Newly released documents prove that Bill Clinton knew of the Rwandan genocide in April, 1994, and not only decided not to intervene (which is a defensible position) but did everything possible to prevent the American people from learning the truth.
US president Bill Clinton's administration knew Rwanda was being engulfed by genocide in April 1994 but buried the information to justify its inaction, classified documents made available for the first time reveal.Not only that, but the exalted Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, was in charge of the UN peacekeeping office from March of 1992 to December of 1996.
Senior officials privately used the word genocide within 16 days of the start of the killings, but chose not to do so publicly because the president had already decided not to intervene.
Intelligence reports obtained using the US Freedom of Information Act show the cabinet and almost certainly the president knew of a planned "final solution to eliminate all Tutsis" before the slaughter reached its peak.
It took Hutu death squads three months from April 6 to murder about 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus and at each stage accurate, detailed reports were reaching Washington policymakers.
The documents undermine claims by Mr Clinton and his officials that they did not fully appreciate the scale and speed of the killings.
Before being appointed Secretary-General, Mr. Annan served as Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations (March 1992-February 1993) and then as Under-Secretary-General (March 1993-December 1996). His tenure as Under-Secretary-General coincided with unprecedented growth in the size and scope of United Nations peacekeeping operations, with a total deployment, at its peak in 1995, of almost 70,000 military and civilian personnel from 77 countries.As this editorial by Nat Hentoff that appeared in the April 30, 2001, edition of the Washington Times (I think) says:
The Washington Times editorial at least had some reservations about Mr. Annan's tenure so far. But there has been scant mention in the media of the plain fact that it was Mr. Annan, when he was head of the United Nation's peacekeeping office, who could have prevented the slaughter of 800,000 Tutus and their sympathizers in Rwanda in 1994.And people want to put the UN -- led by Annan -- in charge of Iraq? What a joke.
Maj. Gen. Romeo Dallaire, head of a U.N. peacekeeping mission in Rwanda, urgently pleaded with Mr. Annan to intervene before the killings began, because Mr. Dallaire knew of the preparations for the genocide. Mr. Annan refused to act, or to say anything publicly. ...
Finally, in 1999, after these and other disclosures of the responsibility of the United Nations for the massacres, the United Nations issued a report acknowledging, to some extent, its role in the killings, including the role of Mr. Annan. But for five and a half years he refused to accept any responsibility for the Rwandan holocaust until Mr. Gourevitch and others revealed that less than 5,000 U.N. troops could have stopped the killings if Mr. Annan had not closed his eyes.
To this day, moreover, Mr. Annan has said nothing about the massive enslavement of black Christians and animists in Sudan by the National Islamic Front government. Nor has he said anything about the gang rapes and murder that accompany slave raids on the villages of southern Sudan.