Loretta Lynch’s Rwanda ‘credential’

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by Ann Garrison

KPFA Evening News broadcast Feb. 15, 2015

Loretta Lynch
Loretta Lynch

KPFA Evening News Anchor: Loretta Lynch, Obama’s nominee for attorney general, has cited her service as special counsel to the prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda as a credential, unlike her controversial 2012 settlement with the HSBC bank after the bank admitted to facilitating money-laundering by Mexican drug cartels. Critics of the International Criminal Court and the dominant narrative about the Rwandan massacres dispute the account. KPFA’s Ann Garrison has more.

KPFA/Ann Garrison: Bloomberg News heralded Loretta Lynch’s moral fiber in a story titled “Rwanda Tribunal Taught Loretta Lynch Real Power of Prosecutors.” The story said that after a witness recanted his testimony against defendant Jean de Dieu Kamuhanda, U.S. War Crimes Ambassador Stephen Rapp recruited Loretta Lynch to construct a witness narrative counter to that of the recanting witness. Lynch traveled to Rwanda, where she rode into a rural region in an SUV and sat waiting for the Rwandan government’s investigators to bring her witnesses against Kamuhanda.

John Philpot, ICTR defense attorney and co-editor of “Justice Belied: The Unbalanced Scales of International Criminal Justice,” said that, in a neutral setting, such a search for witnesses might have been plausible, but that Rwanda was not a neutral setting in which witnesses felt safe to speak their own truth and that the whole prosecution at the ICTR was biased, “victor’s justice” prosecution that indicted only enemies of the dictatorship that won the Rwandan war with United States support.

“Justice Belied: The Unbalanced Scales of International Criminal Justice,” Sébastien Chartrand and John Philpot, editors, from Baraka Books
“Justice Belied: The Unbalanced Scales of International Criminal Justice,” Sébastien Chartrand and John Philpot, editors, from Baraka Books

The ICTR’s function, he said, had been to prop up this dictatorship of Paul Kagame, even as his army crossed the border into the Democratic Republic of the Congo, creating a permanent state of war.

John Philpot: Loretta Lynch covered for that, wouldn’t criticize that and, in that context, this woman and, for example, Stephen Rapp, the United States war crimes ambassador – they are covering for United States interests and propping up a dictatorship which has created war throughout Central Africa. We live in a period of almost permanent war; and people are more aware of the permanent war in the Middle East, Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Syria and also in the Ukraine, but they’re not aware of the similar and just as serious, if not more so, war in Central Africa.

KPFA: CIUT-Toronto host Phil Taylor, whose weekly Taylor Report frequently covers the war in Central Africa and the U.N. tribunals, also said that Loretta Lynch’s service to the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda was service to Rwanda’s dictatorial regime and that the ICTR itself was like a regime.

Phil Taylor: They really were engaged in a political exercise to justify the regime that exists there today, which is a military dictatorship established by Paul Kagame masquerading as a political structure. And that people calling themselves lawyers and judges associate themselves with such victor’s justice, that is a disgrace.

They only tried those who were defeated – the previous government and, ethnically, the people who were called the Hutu. It’s like a regime, the ICTR, and it’s a self-congratulating regime.

KPFA: For Pacifica, KPFA and Afrobeatradio, I’m Ann Garrison.

Oakland writer Ann Garrison writes for the San Francisco Bay View, Black Agenda Report, Black Star News, Counterpunch, Colored Opinions and her own website, Ann Garrison, and produces for AfrobeatRadio on WBAI-NYC, KPFA Evening News, KPFA Flashpoints and for her own YouTube Channel, AnnieGetYourGang. She can be reached at anniegarrison@gmail.com. In March 2014 she was awarded the Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza Democracy and Peace Prize for promoting peace in the Great Lakes Region of Africa through her reporting.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Fruitless effort… Ms Garrison! You are too insignificant to worry even a dying mosquito. You’ll go in the belly of this earth with your hatred for PK!

  2. Ann always finding ways to Hate on Rwanda, You are misinformed and stupid. You will get no where. Why do you think you know better for Rwanda?? Mind your business, you have enough trouble in your life and your country deal with it. Americans are used to destabilizing countries, by spreading there stupid democracy. Look at the mess you made in Libya, Iraq, and yemen a few to mention. We love our dictator paul kagame. Go hang yourself. He has managed to control the stupid people your are trying to support. We don't need them. Keep them to yourself or marry them

  3. John, the unfortunate part is she (Ann) thinks a world of herself; typical of illusional arrogance! She believes her boy friends (the RNC brass) are such giants in Rwandan politics…laughable.

  4. John, a foreigner who tells you the truth on what has been happening in Rwanda is misinformed and or stupid; a hutu who tells you the same truth is called a genocidaire or has a genocide ideology; a tutsi who tells you the same truth is labelled an enemy of the state. If all these people are telling you a similar story, don't you think it is time to reflect on what they are telling you instead of being in denial. In fact the more people telling you the truth, the more difficult it will become for you to face it later, if you continue being stuck in denying the reality.

  5. Come on man(Therisingcontinent. I don't want to hear the truth from Ann or genocidaire, Or RNC. They are all power hungry, Rwanda can have one president at a time. All of you think you know better for Rwanda. African democracy is different from the west. It's not copy paste. Nothing is going to ever go the way you want it, Rwanda is doing better than most countries in Africa. We have problems, but we are also trying to over come them. We have come so far, and our visionary leader is doing a wonderful job. 12millions Rwandans are approving of the jobs. As a CEO of Rwanda he makes tough decisions which most of you don't like, but that's how it out to be. We can't wait for your approval. No where in the world are things perfect so why should Rwanda be unique. You are also living in denial that Rwanda needs your opinion, we don't

  6. I don't think she has any right or justification to get so involved in these problems. Why doesn't America let them handlet their own problems? I think if they can't manage, they can ask for help then. In the meantime, just step back, would you?

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