agent of evil in Chile and elsewhere. Although the CIA often seemed to run completely wild, Hitchens tells us that actually during this period a semi-clandestine body called the Fory Committee \(sounds like something out of the Stalin United States covert actions overseas \(and, possibly, at the CIA and other intelligence agencies. Between 1969 and 1976, Henry Kissinger was chairman of that committee. EAST TIMOR. Kissinger does not mention East Timor in his memoirs, and one can see why. There is strong evidence that he gave the go-ahead for its destruction. This small country in the Indonesian archipelago became an orphan when the Portuguese colonial empire melted in 1974. Struggling to stay alive, the East Timorese created a left-wing government, but its weakness tempted the giant next door. On December 7, 1975, Indonesia’s corrupt dictator General Suharto \(later deposed and jailed by his own Timorese resisted with gallant stubbornness, and paid the price of at least 100,000 deaths \(some put the death toll at The invasion of East Timor was launched only a few hours after Kissinger and President Ford had stopped in Indonesia to meet with General Suharto and his military cadre. Before leaving Indonesia, Kissinger told the press that the United States would not recognize the new East Timor republic and “the United States understands Indonesia’s position on the question.” It was plain that Kissinger and Ford had given Suharto the go-ahead for the invasion, using arms that the United States had ostensibly supplied for “defense.” Years later, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who was our ambassador to the United Nations at the time of the invasion of East Timor, wrote in his memoir that Kissinger “wished things to turn out as they did, and worked to bring this about.” Hitchens is among the many who believe Kissinger profited from his diplomatic assistance to Indonesia’s old establishment, which opened the way for James Moffett’s Freeport MacMoRan to control one of the world’s largest gold-and-copper mining operations. “In 1989,” writes Hitchens, “Freeport MacMoRan paid Kissinger Associates a retainer of $200,000 and fees of $600,000, not to mention a promise of a two-percent commission on future earnings.” Kissinger also became a well-paid member of its board of directors. In 1991 Kissinger helped Moffett close “a deal for a thirty-year license to continue exploiting” the Indonesian mining operation. At a large New York City gathering to promote one of his books in 1995, Kissinger was waylayed by questioners who insisted on raising the 20-year-old shame of the East Timor bloodbath. At first he tried to brush aside the issue, saying “to us, Timor, look at a map, it’s a little speck of an island.This was not a big thing on our radar screen.” But the questioners continued to pursue him. Journalist Allan Nairn confronted him with a State Department memo of December 18, 1975, proving that Kissinger and President Ford had given U.S. approval for the invasion. Furthermore, said Nairn, Ford had personally told him in an interview that they had given approval. Then Nairn hit him with the bombshell question: “Would you support the convening of an international war crimes tribunal under UN supervision on the subject of East Timor and would you agree to abide by its verdict in regard to your own conduct?” Rattled and angry, Kissinger replied: “I mean, uh, really, this sort of comment is one of the reasons why the conduct of foreign policy is becoming nearly impossible under these conditions…. Let’s have some questions on some other subject.” More recently Kissinger has been ruminating on “The Pitfalls of Universal Jurisdiction,” the title of a foreign affairs essay adapted from his current book, Does America Need a Foreign Policy? Toward a Diplomacy for the 21st Century. “In less than a decade, an unprecedented movement has emerged to submit international politics to judicial procedures,” the essay begins. “It has spread with extraordinary speed and has not been subjected to systematic debate, partly because of the intimidating passion of its advocates.” Who knows? It’s unlikely to happen soon, but someday he may be forced by an unfriendly tribunal somewhere in the world to answer questions about all his conduct. So far a French judge investigating the death of five French citizens in Chile has tried to subpoena the former Secretary of State, and a Chilean judge wants to question him about the death of U.S. filmmaker Charles Horman after the 1973 Pinochet coup. There are signs of change. Slobodan Milosevic has been extradited and is in the custody of the war crimes tribunal in The Hague. In June, four Rwandans, two of them Catholic nuns, were convicted in a Belgian court for collaborating with militia gangs who hacked and clubbed to death 7,000 refugees. “The trial,” wrote The New York Times, “has drawn attention from experts… because it represents a milestone in international law. It marks the first time that a jury of 12 ordinary citizens of one country is asked to judge people accused of war crimes committed in another country. Legal scholars say they are looking to the jury’s verdict… as an important precedent as worldwide interest in prosecuting human rights crimes mounts.” It is a movement that is likely to restrict Kissinger’s travels abroad, since he knows courts in several countries may be waiting for him. Robert Sherrill wrote “The Curious Career of Henry the K” in the January 21, 2000 issue of the Observer. 8/3/01 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 1
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The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.