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Posts Tagged ‘war crimes’

It didn’t have to happen. Tienanmen Square. Below please find lost audios about what led up to that awful, terrifying, unforgivable day on 4 June 1989 and try to contemplate what could have been.

Zhao Ziyang Tapes Reveal Call for Democracy.
For more, go to www.RFA.org.

HONG KONG, May 14, 2009 — Twenty years after the People’s Liberation Army crushed the student-led pro-democracy movement in China with guns and tanks, a former top Communist Party official has released audio recordings in which former premier Zhao Ziyang calls for parliamentary democracy for China, Radio Frede Asia (RFA) reports.

Zhao, who fell into political disgrace in the wake of the crackdown, described it in recordings as “a tragedy to shock the world, which was happening in spite of attempts to avert it.”

He recalls hearing the sound of “intense gunfire” on the evening of June 3, 1989 while sitting at his Beijing home, where he was held under house arrest until his death. He concludes in extracts read from an unpublished political memoir that the only way forward for China is a parliamentary democracy.

“Of course, it is possible that in the future a more advanced political system than parliamentary democracy will emerge,” Zhao said. “But that is a matter for the future. At present, there is no other.”

He said China could not have a healthy economic system, nor become a modern society with the rule of law without democracy.

“Instead, it will run into the situations that have occurred in so many developing countries, including China: the commercialization of power, rampant corruption, and a society polarized between rich and poor.”

Released by aide.

Zhao’s former political aide, Bao Tong, who served a seven-year jail term in the wake of the crackdown, released the tapes ahead of the 20th anniversary of the violent suppression of the 1989 student movement, in which hundreds, perhaps more than 1,000, died.

“Zhao Ziyang left behind a set of audio recordings. These are his legacy,” Bao wrote to RFA’s Mandarin service from under house arrest at his Beijing home.

“Zhao Ziyang’s legacy is for all of China’s people. It is my job to transmit them to the world in the form of words and to arrange things,” he said.

“Their contents have implications for a history that is still influencing the people of China to this day. The key theme of this history is reform,” Bao said.

Authorities in Beijing suppressed any public displays of grief for Zhao in the days after his death on Jan. 17, 2005, detaining dozens of people for wearing white flowers in his honor or attempting to pay their respects at the former premier’s home.

Zhao was openly mourned by thousands in the former British colony of Hong Kong, however, where is seen by many as a symbol of the territory’s own struggle for political change.

Educating China’s youth.

Bao said his purpose in releasing the tapes, which he described as “political task,” was partly to educate a whole generation of young people in China who had never heard of Zhao Ziyang.

“On the mainland at the current time, this part of history has been sealed off and distorted, so it will be useful to discuss some of this history for younger readers.”

“The name of Zhao Ziyang was erased from news media, books and periodicals, and the historical record within China,” Bao wrote in a six-part essay accompanying the tapes, titled “The Historical Background to the Zhao Ziyang Recordings.”

“Zhao wanted to address the issues of official corruption and democracy which were the concerns of most ordinary Chinese people, using the principle of the rule of law,” Bao wrote of the conflict between his former political mentor and late supreme leader Deng Xiaoping.

“He wanted to instigate reforms of China’s political system alongside deepening economic reforms, concentrating the attention of the whole of society onto the issue of reforms.”

The Chinese authorities have already begun tightening security in and around Beijing ahead of the sensitive anniversary.

Articles and forum posts connected in any way to the events of 20 years ago are being deleted regularly from Chinese cyberspace, including an appeal for the rehabilitation of Zhao and Hu Yaobang, whose death on April 15, 1989 triggered the student movement.

Original reporting by RFA’s Mandarin service. Mandarin service director: Jennifer Chou. Translated and written in English by Luisetta Mudie. Edited by Sarah Jackson-Han.

Source: RFA.

May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary’s Thoughts.

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Ex-president (Charles Taylor) of Liberia’s son, ‘Chuckie’ was convicted in October 30, 2008. He has been convicted of torture, arms trafficing, and conspiracy to torture and smuggle arms, according to a federal court in Florida. The prosection had requested 147 years in prison, but they were only to obtain 97 years. It is about time. Although he wasn’t charged with the murder of any of them, his indictment alleged that he murdered at least four of ten victims.

“His case, tried in Miami, was the first brought under a 1994 U.S. law saying those accused of committing torturous acts overseas can be tried in a U.S. federal court, as long as the person is a U.S. national or is present in the United States, regardless of nationality.” [Son of ex-Liberian leader sentenced to 97 years in prison, CNN]

“Taylor Jr. was tapped by his father to command an anti-terrorist unit called the ”Demon Forces” that beat, burned and beheaded Liberian civilians from 1999 to 2003, the jury concluded.

