keith harmon snow / Conscious Being Alliance – 2012-04-12 00:37:57
(April 9, 2012) — Eighteen years after the historic ‘100 days of genocide’ in Rwanda the United States Government has suddenly produced never-before-seen satellite images to support the genocide extradition trial of a former Rwandan now US citizen in New Hampshire (USA). The existence of satellite imagery from 1994 would enable the ‘international community’ to further explore heretofore hidden facts about the double presidential assassinations of April 6 or massacres committed before, during and after 1994.
As the world commemorates the official Rwanda genocide story on the 18th anniversary of the Rwanda genocide the people of Central Africa continue to suffer under the brutal terrorism of the Kagame military regime. Instead of celebrating, we should be asking: who are the real victims and who are the real criminals, and what really happened in Rwanda?
If there is any truth at all to the clichÃ©d Holocaust slogan “never again” it is that now never again can the US officials in power at the time — William Jefferson Clinton (President) or Warren Christopher (Secretary of State) or Madeleine Albright (Ambassador to the United Nations) or William Perry (Secretary of Defense) or R. James Woolsey (CIA Director) or Anthony Lake (National Security Adviser) — claim that they didn’t know what was happening on the ground in Rwanda. They did. They always did. They knew at the time and they have known since.
(April 9, 2012) — In his opening statements in a Concord, New Hampshire (USA) courthouse on February 23, 2012, federal prosecutor John Capin launched the US government’s trial against a 41 year-old Rwandan so-called ‘genocide fugitive’ by wielding satellite photographs purportedly showing the road blocks where she “commanded extremist Hutu militia and ordered the rapes and killings of Tutsi” in Rwanda in 1994.
In a remarkable development, this is the first time in the history of the ‘Rwanda genocide’ trials or related Rwanda asylum hearings where Pentagon satellite photographs have been produced as evidence, and the first time that the existence of satellite photographs taken over Rwanda during the so-called ‘100 days of genocide’ has ever been verified.
Later in the Munyenyezi trial the US prosecutors produced a ‘Pentagon analyst’ who testified about the satellite photographs. The Pentagon analyst was Mr. Eric R. Benn, Technical Executive, Analysis and Production Directorate, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA).
The photographs introduced into the public record include very high-resolution images shot over Rwanda in May, June and July of 1994. The NGA is one of the most secretive organizations on earth and its customers include the Pentagon and all 16 shadowy agencies of the US Intelligence Community (IC).
The confirmation of satellite reconnaissance and intelligence photographs newly implicates the US government in the mass atrocities of 1994, and raises serious new questions about the cover-up of the double presidential assassinations of April 6, 1994 and the atrocities committed by the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) commanded by now President Paul Kagame.
The sudden and unexpected revelation of the existence of satellite imagery shot over Rwanda in 1994 also further corroborates claims and evidence that US and Pentagon officials had plenty of satellite evidence of the numbers and whereabouts of hundreds of thousands of Rwandan refugees massacred by the Kagame war machine in Congo’s forests.
Eighteen years after the so-called ‘1994 Rwanda genocide’, Rwanda is today everywhere peddled as an economic miracle of recovery and freedom, once again ‘the Switzerland of Africa.’ Rwanda is also peddled as the model homeland for the ‘stateless’ Tutsis — the so-called ‘Jews of Africa’ — who exercise victim’s license and a false moral righteousness to justify the commission of atrocities anywhere, anytime, and against anyone. All thanks to His Supreme Majesty President Paul Kagame, who is everywhere applauded for rescuing the Tutsis, stopping the genocide, and rebuilding Rwanda in His own image.
Meanwhile, the real situation for ordinary people in Central Africa is everywhere inhumane and unjust. The average Ugandan citizen suffers under the brutal dictatorship of Yoweri Museveni. The people in northern Uganda, already subject to genocide as policy under the Museveni government, now have a new threat: the hysterical KONY2012 movement.
The people of Congo continue to suffer under the terrorist government of Hyppolite Kanambe (alias Joseph Kabila), a Tutsi and the nephew of Rwandan Tutsi general James Kabarebe. Since January 2012 more than 100,000 Congolese have been internally displaced by violence under the occupation of the Kagame regime in the Kivu provinces.
And, as it as been since 1994, both Hutus and Tutsis suffer massive repression under the Kagame regime inside Rwanda.
MILLION DOLLAR MUNYENYEZI TRIAL
On June 24, 2010, Beatrice Munyenyezi (MOON’-yen-yezi) was arrested in Manchester, New Hampshire (USA) and charged, according to US prosecutors, with “procuring US citizenship unlawfully by misrepresenting her activities during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.”
Munyenyezi is a US citizen falsely accused of Rwanda genocide rape crimes in yet another case adding up to millions of US taxpayers dollars being used to fund fabricated Rwanda genocide and asylum trials and, now, genocide tourism expeditions in Rwanda.
The US Department of Justice seeks to deport Beatrice Munyenyezi to face genocide charges in Rwanda. But Ms. Munyenyezi’s will be a milestone case: this is the first ever international legal proceeding in the United States involving a woman accused of rape as a genocide and war crime.
According to the government of Rwanda, Beatrice Munyenyezi, 41, allegedly “participated in, committed, ordered, oversaw, conspired to, aided and abetted, assisted in and directed persecution, kidnapping, rape and murder during the Rwandan genocide of 1994.”
The Kagame regime makes general accusations that you can arrest and charge any Hutu with. These are generic genocide charges used by the Rwandan military regime against all people of the Hutu ethnicity.
The fifteen-day trial of Beatrice Munyenyezi in February and March 2012 was concluded with four additional days of deliberations by an all-white jury. On March 15 the jury delivered a deadlocked decision and the US government declared a ‘mistrial’. The re-trial is set to begin September 10, 2012.
Mark Howard, one of Beatrice Munyenyezi’s attorneys, revealed to the press the huge sums of money spent by the U.S Judiciary to try Rwandan genocide suspects.
Howard estimated that US taxpayers paid between US$ 2.5 million and $US 3 million for Munyenyezi’s recent prosecution and trial in federal court. Howard estimates that a retrial is likely to cost an additional US$ 1 million.
Howard’s estimates include attorney fees, agent salaries, the “extraordinary expense” of investigating in a foreign country, the costs of bringing some fifteen witnesses to New Hampshire, and the hiring of experts.
Several of the prosecution witnesses brought over from Rwanda in the latest charade staged by the Kagame military regime are described by the US and Rwanda government as convicted “extremist Hutu genocidaires” serving life sentences in prison.
Others are witnesses from a women’s genocide survivor organization in Butare, paid by the US government to travel to New Hampshire, whose profits from the traveling and testifying can be used to support their mission in Butare. Such economic interests play a major role in the official choice and production of ‘genocide witnesses’ and ‘genocide survivors’.
Defense attorneys described the fifteen Rwandan witnesses flown over to the US from Rwanda as “psychopathic killers who never mentioned Munyenyezi in nearly two decades of trials and investigations into the Rwanda genocide.”
