Kissinger’s Back

This is a Joke – Right?

by Michael I. Niman ArtVoice 12/12/0 

It’s been a few weeks since I heard rumor of George W. Bush’s appointment of Henry Kissinger, the Butcher of Cambodia, to head up the “independent” investigation of the 9/11 attacks.  The word first came to me in an email.  What kind of silliness is this? I wondered.  I ran it through to check on the origins of what I took for granted to be an incubating urban myth.  But it came up clean.  An hour later, NPR News reported the same story.  It turns it was real. The ol’ smirking chimp got me again – his arrogance knows no bounds.

Maybe my lead here should have read something more like this:  Imagine Klaus Barbie, the Nazi “Butcher of Lyon,” appointed as a judge at the Nuremberg war crimes trials. Or how about Slobodan Milosevic overseeing an investigation of Russian abuses in Chechnya ?  Or maybe Pol Pot leading in inquiry into the Tianamen Square massacre.  Why not?  Having any of these despots, living or dead, lead a human rights investigation would be no stranger than to have Henry Kissinger lead an investigation into terrorist activities.

Terrorist Kissinger

I’m not saying Kissinger isn’t qualified.  When it comes to terrorism, there are few folks with a deeper understanding of the subject than Henry.  As National Security Affairs Advisor under Nixon, and Secretary of State in the Nixon and Ford administrations, Kissinger oversaw a covert U.S. program, Operation Condor, which allegedly sponsored political assassinations and bombings throughout Latin America and ranging as far north as Washington , D.C.  

Kissinger also has a good understanding of government inquiries and commissions, having been interrogated by a few of them – the most notable of which was the Church Commission, where government documents subsequently released showed that Kissinger lied about U.S. covert actions in Chile.

Fugitive Kissinger

But this first hand knowledge doesn’t come without a downside.  The 9/11 investigation, by its very nature, must be international in scope.  This could pose a problem for Henry, whose legal problems around the world limit which countries he can travel to.  Chile and Argentina , for instance, have summoned him to appear in connection with investigations into human rights abuses.  The government of Brazil recently advised Kissinger to cancel travel plans to that country, since they could not guarantee him immunity from prosecution there.  On his last trip to Paris in 2001, Henry had to sneak out of France after being served with a warrant to appear in court in connection with an investigation into human rights violations in Chile , resulting in the murder of French citizens.  He also had similar problems recently in London , where a British court considered bringing him up on charges for war crimes.

While Kissinger is charged with investigating the terrorist attacks that took place on September 11th, 2001 , that date has other significance for him as well.  It’s the day the international media forgot all about the civil suit filed against him in Washington on September 10th, charging him with complicity in the murder of a Chilean government official following a brutal coup, coincidentally, on September 11th, 1973.  That coup, it turns out, was sponsored by the CIA under the direction of Henry Kissinger.   It removed, by murder, the popular democratically elected socialist government of Salvador Allende, which threatened the United States ’ hegemonic relationship with that country since coming to power in 1970.  At that time, an arrogant Henry Kissinger, demonstrating a repugnant disdain for democratic values, told the National Security Council, “I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist because of the irresponsibility of its own people.”  Kissinger’s coup, instead, ushered in two decades of brutal fascism, replete with all the necessary disappearances and extra judicial killings.

Kissinger also has a good understanding of foreign attacks on U.S. soil.  The 1976 murder in Washington , D.C. of a Chilean dissident and an American friend, was, prior to September 11th, 2001 , the worse case of foreign sponsored political violence in the United States ’ post WWII history.  Former Chilean dictator, Gen. Augusto Pinochet, personally ordered the attack, which was carried out by Operation Condor operatives.  He has since been defended rigorously from prosecution by his old running buddy, Henry Kissinger.

Cover-Up Kissinger

Presumably a 9/11 investigation will involve intense perusal of government records, including old State Department documents.  Again, Kissinger is uniquely placed to accomplish this task.  He can start looking in his own basement, since he lifted a few truckloads of potentially incriminating documents from the State Department at the end of his tenure as Secretary of State. 

These documents, along with material from the Reagan/Bushdaddy White House, have the potential to shed a thousand points of light on international terrorism.  The Reagan/Bushdaddy papers were scheduled for public release this year, but their release was illegally blocked by Bushdaddy’s loyal yearling, who no doubt feared a further soiling of the family’s foul name.  These papers are pivotal in any investigation of 9/11, since they document the roles of the Carter, Reagan and Bush Sr. White Houses in creating, funding, arming and training al Qaida. Of course, since we’re in a “state of war,” led by the same, now geriatric, band of clowns who ran the Reagan White House, the study of history has suddenly become off limits.  And with Junior now packing the judiciary with reactionaries who hold an outspoken distain for American values, notions of legality and illegality will continue to be moot points around the White House.

