J'Accuse: Bush's Death Squads
by Wayne Madsen, 31 Jan 2002
Today, The Washington Post ran the fifth segment in its series on what transpired within the Bush Cabinet in the aftermath of September 11 (At Camp David, Advise and Dissent - Bush, Aides Grapple With War Plan). Of particular interest is what CIA Director George Tenent brought to the table at Camp David last September 15. According to the article by Bob Woodward and Dan Balz, when Tenent produced a Top Secret "Worldwide Attack Matrix" that specified targets in 80 countries around the world, he sought unprecedented authority to simply assassinate foreign terrorists directly or though allied intelligence services. The CIA even prepared a "Memorandum of Notification" which would allow the agency to have virtual carte blanche to conduct political assasinations abroad. This Memorandum trumped previous mechanisms by which the President would authorize intelligence actions (but not assassinations) through individual Presidential Findings.
The fail safe mechanisms established under the administrations of Presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, and Clinton were simply erased at the urging of Tenent. In light of these revelations, what was authorized by the President may have led to the assassinations of a number of human rights and ethnic leaders not connected in any way with Al Qaeda but did represent bothersome roadblocks to a number of U.S. military and corporate interests.
It now seems likely, given the unprecedented "license to kill" President Bush granted to the CIA, there was U.S. complicity in the murders of the following individuals. Human rights commissions and war crime tribunals in Belgium and France should take a close look at these likely criminal misadventures:
- Theys Eluay.
Today, the Indonesian army chief, General Endriartono Sutarto, confirmed in Jakarta that West Papuan independence leader Theys Eluay was assassinated by Indonesian Army units after he was kidnapped last November 11. The assassins were members of KOPASSUS, a special operations unit trained by U.S. Special Forces and CIA personnel and was involved in massacres in East Timor during the Indonesian occupation of that country.
In 1969, West Papua was formally handed over to Indonesia by the United Nations after a referendum, now widely recognized as rigged, determined that the non-Indonesian population wanted to be Indonesian. Eluay was a thorn in the side of Freeport McMoran, a Louisiana-based mining company that has pillaged West Papua's natural resources and has been accused by local activists of propping up local Indonesian army and KOPASSUS officers with bribes and favors. Henry Kissinger serves as a Director Emeritus on the board of directors of Freeport and former Louisiana Senator J. Bennett Johnston, recently identified as a lobbyist for Enron, serves as a full member of the board.
- Abdullah Syafii.
On January 22, 2002, Indonesian army troops assassinated the military commander of the Free Aceh Movement, Abdullah Syafii. The Free Aceh Movement demands independence for Aceh, a region in northwest Sumatra, and is a member of the non-violent Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), an international organization headquartered in the Netherlands. It has also been at loggerheads with ExxonMobil, which has extensive drilling and refining operations in the territory.
Aceh's Governor Abdullah Puteh, who is claimed by local activists to be on the payroll of ExxonMobil, had written a letter to Syafii inviting him to attend peace talks with the government. Syafii's lieutenants claim that the letter contained a small microchip that permitted Indonesian KOPASSUS troops to track him down and ambush him. The operation has all the earmarks of the CIA, which can rely on National Security Agency (NSA) satellites to track such microchip transponders.
- Elie Hobeika.
Elie Hobeika was the head of the Lebanese Forces militia, a right-wing Christian army that was allied with Israel during its 1982 occupation of Beirut. Although Hobeika was in charge of the Christian forces that massacred hundreds of Palestinian men, women, and children at the Sabra and Chatilla refugee camps that year, he had irrefutable evidence that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had authorized the mass murder in his role as Israeli Defense Minister. An official Israeli commission of inquiry found Sharon indirectly responsible for the massacres.
Hobeika was going to testify against Sharon at an upcoming Belgian war crimes tribunal which has already indicted Sharon for the war crimes. It was that testimony that resulted in Hobeika being silenced by a Mossad car bomb that exploded near his SUV near Beirut. The bomb killed Hobeika and his bodyguards. The CIA, now closely allied with Mossad, is said to have given its approval for the action.
- Chief Bola Ige.
On December 23, 2001, Chief Bola Ige, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Nigeria, was assassinated in the bedroom of his home in Ibadan by unknown gunmen. Ige was a leader of the Yorubas, a largely Christian ethnic group that has championed the cause of southern Nigerian Christian tribes like the Igbo, Ogoni, and Yoruba that maintain grievances against exploitative Western oil companies that have spoiled their lands with pollution and pocketed most of the oil revenues for themselves and corrupt Nigerian politicians.
Ige was the presidential candidate of the pan-Yoruba Alliance for Democracy but lost to the current President Olusegum Obasanjo, a former general who is thought by many Nigerians to be in the hip pocket of western oil companies, including Chevron and ExxonMobil. A lucrative CIA and Pentagon front operation, the private military contractor MPRI, has been training special units of the Nigerian armed forces. These forces have been active in putting down anti-oil industry protests by Igbo, Ogoni, and Yoruba tribal peoples along the Nigerian coast.
Michael J. Boskin, the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Bush I is a member of the Exxon Mobil board, while current National Security Adviser Condolleezza Rice served on the board of Chevron. Currently serving on Chevron's Board is Bush I trade representative Carla Hills and former Louisiana Senator Johnston, who also serves on the board of Freeport McMoran.
In all likelihood all of these assassinations were likely known to the CIA and allowed to take place unhindered. The killings all directly benefitted the interests of the US military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower so poignantly warned us about some 40 years ago.
I more or less predicted the Indonesian murders a few months ago (just after Tenent received authorization to conduct assassinations of "terrorists") during an interview with Radio Singapore International. The transcript of that broadcast follows:
CIA assassination missions --
a look into the implications of this US Foreign policy
Source: Augustine Anthuvan,
Newsline, Radio Singapore International
Broadcast date: 30 October 2001
Wayne Madsen, a former Intelligence Officer at the National Security Agency in Washington with this comment.
When Senator Frank Church had a committee in the Senate [see extensive copy of the Church Committee reports inside Paul Wolf's www.cointel.org --ratitor] that found out that the CIA was conducting assassination missions against foreign leaders they passed very stringent laws against the CIA to prevent any abuses. And now what we're hearing is that the late Senator Church went too far. Well Senator Church was responding to some very severe abuses of authority by the CIA. And now we're hearing basically history is being changed on us here and we're hearing that Senator Church went too far in what he did.
And I think its very important now to understand that these things are all in context and what people like Senator Frank Church did in the 1970s really still applies today.
If CIA assassination missions are taken beyond the present operations in Afghanistan to other countries where terrorists are known to be operating, what sort of repercussions will this present for country to country relations? A concern I posed to Wayne Madsen.
"Especially in countries in South East Asia, we have a President who is very much in it with the US multi-national companies. What if they decide that West Papua independence movement in Irian Jaya -- West Papua -- could be a terrorist organization. And they could decide, Well we're going to target their leadership for assassination because they happen to be against the interests of Freeport McMoran -- one of the biggest mining companies in West Papua. Or what if they decide that the Aceh movement in Northern Sumatra happens to be [anathema] to the interests of Exxon Mobil corporation, and they decide to target their leadership for assassination. I think this is the problem with this type of wide sweeping authorization to assassinate foreign leaders. We may find ourselves assassinating people because they just so happen to be against US interests."