America Keeps Honoring One of Its Worst Mass Murderers: Henry Kissinger
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-- Undemocratic: Mr. Kissinger not only failed to obtain permission from Congress to bomb Laos and Cambodia, he did not even inform it he was doing so. The incredible fact is that a handful of U.S. leaders unilaterally dropped 3.7 million tons of bombs on Indochina entirely on their own initiative - as have U.S. officials today assassinated thousands of unarmed suspects throughout the Muslim world.
-- Unconstitutional: The very foundation of the Constitution is the principle that leaders may only legitimately rule with the "informed consent" of the people. But Mr. Kissinger not only failed to inform the American people or Congress about his bombing of Indochina. He has lied about it from the day he took office until today. Between January 1969 and March 1970, as he leveled the Plain of Jars, Mr. Kissinger's State Department denied it was even bombing Laos. And when reports from refugees made it impossible to deny the bombing, Mr. Kissinger's and his representatives continued to lie, denying that they bombed civilian targets. William Sullivan, close Kissinger ally and the former U.S. Ambassador to Laos, testified to Senator Edward Kennedy on April 22, 1971 "the policy of the U.S. is deliberately to avoid hitting inhabited villages."
-- Illegal: By failing to even notify Congress of his massive bombing, Mr. Kissinger broke domestic law. By systematically bombing civilian targets and refusing to observe laws seeking to protect civilians during wartime, he violated international law. Both conditions are true for U.S. drone and ground assassinations today.
-- Secret: The bombing of Laos and Cambodia, like that in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia today, was conducted in secret. Even as U.S. officials first denied they were doing any bombing at all, and then that they were only bombing legitimate military targets, they refused to allow journalists to go out on bombing runs. The information about the bombing of civilian targets was classified and kept out of the hands of Congress, the media, and the American people.
-- Amoral: Like Mr. Kissinger, President Obama lied when he recently described his drone assassination program as “a targeted, focused effort at people who are on a list of active terrorists who are trying to go in and harm Americans, hit American facilities, American bases, and so on ". In fact, U.S. officials have admitted that most of their victims are unarmed suspects killed in "signature strikes" against people who names are not known. And the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has documented that hundreds of those killed by U.S. drone strikes are civilians. The victims of drone strikes are simply labeled "militants", denied their humanity as well as their lives.
What is most troubling to anyone with a conscience about Mr. Kissinger's new form of warfare is that, from a bureaucratic perspective, it worked. By keeping the human consequences of their war-making secret from Congress and the American people, the Kissingers, Petraeuses and Brennans have had a free hand to kill, torture, imprison and maim anyone they wish. They not only need not fear punishment for their illegal acts. Like Mr. Kissinger, who has grown wealthy on the blood of the innocents of Indochina, they can even look forward to being rewarded for them. We are taught as children that crime does not pay. Mr. Kissinger, who has earned tens of millions since the war ended on the blood of innocent Indochinese, is living proof that this is untrue.
The big question for Americans today is the degree to which this "Executive Mentality" will be directed against American citizens in the future. The prospects are not promising.
The U.S. Executive today has not only obtained permission from Congress to kill or imprison any American citizens they wish without due process. They have done so - murdering not only Anwar al-Awlaki but his 16 year son, also a U.S. citizen, while sitting in a café. The Executive under President Obama has undertaken unprecedented prosecution of U.S. whistle-blowers and journalists alike for revealing information officials have arbitrarily classified. Never before has the U.S. had an Executive Branch "Department of Homeland Security", which routinely spies on millions of Americans, and is working to paramilitarize police departments around the nation.