Ambassador to Death Squads: Who is John Negroponte?

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

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

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

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