On April 19, 2004, President George W. Bush nominated John Negroponte to become U.S. Ambassador to Iraq following the projected June 30, 2004, handover of sovereignty to as yet undetermined Iraqi authorities. The Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Dick Lugar (R-Ind) is backing the nomination and has indicated that he will work closely with Secretary of State Colin Powell to provide a prompt public hearing for Negroponte.
Most observers take this as a sign of the "beginning of the end" of the American occupation of Iraq; that the expanding furor over the incidents of prisoner torture and sexual humiliation at Abu Ghraib prison and the swelling Islamic insurgency has all but beaten the Americans, and soon now they will be slinking home - tails between their legs - amidst a chorus of knowing "I told you sos" from the "effete," "prissy" Europeans and the "milksops" at the United Nations.
BUT THE VERY CHOICE OF NEGROPONTE and his two assistants - James Jeffrey, who will become the deputy chief of mission, and Ron Newman, who will become senior defense attaché (both with intelligence and special forces backgrounds) - together with the very size of the new embassy the Americans are building in Baghdad (a massive, fortress-like structure encompassing one of Saddam Hussein's gargantuan Baghdad palaces) arguers something else altogether. It's an ominous and very foreboding sign that the Americans are planning AN EXTREMELY BRUTAL AND MURDEROUS, "ANTI-INSURGENCY CAMPAIGN" (I.E., A PHOENIX-STYLE OPERATION) AGAINST THE IRAQI PEOPLE BASED ON THE SWEEPING AND VERY SAVAGE USE OF DEATH SQUADS - the kind of campaign pursued by the very person they have now put in charge in Iraq (i.e., Negroponte) when he was ambassador to Honduras during the bloody Contra Wars of the early to mid-1980s.
Moreover, the very fact that the Americans are working so feverishly to "pass off sovereignty" to the Iraqis at the end of June (which will be sovereignty in name only) is the biggest sign of all of the homicidal campaign to come. What the Americans are doing here is constructing the necessary facade behind which they can conduct this war clandestinely, "underneath the radar" and out of the American public's eyes; a "false front" behind which they can claim "PLAUSIBLE DENIABILITY" for the HORROR to come. There is a lot of REALPOLITIK "in play" here, the kind which the "milquetoasts" and "wimps" in Europe and the "pantywaists" in the United Nations find inconceivable to contemplate and impossible to fathom.
And there's no doubt about it: President Bush is enlisting the aid of the very best practitioners of REALPOLITIK in the world today to accomplish his dark, very menacing ends in Iraq. Terry Allan writes:
"Like SPOOKS from an abandoned B-Movie graveyard, officials of the Reagan-Bush era (i.e., the people who fought and won the homicidal Contra Wars in Central America in the 1980s) are emerging from the dirt and showing up inside the George W. Bush administration. THE LATEST RESURRECTION IS JOHN NEGROPONTE ..."
The "spooks" (collectively speaking) that Allan is talking about here first began re-appearing about three years ago. At the time, they called themselves the "COMMITTEE FOR THE LIBERATION OF IRAQ." The committee was a spin-off from the "Project For A New American Century" (PNAC), an elite American New World Order "front group."
PNAC was formed in 1997 by such Christian, Jewish, and financial elitists as Elliot Abrams, Gary Bauer, William Bennett, Dick Cheney, Vin Weber, Norman Podhoretz, Eliot Cohen, Midge Decter, Paul Dobriansky, Steve Forbes, Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfield. Essentially, these were the same men (and women) who - operating behind such "front groups" as the "Committee for the Free World," "Prodemca," "Friends of the Democratic Center in Central America" and the "Institute for Religion and Democracy" (IRD) - had helped America fight and win its "dirty war" in Central America in the early to mid-1980s. Indeed, there is some evidence that the idea of putting Negroponte in charge in Iraq came from Bush the Elder, who was Negroponte's connection to the White House during that time. [Please see Part II of our article, "A Woman Riding a Beast Going forth Conquering and to Conquer" for an account of the Bush family's shameful involvement in questionable intelligence and business matters all over the earth. Please also see the article, "The Family that Preys Together" by Jack Calhoun in the magazine Covert Action Quarterly; please also see our article, "George Bush, the Promise Keepers and the Principles of Messianic Leadership."]
The experience of all these men and women in the successful prosecution of that war convinced them of the efficacy of military power (including the dynamic use of anti-insurgency warfare and the aggressive utilization of death squads) in securing and expanding the American New World Order System. [We URGE you to read our article, "Making Merchandise out of the People of God: Selling the Upcoming War in Iraq" for a more detailed history of PNAC, especially as it pertains to the participation of evangelical Christians and conservative Jewish groups - particularly, those groups that revolve around Norman Podhoretz, Midge Decter and Elliot Abrams; please also see our article, "The Superman Theology of the International Christian Embassy's Feast of Tabernacles" for an examination of the ideology (theology) that has driven the evangelicals and the Jewish community together in "common cause."]
And how exactly will Negroponte operate in Iraq; what will his "anti-insurgency" campaign look like. We can get some idea by examining Negroponte's bloody record in Honduras.
But first it is probably useful to tear our blinders off concerning America's dark involvement in officially sanctioned TERROR and TORTURE. Brothers and sisters, I urge you to pay close attention to what follows because we are not concerned here with a few aberrations in the American Empire; a few anomalies that can be fixed and then everything will be okay.
No! - not at all! What we are examining is the REAL character of the American New World Order System. We are looking behind the mask of "generosity and benevolence" that America shows off to the world and especially to its own people, and what you will discover will make you retch with disgust. The very real fact of the matter is, the American New World Order System is a system of unmitigated HORROR and unending VIOLENCE, and just because Americans themselves have not yet felt the full impact of this HORROR and VIOLENCE in the "Homeland" doesn't mean that soon - very soon now - it will not be visited upon them.
Indeed, the signs that it is coming to the American "homeland" is plain enough to see for anyone who really wants to see: the slide of our country inexorably into dictatorship; the restriction of our right to assemble and protest the policies of the government; the increasing constraints on our right to travel; the new and enormous increase in government surveillance; the massive "militarization of the police;" the increasing ability of our government to wiretap our phones, monitor our email and internet usage, search our homes and businesses, and seize documents all without a warrant; the "right" of the government to arrest people without charges and hold them indefinitely (i.e., "disappear" people); the increased blurring of the wall between the police functions of the state and its intelligence functions, and so forth and so on.
These facts are nothing new. We have reiterated them to you over and over again. And when the VIOLENCE and HORROR finally does break in upon us, it will come suddenly, without warning and with great fury, and there will be no escape. And then what will those people say who believe that there is no "physicality" to "Babylon the Great?" - but it will be too late then, and it will be too late for those they convinced to stay put. The borders will be sealed and they will be stuck. Then we will see what kind of a game our critics have been playing; whether or not they will open their mouth and protest the involvement of the American church with the American New World Order System, or whether they will retreat into a sullen silence and just shut up.
Sadly, it will most likely be the latter than the former. The fact is, very few people - despite their bravado and bluster in "good times" - are willing to suffer the fate of people like Ines Consuelo Murillo, Jose Flores, Oscar and Gloria Reyes, Saul Godinez, Eduardo Lanza, German Perez Aleman, Manfredo Velasquez, etc. (see below) - all "menials" in America's system of client-states who opened their mouths up against the oppression that America was visiting on their countries once too often and paid the price: AND WHAT A HORRIBLE PRICE IT WAS!
And there is plenty of evidence as to what's been going on. The truth is, the HORROR and VIOLENCE inherent in the American New World Order System has been "institutionalized" to such an extent that it has been systematized in booklet form and made a matter of "routine" for distribution to the practitioners of this brutality. For example, take what Jeffrey St. Clair of CounterPunch Magazine writes:
"One of the darkest threads in post war U.S. IMPERIAL HISTORY has been the CIA's involvement with torture, as instructor ... or contractor. Since its inception the CIA has taken a keen interest in torture, avidly studying Nazi techniques and protecting their exponents such as Klaus Barbie. The CIA's official line is that torture is wrong and is ineffective, a line echoed by Seymore Hersh in his otherwise splendid reporting. It (i.e., torture) is indeed wrong ... (but) IT HAS BEEN APPALLINGLY EFFECTIVE. Remember Dan Mitrone, kidnapped and killed by Uruguay's Tupamaros and portrayed by Yves Montand in Costa-Gavras's film State of Siege? In the late 1960s Mitrone worked for the U.S. Office of Public Safety, part of the Agency for International Development. In Brazil, so A.J. Langguth ... relates in his book Hidden Terrors, Mitrone was among the U.S. advisors teaching Brazilian police how much electric shock to apply to prisoners without killing them. In Uruguay, according to the former chief of police intelligence, Mitrone helped "professionalize" torture as a routine measure and advised on psychological techniques such as playing tapes of woman and children screaming that the prisoner's family was being tortured."