The cost of bringing Kagame’s authorized ‘witnesses’ to the United States and putting them up — some under tight security and others at expensive hotels — for the duration of the trial represents additional massive costs to US taxpayers for what amounts to fraud by the US government.
The credibility of ‘witnesses’ incarcerated in Rwanda is highly suspect. First there is the problem of coercion: many people in prison in Rwanda or accused by the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda (ICTR) and Gacaca [people’s] courts have been framed. Other ‘confessed genocidaires’ have been tortured, and some have been silenced or coerced to lie by the RPA threat of retaliation against their families.
Often enough, ‘witnesses to killings’ and ‘genocide survivors’ are frauds, sometimes they are people who were not even in Rwanda during the 1994 cataclysm. Other government plants and handlers have been coached.
The prosecutors in the Munyenyezi case are claiming that Beatrice Munyenyezi was present and directed killings and kidnappings at a road block just outside the Hotel Ihuriro in Butare. The RPA/F apparently captured Butare through an offensive launched from Burundi. Satellite images produced during the trial included images from around May 23, and a series from May 28 to June 1. At this time the Hotel Ihuriro was intact, but in a later image dated 18 July 1994 the hotel had been leveled to the ground by the RPA/F attack and the photo is marked “destroyed building”.
The satellite pictures are taken over a time period and show clear changes from day to day. The implications of these photos are incredibly important. This is definitive proof that the United States new exactly what was happening all over Rwanda during most if not all of the so-called Rwanda genocide, and the extended war from 1990 to 1994. The high-resolution files enable you to zoom in on details.
“They first showed the hotel, which doesn’t exist any more,” said one source who was present at the trial. “They tried to show that somehow there was a roadblock that [Beatrice Munyenyezi] was at. The pictures were also supposed to show a mass grave a few feet from the hotel and another mass grave near the Episcopal church nearby. The defense attorneys were [apparently] able to prove that there was no road block shown in the pictures, and there were no mass graves.”
In Munyenyezi’s case, the press apparently decided that the witnesses brought in to accuse Beatrice Munyenyezi were not credible.
First, the claim by the RPA that Munyenyezi commanded soldiers to rape Tutsi women in the basement of the hotel is presented as an absolute. The rape occurred ‘in the context of genocide’ and so it is believable and believed. However, no Rwandan woman in the context of Rwandan culture would ever oversee mass rape of other Rwandan women. In fact, Beatrice Munyenyezi was also pregnant at the time — making the hypothesis of rape even less plausible.
Second, we can imagine that any credible testimony on a genocide rape charge against a woman would have provoked an endless barrage of news stories titled ‘Hutu genocidaire woman ordered rape of innocent Tutsis in hotel’s basement’, stories that would have made their way right up to CNN and the New York Times. But the court’s decision on the rape charges went unmentioned by the New Hampshire press because the credibility of dishonest government witnesses (coached to lie) was easily destroyed.
The charge that Beatrice Munyenyezi commanded and organized the rape of Rwandan women is as implausible as the charge by Invisible Children founder Jason Russel that Joseph Kony “he’s the most perverse, in the world, he’s just the most perverse. No one makes…anyone else… takes children… makes them kill their parents and eat their parents.”
Some so-called ‘genocidaires’ may be guilty, but others are not, and the Kagame regime uses all kinds of bribery, subterfuge and threats to pull the wool over the eyes of tourists, researchers and other ‘guests’. Many people in Rwanda are forced to spy, tattle and inform on others or else face personal persecution or threats to their families.
Anyone who challenges the officially sanctioned narrative in Rwanda is branded, arrested, exiled, disappeared or — in the case of pesky American academics, like Dr. Christian Davenport, Dr. Alan Stam or Dr. Susan Thomson, who all asked too many questions of the ‘wrong’ kind — barred from Rwanda forever.
Dr. Timothy Longman is another academic who has fallen into disrepute with the Kagame regime, though only mildly. Longman, now director of African Studies at Boston University, is the Rwanda genocide expert that was brought in to testify as a witness for the prosecution in the Beatrice Munyenyezi case.
Dr. Longman and former Human Rights Watch (HRW) researcher Alison Des Forges (d. 2009) co-authored the HRW book on Rwanda Leave None to Tell the Story, and both formerly worked with USAID, the US State Department and the Pentagon; the 790 page tome did not mention a word about Beatrice Munyenyezi.
Beatrice Munyenyezi’s defense attorneys took advantage of the prosecution’s Rwanda genocide expert and successfully cross-examined Dr. Timothy Longman making important points. Dr. Longman, Dr. Susan Thomson and other academics came under fire from the Kagame regime just prior to the April 2011 publication of the book Remaking Rwanda: State Building and Human Rights After Mass Violence. Someone enamored with the Kagame regime put up a web site spreading disinformation and attacking the authors of the edited edition.
“The book is a collection of articles by a group of people who have made it their mission to shoot down anything that the government of Rwanda does,” the propagandist begins. “The new book should be seen as the latest project of an association of what may be appropriately called ‘Genocide Deniers Inc.’ and ‘Hate Rwanda Ltd’. The editors have brought together the works of a wide array of members of these two groups.”
The lists of ‘friends’ and ‘enemies’ of the government of Rwanda is constantly in flux, but ever growing. First, France was the hostile enemy of Kagame, after the publication of the report on the shooting down of the presidential plane produced by French anti-terrorist Judge Louis Brugiere. Then when business and profits took precedents over truth and human rights, President Nicholas Sarkozy made a deal with Kagame and the French government soon after this became more hostile to Madame Agatha Habyriamana and more accommodating to Paul Kagame.
But the recent volume of supposed ‘Genocide Deniers Inc.’ includes articles by some very accomplished and highly respected Rwanda scholars, including as professors David Newbury and Catherine Newbury, and Dr. Scott Strauss. None of these accomplished academics have ever previously fallen anywhere near the category ‘genocide deniers’.
Hordes of western NGO workers and humanitarian relief workers involved in millions of dollars of private profit come and go from Rwanda, always advertising their effectiveness in “peace” and “reconciliation” programs. And yet, Tutsis and Hutus alike inside and outside Rwanda are increasingly speaking about military confrontation as more and more people become alienated and disaffected by the elite Tutsis in the Kagame regime.
CLASSIFIED INTELLIGENCE OPERATIONS
The US National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) certainly collected satellite imagery over the four years of warfare in Rwanda. One of the 16 US intelligence agencies, the NRO designs, builds and operates US government spy satellites and coordinates the analysis of aerial surveillance and satellite imagery from several intelligence and military agencies, including the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). All NRO operations are highly classified – black programs operations — and even the existence of the NRO was only declassified in 1992.
The NRO was declassified to facilitate interaction with other parts of the government, to make it easier for the NRO to support military operations, and in response to Congressional pressure. As part of the process of declassification NRO consulted Richard Curl, head of the Office of Intelligence Resources of the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, recommended a “low-key approach” to declassification.
This is a tactic that the intelligence and defense sectors use often: casually bring the formerly beyond top secret ‘asset’ – some previously classified plane, satellite or document — into the public sphere without any mention. Then, after the unusual and unknown ‘asset’ is finally noticed, acknowledge the ‘asset’ with a summary dismissal saying, ‘that has been there all along.
