Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney
Covert Action in Africa: A Smoking Gun in Washington, D.C.
Rayburn House Office Building
Friday, April 6, 2001
10:00am - 12:00 noon
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney
I want to thank you all for coming today.
I especially want to thank our esteemed speakers for traveling, in some
instances quite a long way, to be with us today.
Our speakers are courageous individuals who have gone to many of Africa's
most dangerous and desperately poor locations, not for wealth or riches, but
in order to merely discover the truth. They provide us with a remarkable
insight into what has gone on in Africa and what continues to go on in Africa
Much of what you will hear today has not been widely reported in the public
media. Powerful forces have fought to suppress these stories from entering
the public domain.
Their investigations into the activities of Western governments and Western
businessmen in post-colonial Africa provide clear evidence of the West's
long-standing propensity for cruelty, avarice, and treachery. The misconduct
of Western nations in Africa is not due to momentary lapses, individual
defects, or errors of common human frailty. Instead, they form part of
long-term malignant policy designed to access and plunder Africa's wealth at
the expense of Africa's people. In short, the accounts you are about to hear
provide an indictment of Western activities in Africa.
The West has, for decades, plundered Africa's wealth and permitted, and even,
assisted in slaughtering Africa's people. The West has been able to do this
while still shrewdly cultivating the myth that much of Africa's problems
today are African made--we have all heard the usual Western defenses that
Africa's problems are the fault of corrupt African administrations,
centuries-old tribal hatreds, the fault of unsophisticated peoples. But we
know that those statements are all a lie. We have always known it.
The accounts we are about to hear today assist us in understanding just why
Africa is in the state it is in today. You will hear that at the heart of
Africa's suffering is the West's, and most notably the United States', desire
to access Africa's diamonds, oil, natural gas, and other precious resources.
You will hear that the West, and most notably the United States, has set in
motion a policy of oppression, destabalisation and tempered, not by moral
principle, but by a ruthless desire to enrich itself on Africa's fabulous
wealth. While falsely pretending to be the friends and allies of many African
countries, so desperate for help and assistance, many western nations have in
reality betrayed those countries' trust--and instead, have relentlessly
pursued their own selfish military and economic policies. Western countries
have incited rebellion against stable African governments by encouraging and
even arming opposition parties and rebel groups to begin armed insurrection.
The Western nations have even actively participated in the assassination of
duly-elected and legitimate African Heads of State and replaced them with
corrupted and malleable officials. Western nations have even encouraged and
been complicit in the unlawful invasions by African nations into neighboring
Something must be done to right these wrongs.
I invite you to listen and learn first-hand of the West's activities in
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Prepared Statement of Wayne Madsen
WHAT A DIFFERENCE AN ELECTION MAKES: OR DOES IT?
Wayne Madsen is an investigative journalist who has written for The Village
Voice, The Progressive, CAQ, and the Intelligence Newsletter. He is the
author of Genocide and Covert Activities in Africa 1993-1999 (Lewiston, NY:
Edwin Mellen, 1999), an expose of U.S. and French intelligence activities in
Africa's recent civil wars and ethnic rebellions. He served as an on-air
East Africa analyst for ABC News in the aftermath of the 1998 U.S. embassy
bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. Mr. Madsen has appeared on 60 Minutes, World
News Tonight, Nightline, 20/20, MS-NBC, and NBC Nightly News, among others.
He has been frequently quoted by the Associated Press, foreign wire
services, and many national and international newspapers.
Mr. Madsen is also the author of a motion picture screen play treatment
about the nuclear submarine USS Scorpion. He is a former U.S. Naval Officer
and worked for the National Security Agency and U.S. Naval
I wish to discuss the record of American policy in Africa over most of the
past decade, particularly that involving the central African Great Lakes
region. It is a policy that has rested, in my opinion, on the twin pillars
of unrestrained military aid and questionable trade. The military aid
programs of the United States, largely planned and administered by the U.S.
Special Operations Command and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), have
been both overt and covert.
ACRI, ACSS, and the covert programs all involve the use of private military
training firms and logistics support contractors that are immune to Freedom
of Information Act requests. More troubling than these overt problems are
those that involve covert assistance to the Rwandan and Ugandan militaries.
Sources in the Great Lakes region consistently report the presence of a
U.S.-built military base near Cyangugu, Rwanda, near the Congolese border.
The base, reported to have been partly constructed by the U.S. firm Brown &
Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton, is said to be involved with training RPF
forces and providing logistics support to their troops in
The increasing reliance by the Department of Defense on so-called Private
Military Contractors (PMCs) is of special concern. Many of these PMCs -- once
labeled as "mercenaries" by previous administrations when they were used as
foreign policy instruments by the colonial powers of France, Belgium,
Portugal, and South Africa -- have close links with some of the largest
mining and oil companies involved in Africa today. PMCs, because of their
proprietary status, have a great deal of leeway to engage in covert
activities far from the reach of congressional investigators. They can simply
claim that their business in various nations is a protected trade
secret and the law now seems to be on their side.