And it's not just Jeffrey St. Clair; take Doug Stokes. In an article which appeared in the magazine CounterPunch entitled "Imperial Policing: Why Abu Ghraib Shouldn't Surprise Us," Stokes writes:
"The reports and pictures coming out of Abu Ghraib merely confirm what has long been a ... tactic within U.S. counter-insurgency warfare: targeting and torture of civilians. This terror serves not only to break the will of those targeted but has a wider symbolic psychological function in that IT DRAMATICALLY RAISES THE COST OF DISSENT. Whether it is (was) the 'war on communism' during the Cold War, or a 'war on terrorism' in the post-9/11 era, the targets and tactics have remained the same and the abuses at Abu Ghraib are the logical outcome of what the U.S. has long been teaching both its own counter-insurgency specialists and those of ... (its client-states)."
Stokes - citing the CIA's "Human Resources Exploitation Training Manual" - tells of the cold-blooded, unfeeling, and utterly pitiless manner in which the CIA deals with the subject of torture as a "useful instrument" in the "management" of client-state populations:
"The manual cautioned that if a 'subject refuses to comply once a threat has been made, it must be carried out. If it is not carried out then subsequent threats will prove ineffective'. The training manual concludes that 'there are a few non-coercive techniques which can be used to induce regression, but to a lesser degree than can be obtained with coercive techniques'. [So much for the common lie that the CIA doesn't use torture because it is ineffective; that's meant for public consumption only.] This manual was based on an earlier manual used by the CIA. The older manual was called KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation Manual and dates from 1963. In its introduction, the manual states that if bodily harm or 'medical, chemical, or electrical methods or materials are to be used to induce acquiescence' then prior approval ... (is needed). [Thus, giving away the lie that these methods are not used by American interrogators.]
"The manual continues that if 'a new safe house is to be used as the interrogation site, it should be studied carefully to be sure that the total environment can be manipulated as desired'. For example, the manual says, 'The electric current should be known in advance, so that transformers or other modifying devices will be on hand if needed'. The Baltimore Sun conducted an investigation into the use of these manuals. They were told by an intelligence source that the 'CIA has acknowledged privately and informally in the past that this referred to the application of electric shocks to interrogation suspects'. In sum, torture was condoned as part of the strategic arsenal available to counter-insurgency forces in combating alleged subversion. IMPORTANTLY, TORTURE NOT ONLY PROVIDED AN EFFICIENT MEANS FOR INDUCING 'REGRESSION' BUT ALSO ACTED TO INSTILL TERROR IN TARGET POPULATIONS. The abuses committed at Abu Ghraib thus form part of a covert tradition within the history of U.S. imperial policing and counter-insurgency warfare."
So much for those who would deny the fact that the U.S. uses torture and terror to enforce compliance to its wishes among its client-state populations.
But this is "manual stuff," and it remains just that - "manual stuff" - until one sees how it plays out "in the field;" how the HORROR described in the KUBARK manual is utilized by its practitioners as a "USEFUL TOOL" IN THE "MANAGEMENT" OF CLIENT-STATE POPULATIONS." And there is perhaps no greater practitioner of this "dark art" than John Dimitri Negroponte, Washington's new "man in Iraq."
As we indicated earlier, one can get an idea of what's about to happen in Iraq by examining Negroponte's bloody use of these techniques when he was ambassador to Honduras. As you examine Negroponte's history here - and the history of Honduras under his cruel rule - ask yourself honestly whether or not you could acquit yourself as honorably as Oscar and Gloria Reyes, or Ines Consuelo Murillo and Jose Flores. But be honest here - because this HORROR IS COMING STRAIGHT AT YOU, and if you retreat into a sullen silence before its onslaught, you will surely pay the price on THAT DAY. This isn't a game; this is for real!
In 1981 Negroponte was sent to Honduras to take charge of the "anti-insurgency campaign" that the Reagan administration had just initiated against the revolutionary movements that had "seized control" of Nicaragua (if such a thing could be said of a movement that had taken control of a country by means of a free and fair election), and that were threatening to do the same in El Salvador and the rest of Central America. "Anti-insurgency warfare" is "codespeak" for the use of Phoenix techniques (i.e., the use of death squads).
Negroponte was told to link up with a graduate of THE SCHOOL OF THE AMERICAS - i.e., the school that the U.S. military uses to train the officer corps of its lackey armies in South and Central America in "counter-insurgency warfare" - Gen. Alvarez Martinez, the chief of Honduras's armed forces.
He was informed that Alvarez was more than willing to "play ball" with the United States insofar as the use of death squads were concerned; Alvarez called it "the Argentine Method." [For a history of the "Argentine Method" and its connection to the American Phoenix Program, please see our article, "Bringing in the Kingdom of God Through Terror, Torture and Death."]
Allan writes that when Alvarez took command of the Honduran armed forces in 1982, at the age of 44, Washington had found a man ideally suited for its mission of running death squads in Honduras. Donald Winters, CIA station chief in Tegucigalpa from 1982 to 1984, wrote of Alvarez:
"Gustavo Alvarez was very much out of national character - dynamic, firm, uncompromising. He knew where he wanted to go."
Alvarez was the son of a high school principal who made him recite poetry to overcome a stutter. But his preferred reading was military history. He so admired Germany's "Desert Fox" of World War II, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, that he named one of his sons Erwin and another Manfred, after Rommel's son.
General Alvarez made no secret about his belief that terror and violence were the only ways to deal with subversives. As commander of the national police force known as Fuerza de Seguridad Publica (FUSEP), he had already created an intelligence unit that - under Negroponte's guidance - would become a death squad. It went by the innocuous designation of "Battalion 316."
On February 6, 1981, while still FUSEP commander, but already selected as head of the Honduran armed forces, Alvarez told Jack Binns - the American ambassador to Honduras and a holdover from the old Carter administration - of his admiration for the way the Argentine military had dealt with subversives and said that he planned to use the same methods in Honduras.
Binns - an honorable man steeped in the delicacy and refinement of old-line diplomacy - was shocked. In an urgent cable to superiors in Washington, he described the conversation:
"Alvarez stressed the theme that democracies and the West are soft, perhaps too soft to resist Communist subversion. The Argentines, he said, had met the threat effectively, identifying - and taking care of - the subversives. Their method, he opined, is the only effective way of meeting the challenge. When it comes to subversion, Alvarez would opt for tough, vigorous and Extra-Legal Action."
"I am deeply concerned at increasing evidence of officially sponsored/sanctioned assassinations of political ... targets, which clearly indicate [government sponsored] repression has built up a head of steam much faster than we had anticipated."
Binns recommended - very naively, it turns out - that the U.S. government should act to stop death squad activity in Honduras; but, according to Binns, his suggestion -
"... drew a thunderous SILENCE from Washington. My message was not a message anyone (in the new Reagan administration) wanted to hear."
As a result, Binns was given his "walking papers" and Negroponte was called in to take over as ambassador to Honduras in order to - in the words of the New York Times -
"... carry out the government's covert strategy to CRUSH the Sandinista government in Nicaragua."
Thomas O. Enders, former assistant secretary of state for inter-American affairs and one of the chief architects of the death squad strategy in Central America, described the change of policy in a recent interview in New York, where he now holds down (surprise! surprise!) an extremely lucrative position as managing director of Solomon Brothers, Inc., an elite investment banking firm (after all, the elites do tend to reward those who "play ball" with them). Enders said,
"We were afraid that the approach that had been adopted by the Carter administration (against the systematic use of death squads) ... would fail to convince the Soviet Union or the Salvadorans, Hondurans and others ("others" meaning the poor of the region who opposed the systematic pillaging of their country by the American elites) that we really meant business."
No! - that's not the approach the Reagan administration wanted to use, and Gen. Alvarez - who Binns had wanted to spurn - seemed to be exactly the kind of man Washington was looking for. Cresencio S. Arcos, U.S. Embassy press spokesman from June 1980 to July 1985 and ambassador to Honduras from December 1989 to July 1993, says that with Gen. Alvarez Martinez, the Reagan administration had found someone in Honduras who was willing to be their "go-fer." [And believe me, even right now as we speak, Negroponte is no doubt conducting a feverish search for a lackey similar to Alvarez Martinez in Honduras who will do his bidding in Iraq.] Arcos relates,
"Alvarez was a darling of the Reagan administration."
That was putting it mildly. The fact is, the Reagan team LOVED Alvarez! Indeed, in 1983 the Reagan administration awarded Alvarez one of the nation's highest awards: the Legion of Merit.
Not only that, but Donald Winters, Negroponte's "CIA man" in Honduras, picked Alvarez to be his adopted daughter's godfather. Godfather! - the man in charge of the Honduran death squads? - a godfather! My heavens! - a godfather is a person who is charged with bringing someone up in the admonition of God. What kind of god did Winters have in mind? But this is the kind of twisted, gnarled thinking that is all too common among "Christians" who serve the elites.