A declassified secret intelligence memo of July 1992 shows that NRO consultant Richard Curl recommended that the US government and Pentagon very quietly make public the ‘fact of’ the NRO. Specifically, Curl advised “not worrying public relations guidance too much, not making a big public announcement, and just letting the change pass with little notice… keep down the fanfare and just let the change happen.”
In fact, perhaps thinking that the Beatrice Munyenyezi story would remain a quiet, local New Hampshire affair, this is exactly how the Pentagon made public the ‘fact of’ the 1994 Rwanda genocide satellite reconnaissance images used in Beatrice Munyenyezi’s trial. Never previously acknowledged – even denied to Ambassador Flatten from 1990 to 1993 – and never formally revealed, the images were casually introduced in the Munyenyezi trial. The local media missed the significance, focusing only on the fantastic charges of Munyenyezi’s involvement in genocide.
INTERNATIONAL WARS OF AGGRESSION
In 1981, Yoweri Museveni and his newly formed National Resistance Army (NRA) launched an invasion of the sovereign country of Uganda. From 1980 to 1986, the NRA perpetrated massive war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in the Luwero Triangle and other areas in central and northern Uganda. These atrocities were universally attributed — and are so attributed to this day — to the government forces, the Uganda National Liberation Army, commanded by then President Milton Obote. (See for example: Notes On the Concealment of Genocide in Uganda, A. Milton Obote, April 1990.)
The massive atrocities committed by the NRA set the stage for the rise of Joseph Kony, the Ugandan bogey man used by Museveni, Washington, London and Israel to facilitate a permanent state of insecurity in northern Uganda. Under permanent emergency, Museveni was able to justify the forcible displacement of millions of indigenous Acholi people and their internment into concentration camps. Museveni also allegedly authored a document attesting to genocidal intent against the Acholis.
One of the 27 guerrillas who took up arms alongside Yoweri Museveni in the illegal NRA invasion of Uganda was Paul Kagame, the future leader of the Rwanda Patriotic Army/Front, the Ugandan guerrilla army that illegally invaded Rwanda on October 1, 1990.
Loyal to Museveni and his bloody guerrilla tactics, Kagame rose through the ranks to become Museveni’s director of military intelligence — a position for which his enemies now claim he was known as ‘the butcher’.
At the time of the October 1990 invasion of Rwanda, Paul Kagame was being trained at the Pentagon’s General Staff and Command College at Fort Leavenworth, in Kansas (USA). Kagame returned and led the four year war that resulted in the deaths of perhaps several hundred thousand Hutu people between October 1990 and April 1994 alone.
A prima facie case can be made that each of the invasions of Uganda, Rwanda and Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) constitute the supreme crime against humanity, that being the illegal war of aggression against a sovereign nation.
The United States, Britain and Israel were the strongest backers behind backed Museveni and Kagame in all three of these illegal wars of aggression.
Involved at the highest level in the RPA/F invasion of Rwanda from 1990 to 1994 were United States intelligence agent Roger Winter and Israeli MOSSAD agent David Kimche. US defense attachÃ© Lt. Colonel Thomas P. Odom and defense attachÃ© Richard Skow are two more US military intelligence agents who have deep inside knowledge of the Pentagon- and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)-backed invasions of both Rwanda and Congo-Zaire.
After the RPA/F victory, Roger Winter encamped in Kampala, Uganda, from where he directed the US/Nato/Israeli covert operations against the Islamic government of Sudan: his primary mouthpiece in the English-language world — always hysterically screaming about genocide, inflating casualties and inventing facts, and published anywhere and everywhere — is Smith College professor Dr. Eric Reeves.
The US House of Representative hearings by the Subcommittee on Africa of the Committee on International Relations reveal that the United States knew that the Hutu refugees in Congo-Zaire were being massacred, and it makes clear some of those who knew what, where it was happening, and when.
In May 2001, US Representative Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) convened a hearing for the Subcommittee on Africa where investigative journalist Wayne Madsen testified about US covert operations and US involvement in genocide in Central Africa.
“A French military intelligence officer said he detected some 100 armed US troops in the eastern Zaire conflict zone,” Madsen’s statement began. “Moreover, the DGSE [French secret service] reported the Americans had knowledge of the extermination of Hutu refugees by Tutsis in both Rwanda and eastern Zaire and were doing nothing about it.
More ominously, there was reason to believe that some US forces, either Special Forces or mercenaries, may have actually participated in the extermination of Hutu refugees.” (See: Statement by Wayne Madsen, Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights, 17 May 2001, and Genocide and Covert Operations in Africa, 1993-1999, Wayne Madsen, Mellen Press, 1999.)
THE ‘OFFICIAL’ RWANDA GENOCIDE NARRATIVE
Just as Yoweri Museveni and his backers conferred victor status on Museveni after the NRA victory in Uganda, and then charged the NRA’s victims and the Obote government with genocide, so too did Museveni and Paul Kagame and their backers confer savior status on Paul Kagame and accuse the Hutu victims of genocide.
The multiparty coalition government of Juvenal Habyarimana was falsely accused of genocide as early as 1993. This was after a sham international “Commission of Inquiry” investigation led by Alison Des Forges (HRW), William Schabas and others traveled to Rwanda and produced a one-sided report blaming the Habyarimana government .
The investigators spent about a week in Rwanda all told, they had RPA/F support, and they never investigated RPA/F atrocities in RPA/F controlled zones. Branded with ‘genocide’, the label stuck to Habyarimana and the genocide charge was then repeated over and over until it was considered fact.
Contrary to the official narrative that casts Hutus as killers and Tutsis as victims, the RPA/F plan included the sacrificing of hundreds of thousands of Tutsis. Given opportunities to negotiate a ceasefire, and even the unconditional surrender by the national armed forces — Forces ArmÃ©es Rwandaises (FAR) — soon after the plane was shot down on 6 April 1994, the RPA/F continued the war to achieve absolute military dominance and to eliminate as many ‘enemies’ as possible. To Kagame and his elite thugs, the ‘enemies’ were Hutu and Tutsi people who lived in Rwanda. The plan succeeded and the land and property of millions of people was taken over by invading Tutsis and western multinational corporations.
The RPA/F leadership was comprised of elite English-speaking Tutsis from Uganda backed by Ugandan generals James Kazini and Salim Saleh, and by Yoweri Museveni himself. As the RPA/F invasion continued — prior to April 6, 1994 — Tutsis were also killed, both in revenge killings and because of RPA/F attacks. After April 6, 1994, both Hutus and Tutsis suffered at the hands of the Kagame regime. The minority Twa population also suffered massive loss of life in what should also be recognized as genocide, were the term reasonably applied.
“The continuation of the genocide of the Tutsis was a key part of the [RPA] victory strategy,” writes former Rwandan Patriotic Front official Jean-Marie Ndagijimana, in How General Paul Kagame Sacrificed the Tutsis. “[A] ceasefire and a halt to the genocide risked strengthening his adversaries [Forces ArmÃ©es Rwandaises] by freeing them from their police duties.