THE DESTABILIZATION OF AFRICA
America's policy toward Africa during the past decade, rather than seeking to
stabilize situations where civil war and ethnic turmoil reign supreme, has
seemingly promoted destabilization. Former Secretary of State Madeleine
Albright was fond of calling pro-U.S. military leaders in Africa who assumed
power by force and then cloaked themselves in civilian attire, "beacons of
In reality, these leaders, who include the current presidents of Uganda,
Rwanda, Ethiopia, Angola, Eritrea, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of
the Congo preside over countries where ethnic and civil turmoil permit
unscrupulous international mining companies to take advantage of the strife
to fill their own coffers with conflict diamonds, gold, copper, platinum, and
other precious minerals n including one that is a primary component of
Some of the companies involved in this new "scramble for Africa" have close
links with PMCs and America's top political leadership. For example, America
Minerals Fields, Inc., a company that was heavily involved in promoting the
1996 accession to power of the late Congolese President Laurent-Desire
Kabila, was, at the time of its involvement in the Congo's civil war,
headquartered in Hope, Arkansas. Its major stockholders included long-time
associates of former President Clinton going back to his days as Governor of
Arkansas. America Mineral Fields also reportedly enjoys a close relationship
with Lazare Kaplan International, Inc., a major international
diamond brokerage whose president remains a close confidant of past and
current administrations on Africa matters.
One of the major goals of the Rwandan-backed Rassemblement Congolais pour la
democratie (RCD), a group fighting the Kabila government in Congo, is
restoration of mining concessions for Barrick Gold, Inc. of Canada. In fact,
the rebel RCD government's "mining minister" signed a separate mining deal
with Barrick in early 1999. Among the members of Barrick's International
Advisory Board are former President Bush and former President Clinton's close
confidant Vernon Jordan.
Currently, Barrick and tens of other mining companies are stoking the flames
of the civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Each benefits by
the de facto partition of the country into some four separate zones of
political control. First the mineral exploiters from Rwanda and Uganda
concentrated on pillaging gold and diamonds from the eastern Congo. Now, they
have increasingly turned their attention to a valuable black sand called
columbite-tantalite or "col-tan." Col-tan is a key material in computer
chips and, therefore, is as considered a strategic mineral. It is my hope
that the Bush administration will take pro-active measures to stem this
conflict by applying increased pressure on Uganda and Rwanda to
withdraw their troops from the country. However, the fact that President
Bush has selected Walter Kansteiner to be Assistant Secretary of State for
African, portends, in my opinion, more trouble for the Great Lakes region. A
brief look at Mr. Kansteiner's curriculum vitae and statements calls into
question his commitment to seeking a durable peace in the region. For
example, he has envisaged the splitting up of the Great Lakes region into
separate Tutsi and Hutu states through "relocation" efforts and has called
the break-up of the DRC inevitable. I believe Kansteiner's previous work at
the Department of Defense where he served on a Task Force on Strategic
Minerals and one must certainly consider col-tan as falling into that
category -- may influence his past and current thinking on the territorial
integrity of the DRC. After all, 80 per cent of the world's known reserves
of col-tan are found in the eastern DRC. It is potentially as important to
the U.S. military as the Persian Gulf region.
The U.S. military and intelligence agencies, which have supported Uganda and
Rwanda in their cross-border adventures in the DRC, have resisted peace
initiatives and have failed to produce evidence of war crimes by the Ugandans
and Rwandans and their allies in Congo. The CIA, NSA, and DIA should turn
over to international investigators both signals intelligence and human
intelligence evidence in their possession, as well as overhead imagery,
including thermal imagery indicating the presence of mass graves and when
they were dug. There must be a full accounting before the Congress by the
staff of the U.S. Defense Attache's Office in Kigali who
served there from early 1994 to the present time.
A LINGERING QUESTION ON ASSASSINATIONS
The present turmoil in central Africa largely stems from a fateful incident
that occurred on April 6, 1994. That was the missile attack on the Rwandan
presidential aircraft that resulted in the death of Rwanda's Hutu President
Juvenal Habyarimana, his colleague President Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi,
Habyarimana's chief advisers, and the French crew.
This aerial assassination resulted in a genocide coordinated by the successor
militant Hutu Rwandan government that cost the lives of some 800,000 Tutsis
and moderate Hutus. This was followed by a counter-genocide orchestrated by
the Tutsi-led Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) government that resulted in the
deaths of 500,000 mostly Hutu refugees in Rwanda and neighboring Zaire/Congo.
No one has even identified the assassins of the two presidents let alone
sought to bring them to justice. There have been a number of national and
international commissions that have looked into the causes for the Rwandan
genocide. These have included investigations by the Belgian Senate, the
French National Assembly, the United Nations, and the Organization of African
Unity. None of these investigations have identified the perpetrators of the
aerial assassination. In 1998, French Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere launched an
investigation of the aircraft attack. After interviewing witnesses in
Switzerland, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Russia, Bruguiere apparently has enough
evidence to issue an international arrest warrant for President Kagame. A
former French Judge, Thierry Jean-Pierre, now a Member of the
European Parliament, in an entirely separate and private investigation, came
to the same conclusion that Kagame was behind the attack. The United States
government must come to its senses, as it did with past intelligence assets
like Sadaam Hussein, Alberto Fujimori, General Suharto, Ferdinand Marcos,
and Manuel Noriega, and support a judicial accounting by Kagame. If it is
proven that U.S. citizens were in any way involved in planning the
assassination, they should also be brought to justice before the
international war crimes tribunal.
