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    Ambassador to Death Squads: Who is John Negroponte?

    The Bush administration would have us believe that peace and
    prosperity for Iraq are just around the corner now that L. Paul
    Bremer has ‘officially’ handed over the reigns of power to the
    Iraqi Governing Council, clicked his ruby slippers, and flown back
    to the homeland. But the horrific resume of John Negroponte, the
    occupying empire’s new ambassador to Baghdad, suggests that Iraq’s
    nightmare is just beginning. Stains on his record include the
    U.S.-backed death squads in Honduras where he was ambassador in the
    early ’80s, covering up Israel’s embarrassing treatment of
    Palestinians as U.S Ambassador to the U.N., and his tenure as
    Executive Vice President for Global Markets of The McGraw-Hill
    Companies, which stands to make a pretty penny on rebuilding
    Iraq.

    Calling Negroponte ‘merciless commander’ of Iraq would be more
    apt. As Ghali Hassen writes in CounterPunch, ‘He will be
    protected by high concrete walls, barbed wires and an occupation
    force of more than 150,000, including several thousand foreign
    mercenaries armed to the teeth with the most violent tools.’ And
    his legacy of bringing peace to a war-torn region isn’t very
    salivating. During Negroponte’s tenure in Honduras, U.S. military
    aid increased from $5 to $100 million, turning the ‘banana
    republic’ into a virtual American puppet state, from which
    Washington launched its scorched earth ‘war on terror’ to suppress
    workers’ rights uprisings all over Central America. According to
    Hassen, kidnapping, rape, torture, and executions of dissidents
    were rampant under Negroponte’s watch, as the Honduran military’s
    top and middle ranks were all trained at the infamous School of the
    Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia.

    ‘In 1995 Gary Cohn and Ginger Thompson of The Baltimore
    Sun
    unearthed massive and substantiated evidence from various
    sources pointing the finger at Mr. Negroponte’s knowledge of the
    crimes.’ Hassen continues with an awful foreshadowing of what we
    can expect over the months to come in Iraq: ‘During his years in
    Honduras, Negroponte acquired a reputation, justified, as an
    old-fashioned imperialist, and devoted to Realpolitik. Mr.
    Negroponte will bring to Iraq his version of ‘democracy’ a la Latin
    America, where the people vote for one of two candidates every half
    decade, in which civilian leaders have to obey U.S-controlled
    militaries or face dismissal by military force. Mr. Negroponte will
    find the Iraqi soil fertile for his version of democracy and human
    rights.’
    Jacob Wheeler

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    Ambassador
    to Death Squads: Who is John Negroponte?

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    Published on Jul 1, 2004

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