Henry Kissinger: War criminal

Dr. Kissinger: Well, first of all, what happened in 1973? In 1973, the first thing to remember is that when Allende was elected, he had about 35% of the votes, and the only reason he was elected is because the Democratic opposition divided itself into two other — into two parties rather that one. He then spent two years trying to undermine the system in Chile. And during the summer of 1973, when the revolution took place, the democratically elected Congress of Chile asked the Chilean military to participate in the government during that summer themselves. Every investigation has shown that the United States did not participate in the overthrow of the government of Allende in 1973. And if you’d take the trouble of reading the actual facts, you will see that what happened was — [ Laughter and applause ] [ Murmuring ] So, I had not even heard the name Pinochet when the overthrow occurred. He became head of the armed forces only about a week before the coup took place. But do your own research, not on the basis of these fake arguments. Read serious books like by Paul Sigmund, Alistair Horne, and others that were unbiased observers. We were delighted when Allende was overthrown. So, we thought it was in the American interest. But we did not participate in it. He overthrew himself with his incompetence and with his bringing in outside arms and outside military forces (http://www.henryakissinger.com/speeches/041107.html).

Kissinger is of course, lying.

War criminal, Henry Kissinger has received, from the ruling class of the US, the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973, The Presidential Medal of Freedom from US President Barack Obama in 2012, and Israel’s version of the same honor from former Israeli, President Shimon Peres in 2012 (http://www.timesofisrael.com/peres-presents-kissinger-with-an-award-of-distinction/).  All of this, even though Henry Kissinger was and is a war criminal that should be extradited and tried for war crimes at The Hague.

Kissinger was part of a coordinated campaign to kill political dissidents across Latin America in the 1970s, all with the knowledge of the US, resulted in one of Latin America’s darkest periods and this was all known and condoned, if not executed, by Henry Kissinger.

Aljazeera reported just days ago:

“The US’ involvement is described as the green light, red light policy. Kissinger was in Santiago talking to Pinochet and the other leaders talking about human rights publicly - that’s the red light but privately giving them the green light by saying ‘Don’t worry too much about this, we support you’… You can condemn the CIA all you want for its complicity but to say that the CIA had operational control of Operation Condor, there is simply not the evidence there.”- John Dinges, the author of The Condor Years

Tens of thousands of people were kidnapped, tortured and killed by military regimes across the continent and those who fled repression in one country were often targeted in another - there was no escape.

‘Operation Condor’ involved six different nations - led by Chile’s former dictator Augusto Pinochet in response to the populist and socialist movements emerging throughout Latin America in the 1960s and 70s.

On Tuesday, a human rights trial began in Argentina to investigate the crimes committed during that operation.

It is the latest example of Latin American Countries coming to terms with their past through criminal proceedings and truth commissions.

However there has been no truth and reconciliation committee to determine the precise extent of the US’s role in the killing or disappearance of some 80,000 people - nor has there been any accountability.

Declassified cables show that the CIA and the US state department were aware of ‘Plan Condor’ early on.

An excerpt of a weekly summary from July 1976 reads:

“When we say there is no evidence we should say there are no documents that show operational participation by the CIA [to prove it]. The [US] legal attaches were very well connected in Southern America and they were aware of the operations.”- Carlos Osorio, Southern Cone Documentation project

“Intelligence representatives from Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, Chile and Argentina decided at a meeting in Santiago early in June to set up a computerised intelligence data bank - known as ‘Operation Condor’…”

Other cables show that Henry Kissinger, the then secretary of state, told his ambassadors not to confront the military governments over assassinations and torture (http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidestoryamericas/2013/03/2013367461442124.html).

But Kissinger was involved in so many sundry criminal activities in Latin America (not to mention South East Asia) that it is hard to follow the scent.

The following is from Julian Assange regarding the Kissinger years.  It has been translated from Spanish with some editing and emphasis found is mine.  Assange, as of this posting on June 6, 2013, has been in exile in the Ecuadorian Embassy for 352 days.

From: Julian Assange, in exile: June 3, 2013

(http://www.telegrafo.com.ec/wikileaks/item/kissinger-presiono-para-negociar-un-acuerdo-pesquero-bajo-sus-condiciones.html).

