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Folks:

I know that there are two diaries already up on Negroponte.  However, I am going to try to start a fact center here for the urgent need for information regarding Bush's new controversial selection for the National Intelligence post.

See below.  Will update as facts progress.

Talking Point:

John Negroponte is an unsuitable candidate for National Intelligence Director.

Mr. Negroponte was a key figure in the Iran-Contra affair. As Ambassador to Honduras from 1981 to 1985, he helped direct the covert war against the Sandinista government of Nicaragua. He has also been charged as collaborating with the Honduran government in the training of so-called "death squads" and in carrying out other human rights abuses. These charges have never adequately been answered.

Themes, Memes and Symbols:

John Negroponte. Iran-Contra. Human rights abuses. Death squads. Bishop Romero. Disappearance and murder of dozens of Nicaraguan nuns. Illegal war against the Sandinistas. Torture.

I'm getting things started with this long quote from Wikipedia.  It details some of what will be the biggest objections to Negroponte's nomination, his dealings in Honduras.

Biography
Negroponte was born in London. His father was a Greek shipping magnate. He graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1956 and Yale University in 1960. He later served at eight different Foreign Service posts in Asia, Europe and Latin America; and he also held important positions at the State Department and the White House. From 1997 until his appointment as ambassador to the UN, Negroponte was an executive with McGraw-Hill. Negroponte speaks five languages. He is the brother of Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's MIT Media Lab.


Ambassador to Honduras
From 1981 to 1985 Negroponte was US ambassador to Honduras. During his tenure, he oversaw the growth of military aid to Honduras from $4 million to $77.4 million a year. At the time, Honduras was ruled by an elected but heavily militarily-influenced government. According to The New York Times, Negroponte was responsible for "carrying out the covert strategy of the Reagan administration to crush the Sandinistas government in Nicaragua." Critics say that during his ambassadorship, human rights violations in Honduras became systematic.

Negroponte supervised the construction of the El Aguacate air base where Nicaraguan Contras were trained by the US, and which critics say was used as a secret detention and torture center during the 1980s. In August 2001, excavations at the base discovered 185 corpses, including two Americans, who are thought to have been killed and buried at the site.

Records also show that a special intelligence unit (commonly referred to as a "death squad") of the Honduran armed forces, Battalion 3-16, trained by the CIA and Argentine military, kidnapped, tortured and killed hundreds of people, including US missionaries. Critics charge that Negroponte knew about these human rights violations and yet continued to collaborate with the Honduran military while lying to Congress.

In May 1982, a nun, Sister Laetitia Bordes, who had worked for ten years in El Salvador, went on a fact-finding delegation to Honduras to investigate the whereabouts of thirty Salvadoran nuns and women of faith who fled to Honduras in 1981 after Archbishop Óscar Romero's assassination. Negroponte claimed the embassy knew nothing. But in a 1996 interview with the Baltimore Sun, Negroponte's predecessor, Jack Binns, said that a group of Salvadorans, among whom were the women Bordes had been looking for, were captured on April 22, 1981, and savagely tortured by the DNI, the Honduran Secret Police, and then later thrown out of helicopters alive.

In early 1984, two American mercenaries, Thomas Posey and Dana Parker, contacted Negroponte, stating they wanted to supply arms to the Contras after the U.S. Congress had banned further military aid. Documents show that Negroponte brought the two with a contact in the Honduran armed forces The operation was exposed nine months later, at which point the Reagan administration denied any US involvement, despite Negroponte's participation in the scheme. Other documents uncovered a plan of Negroponte and then-Vice President George H. W. Bush to funnel Contra aid money through the Honduran government.

During his tenure as US ambassador to Honduras, Binns, who was appointed by President Jimmy Carter, made numerous complaints about human rights abuses by the Honduran military and he claimed he fully briefed Negroponte on the situation before leaving the post. When the Reagan administration came to power, Binns was replaced by Negroponte, who has consistently denied having knowledge of any wrongdoing. Later, the Honduras Commission on Human Rights accused Negroponte himself of human rights violations.

Speaking of Negroponte and other senior US officials, an ex-Honduran congressman, Efrain Diaz, told the Baltimore Sun, which in 1995 published an extensive investigation of US activities in Honduras:

Their attitude was one of tolerance and silence. They needed Honduras to loan its territory more than they were concerned about innocent people being killed.

The Sun's investigation found that the CIA and US embassy knew of numerous abuses but continued to support Battalion 3-16 and ensured that the embassy's annual human rights report did not contain the full story.

The question of what John Negroponte knew about human rights abuses in Honduras will probably never be answered definitively, but there is a large body of circumstantial evidence supporting the view that Negroponte was aware that serious violations of human rights were carried out by the Honduran government with the support of the CIA. Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, on 14 September 2001, as reported in the Congressional Record (http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2001_cr/s091401.html), aired his suspicions on the occasion of Negroponte's nomination to the position of UN ambassador:

Based upon the Committee's review of State Department and CIA documents, it would seem that Ambassador Negroponte knew far more about government perpetuated human rights abuses than he chose to share with the committee in 1989 or in Embassy contributions at the time to annual State Department Human Rights reports.
Among other evidence, Dodd cited a cable sent by Negroponte in 1985 that made it clear that Negroponte was aware of the threat of "future human rights abuses" by "secret operating cells" left over by General Alvarez after his deposition in 1984.

Appointment to the UN
When President Bush announced Negroponte's appointment to the UN shortly after coming to office, it was met with widespread protest. However, the Bush administration did not back down and even went so far as to try to silence potential witnesses. On March 25 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported on the sudden deportation from the United States of several former Honduran death squad members who could have provided damaging testimony against Negroponte in his Senate confirmation hearings.

One of the deportees was General Luis Alonso Discua, founder of Battalion 3-16. In the preceding month, Washington had revoked the visa of Discua who was Honduras' Deputy Ambassador to the UN. Nonetheless, Discua went public with details of US support of Battalion 3-16.

Negroponte in Iraq
On April 19, 2004, Negroponte was nominated by US President George W. Bush to be US ambassador to Iraq after the June 30 handover. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 6, 2004, by a vote of 95 to 3, and was officially sworn in on June 23, 2004, replacing L. Paul Bremer as the country's head American civilian official.

More news to come as news breaks. I know that some diarists out there -- Soj, I'm talking to you -- are good at taking a bunch of facts and developing a narrative from that that is a lot easier to understand than just a bunch of cuts and pastes like this. If you are one of these diarists, I'd really appreciate seeing something from you.

Originally posted to bink on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 07:01 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Urgent Action Required (3.95)
    Urgent action is needed here.

    I intend to update this diary to contain information that the grassroots needs to know about Amb. Negroponte and why he is unsuitable for this position.  Please familiarize yourself with the background of Mr. Negroponte.

    After The Rapture, we get all of their stuff.

    by bink on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 06:58:46 AM PST

    •  Also (none)
      I am hoping that activists involved in Central American human rights issues in the 1980s will contribute either in their own diaries or in one of the recommended ones their knowledge about this topic.

      After The Rapture, we get all of their stuff.

      by bink on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 07:54:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I appoint myself the official dKos pessimist..... (4.00)
      .....on this issue.

      The more we "...familiarize [ourselves] with the background of Negroponte..." the more it will become apparent that he is the perfect nominee from this admin's perspective. With a torture advovate as AG, a torture profiteer as VP, and the apologists and prevaricators at State and Defense, who else would you think Bush would nominate?

      The scary thing is that his confirmation would bring all the horrors of our foreign policy home.