The Miami criminal case — which took place at the same time the father, Charles Taylor, faced a war-crimes tribunal in the Netherlands — marked the first U.S. prosecution of torture committed in a foreign country.” [‘Chuckie’ Taylor sentenced to 97 years in landmark torture case, by BY JAY WEAVER
jweaver AT MiamiHerald DOT com.]

(If you are interested in the CNN article, you will have to e-mail me. They seem to lose all of their articles, so I put the articles in research file.)

His father is still in the Hague waiting to be convicted on war crimes for his war crimes while he created chaos and wars while he was president of Liberia and also kept these poor people in fear for their very lives. He was captured in 2005. My, how long does it take to get over with the trial? This is one reason why I have NO faith in any of these UN phony set-ups.

I’m glad this part is finally over. It was the best we could hope for since they weren’t going to impose the death penalty. They did for Nuremberg trials. Gee, we’re come a long way, eh? NOT.

PS. There is a blogger who is claiming that he Chuckie was convicted of murder also. I sure as heck hope so. I have a tendency to believe this blogger more than I do the press. Why? Because CNN and the AP puts out their article, and everyone else just copies it instead of doing their own research. Yes, I received this message from CNN. That’s only because they will not allow me to remove myself from their mailing list! So that’s how they get their numbers! lol.

Anyway, after I get the notice from them, I google the title to find out if it’s true. Then I read the other articles. Besides, as I said before, CNN has a tendency to remove their link after a certain amount of time. Oh, their articles are oh so precious! NOT. Have a nice day.

Cross-posted @ Rosemary’s Thoughts. Digg! Digg!

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TOKYO, Japan (AP) — Col. Masanobu Tsuji was a fanatical Japanese militarist and brutal warrior, hunted after World War II for massacres of Chinese civilians and complicity in the Bataan Death March.

And then he became a U.S. spy.

Newly declassified CIA records, released by the U.S. National Archives and examined by The Associated Press, document more fully than ever how Tsuji and other suspected Japanese war criminals were recruited by U.S. intelligence in the early days of the Cold War.

The documents also show how ineffective the effort was, in the CIA’s view.

The records, declassified in 2005 and 2006 under an act of Congress in tandem with Nazi war crime-related files, fill in many of the blanks in the previously spotty documentation of the occupation authority’s intelligence arm and its involvement with Japanese ultra-nationalists and war criminals, historians say.

In addition to Tsuji, who escaped Allied prosecution and was elected to parliament in the 1950s, conspicuous figures in U.S.-funded operations included mob boss and war profiteer Yoshio Kodama, and Takushiro Hattori, former private secretary to Hideki Tojo, the wartime prime minister hanged as a war criminal in 1948.

The CIA also cast a harsh eye on its counterparts — and institutional rivals — at G-2, the occupation’s intelligence arm, providing evidence for the first time that the Japanese operatives often bilked gullible American patrons, passing on useless intelligence and using their U.S. ties to boost smuggling operations and further their efforts to resurrect a militarist Japan.

The assessments in the files are far from uniform. They show evidence that other U.S. agencies, such as the Air Force, were also looking into using some of the same people as spies, and that the CIA itself had contacts with former Japanese war criminals. Some CIA reports gave passing grades to the G-2 contacts’ intelligence potential.

But on balance, the reports were negative, and historians say there is scant documentary evidence from occupation authorities to contradict the CIA assessment.

The files, hundreds of pages of which were obtained last month by the AP, depict operations that were deeply flawed by agents’ lack of expertise, rivalries and shifting alliances between competing groups, and Japanese operatives’ overriding interest in right-wing activities and money rather than U.S. security aims.

“Frequently they resorted to padding or outright fabrication of information for the purposes of prestige or profit,” a 1951 CIA assessment said of the agents. “The postwar era in Japan … produced a phenomenal increase in the number of these worthless information brokers, intelligence informants and agents.”

The contacts in Japan mirror similar efforts in postwar Germany by the Americans to glean intelligence on the Soviet Union from ex-Nazis. But historians say a major contrast is the ineffectiveness of the Japanese operations.

The main aims were to spy on Communists inside Japan, place agents in Soviet and North Korean territory, and use Japanese mercenaries to bolster Taiwanese defenses against the triumphant Communist forces in mainland China.

Some of the missions detailed by the CIA papers, however, bordered on the comical.

The Americans, for instance, provided money for a boat to infiltrate Japanese agents into the Soviet island of Sakhalin — but the money, boat and agents apparently disappeared, one report said. In Taiwan, the Japanese traded recruits for shiploads of bananas to sell on the black market back home.

The operatives also were suspected of having murky links with the Communists they were assigned to undermine, the documents say. The CIA also said some agents sold the same information to different U.S. contacts, increasing their earnings, and funneled information on the American military back into the Japanese nationalist underground.

The files and historians strongly suggest that American lack of knowledge about Japan or interest in war crimes committed in Asia, and a reliance on operatives’ own assessment of their intelligence skills, made U.S. officials, in the words of one CIA report, “easy to fool for a time.”

