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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent

Lied His Way In -
Lied His Way Out

A liar begins with making falsehood appear like truth, and ends with making truth itself appear like falsehood. - William Shenstone

Anthony McIntyre • 31/12/2002

Some relief is to be derived from the decision by Henry Kissinger to stand down as chairman of the anything but independent commission to investigate 9/11. In his letter of resignation to President Bush he stated that:

It is clear that, although specific potential conflicts can be resolved in this manner, the controversy would quickly move to the consulting firm I have built and own. I have, therefore, concluded that I cannot accept the responsibility you proposed.

Pretty mundane, but at the same time almost imperceptibly caressing the reader into sensing something even mildly honourable about the man they call Henry the K - as if he was endeavouring, hand on heart, to resolve a conflict of interest and ensure no gain for himself. And certainly not transparent enough to let us know that Kissinger was primarily concerned with not having to disclose the identity of his dubious client regimes.

Perhaps the one honest defence for the Kissinger appointment - even if deployed only to parry criticism - was that put forward by Clifford May, a former Republican Party spokesperson: ‘sometimes it takes a thief to catch a thief.’ But what faith could anyone have in this ‘toady to power and lackey of the Establishment’, as Molly Ivins described him, catching any ‘thief’ from his own community of power mongers?

Previous to his decision to quit, the vice-chair George Mitchell had likewise stood down ostensibly as a result of having to leave his law firm if he continued in his panel post. The real reason may have been that he did not want his reputation tarnished by participating in a truth commission presided over by a serial liar. The thought may have occurred to him that it was a bit rich to try Milosevic and serve with Kissinger.

Kissinger was hardly going to break with the tradition of a lifetime and begin to search for truth at the end of enquiry. His appointment in the first place seriously questions the claims of George Bush to be seeking the facts behind the 9/11 attacks. With Kissinger in command findings rather than the facts were to be released a matter of months prior to Bush seeking re-election as president. Bush, regretting the Kissinger decision to stand down, said ‘his chairmanship would have provided the insights and analysis the government needs to understand the methods of our enemies and the nature of the threats we face’. The US electorate may be excused for thinking it was itself Bush was referring to in this statement.

As Robert Scheer of the Los Angeles Times put it ‘the truth is, the administration doesn't want a commission looking into what went wrong on Sept. 11 because its focus might turn too close to Home’. Judged against this, Kissinger’s appointment made establishment sense. Again as Scheer puts it he is ‘the last guy who has the right to ask someone in government, "What did you know and when did you know it?".’

Into the place vacated by Kissinger has stepped former New Jersey governor Thomas H. Kean. Amongst other things Kean is a a director for the petroleum giant Amerada Hess. But because of Hess business links with Saudi Arabia this has raised concerns amongst the 9/11 families. From their point of view this coupled with the omission of former Senator Warren Rudman is portentous and is likely to compromises the inquiry. Rudman alone, they believed, had the ‘fierce independence’ from the Republican Party necessary to make the investigation credible. His record includes having served on a range of senior government study and advisory groups, including one that warned of US vulnerability to the type pf attack that eventually occurred on 9/11.

Stephen Push, a spokesman for the families summed up their perspective:

At issue is whether this commission is going to have any teeth… having one independent Republican will make all the difference… for some reason the administration has been fighting this from day one.

Their greatest fear lies in what Willim Ruvers Pitt summed up as ‘it appears that Bush has nominated someone who will be easily controlled.’

To make matters worse, in a recently published book by Alan M. Dershowitz, Why Terrorism Works, the US lawyer advocates torture as a means of extracting information. But if his thesis is correct, and were we to acquiesce in it solely for the sake of discussion - that an injection administered under the finger nail of the would-be victim for the purpose of inducing excruciating pain would rapidly lead to badly needed information being acquired - why not test it out on Kissinger? Given the number of countries that wish to question him - Chile, Argentina and France; he fears travel to Britain and Brazil among others for similar reasons - his knowledge of terrorist murders may be vast. But the double standard of the rich and powerful automatically kicks in. There are some truths no matter how revealing which are not to see the light of day, it seems in the worldview of people like Dershowitz. Just like the scalpel of the International Criminal Court the Dershowitz needle is not to be applied to the US no matter what it might bring to public attention.



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The Blanket - A Journal of Protest & Dissent



Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the dangers of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of 'crackpot' than the stigma of conformity. And on issues that seem important to you, stand up and be counted at any cost.
- Thomas J. Watson

Index: Current Articles

9 January 2003


Other Articles From This Issue:


Pressure on Sinn Fein Grows
Tommy McKearney


Hiroshima non amour: Desmond Fennell’s predictable dissent

Seaghán Ó Murchú


Bush and Blair are going for it: Time to Act
Davy Carlin


Lied His Way In - Lied His Way Out
Anthony McIntyre


Six Soldiers
Annie Higgins


Imperialism - It Hasn't Gone Away, You Know
Brian Kelly


Picket In Support of Human Rights Activists


The Letters page has been updated.


5 January 2003


Hammering Dissent
Anthony McIntyre


Maria Duce non Dulce (et decorum est)

Seaghán Ó Murchú


Amnesty International & Israel: Say It Isn't So!
Paul de Rooij


A Northern Majority for Irish Unity is Not Too Remote to be of Relevance
Paul A. Fitzsimmons




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