
Eager to return to Santiago, they rode back with Capt. Ray E. Davis, chief of the United States Military Group at the American Embassy, who had been making his weekly visit to the naval station.
Two days later, as General Pinochet's forces moved to arrest thousands of people around the country, men in military uniforms abducted Mr. Horman, ransacking his apartment. His wife, Joyce, was out at the time. She never saw him again. Ms. Simon searched with Joyce for Mr. Horman and eventually flew home to New York.
Around the same time, security forces arrested Mr. Teruggi and his roommate, David Hathaway, at their apartment. They were held at the national stadium with thousands of other political prisoners. Mr. Teruggi never returned from his second interrogation.
Mr. Hathaway was released alone and later flew home to the United States.
A friend identified Mr. Teruggi's body in the government morgue. His throat had been slashed, and he had been shot twice in the head.
The search for Mr. Horman was more tortuous. His father, Edmund, flew in from New York to help. He and Mr. Horman's wife followed whatever leads they could, keeping in close touch with the embassy, which supplied escorts and pressed Mrs. Horman for a list of her husband's friends. Doubting the diplomats' motives, she says, she never supplied it.
Captain Davis, now 74 and retired, said in a recent interview that he had nothing to do with the deaths and he appeared offended by the resurgence of questions about the killings.
He talked of his close ties to the Chilean military during his time there and said he had welcomed General Pinochet at his home, but was in no position to demand that Chilean Army commanders answer for the killings, and had not been ordered to do so. "We weren't down there to cause trouble," he said. "We sold them weapons."
He called Mr. Teruggi and Mr. Horman "part of the problem" in Chile. "They were down there handing out pamphlets against the government," he said.
The two men, actually, had been supporting the Allende government, not the one Captain Davis hoped to see in power. He corrected himself: "against the people who were trying to do something about it."
The Hormans have long contended that despite the embassy's avowal that it was doing all it could to find Charles, its officials would merely confirm information the family had obtained for itself. Taken together, the newly released documents support their suspicions.
It was not until 1976 that the State Department took a critical look at the killings. The move was prompted by a disaffected Chilean intelligence officer, Rafael González, who told reporters that he had witnessed Mr. Horman being held prisoner by Chile's chief of intelligence.
Mr. González quoted the intelligence chief as saying Mr. Horman "had to disappear" because he "knew too much," and said a man he presumed was American was in the room.
Mr. González also described a "cozy relationship" between American and Chilean intelligence services to destabilize the Allende government, and said that American operatives had even given their Chilean counterparts lists of suspected leftists to be rounded up in the first days of a military takeover.
(In its hearings, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence found that the C.I.A. had in fact compiled arrest lists but said it had no evidence that they were passed to the Chileans. Those lists are among the documents the C.I.A. has not released.)
Facing pressure from Congress, the State Department ordered two internal reviews in 1976. The first, completed in August, was carried out by Rudy V. Fimbres, regional director for Bolivia and Chile in the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs. The second was conducted by Frederick Smith, a State Department lawyer, in November and December.
The investigators were permitted to examine only documents either publicly released or already available in the State Department. Their reviews appeared to confirm doubts and inconsistencies that American newspapers had already reported but that State Department officials had repeatedly discredited.
The documents showed that an embassy official had received a tip that Mr. Horman had already been killed before his father arrived in Chile. That tip was not followed up.
Instead, embassy officials told Edmund Horman that leftists may have kidnapped his son, contradicting their own cables home, which quoted neighbors who said they had witnessed Chilean security forces taking Mr. Horman away.
The internal reviews also questioned the time of Mr. Horman's death, saying there was no reason to accept the Chilean government's assertion that he died just before the American Embassy learned of his disappearance.
The Pinochet government had ignored numerous requests from the United States for an autopsy report on Mr. Horman, the documents show.
One review asked why Captain Davis, who had driven Mr. Horman and Ms. Simon to Santiago, had taken their registration card from the hotel where they were staying.
Captain Davis at first denied that he had taken the card, but changed his mind when read a passage from a letter he wrote to one of the investigators, now among the declassified documents, mentioning the registration card.
"I don't see why it's important," he said.
The Horman family believes the card was given to the Chilean military, and tipped them off to the new address of the Hormans, who had moved just a few days before.
"Based on what we have," the first inquiry concluded, "we are persuaded that the government of Chile sought Horman and felt threatened enough to order his immediate execution. The government of Chile might have believed this American could be killed without negative fall-out from the U.S. government."
The memo said that there was "circumstantial evidence" that the C.I.A. "may have played an unfortunate part in Horman's death," as well as Mr. Teruggi's. It also said the State Department had the "responsibility" to refute baseless allegations and "to proceed against U.S. officials if this is warranted."
The second investigation, completed a month before Gerald Ford's presidency ended, drew a similar conclusion. It blamed the Chilean government for both deaths and said it was "difficult to believe" that the Pinochet government would have carried out the killings without some signal, perhaps even an inadvertent one, that the deaths would not cause "substantial adverse consequences" in Washington.
The memo -- to Harry W. Shlaudeman, the assistant secretary of state for inter-American affairs -- recommended interviewing Mr. González, the disaffected Chilean intelligence officer, again and going back to the C.I.A. for a full accounting.
"If an explanation exists," a memo in the investigation said, "it does not appear in the files and must be sought elsewhere."
But both inquiries appear to have ended there. Mr. Shlaudeman himself recommended interrogating Mr. González further, even submitting a detailed list of questions for the purpose that the C.I.A. was allowed to review. But he dismissed the call for investigating the actions of the C.I.A.
Interviewed recently, Mr. Shlaudeman said that he remembered little about the issue. "A lot of things have happened since then," he said.
Until jarred loose by General Pinochet's arrest in London in October 1998, these reports remained largely hidden from the public.
In 1978, State Department officials debated how much of the documents to show the Horman family, which was then suing the United States government for "wrongful death," a case that was dismissed "without prejudice," meaning that it could be reopened.
One official, Frank McNeil, then deputy assistant secretary of state for inter-American affairs, urged the department to err on the side of greater disclosure.
"Classification should not be used to prevent embarrassment of government agencies or officials, which would be the principal reason for withholding when one gets down to the bone," he said.
Nonetheless, the documents released to the Hormans omitted large swaths of material on the grounds of national security and executive privilege.
Experts note that executive privilege protects the president's deliberations with his advisers, in this instance Henry A. Kissinger, who served Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford as secretary of state.
Dr. Kissinger said he had never seen the documents or the recommendations and had been out of the country much of the time. "It's very easy, 30 years after the event, to be so heroic and to create the impression that one had nothing else to do except follow one particular case," he said.
"If it were brought to my attention I would have done something."
Mr. Fimbres himself, who is now retired, said recently that he was not surprised at the State Department's apparent failure to pursue the investigation further.
"Something like this easily goes into the black hole," he explained. "And everybody watches it go down."