      Composing The News While The Media Is Decomposing - www.NewsCorpse.com

      by KingOneEye on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 07:57:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Rather (4.00)
        I'd rather lose this battle than not fight it.

        From my office here, there are only so many things that I can do.  The first is to write my Senators, which I intend to do in just a minute.  The second is to rally my personal network to do the same.  Also, planned for this afternoon.  The third is to get the word out here on Daily Kos why Negroponte is not suitable for this role.

        And that is what I am doing now.

        I know that it all seems futile sometimes, but Democracy only works when every individual tries his or her best, no matter how unlikely the desired outcome seems to be.

        I do not accept that I am totally powerless here.

        After The Rapture, we get all of their stuff.

        by bink on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 08:00:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Giving the devil his due (4.00)
        Yes. It absolutely took my breath away to "open" the NYT today and see the article about his appointment, an article, btw, that gave no hint of any controversy about him. Really, I feel staggered by this news, possible because it confirms all the worst we've ever thought about this administration.I looked at the photo of him with Bush behind him and I thought, "They have found Satan his perfect job."

        There's nothing the matter with Kansas

        by Kansas on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 08:28:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  And now we know . . . (4.00)
          . . . why it was so important that Gonzales be confirmed as Attorney General.  You have to have a torture advocate running the AG's office if you have a torture overseer running homeland security.  Save us from this insanity!  
    •  Bink, a favor .. (none)
      some of us on dial-up and older computers can't open long threads so I hope you'll start new diaries (say after 250 posts?) and that you'll ask people to please not post any photos. Thank you! And hugs for doing this invaluable work!

      Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

      by SusanHu on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 08:47:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Okay (none)
        Will do ...

        I have a feeling that this will not generate a huge amount of posts.  Unlike with the Gannon affair, Negroponte's misdeeds are a matter of public record.  There is really not much to dispute here.  He is just the wrong choice.

        After The Rapture, we get all of their stuff.

        by bink on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 08:50:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That would be a tremendous (none)
          shame. Gannon is about proppaganda and Plame. Negroponte is about the continued selling of the soul of America.
          •  I see (none)
            Plame and Gannon and propoganda news as stealing the American soul. Same difference.

            People vote for sunshine, not for gloom and doom!

            by missliberties on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 09:59:30 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I see them as rewriting (4.00)
              and stealing our history, something that can be pieced together with other sources. A grave problem to be sure.

              But Negroponte was involved in torture and murder before it became "progresive." Now we have a President and AG who not only approve of it but are attempting to make it policy.

              Just a few of our friend Negroponte's greates hits, brought to you in this fine Billmon post

                 On the Afternoon of 10 December 1981, units of the Atlacal Rapid Deployment Infantry Battalion (BIRI) arrived in the village of El Mozote, Department of Morazan, after a clash with the guerrillas in the vicinity . . .

                  Early next morning, 11 December, the soldiers reassembled the entire population in the square. They separated the men from the women and children and locked everyone up in different groups in the church, the convent and various houses.

                  During the morning, they proceeded to interrogate, torture and execute the men in various locations. Around noon, they began taking the women in groups, separating them from their children and machine-gunning them. Finally, they killed the children. A group of children who had been locked in the convent were machine-gunned through the windows. After exterminating the entire population, the soldiers set fire to the buildings.

              UN Truth Commission on El Salvador
              The El Mozote Massacre
              April 1, 1993

              snip

                  During 1982 and 1983, approximately 8,000 civilians a year were being killed by government forces. Although the figure is less than in 1980 and 1981, targeted executions as well as indiscriminate killings nonetheless remained the policy of the military and internal security forces, part of what Professor William Stanley of the University of New Mexico has described as a "strategy of mass murder" designed to terrorize the civilian population as well as opponents of the government.

              U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service
              El Salvador
              February 22, 2000
              _______

                  Rufina Amaya, 60, is the sole survivor of the [El Mozote] massacre, in which four of her five children and her husband perished. Her fingers fidget as she recalls darting from a line of women who were about to be shot, and creeping into a bush. She stayed immobile for hours, recognizing her children's voices crying ''Mamita, they're killing us!'' as they were bayoneted.

                  Although she has never received aid of any kind from the government, Rufina says what she really wants is for the perpetrators to ask her forgiveness. After 19 years, she holds little hope it will happen. ''Justice isn't about vengeance, it's a spiritual recognition,'' she says. ''But God is seeing all these things that they deny.''

              Business Week International Edition
              A Murdered Village Comes Back to Life
              March 5, 2001
              Posted by billmon at January 10, 2005 12:40 PM | TrackBack

              These are not only the times that try men's souls, they also damn them to hell.

              •  SOP (none)
                on US foreign policy for years.

                Read "The Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" by John Perkins. It reads like a thriller and is a true story. It explains a lot about our foreign policy, and the way the US has promoted "democracy" around the globe.  It is clear that terrorism has arisen from the way we do business!

                People vote for sunshine, not for gloom and doom!

                by missliberties on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 11:37:34 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Missing my point, (none)
                  I think. There is no doubt that this is not a aberation but we now have an administration that wants to make this our stated policy. Listen to talk radio and the rest of the GOP message machine and wonder at the way they convince their people that this is a/ok.

                  Now here we have a man who is probably the most visible person involved that is being elevated to the highest position in our clandistine services. A man who by all rights should have spent the last 20 years in a dingy cell on the Hague.

                  I swear to God that I am outraged by the lack of outrage on our side on this. Jeebus, we've already fought this fight for 20 years and this is a huge loss. This isn't just acting like it never happened, this is enshrining it. Johnny did such a bang up job that he is now in charge of it all.

                  FUCK.

                  •  It is like (none)
                    we are going to get even with you for ever suggesting that we should create and NID in the first place.

                    Doesn't he kind of look like Chalibi's twin. And remember Chalibi is a double agent.

                    People vote for sunshine, not for gloom and doom!

                    by missliberties on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 12:46:37 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

    •  Bink, you deserve KUDOS (none)
      Fine job... diaries talking about it are good, but a diary about TALKING POINTS is best...

      Having said that, I would like to suggest oneof the strongest talking points is the question of whether or not we need this POSITION or not (not to mention the nominee!). I recall lots of opposition last summer when this was floated. I'm fried this a.m., can't remember things because there is SO much going on... however, if you google opposition and intelligence czar you get several links, one in particular quoting the interim director (before Goss). Note this is from the Wash Times not the Post (Times is a moonie paper, right?), but the quote is from the CIA Director (interim):

      Intelligence 'czar' not needed, CIA chief says

      By Guy Taylor
      THE WASHINGTON TIMES
      July 19, 2004

      The acting head of the CIA yesterday said there is no need to create a national security "czar" to oversee the nation's intelligence community -- something the commission investigating the September 11 attacks is expected to recommend this week. Interim CIA Director John McLaughlin said although a good argument could be made for the "idea of a czar to oversee the entire intelligence community," he added, "it doesn't relate particularly to the world I live in."

      "I see the director of central intelligence as someone who is able to do that and empowered to do so under the National Security Act of 1947," Mr. McLaughlin told "Fox News Sunday."
      On Friday, the Associated Press reported that persons familiar with the September 11 commission's final report said it will recommend the establishment of a Cabinet-level post to oversee the more than a dozen agencies making up the U.S. intelligence community.
      That duty currently falls loosely under the responsibilities of the CIA director. But a separate, widely publicized report this month by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence largely criticized former Director George J. Tenet for not handling the duty effectively.
      Additionally, an earlier report by the September 11 commission said CIA requests often fall on deaf ears at other intelligence agencies because the Pentagon, not the CIA, is in charge of the vast majority of U.S. intelligence-gathering budgets.
      Still, Mr. McLaughlin, who became interim CIA chief when Mr. Tenet resigned July 11, said with some modest changes in the way the CIA is set up, the director of central intelligence could carry out the "czar" function "well and appropriately."

      http://www.washtimes.com/national/20040719-124722-4029r.htm

      -----------

      In our LTEs we need to remind that the position itself is in question, and certainly the nominee is... (we are going to write Boxer, et al right?)