"(Negroponte) was a zealous anti-Communist crusader in America's covert wars against the leftist Sandinista government in Nicaragua and the FMLN rebels in El Salvador. The high-level planning, money and arms for those wars flowed from Washington, but much of the on-the-ground logistics for the deployment of intelligence, arms, and soldiers was run out of Honduras. U.S. military aid to Honduras jumped from $3.9 million in 1980 to $77.4 million by 1984 [a 2,000 percent jump in military aid]. So crammed was the tiny country with U.S. bases and weapons that it was dubbed the USS Honduras, as if it were simply an off-shore staging ground."
What exactly is Allan saying here? - what he's saying is that the strategy the Reagan administration adopted to handle the insurgency problem in Central America was to use Honduras as a BASE - i.e., the USS Honduras - out from which American-controlled proxies could fan-out across Central America, crush the leftist government in Nicaragua and the insurgency in El Salvador, and bring the whole area under American domination. THIS IS EXACTLY THE STRATEGY THE U.S. HAS ADOPTED IN THE MIDDLE EAST: SEIZE IRAQ AS A BASE, AND THEN USE IT AS A PLATFORM OUT FROM WHICH AMERICANS OR AMERICAN-CONTROLLED PROXIES CAN EXPAND ACROSS THE MIDDLE EAST AND BRING IT UNDER AMERICAN CONTROL.
AS IN HONDURAS, NEGROPONTE IS THE MAN THAT HAS BEEN CHOSEN BY THE UNITED STATES TO CARRY OUT THIS BLOODY PLAN. Central to Negroponte's plan is the use of death squads, just as it was in Honduras.
"The captain of this ship, Negroponte, was in charge of the U.S. Embassy when, according to a 1995 four-part series in the Baltimore Sun ... (thousands) were kidnapped, tortured and killed by Battalion 316, a secret army intelligence unit trained and supported by the Central Intelligence Agency. As Gary Cohn and Ginger Thompson wrote in the series, 'Battalion 316 used SHOCK and SUFFOCATION devices in interrogations. PRISONERS OFTEN WERE KEPT NAKED, and when no longer useful [they were] killed and buried in unmarked graves'."
[NOTE: "shock treatments," "suffocation devices," and "stripping prisoners naked" (as detailed in Cohn's and Thompson's article concerning Honduras) - these are the same "techniques" that have surfaced recently in Iraq at the Abu Ghraib prison; obviously, then, these methodologies are NOT new or novel; they have been in use in American intelligence circles for some time now (plainly, these techniques were being used in Honduras by the CIA and its lackey there, Battalion 316); the "surprise" and "outrage" that American officials are exhibiting today at the revelation of these techniques at Abu Ghraib is a sham; it's a pretense; it's nothing more than an empty display of "shock" for the benefit of cameras; it is meant strictly for public consumption.]
Negroponte was Washington's hand-picked "muscle-man" who had come to Honduras to "set things right" for Washington, like some kind of "mini-don" for the Mafia crime syndicate who had descended on Las Vegas like a great bird of prey to "set things right" for the New York mob. His sycophant in Honduras was Gen. Alvarez. Together, the two set about adopting the "Argentine Method" to the situation in Honduras. Alvarez was to have day-to-day or "tactical" control of the death squads while Negroponte had "strategic" control. Negroponte also had another job - to keep a tight lid of secrecy on what was happening insofar as the American public was concerned.
And that's precisely what Negroponte and Alvarez did - "set things right for Washington!" But it was a very messy affair and both Negroponte and Alvarez left their fingerprints all over the "crime scene." It couldn't be helped! The operation created too many victims, too many bodies, and - in the end - too many people (both victims and participants) who later told their stories.
The fact is, by 1984 everybody in Honduras knew who the Svengali was behind the utilization of Battalion 316 as a death squad: Negroponte; and that Alvarez was merely Negroponte's "go-fer." Gen. Jose Bueso Rosa - General Alvarez's chief of staff - knew! He recalls Negroponte's role in the creation of the death squads. He says that it was the "American's (by which he meant Negroponte's) idea" to turn Alvarez's Battalion 316 into a death squad answerable "directly to the head of the armed forces (meaning Alvarez)" and from there to Negroponte at the U.S. Embassy. [AND THIS IS EXACTLY THE WAY IT'S GOING TO WORK IN IRAQ WHEN NEGROPONTE TAKES OVER THERE, FINDS HIS "NEW GENERAL ALVAREZ" AND SUBORDINATES HIM TO THE DICTATES OF THE AMERICAN EMBASSY IN IRAQ.]
One of Negroponte's first projects in Honduras was the construction of Al Aguacate air base which was used as a secret trans-shipment point for drugs flowing out of Colombia to the United States The drug money that was garnered from this operation was used to fund many of the "black-ops" programs that Negroponte oversaw in Central America. [We URGE you to please see our article on the material that Gary Webb of the San Jose Mercury News developed on this subject for his series "Dark Alliance;" please also see our article, "The Drug Epidemic, Viruses, Ebola, and Aids," and our short article on the U.S. government's involvement in the drug trade, "History Of CIA Involvement In Drugs.."]
Al Aguacate air base also housed a secret detention and torture center. Negroponte and his coterie of state department and CIA operatives later denied that any murders had ever taken place at Al Aguacate or that there was a secret detention and torture center there, but the truth has a way of "surfacing" over time - in Negroponte's case, LITERALLY! Excavations at the base in August 2001 (some twenty-seven years after Negroponte's departure from Honduras) unearthed hundreds of corpses, INCLUDING A NUMBER OF AMERICANS.
Think about that! AMERICANS! - and you thought your status as an American citizen was worth something insofar as America's New World Order System is concerned? Well, if you did so, you are truly a simpleton and a naïf.
People like Negroponte don't care if you're an American or not - not even one whit! For example, take the case of Sister Laetitia Bordes, an American who had worked for ten years in El Salvador.
She went with a fact-finding delegation to Honduras to investigate the whereabouts of thirty Salvadoran nuns and women of faith who had fled to Honduras in 1981 after Archbishop Oscar Romero's assassination. [Romero had had the temerity to speak out for the poor in El Salvador; he was an ardent supporter of Liberation Theology, and an untiring supporter of the region's poor. Naturally, this "bought" him the hatred of the American elites who had him killed using an "indigenous death squad" controlled by "their man" in El Salvador, Roberto DAubuisson (please see our article, "Robertson, DAubuisson and the Death Squads").]
Bordes was captured by Alvarez's death squads in Honduras and savagely tortured; then she was thrown alive out of a helicopter at Al Aguacate air base and killed. And you think that Negroponte didn't know anything about that? - If you think he didn't know, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I want to sell you.
Allan continues his lurid tale about Battalion 316; he says that -
"MEMBERS OF BATTALION 316 WERE TRAINED ... AT A SECRET LOCATION IN THE UNITED STATES."
The training by the CIA was confirmed by Richard Stolz, then deputy director for operations for the CIA, in secret testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in June 1988. In testimony declassified at the Suns request, Stolz told the committee,
"The course consisted of three weeks of classroom instruction followed by two weeks of 'practical exercises', which included the questioning of actual prisoners by the students." [Please see our article, "The American Empire and the U.S. System of Client States."]
And how exactly was this "questioning" carried out? - a New York Times corespondent, Raymond Bonner, unearthed the surrealistic details of just such a "questioning" as described by a trainee (quoted verbatim):
"One evening they (i.e., the instructors) went and got nine young people that were accused of being guerrillas and brought them to where we were ... The first one they brought - a young fellow who was around 15 or 16 years and the first thing they did was to stick the bayonets under his fingernails and pulled them out. That day he was the first one that died under torture. The young fellow said all sorts of things against them (i.e., the guerrillas) in order to be let go. The interrogators said, We are going to teach you how to mutilate and how to teach a lesson to these guerrillas. The officers who were teaching on this were ... Americans. They didnt speak Spanish so they spoke English and then another officer ... translated it into Spanish for us. Then they began to torture this young fellow. They took out their knives and stuck them under his fingernails. After they took his fingernails off, then they broke his elbows. Afterwards they gouged out his eyes. Then they took their bayonets and made all sorts of slices in his skin all around his chest, arms and legs. They then took his hair off and the skin of his scalp. When they saw there was nothing left to do with him, they threw gasoline on him and burned him. The next day his dead body wasnt around but was found by people out in the streets - left as a warning!"
"The next day they started the same thing with a 13-year old girl. They did more or less the same, but they did other things to her, too. First, she was utilized (i.e. raped - the Americans didnt rape her, but the soldiers did). They stripped her and threw her in a small room, they went in one by one. Afterwards they took her out tied and blindfolded. Then they began the same mutilating - pulling her fingernails out and cutting off her fingers, breaking her arms, gouging out her eyes and all they did to the other fellow. They cut her legs and stuck an iron rod into her vagina.
"The last one that they killed that day suffered more, because they stripped him naked at midday. Then they put him on this hot tin and made him lie there - he was cooking. After about a half-hour, when they finally took him off, he was all covered with blister-like wounds. They did different types of torture to him. Then they threw him out alive at 14,000 feet altitude from a helicopter. He was alive and tied." [Entire section quoted verbatim - again, please see "Bringing in the Kingdom of God Death Squad Style."]