 

In February 1975, The Daily Telegraph published the photographs of the three U.S. flagged ships fully working that were caught by the Ecuadorian government in the country’s naval in waters not recognized by U.S. Government

Some history: Phase 1: 1963

Economically underdeveloped Ecuador, lacking an exploitable continental shelf and mindful of the rich fishing potential off its coast, in 1952 along with Peru and Chile claimed a 200-mile territorial limit. The US continued to recognize a 3-mile limit plus, in 1966, a 9-mile contiguous fisheries zone. The so-called “tuna war” began in 1963 when a US fishing boat challenging the 200-mile limit was seized and fined by Ecuador. Other seizures followed, also in Peru and Chile. In 1967 the US began compensating the fined US owners although not deducting the amount from aid to Ecuador as US law provided.

In December 1968 US military sales to Ecuador were suspended under a newly-passed law, but renewed in July 1969 despite further seizures. Four-nation talks were held in August 1969 and September 1970.

On January 18 1971, with seizures since 1966 totaling 28 vessels, the US again suspended military sales and placed all aid “under review.” The OAS opposed U.S. moves to submit the case to inter-American peaceful settlement or the ICJ. On February 1, Ecuador ordered the US military mission withdrawn. By March 3 seizures for 1971 alone totaled 25 (http://web.mit.edu/cascon/cases/case_eus.html).

Subsequent developments:

Most countries have since adopted an “exclusive economic zone” (EEZ) which is now a provision of the UN Law of the Sea treaty. The treaty was signed in 1982 and came into force in 1994 having received 60 ratifications. The 200-mile EEZ is observed by many states that have not signed and/or not ratified the treaty

Finally, Ecuador maintains sovereignty over a 200 nautical mile zone offshore of its continental and island territories. The claim predates the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea establishing at most a 12 mile limit on offshore claims. The dispute remains unresolved and has periodically caused tensions between Ecuador and the international community (US Department of Defense. Ecuador: Summary of Claims DOD 2005. 1-M. 2005. 3 May 2008).

Research unit

The U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, maneuvered U.S. fishermen working in Ecuadorian waters not to respect the maritime laws of the small Andean country. The diplomat wanted this warranty contained in an official agreement.  This, according to details in an official telegram issued from the U.S. Embassy in Quito in 1975.  The cable is part of the thousands of documents recently disclosed by WikiLeaks regarding the ‘Kissinger’ era in Ecuador.

When Ecuadorian dictator, Guillermo Rodriguez Lara governed Ecuador (1973-1976), the “tuna war” was ending, but still influencing the country’s relationship with the United States.

It all started because Washington did not recognize the 200-mile territorial sea limit, a treaty by South American countries bordering the Pacific Ocean.  In the minds of Americans, the territorial sea covered only a 12 mile limit, so that their fishing vessels, especially tuna-fishing in Ecuadorian waters, could work unhampered harvesting Ecuadorian tuna without compensation.

 

BACKGROUND

In the 60s, Ecuador signed a “modus vivendi” with the US which allowed fishing activities of the US outside 12 nautical miles.  The agreement was subsequently repudiated by new Ecuadorian authorities, who considered it a betrayal of the homeland, for it violated the 200-mile territorial sea treaty (see above history).  Under the Ecuadorian government of, Clement Yerovi, the Civil Code was amended to incorporate, for the first time in Ecuadorian law, the 200 nautical miles sea limit.

However, in San Diego, California at the time there was an established U.S. tuna fleet and industry which began a “lobby” in the US to approve a new rule in the US Senate.  American fishermen won passage of the new rule, or law, requiring that the government of any country must cover the fines and compensation that they could impose on other states, like the US.  The law thus allowed the American fishing industry, with its “lobby”, in succeeding in passing a law in Congress to assure they had unlimited access to Ecuadorian sea.

In this scenario, if a fine was imposed on say the US, the White House could discount those funds from any military assistance to countries, say Ecuador, as part of the fight against communism.  US fishermen were even pressured not sell to naval ships to Ecuador.

This rule imposed sanctions on countries that would affect U.S. fishing vessels and demanded payment of compensation, which Ecuador never accepted, so Ecuador entered the list of states considered harmful to the US.

Ecuadorian national fishermen claimed because they had nothing left in their marina, their navy, with its limited resources would patrol the ocean to assure no tuna was stolen under the 200 mile limit. Occasionally American ships were caught red-handed, lifting tuna illegally.  Ecuador had proposed a fishing exclusion zone to protect species (see above history).