“This was a bunch of Japanese nationalists taking the G-2 for a ride,” said Carol Gluck, a specialist in Japanese history at Columbia University and adviser to the archives working group administering declassification of the papers. “One thing that was interesting was how absolutely nonsensical it was, of no use to anybody but the people involved. Almost funny in a way.”

The informants, many of whom were held as war criminals after Tokyo’s surrender and subsequently released, operated under the patronage of Maj. Gen. Charles Willoughby, a German-born, monocle-wearing admirer of Mussolini, a staunch anti-Communist and, as the chief of G-2 in the occupation government, considered second in power only to his boss, Gen. Douglas MacArthur.

Some of Willoughby’s proteges were seen as prime war trial material by Allied prosecutors.

But even as the occupation authorities were recrafting Japan into a democracy, their focus was shifting to containing the Soviets. Willoughby saw the military men as key to making Japan an anti-Communist bulwark in Asia — and ensuring that Tokyo would rapidly rearm, this time as a U.S. ally.

Historians long ago concluded that the Allies turned a blind eye to many Japanese war crimes, particularly those committed against other Asians, as fighting communism became the West’s priority.

Chief among the Japanese operatives was Seizo Arisue, Japan’s intelligence chief at the end of the war. Arisue had been a key figure in the pro-war camp and in forging Japan’s alliance with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy in the 1930s.

According to the files, Arisue was soon ensconced in G-2, working with former Lt. Gen. Yorashiro Kawabe, who was a military intelligence officer in China in 1938 — to organize groups of veterans and others for underground operations.

These groups consisted of former war buddies and often retained the same chains of command and militarist ideology of the war machine that ground much of Asia into submission in the 1930s and ’40s.

“It shows how we acquiesced to the Japanese … in order to continue to build up Japan as our ally,” said Linda Goetz Holmes, author of “Unjust Enrichment: How Japan’s Companies Built Postwar Fortunes Using American POWs.”

“The whole thing was Cold War fear and an awful lot of postwar compensation issues … all of that was subservient to our total fear of Russia,” said Holmes, also a historical adviser for the declassification project.

Indeed, that new focus brought some of Japan’s most notorious wartime killers under U.S. sponsorship.

Tsuji, for instance, was wanted for involvement in the Bataan Death March of early 1942, in which thousands of Americans and Filipinos perished, and for allegedly co-signing an order to massacre anti-Japanese Chinese merchants in Malaya.

Yet none of that seemed to matter much to American intelligence. The U.S. Air Force attempted unsuccessfully to recruit him after he was taken off the war crimes list in 1949 and came out of hiding, and CIA and U.S. Army files show him working for G-2. In the 1950s he was elected to Japan’s parliament. He vanished in Laos in 1961 and was never seen again.

The Army considered him a potentially valuable source, but the CIA was not impressed with Tsuji’s skills as an agent. The files show he was far more concerned with furthering various right-wing causes and basking in publicity generated by controversial political statements.

“In either politics or intelligence work, he is hopelessly lost both by reason of personality and lack of experience,” said a CIA assessment from 1954. Another 1954 file says: “Tsuji is the type of man who, given the chance, would start World War III without any misgivings.”

Kodama was another unsavory player. A virulent anti-communist and superbly connected smuggler and political fixer, Kodama commanded a vast network of black marketeers and former Japanese secret police agents in East Asia.

The CIA, however, concluded he was much more concerned about making money than furthering U.S. interests. A gangland boss, he later played a major role in the Lockheed Scandal, one of the country’s biggest post-World War II bribery cases. He died in 1984.

“Kodama Yoshio’s value as an intelligence operative is virtually nil,” says a particularly harsh 1953 CIA report. “He is a professional liar, gangster, charlatan and outright thief… Kodama is completely incapable of intelligence operations, and has no interest in anything but the profits.”

Nowadays, the most powerful legacy of the U.S. occupation is the democratic freedoms and pacifism built into Japan’s 1947 constitution. But the U.S. association with Japanese war criminals illustrates how Washington embraced nationalist and conservative forces after World War II, helping them reassert their grip on the government once the occupation ended in 1952.

“Its hard to imagine back in those days how intent the U.S. was on rapid remilitarization of Japan,” said John Dower, historian and author of “Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II.”

“When we talk about the emergence of neo-nationalism or a strong right wing in Japan today, this has very deep roots and it involves a very strong element of American support,” he said.

Yet the ex-war criminals failed to rebuild a militarist Japan. “Prewar right-wing activists who escaped war crime charges in fact did not have much influence in the postwar period,” said Eiji Takemae, historian and author of The Allied Occupation of Japan.

To the Americans, he said, “they were in fact not very useful.”

Source: CNN.

Rosemary’s Thoughts.

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