According to Bonner, during the entire time English speaking instructors were present which the trainees took for CIA personnel. Jose Berrera, a former member of Battalion 316 confirms the presence of eight U.S. and four Argentine instructors at a similar "exercise" that he went through in San Pedro Sulla, Honduras' second-largest city.
Battalion 316 did not operate alone. Thompson and Cohn confirmed the fact that all branches of the Honduran military were involved. The Honduran air force flew prisoners out of the country to military camps throughout Honduras. Officers in the special forces raided the homes of suspected subversives or captured suspects camped along the Honduran border. Honduran police stopped suspected leftists and turned them over to the battalion.
One collaborator was Fausto Reyes, chief of motorcycle police in San Pedro Sulla from 1980 to 1986. The 39-year-old Reyes described how he helped Battalion 316 stage kidnappings. He recalled the morning of January 29, 1983, when he pulled over Herminio Deras, a leader of the Honduran Communist Party. Reyes said he turned Deras over to three battalion members dressed in civilian clothes:
"I gave this guy to them alive. After that, I went to have a soda and an enchilada ... I returned when I heard the gunshot ... Mr. Herminio Deras was dead. He was there on the street."
In hours of interviews over a two-week period with former members of Battalion 316 in Toronto, Canada (where a number of ex-members of Battalion 316 have sought refuge), Thompson and Cohn learned that in addition to the "fundamentals of torture," the members of Battalion 316 were taught to stake out a person's home, use hidden cameras, tap telephone lines and "disappear" people. They told Thompson and Cohn that they had been trained at an army camp in Lepaterique, a town 16 miles west of the capital, Tegucigalpa. In addition, they received further training at a military base in the United States. Their instructors were from the CIA, together with instructors from Argentina.
Florencio Caballero, one of those interviewed by Thompson and Cohn, described his experience in the United States:
"We went to a U.S. military base in the United States. It was so private. There was no TV, no cable, only videotapes ... It was like a college. We had everything we needed - food, drink, a swimming pool." [The base Caballero is talking about is probably at a "secure location" at either Ft. Bliss in Texas or Ft. Huachuca in Arizona.]
Caballero described one of the first "disappearances" he actually participated in after his training; the man they "disappeared" was named German Perez (pronounced "Herr-mon"), a union organizer in Tegucigalpa who had been stirring people up against the growing U.S. presence in Honduras. On August 18, 1982, Perez was seized by Caballero and four other men. They were all wearing disguises. Caballero says,
"German fought a lot. They bit his ear off ... and pushed him into a blue Datsun. Then they took him to a secret jail on the outskirts of Tegucigalpa and tortured him."
Finally, Caballero says, they killed him.
Jose Valle, another ex-member of Battalion 316 that Thompson and Cohn interviewed in Toronto, said his first job for the unit was surveillance: following suspects for four to six days to determine the best time to strike. Valle said,
"We would see if he came straight home or stopped at the restaurant or university. We would take notes. We would take pictures if none existed. We would use motorcycles, cars. We would go out and execute the kidnapping. We all wore black masks ... if a suspect resisted, we beat him and sometimes shot him in the leg."
Many prisoners were executed, Valle said.
Valle described some of his "techniques" of torture - very simple, very painful. One technique was to stand a naked prisoner on a chair, then tie a basket to his testicles and his penis. As the torturer asked question, he filled the basked with rocks of corn and swung it back and forth. He remembers being told by officers of Battalion 316 that what they were doing, they were doing for "God and country." Valle went on to say,
"When we started with the battalion and started doing 'disappearances', [the officers] told us we were doing good for the country. If the country fell to communism it would be terrible."
After several years of torturing and killing, however, his belief that what he was doing, he was doing for God began to wear a little thin. But by then there was no way out. He was stuck. Valle explained:
"If I get an order and I oppose, I'm risking my life. And what can I do? ... I knew what I was doing was wrong, but there is a point where you go through this door and you cannot go back out through that same door." [This, sadly, is the kind of door through which the members of the 372nd military police Company from Cresaptown, Maryland passed at Abu Ghraib prison recently, and like their counterparts in Battalion 316, they are finding that there is no way back. And as each new group of Americans like those in the 372nd military police company pass through, they will find JOHN DIMITRI NEGROPONTE there to greet them, and to tell them that what they are doing, they are doing for "God and country." Of course, after their grisly work is finished, and they have turned into monsters good for nothing, they will be "TERMINATED" one way or another and "thrown away like so much trash without even so much as a "fair-thee-well." That's the way the system works, as Spec. Sabrina Harman and Pfc. Lynndie England - the "BABES OF ABU GHRAIB PRISON" (as Rush Limbaugh calls them) - are about to find out. In other words, there will be no letter of "thank you" for their "service" awaiting them from John Dimitri Negroponte or anyone else when they finally get out of prison.]
Getting back to the death squads run by Negroponte and Alvarez in Honduras, one of those that members of Battalion 316 surveilled and "disappeared" was Oscar Reyes, a journalist who wrote articles critical of the Honduran military and the domination of the country by the Americans. Reyes was one of the founders of the journalism school at the National Autonomous University of Honduras.
Reyes, who now lives in Vienna, Virginia with his wife Gloria, told Cohn and Thompson that on the night of July 8, 1982, a dozen soldiers wearing black ski masks and carrying automatic rifles raided his home. Helicopters hovered above the two-story brick home as both Reyes and his wife were tied up and driven to an abandoned house.
They were stripped and tortured as so-called "accused subversives." Reyes told them, "I'm not a terrorist. I never have been a terrorist." Nevertheless, he says that they tied his hands behind his back, hung him from the ceiling and beat him like a piñata" while his wife was shocked with electricity in another room.
Gloria Reyes, 54, says that the torturers attached wires to the nipples of her breasts and to an iron rod that they jammed deep into her vagina. She was shocked over and over again. She goes on to say,
"The first jolt was so bad I wanted to die. It was horrible. But then it was very strange, my body became numb. And when they shocked me again, I felt my body shake, but there was not a lot of pain."
But then she says she peeked through the rags tied around her eyes and saw blood pouring out of her vagina and down her legs. Through her blindfold Gloria says that she could see the bare walls of a living room and a gray concrete floor stained with blood and vomit - HERS! Later, in an adjacent bathroom, she spotted a blindfolded woman crouching in a corner. She had been horribly disfigured and mutilated. She wore a flowered skirt splotched with blood. Gloria remembers the woman shrieking:
"Please, just kill me. Look what you have done. Look at me. Why don't you just kill me?"
This is the kind of HORROR that it is costing the poor in America's client-states to be a part of the American New World Order System. That's not exactly what C. Peter Wagner, Paul and Jan Crouch, Charles Stanley, D. James Kennedy, Tim LaHaye, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Chuck Colson, Bill Hamon, etc. have been telling you, is it?
PRETTY BRUTAL! - way too brutal for most Americans (to say nothing of most American evangelicals) to look straight at and say, "I'm a part of this; I approve what's happening here."
As a result, the use of death squads throughout America's client-state system is run on a "subcontracting basis." This creates what the intelligence community calls "plausible deniability" which permits the American elites to run their HORRIBLE and MALIGNANT system at arms length; a system which uses TERROR AS THE ORGANIZING PRINCIPLE OF THE STATE. Thus, terror - raw terror - becomes the mechanism through which society is regulated and profits squeezed from the masses in the poor countries America dominates, and "plausible deniability" allows the elites to keep the terror implicit in the system away from themselves; it permits them - plausibly - to deny responsibility for the HORROR implicit in their system.
Casey Boland, in an article which appeared in the magazine Clamor entitled "America Made," describes a similar system of "plausible deniability." "Plausible deniability" is what the garment industry - specifically companies like Abercrombie & Fitch, Calvin Klein, The Gap Inc., J. Crew, Levi Strauss & Company, The Limited and Wal-Mart - uses to conceal its (i.e., the garment industry's) use of sweatshop labor. IT MIRRORS MARVELOUSLY WHAT'S HAPPENING IN AMERICA'S SYSTEM OF CLIENT-STATES. Boland writes:
"The garment industry operates as a 'subcontracting system'. Within this structure, businesses contract out all production operations. In the United States, almost none of the garment retail and manufacture companies create their commodity in their own factories. The entire market of apparel goods waiting to be bought on shelves across America is manufactured in facilities owned and operated by contractors and subcontractors WHO ARE NOT AFFILIATED WITH THE RETAILERS.
"... The retailers ... are the top dogs in the industry. They purchase clothing from the manufacturers. They sell the clothing to consumers. In keeping with the true spirit of competition firmly embedded in the 'American Way', manufacturers engage in a struggle to outbid one another for orders from the retailers. Like a ferocious illegal dogfight, some manufacturers walk away triumphant, others crawl away from the battle beaten, weary, or worse. Given the climate, it is not a surprise that manufacturers want to maintain the lowest production costs possible to appeal to the retailers.