The Ecuadorian navy could not modernize and Ecuadorian fishing was, to say the least, rudimentary. There was no fleet as such; the national feeling was that foreigners ate and were enriched with Ecuadorian resources while Ecuador had little if nothing.

A fisherman, Hipólito Crespin, recalled events at that time. He had always worked in the Gulf of Guayaquil catching croakers, shrimp, and other species.  Tuna he said, required fishing in open water, far from shore. This activity required large ships, not the typical pangas, or small ships used in Ecuador.

Crespin said that there was 70 Ecuadorian boats in their fishing fleet at the time. So the Japanese and North Americans continued fishing in Ecuadorian waters unabated and without much competition.

It was the need for larger ships that motivated the government of Ecuadorian dictator, Rodríguez Lara (1972-1976), to seek strategic partners to create and exploit Ecuadorian fleet fishing resources.  In order to do this and overcome the problem of limited Ecuadorian vessels, Ecuador proposed an agreement to create a joint company with the United States.  On June 4, 1975, Rodriguez Lara met with U.S. Ambassador Robert Brewster in Quito to address the issue.

A cable (1974QUITO00639_b) directed the Department of State and released by Wikileaks notes that:
“President Lara, accepted our proposal to enter into negotiations on fishing issues. He liked the idea of some kind of US association and mentioned the possibility of forming a joint venture with American capital or a settlement with the American fishing industry. This, he said, could be the answer.”

On the same date, the Ecuadorian president proposed that the American ships in Ecuador be required to acquire a fishing license.

Ambassador at the time, Brewster indicated in released documents that:

“I did not answer this. I decided to leave the issue well enough alone.”

The U.S. fishing industry did not accept under any conditions the need to submit to the national legal system of Ecuador or the call for a fishing license.  Instead, the United States offered an approach on fishery issues and raised the idea of an association. This scheme was really developed by Brewster himself.

Ambassador Brewster wrote in a telegram (1973QUITO01382_b) at the time, to his superiors on March 21, 1973 and made a lengthy evaluation clarifying the fishing dispute and the idea of cooperating with the Ecuadorian government, which he said would allow Ecuador to expand the US presence in the Ecuadorian waters.

First, the ambassador indicated that the Ecuadorian government wanted a national fishing industry that was able to catch 80,000 tons of tuna annually to meet its domestic demand and export balance.

Brewster analyzed:
“Ecuador is planning to develop the tuna industry with the selection of a prime contractor who would take care of the complete project, which would include provisions on boats, maintenance ground facilities, training and technical assistance, refrigeration construction, advertising and finance completely. The total project is estimated at $ 30 million.”

With that background, the ambassador said U.S. aid could end the fishing dispute with Ecuador if an agreement regarding a privatized ‘association’ was made.

He gave different scenarios as to how this might work:
“The nature of US-Ecuadorian fishing problem has changed significantly. The original problem was that due to demand, Ecuadorian sovereignty limited jurisdiction to 200 nautical miles.  The Government insisted, for reasons of national dignity and honor, to acquire foreign fishing vessels to acquire Ecuadorian licenses if they wanted to fish in waters claimed by Ecuador. Until 1972 our goal was to workaround the law that would allow the U.S. to pay the licenses subject to our position. Now we find that Ecuador has moved to a stance on having a conservation zone. As mentioned, the ultimate goal of creating an Ecuadorian fishing industry is for Ecuador to exploit its claimed waters in an area where foreign flags are excluded. Ultimately, more important than the problem of how to pay the licenses is now how to avoid the exclusion of U.S. fishing interests in waters claimed by Ecuador “.

The ambassador explained that providing assistance to Ecuador would not halt the operations against foreign ships. Instead, he explained that denying assistance to the Andean country would only force them to find another partner country, which in turn would slow the U.S. presence in the waters.

Brewster went on:
“The basic objective of U.S. in assisting the Ecuadorian fishing industry, in our opinion, is to ensure U.S. participation and an extended Ecuadorian industry.”
For Brewster, the worst scenario would be the creation of a fishing exclusion zone which would make the US’s activity in Ecuador very difficult, despite the limitations of its Navy and Air Force.