      An unexamined life is not worth living - Socrates

      by crone on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 09:12:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The guy is just another fascist, (none)
      and a blood-soaked one at that.

      Look into his background.  He's the son of a wealthy shipping magnate.  He has attended the finest schools.  He was brought up and groomed inside the bastions of privilege of the internatinoal ruling class.  Even his British-born wife is the duaghter of a righ-wing British corporate fascist.

      Do you people see what's going on here with this adminstration?

      Bush comes from a long line of fascists, one of whom even helped out Hitler.  Cheney is a fascist.

      Negroponte IS a fascist.

      These people believe in the supremacy and superiority of the corporate state, and the expendability of anyone who gets in the way of the captains of this system pursuing their own agendas.

      They are fundamentally elitists who think that becuase they are loaded with money and superior business "successes," they have a right to rule over everybody else . . . including the right to KILL anyone that opposes them.

      These people are the true epitome of EVIL, and since the history of recorded time, it is people like this who have been the biggest banes upon the humanity.  

  •  Thanks bink (4.00)
    I just posted his wikipedia bio on my diary.

    I will be contacting my Senators today and urging them to strongly oppose Negroponte on National Security grounds.

    •  Great (none)
      Please feel free to quote, borrow or link to my diary.  I see you already have done the latter. :)

      After The Rapture, we get all of their stuff.

      by bink on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 07:43:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  God, I just found out about this. (none)
      How awful. Feels like yesterday that I was furiously signing letters and petitions to keep out GWB's shockingly resurrected gang of thugs from Reagan/Bush1 crime days, like Elliot Abrams, Reich, Poindexter, Negroponte ... but they all got thru.Now Negroponte is on to his THIRD appointment, and to such a BAD place for such a BAD man.

      Checking back I see good ole Barbara B, P Wellstone and R Feingold, the usual suspects, voted him down for UN in 2001 on FR committee. However, good ole Go-Along Joe Biden had great praise for him along with his aye, KERRY let him have an aye, and so did Dodd. Those two did that Feinstein thing of asking worried, concerned questions, and then giving Bush the thuggery he asks for. Then it was on to a full Senate vote of confirmation. (We must have an ambassador in the UN, NOW, was the cry. This guy? Let the sub hold the fort till the mass murdering criminal is off the table, please, why dontcha?)

      This latest positioning is just the worst. National Intelligence! ugh. Just  imagine the shit he has participated in and covered up so far, re Iraq, to get to this spot with BushCo.

      As for getting the despicable goods on him, there is so much out there, it is shameful he is out on the street, never mind in an administration. Third World Traveler has much info on such shenanignas. Democracy Now would be a good source. (Amy Goodman's friend/ex-boyfriend, Alan Nairn was/is an ace deep investigative reporter, did much in uncovering the shit in LA  under Reagan ... there will be lots in DN's archives and if you get in touch with her, she may help.

      •  Unfortunately, this is nothing new to our Senators (none)
        However, now, with a more fired up base and with the absolute gravity of putting this man in this position, some of them may dust off the stuff theyve been sitting on and put it to work.

        Another unfortunate aspect is that they made the fatal mistake of being mealy dems in the first place, letting him get through the door back in 2001. How is it going to look, after they approved him two times before, to suddenly say, "Oh my, this bad man cant be put in charge of our security!"

        That's the problem with making these initial deals with the devil. They have a long lifespan.

        They will have to fight him from an angle of not qualified, plus the old shit. And they will have to play like they didnt know what they knew, although that will look pretty silly, all these years later and just a google away.

        (Biden ought to be gagged, the creep.)

  •  Negroponte in Honduras (4.00)
    From Disinfopedia:

    Honduras
    During his tenure as US ambassador to Honduras, Jack Binns, who was appointed by President Jimmy Carter, made numerous complaints about human rights abuses by the Honduran military. In one cable, Binns reported that General Alvarez was modeling his campaign against suspected subversives on Argentina's 'dirty war' in the 1970s. Indeed, Argentine military advisers were in Honduras, both advising Alvarez's armed forces and assembling and training a contra army to fight in Nicaragua.

    When the Reagan administration came to power in 1981, Binns was replaced by Negroponte, who has consistently denied having knowledge of any wrongdoing. Binns claimed he fully briefed Negroponte on the situation before leaving the post.

    In These Times writer, Terry Allen described Negroponte as a "zealous anti-Communist crusader in America's covert wars against the leftist Sandinista government in Nicaragua and the FMLN rebels in El Salvador."

    In a biographical profile Foreign Policy In Focus reported that "on Negroponte's watch, diplomats quipped that the embassy's annual human rights reports made Honduras sound more like Norway than Argentina. Former official Rick Chidester, who served under Negroponte, says he was ordered to remove all mention of torture and executions from the draft of his 1982 report on the human rights situation in Honduras. In a 1982 letter to The Economist, Negroponte wrote that it was 'simply untrue to state that death squads have made their appearance in Honduras.' The Country Report on Human Rights Practices that the embassy submitted to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee took the same line, insisting that there were 'no political prisoners in Honduras' and that the 'Honduran government neither condones nor knowingly permits killings of a political or nonpolitical nature.'"

    As ambassador to Honduras from 1981 to 1985, Negroponte played a key role in US aid to the Contra death squads in Nicaragua and shoring up the brutal military dictatorship of General Gustavo Alvarez Martínez in Honduras. Between 1980 and 1994 U.S. military aid to Honduras jumped from $3.9 million to $77.4 million. Much of this went to ensure the Honduran army's loyalty in the battle against popular movements throughout Central America. [8] (http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=04/04/20/1411203)

    "The high-level planning, money and arms for those wars flowed from Washington, but much of the on-the-ground logistics for the deployment of intelligence, arms and soldiers was run out of Honduras ... So crammed was the tiny country with U.S. bases and weapons that it was dubbed the USS Honduras, as if it were simply an off-shore staging ground. The captain of this ship, Negroponte was in charge of the U.S. Embassy when, according to a 1995 four-part series in the Baltimore Sun, hundreds of Hondurans were kidnapped, tortured and killed by Battalion 316, a secret army intelligence unit trained and supported by the Central Intelligence Agency," Allen wrote. [9] (http://www.inthesetimes.com/issue/25/09/allen2509.html)

    According to the New York Times, Negroponte was responsible for "carrying out the covert strategy of the Reagan administration to crush the Sandinistas government in Nicaragua." Critics say that during his ambassadorship, human rights violations in Honduras became systematic.

    Negroponte supervised the creation in 1984 of the El Aguacate air base, where the US trained Nicaraguan Contras and which critics say was used as a secret detention and torture center during the 1980s. [10] (http://www.rtfcam.org/report/volume_19/No_4/article4.htm)

    In August 2001, excavations at the base discovered 185 corpses, including two Americans, who are thought to have been killed and buried at the site. "[11] (http://sundial.ccs.yorku.ca/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0109&L=lacyork&F=&S=&P=1063)

    Records also show that a special intelligence unit of the Honduran armed forces, Battalion 3-16, trained by the CIA and Argentine military, kidnapped, tortured and killed hundreds of people, including US missionaries. Critics charge that Negroponte knew about these human rights violations and yet continued to collaborate with the Honduran military while lying to Congress.