"Retailers are a rare breed. Since they are few in number, they can dictate prices. This in turn determines the pace and cost of production. Powerful mergers over the past decade consolidated the might and influence of the ... mega-retailers. Sweatshop Watch explains, 'The 10 largest retailers account for nearly two-thirds of all apparel sales in the U.S. This consolidated buying power vastly increases retailers' ability to put more pressure on the manufacturers in terms of price and speed'.
"CURRENT LABOR REGULATIONS STIPULATE THAT RETAILERS ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LABOR CONDITIONS EXISTING IN THE FACTORIES FAR BELOW THEM. The subcontracting system fragments the workforce in the garment industry. The major retailers benefit most. They account for 50 to 80 percent of all apparel sales. By imposing prices for work done by their contractors and subcontractors, they effectively dictate maximum exploitation of the garment workers - to produce the highest quantity for the lowest cost.
"The manufacturer's job is to design and register new lines of clothing. They collect the materials to fill the orders of the retailers. Acting as somewhat of a middleman, the manufacturer works with the retailer and the contractors and subcontractors. HENCE, THE RETAILER HAS NO DIRECT CONTACT WITH THE CONTRACTORS AND SUBCONTRACTORS ...
"The contractor works directly with the manufacturer. The responsibility of the contractor is to produce and ship products to the manufacturer. The subcontractor works with the contractor. Subcontractors make specific parts of garments. Each process can then be performed in a different factory, such as sewing, dying, and cutting. The different factories send the unfinished portions to the contractor for completion. Both the contractors and the subcontractors are by proximity responsible for the conditions in which their employees work. GIVEN THEIR RELATIVE ANONYMITY, SUBCONTRACTORS ... CAN EASILY CLOSE UP SHOP AND RELOCATE UNDER A DIFFERENT NAME BUT WITH THE SAME ROSTER OF CLIENTS AND EMPLOYEES. It is estimated that there are over 22,000 contractors and subcontractors just in the U.S. There are about 1,000 manufacturers.
The thing to note about this system is the way it allows companies like Abercrombie & Fitch, Calvin Klein, The Gap Inc., J. Crew, Levi Strauss & Company, The Limited, Wal-Mart, Macy's, Bloomingdales, etc. to escape being tainted by the horror that is occurring in the sweatshops far below them - i.e., at the contractor and sub-contractor level.
This occurs because, as Boland writes, "CURRENT LABOR REGULATIONS STIPULATE THAT RETAILERS ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LABOR CONDITIONS EXISTING IN THE FACTORIES FAR BELOW THEM." This, of course, is a fiction. They know EXACTLY what is happening. Still, as Boland says, "... the retailer has no direct contact with the contractors of garment workers" (where the HORROR is occurring) and it is "plausible" (there's that word) that they don't know. They have, therefore, "plausible deniability" - and that's all it has to be: just "plausible."
Why is that? - because the consumers of the items retailers sell are so very eager to get their hands on these products, that that's all they need, just the smallest bit of a "fig leaf," to hide their shame that they are using a product that was made under conditions that are not only appalling, but INHUMANE on the most fundamental level. But consumers of these products realize that they couldn't afford the products otherwise. In other words, GREED MAKES THE SYSTEM WORK. How many women, for example, are willing to forego a dress which they could buy at Wal-Mart for $40.00 which otherwise would cost them $200.00 if made under less appalling conditions; and the same thing for shoes, handbags, make-up, and toys for their children, furniture for their homes, electronic gadgets for their kitchens, etc.
The willingness of American consumers to look the other way; to believe the lie that Abercrombie & Fitch, Calvin Klein, The Gap Inc., J. Crew, Levi Strauss & Company, The Limited, Wal-Mart, Macy's, Bloomingdales, etc. have nothing to do with the appalling conditions under which their products are made; to believe that their denials of wrongdoing are "plausible" - THIS IS WHAT MAKES THE SYSTEM IN THE GARMENT INDUSTRY WORK, AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT MAKES AMERICA'S SYSTEM OF CLIENT-STATES WORK; THE WILLINGNESS OF AMERICANS TO LOOK THE OTHER WAY; to accept the belief that the State Department and the CIA are telling the truth when they deny any connection to death squad activity in their client-states when the preponderance of evidence suggests otherwise.
WHAT THIS WILLINGNESS DOES, HOWEVER, IS MAKE AMERICANS - AND ESPECIALLY AMERICAN CHRISTIANS - COMPLICIT IN THE CRIMES OF THE ELITES. But turning the other way and pretending that you just don't see won't wash with God on THAT DAY.
Still, because America has no DIRECT connection with the death squads, it can claim that it's "hands are clean." "Plausible deniability" has been built into the system so as to allow people like Negroponte and others like him in the State Department bureaucracy to deny they have anything to do with the death squads that are running rampant in the countries to which they have been posted. As Boland says about the retailers in the garment industry, they "ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONDITIONS EXISTING ... FAR BELOW THEM."
But it's all such a damn game (and the word "damn" is appropriate here), and those who play the game are despicable and very contemptible individuals. People who engage in this kind of charade are like those Germans of sixty years age who - upon hearing one of Hitler's death trains carrying Jews to Treblinka and Sobibor - turned their faces away from the train as it slowly rumbled by and later denied that they ever saw the train.
Well, it's true, they didn't see the train, but they didn't see it because they had PURPOSEFULLY chosen not to see it, though it past by a mere three feet from where they were standing, shaking the ground and making a thunderous noise as it went by. Still, they're right, they didn't see the train - but, oh, what a DAMNABLE contrivance and subterfuge.
This is the kind of game that Negroponte "played" with the life of Ines Consuelo Murillo who was "disappeared" in Honduras one evening in 1983 while she was walking along a dusty road from Choloma, a small town near the northern coast of Honduras, with her friend, a shoemaker named Jose Flores. Murillo was a union organizer, and - of course - unions in America's system of client-states are a "No-No!" She also had friends who were associated with the Lorenzo Zelaya Front, a leftist organization which vehemently opposed the presence of U.S. troops in Honduras.
Murillo says she felt Flores tremble as they were being driven away, and she whispered to him,
"Although they will tell you that you are guilty of something, and they will tell you that I said you are guilty of something, do not fall into this madness. You are completely innocent."
After their abductors drove for about an hour, Murillo and Flores were hauled from the truck, dragged through a house and dumped into a damp, chilly basement. The men then stripped her, tied her hands and feet, and hung her naked from the ceiling. They fondled her for a while, and then they beat her with their fists. Finally, they clipped wires to her breasts and sent electricity surging through her body. She remembers,
"I was so frightened the way my body would shake when they shocked me. They put rags in my throat so I would not scream. But I screamed so loud, sometimes I sounded like an animal. I would even scare myself."
Murillo says that that this went on day after day for 78 days. As torturers attached wires to her body, she said that she could see through her blindfold that all her tormentors wore graduation rings from the Honduran military academy. Interestingly, during this period (1981-1984), almost all graduates of the Honduran military academy cycled through the U.S. military's "School of the Americas."
One night after more than a month in the basement, Murillo and Flores were awakened roughly. Her captives seemed angry, she recalls. They shoved her and yelled at her to put on her clothes. Then they blindfolded her and pushed the two of them upstairs and into the night. "I thought they were going to kill us," she said, "I began to cry." But Murillo and Flores were not executed. They rode south for several hours to another clandestine jail near a military complex known as INDUMIL, an acronym for Industrias Militares.
Situated among the low hills south of Tegucigalpa, the jail at INDUMIL was a flat, circular building used as a training center for an artillery battalion. Murillo heard the booms of large guns. Her captors pushed her into what she took to be a photo lab. Flores was taken away. She did not see him for the remainder of her captivity.
A radio blared all day, but the music couldn't mute the screams of prisoners. Murillo says she particularly remembers the cries of a woman being tortured in the next cell. She recalls:
"I heard one of the men say he was going to stick a rod inside the woman's vagina. The woman screamed, 'Oh no! Please!' And then she just screamed and screamed. Sometimes I felt as if they were torturing other people to torture me."
According to Thompson and Cohn, Murillo said that the torture at INDUMIL "was much more sophisticated." She says, "They tortured my mind as well as my body." Again she was stripped and not allowed to sleep. Her captors came into her cell every 10 minutes to pour water over her head and shoulders. "It was only this much water," she said, picking up her coffee cup. "But it had ice in it. It was so cold."
Once her tormentors brought a German shepherd named Mauser into her cell. [Remember the dogs at Abu Ghraib prison.] She was blindfolded, but she could tell that the dog was huge when her captors forced her to touch his broad head. "He growled all the time and barked," Murillo said. "I thought they were going to let him attack me." Murillo was told to stand straight and still; if she moved, Mauser would attack, her captors warned. She felt Mauser brush her legs as he circled. She stood still for more than an hour. Her torturers refused to let her go to the bathroom. When she finally urinated on the floor, they taunted her mercilessly, saying -
"You Communists have no mothers. You have no morals. You have no country. You have no God." [NOTE: Funny thing for them to say, "You have no God." But this is one of the great ironies of the death squads: most of them think of themselves as dedicated Christians. Please see our article, "The Death Squads - They're Closer Than We Think."]
