[The 4th Media Editor’s note: The following speeches by former US Congresswoman McKinney and others were made in April, 2001. However, The 4th Media believes these speeches still do very much relevant to today’s global situations, particularly to that of Africa.]
[On 6 April, 2001 Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D), GA. Boldly sponsored a forum on the totally ignored rape of Africa – a key part of the current headlong rush toward globalization. From The Wilderness (FTW) has been woefully silent about Africa as we have reported on trends elsewhere in the world. We admit that this has been partially out of ignorance which we begin to correct now by posting (with permission) this report on her forum. As the planet coalesces with frightening speed into three dominant economic regions (The Western Hemisphere, Europe and Asia) it is critical to understand that the carnage in Africa can only accelerate. McKinney, who sits on the House International Relations Committee, is to be commended for her non-partisan critique of both Democratic and Republican Administrations. The following is about as ugly as it gets. – FTW]
Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney
Covert Action in Africa: A Smoking Gun in Washington, D.C.
Rayburn House Office Building
Friday, April 6, 2001
10:00am – 12:00 noon
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Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney
I want to thank you all for coming today.
I especially want to thank our esteemed speakers for traveling, in some instances quite a long way, to be with us today.
Our speakers are courageous individuals who have gone to many of Africa’s most dangerous and desperately poor locations, not for wealth or riches, but in order to merely discover the truth. They provide us with a remarkable insight into what has gone on in Africa and what continues to go on in Africa today.
Much of what you will hear today has not been widely reported in the public media. Powerful forces have fought to suppress these stories from entering the public domain.
Their investigations into the activities of Western governments and Western businessmen in postcolonial Africa provide clear evidence of the West’s long-standing propensity for cruelty, avarice, and treachery. The misconduct of Western nations in Africa is not due to momentary lapses, individual defects, or errors of common human frailty.
Instead, they form part of long-term malignant policy designed to access and plunder Africa’s wealth at the expense of Africa’s people. In short, the accounts you are about to hear provide an indictment of Western activities in Africa.
The West has, for decades, plundered Africa’s wealth and permitted, and even, assisted in slaughtering Africa’s people. The West has been able to do this while still shrewdly cultivating the myth that much of Africa’s problems today are African made–we have all heard the usual Western defenses that Africa’s problems are the fault of corrupt African administrations, centuries-old tribal hatreds, the fault of unsophisticated peoples.
But we know that those statements are all a lie. We have always known it.
The accounts we are about to hear today assist us in understanding just why Africa is in the state it is in today. You will hear that at the heart of Africa’s suffering is the West’s, and most notably the United States’, desire to access Africa’s diamonds, oil, natural gas, and other precious resources.
You will hear that the West, and most notably the United States, has set in motion a policy of oppression, destabilization and tempered, not by moral principle, but by a ruthless desire to enrich itself on Africa’s fabulous wealth.
While falsely pretending to be the friends and allies of many African countries, so desperate for help and assistance, many western nations have in reality betrayed those countries’ trust–and instead, have relentlessly pursued their own selfish military and economic policies.
Western countries have incited rebellion against stable African governments by encouraging and even arming opposition parties and rebel groups to begin armed insurrection.
The Western nations have even actively participated in the assassination of duly elected and legitimate African Heads of State and replaced them with corrupted and malleable officials. Western nations have even encouraged and been complicit in the unlawful invasions by African nations into neighboring counties.
Something must be done to right these wrongs.
I invite you to listen and learn first-hand of the West’s activities in Africa.
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Prepared Statement of Wayne Madsen
WHAT A DIFFERENCE AN ELECTION MAKES: OR DOES IT?
Wayne Madsen is an investigative journalist who has written for The Village Voice, The Progressive, CAQ, and the Intelligence Newsletter. He is the author of Genocide and Covert Activities in Africa 1993-1999 (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen, 1999), an expose of U.S. and French intelligence activities in Africa’s recent civil wars and ethnic rebellions.
He served as an on-air East Africa analyst for ABC News in the aftermath of the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. Mr. Madsen has appeared on 60 Minutes, World News Tonight, Nightline, 20/20, MS-NBC, and NBC Nightly News, among others. He has been frequently quoted by the Associated Press, foreign wire services, and many national and international newspapers.
Mr. Madsen is also the author of a motion picture screen play treatment about the nuclear submarine USS Scorpion. He is a former U.S. Naval Officer and worked for the National Security Agency and U.S. Naval Telecommunications Command.
I wish to discuss the record of American policy in Africa over most of the past decade, particularly that involving the central African Great Lakes region. It is a policy that has rested, in my opinion, on the twin pillars of unrestrained military aid and questionable trade.
The military aid programs of the United States, largely planned and administered by the U.S. Special Operations Command and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), have been both overt and covert.
ACRI, ACSS, and the covert programs all involve the use of private military training firms and logistics support contractors that are immune to Freedom of Information Act requests. More troubling than these overt problems are those that involve covert assistance to the Rwandan and Ugandan militaries.
Sources in the Great Lakes region consistently report the presence of a U.S.-built military base near Cyangugu, Rwanda, near the Congolese border. The base, reported to have been partly constructed by the U.S. firm Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton, is said to be involved with training RPF forces and providing logistics support to their troops in the DRC.
