Henry Kissinger, who coddled state-sponsored terrorists, has been put in charge of the September 11 terrorism investigation. A proven liar has been assigned the task of finding the truth. President George W. Bush’s naming of Kissinger to head a supposedly independent commission to investigate the nightmarish attacks of September 11 is a sick, black-is-white, war-is-peace joke–a cruel insult to the memory of those killed on 9/11 and an affront to any American who believes the public deserves a full accounting of government actions or lack thereof.
Consider the record.
Vietnam. Kissinger assisted a GOP plot to undermine the 1968 Paris peace talks to help Richard Nixon’s presidential campaign. Once in office, Nixon named Kissinger his National Security Adviser, later appointing him Secretary of State. As co-architect of Nixon’s war in Vietnam, Kissinger oversaw the secret bombing of Cambodia, an arguably illegal operation estimated to have claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians.
Bangladesh. In 1971 Pakistani Gen. Yahya Khan, armed with US weaponry, overthrew a democratically elected government in an action that led to a massive civilian bloodbath. Hundreds of thousands were killed. Kissinger blocked US condemnation of Khan. Instead, he noted Khan’s “delicacy and tact.”
Chile. In the early 1970s Kissinger oversaw the CIA’s covert campaign that assisted coup-plotters, some of whom eventually ousted the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende and installed the murderous military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. On June 8, 1976, at the height of Pinochet’s repression, Kissinger had a meeting with Pinochet and behind closed doors told him that “we are sympathetic to what you are trying to do here,” according to minutes of the session (quoted in Peter Kornbluh’s forthcoming book The Pinochet File).
East Timor. In 1975 President Gerald Ford and Kissinger, still Secretary of State, offered advance approval of Indonesia’s brutal invasion of East Timor, which took the lives of tens of thousands of East Timorese. For years afterward, Kissinger denied that the subject ever came up during the December 6, 1975, meeting he and Ford held with General Suharto, Indonesia’s military ruler, in Jakarta. But a classified US cable obtained by the National Security Archive shows otherwise. It states that Suharto asked for “understanding if we deem it necessary to take rapid or drastic action” in East Timor. Ford said, “We will understand and will not press you on the issue. We understand the problem you have and the intentions you have.” The next day, Suharto struck East Timor.
Argentina. In 1976, as a fascistic and anti-Semitic military junta was beginning its “dirty war” against supposed subversives–between 9,000 and 30,000 people would be “disappeared” by the military over the next seven years–Argentina’s foreign minister met with Kissinger and received what he believed was tacit encouragement for his government’s violent efforts. According to a US cable released earlier this year, the foreign minister was convinced after his chat with Kissinger that the United States wanted the Argentine terror campaign to end soon–but not that Washington was dead-set against it. The cable said the minister left his meeting with Kissinger “euphoric.” Two years later, Kissinger, then a private citizen, traveled to Buenos Aires as the guest of dictator Gen. Jorge Rafael Videla and praised the junta for having done, as one cable put it, “an outstanding job in wiping out terrorist forces.” As Raul Castro, the US ambassador to Argentina, noted at the time in a message to the State Department, “My only concern is that Kissinger’s repeated high praise for Argentina’s action in wiping out terrorism…may have gone to some considerable extent to his hosts’ heads…. There is some danger that Argentines may use Kissinger’s laudatory statements as justification for hardening their human rights stance.”