About two months into her captivity, an American who seemed to be a regular visitor to the area came to her cell. Murillo says that whenever he came, she would hear her captors shouting, "Here comes Mr. Mike." "It was like an uncle coming to visit," she remembers. "I could tell he did not live there, but he was always welcome. [NOTE: "Mr. Mike" was later identified by the Baltimore Sun as Michael Dubbs, a RANKING diplomat in the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa. The Sun visited Dubb's home in Indiana. A man answered the door, but declined to identify himself or to respond to questions concerning the Murillo case.]
On this occasion, Murillo said, her other senses had become more acute. She heard the footsteps of three or four people enter her cell. Then she heard the sounds of a pencil scribbling on a pad and the passing of the pad from one person to another. One of her interrogators began to speak. It sounded as if he were reading, Murillo recollects. And although he spoke in Spanish, with a Honduran accent, his questions were not grammatical. Murillo remembers thinking:
"These are not the question of Battalion 316. They are the questions of Mr. Mike."
He was writing them and passing them to the Honduran interrogator, instead of speaking himself, she thinks. The man she believed to be an American remained silent through the 10-minute interrogation.
The American's visits to the jail where Murillo was held were confirmed in secret testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in June 1988 by - once again - the CIA's director for operations, Richard Stolz. He testified that the agency had learned from Honduran military sources on April 5, 1983 that Murillo had been arrested. [That was a lie; it was, most likely, on the instructions of the U.S. Embassy that Murillo had been picked up in the first place; but who knows for sure, any more than it can be proved that Calvin Klein knows what it's subcontractors are doing. Again, "plausible deniability."]
However, Murillo's family - which was very closely "connected" to liberal circles in the United States and in Germany (Murillo's mother was a German national) - had begun to make waves, and they were too serious to ignore. For example, they had enlisted the aid of Anton Kruderink, a U.N. official in Honduras, who bravely took up Murillo's cause and spoke to both the U.S. ambassador to Honduras (Negroponte) and the German ambassador. He also spoke to anyone in Honduras he met concerning the matter. Kruderink said,
"I felt that the more I spoke publicly, the more embarrassing it would be to the people who were holding her."
Negroponte expressed "shock" at what was happening to Murillo, as if his hands were clean of whatever was going on - again, kind of the way Wal-Mart expresses "shock" when from time to time the truth surfaces as to what's happening in the overseas sweatshops where its products are made. [That's what happened when Wal-Mart was discovered selling products from contractors and subcontractors in Saipan (a U.S. territory in the Western Pacific) where the U.S. National Labor Committee reports that "Young women are fired and deported for becoming pregnant, refusing to work overtime without pay, or complaining about working and living conditions."]
Shock? - to put it in the vernacular, "My ass!" And, "My ass" concerning the shock expressed by Negroponte with regard to Murillo's plight at INDUMIL, as if "Mr. Mike" (i.e., Michael Dubbs) was not keeping Negroponte fully informed about Murillo.
Yes, there is "plausible deniability" here, but - again - oh how thin it is! Nonetheless, it's on exactly this kind of thin "plausible deniability" that the U.S. has erected the system of TERROR that it uses as the "organizing principle of its client-state system." Think about that: a system where TERROR IS USED AS THE "ORGANIZING PRINCIPLE OF THE STATE." That's heavy! And insofar as Honduras is concerned, the TERROR just went on, and on, and on: Saul Godinez, an elementary school teacher and union activist, abducted on July 22, 1982 (never heard of again); Eduardo Lanza, medical student and general secretary of the Honduran Federation of University Students, kidnapped on August 1, 1982 (never heard of again); German Perez Aleman, leader of an airport maintenance workers union, abducted on Dec. 24, 1982 (never heard of again); Manfredo Velasquez, a 35-year-old graduate student, teacher, and political activist, abducted on Sept. 12, 1981 (never heard of again); there was no end to it. [AND IT IS EXACTLY THIS KIND OF NEVER-ENDING TERROR THAT NEGROPONTE IS PLANNING TO UNLEASH ON THE PEOPLE OF IRAQ.]
However, the fate of Murillo, Flores, and the Reyeses was different than those cited above. They were part of the lucky few who emerged from the hell that Negroponte had created in Honduras. They were released with much fanfare after the so-called "timely" intervention of Negroponte. That's part of the game. Kind of like what The Gap recently did when - with a great flourish and much fanfare - it announced that it was severing its relationship with 186 contractors and subcontractors whose violations of human rights were so egregious that even The Gap couldn't help but be tarnished.
But that's okay, the contractors and subcontractors simply re-organized, changed their names, moved their operations to different locations and opened up for business with the Gap using different identities.
Getting back to Murillo, on May 27, 1983 - 74 days into her captivity - Murillo's dear parents purchased a full-page ad in El Tiempo, a prominent Honduran newspaper. The ad was a portrait of Murillo headlined with the words: "Courage, my dear daughter." Four days later, Battalion 316 released Murillo and Flores. The prisoners were taken to a public jail and then to a court for arraignment. Murillo embraced Flores and said,
"They put Don Jose (Flores) and me together. I took off his blindfold and I told him, 'I think we have survived'. We were the happiest people in the world."
Everyone in Tegucigalpa knew who had been behind the kidnapping - Negroponte and his CIA cronies who wanted to silence Murillo insofar as the U.S. occupation of Honduras was concerned; for instance, Jaime Rosenthal, a former vice president of Honduras and owner of the daily newspaper El Tiempo: he knew. He says:
"There is no way United States officials in Honduras during the early 1980s can deny they knew (or were behind) the disappearances. There were stories about it in our newspaper and most other newspapers almost every day. The United States had an embassy staff here that was larger than most other embassies in the rest of Latin America ..." [America's embassy in Honduras was a hulking concrete complex on Paz Avenue, larger than its embassies anywhere else in South and Central America - larger even than the one in Mexico City - which is analogous to the embassy that is now being built for Negroponte in Baghdad where the embassy there will be three times larger than the embassies in such important countries as Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and even Britain, France, and Germany.]
Efrain Diaz Arrivillaga, then a delegate in the Honduran Congress and a voice of dissent in the prevailing atmosphere of American intimidation in Honduras, said he spoke several times to Negroponte about the human rights abuses in Honduras. Diaz said that in meetings in the U.S. Embassy and at social occasions, he rebuked Negroponte for what he suspected - and everyone else in Honduras knew - concerning the "dirty war" that the U.S. was involved in against ordinary people in that poor country. The Honduran legislator said Negroponte reproached him for refusing to take a strong stand against Communists who were trying to seize control of Honduras. Dias said:
"I remember Negroponte told me, 'You and others, what you are proposing is to let communism take over this country and over the region'."
What a sham! It wasn't the communists who had taken control of Honduras, it was the Americans - and they were running death squads in the country to TERRORIZE the people into accepting the U.S. presence there. Nonetheless, Negroponte claimed "clean hands" and a "pure heart" and blamed the TERROR on unknown left-wing "paramilitaries." And if to prove the point insofar as Murillo was concerned - and as a final act of irony laced with oodles of sarcasm - he offered to help the Honduran military track down "those responsible for Murillo's kidnapping." If he really meant what he said, he should have put handcuffs on himself, "Mr. Mike" (Michael Dubbs), Cresencio S. Arcos, and just about everyone else at the American Embassy in Honduras.
"Clean hands and a pure heart" - My ass! Their hearts were about as pure, and their hands were about as clean as The Gap's CEO - Millard "Mickey" Drexler - who boasted an annual compensation last year of $8 million while running some of the most INHUMANE, HORRID, and PUTRID sweatshops the world has ever seen; of course, on a "subcontracting" basis where, as Casey Boland of Clamor Magazine says "CURRENT LABOR REGULATIONS STIPULATE THAT RETAILERS ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE LABOR CONDITIONS EXISTING IN THE FACTORIES FAR BELOW THEM." BULLSH-T!!!!
This is exactly the way Negroponte handled the Reyes's case too - with feigned innocence and claims of a "pure heart" and "clean hands." The fact is, however, the abduction of the Reyeses caused such a public outcry that the Honduran authorities felt compelled to release them. Nonetheless, Negroponte had the audacity to claim that he had used his "good offices" to intervene on the Reyeses behalf. What mockery of justice it all was: after all, it had been Negroponte and his cronies at the American Embassy that had pressured Battalion 316 to kidnap the Reyeses in the first place - largely because of their opposition to the American occupation of Honduras. AND NOW NEGROPONTE IS HEADED FOR IRAQ? Again I say, God help those poor people!
On March 13, 1984, General Gustavo Alvarez, Negroponte's partner in crime in Honduras, was ousted in a coup by army officers who could no longer tolerate his murderous regime. Col. Eric Sanchez, now retired from the armed forces, thought Alvarez was "obsessed." Negroponte expressed regret at the ouster of Alvarez. He said:
"Alvarez was different from many of his colleagues in the Honduran military. Whether he believed in death squad activity, I really don't know."
