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“Enemy Combatant” Negroponte will be the Nation’s First Intelligence Chief.

After stints as US Ambassador to Honduras and then to the United Nations, John D. Negroponte will be rewarded with an appointment as the Director of National Intelligence, a new position that will oversee the country's 15 intelligence agencies and exercise broad control over a multi-billion dollar intelligence budget. Congratulations Johnny.

Most people remember Negroponte as the facilitator of Reagan-approved atrocities in Honduras and proud Iran-Contra criminal. I know, it's hard to believe, but one of Bush's appointments might not actually meet the high standards we would like to believe the US Government sets for its officials. In fact, he and his buddies, Caspar Weinberger, Elliot Abrams, Robert McFarlane, John Poindexter, Otto Reich, George Bush Sr., Ronald Reagan, and Oliver North committed acts that, outside conservative circles, spur outrage and disbelief.

Negroponte's role in the Iran Contra Cabal:

Negroponte served as Reagan's Ambassador to Honduras from 1981 to 1985. He was personally responsible for carrying out the Reagan administration's illegal policy of training and arming Contra rebels inside Honduras for the purpose of overthrowing Nicaragua's Sandinista government. He also oversaw the build-up of the Honduran military, while turning a blind eye to their campaigns of death and torture.

This was a period when the Honduran military's notorious Battalion 316, trained by the CIA, killed or “disappeared" at least 184 political opponents. Hundreds of articles in Honduran newspapers reported on the brutality of the government's death squads.

Negroponte was a 'good soldier', willingly playing his part in a group that trained, funded, traded and negotiated with, and otherwise supported various terrorist groups in both hemispheres -- a group idolized by the political right-wing.

This was a group that was largely released from accountability for their atrocities via pardons by George H. W. Bush.

"President [George H. W.] Bush, [on] December 24, [1992] granted pardons to former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and five other individuals for their conduct related to the Iran-Contra affair. Bush said Weinberger -- who had been scheduled to go on trial in Washington January 5 on charges related to Iran-Contra -- was a "true American patriot," who had served with "distinction" []"

As a little background, Caspar Weinberger was the Secretary of Defense under Reagan. He was charged with four counts of lying to congressional Iran-Contra investigators in 1987 and 1990. Weinberger had concealed from congressional investigators his personal notes that detailed events related to Iran-Contra and which reportedly undermined what then-President Reagan said about the origins and operations of the covert arms-for-hostages dealings.

Among the other five individuals were:

Robert McFarlane, Reagan's National Security Adviser who pleaded guilty to four counts of withholding information from Congress.


Elliott Abrams, Reagan's Assistant Secretary of State. Abrams pleaded guilty to two counts of lying to Congress during the Iran-Contra hearings. He is currently working for you and me as the National Security Council Director. Not surprisingly, Abrams' post in the George W. Bush Administration did not require Senate approval.

So what did these "true American patriots" do that would put such a black cloud over Negroponte's appointment? Well, in concert with the rest of the Reagan Administration, they merely:

1) Had "Dealings with the enemy" (Iran), a designated terrorist nation at the time and current member of the "axis of evil".

2) Violated arms-export controls. The Independent Counsel concluded that: "The sales of arms to Iran contravened United States Government policy and [] violated the Arms Export Control Act"

3) Acted as "Enemy-Combatants". (as the Reagan Administration was supporting Saddam Hussein in the Iran-Iraq war).

4) Supported terrorism in Nicaragua. The Independent Counsel concluded that: "The provision and coordination of support to the contras violated the "Boland Amendment" ban on aid to military activities in Nicaragua"

Of course, according to George Sr, these activities were "All-American", a prelude of things to come with Bush Jr. He explained the pardons thusly:

"[The] common denominator of their motivation -- whether their actions were right or wrong -- was patriotism. ‘They did not profit or seek to profit from their conduct', Bush said, adding that all five 'have already paid a price -- in depleted savings, lost careers, anguished families -- grossly disproportionate to any misdeeds or errors of judgment they may have committed.'"