The increasing reliance by the Department of Defense on so-called Private Military Contractors (PMCs) is of special concern. Many of these PMCs — once labeled as “mercenaries” by previous administrations when they were used as foreign policy instruments by the colonial powers of France, Belgium, Portugal, and South Africa — have close links with some of the largest mining and oil companies involved in Africa today.
PMCs, because of their proprietary status, have a great deal of leeway to engage in covert activities far from the reach of congressional investigators. They can simply claim that their business in various nations is a protected trade secret and the law now seems to be on their side.
THE DESTABILIZATION OF AFRICA
America’s policy toward Africa during the past decade, rather than seeking to stabilize situations where civil war and ethnic turmoil reign supreme, has seemingly promoted destabilization. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was fond of calling pro-U.S. military leaders in Africa who assumed power by force and then cloaked themselves in civilian attire, “beacons of hope.”
In reality, these leaders, who include the current presidents of Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Angola, Eritrea, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo preside over countries where ethnic and civil turmoil permit unscrupulous international mining companies to take advantage of the strife to fill their own coffers with conflict diamonds, gold, copper, platinum, and other precious minerals including one that is a primary component of computer microchips.
Some of the companies involved in this new “scramble for Africa” have close links with PMCs and America’s top political leadership. For example, America Minerals Fields, Inc., a company that was heavily involved in promoting the 1996 accession to power of the late Congolese President Laurent-Desire Kabila, was, at the time of its involvement in the Congo’s civil war, headquartered in Hope, Arkansas.
Its major stockholders included long-time associates of former President Clinton going back to his days as Governor of Arkansas. America Mineral Fields also reportedly enjoys a close relationship with Lazare Kaplan International, Inc., a major international diamond brokerage whose president remains a close confidant of past and current administrations on Africa matters.
One of the major goals of the Rwandan-backed Rassemblement Congolais pour la Democratie (RCD), a group fighting the Kabila government in Congo, is restoration of mining concessions for Barrick Gold, Inc. of Canada. In fact, the rebel RCD government’s “mining minister” signed a separate mining deal with Barrick in early 1999. Among the members of Barrick’s International Advisory Board are former President Bush and former President Clinton’s close confidant Vernon Jordan.
Currently, Barrick and tens of other mining companies are stoking the flames of the civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Each benefits by the de facto partition of the country into some four separate zones of political control. First the mineral exploiters from Rwanda and Uganda concentrated on pillaging gold and diamonds from the eastern Congo.
Now, they have increasingly turned their attention to a valuable black sand called columbite-tantalite or “col-tan.” Col-tan is a key material in computer chips and, therefore, is as considered a strategic mineral. It is my hope that the Bush administration will take pro-active measures to stem this conflict by applying increased pressure on Uganda and Rwanda to withdraw their troops from the country.
However, the fact that President Bush has selected Walter Kansteiner to be Assistant Secretary of State for African, portends, in my opinion, more trouble for the Great Lakes region. A brief look at Mr. Kansteiner’s curriculum vitae and statements calls into question his commitment to seeking a durable peace in the region.
For example, he has envisaged the splitting up of the Great Lakes region into separate Tutsi and Hutu states through “relocation” efforts and has called the break-up of the DRC inevitable.
I believe Kansteiner’s previous work at the Department of Defense where he served on a Task Force on Strategic Minerals and one must certainly consider col-tan as falling into that category — may influence his past and current thinking on the territorial integrity of the DRC.
After all, 80 per cent of the world’s known reserves of col-tan are found in the eastern DRC. It is potentially as important to the U.S. military as the Persian Gulf region.
The U.S. military and intelligence agencies, which have supported Uganda and Rwanda in their cross-border adventures in the DRC, have resisted peace initiatives and have failed to produce evidence of war crimes by the Ugandans and Rwandans and their allies in Congo.
The CIA, NSA, and DIA should turn over to international investigators both signals intelligence and human intelligence evidence in their possession, as well as overhead imagery, including thermal imagery indicating the presence of mass graves and when they were dug.
There must be a full accounting before the Congress by the staff of the U.S. Defense Attache’s Office in Kigali who served there from early 1994 to the present time.
A LINGERING QUESTION ON ASSASSINATIONS
The present turmoil in central Africa largely stems from a fateful incident that occurred on April 6, 1994. That was the missile attack on the Rwandan presidential aircraft that resulted in the death of Rwanda’s Hutu President Juvenal Habyarimana, his colleague President Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi, Habyarimana’s chief advisers, and the French crew.
This aerial assassination resulted in a genocide coordinated by the successor militant Hutu Rwandan government that cost the lives of some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus. This was followed by a counter-genocide orchestrated by the Tutsi-led Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) government that resulted in the deaths of 500,000 mostly Hutu refugees in Rwanda and neighboring Zaire/Congo.
No one has even identified the assassins of the two presidents let alone sought to bring them to justice. There have been a number of national and international commissions that have looked into the causes for the Rwandan genocide. These have included investigations by the Belgian Senate, the French National Assembly, the United Nations, and the Organization of African Unity.