What a crock! - coming from the very man who had partnered with Alvarez in constructing Honduras' regime of terror.
Alvarez was held at gunpoint, handcuffed, and put on a plane for Costa Rica. Costa Rica? - another U.S. puppet state; Alvarez couldn't possibly have gotten into Costa Rica without the State Department clearing the way first, which leads one to believe that the ouster of Alvarez had been engineered by Negroponte. Negroponte had no further use of Alvarez, so he was dumped. That happens when one of America's lackeys gets too hot (notorious) to handle anymore: Pretend that the U.S. is on the side of the angels, and assist in his ouster with much fanfare and showy hubbub. Then replace him with another lackey with less blood on his hands.
That's what the U.S. did recently with Ecuadorian President Jamil Mahuad in January 2000, with Peruvian President Alberto Fujimore in November 2000, with Argentine President Fernando de la Rua in December 2001, with Bolivian President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada in October 2003, with Haitian President Bertrand Aristide in February 2004, etc., etc. All these men were dictators installed by the Americans, and then dumped when they got "too hot" to handle and replaced with fresh faces - i.e., new lackeys - willing to toe the American line. It's a "revolving door" process that makes America look "good" to the people "back home," when in reality it is all just a game the Americans are playing - a game that feeds into their policy of "plausible deniability" and which allows them to keep the HORROR of the system they have created at arms length from themselves.
Later the same year, Alvarez and his wife and five children landed in Miami where they lived for five years. He joined an evangelical church there and embraced "Christianity" with as much passion as he had formerly embraced Battalion 316. There are some who believe that Alvarez truly repented from his crimes - NOT A GOOD THING INSOFAR AS THE CIA WAS CONCERNED.
In 1988, Alvarez said that he had been urged in a dream to go back to Honduras and preach the gospel. He felt that it was the best he could do in light of all the evil he had been involved in with Negroponte. Shunning offers of protection from former friends in the military who were impressed by his "about face," Alvarez took to preaching on street corners to anyone who would listen, saying, "My Bible is my protection." THIS WAS TOO MUCH FOR THE CIA; THE MAN HAD TO BE DERANGED. On January 25, 1989, five men dressed in blue and wearing hard hats surrounded his car and riddled it with bullets from machine guns. Moments before he died, bleeding from 18 wounds, Alvarez asked cryptically: "Why are they doing this to me?"
There are some who believe that Alvarez was killed by assassins at the instigation of the CIA, who felt that Alvarez had gone bazonkers and had to be shut up lest he - in a fit of repentance, which he seemed to building up to - "spilled the beans" on what he and Negroponte had really been up to between 1981 and his ouster in 1984; and that the question, "Why are they doing this to me" referred not to his former leftist opponents, but to assassins whom he recognized from his days when he had partnered with Negroponte.
Interestingly, the assassins were never caught, but a group called the Popular Liberation Movement (which no one had ever heard of before) claimed responsibility. In a statement, the group referred to Alvarez as a psychopath who tried "to escape popular justice by disguising himself as a harmless and repentant Christian." But these are the kind of tricks the CIA is fond of using. Ultimately, this is the kind of "loyalty" one can expect from the CIA if one ever really "gets religion." Again I say, God help all those who partner with Negroponte in Iraq.
The mission of Negroponte in Iraq is twofold: first to construct a "puppet regime" similar to the "puppet regime" behind which he operated in Honduras. Negroponte needs a "mask" he can hide behind when he begins running death squads on a massive basis in Iraq, which he is sure to do - after all, that's why he was picked as the ambassador to Iraq. That's why he had been picked as ambassador to Honduras. TERROR! - that's how Negroponte intends to bring the Iraqi people "to heel." But there has to be a BUFFER between the United States and the death squads when the HORROR of death squad activity bubbles to the surface from time to time. That is what's gone wrong in Iraq now: there is no credible BUFFER between the Americans and the TERROR that has been unleashed there.
In Honduras, for example, Battalion 316 ran the death camps and torture chambers at INDUMIL, Lepaterique and Al Aguacate. If Battalion 316 was unmasked, then the problem could be blamed on "corrupt elements" in the Honduran army; if that didn't suffice, then it could be blamed on "corrupt elements" in the Honduran government itself. In any case, America could stay at arm's length from the mess. There were at least three independent buffers between itself and the death squads. In Iraq, however, there are no buffers: no indigenous death squads; no indigenous army to back those death squads up; no indigenous police that can be counted on to work with the death squads the way, for example, that Fausto Reyes worked with Battalion 316 when he arrested Herminio Deras in San Pedro Sulla and turned him over to the death squads.
As a result, the Americans have had to take things into their own hands; they have not been able to keep the HORROR of running death squads in Iraq at arms length from themselves. They have had to run the death squads (for example, Task Force 121) and the prisons by themselves. There's been no indigenous lackeys to do the dirty work for them.
When that happens, there are bound to be incidents such as those that occurred at Abu Ghraib prison. It's not that what happened at Abu Ghraib was such an anomaly, it happens all the time in the American New World Order System; it's just that it was the Americans who got caught with their pants down, not some American lackey.
Brothers and sisters, the U.S. isn't trying to get out of Iraq by "passing sovereignty" to a new Iraqi government. There will be no real sovereignty passed to the people of Iraq, any more than there is real sovereignty for the people of Colombia in Colombia, or for the people of Guatemala in Guatemala, or for the people of Indonesia in Indonesia, etc.
These so called "governments" exist merely as "fronts" for the HORROR the Americans are perpetrating on these populations. That's all they are: "fronts," "facades," "masks" behind which the Americans can keep the HORROR of the death squad activity they have unleashed on the populations of these countries at arms length from themselves WHILE THEY PLUNDER THESE COUNTRIES OF THEIR WEALTH AND THEIR LABOR.
Brothers and sisters, it is not without reason that we have taken the time to tell you about all this, and to tell you the story about John Dimitri Negroponte - and we have done so at great risk to ourselves because people like Negroponte don't like stories told about them. One has only to remember what happened to Laetitia Bordes.
The story about Negroponte serves to illustrate the HORROR upon which America's system of client-states has been erected - and it is truly a remarkable story. Even somewhat beyond belief! - and so much so that it's hard for us as human beings to absorb it all: an empire of MALICE and HATE that has been constructed in our name right under our very noses while most of us were busy shopping at the mall, pursuing a career and raising our kids.
Indeed, it's so incredible that - while most of us might say we believe it - we really don't. And the evidence that we don't is proved by the fact that we don't react to its reality. As a result, we HEAR what's being said, but we don't DO anything about it, at least not anything meaningful. The Bible says:
"For if any be a HEARER of the word, and not a DOER, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass (mirror):
"For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was." (James 1:23-24)
What the Bible is saying here - to put it in the vernacular - is that those who hear the truth on a matter, and then who fail to react to what they have been told are not very bright. They are like the man whom Jesus said had an unclean spirit cast out of him, but who then failed to correct what had led to the presence of that spirit in his life in the first place. Specifically, Jesus said:
"When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.
"Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out (i.e., the man out from whom he had been cast in the first place); and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.
"Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: AND THE LAST STATE OF THAT MAN IS WORSE THAN THE FIRST. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation." (Matt. 12:43-45)
The last state of the man was worse than the first. That's what Jesus said! - and I must tell you, with tears in my eyes, how true that is with so many of my old compatriots-in-the-Lord.
Brothers and sisters, listen to me! PLEASE! What the Bible is trying to tell us here is that if you fail to react meaningfully to the warnings of Scripture, then it would have been better for you had you never heard the truth concerning the "end of days" than having heard it, failed to respond adequately. So also with regard to the information we have given you concerning the United States (i.e., "Babylon the Great"): what Babylon is really all about; the HORROR that encompasses it; and the utter INHUMANITY that defines its character. [For a detailed Scriptural identification of this great "Latter Day" nation, please see our article, "In Search of Babylon" What Does the Bible Say?]
If once you have determined in your mind that the United States is indeed "Babylon the Great," and you have come to grips with the HORROR and VIOLENCE that this great nation has perpetrated upon the world, how can you fail to react meaningfully to the knowledge you have gained?
These are, after all, not fables that we have been telling you. What happened to Murillo and Flores really happened: they were kidnapped under orders of the American Embassy in Honduras; they were then taken to a clandestine jail, and tortured nearly to death. Murillo had things done to her that are so obscene and abhorrent that one is left reeling in disgust by it all. Think about it! Think about a woman (maybe your mother, your wife, your sister) having electrical wires attached to the nipples of her breasts and to a rod that is then jammed up her vagina and then shocked over and over again! Some of you, no doubt, will condemn us for using words like "nipple" and "vagina" and so forth and so on, but THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED! - and you should know that that's what happened! And it happens over and over again in America's empire of TERROR and TORTURE.
And what about Oscar Reyes who had a wire attached to his testicles and his penis and a basket hung at the other end of the wire while his tormentors put "rocks of corn" into it and swung it back and forth. You don't like the words "testicles" and "penis?" - well if you don't that's too bad, because that's what happened. And, again, it happens over and over again in America's system of client states.
