Eighteen years after the historic ‘100 days of genocide’ in Rwanda the United States Government has suddenly produced never-before-seen satellite images to support the genocide extradition trial of a former Rwandan now U.S. citizen in New Hampshire (USA). The existence of satellite imagery shot over Rwanda would enable the ‘international community’ to further explore heretofore hidden facts about the double presidential assassinations of April 6 or massacres committed before, during and after 1994. As the world commemorates the official Rwanda genocide story on the 18th anniversary of the Rwanda genocide the people of Central Africa continue to suffer under the brutal terrorism of the Kagame military regime. Instead of celebrating, we should be asking: who are the real victims and who are the real criminals, and what really happened in Rwanda?
In his opening statements in a Concord, New Hampshire (USA) courthouse on February 23, 2012, federal prosecutor John Capin launched the U.S. government’s trial against a 41 year-old Rwandan so-called ‘genocide fugitive’ by wielding satellite photographs purportedly showing the road blocks where she “commanded extremist Hutu militia and ordered the rapes and killings of Tutsi” in Rwanda in 1994.
In a remarkable development, this is the first time in the history of the ‘Rwanda genocide’ trials or related Rwanda asylum hearings where Pentagon satellite photographs have been produced as evidence, and the first time that the existence of satellite photographs taken over Rwanda during the so-called ‘100 days of genocide’ has been verified.
Later in the Munyenyezi trial the U.S. prosecutors produced a ‘Pentagon analyst’ who testified about the satellite photographs. The Pentagon analyst was Mr. Eric R. Benn, Technical Executive, Analysis and Production Directorate, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)—one of 16 U.S. intelligence agencies aligned with surveillance, reconnaissance and war-fighting in the shadowy bowels of the U.S. national security apparatus.
The photographs introduced into the public record in the latest charade staged by the Kagame military regime include very high-resolution images shot over Rwanda in May, June and July of 1994. The court transcript indicates that the selected images used in the trial come from a much larger set of reconnaissance photographs that remain classified.
The confirmation of satellite reconnaissance and intelligence photographs newly implicates the U.S. government in the mass atrocities of 1994, and raises serious new questions about the cover-up of the double presidential assassinations of April 6, 1994 and the atrocities committed by the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) commanded by now President Paul Kagame.
The sudden and unexpected revelation of the existence of satellite imagery shot over Rwanda in 1994 also further corroborates claims and evidence that U.S. and Pentagon officials had plenty of satellite evidence of the numbers and whereabouts of hundreds of thousands of Rwandan refugees massacred by the Kagame war machine in Congo’s forests.
Eighteen years after the so-called ‘1994 Rwanda genocide’, Rwanda is today everywhere peddled as an economic miracle of recovery and freedom, once again ‘the Switzerland of Africa.’ Rwanda is also peddled as the model homeland for the ‘stateless’ Tutsis.. President Paul Kagame is everywhere applauded for rescuing the Tutsis, stopping the genocide, and rebuilding Rwanda.
Meanwhile, the real situation for ordinary people in Central Africa is everywhere inhumane and unjust. The average Ugandan citizen suffers under the brutal dictatorship of Yoweri Museveni. The people in northern Uganda, already subject to genocide as policy under the Museveni government, now have a new threat: the hysterical KONY2012 movement. The people of Congo continue to suffer under the terrorist government of Hyppolite Kanambe (alias Joseph Kabila), a Tutsi and the nephew of General James Kabarebe, another Rwandan Tutsi and Kagame’s top commander. Western mining, petroleum, logging and private mercenary companies are all over Congo. Since January 2012 more than 100,000 Congolese have been internally displaced by violence under the occupation of the Kagame regime in the Kivu provinces. And, as it as been since 1994, both Hutus and Tutsis and the forgotten Twa people suffer massive repression under the Kagame regime inside Rwanda.
MILLION DOLLAR MUNYENYEZI TRIAL
On June 24, 2010, Beatrice Munyenyezi (MOON’-yen-yezi) was arrested in Manchester, New Hampshire (USA) and charged, according to U.S. prosecutors, with “procuring U.S. citizenship unlawfully by misrepresenting her activities during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.”
Munyenyezi is a naturalizedU.S. citizen falsely accused of Rwanda genocide rape crimes in yet another case adding up to millions of U.S. taxpayers dollars being used to fund fabricated Rwanda genocide and asylum trials and, now, genocide tourism expeditions in Rwanda.