None of these investigations have identified the perpetrators of the aerial assassination. In 1998, French Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere launched an investigation of the aircraft attack. After interviewing witnesses in Switzerland, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Russia, Bruguiere apparently has enough evidence to issue an international arrest warrant for President Kagame.
A former French Judge, Thierry Jean-Pierre, now a Member of the European Parliament, in an entirely separate and private investigation, came to the same conclusion that Kagame was behind the attack.
The United States government must come to its senses, as it did with past intelligence assets like Sadaam Hussein, Alberto Fujimori, General Suharto, Ferdinand Marcos, and Manuel Noriega, and support a judicial accounting by Kagame. If it is proven that U.S. citizens were in any way involved in planning the assassination, they should also be brought to justice before the international war crimes tribunal.
Immediately after the attack on the presidential plane, much of the popular press in the United States brandished the theory that militant Hutus brought it down. I suggest that following some four years of research concentrating on the missile attack, there is no basis for this conclusion.
In fact, I believe there is concrete evidence to show that the plane was shot down by operatives of the RPF. At the time, the RPF was supported by the United States and its major ally in the region, Uganda.
Prior to the attack, the RPF leader, the current Rwandan strongman General Paul Kagame, received military training at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Many of Kagame’s subordinates received similar training, including instruction in the use of surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) at the Barry Goldwater Air Force Range at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. It was Soviet-designed SAMs that were used to shoot down the Rwandan president’s airplane.
By its own admission, the U.S. Defense Department provided official military training to the RPF beginning in January 1994, three months before the missile attack on the aircraft.
In testimony before the French inquiry commission, former French Minister for International Cooperation Bernard Debre insisted that the two SAM-16s used in the attack on the aircraft were procured from Ugandan military stocks and were “probably delivered by the Americans . . . from the Gulf War.” He was supported by two former heads of the French foreign intelligence service (DGSE) Jacques Dewatre and Claude Silberzahn, as well as General Jean Heinrich, the former head of French military intelligence (DRM).
Former moderate Hutu Defense Minister James Gasana, who served under Habyarimana from April 1992 to July 1993, stated before the French inquiry that his government declined to purchase SAMs because they realized the RPF had no planes and, therefore, procurement of such weapons would have been a waste of money.
The contention by French government officials that the RPF was responsible for the aerial attack is supported by three former RPF intelligence officers who disclosed details of the operation to UN investigators. The three informants were rated as Category 2 witnesses on a 4-point scale where 1 is highly credible and 2 is “true but untested.”
The RPF informants claim the plane was downed by an elite 10-member RPF team with the “assistance of a foreign government.” Some of the team members are apparently now deceased. A confidential UN report on the plane attack was delivered to the head of the UN War Crimes Tribunal, Judge Louise Arbour of Canada, but was never made public.
In fact, Arbour terminated the investigation when details of the RPF’s involvement in the assassination became clear. The UN now denies such a report exists.
Michael Hourigan, an Australian lawyer who first worked as an International War Crimes Tribunal investigator and then for the UN’s Office of Internal Oversight Services, confirmed that the initial war crimes investigation team uncovered evidence of the RPF’s involvement in the attack but their efforts were undercut by senior UN staff.
After the former RPF intelligence team revealed details of the attack, they were supported by yet another former RPF intelligence officer named Jean Pierre Mugabe.
In a separate declaration, Mugabe contended that the assassination was directed by Kagame and RPF deputy commander-in-chief James Kabarebe.
The RPF, according to Mugabe, campaigned extensively for the regional peace meeting in Dar es Salaam from which Habyarimana was returning when he was assassinated. Mugabe claimed the idea was to collect the top Hutu leadership on the plane in order to easily eliminate them in the attack.
Yet another defector from the RPF, Christophe Hakizabera, in a declaration to a UN investigation commission, states that the “foreign power” that helped the RPF shoot down the airplane was, in fact, Uganda. According to Hakizabera, the first and second assassination planning meetings were held in Uganda in the towns of Kabale and Mbarara, respectively. A third, in which Kagame was present, was held in March 1994 in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso.
As it did with the three other RPF defectors, the UN took no action as a result of this complaint. It appears, and this is supported by private conversations I have had with former UN officials, that some other party is calling the shots in the world body’s investigation of human rights violations in Africa.
The involvement of Uganda in the assassination tends to support the contention of the former French government ministers that the SAMs were provided to Uganda by the United States from captured Iraqi arms caches during Desert Storm.
My own research indicates that these missiles were delivered to Uganda via a CIA-run arms depot outside of Cairo, Egypt. After the transfer, Uganda kept some of the missiles and launchers for its own armed forces and delivered the remainder to the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the RPF.
Other evidence pointing to an RPF role in the attack includes COMINT (communications intelligence) picked up by military units and civilian radio operators in Rwanda. A Rwandan Armed Forces COMINT listening station picked up a transmission on an RPF frequency, which stated “the target is hit.”
This was reported to a Togolese member of the UN Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR). A Belgian amateur radio operator reported that after the attack, he heard someone on a frequency used by a Belgian PMC in Kigali state, “We killed Le Grand (Habyarimana).”