And if that's not abhorrent enough, think about taking a 13-year-old girl, peeling the skin off her face, and frying her alive on a sheet of metal over a roasting fire. Think about that! And think about the fact that officials from our government sat around and watched it happen. None of these things are anomalies in America's New World Order System. They happen every day somewhere - and usually at the direction of "empire authorities."
Think also about what happened to Archbishop Oscar Romero who - because he spoke out on behalf of the poor in El Salvador - had an American-sponsored death squad run by a man (Roberto DAubuisson) whom Pat Robertson called a "very nice fellow" break into his cathedral and murder him while he was ministering to his parishioners. [DAubuisson was known as "Major Soplete" (i.e., "Major Blowtorch") because of his habit of using a blowtorch on the faces of those he was interrogating - again, mostly on behalf of the American Embassy in El Salvador.] But Robertson's retort to all this was that DAubuisson was being maligned by the "liberal press." What a crock!
How can one not be repulsed by all this; and if one is not repulsed, then it means that he doesn't really believe what we have said (despite his protests to the contrary), or he has been jaded and inured to the HORROR of it all - and that is a terrible place to be. It means that his conscience has been seared (1 Tim. 4:2); it is no longer functional, which indicates that he may have put his salvation in jeopardy; you don't think that's possible, then what do you make of verses like 1 Tim. 4:1-2:
"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times SOME SHALL DEPART FROM THE FAITH, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
"Speaking lies in hypocrisy; HAVING THEIR CONSCIENCE SEARED with a hot iron." (1 Tim. 4:1-2)
The Bible equates "departing from the faith" with having a "seared conscience." What does that mean, "departing from the faith?" Well, whatever it means, it's scary. Not something that one would want to be cavalier about. These verses are about as scary as those we told you about in our last article ("I Am Amazed"): Rev. 22:18-19 -
"For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
"And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, GOD SHALL TAKE AWAY HIS PART OUT OF THE BOOK OF LIFE, AND OUT OF THE HOLY CITY, and from the things which are written in this book" (Rev. 22:18-19) ?
What does that mean? - to be removed from the Book of Life? Plainly, the Bible is saying that it's possible to be REMOVED from out of the Book of Life. Obviously, to be REMOVED from the Book of Life means that one was in it prior to his removal.
Getting back to the matter of a "seared conscience," one should have great concern for his relationship with the Kingdom of God if one is not truly HORRIFIED by what we have related to you in this article. It would seem that one's natural reaction to all this would be to get away from the United States as quickly as possible, after all -
"... what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?" (2 Cor. 6:14)
Your failure to react to all this gives the game away insofar as you are concerned, despite your protests to the contrary. Some, of course, would say that what happens in America's system of client-states happens all the time elsewhere in the world in countries not associated with the American New World Order System. Oh, really? Where? What countries aren't by now so associated? Colombia? The Philippines? Indonesia? Where? Maybe Iran! Yes, maybe - but Iran is far more the exception than the rule, and more than that, Iran doesn't claim to be doing what it is doing in the name of Christ. The United States does! - and most assuredly, Christians in the United States very much believe that that's the case. That's what C. Peter Wagner thinks; that's what Paul and Jan Crouch think; that's what Charles Stanley, D. James Kennedy, and Tim LaHaye think, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.
Still, there are those who would deny any meaningful physicality to the notion of "Babylon the Great." For example, one brother writes:
"There is a pernicious tendency in the minds of some (meaning those of us at Antipas) to posit the idea that spiritual utopia can be achieved through physicality - i.e., by escaping Babylon, spiritually AND physically, one can suffice the divine edict to "flee Babylon."
This person continues:
"To 'escape Babylon' and, ipso facto, its 'plagues and sins' (Revelation 18:4), has been the quest of spurious sects from time immemorial. Left inside the 'Babylonian cocoon', a metamorphosis full of 'sins and plagues' transforms the image of those 'left behind' into a hideous reflection. Separating oneself from the 'plagues and sins' of Babylon has been the quest of Monk and Mennonite, from Ruby Ridge to the Waco Compound ..."
I guess that makes us a "spurious sect" like those at Waco and Ruby Ridge. Oh well, what can I say to all that. This person goes on to say,
"An old saint once advised me: Wherever you go, there you are! Indeed, leaving the physicality of one place for another guarantees but one thing: You once were in Americana, and now you're in the 'XYZ Holy Ghost Compound' ... once you were in San Francisco but now you're in Jonestown Guyana."
Now we're the "XYZ Holy Ghost Compound" and we are evidently planning to migrate to Jonestown, Guyana, Jim Jones-style. Wow!
But, again, I should have seen this kind of criticism coming! My fault for not having anticipated it - especially from those I so dearly love. But what can you do? Despite all this criticism, we are not going to turn aside from what we believe the Lord has told us to do. You see, we really do believe that "Babylon the Great" is something more than a "state of mind" that we can battle at the shopping mall or while pursuing a good career. That there really is physicality attached to it; that it is something more than some kind of will-of-the-wisp "presence" that we can deal with while keeping our spouses happy and our "nests" intact. And we are willing to endure the "slings and arrows" of our loved ones to obey what we believe the Bible tells us we should do, even if we are called fools for doing so.
We believe that such statements as "Wherever you go, there you are!" treat the reality of "Babylon the Great" and the HORROR that it is perpetrating on the poor and destitute of the world in a shameful and very cavalier manner which exposes those who say so as being very unfeeling and hard-hearted insofar as their plight is concerned. We believe that such a statement is nothing more than a very lackadaisical way of avoiding having to deal with the reality of our situation, and that it is not only insulting to the people who are suffering under the boot of the American oppressor, but insulting to God.
In the imaginary world that our critics have constructed for themselves, there's no John Dimitri Negroponte; no Gustavo Alvarez Martinez; no skinning people alive; no ramming an iron rod up a woman's vagina and electrocuting her; no hanging a basket full of rocks from a man's penis. No sadistic dominatrixes like Spec. Sabrina Harman and Pfc. Lynndie England - i.e., the "Babes of Abu Ghraib Prison," etc. These things don't exist! Battling Babylon is a matter of the mind to such people, a matter of becoming more "spiritual" - really, more airy and ethereal to the REALITY of this monster that has intruded itself into our lives while we slumbered and slept, and I speak here of "Babylon the Great."
Put plainly, there is no reality to our critics' concept of Babylon, and - this is what's important here - if that's so, there is nothing meaningful that has to be done in the "here and now!" They can get on with their lives - buying a home, a car, a new TV, etc.
What pitiable, sad thinking this is - "Wherever you go, there you are!" It sounds profound, but it really isn't at all. It's superficial at best, and very, vacuous at worst - the kind of thinking one would use in order to stave off the necessity of having to "put legs" on one's convictions. Let me warn you all, there is a very real PHYSICALITY to "Babylon the Great," and those who ignore it are ignoring it at great peril to themselves and their loved ones, and I say that with great sadness of heart.
The tragic thing in all this is I don't really believe those who have railed on us - calling us a "spurious sect," a "Waco cult group," a "Jonestown sect," and other similar things - have really thought through the implications of the position they have taken. But time will tell!
Now this doesn't mean that everyone associated with Antipas must leave the United States. No, indeed! As I said in my article, "I Am Amazed," many of those associated with Antipas are staying behind in the United States with our BLESSING and ENCOURAGEMENT; for example, as I have indicated previously, our dear brother and sister in the Lord, Fred and Cheryl Palmquist, who are heading up our ALIYA Foundation are staying behind. There are others too who feel called to stay; and still others who are planning to come, but have legitimate reasons for not doing so now.
There is, as a matter of fact, much that you can do for us if you choose to stay: you can host Aliya groups (even if you are not planning on going), you can pass out our literature, you can act as a host for Fred and others from the ministry when they pass through, you can operate as a "way station" on our underground railway system in the United States (see Fred on that one), you can write articles on what's happening in your local area, you can support us financially (and heaven knows, we can use all the financial help you can give), etc. [NOTE: We urge you, if you have not already done so, to get in touch with Fred and Cheryl at (916) 455-1719, or email them at [email protected].
Now, a word about coming to Canada. Our hope for all those who come to Forest Grove is to train them up AND SEND THEM OUT all over the world. It's true that some may choose to stay in Forest Grove, but we hope many more will choose to go. In fact, as we have already said, there already are a number of groups beginning to form up to go to Latin America, specifically to Honduras and Mexico. They will be coming first to Forest Grove for training, and then OUT THEY WILL GO. [Please see our article, "A Plan Of Action For Antipas Ministries."]
More next time!
Until then, God bless you,
Finally, for those who haven't had the chance to read our last "main article," "The Aliya Foundation," we URGE you to take the time to do so now. Fred Palmquist is currently on a three week trip throughout the Western United States talking to people about Aliya, and encouraging them to start Aliya groups in their homes. You may reach Fred via email at [email protected].
PS Have the courage of your convictions! Contribute to the ministry by making out a check to "Antipas Ministries" and sending it to -