    In May 1982, a nun, Sister Laetitia Bordes, who had worked for ten years in El Salvador, went on a fact-finding delegation to Honduras to investigate the whereabouts of thirty Salvadoran nuns and women of faith who fled to Honduras in 1981 after Archbishop Oscar Romero's assassination. Negroponte claimed the embassy knew nothing.

    But in a 1996 interview with the Baltimore Sun, Binns, said that a group of Salvadorans, among whom were the women Bordes had been looking for, were captured on April 22, 1981, and savagely tortured by the DNI, the Honduran Secret Police, and then later thrown out of helicopters alive.

    In early 1984, two American mercenaries, Thomas Posey and Dana Parker, contacted Negroponte, stating they wanted to supply arms to the Contras after the U.S. Congress had banned further military aid. Documents show that Negroponte brought the two with a contact in the Honduran armed forces.

    The operation was exposed nine months later, at which point the Reagan administration denied any US involvement, despite Negroponte's participation in the scheme. Other documents uncovered a plan of Negroponte and then-Vice President George H.W. Bush to funnel Contra aid money through the Honduran government.

    Speaking of Negroponte and other senior US officials, an ex-Honduran congressman, Efrain Diaz, told the Baltimore Sun, which in 1995 published an extensive investigation of US activities in Honduras "Their attitude was one of tolerance and silence. They needed Honduras to loan its territory more than they were concerned about innocent people being killed." [12] (http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-negroponte1a.story) [13] (http://www.baltimoresun.com/bal-negroponte3a,0,6979765.story) [14] (http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-negroponte4.story)

    The Sun's investigation found that the CIA and US embassy knew of numerous abuses but continued to support Battalion 3-16 and ensured that the embassy's annual human rights report did not contain the full story.

    When President George W. Bush announced Negroponte's nomination as Ambassador to the UN shortly after coming to office, it was met with widespread protest. Questioned at the time about whether he had turned a blind eye to human rights abuses in Honduras, Negroponte rejected the suggestion. "I do not believe then, nor do I believe now, that these abuses were part of a deliberate government policy ...To this day, I do not believe that death squads were operating in Honduras," he said. [15] (http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/14/politics/14ENVO.html)

    Despite the protests, the Bush administration did not back down and even went so far as to try to silence potential witnesses.

    On March 25 2001, the Los Angeles Times reported on the sudden deportation from the United States of several former Honduran death squad members who could have provided damaging testimony against Negroponte in his Senate confirmation hearings. (1)

    One of the deportees was General Luis Alonso Discua, founder of Battalion 3-16. In the preceding month, Washington had revoked the visa of Discua who was Honduras' Deputy Ambassador to the UN. Nonetheless, Discua went public with details of US support of Battalion 3-16.

    Upon learning of Negroponte's nomination, Reed Brody of Human Rights Watch in New York commented: "When John Negroponte was ambassador he looked the other way when serious atrocities were committed. One would have to wonder what kind of message the Bush administration is sending about human rights by this appointment".

    In interviews recorded with CNN in September and October 1997, Negroponte argued the case that events in Central America at the time needed to be seen in the context of the cold war. "It was a central American domino theory if you will: so that if it happened at first in Nicaragua then in El Salvador and if they (communists) succeeded in El Salvador, then presumably they would try to finish off the situation in Guatemala, which was rather ripe at the time, you may recall. And then maybe Honduras would have fallen of its own volition, without necessarily even having to make that much effort. That was the theory in any case, and it seemed a plausible hypothesis at the time," he said. [16] (http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cold.war/episodes/18/interviews/negroponte/)

    He insists that US officials were advocating democratic reforms even though they had to work with repressive regimes. "We were all extremely focused on encouraging the electoral process in each of these countries. Certainly in El Salvador. ... Some of these regimes, to the outside observer, may not have been as savory as Americans would have liked; they may have been dictators, or likely to [become] dictators, when you would have been wanting to support democracy in the area. But with the turmoil that [was there] it was perhaps not possible to do that," he told CNN.

    "So I don't think there was any thought on our part of supporting authoritarian behavior for some short-term expediency. To the contrary, I think we bent over backwards to press for elections and for democratic reform," he said.

    He also argues that claims that he and others ignored human rights abuses is a case of people rewriting history. "...Frankly I think that some of the retrospective efforts to try and suggest that we were supportive of or condoned the actions of human rights violators is really revisionistic," he claimed.

    Negroponte not only defends the actions of the US at the time but argues that the alternative was worse. "But I think on balance if you look back at what we did, I think a good case can be made that there was actually less suffering in Central America as a result of the actions the United States took than there would have been if we had just folded our arms and done nothing," he told CNN.

    After The Rapture, we get all of their stuff.

    by bink on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 07:02:50 AM PST

  •  Negroponte in Honduras (4.00)
    From Common Dreams:

    Negroponte was one of a group of officials involved in Central America at that time who have since - to the astonishment of the international diplomatic community - been rehabilitated by President Bush. His behavior in Honduras would have come under scrutiny when he was appointed as US ambassador to the UN in 2001, but his appointment hearing came in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, when there was little appetite for such an inquiry and when there was a desire to have such a key post filled speedily.

    "Exquisitely dangerous", is how Larry Birns of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs described Negroponte this week in a conversation from Washington. He called Negroponte's role in Honduras "eerily familiar to the Bush administration's present goal in Iraq". Reed Brody of Human Rights Watch had this to say when Negroponte was appointed ambassador to the UN: "When Negroponte was ambassador [in Honduras] he looked the other way when serious atrocities were committed. One would have to wonder what kind of message the Bush administration is sending about human rights."

    After The Rapture, we get all of their stuff.

    by bink on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 07:09:13 AM PST

  •  RECOMMENDED! n/t (none)

    "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past." -- F. Scott Fitzgerald

    by Passing Shot on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 07:10:59 AM PST

  •  Negroponte and Other Iran/Contra Figures (none)
    From the Guardian:

    Four of a kind

    Elliott Abrams Ex-assistant secretary with Ronald Reagan, backed invasion of Nicaragua and Panama. Witheld information during Iran-Contra scandal but was pardoned in 1992. A protege of Reagan's UN envoy, Jeane Kirkpatrick

    John Negroponte Bush choice for UN ambassador. Was US envoy to Honduras from 1981-85 during illegal war on Nicaragua. Accused of misleading Congress about abuses in Honduras

    Otto Reich Bush choice for assistant secretary of state for western hemispheric affairs. Anti-Castro hardliner who led state department from 1983-86. Accused of covert propaganda campaign against Sandinistas

    John Walters Choice for drug tsar. Wants jail for users and opposes medicinal use of cannabis. Son of General Vernon Walter, Nixon's deputy chief of the CIA

    After The Rapture, we get all of their stuff.

    by bink on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 07:14:05 AM PST

    •  It is like (none)
      they are fighting an old battle and trying to clear up some unfinished business. Settling old scores.

      People vote for sunshine, not for gloom and doom!

      by missliberties on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 10:01:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  the battle (none)
        they're fighting is against democracy.

        They fought against democracy first because in their minds anything (even fascism, death squads, money laundering or drug money) was better than communism.

        And now terrorism replaces communism as their frame: an equally amorphous metaphoric war to give cover to their real dealings. They profit on chaos and fear.

  •  Buzzflash (4.00)
    Here.