The Belgian operator also stated that all Rwandan Armed Forces messages following the attack indicated the Rwandan army was in complete disarray and something that would not have been the case had the Rwandan government perpetrated the attack on its own president.
Another source of COMINT was a French signals intelligence unit sent to Kigali from the French military base in Bangui, Central African Republic. According to French Judge Jean-Pierre, copies of French intercepts of RPF communications indicate, beyond a doubt, the culpability of the RPF in the attack on the aircraft.
Some formerly classified US State Department cables, which I received following a Freedom of Information Act request, reveal that the U.S. foreign policy establishment was of two minds over the April 6 attack.
The U.S. Embassy in Burundi kept a surprisingly open mind about its theories about the missile attack, even suggesting a Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) role in it.
Other U.S. diplomatic posts, most notably that in Kigali, seemed to follow the script that the aircraft was downed by hard-line Hutus who wanted to implement a well-planned genocide of Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
A May 25, 1994 Secret message from the Department of State to all African diplomatic posts also reports that “the RPF has summarily executed Hutu militia alleged to have been involved in the massacres and the RPF has admitted to such killings.”
The same message states that “Rwandan government officials who controlled the airport” or “French military officials” recovered the downed presidential aircraft’s black box after securing the airport and removing the body of the French pilot from Habyarimana’s plane.
However, according to officials I interviewed who were involved with UN air movements in the region, the black box was secretly transported to UN Headquarters in New York where it remains to this day.
Officially, the Rwandan government claims the black box went missing. According to the UN investigators, the black box was spirited away by UN officials from Kigali to New York via Nairobi. In addition, this shipment was known to US government officials.
According to the UN sources, data from the black box is being withheld by the UN under pressure from our own government. The investigators also revealed that RPF forces controlled three major approaches to Kayibanda Airport on the evening of the attack and that European mercenaries, in the pay of the RPF and US intelligence, planned and launched the missile attack on the Mystere-Falcon.
The CIA figured prominently in the UN investigation of the missile attack. According to the investigators, the search for the assassins ultimately led to a warehouse in Kanombe, near the airport.
From this warehouse, during the afternoon of April 6, the missile launchers were assembled and readied for action by the mercenaries. As the UN investigation team was nearing its final conclusion and was prepared to turn up evidence indicating the warehouse had been leased by a Swiss company, said to be linked to U.S. intelligence, its mandate was swiftly terminated.
It is clear that the United States, contrary to comments made by its senior officials, including former President Clinton, played more of a role in the Rwandan tragedy than it readily admits. This involvement continued through the successive Rwandan and Ugandan-led invasions of neighboring Zaire/Congo.
Speculation that Rwanda was behind the recent assassination of President Laurent Kabila in Congo (and rumors that the CIA was behind it) has done little to put the United States in a favorable light in the region. After all, the date of Kabila’s assassination on January 16 this year — was practically 40 years from the very day of the CIA-planned and executed assassination of Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba.
The quick pace at which Kabila’s son and successor Joseph Kabila visited the United States at the same time of Kagame’s presence, and his subsequent meetings with Corporate Council for Africa officials and Maurice Tempelsman (the majordomo of U.S. Africa policy), calls into question what the United States knew about the assassination and when it knew about it.
Also, particularly troublesome is a conclusion the CIA is said to have reached in an assessment written in January 1994, a few months before the genocide.
According to key officials I have interviewed during my research, that analysis came to the conclusion that in the event that President Habyarimana was assassinated, the minimum number of deaths resulting from the mayhem in Rwanda would be 500 (confined mostly to Kigali and environs) and the maximum 500,000. Regrettably, the CIA’s higher figure was closer to reality.
Certain interests in the United States had reason to see Habyarimana and other pro-French leaders in central Africa out of the way. As recently written by Gilbert Ngijol, a former Assistant to the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the UN to Rwanda in 1994, the United States directly benefited economically from the loss of influence of French and Belgian mining interests in the central Africa and Great Lakes regions.
There is also reason to believe that a number of people with knowledge of Kagame’s plot against the presidential aircraft have been assassinated.
These possibly include Tanzania’s former intelligence chief, Major General Imran Kombe, shot dead by policemen in northeastern Tanzania after he was mistaken for a notorious car thief. His wife maintains he was assassinated. Kombe had knowledge of not only the planned assassination of the Rwandan and Burundian presidents but a plot against Kenya’s President Moi and Zaire’s President Mobutu, as well.
There is a belief that Roman Catholic Archbishop of Bukavu, Emmanuel Kataliko, was assassinated last October in Rome by members of a Rwandan hit team acting on orders from Kagame.
Other Tutsi and Hutu leaders who oppose Kagame’s regime continue to flee Rwanda to the U.S. and France in fear of their lives. Rwanda’s figurehead Hutu President Pasteur Bizimungu was forced to resign last year under pressure from the only power in Rwanda, his then-Vice President, Paul Kagame.
Deus Kagiraneza, a former intelligence officer in Kagame’s Military Intelligence Directorate (DMI), interim Prefect of the Ruhengeri province, and member of the Parliament, is now in exile in Belgium. He charges that Kagame’s top government and military are responsible for torturing and executing their political opponents. Kagiraneza maintains that the RPF has pursued such policies since the time of the 1990 invasion of Rwanda from Uganda.
