May 4, 2004 -
On April 20, I wrote in
this article, which ran with the headline, "The Choice Of
Negroponte, Who Oversaw Our Central American Policy During the Death
Squad Days, Shows Bush’s Determination To Use Brutality To Subdue…":
"The need for silencing and
squelching the opposition groups with brutal tactics that the
public never hears about now exists in Iraq as it once did in
"Negroponte’s appointment as
Ambassador to Iraq is a horrible, horrible occurrence, and shows
what is next in the Iraq War for America.
We asked the question a long time ago, and it is more
pertinent now than ever: has Saddam been replaced with nothing
more than a Saddam who happens to reside in Washington?"
As is so frequently the case, once again
we at The Moderate Independent nailed it right on the head before
anyone else was even paying attention.
A week later our John Ashton wrote in a
"(Senator Christopher J. Dodd, D-CT)
knows Negroponte lied (ie the issue of "candor") last time the
nation gave him its trust, oversaw illegal operations, covered
up horrible, butcherous human rights abuses, and he knows
President Bush is now nominating him as our Ambassador to Iraq,
putting him in exactly the position to cover up horrible abuses
once again (in fact, it seems the only reason President Bush
would have taken Negroponte away from his UN post to put him
Look at the last part of that sentence
again: "…it seems the only reason President Bush would have taken
Negroponte away from his UN post to put him there," for the sake of
having a man with experience covering up human rights abuses.
Now we hear today that the military has
known about these abuses for months. As
CNN reports, "(Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld… (noted that) a
criminal investigation was under way and publicly disclosed three
months before what he called "deeply disturbing" photographs were
broadcast last week."
For three months the Bush administration
has known about this, and they didn't tell Congress and they didn't
take any action. Prior to CBS - against the wishes of the Bush
administration - airing the photos of the abuses on 60 Minutes, the
Bush administration's only actual action taken in response to these
reports of abuse was to… appoint Negroponte as Ambassador to Iraq.
They didn't immediately go after the people committing the abuse or
intervene to stop it, they sat on it. They didn't share the
information with the Congress, never mind the nation. Even more,
they broke out the king of covering up such abuses, set out to put
him on the case so that, as he did in Nicaragua (read the articles
above for the details,) Negroponte could make sure no more of these
abuses get reported.
Again, not to stop the abuse, but to get
the abuse out of future reports.
Likely when the Bush administration
caught wind of the report a couple of months back, they scrambled to
find a way to cover it, thus Negroponte's appointment. Today,
numerous Senators are up in arms that even they weren't informed
that the abuses were occurring. McCain, Kennedy, and other Senators
made livid speeches today, furious that they had been kept out of
The simple reality is - as we reported
two weeks ago and again last week, and as no one else will have the
courage to report right now - that the appointment of Negroponte as
Ambassador to Iraq was a direct acknowledgement on the part of the
Bush administration that there either were going to be human rights
abuses that they wanted covered up rather than stopped. They were
pulling Negroponte away from his role as UN Ambassador so he could
work the magic he did back in the day in Central America, fronting
for the death squads, covering up torture, submitting reports that
reported no human rights abuses in the midst of horrible torture and
We told you this was what the
appointment of Negroponte meant, and just two weeks later you see we
were exactly right. No one else will make the connection at this
point - the connection we made even before we had evidence torture
and other abuses were occurring - that the appointment of Negroponte
was a deliberate move on the part of the Bush administration to send
in someone who had experience covering up human rights abuses so as
to allow them to occur without being reported or getting punished.
Yes, it would sound absurd to all of you
- if we hadn't made this case before this all came out. But when
exactly what you predict is the case shows up as you said it would,
it is time to put doubt behind and acknowledge the likely reality:
that the Bush administration sought - and seek - to cover for human
rights abuses in Iraq rather than stop them.
You can bet Dodd won't be smart enough
to put the obvious 2 and 2 of Negroponte and the abuses together.
Then again, even if he did he would simply say, "Please don't do
this anymore, if you don't mind."