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Over Five Million Dead in Congo? Fifteen Hundred People Daily?

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Behind the Numbers Redux:

How Truth is Hidden, Even When it Seems to Be Told

 The International Rescue Committee in late January 2008 released a new report on the mortality in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo. The report caught the eye of some news agencies, who quickly whipped up trite little articles as supposed expressions of horror. Over and over it has been declared "the world's forgotten crises." There are reasons why Darfur is in the crises of the day, the poster crises, and why Congo is hardly mentioned. [1]

However, the story of war and plunder in Congo is not unreported. It is a story that has been censored, manipulated, and covered up even while it is ostensibly being told. Plenty of information has been published about the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and plenty of this is flak, designed to whiteout the truth, and help keep the real story buried, and that includes the truly honest representations of war and suffering in Congo that have been published. Just because the mainstream doesn't cover it, doesn't mean it didn't happen. This is the falsification of consciousness. 

While the true death toll in Congo over the past series of wars-for the Congolese it is one long contiguous war-will never be known, it is far higher than the IRC figures. In the IRC's tidy statistical equations there is no recounting the ordeal of the millions of people who have disappeared into the swamps, the tropical forests, the mass graves, torture chambers and death camps, or after crossing borders. The entire exercise in counting the dead is another way to do little to stop it. The IRC is about profits, but that is not all. 

The International Rescue Committee has been described in the past as the ideal instrument of psychological warfare, and it is. This is exactly what is going on with the IRC today, and more, when the IRC-heavily subsidized by the very same profiteers-sends its body counters into Congo. But the IRC is not only the ideal instrument of psychological warfare, it is also the ideal instrument of intelligence gathering.

The IRC capitalizes on their access to refugee populations, conflict areas and individual refugee encounters and interviews to gather intelligence on armed groups, leadership, resources, weapons and geographical conflicts, information that is selectively used to serve the greater interests of the IRC and its partners.   

America's Secret Warriors 

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Amongst the trustees or overseers of the International Rescue Committee is Henry Kissinger, a man whose interests run very deep in Congo. Henry Kissinger is tied to Freeport McMoRan (FXC) and FCX is all over the copper and cobalt show in Katanga. FCX director J. Stapleton Roy was Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research under Madeleine Albright, 1999-2000, during the Clinton administration invasions of Rwanda (1994) and then Congo/Zaire (1996); Roy retired to join Kissinger Associates.

 Another Kissinger Associates principal is Lawrence Eagleburger, who has past affiliations with the defense and intelligence insider Scowcroft Group, and has been a director of Halliburton Corporation since 1998. Scowcroft Group founder Brent Scowcroft served as the National Security Advisor to Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush and, 1982-1989, he was Vice-Chairman of Kissinger Associates.  

Walter Kansteiner, a National Security insider for the Clinton and G.W. Bush administrations and a "principal member" of the Scowcroft Group today, is a director of Moto Gold (operating in blood-drenched Ituri, Congo) and of the military-based "conservation" organization, the Africa Wildlife Foundation (Washington D.C.), that is backing mercenary activities in the Congo's Virungas Mountains region under the cover of gorilla protection. 

Another Kissinger Associates director is Belgium's Viscount Etienne Davignon, one of the Congo's most lasting and current enemies. Davignon was directly involved, 1964-1965, in the code-named "Dragon" operations that installed the "kleptocrat" Mobutu and seeded the beginning of the end for millions of Congolese people. Davignon is also a close associate of Donald Rumsfeld through the bio-warfare production company Gilead Sciences. 

The IRC board includes Samantha Power, the Founder of the Carr Center for Human Rights at Harvard and Pulitzer-prize winning author of A Problem from Hell: America in the Age of Genocide, the book that peddles genocide inflation on the one hand (regarding Rwanda, Yugoslavia and Sudan), and genocide denial on the other (regarding Congo, Uganda and Rwanda).

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The IRC "Freedom Award" for "extraordinary contributions to the cause of refugees and human freedom" has been given to some of the genocide inflators and deniers. In 1987 it went to John C. Whitehead and in 1992 to Cyrus Vance, two men with historical ties to covert operations in Congo, for example, through their National Security Agency and CIA insider status, and two men tied to the Maurice Templesman empire behind the plunder of Congo/Zaire for decades.

U.S. Congressman Donald Payne is one of those "friends of Africa" who hangs in the Andrew Young and Maurice Templesman crowd. His role as Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations in the Bush administration is one of his more stellar performances, a sad disappointment and complete betrayal to Africans and African-Americans. 

In 1993 the "Freedom Award" went to Dwayne O. Andreas, the Archers Daniels Midland executive and top U.S. congressional campaign funder whose company makes sure there are starving refugees. ADM is deeply tied to Robert Dole and Andrew Young, the latter counting ADM as his many top clients at PR firm Goodworks International. Young is also deeply connected to the client regimes in Rwanda and Uganda-the chief protagonists in the Congo wars. 

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keith harmon snow is an independent journalist, war correspondent and photographer. He has also worked as a genocide investigator and consultant to the United Nations and other international bodies. He has won three Project Censored awards for his (more...)

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Over Five Million Dead in Congo? Fifteen Hundred People Daily?