PENTAGON SATELLITE PHOTOS OF RWANDA 1994: WHY NOW?
I had posted Keith’s article but he has made several revisions to it since, so I refer readers to his updated version:
PENTAGON PRODUCES SATELLITE PHOTOS OF 1994 RWANDA GENOCIDE.
Why now and not at the ICTR?
Declassified Pentagon satellite photos of Rwanda 1994, never seen at the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda, introduced into the trial of Rwandan born U.S. citizen Beatrice Munyenyezi in the State of New Hampshire, U.S.A.
KPFA Weekend News Anchor David Landau: Eighteen years after the 1994 Rwanda Genocide, the United States Government has declassified satellite images to strengthen federal prosecutors’ case against Beatrice Munyenyezi a Rwandan-born U.S. citizen in the State of New Hampshire. The Rwandan government accuses Munyenyezi of 1994 genocide crime and the U.S. government accuses her of lying about it on her immigration papers, in a multimillion dollar trial which ended in a hung jury, meaning federal prosecutors will now have to decide whether or not to appeal. The declassification of the photos, however, raises even larger questions about the fiercely disputed history of the Rwanda Genocide. KPFA’s Ann Garrison has that story.
Ann Garrison: The larger questions that the satellite photos raise are, “Why were they declassified for this trial, 18 years after the 1994 Rwanda Genocide, and not for the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda? And what was the Pentagon doing with them in 1994?” International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda Defense Counsel Christopher Black told KPFA that neither these photos nor any other satellite photos were ever produced in evidence at the Tribunal in Arusha, Tanzania, and no photos whatsoever were ever produced in any of the trials.
KFPA also spoke to veteran African war correspondent Keith Harmon Snow, who published some of the photos introduced in the New Hampshire courtroom in “PENTAGON PRODUCES SATELLITE PHOTOS OF 1994 RWANDA GENOCIDE,” on his website consciousbeingalliance.com. Snow said that the Pentagon has a far more extensive, still classified images of Rwanda during the Rwandan Civil War which ended in the 1994 massacres and the military triumph of current Rwandan President, then General, Paul Kagame and the army of his Rwandan Patriotic Front, or RPF, movement.
Keith Harmon Snow: They have this incredibly detailed documented imagery for the Rwanda Genocide period, the 1994 100 days and also 1990 to 1994 and even into the present. I mean there’s no gap in satellite coverage. We’re talking about an expensive reconnaissance intelligence apparatus with all kinds of satellite assets up there.
KPFA: Snow said that “Bystanders to Genocide,” the influential 2001 Atlantic Monthly investigation written by Samantha Power, who is now Obama’s National Security Advisor for Multilateral Affairs, is a whitewash of what really happened in Rwanda.
Keith Harmon Snow: It was a complete whitewash: the Samantha Power “Bystanders to Genocide.” We did not stand by. We invaded Rwanda. The United States was there. The Pentagon was there. Bill Clinton knew. Everybody knew, and there was all this satellite intelligence showing exactly what was going on.
KPFA: Snow also said that it is not even conceivable that these satellite photos could have existed without then Commander-in-Chief Bill Clinton’s knowledge, or that they could be introduced into a federal trial now, in 2012, without the knowledge of the National Security Council.
Keith Harmon Snow: There was a decision made at the highest levels to release these photographs. They’ve never been used in the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda trials and that’s very substantial because now you’ve got ICTR International Criminal Tribunal Rwanda defense attorneys asking for these satellite images now that they know that they’re out there, because they know that these satellite images are gonna both prove the RPF to be culpable in massive atrocities as well as the U.S. military . . . remember the U.S. military was dropping soldiers from C-130s during the so-called 100 days. And the UN was supporting the RPF. So the story’s gonna fall apart. I mean it’s fallen apart already but they just keep repeating this ridiculous narrative because that’s the nature of power. It’s the nature of arrogance. It doesn’t matter what the truth is.
KPFA: That was veteran Africa war correspondent and human rights investigator Keith Harmon Snow on the Pentagon’s declassified satellite photos of Rwanda 1994.