It is beyond time for the Congress to seriously examine the role of the United States in the genocide and civil wars of central Africa, as well as the role that PMCs currently play in other African trouble spots like Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Ethiopia, and Cabinda.
Other nations, some with less than stellar records in Africa, France and Belgium for example, have had no problem examining their own roles in Africa’s last decade of turmoil.
At the very least, the United States, as the world’s leading democracy, owes Africa at least the example of a critical self-inspection.
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Prepared Statement of Keith Snow
Thank you Representative McKinney for organizing this very important forum.
I find it particularly remarkable that the diamond exports from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) were some US$897 million in 1997. Now this is a “country” which was in a major war.
And then in 1998, DRC ranked second in diamond production at 25.7 million carats. Again, a country in a brutal war where hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people and in fact I think it is millions of people — suffered the consequences through disease and despair and displacement and rape and hunger and robbery and often death.
Based on my research, this is a western syndicated proxy war, and like Sierra Leone, Angola and Sudan, it is war-as-cover for the rapid and unrestricted extraction of raw materials, and war as a means to totally disenfranchise the local people.
Diamonds, gold, columbium tantalite, niobium, cobalt, manganese and petroleum, natural gas and timber and possibly uranium — are a few of the major spoils being pillaged behind the scenes as war ravages DRC and some of these minerals are almost solely found in DRC, especially cobalt, niobium, columbium tantalite.
Barrick Gold provides a convenient example using war-as-cover. According to testimony I took in western Uganda in November, Barrick Gold is operating in the Kilo Moto mines near Bunia. These mines are reportedly protected by UPDF. An Israeli General was awarded another Kilo Moto concession and UPDF and RCD operate others.
And there is massive ivory poaching again protection rackets going on. Barrick Advisory Board member George Bush and his CIA connections certainly play into these mining deals and lay the groundwork a.k.a. slaughter if necessary to get the product.
That includes long-time links to people like CIA station operative in Zaire Lawrence Devlin for example, and his associations with the Templesmans. Look at the CIA operations in Lubumbashi and you will probably find connections to the repression and massacres of students at the University of Lubumbashi in the early 1990s.
George Bush apparently telephoned Mobutu just prior to the first US supported invasion of Congo August 1996 on behalf of Swedish Financier Adolph Lundin to negotiate a deal over the Kilo Moto fields. And the US Presidential Election outcome of 1996 was completely irrelevant to the invasion of Zaire and the replacement of Mobutu.
Remember that Kagame was in Washington about August 1996 checking his battle plans with the Pentagon. Mobutu’s days were numbered.
The US took all the right decisions to allow the Rwanda genocide to unfold. And Clinton’s comment that “we didn’t know what was going on at the time” couldn’t have been a bigger lie.
Do you suppose it was coincidental that a Rwanda delegate rotated on to the security council early in 1994 and then worked with US representatives to block all subsequent attempts to deal appropriately with the unfolding slaughter?
The Lundin Group appears also to be involved in south Katanga, where they are into the Tenke Fungarume copper/cobalt concessions. This is near where America Mineral Fields International and Anglo American are operating as well. And these are a few of the many mining companies.
All these US military programs like IMET and E-IMET, ACRI and JCET are designed to consolidate US hegemony. UPDF and RCD and SPLA have conscripted child soldiers. They use sophisticated weapons not only the machetes so widely advertised by the media propaganda front of 1994 which sowed indifference and apathy in the US public.
Troops have been trained by US green berets and US military personnel have worked to coordinate SPLA and RPF/UPDF/RCD military campaigns. This is according to Ugandan dissidents and/or Congolese refugees fleeing Congo and/or ex-patriots on the ground. And there are plenty of people who support these statements.
Weapons are reportedly shipped in through Entebbe. Again, people testified to seeing “American blacks” — quote Negroes unquote traveling in the area, both in Uganda and in Eastern DRC, but they are always very clandestine and they don’t mingle or talk to people.
One refugee cited the locations of jungle camps where western he said American military advisors were training RCD or RPF or UPDF guerrillas in counterinsurgency and heavy artillery operations. Again, this was in November.
Note that the whole Tutsi contre-genocide against Hutus is off the radar screen of people in the US and that’s because the media has covered for the powerful interests and US agenda of consolidating power in the region by any means necessary.
In fact, the RPF have actually “turned” Interahamwe to their service in doing the dirty work of eliminating any dissidents and insurgents and creating a situation defined by the media as incomprehensible tribal warfare.
It was reported to me that UPDF will disguise themselves as their enemies and attack villages to provide justification to return and sweep n a.k.a. brutalize or rape or pillage these villages.
They have also reportedly used these tactics to substantiate their needs for international support weapons and funds and military expertise from US and UK backers, funds and equipment which was often diverted to the secret US SPLA war against Khartoum, for example.
But war doesn’t seem to be essential to the plan. Multinational
corporations– a very significant constellation of US companies and/or US citizens included, are everywhere stripping the resources, leaving pollution and disease and environmental disasters in their wakes. And you might probe into the whole classified nuclear waste transshipments programs.
Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Togo, Niger, Madagascar and Burkina Faso provide examples, being massively exploited, where military repression and structural adjustment and the concomitant destitution suffice to enable lucrative western control and exploitation.
Zambia, Tanzania, Namibia, Botswana and Ghana are a few more examples where I have similarly witnessed profound human suffering amidst huge multinational profits and SAP.
I mean, 120 years after the British invasion of western Zambia this is an area heavily burdened by refugee flows out of Angola and DRC and the concomitant insecurity of insurgent nomadic military forces — the people have absolutely no possessions.
The schools don’t exist and even if they do there are no books and the kids are so destitute that they often can’t attend in any case. You can’t buy basic staples. I mean absolutely no food, no medicine, no drugs for malaria. Some 30% of people in Zambia don’t even know that malaria is caused by mosquitoes.
But you can buy Coca-Cola and Sprite and Fanta virtually everywhere, but there are usually no basic foodstuffs, no books, no medical supplies. You cannot imagine the suffering until you live it yourself.
And it is no coincidence that one of the directors of Coca Cola now I think that’s a US company — is also a Director of Elf, and ELFs corrupt practices have been mildly exposed but very, very mildly.
These wars are prosecuted by local warlords, military dictators and their elite intelligence and security networks, typically armed, funded and trained by western intelligence and/or ex-military and/or private security companies.
And these networks are particularly ruthless. However, again, they are directly associated with in-country western military and intelligence advisors and their programs.
That includes Israel, US, British, German and French. But IMF/WB and OPIC and ADB funds continue to flow, and they support selective interests and projects and infrastructure which helps their related industries further expropriate the resources and the people and the institutions.
Uganda provides a good example. Uganda is at war on three fronts and a significant percentage of the IMF/WB funding which has gone into Uganda has been diverted for military objectives.
The banks which fund Uganda through the international monetary institutions are often associated with the multinationals involved in the plunder of raw materials.
Uganda has supported the SPLA war in southern Sudan, and I took testimony from Uganda dissidents who insist that US military advisors have worked with the SPLA and UPDF against Khartoum.
In Cameroon, Benin, Burkina Faso, Gabon and Niger in 1997, I found abundant evidence of unrestricted raw materials extraction by interests associated with the United States.
The people of the oil-producing areas of the Niger River Delta are suffering horrendous atrocities. Again, on the Niger border with Burkina — famine, disease, despair, political repression for the most trifling reasons — and right next door there is a Barrick Gold mining operation.
And Sumitomo and the Keidanren (Zaibatsu) out of Japan are all involved. And people in these (African) countries know what is going on, but they can’t tell their stories because most westerners are completely caught up in the mental illness of colonialism and imperialism, which disallows the simple truth to be seen. And those who tell their stories are often brutalized or disappeared.
In Zimbabwe, the issue of land and elections and Mugabe’s intransigence aside, the lasting repercussions of the Mugabe “five brigade” genocide against the Ndebele people in Matebelelands North and South and the Midlands provinces are heartbreaking.
Here was this scorched earth campaign from 1981 to 1987 where hundreds and hundreds of thousands perished, where food was used as a weapon and rape prevailed, and the United States diverted its eyes. And the media knew about it but the media diverted its eyes.
And this is all very current stuff in Zimbabwe. The 1990s was more of the same in a more subtle form. And the Ndebele people have suffered untold injustice and terror.
Meanwhile, there was plenty of mining and tobacco farming going on in Zimbabwe and the weapons for Mugabe’s dirty little secrets came from where?
The IMF and WB funded Mugabe, no matter, throughout his tenure and right up into the late 1990s. Again, these are big banks like Chase Manhattan and First Boston and Citicorp and the Morgan Banks — and their directors sit on some of the western media boards and they dictate relief operations at a certain level.
And then of course there are all these supranational multinational corporations like Asea Brown Baveri (ABB) and Unilever and Royal Dutch Shell and Lonrho and Citibank and Bechtel.
I mean, Bechtel gets away with raping the system in Boston the 10 or 12 billion dollar overruns in the Harbor Tunnel project never mind their tight CIA and US government interconnections, policy interventions of dictations, and the orchestration of coups, assassinations, disappearances and wars.
Lonrho of course is Buckingham Palace and I contend that very powerful US citizens are tied in through companies like Brown and Root and Halliburton to Lonrho and Lonrho interests.
And please recall that Vice President Cheney is a former Halliburton executive. And Lonrho has a lock on British media. And it is no coincidence that Lonrho has the most elegant and modern skyscraper in downtown Nairobi.
And all this is hidden by the US media. Even the village idiot, if he opens his eyes, can see that the directors of the media corporations are the same directors of those corporations raping Africa.
But too many people have a paycheck to worry about. And that includes humanitarian organizations and the United Nations and the OAU and the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda.
Special torture centers and death squads and massive repression of the population are the rule in Togo, Cameroon, Kenya, Gabon, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso, and were so in Zaire.