Immediately after the attack on the presidential plane, much of the popular
press in the United States brandished the theory that militant Hutus brought
it down. I suggest that following some four years of research concentrating
on the missile attack, there is no basis for this conclusion. In fact, I
believe there is concrete evidence to show that the plane was shot down by
operatives of the RPF. At the time, the RPF was supported by the United
States and its major ally in the region, Uganda. Prior to the attack, the RPF
leader, the current Rwandan strongman General
Paul Kagame, received military training at the U.S. Army Command and General
Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Many of Kagame's subordinate's
received similar training, including instruction in the use of surface-to-air
missiles (SAMs) at the Barry Goldwater Air Force Range at
Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. It was Soviet-designed SAMs that were used to
shoot down the Rwandan president's airplane. By its own admission, the U.S.
Defense Department provided official military training to the RPF beginning
in January 1994, three months before the missile attack on the aircraft.
In testimony before the French inquiry commission, former French Minister for
International Cooperation Bernard Debre insisted that the two SAM-16s used in
the attack on the aircraft were procured from Ugandan military stocks and
were "probably delivered by the Americans . . . from the Gulf War." He was
supported by two former heads of the French foreign intelligence service
(DGSE) Jacques Dewatre and Claude Silberzahn, as well as General Jean
Heinrich, the former head of French military intelligence (DRM). Former
moderate Hutu Defense Minister James Gasana, who served under Habyarimana
from April 1992 to July 1993, stated before the
French inquiry that his government declined to purchase SAMs because they
realized the RPF had no planes and, therefore, procurement of such weapons
would have been a waste of money.
The contention by French government officials that the RPF was responsible
for the aerial attack is supported by three former RPF intelligence officers
who disclosed details of the operation to UN investigators. The three
informants were rated as Category 2 witnesses on a 4-point scale where 1 is
highly credible and 2 is "true but untested." The RPF informants claim the
plane was downed by an elite 10-member RPF team with the "assistance of a
foreign government." Some of the team members are apparently now deceased. A
confidential UN report on the plane attack was delivered to the head of the
UN War Crimes Tribunal, Judge Louise Arbour of
Canada, but was never made public. In fact, Arbour terminated the
investigation when details of the RPF's involvement in the assassination
became clear. The UN now denies such a report exists. Michael Hourigan, an
Australian lawyer who first worked as an International War Crimes Tribunal
investigator and then for the UN's Office of Internal Oversight Services,
confirmed that the initial war crimes investigation team uncovered evidence
of the RPF's involvement in the attack but their efforts were undercut by
senior UN staff.
After the former RPF intelligence team revealed details of the attack, they
were supported by yet another former RPF intelligence officer named Jean
Pierre Mugabe. In a separate declaration, Mugabe contended that the
assassination was directed by Kagame and RPF deputy commander-in-chief James
Kabarebe. The RPF, according to Mugabe, campaigned extensively for the
regional peace meeting in Dar es Salaam from which Habyarimana was returning
when he was assassinated. Mugabe claimed the idea was to collect the top Hutu
leadership on the plane in order to easily eliminate them in the attack.
Yet another defector from the RPF, Christophe Hakizabera, in a declaration to
a UN investigation commission, states that the "foreign power" that helped
the RPF shoot down the airplane was, in fact, Uganda. According to
Hakizabera, the first and second assassination planning meetings were held in
Uganda in the towns of Kabale and Mbarara, respectively. A third, in which
Kagame was present, was held in March 1994 in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso.
As it did with the three other RPF defectors, the UN took no action as a
result of this complaint. It appears, and this is supported by private
conversations I have had with former UN officials, that some other party is
calling the shots in the world body's investigation of human rights
violations in Africa.
The involvement of Uganda in the assassination tends to support the
contention of the former French government ministers that the SAMs were
provided to Uganda by the United States from captured Iraqi arms caches
during Desert Storm. My own research indicates that these missiles were
delivered to Uganda via a CIA-run arms depot outside of Cairo, Egypt. After
the transfer, Uganda kept some of the missiles and launchers for its own
armed forces and delivered the remainder to the Sudan People's Liberation
Army (SPLA) and the RPF.
Other evidence pointing to an RPF role in the attack includes COMINT
(communications intelligence) picked up by military units and civilian radio
operators in Rwanda. A Rwandan Armed Forces COMINT listening station picked
up a transmission on an RPF frequency, which stated "the target is hit." This
was reported to a Togolese member of the UN Assistance Mission for Rwanda
(UNAMIR). A Belgian amateur radio operator reported that after the attack, he
heard someone on a frequency used by a Belgian PMC in Kigali state, "We
killed Le Grand (Habyarimana)." The Belgian operator also stated that all
Rwandan Armed Forces messages following the attack indicated the Rwandan army
was in complete disarray n something that would not have been the case had
the Rwandan government perpetrated the attack on its own president. Another
source of COMINT was a French signals intelligence unit sent to Kigali from
the French military base in Bangui, Central African Republic. According to
French Judge Jean-Pierre, copies of French intercepts of RPF communications
indicate, beyond a doubt, the culpability of the RPF in the attack on the
Some formerly classified US State Department cables, which I received
following a Freedom of Information Act request, reveal that the U.S. foreign
policy establishment was of two minds over the April 6 attack. The U.S.
