In the interest of bringing you stories the mainstream media won’t touch, we present the following editorial by guest blogger John Hankey. His research into Barack Obama’s top foreign policy adviser unearths some fascinating (and at times deeply disturbing) revelations about the chief puppeteer behind Senator Obama’s campaign.
WHO’S PULLING OBAMA STRINGS?
A closer look at Anthony Lake and the sinister forces behind Obama’s foreign policy
By John Hankey
Anthony Lake (left) with President Bill Clinton and Leon Panetta in 1994.
Anthony Lake has been chosen by Barack Obama as his chief foreign policy advisor. Lake, a former protégé of Henry Kissinger’s, is not well known for his role in the Rwandan genocide, but the evidence of his substantial participation in blocking UN rescue efforts, and of his preventing low-risk actions to stop the genocide, makes his key role on the political team of an African American candidate potentially scandalous.
There are other suspicious characters lurking behind the scenes of the Obama campaign. Consider also that Obama’s chief economic advsier is Austan Goolsbee, a Skull and Bones member. And another economics adviser, Liebman of Harvard, wants to privatize social security.
Former President Clinton has publicly apologized for US inaction during the 3 months in 1994 when 800,000 civilians were hacked to death in Rwanda. Privately, however, Clinton has indicated that Lake, Clinton’s first term National Security Advisor, kept him in the dark about the size and scope of the killing1.
Lake and his subordinates not only succeeded in preventing the US to from taking decisive action to stop genocide, but in fact Lake actively worked to make matters worse.
For example, in the earliest days of the genocide, Lake and Richard Clarke arranged for the US representatives at the UN to lead a mainly successful effort to pull all the UN peacekeepers out, to the shock, disbelief and horror of US State Department personnel in Rwanda and Washington. And Lake and Clarke worked throughout the killing to prevent the UN from re-enforcing the desperate remaining UN peacekeepers.
Obama has also brought on Richard Clarke, who along with Lake is someone I consider a war criminal for his role in enabling the genocide of 800,000 Africans in Rwanda. Lake’s activities led directly to the deaths of 4 million more in Congo. (Details below)
Lake has claimed that he was uninvolved in these efforts, but NSC records show that Clarke kept Lake, an Africa expert, fully informed of the proceedings. These NSC records are a major blow to Lake’s credibility.2
Lake and others have pointed to the “Blackhawk Down” incident in Somalia six months earlier that killed 19 Americans, saying that the US was unwilling to take any risks. However, there were many critical actions the US could have taken at virtually no risk. Prudence Bushnell, deputy assistant secretary of state for African affairs, acting entirely independently of Lake and Clarke, called Augustin Bizimungu, the Rwandan military chief of staff and a key organizer of the killing. “I am calling to tell you President Clinton is going to hold you accountable for the killings,” she said.
Though Bushnell that knew she was bluffing, the threat reverberated down to the grass roots tribal meetings in Rwanda. People were watching to see if it was true. The head of UN peacekeeping efforts on the ground in Rwanda, and a witness to much of the slaughter, Canadian General Romeo Dallaire, begged the US to send fighter jets to buzz the rooftops in the capital, Kigali, to make this bluff credible. But, though intimidated at first, the killers saw the UN withdrawing troops, under pressure from the US; and they saw that those few troops remaining were ill-supplied and ill equipped, despite Dallaire’s howling cries for troops, supplies, and equipment to stop the bloodbath.
The most significant, perhaps, of US inactions is in regard to Rwanda’s only radio station. Rwanda was a very backward country at the time, with poor roads, and little telephone service. The one radio station, RTLM, was of critical importance to the killers. Harvard Professor Samantha Power says the radio station broadcast names, addresses, and even license-plate numbers of persons to be killed. “Killers often carried a machete in one hand and a transistor radio in the other.”