Furthermore, a halt to the massacres would have taken from Kagame the sole pretext on which he based his legitimacy. The government [FAR] army had to be made to appear like a genocidal force the defeat of which no one would regret… Why stop the massacres when they were working to legitimize Kagame and weaken his adversaries?”
Here is how the typical US news agency reporting on the Munyenyezi story describes the Rwanda genocide. “The genocide in Rwanda began in April 1994,” reads the commentator, in an ominous tone, in a local New Hampshire TV station video clip. “It lasted 100 days. Up to 800,000 Tutsis were killed by Hutu militias and as many as 10,000 people were killed each day. The Hutu were defeated three months later.”
However, the genocide against Tutsis during those 100 days of 1994 cannot be understood out of context, and the true context is never provided by the establishment media, by the US or British governments, by Israel, or by the mercenaries working to clean the blood off the Kagame regime.
Former British prime Minister Tony Blair, Canadian academic Gerald Caplan, New Yorker magazine writer Philip Gourevitch, ‘human rights’ investigator William Schabas, US intelligence agent John Prendergast, British mouthpiece Linda Melvern, the RPA/F’s Somalian mouthpiece Rakiya Omaar, and their Rwandan mouthpiece Tom Ndahiro are some of the most prominent individuals who have whitewashed the Kagame regime. Of course, there is a long list of Clinton and Bush officials who have lied again and again about our involvement in terrorism in the Great Lakes.
Kagame has also hired the Racepoint Group, a US lobbying and public relations firm to “build a strong and sustained image campaign communicating the successes of Rwanda with key stakeholders in the political and financial elite communities” and “[o]ffset the negative and factually incorrect information of those parties with vested interests in mis-portraying Rwanda’s advancements.”
Racepoint’s campaign themes include “Rwanda’s Visionary Leader…highlighting President Kagame” and “The Rwandan Miracle: Healing of a Nation.” The company’s fees are listed as US$ 50,000 per month plus 2500 to 3500 pounds Sterling per month for “out of pocket expenses.”
DEEPER HISTORICAL REALITIES
When he came to power in 1973, Rwanda’s Hutu president Juvenal Habyarimana warned Colonel Joseph Mobutu, the western-imposed president in Zaire (now Dem. Rep. of Congo), that Tutsis settling and seeking citizenship in Zaire were slowly infiltrating with the intent to annex the mineral rich eastern provinces; this is one reason Mobutu promoted isolationism in the far eastern provinces on the frontiers with Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda.
Meanwhile, Rwandan Tutsis continued to infiltrate eastern Congo, pressing for land and citizenship, and giving rise to what has become known as the Congolese Banyamulenge–“the people of Mulenge”. The “Banyamulenge problem” is another mythology created to support Tutsi expansionism to annex Congolese territory.
There is no such area or territory in the Congo: both Hutus and Tutsis have become refugees in Congo-Zaire off and on, but they have never been concentrated in one specific area. They have lived all over the country, moving about and, sometimes, living and working as if they were Congolese.
Throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s, the elite Tutsis who fled Rwanda during the independence struggle (1958-1962) led guerrilla attacks from neighboring countries against the new Hutu-led governments (Kayibanda, Habyarimana) in Rwanda. In response, and never forgetting centuries of the Tutsi monarchies and conquest, Hutus retaliated against Tutsis inside Rwanda, driving more refugees from the country. As Black Nationalism gained power in Africa the Belgians supported majority Hutu rule in Rwanda, at the expense of their former allies in oppression, the elite upper class Tutsis.
Thus did the elite Tutsis who fled Rwanda find sympathy with other peoples involved in the international struggle against imperialism in the 1960s and 1970s. The ‘Third World’ non-aligned movement (outside the Nato versus Soviet arena) welcomed the elite Tutsis in the diaspora, their brothers and sisters in the struggle for freedom and rights, because the Tutsi elites proclaimed themselves the victims of post-independence oppression by the colonial Belgian masters.
Members of the non-aligned movement funded and armed the Tutsis guerrillas that attacked the Belgian-backed Hutus from outside Rwanda. With every Tutsis guerrilla attack against the Hutu power structure came more genocidal pograms against Tutsi people in Rwanda.
On July 5, 1973, while serving as Army Chief of Staff, Juvenal Habyarimana seized power by overthrowing Hutu leader GrÃ©goire Kayibanda, the first elected and second president of Rwanda (Hutu Dominique Mbonyumutwa was the first president of a ten-month transition in 1961).
During the Soviet era, and pre-1989, the elite benefactors of the international financial and political system were only too happy to turn a blind eye to the human rights record of Juvenal Habyarimana–and his friend, Mobutu, the CIA’s big man in Zaire–in exchange for their military, economic and political allegiance against the so-called “Communist bloc”.
With the fall of the Berlin Wall, the international monetary system put the screws on the Habyarimana (and Mobutu) government, ramming neoliberal ‘reforms’ down the throats of the Rwandans. The International Monetary Fund and World Bank enforced ‘Structural Adjustment’ programs that severely degraded the lives of ordinary Rwandans. On top of this, coffee prices fell. By the time of the Ugandan and RPA/F invasion of October 1990, the stage was set in Rwanda for class warfare.
While advancing and creating a stable country in many ways, with some Tutsi power sharing, Habyarimana’s exclusionary policies against Tutsis also led to widespread Tutsi disaffection inside Rwanda. Habyarimana refused to address the “refugee” question and “rights to return” of Tutsis, a thorny issue pressed upon Rwanda by the international community.
When thousands of Tutsis expelled by the government forces of Milton Obote fled Uganda in the early 1980’s, Habyarimana refused to allow them to stay in Rwanda. Later, both Habyarimana and Yoweri Museveni jockeyed for power and profit where the pawns in the game were the Tutsis who had lived in Uganda for decades. Nonetheless, hundreds of thousands of French-speaking ethnic Tutsis had stayed and prospered inside Rwanda since 1959.
When the Rwandan Patriotic Army–elite Tutsi guerrillas led by Paul Kagame–invaded Rwanda from Uganda in 1990, the situation shifted rapidly. Over the next four years the ethnic labels of Hutu and Tutsi became more politicized and more fluid. Hundreds of thousands of French-speaking ethnic Tutsi who had stayed and prospered inside Rwanda from 1959 until 1990 were now confronted with the choice of supporting the invading Tutsi army or retaining allegiance to the Habyarimana government. Complicated economic and political considerations, such as long-standing business relationships, and class issues, belied the Hutu-Tutsi divide.
Major Paul Kagame and his Ugandan Tutsi commanders, and other (very influential) elite Tutsis in the diaspora, who were mostly English language speakers, considered French-speaking Tutsis who stayed behind in Rwanda traitors to the Tutsi cause. While the RPA propagandized the masses and recruited Tutsi males for RPA military service from inside Rwanda, recruits were also subject to an internal RPA terrorism — another story that has never been told — and many Tutsis who joined the RPA/F were marginalized, many mistreated, and some were disappeared.
