magazine has published a two part article (in the January
issues) written by Christopher Hitchens
, entitled The Case Against Henry Kissinger
. These very lengthy documents (50+ pages) outline the various nefarious
activities in which Kissinger engaged during his reign as Secretary of State
and thereafter, as head of Kissinger Associates. The purpose of these articles is threefold: first, to provide extensive, referenced information which could be used to begin legal proceedings
against him; second, as a rebuttal of Kissinger's three volume memoirs
; and third, to apply pressure to both the America
and legal system
in the hopes that they may begin to investigate this man's history.
The article is broken up into sections based on the nation(s) affected by Kissinger's action or inaction. The accusations are as follows:
- Chile: Kissinger was intimately aware and involved in the coup d'etat which resulted in the assassination of Salvador Allende and the installation of General Augusto Pinochet in 1973. Following the coup, Pinochet's thugs successfully disappeared (read: murdered) thousands of Chileans, Spaniards and Americans, all with the knowledge and tacit encouragement of Kissinger and the CIA. Money and weapons were provided at Kissinger's instructions to both the Chilean army and to various extremist terrorist factions in both Chile and the surrounding countries (Argentina, Paraguay etc.)
- Cyprus: Kissinger was aware of the plot by the Greek military junta to assassinate the democratically elected President Makarios, and supported their activities which resulted in not only the ousting of Makarios, but also the resultant conflict between Greece and Turkey in Cyprus. Kissinger's defense publicly, during this conflict, was that the United States could not involve themselves in domestic disputes, despite the fact that practically every country in the world recognized the authority of Makarios and the statehood of the island.
- Bangladesh: Kissinger refused to involve the United States either directly (military intervention) or indirectly (economic sanctions) in the conflict in Bangladesh, where in the days following the Pakistani invasion, at least 10 000 civilians were slaughtered. The ostensible reason Kissinger refused to interfere was to maintain positive influence in China. During the invasion and slaughter, American diplomats stationed in Bangladesh and Pakistan urged the American government repeatedly to intervene for the sake of human decency, and Kissinger reacted by (in conjunction with then-President Richard Nixon) recalling the superior American diplomats and thereafter ignoring the actions of the Pakistanis.
- East Timor: Kissinger was intimately aware of the impending invasion by Indonesia and likelihood of genocide prior in 1975. Not only did Kissinger again not act to defend the Timorese or limit the actions of the Indonesians against an independent people, he did so in direct violation of his and the US's obligations under NATO. East Timor was a Portuguese concern, and under NATO's own rules, Kissinger was obligated to support Portugal in defending against Indonesian aggression. Instead, he continued to supply arms to Indonesia under an agreement where those arms were to be used for defensive purposes exclusively, and justified this continued support in stating that, at times, you can defend yourself in a foreign nation. In passing, even Indonesia has admitted that the death toll in the first eighteen months of the invasion was between 50 000 and 80 000.
- Elias P. Demetracopoulos: Kissinger was not only aware of the Greek military junta's plans to kidnap and assasinate the dissident journalist (who was largely responsible for turning American public opinion against the Greeks), but even went so far as to ask the FBI to amass information that might be used to discredit Demetracopoulos and potentially extradite him back to Greece (where, Kissingner knew, he would be killed in short order). He also allowed the American authorities to surveil Demetracopoulos for nearly three years, despite the fact that they did not have the legal authority to do so, as Demetracopoulos was never accused nor suspected of a crime.
According to Hitchens, the information available in the public record is sufficient to begin legal proceedings against Kissinger, and should be more than enough to challenge his unilateral decision to conceal government property. In leaving office, Kissinger took with him all
of his personal files, and deeded them to the Library of Congress
on the condition that they be made public solely after his death. In doing so, he removed government property, and has managed to perform an end-run around the Freedom of Information Act
, thus preventing American citizen
s from knowing what their own government was doing during much of the 1970s.
To conclude, I quote from Hitchens' article directly:
The burden therefore rests with the American legal community and with the American human-rights lobbies and non-governmental organizations. They can either persist in averting their gaze from the egregious impunity enjoyed by a notorious war criminal and lawbreaker or they can become seized by the exalted standards to which they continually hold everyone else. The current state of suspended animation, however, cannot last. If the courts and lawyers of this country will not do their duty, we shall watch as the victims and survivors of this man pursue justice and vindication in their own dignified and painstaking way, and at their own expense, and we shall be put to shame.