U.S.-Contra Death Squad Point Man Negroponte’s Sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to Iraq

25 June 2004 | DemocracyNow!

John Negroponte was sworn in as the new U.S. ambassador to Iraq on Wednesday. As ambassador [to Honduras], he played a key role in US aid to the Contra death squads in Nicaragua and shoring up the brutal military dictatorship of General Gustavo Alvarez Martinez in Honduras.

Negroponte is due to arrive in Baghdad at the beginning of July soon after the so-called transfer of sovereignty. He will preside over the largest US embassy in the world, manned by thousands of employees, fortified within the Green Zone. Baghdad will be his fifth post, including his most recent assignment as the U.S. representative at the United Nations.

The Senate approved Negroponte to the Iraq appointment in record time, holding his confirmation hearing just eight days after he was nominated and approving him soon after.

At the ceremony yesterday, Secretary of State Powell called Negroponte a “pillar of confidence and courage” but his record as ambassador to Honduras tells a different story. From 1981 to 1985 he earned a reputation for supporting widespread human rights abuses and campaigns of terror in Honduras.

Days after President Bush appointed Negroponte to the US embassy in Baghdad, MIT Linguistics professor Noam Chomsky spoke about Negroponte at a forum in Cambridge.

To hear Noam Chomsky’s address on Negroponte, visit DemocracyNow!’s website. –BL

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