    How closely can all of those atrocities be tied to Bush's nominee for the position of Iraqi Ambassador? As Ambassador to the Honduras, it is possible that he was merely asleep the entire time he was on duty, and it was merely negligence which allowed his assigned country to become a major staging and training grounds for the Reagan-Bush cabinet's Iran-Contra affair. Negroponte may not have meant to misrepresent the abuses by the CIA backed military in his reports, and it may have been only accidental that the years of obfuscation thwarted any possibility of proper Congressional oversight of illegal CIA covert operation.

    That's the ticket.

    Although the sheer number of mass murders filtered through into U.S. reports, it was only the occasional murder of an Archbishop, that group of nuns, or a Seattle man down there helping to construct a water supply that made headlines.

    The widespread use of American aerial surveillance to direct the Contra murderers to villages where only women and children were present to be killed, the routine use of torture, the encouragement of drug-smuggling into the U.S. to provide funding for the U.S.-backed forces all were revealed only after Negroponte had left his post as U.S. Ambassador to the Honduras. And who could forget the Honduran Anti-communist Liberation Army's ever popular practice of dropping victims from helicopters while they were in flight?

    After The Rapture, we get all of their stuff.

    by bink on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 07:21:49 AM PST

  •  Senate Intelligence Committee (4.00)
    Here are the members of the Senate Committee on Intelligence, which will presumably be conducting hearings on this nomination:

    Republicans:

    Pat Roberts (KS), Chair
    Orrin Hatch (UT)
    Mike Dewine (OH)
    Kit Bond (MO)
    Trent Lott (MS)
    Olympia Snowe (ME)
    Chuck Hagel (NE)
    Saxby Chambliss (GA)

    Democrats:

    John D. Rockefeller (WV), Vice Chair
    Carl Levin (MI)
    Dianne Feinstein (CA)
    Ron Wyden (OR)
    Evan Bayh (IN)
    Barbara Mikulski (MD)
    Jon Corzine (NJ)

    Looking over this list, I think there are three things we need to think about as we approach the confirmation fight:

    1. Who can provide leadership on the minority side opposing this nomination? The two names that pop out at me are Mikulski and Corzine, but Rockefeller strikes me as a possibility as well.  Let's identify potential leading opponents and start courting them now.

    2. Who on the minority side might come out in favor of this nomination from the get-go?  Certainly Feinstein, possibly Bayh and Wyden.  At any rate, we need to work hard to prevent any early pledges of support from the Democratic side.  

    3. Who on the Republican side might be persuaded to find a conscience and oppose putting our intelligence in the hands of a proponent of terrorism (which is, incidentally, the right frame here)?  Obviously, there's not a lot hope to get a member of the majority to oppose this nomination, but the most likely defectors are clearly Snowe and Hagel.

    Start doing the things you think should be done, and start being what you think society should become. -Adam Michnik.

    by GreenSooner on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 07:28:22 AM PST

    •  Don't assume the Dems (none)
      will oppose him. He won confirmation as US Ambassador to Iraq 95-2! I couldn't believe it. Boxer and Biden (I believe) claimed he had been 'rehabilitated' - I have to search now for that link that is in my head.

      My repug Senator reminded me of his almost unanimous support when I chastised him for his support of Negroponte.

      There's something here I don't understand. This man is AWFUL... where is the Senate opposition?

      An unexamined life is not worth living - Socrates

      by crone on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 07:37:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here is the (none)
        •  Thanks coldblue, (none)
          that's the link on the vote... I was referring to the link quoting Boxer and Biden... I can't find IT, but did find this one, and sorry, I don't know how to do hyperlinks or embedded links

          http://www.nationalcatholicreporter.org/washington/wnb042804.htm

          I was so upset with Boxer I could not praise her signing the letter (Conyers and Tubb-Jones had worked so hard and got nothing in the way of thanks) --- but I finally came around when she opposed Rice and then Gonzales.

          Well, Negroponte makes Gonzales look like an altar boy (yes, I'm sure he probably was one!)...

          Anyway, we have to oppose and force down this appointment. Namaste

          An unexamined life is not worth living - Socrates

          by crone on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 08:30:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Here is Boxer (none)
            on the nomination.
            Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, at 5 o'clock we are going to vote on whether to confirm Mr. Negroponte to be our Ambassador. I want to make clear a couple of points. I voted against Mr. Negroponte for the very issues Senator Harkin talked about in his history when he was in Latin America, during what I believed to be a massive coverup of human rights abuses, which was very troubling. When Mr. Negroponte went there, there was a meeting with him and I said: You are now in a new job, and although I am not voting for you, I want to work with you. We did work together on a treaty banning child soldiers. He worked very well with us on that. There were times when I called him to talk about issues of concern and he was very accommodating.

               I am going to vote for him today to give him another chance at a job that is so dangerous and so worrisome, because we have a policy in Iraq that is not working. He is willing to go there. I give him tremendous credit for that and I give credit to his family. I also think his ties with people in the United Nations, as we try to get more nations involved, could be helpful. I am not sure, but it could be helpful.

            •  Tack that on your wall (none)
              Nothing quite captures the limitations of the Democratic Party and the folly of progressives placing hope in it than this statement from the supposed tribune of progressives, Barabara Boxer.

              Boxer KNOWS who this scumbag is. She KNEW what his appointment to Iraq repreented. She voted for him because "that is what is done." Because maintaining the appearances of unity among the elite trumps basic human decency.

              Thats why I don't send roses to politicians.

              "Tell no lies. Claim no easy victories." -- Amilcar Cabral

              by Christopher Day on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 12:21:39 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  collective amnesia (4.00)
            Crone, thanks for the link, from which we find the following quote:

            "....Said Birns: "This is a man with a deeply flawed history who was directly involved in people dying as a result of his decisions. For there to be near collective amnesia on this issue really represents a low moment in public rectitude in this country."

            Collective amnesia is an apt description of the Democrats when it comes to facing up to who exactly is in the Bush administration: it consists to a large degree of ex-Nixon/Ford/Reagan/Bush (1) officials: Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Abrams, Poindexter (ok he's gone now, but not for long)...

            londonyank had a diary on kos about this recently.

            It raises a fundamental question: why were these guys not purged permanently or made politically radioactive the first time around? What exactly does an official have to do to become too tainted to be allowed access into the revolving door of the military-industrial complex? Why is the threshhold so low, and why are there not more effective laws to permanently "disbar" these criminals? There are no checks and balances regulating these people, and that's why the corruption is so rife. Furthermore, none of the scandals since Watergte have resulted in a real purging of these rogue elements. Because the Dems were made so submissive due to 9/11, look what's happened. But the roots are even deeper than 9/11: they go back to the cold war clandestine state that built itself up in the 60s, 70s, 80s.

            •  Gnat, I couldn't agree more. (none)
              I was living and listening during the Iran-Contra years (and before)... heard every word of the hearings. Couldn't believe they gave Reagan a pass. But I thought how much he resembled the family grandfather... my Dad brought that to my attention... and many were afraid to stand up to that public image. But on relection, having read so much of the history --- I see Poppy's hand way back there. And when jr came in with all his father's retreads (his father's mouthpiece Baker acting again in his behalf this time, to CLAIM the throne, so to speak) I thought people will see through this. Nope! What happened in the South when poppy was elected is that a lot of good Demos in the Congress stepped down, retired. I wonder now if the skeletons had been pinpointed in their closets. I wonder about those in the Congress now. The psyc ops are evident in this regime, and extend much deeper than we observe.

              Something evil cometh this way.

