America's UN Ambassador and White House Nominee for State Department Post Could Undermine U.S. Credibility in Battle Against Terrorism
Interview by Between The Lines' Denise Manzari
As the Bush administration continues to bomb targets inside Afghanistan in the fight against terrorism, some embarrassing questions are being asked about John Negroponte, the newly appointed U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Negroponte, who was confirmed by the Senate shortly after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, had been the U.S. ambassador in Honduras during the time of the dirty wars in Central America in the 1980s. Critics accuse Negroponte of complicity with the terrorist activities of Contra guerillas fighting to overthrow the Nicaraguan government and death squads operating within the Honduran military. With this history, some observers charge that Negroponte lacks the moral authority to represent America as our country rallies the world to fight terrorism.
The White House also hopes to win confirmation for Otto Reich as assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs. Reich, a Cuban American, is a controversial figure for his role in the Reagan administration's Iran-Contra scandal.
Reich is also accused of helping anti-Castro Cuban Orlando Bosch to come to the U.S. Bosch had been imprisoned in Venezuela for 11 years for his part in the 1976 bombing of a Cuban civilian airliner that killed 73. After arriving in the U.S., Bosch received a presidential pardon from former President George Bush.
Larry Burns is executive director of the Council on Hemispheric Affairs based in Washington, D.C. He spoke with Between The Lines' Denise Manzari about the Bush administration's choice of Negroponte and Reich for high government posts and how this may adversely affect U.S. credibility in the fight against terrorism(A RealAudio Version of this interview may be found At http://www.btlonline.org) .
Contact The Council on Hemispheric Affairs by calling (202) 216-9261 or visit their Web site at www.coha.org
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