As Brewster then stated:

“The real danger of foreclosure is what can happen with boats and captains who are arrested. The purpose of the exclusion is different from the current policy of allowing foreign fishing licenses.  Thus, ships and captains may be treated differently. The possibility that captains can be arrested and briefly imprisoned has been reported. The probability of large fines has also been reported. Other possibilities also exist, such as confiscation of fishing vessels and perhaps a serious incident.”
As said, $30 million was needed in Ecuador to develop its fishing industry, according to the United States and 80,000 tons of tuna was what the Ecuadorian Government wished to harvest annually.

So, as Brewster noted:

“Therefore, US-Ecuador relations are likely to worsen with advancing exclusions for fishing in the area.”

At this point, the United States proposed an agreement with Ecuador on fishing, but not at the level of states but rather between private interests.

But as Ecuadorian fishing industry was virtually nonexistent in the area, the Ecuadorian nationalized EPNA (the country’s national fishing company) got involved.  Washington wanted the public company to negotiate directly with the powerful American fishing industry and their “lobby” based in San Diego (California).  As Ecuador required capital to set up a fishing industry and strengthen its presence in the 200-mile territorial sea, investors began hunting.

Ecuador was a pioneer at the time with their 200 miles of sanctioned fishing.  In 1945, then-President Harry Truman, proclaimed the sovereignty of Ecuador on the continental shelf up to 200 miles.  With that background, Chile did the same in the 50’s. That’s because, off its coast, Japanese ships, Nordic and Russian captured whales that mated in their waters.

A treaty was thus ratified in 1954 to this effect. The United States considered the statement a unilateral one, without any international legal value. So, Washington continued to defend free fishing in these areas.

Nevertheless, Central American and African countries eventually joined the treaty.

Yet the Americans continued to recognize only 12 miles of territorial sea out of the 200 mile limit.  However, because more and more nations adhered to the treaty, in 1972 UNCLOS negotiations began, which recognized a 12-mile territorial sea and 188 miles of an economic exclusion zone.

The treaty was sealed in 1982 and came into force in 1994, bringing an end to the trade-offs, including the long lasting tuna war.   Former authorities insisted that the Ecuador should have full sovereignty over the 200 miles.

For its part, the United States has not formally ratified the treaty, but considered it a fully valid international instrument. However, due to domestic political problems, the agreement could not be validated in the US Senate.

Kissinger gets involved

On this basis, in April 17, 1974, then Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger himself wrote (cable 1974STATE077807_b) to the U.S. Embassy in Quito where he outlined his vision of what the negotiations should consist of:
“We do not want a partnership agreement made under the terms of the laws of Ecuador. If this happens, the Government of Ecuador can conclude that we agree with all of their legal system.  Also, we do not commit ourselves to be an observer of the U.S. government in the talks from industry to industry, and we might want to limit our role behind the scenes.”

Kissinger said he called the Ambassador of Ecuador in the United States at the time, Alberto Quevedo.  He made it clear, regarding the proposed ‘association’, that:

“The proposed partnership agreement would be an agreement from industry to industry in which the U.S. government would not play a part.  Our industry, of course, negotiates according to what they perceive as in their best interests regarding commercial fishing and they must be able to decide, based on the proposal, the applicability of the laws of Ecuador, and what terms they would accept the partnership agreement.”

Kissinger went on, stating:

“We must also take into account the rules of domestic and international law, for example, the rules on criminal jurisdiction over persons on U.S. flag vessels.”

He also criticized any conditions for talks between countries and expected that “both parties have an open mind.”

Kissinger would decide in a cable (1975STATE027270_b) on this subject in February 1975, when the Ecuadorian navy stopped three US fishing boats fishing in territorial waters. The Navy had gone years without stopping American ships.  The ships were taken to St. Helena, where Kissinger went to U.S. Ambassador Robert Brewster. Washington issued a note of protest over the matter.

On February 6, 1975 Kissinger wrote to the Embassy clarifying and reporting on the rights of the detained fishermen.

Kissinger said:
“The informal and preliminary opinion on reimbursement is that if the ship owners have properly documented fines, then they will be reimbursed as they were in the past.”

Kissinger referred to the Fisheries Act adopted in the US, thanks to the San Diego “lobby”.   That law required the U.S. government to accede to economic penalties imposed by Ecuador. However, in exchange for this, the White House would deduct any fines from military aid sent every year to Quito.

And so they did.