              An unexamined life is not worth living - Socrates

              by crone on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 09:27:46 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  the lesson (none)
                for me is that "scandal fatigue" is BS: America has NEVER had a scandal that amounted to making real legislative change to the root problem of how these operators for the military-industrial complex. Even Watergate itself failed to really untap what was happening: E Howard Hunt was involved in the JFK murder, mark my words, and Nixon knew that Watergate might dig up what he called all "that Bay of Pigs stuff"....Nixon called the Warren Commission the biggest hoax in history. I am becoming tinfoil more for a reason: clearly America has never really had a scandal that shook the foundations. Every potential scandal since Watergate has effectively been diverted or failed to address the fundamental issues of how corruption in Washington, rather than lessening, now flourishes more than ever. I mean this administration is the literal and figurative refuse/outgrowth of almost 50 years worth of back-room top-secret cold-war bullshit.
    •  for the Dems (none)
      Levin might be one to coalesce around.

      Snowe and Hagel can probably be counted on to actually think about the issue.

      FYI, Harkin, Durbin, and Dayton were the only 3 senators to vote "Nay" on his confirmation as UN Ambassador.

    •  Calling all Catholics (4.00)
      The Catholic church could be a big ally in speaking out against the murder of nuns and torture in general.  When Gonzales was approved, Sister Dianna Ortiz, a US-born survivor of torture in Guatemala gave these prayers.

      "In the name of the tortured Christ of yesterday and today, we cry out to our leaders to repent...You who lead us swear to God in solemn oaths, and bow your heads in reverential prayers.  How can you gaze upon the tortured Jesus hanging on the cross when you do the same to us?  Mark well, our leaders, There is no redemption without forgiveness, but there is no forgiveness without repentance. And so, we, entwined in the sin you have sown, to the tortured Christ of yesterday and today, do say, forgive us for our failure our leaders have imposed."

      A Prayer from the Tortured

      In the name of the tortured Christ of yesterday and today,
        we cry out to our leaders to repent.

      We who have been held in clandestine prisons,
          who have been wracked by electric current,
          suffocated by hood and water,
          raped, burned, and beaten
          set upon by animals and those who called themselves human

      We cry out
          from unmarked graves, both land and sea
          our muffled voices cry,
          "Are we not made in God's image, too?"

      You who lead us
        swear to God in solemn oaths,
        and bow your heads in reverential prayers.
        How can you gaze upon the tortured Jesus (hanging on the cross)
        when you do the same to us?

      Each day we cringe again
          remembering what was done to us
          and knowing you do it to others.
          Why have we found no way to stop you?
          We feel the guilt you are too guilty to feel yourselves.

      Mark well, our leaders,
          there is no redemption without forgiveness,
          but there is no forgiveness without repentance.
        And so, we, entwined in the sin you have sown,

      To the tortured Christ of yesterday and today, do say,
          forgive us our failure
          to stop the torture our leaders have imposed.

      And to you, the architects of torture, we say
          will you bend your knees with ours
          and with us, ask our tortured Jesus
          for forgiveness,
          We, for what we have failed to stop.
          You, for what you have done.

      •  Nice post and right thoughts (4.00)
        I have given credit to your post, and sent the prayer to Pax Christi USA, and also asked that this be made an item for their  Rapid Response Network.

        Matt Yglesias posted about "Death Squads, Dude!" last year:  http://www.matthewyglesias.com/archives/003078.html

        Negroponte and Joint Chiefs of Staff Head AF Gen. Richard B. Myers went all over Latin America last year trying to get countries to join the "Coalition", and to send troops to Iraq.  I liked this response especially:

        1. Duarte Frutos decidió no enviar tropas a Irak [Duarte Futos decides to not sent troops to Iraq]

        link:  http://www.abc.com.py/articulos.php?fec=2004-03-12&pid=99066
        President Duarte Frutos' reasons for not sending troops are based on provisions in the Paraguayan constitution.  His remarks were given directly to Joint Chiefs of Staff Head AF Gen. Richard B. Myers.  Good quote:  "Una cosa es enviar tropas para mantenimiento de paz y otra, muy diferente, es enviar tropas para imposición de la paz", expresó el Presidente. ("It's one thing to send troops to maintain peace, and a very different one is to send troops to impose peace.")  He also said Paraguay would respond positively to a UN request to join peace-keeping efforts in Haiti, since this is entirely constitutional.

        And this one:
        2.         De "Prensa Libre", Guatemala, 9 de marzo:

        No enviarán militares a Irak [No Troops to Iraq]

        El anuncio del envío de tropas a Irak, hecho el viernes recién pasado en España por el presidente Óscar Berger, ha durado muy poco. Ayer, el mandatario indicó que por falta de recursos no habrá desplazamiento de militares.

        "No vamos a mandar tropas a Irak", afirmó Berger.

        La semana recién pasada, durante su visita a Madrid, el gobernante mostró su intención de sumarse a la brigada Plus Ultra, integrada por España, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador y República Dominicana.

        Al regresar al país, Berger analizó la situación, y decidió no concretar lo anunciado en España: Siempre fui muy claro, que se tenía que revisar el costo y recursos disponibles. (...) Por ello, nos vamos a quedar al margen.

        El jefe del Ejecutivo agregó que su intención fue ser solidario con José María Aznar, presidente del Gobierno español, y el resto de mandatarios centroamericanos, durante la visita. Sin embargo, aseveró que la realidad del país no permite ese tipo de acciones.

        Sorry, no translation.  But the "hook" was Aznar trying to forgive debt to Spain in exchange for poor Latin American countries sending their young to be slaughtered.

        Maybe this needs its own diary -- but Negroponte is a hooror and VERY scary.

        "Death squads, dude", indeed, Matt... (sigh)

      •  Sr. Dianna (none)
        is a truly courageous person....

        Her book, The Blindfold's Eyes: My Journey from Torture to Truth, is an amazing, troubling read.

    •  Talking points should be (none)
      • Negroponte was fast-tracked into the Ambassador job in Iraq
      • By fast-tracking that nomination, Senators overlooked Negroponte's past support of torture
      • Already in Iraq, we're seeing the same stuff we saw in Central America
      • This suggests Negroponte is again pursuing torture of civilians
      • In this new position, Negroponte will oversee not only international intelligence, but domestic intelligence
      • Therefore, approving Negroponte's nomination would be tantamount to approving torture on American citizens
      •  where are we going to find dirt (none)
        on Negroponte's policies and programs in Iraq?  The Army is in charge there, aren't they?

        What kind of reports did he make to Congress from Iraq re: human rights, democracy, infrastructure?

        Anybody have any leads?

  •  Contact Senators today (none)
    I've done so, will email an alert to local list of 800 and bring a petition to our monthly Dem meeting which happens to be tonight. Thanks for the info posted here which I will use.

    In Shock and Anger

    But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them. George W. Bush

    by philinmaine on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 07:44:07 AM PST

  •  Strategy (none)
      Pick your battles. He will be confirmed. Like it or not? Yes I know we hate this. Someone should question him about is Iran Contra connections in the Senate hearings, just to highlight the tie. But he will be confirmed.

      I think our real battle should be comabating and exposing the propaganda news. And concentrating on an open society here in the US. We need to get rid of the tyranny here at home! And highlight all this fake news. That has been Bush's best friend. That and strong arming has gotten him everything he wants.

      Shock and awe. Every day I feel like another bomb is dropped here in the US political scene. It is hard to keep up. I feel like I am Baghdad, and being attacked by this shock and awe strategy.

    People vote for sunshine, not for gloom and doom!

    by missliberties on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 08:13:55 AM PST

    •  Understand (none)
      I understand your thinking here.

      But I wonder ...

      The right-wing got where they are by directly and openly challenging every single thing that the Clinton administration did.  They even challenged him on issues like Somalia that were the responsibility of his predecessor.

