Despite having played key diplomatic roles during the Vietnam War, the Iran-Contra scandal, the creation of NAFTA and the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq, very little is known about John Negroponte, the man who will be the “de facto governor-general of Iraq.”
John Dimitri Negroponte, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, will become ambassador to Iraq on June 30. Negroponte, a controversial figure who has served 37 years in the foreign service, will replace Presidential Envoy to Iraq L. Paul Bremer as the administration’s point man in Baghdad.
“He’ll hold the title of ambassador, but he’s really being appointed de facto governor-general of Iraq because the U.S. is going to retain a lot of authority,” Ted Galen Carpenter of the Washington-based Cato Institute said about Negroponte’s appointment.
Negroponte, who was hastily confirmed as U.S. ambassador to the UN one week after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, was recently rushed through another confirmation process to become U.S. ambassador to Iraq. On April 19, President George W. Bush nominated Negroponte to head the massive U.S. mission in Baghdad with some 3,000 employees. On May 6 he was confirmed by a vote of 95 to 3 in the Senate.
Colin Powell, secretary of state, is a member of the controversial Council on Foreign Relations, as is Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) said there “is no better candidate to represent the United States in Iraq than Ambassador Negroponte,” according to Voice of America news.
“He understands the gravity of the situation and its complexity,” Lugar said. “He does not have a doctrinaire point of view, but clearly recognizes the political realities in Iraq, in this country, and in our international relations.”
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) was among the three voices in the Senate who opposed Negroponte because of the controversy surrounding his actions in Honduras where he served as ambassador from 1981to 1985.
“Mr. Negroponte showed a callous disregard for human rights abuses throughout his tenure as U.S. ambassador to Honduras,” said Harkin.
In light of the damage done to its credibility in the Middle East as a result of the torture and abuse of Iraqi detainees, Harkin said the United States cannot afford to have an ambassador with a questionable human rights record.
The Washington-based Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA) has followed Negroponte’s record in Honduras and called him an “arch authoritarian” with “profound moral derelictions” in a press release issued during the recent Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearings.
“As a would-be harbinger of democracy to Iraq, it would be little more than a cruel joke to pretend that [Negroponte] had a bone of democratic rectitude to him,” COHA wrote.
“Our hostility and criticism is centered on his record in Honduras,” Larry Birns, director of COHA, told American Free Press. Negroponte is an “authoritarian personality,” Birns said, who “tenaciously works for the administration of the day unburdened by any lasting principles.”
Asked about Negroponte’s flaws, Birns said: “He lied and deceived Congress saying he knew nothing about the death squads.”
“The central fact to the Negroponte story is that he misled Congress . . . about his complicity in helping to cover up his knowledge and direct personal involvement in the training, equipping and distracting attention from the heinous acts of Battalion 316, the Honduran death squad, which at the time of Negroponte’s residence in Honduras was responsible for the murder of almost 200 Honduran dissidents.”
In 1995, The Baltimore Sun published an extensive investigation of U.S. activities in Honduras during the period Negroponte served as ambassador. The paper’s investigation found that the CIA and U.S. embassy knew of the abuses but continued to support Battalion 316 and ensured the embassy’s annual human rights report did not reveal the truth.
Despite his “sordid human rights record,” Negroponte’s appointment to serve as U.S. ambassador to the UN was hastily confirmed in the immediate aftermath of the attacks of 9-11 without the “withering cross-examination” he would have otherwise faced.
Negroponte played a key role in getting the leaders of Mexico and Chile to fire their respective ambassadors to the UN because they opposed Negroponte’s position on Iraq, according to COHA.
During the run-up to the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq, Negroponte accused Iraq of violating UN resolutions by obtaining weapons of mass destruction. Despite the fact that Negroponte conspired in an illegal invasion, a crime under international law, and that no evidence of banned weapons has been found in Iraq to validate Negroponte’s allegations, Secretary General Kofi Annan said: “He’s an outstanding professional, a great diplomat and a wonderful ambassador.”
Negroponte became “a great diplomat” in the same way that Annan became a key globalist diplomat: through marriage. While Annan is married to a Swedish woman from the wealthy and powerful Wallenberg family, Negroponte is connected to Britain’s royal family and British intelligence through his wife, Diana Villiers.
Negroponte was born in London in 1939, the son of a Greek shipping magnate. His family moved to New York, and like many key members of the Bush administration, Negroponte attended Yale University.
After graduating from Yale in 1960, Negroponte joined the foreign service and became vice consul in Hong Kong from 1961 to 1963.
From 1964 to 1968, during the height of the war in Vietnam, Negroponte was political officer at the U.S. Embassy in Saigon. He was a member of the U.S. delegation to the Paris Peace Talks on Vietnam (1968-69) and served on the National Security Council under Henry Kissinger as officer-in-charge for Vietnam from 1971 to 1973.
Among the thousands of news articles written about Negroponte, not one mentions his “blue-blooded” British wife. Like George W. Bush, Mrs. Villiers is related to Britain’s royal family. Mrs. Villiers, related to Queen Elizabeth, is the daughter of Lt. Col. Sir Charles Villiers and his second wife, the Countess Marie José de la Barre d’Erquelinnes.
In 1985, Sir Charles Villiers, a high-ranking British Special Operations Executive veteran, founded an elitist transatlantic group known as the British American Project for the Successor Generation (BAP) with Lewis van Dusen, former U.S. representative at NATO. Villiers, who died in 1992, had been an “old Etonian banker” and former chairman of the British Steel Corp.
Villiers arranged with Robert Smith, the head of the Pew Memorial Trust, to fund the BAP. The School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of Johns Hopkins University administers the U.S. side, while the Rothschild-funded Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA) at Chatham House, London, manages the British side.
The RIIA is Britain’s sister organization to the CFR. Both the CFR and RIIA were formally established in Paris on March 19, 1919, during the Paris Peace Conference. Edward Mandell House, advisor to President Woodrow Wilson, hosted the meeting.
“The agenda is corporate, the ideology is capitalist,” Tony Gosling, a British expert on the elite Bilderberg group, says about BAP, which he calls “a CIA sponsored self selecting group who pretend to ‘define’ the transatlantic relationship.”
Like Bilderberg, BAP brings together 24 American and 24 British delegates every year for four days of dinners, parties and discussions. Delegates are nominated by existing fellows. Journalist John Pilger, a critic of BAP, says the organization is a kind of right-wing “casual freemasonry.”
Negroponte’s British wife carries on in her father’s footsteps. Educated at the London School of Economics & Political Science, she works as a trade lawyer in Washington, and serves on the board of trustees of Freedom House, an organization headed by neo-conservative R. James Woolsey, former director of central intelligence and a strong supporter of Israel.
As ambassador to Mexico from 1989 to 1993, Negroponte shepherded the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to its conclusion.