The UN’s general Dallaire, begged the US to put the station out of commission, as something that could be done with maximum effect and no risk. Lake and Clarke refused, even, to jam the radio station, which continued to broadcast for a month after the killers had been driven from the capital.
What is also clear is Lake’s astonishing willingness to lie about events and his role in them.
Indeed, if a lie told by Lake is evidence that Clinton is telling the truth, then the quantity and severity of Lake’s lies weigh very heavily in favor of a finding that Clinton is to be believed on the question of his lack of knowledge regarding the killings in Rwanda. For example:
Despite his scandalous failure to take risk-free critical actions against the radio station, Lake told a PBS interviewer that, in fact, the US began broadcasting, over the radio, in Rwanda, the names of the leaders of the genocide, together with President Clinton’s threat to hold them responsible3.
Certainly, substituting the killers’ radio signal with such a message could have drastically reduced the number of innocent people killed. Lake’s telling of this story shows his inventiveness and creativity at dreaming up possible effective actions he could have taken.
But, it didn’t happen.
Lake also told the PBS interviewer that the US took steps to protect the civilians under UN protection at Amohoro Stadium. The opposite was true. To the astonishment of the frantic UN peacekeepers at Amohoro, Lake and company had the US mission to the UN introduce a resolution to remove all UN peacekeepers from Rwanda. They succeeded for the most part. The great majority of peacekeepers, and all the best equipped and trained peacekeepers, were removed.
DEPENDS ON WHAT YOUR DEFINITION OF “GENOCIDE” IS
Lake told PBS that the Non-Governmental Organizations, the so-called NGO’s were against taking action. But Samantha Power says, “By the end of the second week informed nongovernmental groups had already begun to call on the Administration to use the term ‘genocide’”.
In internal discussions, Lake’s subordinates discussed the need to avoid using the term “genocide” because, if the US were to acknowledge that a genocide was taking place, they would be required, under the UN Conventions on Genocide, to take action. So in fact, by urging the US to use the term “genocide”, Human Rights Watch and others were urging the US to action. Lake’s statement is a powerful misrepresentation.
In this same PBS interview, Clarke makes other astonishingly self-incriminating statements.
After the genocide was over, the killers fled, and were sheltered as “refugees” in camps on the edge of Rwanda, where they reorganized, rearmed, and trained to continue the killing.
The Goma camp was one of the most notorious. Lake says, “I took over, which is unusual for a national security adviser, the management of the Goma relief operation …”
Lake offers this information as proof of his concern for the victims. But the UN’s General Dallaire has characterized Lake’s personal handiwork thusly:
The refugees were organized by village, commune and prefecture and placed under the same genocidaire leaders who had led the killings in Rwanda. Remy Gatete, the prect of Kibungo, established control of the whole camp, threatening and, if required, killing anyone who testified to journalists or human rights activists about what the genocidaires had done in Rwanda. He also executed anyone who tried to go home. In addition, he began siphoning off humanitarian aid to support his thugs in the camp. The aid agencies … reinforced the abuse.4
Lake does not tell us the specific nature of his personal supervision of the developing catastrophe that was brewing at the Goma camp. But that he would offer his involvement at Goma in his own defense is rather startling, and certainly seems far more likely to incriminate, than exonerate, him in the eyes of the knowledgeable observer.
By all accounts, Lake’s work organizing the Goma camp led directly to the furtherance and extension of the conflict, that went on to claim 4 million lives in Congo.
Again, in this same PBS interview, Lake claims that he contacted the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon’s chief intelligence arm, to learn the latest most accurate information on events in Rwanda. He says that Defense Intelligence Agency told him that they didn’t know “who was killing who”. This may be the most astonishing lie of all.
Lake is an expert on Africa and African affairs. He would hardly have needed Pentagon intelligence to tell him who was killing who. In any case, by the time he asked, the story, that the Hutu regime was slaughtering its Tutsi citizens, was all over the New York Times and Post5.