      After The Rapture, we get all of their stuff.

      by bink on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 08:17:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sure but at the very least (none)
      people should learn who the players are.
    •  You've got to be kidding me! (4.00)
      If this isn't "the battle" to pick, I'd like to see what is.

      This nomination is an absolute outrage and clearly highlights the arrogance and hubris of the Bush administration.

      Moreover, it's personal for me. I went to college with Jean Donovan who was murdered in El Salvador by the death squads trained and funded by the US govt who killed many more thousands of innocents beyond Jean. And Negroponte has his fingerprints all over that horror along with his Iran-Contra cronies of the time.

      This appointment should scare the living daylights out of every American -- and that is not hyperbole.

      Time to hit the streets on this one.

      •  No I am not kidding (none)
        We need to be realistic.

        Far more frightening, although much less sexy, is the appointment of Allan Weinstein to be Archivist of the US. Hiding all the documents relating to truth and open for the freedom of information act.

        Negroponte might not be up for appointment, in fact, he might be in prison, if the first Bush hadn't sealed all the documents relating to Iran Contra as one of his last acts as President.

        It is the propaganda war that we must win to regain populist overthrow of these tyrannts in Washington. People must stop thinking in terms of George W Bush as their Great Leader and it is not going to happen until the First Ammendment Rights of Freedom of the Press are upheld.

        Exposing their news management techniques, IMHO, will go a long way in leading to their downfall. Especially in these times where the media plays such a huge role in peoples opinions of what is really going on.

        Although we on the left know this, somehow we must bring it home to those on the right!

        .....sigh, in a perfect world....

        People vote for sunshine, not for gloom and doom!

        by missliberties on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 09:24:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry to disagree (none)
          but this is far more important. I'm not saying that the archivist isn't important but here we are tallking about the soul of our country. The archives can be accessed at a later time when Bush is gone. But imagine the horror this man can accomplish. As ambassador in the 80's he had a good deal of power but only in South America. Now he will be in charge of ALL of our clandistine services and that scares the shit out of me.
          •  No problem (none)
            I agree it is yukky!

            The good news is our President trusts him implicitly. <snark>

            People vote for sunshine, not for gloom and doom!

            by missliberties on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 09:52:41 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  He should (none)
              The good news is our President trusts him implicitly.

              He kept Poppy "out of the loop." Why would anybody believe that the former head of the CIA would know any part of what was going on in South America?

          •  Well, the records are important... (none)
            It was a brave Paraguayan who exposed the Operation Condor "Archives of Terror" (as they are known in Latin America) in a police station basement that put the whole thing in the light of day.  That involved torture an oppression in Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Bolivia, and other countries sponsored and paid for by you and me courtesy of our own government.  Oh, I guess I left out Central America: Guatemala El Salvador, Nicaragua, etc.  Too bad for all those who had already left the country to exile, been silenced, tortured, or killed.

            I'm not disagreeing that the Guckert/Plame issue is important, too, but wait until there are no records of the disappeared or tortured, or hounded, for our children or grandchildren to find out what happened.  BOTH matter.

            We all have a lot of work to do...

    •  Pick battles? How 'bout all of 'em (none)
      The administration is lobbing up so much stuff, they're clearly hoping that selective attention will rule the day, and that some will go unchallenged. It's a foregone conclusion that the Democratic minority can't do much to stop some of these things, but they do need to register vocal opposition. Notice how Chertoff just sort of ... happened.

      Fight 'em all, and let Bush and the Republicans have to go on record to defend hacks like Negroponte. Every. Single. Time.

      If you can't laugh at yourself ... we'll gladly do it for you.

      by btrain on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 09:31:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm with you. (none)
        It's gotta be a fight on all fronts. And these senators need to understand, in no uncertain terms, a "yes" vote puts them on the hit list the next election.

        I'm am so galled by this, I'm still shaking.

        BTW, The School of Americas Watch is having an action rally next Tuesday: http://www.soaw.org/new/.

        Let's get behind these people and be there. This presents the perfect opportunity to get this old scandal revisted for real and to get this organization's work noticed. Lots of people with "NO TO NEGROPONTE" signs will mean news that even Fox can't ignore.

        Let's make some noise people!!!

    •  What is the point of fighting fake news? (none)
      If you aren't going to go after the real news?

      I know we are all being shocked and awed at the buckshot policies coming out of this criminal administration.  It is hard to know how to approach the Whack a Mole game here.  But your username is Miss Liberties... battling Negroponte is typecast for you.

      And Me? They don't call me Zapata for nuthin'!

      Anyways, I encourage you to think more about the sheer importance of this particular battle.

      Where are the dems heading? Not left, not right -- but FORWARD! Chaaaaaarrrrrggggge!

      by Zapata28 on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 09:34:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Okay (none)
        but I don't see anyway we can win. It will be just like Rice. All the Dems can vote no, and Negroponte will still be there.

        I must say it is very shocking. That guy has like no expression.

        People vote for sunshine, not for gloom and doom!

        by missliberties on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 09:54:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The diarist said it best (above) (none)
          Would rather lose the battle than not fight it.

          I think the winning strategy is to make sure that there is NO HEARING before the intelligence committee.  Once the water starts to roll out of the dam, we don't seem to be able to contain it.  It is demoralizing.

          We need to FORCE bush to remove Negroponte as a nominee, as we did with kerick.

          Where are the dems heading? Not left, not right -- but FORWARD! Chaaaaaarrrrrggggge!

          by Zapata28 on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 10:00:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Grasping at straws, maybe (none)
    but didn't Negroponte originate from a different school (Kissinger to Scowcroft) than the neo-cons (jackson)? Don't know if they strenously rivalled each other, any logical connection between reclassifying Jackson's archives and Negroponte's nomination? The timing intrigues me.
  •  Negroponte in Honduras = Bad news (none)
    I just blogged a post on how bad he is, including links to a 1995 Baltimore Sun article about the Embassy's role in supporting the death squad there, Battalion 317. It's good to see Bushco once again showing it's disdain for torture in any form (that was sarcasm).
  •  i feel so helpless about this (none)
    I'm going to call Feinstein, but I really don't know what to do.

    'The Power of Nightmares' on DVD+R

    by negropontedeathsquads on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 08:31:25 AM PST

  •  Groan (none)
    GOP==torturers.

    Period.

    •  how about this frame? (none)
      Gonzales thinks it's okay for the U.S. military to torture suspected insurgents.

      Condi thinks it's okay for Saddam to torture downed U.S. airmen.

      Negroponte thinks it's okay for the Contras to torture nuns.

      Who's next? Jeffrey Dahmer for U.N. Ambassador?

  •  very very very important subject, PLUS a movie (4.00)
    Thanks Bink for bringing this subject up in a diary.

    There is a new movie called Innocent Voices (orig. title 'voces innocentes')about the war in Salvador, from a child's point of view. Written by someone who lived through it, though he was only 11 at the time.  

    It's autobiographical, iow. And tells the story of civilians caught in the crossfire between the Army & the insurgents.  And also of the forced recruitment, drafting of children into the army at the age of 12. Also of the paramilitary death squads, trained,equipped, and released by our very own government.

    Impossible to see it without thinking of Iraq. Negroponte then.  Negroponte now.

    Standing ovations at the Berlin Film Festival, also Toronto FF, Sta. Barbara FF.  On the verge of release in the US.  Keep your eyes peeled.