SEARCH AND SEIZURE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
On June 22, 2010 a Search and Seizure Warrant was approved by the US District Court in New Hampshire for the purpose of invading the Manchester N.H. home of Beatrice Munyenyezi. This warrant offers a perfect example of how the official narrative about genocide in Rwanda is maliciously used against innocent people.
The warrant is based on the affidavit of Thomas Brian Andersen, Jr., an ICE Special Agent assigned to the National Security Group of the Boston Office of the US Department of Homeland Security. In his affidavit, Andersen distilled the Hutu/Tutsi conflict in Rwanda down to a few essential details that helped to frame Beatrice Munyenyezi as a genocidaire.
The affidavit is extremely biased, and it offers a portrait of western arrogance and ignorance. For example: “Just prior to Rwanda’s independence from Belgium in 1962,” wrote Thomas Brian Andersen Jr., summarily dismissing the entire history of the elite Tutsi monarchy’s brutal oppression and domination over the peasant Hutu masses, “the Hutu majority gained control of the government, and after independence, the Hutu majority engaged in acts, including discrimination and acts of violence against Tutsis. As a result, numerous Tutsis fled Rwanda, and some formed a rebel guerrilla army, known as the Rwandan Patriotic Front (“RPF”).”
For Thomas Brian Andersen, Jr, it is not even incidental that the elite Tutsi rebels were attacking Rwanda, sneaking into Rwanda under cover of darkness, committing massive atrocities, targeted assassinations, bombings, spreading wholesale terrorism, and then sneaking back out of the country. This is where the Kinyarwanda term ‘Inyenzi’ came from: this is the infamous cockroach slur used in all Hollywood movies to portray the Hutus as the blood thirsty killers set on exterminating the Tutsi cockroaches.
The Inyenzi slur, when attributed to the Hutus, implicated their dehumanization of the Tutsis, and dehumanization is part of the ideology that underpins genocide (according to its unbastardized original etymology). But Inyenzi was a term the Tutsi guerrillas proudly assigned to themselves: they were proud of their capacity to come and go under cover of night, just like cockroaches, spreading terrorism and committing murder.
When ICE Special Agent Thomas Brian Andersen, Jr. invaded the Munyenyezi home, he and the other officers were even searching for ‘weapons used by Munyenyezi’. Special Agent Thomas Brian Andersen, Jr. had been deeply conditioned to believe the official narrative. That is, Thomas Brian Andersen, Jr. was expecting he might even find a machete. They asked the children of Beatrice Munyenyezi if there were machetes in the house or the garage.
The affidavit assumes and asserts Beatrice Munyenyezi’s guilt, and the Search and Seizure Warrant was approved by Judge Daniel J. Lynch. It is an example of insufferable arrogance and entitlement and the abuse of power.
THE PENTAGON SACRIFICES MILLIONS OF AFRICANS
The double presidential assassination of April 6, 1994 is defined as the trigger for the massive backlash of Tutsi killings by Hutu people. Since the war began in October 1990, more than 10 million people have died in Central Africa due to Pentagon backed insurgency, with the greatest numbers killed in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Jean-Marie Ndagijimana was the Rwandan Ambassador to Paris under the Habyarimana government from October 1990 to April 1994, before being removed from his post for speaking out against the mass killings of Tutsis and Hutus.
On 19 July 1994, Ndagajimana became Minister of Foreign Affairs in what was called the ‘Broad-Based National Unity Government’ led by Faustin Twagiramungu. In September 1994, he resigned and went into exile after the report by UNHCR investigator Robert Gersony confirmed that scores of thousands of Hutus were killed by the Rwandan Patriotic Army between July and September 1994.
Robert Gersony was the UNHCR contractor whose report on RPA killings of Hutus was massively denounced at the time and later buried by the United Nations never to be seen again. Gersony went on to work for the UNHCR in northern Uganda and other places. Clearly, Gersony’s credentials stood the test, and his silence secured his future employment(s).
Indeed, Robert Gersony went on to work for the USAID mission to Kampala, Uganda, where he produced a report detailing the persecution of Acholi people in Northern Uganda. (See, e.g.: The Anguish of Northern Uganda: Results of a Field-Based Assessment of the Civil Conflicts in Northern Uganda, Robert Gersony, USAID Mission to Kampala, 1997).
Jean-Marie Ndagajimana insists that the killings of hundreds of thousands of Tutsis between April 6 and July 1994 was organized, not spontaneous, but that there is no question that there was a double genocide. He claims Tutsis were systematically killed by militias in areas controlled by the interim government of Jean Kambanda, and that the RPA/F systematically killed Hutus in zones under its control.
Based on research for which they were eventually thrown out of Rwanda, US academics Christian Davenport and Alan Stam insist that the numbers of Tutsis killed in Rwanda during the so-called 100 days could not have been as high as the official narrative claims, and that hundreds of thousands of Hutus were killed during this period and these comprise the difference between the official count of 800,000 to 1.2 million Tutsis and the actual count of hundreds of thousands less Tutsis.
Defense attorneys from the ICTR are adamant that the record shows that there was no systematic planification of genocide by the government of Juvenal Habyarimana or its immediate successors, the interim coalition government of Jean Kambanda formed on April 7, 1994.
The official Rwanda genocide narrative is founded upon the false claim that the Habyarimana government was an extremist Hutu government — which is what extremist purveyors of the official narrative like Paul Kagame and his elite Tutsi collaborators would like people to believe.
From April 1992 to the middle of July 1993 there was a coalition government led by Prime Minister Dr. Dismas Nsengiyaremye. Members of the coalition represented a diverse political spectrum, including opposition party members from the Mouvement DÃ©mocratique RÃ©publicain (MDR), Parti Liberal (PL), Parti Social DÃ©mocrate (PSD) and Parti DÃ©mocratique ChrÃªtien (PDC).
There were also members from Habyarimana’s ruling party Mouvement RÃ©publicain National Pour la DÃ©mocratie et le DÃ©veloppement (MRND). Opposition parties had ten ministers in addition to the Prime Minister and the MRND had 10 ministers in addition to President Habyarimana. The one prominent Tutsi in this government was Landoald Ndasingwa from the Parti Liberal, but at least three of the opposition parties were pro-RPF.
From the middle of July 1993 to April 6, 1994, there was a coalition government led by Prime Minister Madam Agathe Uwilingiyimana. The members of the coalition government were from the MDR, PSD, PDC and MRND parties. The MDR party split into two factions after Agathe Uwilingiyimana was appointed Prime Minister by Juvenal Habyariama. PSD, PDC, PL split up later.
Some factions were pro-RPF, others were pro-MRND. The pro-MRND factions were later labeled ‘Hutu Power’. The label came from a speech made by Froduald Karamira, vice-president of the MDR during a public meeting called to condemn the October 1993 assassination of President Melchior Ndadaye of Burundi, the first Hutu elected president of Burundi. (From Karamira’s perspective power belonged to the winners of elections.)