Embassy in Burundi kept a surprisingly open mind about its theories about the
missile attack, even suggesting a Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) role in it.
Other U.S. diplomatic posts, most notably that in Kigali, seemed to follow
the script that the aircraft was downed by hard-line Hutus who wanted to
implement a well-planned genocide of Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
A May 25 1994 Secret message from the Department of State to all African
diplomatic posts also reports that "the RPF has summarily executed Hutu
militia alleged to have been involved in the massacres and the RPF has
admitted to such killings." The same message states that "Rwandan government
officials who controlled the airport" or "French military officials"
recovered the downed presidential aircraft's black box after securing the
airport and removing the body of the French pilot from Habyarimana's plane.
However, according to officials I interviewed who were involved with UN air
movements in the region, the black box was secretly transported to UN
Headquarters in New York where it remains to this day.
Officially, the Rwandan government claims the black box went missing.
According to the UN investigators, the black box was spirited away by UN
officials from Kigali to New York via Nairobi. In addition, this shipment
was known to US government officials. According to the UN sources, data from
the black box is being withheld by the UN under pressure from our own
government. The investigators also revealed that RPF forces controlled three
major approaches to Kayibanda Airport on the evening of the attack and that
European mercenaries, in the pay of the RPF and US intelligence, planned and
launched the missile attack on the Mystere-Falcon. The CIA figured
prominently in the UN investigation of the missile attack. According to the
investigators, the search for the assassins ultimately led to a warehouse in
Kanombe, near the airport. From this warehouse, during the afternoon of
April 6, the missile launchers were assembled and readied for action by the
mercenaries. As the UN investigation team was nearing its final conclusion
and was prepared to turn up evidence indicating the warehouse had been
leased by a Swiss company, said to be linked to U.S. intelligence, its
mandate was swiftly terminated.
It is clear that the United States, contrary to comments made by its senior
officials, including former President Clinton, played more of a role in the
Rwandan tragedy than it readily admits. This involvement continued through
the successive Rwandan and Ugandan-led invasions of neighboring Zaire/Congo.
Speculation that Rwanda was behind the recent assassination of President
Laurent Kabila in Congo (and rumors that the CIA was behind it) has done
little to put the United States in a
favorable light in the region. After all, the date of Kabila's assassination
on January 16 this year -- was practically 40 years from the very day of the
CIA-planned and executed assassination of Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba.
The quick pace at which Kabila's son and successor Joseph Kabila visited the
United States n at the same time of Kagame's presence, and his subsequent
meetings with Corporate Council for Africa officials and Maurice Tempelsman
(the majordomo of U.S. Africa policy), calls into question what the United
States knew about the assassination and when it knew about it.
Also, particularly troublesome is a conclusion the CIA is said to have
reached in an assessment written in January 1994, a few months before the
genocide. According to key officials I have interviewed during my research,
that analysis came to the conclusion that in the event that President
Habyarimana was assassinated, the minimum number of deaths resulting from the
mayhem in Rwanda would be 500 (confined mostly to Kigali and environs) and
the maximum 500,000. Regrettably, the CIA's higher figure was closer to
Certain interests in the United States had reason to see Habyarimana and
other pro-French leaders in central Africa out of the way. As recently
written by Gilbert Ngijol, a former Assistant to the Special Representative
of the Secretary General of the UN to Rwanda in 1994, the United States
directly benefited economically from the loss of influence of French and
Belgian mining interests in the central Africa and Great Lakes regions.
There is also reason to believe that a number of people with knowledge of
Kagame's plot against the presidential aircraft have been assassinated. These
possibly include Tanzania's former intelligence chief, Major General Imran
Kombe, shot dead by policemen in northeastern Tanzania after he was mistaken
for a notorious car thief. His wife maintains he was assassinated. Kombe had
knowledge of not only the planned assassination of the Rwandan and Burundian
presidents but a plot against Kenya's President Moi and Zaire's President
Mobutu, as well. There is a belief that Roman Catholic Archbishop of Bukavu,
Emmanuel Kataliko, was assassinated last
October in Rome by members of a Rwandan hit team acting on orders from
Kagame. Other Tutsi and Hutu leaders who oppose Kagame's regime continue to
flee Rwanda to the U.S. and France in fear of their lives. Rwanda's
figurehead Hutu President Pasteur Bizimungu was forced to resign last year
under pressure from the only power in Rwanda, his then-Vice President, Paul
Kagame. Deus Kagiraneza, a former intelligence officer in Kagame's Military
Intelligence Directorate (DMI), interim Prefect of the Ruhengeri province,
and member of the Parliament, is now in exile in Belgium. He charges that
Kagame's top government and military are responsible for torturing and
executing their political opponents. Kagiraneza maintains that the RPF has
pursued such policies since the time of the 1990 invasion of Rwanda from
It is beyond time for the Congress to seriously examine the role of the
United States in the genocide and civil wars of central Africa, as well as
the role that PMCs currently play in other African trouble spots like
Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Ethiopia, and Cabinda.