You see, it's O.K. to sell weapons to the enemy of the United States so long as the proceeds go to support terrorists in South America. Administration officials were quick to point out that the arms sales were in exchange for the release of hostages in Lebanon -- as though they wouldn't have otherwise covertly funded their terrorist friends in Nicaragua with covert weapon sales to Iran if there were no hostages in Lebanon. In addition, negotiating with terrorists (the Lebanese kidnappers) set such a catastrophic worldwide precedent as to be incomprehensible. Not surprisingly, the only "real" mistake that the Reagan Administration thinks they made was getting found out.

But we can't blame Bush for pardoning these Iran-Contra criminals. He had to. He was one of them.

"The Independent Counsel concluded that: the Iran operations were carried out with the knowledge of, among others, President Ronald Reagan, Vice President George Bush, Secretary of State George P. Shultz, Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger, Director of Central Intelligence William J. Casey, and national security advisers Robert C. McFarlane and John M. Poindexter."

By pardoning these criminals and painting their actions into a portrait of selfless patriotism, Bush was pardoning his own actions and painting himself as a selfless patriot.

The kicker is that although a president has unlimited pardon powers, it is highly unusual to pardon someone before trial and conviction. (The best-known precedent was the Nixon pardon) Indeed, if Weinberger was allowed to stand trail, there is little doubt that Bush and Reagan themselves would have been indicted and perhaps impeached for their brazen usurpation of American and international law.

Luckily, there is still one hope for justice. Let's look at two important facts:

1) The current Bush Administration has set a precedent, freely applying the label of "enemy combatant" to those it feels are working or have worked with the enemy against the United States.

2) The "Patriot" Act has a clause that eliminates the statute of limitations on such matters (USPA: Title VIII, Sec. 809).

Given that evidence already exists that Weinberger, McFarlane, Abrams and their associated group, (which included Negroponte) were involved in "aiding the enemy" it is certainly within recent character and precedent to take them into custody, indefinitely and without being charged, being named or being counseled. In fact, under current definitions and past evidence, the entire Reagan Administration qualifies as "enemy combatants". But this article is about despicable presidential appointments, not despicable presidential administrations.... Who am I kidding? Of course it is.

Book 'em Dano

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Thank you again Tom for refreshing my memory. If the Dems in congress don't filibuster this guy then I'm becoming a green, or a independent or anything other then a Dem. Damn the Dems if they let this guy in.

Posted by: blueinmo at February 17, 2005 05:12 PM

Unfortunately bluinmo, Negroponte was already up for congressional approval when he was slotted to become UN ambassador. His nomination was stalled for months by Democrats. They criticized his work as ambassador to Honduras in the 1980s, But after 9/11, He was approved rather quickly.

That was just one of the many ways that Bush benefitted from the catastrophe of 911.

See here for more examples...

Posted by: Tom Ball at February 17, 2005 05:26 PM

These people are detestable. How do they get away with this. I'm sure you're sick of hearing that question, but I have yet to hear a plausible answer.

Posted by: Janet at February 17, 2005 05:30 PM


The hill is a buddy system and they have for the most part created alliances which go back many years. One power position is filled by the old gang and he or she moves in the rest of the gang.

Bush Sr. is a back of the scenes player. He was director of Central and Reagans VP

A corporation can often function the same way when they have a big contracts. The sub contractors are all interconnected and over years have created alliances and when a job arrives they bring in their friends.

Posted by: Rolf at February 17, 2005 05:40 PM

Right-wingers love these guys becuase they accept the embrace the idea of "means to an end" and they understand that sometimes lesser evils are acceptable in the greater fight against 'evil'.

Posted by: David Pearson at February 17, 2005 05:45 PM

That's right, Our issue with that is that we often disagree on which force is more 'evil'.