In other words there was no ‘Hutu government of Juvenal Habyarimana’. President Habyarimana had been forced by the international community to accept a coalition government, and if there were any extremists in the government, these were the opposition supporters — like Faustin Twagiramungu and Marianne Baziruwiha — who sincerely believed that the Rwandan Patriotic Army/Front was bringing equality to Rwanda, and that the RPA/F was genuinely interested in good faith negotiations and peace. Nothing could have been further from the truth.
Fautsin Twagiramungu became Prime Minister under the Kagame government at the time of massive atrocities against Hutus inside Rwanda. Marianne Baziruwiha took a position with the RPA/F government after July 1994, where she quickly saw that she was expected to lure Hutus out of hiding so that the RPA/F could kill them: Baziruwiha witnessed this happening. Baziruwiha later worked at the Rwandan Embassy in Washington under RPA/F cadre Theogene Rudasingwa. In the end, Twagiramungu, Baziruwiha and Rudasingwa all fled for their lives and live in exile.
The question or Hutu ‘extremists’ and the labels like ‘extremist Hutu’ and ‘moderate Hutu’ and ‘Hutu power’ must be unpacked for clarity, and distanced from the reductionist or essentialist narrative where they are used to criminalize and dehumanize all Hutu people.
These labels created by and to serve the official ‘Hutus killing Tutsis’ narrative also inspire the application of labels like ‘extremist Tutsi’ and ‘moderate Tutsi’, but the question of Tutsi extremists or Tutsi moderates is never raised, no matter the abject brutality and terrorism of the elite Tutsis of the Kagame inner circles and terror networks.
The same is true of language like ‘Akazu’ or ‘inner house’ — another label that was applied to the Habyarimana government and has been applied to Madame Agathe Habyarimana to further the nonsensical proposition that she assassinated her own husband, and which are quite reasonably applied to Kagame and his Akazu.
Other people who could arguably be labeled ‘extremists’ then would be Belgian academic Philippe Reyntjens, an ardent RPA/F supporter and Habyarimana critic throughout the four year civil war, and up to about 1995 or 1996, where he began to sing a different tune (much to his credit). Dr. Reyntjens has done some fantastic scholarship on the Great Lakes region, and he is not to be confused with French academic Gerard Prunier, whose whitewashing of events and support of the RPA/F official narrative suggests he could easily be an intelligence asset working for the RPA/F or for the United States.
The ICTR acquitted the so-called ‘genocide masterminds’ of all conspiracy to commit genocide charges, but some were found guilty of ‘acts of genocide’ and other crimes against humanity. However, every ICTR trial should be declared a mistrial. These trials have been politically motivated, one-sided productions, and not one Rwandan Patriotic Army/Front official or soldier has even been indicted. Controlled and manhandled by the United States, the ICTR is merely dispensing ‘victor’s justice’.
The ICTR conviction of Jean Kambanda, the former interim prime minister during the 1994 genocide, on the charge of conspiracy to commit genocide was a complete sham: even proponents of the official Rwanda genocide narrative have confirmed that Kambanda was not afforded proper legal representation or anything close to a fair trial. (See, e.g., The Sacrifice of Jean Kambanda: A Comparative Analysis of the Right to Counsel in the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the United States, with emphasis on Prosecutor v. Jean Kambanda, Kelly Xi Huei Lalith Ranasing, California Western School of Law, Summer 2004.)
The ICTR trials have persecuted and further dehumanized Hutu people, and they have dismissed and ignored every chance to explore the role of Paul Kagame and the RPA/F in provoking, prolonging and supporting the Tutsi genocide during the 100 days of 1994.
Meanwhile, in 2008 the high court in Spain issued indictments and international arrest warrants against the top 40 Rwandan Patriotic Army/Front officials for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire). The court included Paul Kagame in its consideration of egregious crimes, but is prevented from indicting a sitting head of state.
THE RPA GENOCIDE AGAINST THE HUTU PEOPLE
Beatrice Munyenyezi survived the invasion of Rwanda’s Byumba prefecture by the Ugandan troops calling themselves the Rwanda Patriotic Army in 1990. From October 1990 to April 1994 the RPF occupied the large portions of the prefectures of Byumba and Ruhengeri: American satellite pictures would shed light on the destruction caused by the RPF offensive from 1990 to the 1993 ceasefire.
“I spent 3 months in the demilitarized zone resettling internally displaced people,” says another unnamed Rwandan genocide survivor. “Based on what I saw, the RPF policy was to kill people, destroy buildings, destroy houses, destroy archives,” says witness GOR-3 (not connected to the Munyenyezi trial). “Doors, iron sheets and corrugated metal covering the roofs of houses, furniture, toilets — everything had been removed and taken to Uganda to be sold. We need the pictures taken by the Pentagon to show the brutality of the RPA invasion and occupation.”
Munyenyezi then survived the next four years of RPA/F persecution and genocide that saw entire Hutu villages in Byumba razed, massacres of scores of thousands of mostly (but not only) Hutu people, and the internal displacement of some two million Hutus.
Forced into a life-and-death refugee existence inside Rwanda between October 1990 and April 1994, the displaced Hutu people fought back after the plane carrying the Hutu presidents of both Rwanda and Burundi, and other Rwandan high officials, was shot down over Kigali airport on April 6, 1994.
Beatrice Munyenyezi then survived the so-called ‘100 days of genocide’ in Rwanda from April 6 to July 15, 1994. She fled Rwanda with family members on July 18, 1994, part of the massive exodus of millions of Rwandans, mostly innocent Hutu women and children to eastern Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo).
In Congo-Zaire, Munyenyezi survived the most ruthless and cold-blooded slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Hutu civilians by the RPA, Ugandan People’s Defense Forces and some lesser numbers of Ethiopian, Eritrean, and South African troops. The RPA-led genocide in Congo-Zaire began in August 1996 when the RPA shelled refugee camps in the Kivu provinces in violation of international law. http://www.consciousbeingalliance.com/2012/2010/08/us-citizen-falsely-accused-of-rwanda-genocide-rape-crimes – _edn3
In Goma, DRC, at this time, a western war correspondent photographed US Special Forces machine-gunning unarmed refugee men, women and children in what he described as “one of the most horrible examples of mass atrocities I have ever seen.”
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) had been stockpiling World Food Program provisions and for months these had been denied to starving Rwandan refugees. The massive WFP provisions meant for refugees — mostly non-combatant Rwandan Hutu men, women and children — were used to feed the invading RPA/F troops.
For the next year, UNHCR helped the Rwandan Patriotic Front and its backers — Pentagon, US State Department, USAID, DFID, Israel, Belgium — to hunt down and forcibly repatriate Hutu refugees as they ran for their lives all across Congo. UNHCR even paid a bounty to local Congolese for refugees. In Congo-Brazzaville, Cameroon, and Gabon it was the same story: UNHCR hunted the refugees down, paid a bounty, coerced the local dictatorships (Omar Bongo in Gabon, Paul Biya in Cameron), and forcibly repatriated Rwandan refugees back to death camps, torture and mass graves in Rwanda.