    "God help the political system in which a thoroughly addled sovereign is faced with a real crisis." Anatole Lieven, Carnegie Endowment for Peace

    by Tulip on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 09:04:47 AM PST

  •  Petition (none)
    Here's the text of a petition which will be at our county Dem mtg tonite and then will go to Snowe's office (probably faxed, can't do the mail thing anymore)

    WE, THE UNDERSIGNED CITIZENS OF THE STATE OF MAINE, DEPLORE IN THE STRONGEST TERMS POSSIBLE THE NOMINATION OF JOHN NEGROPONTE AS THE NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE DIRECTOR. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO REASON FOR SOMEONE WHO HAS SPONSORED AND FACILITATED TERRORISM TO BE APPOINTED TO SUCH AN IMPORTANT POSITION.  ATTACHED TO THIS PETITION IS INFORMATION FOR YOU TO REVIEW. IT IS CRITICAL THAT OUR SENATORS, REGARDLESS OF THEIR PARTY, VOTE TO UPHOLD AMERICAN PRINCIPLES OF TRUTH AND JUSTICE. THIS COUNTRY IS NOT SERVED BY THIS NOMINATION.

    But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong, we found them. George W. Bush

    by philinmaine on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 09:06:37 AM PST

  •  Aw shucks. (none)
    It's almost, at this point, not even worth it for me to finish my diary :(

    Resuscitate investigative journalism! Reality-Based does NOT mean investigations are wrong - it means investigations are essential.

    by nephalim on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 09:12:54 AM PST

  •  We need to re-open the Iran-Contra Investigation (none)
    Somehow, some way, we need to re-open everything "Iran-Contra".  

    The criminal element in the White House needs to be eradicated.  The people are the only ones who can do this.

    As a country, we did not complete our obligation to purge our government of criminals in the 1980s.  I am, of course, speaking of Iran-Contra, one of several other criminal scandals where the point men got away with it.  20 years later, the same point men have risen to the top.

    The question is how do we finally do the clean-up work that is required of us?

    There is a plague in this country, and until we own up to it, and prosecute the 'evil doers', we will remain a plague on the world.

    Where are the dems heading? Not left, not right -- but FORWARD! Chaaaaaarrrrrggggge!

    by Zapata28 on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 09:22:23 AM PST

    •  agree (none)
      that the Iran Contra scandal was ultimately a failure: it failed to get to the root of things, like the October Surprise.

      The trouble is that even the House Committe on Assassinations, which grew out of the Church Commision, and was intended to remedy the egregious b.s. of the Warren Commission, could not effectively get to the bottom of the JFK thing. If you read Fonzi's book, The Last Investigation, you see how this investigation was systematically thwarted at every turn by the CIA. That's why they STILL won't release all the JFK-related information. They don't declassify anything. William Burroughs once said that everything worth knowing in America was designated top secret, and he's right.

  •  now things are really starting to get scary. (4.00)

    They're filling up all the top positions with
    torturers and tyrants.

    It's only a matter of time before the US is
    declared a dictatorship and all elections are
    called off.

    It's so strange, it's like it's all happening in
    slow motion and you know exactly what will happen next.

    just look back in history.
    this is it folks. US democracy is over.
    the 225 year old experiment is over.

    •  Even scarier (4.00)
      Why do so few people Americans recognize what is happening and try to prevent it?  I live in a liberal college-town, work on campus with highly educated people, yet most my friends seem not to know or care what is happening.  I had a friend literally say to me she was just keeping her eyes closed for the next four years.  I can't even begin to imagine what this country will be like four years from now--fortunately, George Orwell and Margaret Atwood could.  I should pull those out and re-read them because, unless we can shake a hella bunch of people out of their complacency, that's the type of world we'll be living in.
  •  Binky, David Corn of The Nation is on it (4.00)
    How many times can I write the same piece about John Negroponte?

    Today George W. Bush named him to the new post of Director of National Intelligence. Previously, Bush had hired Negroponte to be UN ambassador and then US ambassador to the new Iraq. On each of those earlier occasions, I noted that Negroponte's past deserved scrutiny. After all, during the Reagan years, when he was ambassador to Honduras, Negroponte was involved in what was arguably an illegal covert quid pro quo connected to the Iran/contra scandal, and he refused to acknowledge significant human rights abuses committed by the pro-US military in Honduras. But each time Negroponte's appointment came before the Senate, he won easy confirmation. ... Negroponte will likely sail through the confirmation process once again.

    His previous exploits, though, warrant more attention than ever. He has been credibly accused of rigging a human rights report that was politically inconvenient. This is a bad omen. The fundamental mission of the intelligence community is to provide policymakers with unvarnished and valuable information-even if it causes the policymakers headaches. But there's reason to believe that Negroponte did the opposite in tough circumstances. If that is the case, he would not be the right man to oversee an intelligence community that needs solid leaders who are committed to truth-finding. Rather than rewrite my previous work on Negroponte, I am posting below the article I did after Bush named him the viceroy of Baghdad. It's more relevant today than when it first appeared. But I doubt Negroponte's dark history will finally trigger a confirmation debate within the Senate. He has skated in the past; he'll likely do so again. ...

    Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

    by SusanHu on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 11:32:06 AM PST

  •  First two statements from Dem Senators (none)
    Joementum
    "This is a very significant appointment, and I'm pleased the President has nominated a dedicated public servant to fill the post. I am also heartened by the nomination of National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden to be his principal deputy.
    "As a career diplomat for four decades, John Negroponte has loyally served his government in multiple countries around the world. If confirmed, he will be given a chance to put his skills to use to strengthen the nation's national security and to protect the American people from future terrorist attacks at home and abroad.

    Carl Levin

    "I look forward to discussing with Ambassador Negroponte his plans for the position of Director of National Intelligence during his confirmation process. I am concerned, however, about the message we are sending to Iraq and the rest of the world by removing our Ambassador to Iraq so soon after he took office and at such a critical point in the transition to a democratically-elected Iraqi government."
    •  The ruling class speaks (4.00)
      They recognize one of their own.  They are on the same side.

      Even our "Democratic" U.S. Senators are part of this ruling class.

      Don't kid yourselves that they aren't.  That's the beauty of the American system.  It has succeeded in making Americans oblivious to the realities of economic class, and how the rich are usually always out to fuck over everybody else that isn't rich.  And it has done so by using the myths that "you can be a millionaire too," or that America is just one, big happy "classless" society, and that anyone who points out anything different is engaging in "class warfare."

      Why do you think they gave Bush the authority to go to war in Iraq in the first place, when THEY ALL KNEW Saddam had no WMD?

      Welcome, once again, to pseudo-Democratic/Republic the United States of America.

    •  Joementum strikes again! (none)
      Praise for his career?

      Please, please, Levin, ask about the El Agucate exhumation of 185 bodies, including two Americans.

    •  FUCK (none)
      Sorry, no other word seems to fit.

      "As a career diplomat for four decades, John Negroponte has loyally served his government in multiple countries around the world. If confirmed, he will be given a chance to put his skills to use to strengthen the nation's national security and to protect the American people from future terrorist attacks at home and abroad.

      What skills, asshole? His skill in the new "progressive" forms of torture? His skills in lying to congress?

  •  Batallion 316 (none)

    When the president does it that means that it is not illegal."   --  Richard Nixon

    by WWWWout on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 01:50:10 PM PST

  •  NAZI (none)
    WHAT DID THIS ASSHOLE DO FROM 1960---1918
  •  NAZI (none)
    I should have said 1981
  •  And but so... (none)
    Today's cartoon's got all the most essential Negroponte talking points in one convenient place:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/2/17/172354/013

    Spread it around. Send it to your crazy right-wing uncle.

    Yo, Slappy: http://www.batemania.com

    by scottbateman on Thu Feb 17, 2005 at 02:22:31 PM PST

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