Other nations, some with less than stellar records in Africa, France and
Belgium for example, have had no problem examining their own roles in
Africa's last decade of turmoil. At the very least, the United States, as the
world's leading democracy, owes Africa at least the example
of a critical self-inspection.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Prepared Statement of Keith Snow
Thank you Representative McKinney for organizing this very important forum.
I find it particularly remarkable that the diamond exports from the
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) were some US$897 million in 1997. Now this
is a "country" which was in a major war. And then in 1998, DRC ranked second
in diamond production at 25.7 million carats. Again, a country in a brutal
war where hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people and in fact I think it
is millions of people -- suffered the consequences through disease and
despair and displacement and rape and hunger and robbery and often death.
Based on my research, this is a western syndicated proxy war, and like Sierra
Leone, Angola and Sudan, it is war-as-cover for the rapid and unrestricted
extraction of raw materials, and war as a means to totally disenfranchise the
local people. Diamonds, gold, columbium tantalite, niobium, cobalt, manganese
and petroleum, natural gas and timber and possibly uranium -- are a few of
the major spoils being pillaged behind the scenes as war ravages DRC n and
some of these minerals are almost solely found in DRC, especially cobalt,
niobium, columbium tantalite.
Barrick Gold provides a convenient example using war-as-cover. According to
testimony I took in western Uganda in November, Barrick Gold is operating in
the Kilo Moto mines near Bunia. These mines are reportedly protected by UPDF.
An Israeli General was awarded another Kilo Moto concession and UPDF and RCD
operate others. And there is massive ivory poaching again protection rackets
going on. Barrick Advisory Board member George Bush and his CIA connections
certainly play into these mining deals and lay the groundwork a.k.a.
slaughter if necessary to get the product. That includes long-time links to
people like CIA station operative in Zaire Lawrence Devlin for example, and
his associations with the Templesmans. Look at the CIA operations in
Lubumbashi and you will probably find connections
to the repression and massacres of students at the University of Lubumbashi
in the early 1990's.
George Bush apparently telephoned Mobutu just prior to the first US supported
invasion of Congo August 1996 n on behalf of Swedish Financier Adolph Lundin
to negotiate a deal over the Kilo Moto fields. And the US Presidential
Election outcome of 1996 was completely irrelevant to the invasion of Zaire
and the replacement of Mobutu. Remember that Kagame was in Washington about
August 1996 checking his battle plans with the Pentagon. Mobutu's days were
The US took all the right decisions to allow the Rwanda genocide to unfold.
And Clinton's comment that "we didn't know what was going on at the time"
couldn't have been a bigger lie. Do you suppose it was coincidental that a
Rwanda delegate rotated on to the security council early in 1994 and then
worked with US representatives to block all subsequent attempts to deal
appropriately with the unfolding slaughter?
The Lundin Group appears also to be involved in south Katanga, where they are
into the Tenke Fungarume copper/cobalt concessions. This is near where
America Mineral Fields International and Anglo American are operating as
well. And these are a few of the many mining companies.
All these US military programs like IMET and E-IMET, ACRI and JCET are
designed to consolidate US hegemony. UPDF and RCD and SPLA have conscripted
child soldiers. They use sophisticated weapons n not only the machetes so
widely advertised by the media propaganda front of 1994 which sowed
indifference and apathy in the US public. Troops have been trained by US
green berets and US military personnel have worked to coordinate SPLA and
RPF/UPDF/RCD military campaigns. This is according to Ugandan dissidents
and/or Congolese refugees fleeing Congo and/or ex-patriots on the ground. And
there are plenty of people who support these statements.
Weapons are reportedly shipped in through Entebbe. Again, people testified to
seeing "American blacks" -- quote Negroes unquote traveling in the area, both
in Uganda and in Eastern DRC, but they are always very clandestine and they
don't mingle or talk to people. One refugee cited the locations of jungle
camps where western n he said American n military advisors were training RCD
or RPF or UPDF guerrillas in counterinsurgency and heavy artillery
operations. Again, this was in November.
Note that the whole Tutsi contre-genocide against Hutus is off the radar
screen of people in the US and that's because the media has covered for the
powerful interests and US agenda of consolidating power in the region by any
means necessary. In fact, the RPF have actually "turned" Interahamwe to their
service in doing the dirty work of eliminating any dissidents and insurgents
and creating a situation defined by the media as incomprehensible tribal
It was reported to me that UPDF will disguise themselves as their enemies and
attack villages to provide justification to return and sweep n a.k.a.
brutalize or rape or pillage n these villages. They have also reportedly used
these tactics to substantiate their needs for international support weapons
and funds and military expertise n from US and UK backers, funds and
equipment which was often diverted to the secret US SPLA war against
Khartoum, for example.
But war doesn't seem to be essential to the plan. Multinational
corporations-- a very significant constellation of US companies and/or US
citizens included n are everywhere stripping the resources, leaving pollution
and disease and environmental disasters in their wakes. And you might probe
into the whole classified nuclear waste transshipments programs.
Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Togo, Niger, Madagascar and Burkina Faso provide
examples, being massively exploited, where military repression and structural
adjustment and the concomitant destitution suffice to enable lucrative
western control and exploitation. Zambia, Tanzania, Namibia, Botswana and
Ghana are a few more examples where I have similarly witnessed profound human
suffering amidst huge multinational profits and SAP. I mean, 120 years after
the British invasion of western Zambia this is an area heavily burdened by
refugee flows out of Angola and DRC and the concomitant insecurity of
insurgent nomadic military forces -- the people have absolutely no
possessions. The schools don't exist and even if they do there are no books
and the kids are so destitute that they often can't attend in any case. You
can't buy basic staples. I mean absolutely no food, no medicine, no drugs for
malaria. Some 30% of people in Zambia don't even know
that malaria is caused by mosquitoes. But you can buy Coca-Cola and Sprite
and Fanta virtually everywhere, but there are usually no basic foodstuffs, no
books, no medical supplies. You cannot imagine the suffering until you live
And it is no coincidence that one of the directors of Coca Cola now I think
that's a US company -- is also a Director of Elf, and ELFs corrupt practices
have been mildly exposed but very very mildly.
These wars are prosecuted by local warlords, military dictators and their
elite intelligence and security networks, typically armed, funded and trained
by western intelligence and/or ex-military and/or private security companies.
And these networks are particularly ruthless. However, again, they are
directly associated with in-country western military and intelligence
advisors and their programs. That includes Israel, US, British, German and
French. But IMF/WB and OPIC and ADB funds continue to flow, and they support
selective interests and projects and infrastructure which helps their related
industries further expropriate the resources and the people and the
Uganda provides a good example. Uganda is at war on three fronts and a
significant percentage of the IMF/WB funding which has gone into Uganda has
been diverted for military objectives. The banks which fund Uganda through
the international monetary institutions are often associated with the
multinationals involved in the plunder of raw materials. Uganda has supported
the SPLA war in southern Sudan, and I took testimony from Uganda dissidents
who insist that US military advisors have worked with the SPLA and UPDF
In Cameroon, Benin, Burkina Faso, Gabon and Niger in 1997, I found abundant
evidence of unrestricted raw materials extraction by interests associated
with the United States. The people of the oil-producing areas of the Niger
River Delta are suffering horrendous atrocities. Again, on the Niger border
with Burkina -- famine, disease, despair, political repression for the most
trifling reasons -- and right next door there is a Barrick Gold mining
operation. And Sumitomo and the Keidanren (Zaibatsu) out of Japan are all
involved. And people in these (African) countries know what is going on, but
they can't tell their stories because most westerners are completely caught
up in the mental illness of colonialism and imperialism, which disallows the
simple truth to be seen. And those who tell their stories are often
brutalized or disappeared.
In Zimbabwe, the issue of land and elections and Mugabe's intransigence
aside, the lasting repercussions of the Mugabe "five brigade" genocide
against the Ndebele people in Matebelelands North and South and the Midlands
provinces are heartbreaking. Here was this scorched earth campaign from 1981
to 1987 where hundreds and hundreds of thousands perished, where food was
used as a weapon and rape prevailed, and the United States diverted its eyes.
And the media knew about it but the media diverted its eyes. And this is all
very current stuff in Zimbabwe. The 1990's was more of the same in a more
subtle form. And the Ndebele people have suffered untold injustice and terror.
Meanwhile, there was plenty of mining and tobacco farming going on in
Zimbabwe and the weapons for Mugabe's dirty little secrets came from where?
The IMF and WB funded Mugabe, no matter, throughout his tenure and right up
into the late 1990's. Again, these are big banks like Chase Manhattan and
First Boston and Citicorp and the Morgan Banks -- and their directors sit on
some of the western media boards and they dictate relief operations at a
certain level. And then of course there are all these supranational
multinational corporations like Asea Brown Baveri (ABB) and Unilever and
Royal Dutch Shell and Lonrho and Citibank and Bechtel. I mean, Bechtel gets
away with raping the system in Boston the 10 or 12 billion dollar overruns
in the Harbor Tunnel project never mind their tight CIA and US government
interconnections, policy interventions of dictations, and the orchestration
of coups, assassinations, disappearances and wars.
Lonrho of course is Buckingham Palace and I contend that very powerful US ci
tizens are tied in through companies like Brown and Root and Halliburton to
Lonrho and Lonrho interests. And please recall that Vice President Cheney is
a former Halliburton executive. And Lonrho has a lock on British media. And
it is no coincidence that Lonrho has the most elegant and modern skyscraper
in downtown Nairobi.
And all this is hidden by the US media. Even the village idiot, if he opens
his eyes, can see that the directors of the media corporations are the same
directors of those corporations raping Africa. But too many people have a
paycheck to worry about. And that includes humanitarian organizations and the
United Nations and the OAU and the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda.
Special torture centers and death squads and massive repression of the
population are the rule in Togo, Cameroon, Kenya, Gabon, Nigeria, Zimbabwe,
Burkina Faso, and were so in Zaire. And these people--Eyadema, Biya, Bongo,
Obasanjo, Abacha, Babangida, Mobutu, Compaore, Rawlings, Banda, Kaunda, Moi,
Habyarimana, Kagame,Museveni, Garang, Ratsiraka--they provide the environment
for pillage, and they are duly rewarded, with power, with all the perks.