Like the millions of nearly bankrupt Americans who are spending themselves silly this holiday season, the Bush administration, like a band of reckless crackheads, prefers to live only in the present moment.  There is no history we must atone for, nor is there a future we have to responsibly prepare for.  Kissinger, probably more so than anyone else involved with this administration, would be thrilled if we forgot about the past.  It would mean we’d forget about the illegal carpet-bombing of Cambodia and Laos , ordered by Kissinger during the Vietnam War. 

Genocidal Kissinger

Over the course of three years, the U.S. dropped over 100,000 tons of bombs on Cambodia alone, killing an unknown number of people and making over two million Cambodians homeless.  Four of Kissinger’s top Republican aids quit in protest, with Kissinger branded them as “representing the cowardice of the Eastern Establishment,” the same crew that ironically produced the Bush dynasty.  As the war wound down, Nixon’s ambassador to Cambodia , Emory Swank, described Kissinger’s Cambodian foray as “ Indochina ’s most useless war” – a telling statement considering the carnage that region experienced during the Cold War.  Two years later, Cambodia , destabilized by the Kissinger-ordered reign of destruction, fell to the Khmer Rouge, whose “Killing Fields” proved to among the most barbarous humanity has ever seen.  The Khmer Rouge, incidentally, were supported by the Reagan/Bush White House, since they were an enemy of Vietnam, and as in the case of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, the enemies of our enemies are our friends, such as they are.

Grotesque as the Cambodian slaughter was, it was rivaled by the 1975 Indonesian invasion of the former Portuguese colony of East Timor , which resulted in the deaths of 200,000 of that tortured nation’s population of 600,000.  The Timorese genocide, as historians have come to call it, had Henry Kissinger’s bloody fingerprints all over it.  The Indonesian military, which carried out the attack, was armed and trained by the United States under the direction of the Kissinger State Department.  Henry himself was in Indonesia meeting with President Suharto on the day before Suharto ordered the invasion.  Kissinger’s green light meant that the United States would sand silent in the face of the Timorese slaughter.  Suharto was out friend.  And the Timorese, among the world’s poorest people, had nothing to offer us.

Kissinger’s bloody hands were also instrumental in orchestrating the carnage in Angola , where he directed the U.S. to arm and train that country’s brutal UNITA mercenary army, and in Iraq , where he supported a Kurdish rebellion, only to later abandon the Kurdish fighters to an Iraqi slaughter. 

Corporate Kissinger

Few despots in recent history have had a reign as long and as bloody as Henry Kissinger’s.  When he left government work, where his primary function was to serve the global interests of American multinational corporations, he started his own consulting firm, working directly for those corporations, advising their global strategies.  Critics believe that this work ties Kissinger to a number of organizations with connections to Saudi Arabia and interests in the Central Asian oil industry.  With 16 of the 9/11 hijackers hailing from Saudi Arabia , and with the ensuing war in Afghanistan opening up investment opportunities for Kissinger-connected oil companies, there is a clear conflict of interest here.

This is where the current controversy has stalled.  Critics such as Madeleine Albright, a butcher in her own right, are calling for Kissinger to make his client list public.  But gross conflicts of interest are standard fare in the Bush White House.  His V.P. is the former CEO of a company with oil construction contracts in Iraq and Central Asia .  His father is employed by a company owned in part by the bin Laden family.  The list goes on and on and is quite lengthy, and would require a few articles just to wade through it. We’ve come to expect conflicts of interest and unbridled greed from this crew.  With Kissinger, however, we’re looking at something much bigger than mere Bush-as-usual corruption and conflicts of interest: Kissinger is one of the last century’s greatest war criminals and supporters of terrorism.  This is a strong statement considering humanity has never known a century as bloody as the 20th  but Kissinger is up there with the worse despots history has produced. 

The audacity of the Bush crew in reviving this devil from the ashbin of history is beyond comprehension. 

And then there’s Poindexter.


Dr. Michael I. Niman’s previous columns and articles are archived at  The best single source of well-documented facts about U.S. Military and CIA interventions during the Kissinger era, is former State Department operative William Blum’s book, “Killing Hope.” 


©Copyright 2003

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