Henry Kissinger - War Criminal
etmnlong.gif (2291 bytes) spacer
“The illegal we do immediately, the unconstitutional takes a bit longer.” - Kissinger

About Kissinger

The United States’ most notorious living war criminal

L-R Kissinger,  Suharto, unknown, Ford, Dec 6, 1975
L-R Kissinger, Suharto, unknown, Ford, Dec 6, 1975.
Henry Kissinger was Secretary of State (1973-77) and National Security Adviser (1969-73). He is the United States’ most notorious living war criminal and has done more than most in such senior positions to undermine respect for human rights and international law.

The U.S. would be better served by in-depth hearings examining Kissinger's record and the failure of to hold Kissinger accountable for his acts of omission and commission that supported repression, facilitated mass murder, and undermined governments throughout Asia, Africa, Latin America and elsewhere. This failure to hold Kissinger accountable has allowed him to continue to promote new wars and foreign interventions.

Kissinger geopolitical scheming in the Indonesian archipelago had particularly dire consequences for the peoples there. In 1969, the U.S. conspired with the Indonesian dictator Suharto to facilitate the illegal annexation of West Papua through a transparently bogus propaganda exercise known as the "Act of Free Choice." U.S. behind-the-scenes support at the United Nations for this undemocratic farce was essential to solidifying the Indonesian dictatorship's control of West Papua and the more than four decades of genocidal policies which have decimated the Papuan population.
Under Kissinger's direction, the U.S. gave a greenlight to the 1975 Indonesian invasion of East Timor (now Timor-Leste) which ushered in a 24-year brutal occupation by the Suharto dictatorship. The Indonesian occupation of East Timor and West Papua was enabled by U.S. weapons and training. This illegal flow of weapons contravened congressional intent, yet Kissinger bragged about his ability to continue arms shipments to Suharto (“The illegal we do immediately, the unconstitutional takes a bit longer.”) These weapons were essential to the Indonesian dictator's consolidation of military control in both East Timor and West Papua, and these occupations cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of Timorese and Papuan civilians. Kissinger’s policy toward West Papua allowed for the U.S.-based multinational corporation Freeport McMoRan to pursue its mining interests in the region, which has resulted in terrible human rights and environmental abuses; Kissinger was rewarded with a seat on the Board of Directors from 1995-2001.

Just prior to reassuring Suharto of continued U.S. support should Indonesia invade East Timor, Morocco moved to seize Western Sahara, then a Spanish colony. He worked for a West Papua solution for Western Sahara, where the UN would bless a phony referendum endorsing annexation. While Morocco and its allies do all they can to delay a referendum, Morocco continues to illegally control most of Western Sahara. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, writing of his time as U.S. ambassador to UN in 1975, said that when it came to East Timor and Western Sahara that “The Department of State desired that the United Nations prove utterly ineffective in whatever measures it undertook. This task was given me, and I carried it forward with no inconsiderable success."

 Kissinger with Ford

As National Security Adviser and subsequently as Secretary of State in the first and second Nixon administrations and the Ford administration Kissinger prolonged prosecution of the U.S. war in Indochina at the cost of tens of thousands of U.S. and allied service personnel’s lives and hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese, Cambodian and Lao civilians. Under Nixon-Kissinger policies, the U.S. military employed Agent Orange and other chemicals which maimed and killed U.S. and allied personnel, and the long-term consequences of exposure to Agent Orange and other chemicals continues to kill and affect the health of millions in the region. Similarly, the U.S. military's extensive use of bombs and other munitions throughout Indochina, and especially in Laos, during Kissinger's tenure, continues to cause casualties. The illegal, secret invasion of officially neutral Cambodia, including extensive bombing in the eastern portions of Cambodia, shattered the weak and fragile infrastructure of that country, and contributed to the triumph of the infamous Khmer Rouge over the U.S.-backed, feckless and corrupt Lon Nol regime in 1975.


The infamous legacy of Kissinger's tenure entails a web of policy failure that encircles the globe.

Beyond the tragic Kissinger policies in Indochina, the infamous legacy of Kissinger's tenure entails a web of policy failure that encircles the globe. U.S. support of the West Pakistani military's 1971 invasion of East Pakistan facilitated the murder of hundreds of thousands in what is now Bangladesh. The U.S.-backed 1973 coup and assassination of President Salvador Allende inaugurated the brutal Pinochet dictatorship in Chile. U.S. greenlighting of the Turkish military's 1974 invasion of Cyprus created a political division in that island nation that continue to this day. U.S. support of the Portuguese colonial regimes in Angola, Guinea Bissau and Mozambique, as well as racist settler regimes in Northern and Southern Rhodesia and South Africa perpetuated the suffering of civilians and effective colonial rule in sub-Saharan Africa.

We would applaud a congressional hearing which carefully examined Kissinger's policies and sought to draw lessons from their disastrous impact. However, the Senate hearing will no doubt serve as yet another opportunity for Kissinger to hold forth on grand foreign policy principles, while ignoring the very real harm to people's lives and livelihoods from his actions.