Charles Taylor was incarcerated in Charlestown Massachusetts circa 1983 or
1984 and he is the only person, I believe, in the history of the Charlestown
jail to have been broken out. Apparently the records no longer exist of his
stay there. And now he is President in Liberia?
And then you have the whole misery industry, which profits from the wars and
repression and population displacement which their affiliated institutions
and their funding banks and materials-providing multinationals create.
Again, you don't need a Ph.D. to figure out that thousands of highly paid
western AID workers would be out of a job if there were peace in Sudan. And
Toyota wouldn't sell all those shiny 4-WD SUVs. And who would buy the US
made weapons? And all that business of feeding and clothing and interning
the refugees would be lost by these multinationals who get huge tax
write-offs and subsidies and whose products are purchased by USAID or other
government agencies. And some of these relief organizations also have close
ties to the corporate media executives.
So I see it as a policy of depopulation in Africa. Because what I am talking
about is access. That's all. Access to the animals. Access to the game parks
and trophy fishing. Access to the minerals. Access to the cheap and
replenishable labor pool. Access to uninformed populations to dump inferior
and toxic and outdated products on. Access for military adventurism and
special forces training and psyops operations. Access to biological and
pharmaceutical testing grounds. Access to markets. And while at times it
seems contradictory, at times it is, but it's all completely unethical,
entirely arrogant and racist. It is driven purely by greed. And the profound
human suffering is totally unnecessary.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Prepared Statement of Janine Farrell Roberts
MAURICE TEMPELSMAN: THE CONVERGENCE OF POLICY AND PROFIT IN PRIVATE
How US Foreign Policy over decades was influenced by the Diamond Cartel.
By author of Book "Blood Stained Diamonds," Janine Farrell Roberts
The Secret Story Behind Blood Diamonds
May I first briefly introduce myself. I hold degrees in Sociology and
Theology and have authored several books written about Australian Aborigines
and their civil rights struggle, which were launched by their leaders. For
many years I was funded by a coalition of US and European church to work on
human rights frontiers internationally.
This work led me to De Beers - after it clashed with an Aboriginal community.
The more I worked internationally the more I discovered about its human
rights violations. I have now been researching and writing on De Beers and
the diamond trade for twenty years during which time I have made several
films - including: "The Diamond Empire", a feature length" Frontline" since
suppressed by WGBH due to pressure from De Beers. The owners of Doubleday
also commissioned a major work from me on diamonds - only to drop it at the
very last moment as they wrote "rich and important people" did not want it to
De Beers is nothing if not secretive In the course of my investigation, De
Beers banned me from its South African diamond mines where I was the guest of
the National Union of Mineworkers (but I was smuggled in). Here I witnessed
in De Beers's mines horrific conditions with wages paid at one third of the
official union minimum and in very hazardous conditions. I also witnessed
considerable natural resources being hidden from the SA Government. I went
also to India and witnessed children as young as 8 cutting and polishing
diamonds in workshops mostly supplied by De Beers through its favored
merchants, working in what is defined as a form of
slavery. The wages were slashed this year from 40c to 25c a diamond causing
riots. Workers get one dollar a day for cutting romantic gems. India cuts
55% by value of the world's gem diamonds.
De Beers tried to stop my film in the Canadian NW Territories diamond fields
- but the Sierra Club and the Unions made it happen. On 5th Avenue, merchants
were phoned telling them not to speak to me "as I worked with Blacks in
Australia to make life difficult for De Beers." I was also the keynote
speaker at the first post apartheid conference of Southern African
mineworkers where I was funded by the World Council of Churches.
I have been told that a major reason for some of my difficulties is the fear
publishers have of a certain Maurice Tempelsman, the former companion of
Jackie Onassis who in 1998 was reported to be developing a relationship with
Secretary of State Albright. He is a leading international diamond merchant
of unique power and influence - often he has helped shape US foreign policy
in directions that favour De Beers. I have extensively researched his work.
Much of this is in my forthcoming book "Blood Stained Diamonds."
I have been asked to talk about Tempelsman's role in the confluence of public
policy and private profit that happens in private. He is an excellent
example. I have time only to summarise my findings.
Why was he uniquely important in the De Beers? In the 1940s De Beers was
indicted by the US Justice Department for price fixing under the Sherman Act.
The US also believed De Beers had rationed the supply of tool diamonds to the
US during the Second World War severely damaging the war effort. It was
determined never to let this happen again, and legislation was thus passed to
set up a national diamond stockpile. De Beers needed a way to ensure it was
the source of this stockpile despite being indicted. It sought a middleman to
do the deals with the US. Early in the 1950s Tempelsman met with the
Oppenheimers who rule De Beers and became this middleman. He was uniquely
supplied with millions of diamonds to sell the US as its strategic reserve.
Most of these diamonds came from the Congo.
When Lumumba, Congo's first elected leader, spoke of using the Congo's
resources to benefit the Congo. De Beers feared it would lose access to the
one third of world's diamond supply in the Congo - as would also Tempelsman.