Posted by: Spiderella at February 17, 2005 05:46 PM

Talk about "Night of the Living Dead" perps rising up to take control of this country! You forgot to mention perhaps one of the smarmiest "good soldiers" of all, and one who has miraculously managed to fool all of the people all of the time -- Colin Powell.

There's no doubt in my mind if Poppy had not pardoned himself and Caspar Weinberger, Powell would have gone down with them.

This is the worst possible news for those who now have the freedom to express their opinions on the Internet. We are headed into complete information lockdown. If you have anything to say -- do it now. Today.

The media -- all of whom know of Negroponte's atrocious background -- are in the throes of ecstasy. He's the "most respected" man on the political scene today..."soft-spoken, but firm"..."just the man we need; one we can trust to do the right thing"...

There are indentions on the walls of my office, where I careen around the room crazily, banging my head on the wall each time this obscene bunch slides one easily by the American people -- most of whom just sit there grinning vacantly, waving their little plastic flags made in China.

These indentions are blood red today.

Posted by: Sheila Samples at February 17, 2005 06:15 PM


"Obscene Bunch" is the perfect 2 words to discribe

Though the power of the net is far beyond them now, do not worry about that. As much as they may perhaps like to,it is not within their grasp.

If they did though shut it down, always keep in mind, Pylons go down very easy and the higher they are, the harder they fall:)

Posted by: Rolf at February 17, 2005 07:10 PM

This story simply get more bizarre by the day.The criminals who represent us abroad are a perpetual reminder of the bankrupcy of our system. Negroponte is the quintessential political hack who in the name of loyalty commits murder--and labels such behavior patriotic. This is surely the era of Alice in Wonderland. Bush must be impeached, or better yet, sent to Iraq without a laoded weapon.

Posted by: Jay Hatheway at February 18, 2005 11:33 AM

This story simply get more bizarre by the day.The criminals who represent us abroad are a perpetual reminder of the bankrupcy of our system. Negroponte is the quintessential political hack who in the name of loyalty commits murder--and labels such behavior patriotic. This is surely the era of Alice in Wonderland. Bush must be impeached, or better yet, sent to Iraq without a loaded weapon.

Posted by: Jay Hatheway at February 18, 2005 11:34 AM

I agree. This is yet another outrage in the daily parade of outrages we've grown used to. The American public has short memories, and Bush gets what Bush wants. It's so bizarre to be a witness to all this.
Perhaps someday I'll be telling my grandchildren about how America used to be in the good old days before this cabal seized control. I'm sure they'll think I'm senile and merely recalling some fantasy utopia that never was.

Hopefully, Americans will come to their senses before I have grandkids.

Posted by: Linda at February 18, 2005 12:18 PM

Ezra Pound did some bullshit work in his time also but for the most part his work is some
of the greatest that has even come out of America. America may not but the world
will forever eknowledge the greatness of his contribution to humanity.

One of Ezra Pounds translations I enjoy and perhaps you will also is the work (Rome)

From the French of Joachim du Bellay (1524-1560)
'Troica Rome resurges- Propertius


O thou new comer who seek'st Rome in Rome
and find'st in Rome no thing thou canst call Roman;
arches worn old and palaces made common,
Rome's name alone within these walls keeps home.

Behold how pride and ruin can befall
One who hath set the whole world'neath her laws,
All- conquering, now conquered, because
She is Time's prey and Time consumeth all.

Rome that Rome's one sole last monument,
Rome that alone has conquered Rome the town,
Tiber alone, transient and seaward bent
Remainds of Rome. O world, thou unconstant min!
That which stands firm in thee Time batters down,
and that which fleeteth doth outrun swift time.

From Ezar Pound's work " Translations" published 1970

Posted by: Rolf at February 18, 2005 04:57 PM

TOM!!! Did you know if people google their screen name their post are their from all over the web??? How is this possible??? Is it the cookie snachers and spiders???

Posted by: blueinmo at March 1, 2005 08:50 PM
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