And these people–Eyadema, Biya, Bongo, Obasanjo, Abacha, Babangida, Mobutu, Compaore, Rawlings, Banda, Kaunda, Moi, Habyarimana, Kagame, Museveni, Garang, Ratsiraka–they provide the environment for pillage, and they are duly rewarded, with power, with all the perks.
Charles Taylor was incarcerated in Charlestown, Massachusetts circa 1983 or 1984 and he is the only person, I believe, in the history of the Charlestown jail to have been broken out. Apparently the records no longer exist of his stay there. And now he is President in Liberia?
And then you have the whole misery industry, which profits from the wars and repression and population displacement which their affiliated institutions and their funding banks and materials-providing multinationals create.
Again, you don’t need a Ph.D. to figure out that thousands of highly paid western AID workers would be out of a job if there were peace in Sudan. And Toyota wouldn’t sell all those shiny 4-WD SUVs. And who would buy the US made weapons?
And all that business of feeding and clothing and interning the refugees would be lost by these multinationals who get huge tax write-offs and subsidies and whose products are purchased by USAID or other government agencies. And some of these relief organizations also have close ties to the corporate media executives.
So I see it as a policy of depopulation in Africa. Because what I am talking about is access.
Access to the animals.
Access to the game parks and trophy fishing.
Access to the minerals.
Access to the cheap and replenishable labor pool.
Access to uninformed populations to dump inferior and toxic and outdated products on.
Access for military adventurism and special forces training and psyops operations.
Access to biological and pharmaceutical testing grounds.
Access to markets.
And while at times it seems contradictory, at times it is, but it’s all completely unethical, entirely arrogant and racist. It is driven purely by greed. And the profound human suffering is totally unnecessary.
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Prepared Statement of Janine Farrell Roberts
MAURICE TEMPELSMAN: THE CONVERGENCE OF POLICY AND PROFIT IN PRIVATE How US Foreign Policy over decades was influenced by the Diamond Cartel.
By author of Book “Blood Stained Diamonds,” Janine Farrell Roberts The Secret Story Behind Blood Diamonds
May I first briefly introduce myself. I hold degrees in Sociology and Theology and have authored several books written about Australian Aborigines and their civil rights struggle, which were launched by their leaders. For many years I was funded by a coalition of US and European church to work on human rights frontiers internationally.
This work led me to De Beers – after it clashed with an Aboriginal community. The more I worked internationally the more I discovered about its human rights violations.
I have now been researching and writing on De Beers and the diamond trade for twenty years during which time I have made several films – including: “The Diamond Empire”, a feature length” Frontline” since suppressed by WGBH due to pressure from De Beers.
The owners of Doubleday also commissioned a major work from me on diamonds – only to drop it at the very last moment as they wrote “rich and important people” did not want it to come out.
De Beers is nothing if not secretive In the course of my investigation, De Beers banned me from its South African diamond mines where I was the guest of the National Union of Mineworkers (but I was smuggled in).
Here I witnessed in De Beers’s mines horrific conditions with wages paid at one-third of the official union minimum and in very hazardous conditions.
I also witnessed considerable natural resources being hidden from the SA Government. I went also to India and witnessed children as young as 8 cutting and polishing diamonds in workshops mostly supplied by De Beers through its favored merchants, working in what is defined as a form of slavery.
The wages were slashed this year from 40c to 25c a diamond causing riots. Workers get one dollar a day for cutting romantic gems. India cuts 55% by value of the world’s gem diamonds.
De Beers tried to stop my film in the Canadian NW Territories diamond fields – but the Sierra Club and the Unions made it happen. On 5th Avenue, merchants were phoned telling them not to speak to me “as I worked with Blacks in Australia to make life difficult for De Beers.” I was also the keynote speaker at the first post apartheid conference of Southern African mineworkers where I was funded by the World Council of Churches.
I have been told that a major reason for some of my difficulties is the fear publishers have of a certain Maurice Tempelsman, the former companion of Jackie Onassis who in 1998 was reported to be developing a relationship with Secretary of State Albright.
He is a leading international diamond merchant of unique power and influence – often he has helped shape US foreign policy in directions that favour De Beers. I have extensively researched his work. Much of this is in my forthcoming book “Blood Stained Diamonds.”
I have been asked to talk about Tempelsman’s role in the confluence of public policy and private profit that happens in private. He is an excellent example. I have time only to summarise my findings.
Why was he uniquely important in the De Beers? In the 1940s De Beers was indicted by the US Justice Department for price fixing under the Sherman Act. The US also believed De Beers had rationed the supply of tool diamonds to the US during the Second World War severely damaging the war effort.
It was determined never to let this happen again, and legislation was thus passed to set up a national diamond stockpile. De Beers needed a way to ensure it was the source of this stockpile despite being indicted.
It sought a middleman to do the deals with the US. Early in the 1950s Tempelsman met with the Oppenheimers who rule De Beers and became this middleman. He was uniquely supplied with millions of diamonds to sell the US as its strategic reserve. Most of these diamonds came from the Congo.
When Lumumba, Congo’s first elected leader, spoke of using the Congo’s resources to benefit the Congo. De Beers feared it would lose access to the one-third of world’s diamond supply in the Congo – as would also Tempelsman.