THE PLOT SICKENS
It was mentioned at the beginning of this article that Lake is a Kissinger protégé. A Pentagon memo has surfaced, under the Freedom of Information Act, showing that a mere five days after the crisis in Rwanda first began, Henry Kissinger met with the head of the Pentagon’s Africa department, Under Secretary Frank Wisner, who predicted that if the peace process fails, “a massive bloodbath (hundreds of thousands of deaths) will ensue”; the “UN will likely withdraw all forces”; and the US will not get involved.”
This document is available on the web at: http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB53/rw041194.pdf
The memo shows that the Pentagon was much more than “well informed“. They had a sufficient knowledge base as to be able to accurately predict the future. It is astonishing that they were able to make such accurate predictions, a mere five days into an event that took over 90 days.
Certainly the memo indicates that Lake is lying about the Pentagon’s ignorance.
Most chillingly, this memo indicates that Lake’s “former” mentor, the greatest living war criminal, with warrants outstanding for his arrest for his crimes against the people of Chile, was actively involved in events in Rwanda.
Kissinger’s passion for secrecy should, however, alert us to the likelihood that evidence of Kissinger’s current relationship with Lake will not be easy to find.
Again, in this same PBS interview, Lake offers, as a defense of his inaction, that “the phones weren’t ringing” about the killing. It‘s hard to tell what, exactly, this means. The personnel at the State department were astonishingly well informed, and certainly screaming about the events. Human Rights Watch, as mentioned, was calling with eye-witness information about killings. The New York Times and other papers were covering the story.
But beyond the apparent falsehood of Lake’s statement is its suggestion that unless several people clamor simultaneously, Lake cannot perceive that genocide is bad. He not only needs to know about it, but, apparently lacking a soul, he needs to know that other people care. Presumably “Soulfulness” is not on Barack Obama’s list of qualifications for chief foreign policy advisor.
Finally, just to be thorough, Lake boasted to PBS that he used the word “genocide” in late June of ‘04, even though he “wasn’t supposed to,” insinuating that he spoke out boldly and bravely ahead of the curve (though after the genocide). However, according to Samantha Power, Warren Christopher had OK’d the use of the word on May 21st.
1) Samantha Power in the Atlantic Monthly writes that Clinton asked his National Security Advisor why he was not informed of the genocide: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200109/power-genocide. This is not unprecedented.
2) Ironically, Lake himself is the source for the presence and content of these memos, in his PBS interview (see note #3)
4) Romeo Dallaire’s book, Shake Hands With the Devil, page 336
5) “On April 10 a New York Times front-page article quoted the Red Cross claim that “tens of thousands” were dead, 8,000 in Kigali alone, and that corpses were “in the houses, in the streets, everywhere.” The Post the same day led its front-page story with a description of “a pile of corpses six feet high” outside the main hospital. On April 14 The New York Times reported the shooting and hacking to death of nearly 1,200 men, women, and children in the church where they had sought refuge. On April 19 Human Rights Watch, which had excellent sources on the ground in Rwanda, estimated the number of dead at 100,000 and called for use of the term “genocide.” The 100,000 figure (which proved to be a gross underestimate) was picked up immediately by the Western media, endorsed by the Red Cross, and featured on the front page of The Washington Post. On April 24 the Post reported how “the heads and limbs of victims were sorted and piled neatly, a bone-chilling order in the midst of chaos that harked back to the Holocaust.” From Samantha Power in the Atlantic Monthly, Bystanders to Genocide http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200109/power-genocide
John Hankey is a public school teacher, historian and documentary filmmaker in Los Angeles. Among his credits are films about the 9/11 tragedy, the assassination of President Kennedy and John F. Kennedy Jr.
His original documentary JFK II: The Bush Connection, has become a viral internet video sensation and an updated version is soon slated for theatrical release. The JFK film is available on DVD and VHS at Amazon.com or you can view it for free at YouTube.
Contact him by email: firstname.lastname@example.org