Thursday, April 16, 2009

What Can We Do to Expose and Punish Cold War and Imperialist War Criminals

by Norman Markowitz

The question for today is this. The Obama administration has released classified materials on the methods of torture used by the CIA to interrogate prisoners as part of the war against terrorism. The documents show Bush administration figures providing rationales for these actions which the Obama administration has repudiated. But the Obama administration has ruled out "punishment" for those who engaged in these actions. How can we best challenge this decision and work to educate working people to oppose it (part one)?

There is also a second part which should be of special importance to us. Americans know about the the methods of torture used by the CIA over the last seven years. They don't know about the CIA hit lists numbering over ten thousand provided to the Suharto forces in Indonesia in 1965 of Communist activist leadership to be murdered (as they were along with hundreds of thousands of Indonesian workers and peasants and ethnic Chinese people). They don't know about the death lists provided to dictatorships of the right in Iran, Guatemala, Cuba, Chile, and many other countries from the early cold war years to the present---an institutionalized terror which resembles to me the Kommissarbefehl (or Commissar Order) signed by Hitler in June, 1941, that among captured Soviet prisoners, Communist functionaries and "those thoroughly bolshevized or as active representatives of bolshevist ideology" should be separated from the ordinary soldiers and immediately murdered. A very early postwar German film, made in the Soviet Occupation Zone was titled "The Murderers Are Among U.S." How Can we begin to publicize the crimes of the murders and torturers among us who were directly responsible for the murder of hundreds of thousands of Communist and left activists, not just the targeted countries where counter-revolution was organized and direct or indirect military intervention took place, but individuals, people much like me and you., whose "crime" was to belong to Communist and left groups and fight for socialism and national liberation?