The U.S. Department of Justice seeks to deport Beatrice Munyenyezi to face genocide charges in Rwanda. But Ms. Munyenyezi’s will be a milestone case: this is the first ever international legal proceeding in the United States involving a woman accused of rape as a genocide and war crime.
According to the government of Rwanda, Beatrice Munyenyezi, 41, allegedly “participated in, committed, ordered, oversaw, conspired to, aided and abetted, assisted in and directed persecution, kidnapping, rape and murder during the Rwandan genocide of 1994.”
The Kagame regime makes general accusations that you can arrest and charge any Hutu with. These are generic genocide charges used by the Rwandan military regime against all people of the Hutu ethnicity.
The fifteen-day trial of Beatrice Munyenyezi in February and March 2012 concluded with four additional days of deliberations by the all-white jury. On March 15 the jury delivered a deadlocked decision and the U.S. government declared a ‘mistrial’. The re-trial is set to begin September 10, 2012.
Mark Howard, one of Beatrice Munyenyezi’s attorneys, revealed to the press the huge sums of money spent by the U.S judiciary to try Rwandan genocide suspects. Howard estimated that U.S. taxpayers paid between US$ 2.5 million and $US 3 million for Munyenyezi’s recent prosecution and trial in federal court.
Howard estimates that a retrial is likely to cost an additional US$ 1 million. Howard’s estimates include attorney fees, agent salaries, the “extraordinary expense” of investigating in a foreign country, the costs of bringing some fifteen witnesses to New Hampshire, and the hiring of experts.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees for defense attorneys Mark Howard and David Ruoff have also been paid by U.S. taxpayers through the U.S. judiciary. Defense attorneys twice traveled to Rwanda in discovery for the Munyenyezi case.
The cost of bringing the Kagame regime’s authorized ‘witnesses’ to the United States and putting them up — some under tight security and others at expensive hotels — for the duration of the trial represents additional massive costs to U.S. taxpayers for what amounts to fraud by the U.S. government and its partner regime in Rwanda.
Amongst the many prosecution witnesses brought over from Rwanda are those described by the U.S. and Rwanda government as “extremist Hutu genocidaires” who were convicted and sentenced to life in prison. The veracity of these ‘extremist genocidaires’ is based on the claim that they have nothing to lose and must be telling the truth.
Others are witnesses from a women’s genocide survivor organization in Butare, whose travel to New Hampshire is fully paid by the U.S. government, and whose profits from the traveling and testifying can be used to support their mission in Butare. Such economic interests play a major role in the official choice and production of ‘genocide witnesses’ and ‘genocide survivors’.
Defense attorneys described the fifteen Rwandan witnesses flown over to the U.S. from Rwanda as “psychopathic killers who never mentioned Munyenyezi in nearly two decades of trials and investigations into the Rwanda genocide.”
The credibility of ‘witnesses’ incarcerated in Rwanda is highly suspect. First there is the problem of coercion: many people in prison in Rwanda or accused by the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda (ICTR) and Gacaca [people’s] courts have been framed. Other ‘confessed genocidaires‘ have been tortured, and some have been silenced or coerced to lie by the RPA threat of retaliation against their families.
Often enough, ‘witnesses to killings’ and ‘genocide survivors’ are frauds; sometimes they are people who were not even in Rwanda during the 1994 cataclysm. Other government plants and handlers have been coached.
In Munyenyezi’s case, the press apparently decided that the witnesses brought in to accuse Beatrice Munyenyezi were not credible. First, the claim by the RPA/F that Munyenyezi commanded soldiers to rape Tutsi women in the basement of the hotel is presented as an absolute. The rape occurred ‘in the context of genocide’ and so it is believable and believed. However, according to Rwandan people, no Rwandan woman in the context of Rwandan culture would ever oversee mass rape of other Rwandan women. In fact, Beatrice Munyenyezi was also pregnant at the time — making the hypothesis of rape even less plausible.
Second, we can imagine that any credible testimony on a genocide rape charge against a woman would have provoked an endless barrage of news stories titled ‘Hutu genocidaire woman ordered rape of innocent Tutsis in hotel’s basement’, stories that would have made their way right up to CNN and the New York Times. But the court’s decision on the rape charges went unmentioned by the New Hampshire press because the credibility of dishonest government witnesses (coached to lie) was easily destroyed.
