by Eleanor Goldfield
“I have been a member of this committee for years and I have never seen anything as disgraceful and outrageous and despicable…”
You know that feeling you get when someone says something that is just so laughably absurd that you feel yourself stuck in this mental and emotional limbo between anger and hysterical laughter, typically settling somewhere in between; a murderous chuckle, perhaps.
Well, that’s the place my mind settled today at about 9:30am EST when McCain said those words about a group of activists, myself included. In a government run on logic, justice, freedom and honesty, McCain would have of course been directing those comments to the lizard-faced Kissinger. But alas, those four tenets are about as absent from these hearings as youth and common sense.
Today, the Senate Armed Services Committee (@SASCMajority) invited three dinosaur war criminals to testify on our National Security Strategy: Madeleine Albright, George Shultz and Henry Kissinger.
Code Pink organized the action calling for an arrest of Henry Kissinger for war crimes, to be tried as a war criminal for his involvement in decades of death and destruction including overthrowing democratically elected governments in South America and supporting genocide and mass killings in South America, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
With hands painted red, activists walked up behind Kissinger carrying signs and chanting “Arrest Henry Kissinger for War Crimes!” A few activists held up handcuffs signifying a citizens arrest. Kissinger said nothing. In fact, in the video, you can see he scarcely turns around. Shultz, however, managed to find strength enough to stand up and shoo us away as Capitol police pushed us back to our seats.
Medea Benjamin called out as the chant quieted “In the name of the people of Chile. In the name of the people of Laos. In the name of the people of East Timor. In the name of the people of Cambodia.”
McCain then uttered those words which proved to be too much for a protestor who then stood up and called out to McCain. Shortly thereafter, he was escorted out by police while McCain over his microphone eloquently pointed out that the man should shut up and “Get out of here, you low life scum.”
Irony doesn’t even begin to encapsulate the scene of a war hawk sitting before three war criminals calling a protestor for peace a “low life scum.” And if speaking of disgraceful, outrageous and despicable, there isn’t enough bandwidth on the entire internet to bullet point out the atrocities performed by the three “honorable” guests. However, I can also easily attach those three adjectives to the testimony given by the sociopathic three.
All three of them based their answers upon hugely outdated data – not surprising considering they already had AARP cards by the time I was born. Shultz’s testimony began with a foray into storytelling, harkening back to how Reagan had asked him to come visit him when he was deciding on his run for the Presidency. Meanwhile, Albright continuously mentioned her first job on the Hill, working in Senator Muskie’s office. And of course, Kissinger, who sounds an awful lot like the emperor from Star Wars by the way, has no shortage of decades-old experience in attacking and terrorizing countries around the globe. Between the three of them, the message of continued war, fear mongering and US hegemony echoed off the walls like blast beats at a rave. All three of them also used the word “indispensable” to describe the US’s place in policing the world and keeping democracy and freedom safe for “all people” — with this footnote: except for the ones we decide are a threat to our global domination in which case, you don’t count.
In short, it was a hearing to discuss how amazing the US is and why we need to keep killing people and gave unfortunate evidence that Lewis Black may be right – “pricks live forever.”
Code Pink did a great job organizing a highly visible and creative protest which also included two members standing on their chairs after Kissinger’s opening remarks and reading out his arrest warrant. You can read the full warrant on Code Pink’s Press Release of the event.