Shortly after this, the CIA facilitated Lumumba’s assassination. Evidence on this came before the Church Intelligence Commission. Immediately after Lumumba’s death, the Acting Prime Minister of the Congo, Adoula announced support for a very major Tempelsman diamond deal, telegramming this to President Kennedy.
The historian Richard Mahoney claimed that the Adoula regime was receiving funds from Tempelsman. A State Department memo headed “Congo Diamond Deal” stated “The State Department has concluded that it is in the political interest of the US to implement this proposal.” (2 August 1961)
Immediately after Mobutu came to power, Tempelsman became an even bigger player in the Congo – recruiting his own staff from those CIA staffers that Mobutu most favored that put him in power. Mobutu also at this time gave Tempelsman, as a “Christmas Gift,” rich mineral reserves.
According to Tempelsman’s staff we interviewed, they had a wonderful time helping to run the Congo. One of the first acts by Tempelsman was to facilitate the return of the Oppenheimers to the Congo – and to secure funding for Mobutu.
He succeeded in persuading the White House to secretly buy a vast number of diamonds for the US strategic reserve – at a time when Administration officials were protesting that the reserve was over full.
The reason for this deal given in secret US government memos was to support Mobutu and his partner Adoula. This Tempelsman plan made much profit for him and for De Beers.
A State Department Cable of 23 December 1964 warned about the need of secrecy over this Mobutu diamond and South African uranium deal because; “it could outrage the moderate Africans we are trying to calm down.”
It suggest South African Foreign Minister Muller would understand the need for secrecy since the US was “doing a job” in the Congo that South Africa could not do. This covert support for Mobutu gave the US a gross excess in the strategic diamond stockpile that was still being sold off in 1997.
In 1967 the State Department reported; “Tempelsman is playing an increasingly central role as GDRC (Congo’s) technical advisor and mediator.” But these deals and other deals done throughout the following decades with a corrupt Mobutu government left the Congolese people in absolute poverty.
In the late 1950s democracy arrived in Africa with the election of President Nkrumah – who thought Black Africans should not have to sell diamonds to an apartheid company – so took Ghana’s diamonds from the cartel.
A short while later, the State Department wrote a furious letter to Maurice Tempelsman saying that his office, by using an unguarded phone line, had betrayed the identity of the plotters against Nkrumah and the identity of the CIA Head of Station.
The plotters seemingly were communicating to the White House via Tempelsman’s office. (Memorandum for the President from WW Rostow, 24 September 1961) Tempelsman clearly had advanced knowledge of this coup attempt.
Shortly afterwards President Kennedy decided not to “downgrade” (his word) Tempelsman for this error.
Tempelsman worked out a new diamond contract for President Stevens – under which Tempelsman got 27% of the country’s diamonds – setting up an independent cutting factory – and De Beers bought shares in it. However it was not set up to compete effectively.
I have gathered ample evidence that historically Sierra Leone has been grossly exploited by fraudulent De Beers’ practices which I would be happy to give during question time.
In recent years Tempelsman has been trying to use US money and support to set up Savimbi of UNITA in the diamond trade with both De Beers the US support.
On the side, he has also been setting up his own diamond cutting factory – here as in his other African cutting plants on terms that are likely to stop Africa getting a fully commercial cutting industry… a De Beers aim.
Tempelsman in 1996 persuaded the Assistant Secretary of State George E. Moose to give him a letter suggesting that the US would finance Tempelsman’s plans.
On October 10th 1996 he met with Tony Lake the National Security Advisor and with Lake’s deputy, Shawn McCormick – and gained their support for Tempelsman’s plans.
In May 1997 the US Ambassador for Angola, Steinbach met with Savimbi – to back the Tempelsman plan. This plan included UNITA keeping its diamond mines – and selling them via De Beers. Again US foreign policy was being shaped to benefit De Beers.
TEMPELSMAN’S INDEPENDENCE OF DE BEERS
Tempelsman frequently poses as an independent diamond merchant, even as a rival to De Beers. This has enabled him to do such things as to advise the President of Namibia on his negotiations with De Beers.
But if he were truly such, he would lose his diamond supplies from De Beers as have other diamond merchants who tried to rival De Beers. He has never lost these supplies. He is rumoured in the trade as having one of the very largest of the diamond “sights” supplied by De Beers.
It is easy for De Beers to pay him secretly. They simply put more and better stones into the box they send him. The US customs are unable to check if this has happened, as they do not the experts on staff.
Maurice Tempelsman served the De Beers diamond cartel by promoting foreign policy decisions that favoured its access to and control of African diamond fields. This lead to the US covertly supporting undemocratic and corrupt regimes in Africa to the great detriment of the African people.
Information on Blood Diamonds Suppressed?
Why did WGBH suppress its Frontline program “The Diamond Empire,” refusing to sell it to many who asked for it.
The owners of Doubleday were later scared off from publishing the “sensational, important and accomplished” (their words) human rights book “Glitter and Greed: The story of Blood Stained Diamonds.” They wrote after putting promoting the book as due to come out in 3 months, saying that rich and powerful people were against it, and although we may win any legal battle, it is not worth the cost of such a fight.
See my website www.sparkle.plus.com