The charge that Beatrice Munyenyezi commanded and organized the rape of Rwandan women is as implausible as the charge by Invisible Children co-founder Jason Russel that Joseph Kony “he’s the most perverse, in the world, he’s just the most perverse. No one makes…anyone else… takes children… makes them kill their parents and eat their parents.”
Some so-called ‘genocidaires‘ may be guilty, but others are not, and the Kagame regime uses all kinds of bribery, subterfuge and threats to pull the wool over the eyes of tourists, researchers and other ‘guests’. Many people in Rwanda are forced to spy, tattle and inform on others or else face personal persecution or threats to their families.
Anyone who challenges the officially sanctioned narrative in Rwanda is branded, arrested, exiled, disappeared or — in the case of pesky American academics, like Dr. Christian Davenport, Dr. Alan Stam or Dr. Susan Thomson, who all asked too many questions of the ‘wrong’ kind — barred from Rwanda forever.
Dr. Timothy Longman is the Rwanda genocide expert that was brought in to testify as a witness for the prosecution in the Beatrice Munyenyezi case. The director of African Studies at Boston University, Dr. Longman is another academic who has fallen into ‘disrepute’ with the Kagame regime. Dr. Longman and former Human Rights Watch (HRW) researcher Alison Des Forges (d. 2009) co-authored the HRW book on Rwanda Leave None to Tell the Story, and both formerly worked with USAID, the U.S. State Department and the Pentagon; the 790 page tome did not mention a word about Beatrice Munyenyezi.
The defense attorneys in the Munyenyezi trial took advantage of the prosecution’s genocide expert and cross-examined. Longman and made important points for their case. Dr. Longman, Dr. Susan Thomson and other academics came under fire from the Kagame regime just prior to the April 2012 publication of the book Remaking Rwanda: State Building and Human Rights After Mass Violence. The Kagame regime created a web site (by an ‘anonymous’ blogger) spreading disinformation and attacking the authors of the edited edition.
“The book is a collection of articles by a group of people who have made it their mission to shoot down anything that the government of Rwanda does,” the propaganda begins. “The new book should be seen as the latest project of an association of what may be appropriately called ‘Genocide Deniers Inc.’ and ‘Hate Rwanda Ltd’. The editors have brought together the works of a wide array of members of these two groups.”
The lists of ‘friends’ and ‘enemies’ of the government of Rwanda is constantly in flux, but ever growing. First, France was the hostile enemy of Kagame, after the publication of the report on the shooting down of the presidential plane produced by French anti-terrorist Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere. Then when business and profits took precedents over truth and human rights, President Nicholas Sarkozy made some kind of deal with Kagame and the French government and soon after became more hostile to Madame Agatha Habyriamana and more accommodating to Paul Kagame. But the recent volume of supposed ‘Genocide Deniers Inc.’ includes articles by Rwanda scholars, such as professors David and Catherine Newbury, or Dr. Scott Strauss, who have never previously fallen anywhere near the specious categorization of ‘genocide deniers’.
For the past 20 years, hordes of NGO workers and humanitarian relief workers, and countless academics and researchers involved in millions of dollars of private profit have been going and coming from Rwanda. The NGOS are always advertising their effectiveness in “peace” and “reconciliation” programs and flashing the starving child brand to raise sympathy donations from the U.S. public. Yet at present, Tutsis and Hutus alike inside and outside Rwanda are increasingly speaking about military confrontation as more and more people become alienated and disaffected by the elite Tutsis in the Kagame regime.
CLASSIFIED INTELLIGENCE OPERATIONS
The U.S. National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) certainly collected satellite imagery over the four years of warfare in Rwanda. One of the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, the NRO designs, builds and operates U.S. government spy satellites and coordinates the analysis of aerial surveillance and satellite imagery from several intelligence and military agencies, including the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
All NRO operations are highly classified – black programs operations — and even the existence of the NRO was only declassified in 1992.
The NRO was declassified to facilitate interaction with other parts of the government, to make it easier for the NRO to support military operations, and in response to Congressional pressure. As part of the process of declassification NRO consulted Richard Curl, head of the Office of Intelligence Resources of the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, recommended a “low-key approach” to declassification.