Howard French of the New York Times made a few protestations to his editors in New York, but soon he left Central Africa to work as NYT bureau chief in China. Howard French mumbles a few words about Rwanda and Congo now and then, but he is an officially sanctioned voice who maintains his highly paid job at the New York Times precisely because he has said nothing at all of any real substance about US and British and Belgian and German and Canadian and Israeli agents responsible for the Hutu genocide in Zaire.
Like almost everyone else, Howard French abandoned the Hutus to be slaughtered. As the truth about atrocities and complicity in mass murder increasingly comes to light, we find establishment insiders arguing with establishment insiders in well-to-do establishment journals that always remain silent when the carnage is happening, as in the case of the atrocities being committed in the Congo (Afghanistan, Iraq, Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda) at present.
UNHCR head Sagato Ogata even landed by plane near Tingi Tingi refugees camp in Zaire, when the RPA/F attack was imminent, and threatened refugees — which by now included Rwandan Hutu and Tutsi, and internally displaced Congolese people — that if they didn’t return to Rwanda they would be killed. The RPA/F attacked, Ogata was off to some posh celebration in some fancy hotel. Tens of and thousands of refugees were killed and scores of thousands fled west into the forests to suffer and die.
“[French] Military officers and the [French] intelligence services were not satisfied with the satellite images furnished by the Americans,” writes investigative journalist Pierre PÃ©an, “which showed no signs of the refugees; these pictures did not correspond at all with the information that was coming in to them off the ground from numerous human sources. At the beginning of November, a BrÃ©guet Atlantic reconnaissance plane spotted groups of refugees and transmitted photos of two US Blackhawk helicopters.”
“French spies were questioned about the role of the Green Berets in the massacres that took place after the taking of Bukavu at the end of October 1996,” Pierre PÃ©an continues, in Carnages, his massive exposÃ© on US, Nato and Israeli interventions and dirty tricks in Africa.
“They were also asked about the origins of the nighttime aerial machine gun fire against the refugee camps:
That poses some serious considerations when you know that among the American aircraft used was at least one C-130 gunship from the Special Forces, a veritable flying gunboat, armor-plated and equipped with a 105 mm canon, rockets and machine guns, capable even of dropping mines. What was it doing there if, as the American Commander would have it, it was only searching out the refugees to study ways to bring them aid?
After the refugee camps in eastern Zaire were attacked, Beatrice Munyenyezi fled from Congo to Kenya at the advice of her brother, Jean-Marie Vianney Higiro, another US citizen also being hunted by the Kagame regime and its political, military and economic partners.
In Tanzania and Kenya, Beatrice Munyenyezi survived RPF agents hunting refugees and assassinating dissidents, including former RPF official Seth Sendashonga, who was minister of the interior in Rwanda from 1994 to 1998.
Jean Marie Vianney Higiro is the real target of the Kagame regime’s persecution of Beatrice Munyenyezi: the regime has held a vendetta against Higiro since his refusal to accept a post in the Kagame terrorist government in July 1994. Higiro was evacuated from Rwanda by US marines around April 8, 1994.
The security apparatus of the Kagame regime has been hunting refugees in Europe and in North America since 1994, and Rwandan dissidents have been assassinated in Europe and Africa. In May 2011, an assassination plot was foiled in London by the U.K. government.
Former Rwandan minister Juvenal Uwilingiyimana and Colonel Laurent Nubaha ‘mysteriously’ turned up dead in Belgium. Colonel Theoneste Lizinde and Seth Sendashonga, former RPF interior minister, were both assassinated in Nairobi; Pasteur Musabe was assassinated in Cameroon. There was also an attempt on the life of Rwanda’s ex-army chief, Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa in South Africa. International arrest warrants against genocide suspects and non-genocide suspects are also used as weapons to neutralize and silence.
The US government, Canada, Britain and Israel back the hunting down of Rwandan dissidents to prop up their client regime: the dictatorship of Paul Kagame.
Rwanda provides a major base for the US Department of Defense military occupation of Africa and for US and allied intelligence and defense operations. While allied operations involve many NATO countries, Britain and Israel are the main intelligence and defense partners for the US in Central Africa; Germany and Belgium are not far behind them.
There is no freedom of speech in Rwanda today. There is no freedom of press. There is no freedom to organize. There is no freedom of assembly. The Kagame regime continues to assassinate and disappear critics, journalists, former business associates, former military and former government officials.
On March 31, 2012, Kagame’s former Chief of Staff Theogene Rudasingwa, a Tutsi in exile, announced that Paul Kagame was the instigator of the January 2001 assassination of Congolese President Laurent Desire Kabila. Theogene Rudasingwa is also the former RPA/F Secretary General and former ambassador to Washington under the Kagame regime.
The most recent assassinations include several Rwandan journalists killed in Uganda earlier this year. Opposition candidate Victoire Ingabire remains imprisoned and subject to a political charade trial because she returned to Rwanda from Belgium and courageously proclaimed the heretical obvious: There was a genocide against Hutus as well as Tutsis.
In July 2010, the body of the deputy leader of the Democratic Green Party was found dumped by a river near the southern town of Butare. Opposition politician Andre Kagwa Rwisereka, a Tutsi politician, was decapitated for his opposition to the Kagame regime.
The RPA/F government routinely rounds up numerous supposed supporters of opposition parties, and people have routinely been disappeared merely for showing some allegiance to the opposition Green Party or the PS-Imberakuri party.
“So many Tutsis are also suffering political repression,” says ‘Ignace’, a high level Rwandan dissident who fears retaliation from the US government for speaking out. “Tutsis who live in Rwanda are silent because they fear repression. Tutsis who live abroad in exile, like Theogene Rudasingwa and Gerald Gahima and General Kayumba Nyamwasa are also living in fear of assassination.”
Hutus throughout the country are subject to slavery conditions and millions of people — Hutus, Tutsis, Twa — outside the cliques of power are suffering extreme poverty. Most egregious, the RPA/F genocide against Hutu people continues: there is at present a campaign in Rwanda to forcibly sterilize Hutu males.
At present the government claims this is “voluntary” sterilization for population control, but the government is already pressing forced sterilization in certain cases and there is a history of deeply repressive and coercive policies that have been put into practice by force. According to an ICTR defense attorney interviewed in Arusha, the program is aimed at substantial reductions of the majority Hutu population.
“The RPF’s reconstruction and reconciliation policies do not represent a sincere attempt to unify and reconcile Rwandans,” writes Dr. Susan Thomson. “Instead, it is a mechanism of state power that presents a self-serving version of history and manipulates the language of ethnicity to justify and maintain policies of exclusion and oppression of ethnic Hutu in maintaining the appearance of peace and security… In practice, the government approaches post-genocide justice through the maximal prosecution of all Hutu.”
A US academic who worked in Rwanda and experienced the indoctrination camps run by the Kagame regime, Dr. Susan Thomson is persona non grata in Rwanda today. (And so is this correspondent.)
THE RWANDA GENOCIDE TOURISM INDUSTRY
After the arrest of Beatrice Munyenyezi in 2010, agents from the US Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) traveled to Rwanda to gather evidence to support the charges against her.