Shortly after this, the CIA facilitated Lumumba's assassination. Evidence on
this came before the Church Intelligence Commission. Immediately after
Lumumba's death, the Acting Prime Minister of the Congo, Adoula announced
support for a very major Tempelsman diamond deal, telegramming this to
President Kennedy. The historian Richard Mahoney claimed that the Adoula
regime was receiving funds from Tempelsman. A State Department memo headed
"Congo Diamond Deal" stated "The State Department has concluded that it is
in the political interest of the US to implement this proposal." (2 August
Immediately after Mobutu came to power, Tempelsman became an even bigger
player in the Congo - recruiting his own staff from those CIA staffers that
Mobutu most favored that put him in power. Mobutu also at this time gave
Tempelsman, as a "Christmas Gift", rich mineral reserves. According to
Tempelsman's staff we interviewed, they had a wonderful time helping to run
the Congo. One of the first acts by Tempelsman was to facilitate the return
of the Oppenheimers to the Congo - and to secure funding for Mobutu. He
succeeded in persuading the White House to secretly buy a vast number of
diamonds for the US strategic reserve - at a time when Administration
officials were protesting that the reserve was over full. The reason for this
deal given in secret US government memos was to support Mobutu and his
partner Adoula. This Tempelsman plan made much profit for him and for De
A State Department Cable of 23 December 1964 warned about the need of
secrecy over this Mobutu diamond and South African uranium deal because; "it
could outrage the moderate Africans we are trying to calm down." It suggest
South African Foreign Minister Muller would understand the need for secrecy
since the US was "doing a job" in the Congo that South Africa could not do.
This covert support for Mobutu gave the US a gross excess in the strategic
diamond stockpile that was still being sold off in 1997.
In 1967 the State Department reported; "Tempelsman is playing an
increasingly central role as GDRC (Congo's) technical advisor and mediator."
But these deals and other deals done throughout the following decades with a
corrupt Mobutu government left the Congolese people in absolute poverty.
In the late 1950s democracy arrived in Africa with the election of President
Nkrumah - who thought Black Africans should not have to sell diamonds to an
apartheid company - so took Ghana's diamonds from the cartel. A short while
later, the State Department wrote a furious letter to Maurice Tempelsman
saying that his office, by using an unguarded phone line, had betrayed the
identity of the plotters against Nkrumah and the identity of the CIA Head of
Station. The plotters seemingly were communicating to the White House via
Tempelsman's office. (Memorandum for the President from WW Rostow, 24
September 1961) Tempelsman clearly had advanced knowledge of this coup
attempt. Shortly afterwards President Kennedy decided not to "downgrade" (his
word) Tempelsman for this error.
Tempelsman worked out a new diamond contract for President Stevens - under
which Tempelsman got 27% of the country's diamonds - setting up an
independent cutting factory - and De Beers bought shares in it. However it
was not set up to compete effectively.
I have gathered ample evidence that historically Sierra Leone has been
grossly exploited by fraudulent De Beers' practices which I would be happy
to give during question time.
In recent years Tempelsman has been trying to use US money and support to set
up Savimbi of UNITA in the diamond trade with both De Beers the US support.
On the side, he has also been setting up his own diamond cutting factory -
here as in his other African cutting plants on terms that are likely to stop
Africa getting a fully commercial cutting industry... a De Beers aim.
Tempelsman in 1996 persuaded the Assistant Secretary of State George E. Moose
to give him a letter suggesting that the US would finance Tempelsman's plans.
On October 10th 1996 he met with Tony Lake the National Security Advisor and
with Lake's deputy, Shawn McCormick - and gained their support for
Tempelsman's plans. In May 1997 the US Ambassador for Angola, Steinbach met
with Savimbi - to back the Tempelsman plan. This plan included UNITA keeping
its diamond mines - and selling them via De Beers. Again US foreign policy
was being shaped to benefit De Beers.
TEMPELSMAN'S INDEPENDENCE OF DE BEERS
Tempelsman frequently poses as an independent diamond merchant, even as a
rival to De Beers. This has enabled him to do such things as to advise the
President of Namibia on his negotiations with De Beers. But if he were truly
such, he would lose his diamond supplies from De Beers as have other diamond
merchants who tried to rival De Beers. He has never lost these supplies. He
is rumoured in the trade as having one of the very largest of the diamond
"sights" supplied by De Beers
It is easy for De Beers to pay him secretly. They simply put more and better
stones into the box they send him. The US customs are unable to check if
this has happened, as they do not the experts on staff.
Maurice Tempelsman served the De Beers diamond cartel by promoting foreign
policy decisions that favoured its access to and control of African diamond
fields. This lead to the US covertly supporting undemocratic and corrupt
regimes in Africa to the great detriment of the African people.
Information on Blood Diamonds Suppressed?
Why did WGBH suppress its Frontline program "The Diamond Empire," refusing
to sell it to many who asked for it. The owners of Doubleday were later
scared off from publishing the "sensational, important and accomplished"
(their words) human rights book "Glitter and Greed: The story of Blood
Stained Diamonds." They wrote after putting promoting the book as due to come
out in 3 months, saying that rich
and powerful people were against it, and although we may win any legal
battle, it is not worth the cost of such a fight.
See my website www.sparkle.plus.com
Back to Main News Page