This is a tactic that the intelligence and defense sectors use often: casually bring the formerly beyond top secret ‘asset’ – some previously classified plane, satellite or document — into the public sphere without any mention. Then, after the unusual and unknown ‘asset’ is finally noticed, acknowledge the ‘asset’ with a summary dismissal saying, ‘that has been there all along.
A declassified secret intelligence memo of July 1992 shows that NRO consultant Richard Curl recommended that the U.S. government and Pentagon very quietly make public the ‘fact of’ the NRO. Specifically, Curl advised “not worrying public relations guidance too much, not making a big public announcement, and just letting the change pass with little notice… keep down the fanfare and just let the change happen.”
In fact, perhaps thinking that the Beatrice Munyenyezi story would remain a quiet, local New Hampshire affair, this is exactly how the Pentagon made public the ‘fact of’ the 1994 Rwanda genocide satellite reconnaissance images used in Beatrice Munyenyezi’s trial. Never previously acknowledged – even denied to Ambassador Flatten from 1990 to 1993 – and never formally revealed, the images were casually introduced in the Munyenyezi trial. The local media missed the significance, focusing only on the fantastic charges of Munyenyezi’s involvement in genocide.
INTERNATIONAL WARS OF AGGRESSION
In 1981, Yoweri Museveni and his newly formed National Resistance Army (NRA) launched an invasion of the sovereign country of Uganda. From 1980 to 1986, the NRA perpetrated massive war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in the Luwero Triangle and other areas in central and northern Uganda. These atrocities were universally attributed — and are so attributed to this day — to the government forces, the Uganda National Liberation Army, commanded by then President Milton Obote. (See for example: Notes On the Concealment of Genocide in Uganda, A. Milton Obote, April 1990.)
The massive atrocities committed by the NRA set the stage for the rise of Joseph Kony, the Ugandan bogeyman used by Museveni, Washington, London and Israel to facilitate a permanent state of insecurity in northern Uganda. Under permanent emergency, Museveni was able to justify the forcible displacement of millions of indigenous Acholi people and their internment into concentration camps. Museveni also allegedly authored a document attesting to genocidal intent against the Acholis.
One of the 27 guerrillas who took up arms alongside Yoweri Museveni in the illegal NRA invasion of Uganda was Paul Kagame, the future leader of the Rwanda Patriotic Army/Front, the Ugandan guerrilla army that illegally invaded Rwanda on October 1, 1990.
Loyal to Museveni and his bloody guerrilla tactics, Kagame rose through the ranks to become Museveni’s director of military intelligence — a position for which his enemies now claim he was known as ‘the butcher’.
At the time of the October 1990 invasion of Rwanda, Paul Kagame was being trained at the Pentagon’s General Staff and Command College at Fort Leavenworth, in Kansas (USA). Kagame returned and led the four-year war that resulted in the deaths of perhaps several hundred thousand Hutu people between October 1990 and April 1994 alone.
A prima facie case can be made that each of the invasions of Uganda, Rwanda and Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo) constitute the supreme crime against humanity, that being the illegal war of aggression against a sovereign nation. The United States, Britain and Israel were the strongest backers behind backed Museveni and Kagame in all three of these illegal wars of aggression.
Involved at the highest level in the RPA/F invasion of Rwanda from 1990 to 1994 were US and Israeli Mossad agents as well as military intelligence as well as U.S. military intelligence.
The U.S. House of Representative hearings by the Subcommittee on Africa of the Committee on International Relations reveal that the United States knew that the Hutu refugees in Congo-Zaire were being massacred, and it makes clear some of those who knew what, where it was happening, and when.
In May 2001, U.S. Representative Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) convened a hearing for the Subcommittee on Africa where investigative journalist Wayne Madsen testified about U.S. covert operations and U.S. involvement in genocide in Central Africa.
“A French military intelligence officer said he detected some 100 armed U.S. troops in the eastern Zaire conflict zone,” Madsen’s statement began:
“Moreover, the DGSE [French secret service] reported the Americans had knowledge of the extermination of Hutu refugees by Tutsis in both Rwanda and eastern Zaire and were doing nothing about it. More ominously, there was reason to believe that some U.S. forces, either Special Forces or mercenaries, may have actually participated in the extermination of Hutu refugees.” (See: Statement by Wayne Madsen, Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights, 17 May 2001, and Genocide and Covert Operations in Africa, 1993-1999, Wayne Madsen, Mellen Press, 1999.)