It is unknown which, if any, of the US prosecutors also traveled to Rwanda, but there were two investigative missions sent there for the Munyenyezi ‘discovery’. Because Beatrice Munyenyezi was indigent, both of her defense attorneys traveled to Rwanda all expenses paid by US taxpayers; it is likely that the two primary US prosecutors also traveled there.
While prosecutors John Capin and Aloke Chakravarthy may or may not have traveled to Rwanda, independent investigations in Rwanda are impossible. The US government does not send unbiased investigators to Rwanda: it sends agents intent on collecting the information and documentation provided by their client regime to protect their client regime.
It is especially easy to manipulate tourists or students or researchers who arrive in Rwanda for their first visit to Africa. White people are taken to the genocide memorials and the shock of these staged-managed productions — all these Hutu and Tutsi skeletons piled up and labeled ‘Tutsi victims of genocide’ — strikes deep into the psyche of the spectator. People don’t arrive with clean slates: the mass media has deeply conditioned western news and entertainment consumers to see Africa through a racist and exploitative lens.
The viewing of skeletons and skulls in Rwanda has become a lucrative spectator sport and the conditioning by the white systems of power in western countries has created naive and racially conditioned spectators who are easily fooled. Once they have seen the ‘horrors’ of the genocide memorials the average white and even non-white western spectators (e.g. African Americans) are often horrified into a subconscious shock and disbelief where reason and common sense are no longer accessible.
Foreigners take the skeletons and skulls as the unassailable truth — it does not cross their minds that there might be some other interpretation of the art project they see before them. It doesn’t occur to people that the truth has been distilled down — essentialized — into piles of skeletons, or shoes, or scattered clothing, or machetes that no longer appropriately re-present the original circumstances and context..
However, the fact is that virtually everyone in Rwanda owns a machete. Ditto in Burundi, Congo, Kenya, Uganda and rural Tanzania. They are as common a personal item as a wallet or purse or ball point pen is to a westerner. The entire machete narrative — Hutus butchering Tutsis in 100 days, blah, blah, blah — is deeply problematic, since the RPA/F routinely killed people with machetes both to disguise (normalize) the means of death such that the perpetrators and the victims could not be distinguished and so that the RPA/F narrative of ‘bloodthirsty Hutus killing Tutsis with machetes’ could easily be advanced. The RPA/F also wanted to save on bullets.
There is a genocide economy in Rwanda that serves foreign visitors who spend millions of dollars annually to travel to Rwanda, stay in fancy hotels, eat at restaurants, visit the mountain gorillas in Rwanda’s national parks, hire cars, and drivers, and interpreters, and purchase souvenirs — or ‘free trade’ coffee produced on lands stolen from the Hutu masses. There is a whole industry that revolves around the production and maintenance of the official Rwanda genocide story about Hutus killing Tutsis in 100 days of horror.
The US government pays all the travel and per diem expenses of genocide ‘investigators’, and everything is covered at the expense of US taxpayers. Rwandan ‘victims’ and ‘survivors’ who are brought to the United States are also fully paid.
“This is genocide tourism,” says ‘Ignace’. “They are not investigative. They stay at fancy hotels, they visit some locations, they see the skeletons and skulls at ‘genocide memorials’, they meet President Kagame, and they are assigned government handlers who make sure they get what Kagame and people in Washington want. They drink a lot of wine and swim in the swimming pools. They don’t know anything about Rwanda and everything looks very romantic. Then they come back and accuse innocent people of genocide.”
PENTAGON SATELLITE PHOTOS EXPOSED
The existence of satellite reconnaissance photographs has not been revealed even during the 18 years of very high profile genocide trials held at the ICTR.
During his entire three-plus years in Rwanda from 1990 to November 1993, former US Ambassador to Rwanda Robert Flatten’s requests for Pentagon-DIA spy satellite photographs showing the progress of the war in the Rwandan countryside were turned down — because of “clouds over Rwanda” they told him.
Whatever the inevitable imperfections of US intelligence early on, the reports from Rwanda were severe enough to distinguish Hutu killers from ordinary combatants in civil war. And they certainly warranted directing additional US intelligence assets toward the region–to snap satellite photos of large gatherings of Rwandan civilians or of mass graves, to intercept military communications, or to infiltrate the country in person. Though there is no evidence that senior policymakers deployed such assets, routine intelligence continued to pour in.
In her pivotal propaganda piece, “Bystanders to Genocide” (Harpers, September 2001), Harvard University scholar and US war crimes apologist Samantha Power claimed that the US had the means to ‘stop the genocide’ but instead we stood by. These means, she correctly noted, would include satellite imagery. However, Power’s role was to further whitewash US involvement in war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, as her Pulitzer prize-winning book The Road to Hell: America in the Age of Genocide quite clearly demonstrates.
“Whatever the inevitable imperfections of US intelligence early on, the reports from Rwanda were severe enough to distinguish Hutu killers from ordinary combatants in civil war,” Samantha Power wrote in ‘Bystanders to Genocide’. “And they certainly warranted directing additional US intelligence assets toward the region — to snap satellite photos of large gatherings of Rwandan civilians or of mass graves, to intercept military communications, or to infiltrate the country in person. Though there is no evidence that senior policymakers deployed such assets, routine intelligence continued to pour in.”
In a December 2001 letter to Harper’s editors, US academic Alan J. Kuperman disputed Samantha Power’s claim that “the United States failed to snap satellite photos of large gatherings of Rwandan civilians or of mass graves” stating: “Actually, within three days of the outbreak of violence on April 6, 1994, the US Defense Intelligence Agency obtained satellite photos, communications intercepts, and human intelligence that confirmed a widespread, centrally controlled killing campaign. I reported these facts, based on interviews with senior US intelligence officials, in my recent book, The Limits of Humanitarian Intervention: Genocide in Rwanda (Brookings, 2001).”
However, in a 2000 edition of Foreign Affairs, Alan Kuperman argued that President Clinton “could not have known that a nationwide genocide was under way” until about two weeks into the killing. In any case, the existence of satellite photos has never received any substantive attention and they have never been revealed until now.
The authenticity of the satellite images produced in the Munyenyezi trial in New Hampshire has not been established. Question: If satellite images existed, say some critics, then why were they not produced in high-profile cases at the ICTR — which is a show trial completely run by the United States?
Answer: The answer is because the images will probably reveal US military involvement, Nato involvement, RPA/F troop movements and bases, military hardware and weaponry, UNAMIR actions, and other very revealing information. There is substantial reason to believe that the satellite photographs may be exactly what the Pentagon described them as.
If Washington had the capability to monitor events from a satellite platform they certainly were doing so. And Washington had that capacity indeed. When detailed reports of geographical areas, military installations and activities, troop positions, or other picture-based intelligence are required, the Defense establishment relies on data provided by IMINT (Image Intelligence) satellites. Operating in low, near-polar orbits at an altitude of between 500 and 3,000 kilometers, and maintaining the same orbit around the Earth, they make about 14 revolutions per day.
In 1994, the US intelligence and defense establishment was fl