Friday, February 18, 2005
Death Squad Expert Named as US Intelligence Chief
In the early 1980s, (Mr. Negroponte) was ambassador to Honduras.
At the time, the US was deeply engaged in covert operations in Central America - notably against the Sandinista government of Nicaragua.
What Mr Negroponte knew about these murky operations, and how far he was aware of human rights abuses committed by US clients in the region is, for some in the US, an open question.
Mr Negroponte has denied any such knowledge or involvement.
Source: BBC Bush's new intelligence man Feb. 17, 2005
Others are somewhat less restrained in their characterization of Mr. Negroponte's Central American years:
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 some circumstantial evidence supporting the view that Negroponte was aware that serious violations of human rights were carried out by the Honduran government, allegedly 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.
Source: Wikipedia "John Negroponte" (Emphasis added.)
Just the guy we need to investigate all those alleged incidents of torture and human rights violations by the CIA and their buddies.