Pampered children enjoy making and viewing horror movies, because it is a safe way of approaching the dark reality of what humans can and will do, I enjoy indulging in them sometimes too. The extreme end of thrill horror, torture porn, Tarantino etc are actually immaturely banal, the real thing will scar you, just reading about it, hearing it will stay with you forever, it should. One such testimony for me is that of Dianna Ortiz, a US nun who was tortured in Guatemala, you can search about, read her writings, or buy her book (click the image) it will not be an easy thing to bear, how she lives with it is true bravery. 200,000 people were killed in Guatemala under torture regimes supported by the US, a Holocaust of its own, US officials were hands on involved with raping and torturing people, US taxpayer’s money paid their wages and met their expense accounts (yet some protest at funding healthcare).
Al Giordano caught this (and Machetera), I did not remember the name, Lewis Amselem,
Earlier I posted about Amselem, the second highest ranking US official to the OAS who blamed Zelaya for causing trouble even as the Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in Honduras (CODEH) found 101 killings by the coup regime. This man Lewis Amselem is working for Hillary Clinton, he was a Bush appointee, a fundamentalist right winger. He was political-military officer at the US embassy in Guatemala City (1988-92) Ortiz’s remembers this of him-
Two months later, after a U.S. doctor had counted 111 cigarette burns on my back alone, the story changed. In January 1990, the Guatemalan defense minister publicly announced that I was a lesbian and had staged my abduction to cover up a tryst. The minister of the interior echoed this statement and then said he had heard it first from the U.S. embassy. According to a congressional aide, the political affairs officer at the U.S. embassy, Lew Anselem, was indeed spreading the same rumor.
In the presence of Ambassador Thomas Stroock, this same human rights officer told a delegation of religious men and women concerned about my case that he was “tired of these lesbian nuns coming down to Guatemala.” The story would undergo other permutations. According to the Guatemalan press, the ambassador came up with another version: he told the Guatemalan defense minister that I was not abducted and tortured but simply “had problems with [my] nerves.”
Dianna Ortiz was treated appallingly by the US government in the aftermath-
In 1996, I held a five-week vigil before the White House, asking for the declassification of all U.S. government documents related to human rights abuses in Guatemala since 1954, including documents on my own case. A few days into my vigil, I was granted a meeting with First Lady Hillary Clinton. Mrs. Clinton admitted what no other U.S. government official had dared to concede during my seven-year search for the truth behind my abduction and torture in Guatemala: she said it was possible that the American in charge of my Guatemalan torturers was a “past or present employee of a U.S. agency.”
She eventually won a judgement against General Gramajo Morales who had been Defence Minister at the time and covered up the crimes, he was by then studying at Harvard (by invitation) and lecturing at the School of the Americas.
Architect of genocidal policies which essentially legalized military atrocity in Guatemala throughout the eighties. (HAH)Found guilty by default of numerous war crimes in a U.S. Court six weeks before speaking at a prestigious SOA graduation. (The Bayonet, 1/3/92) Former SOA Commandant José Feliciano claimed Gramajo inspired many SOA policies. (The Benning Patriot 2/21/92)
The General used it as campaign…plus-
The Guatemalan general ordered last month by a Boston judge to pay $47.5 million in damages for terror against a U.S. nun and eight Guatemalan Indians said the ruling will help his chances to win his bid for president of Guatemala in November elections. Gen. Hector Gramajo claimed publicity generated by the court ruling is proving useful in his presidential campaign as candidate of the right-wing National Unity Front Party, or FUN.
You will be pleased to know he is now dead, killed by bees, I hope that was, FUN.
So back to Clinton, as her personal meeting with Dianna Ortiz testifies she is not ignorant of the torture regimes the US ran nor can she be ignorant of Amselem, certainly not after his statements against Zelaya. For Clinton to send him to the OAS is a big fuck you, to keep him on now it is worse. It is perhaps a lesson in imperialism, that even as consummate a politician as Clinton is, she once still had some human feelings, she did not absolutely ignore Dianna Ortiz, but over time she has been corrupted completely by the needs of power and dominance. She employs one of the men who were behind Ortiz’s gang rape & torture. Amselem is just one of the many thousands of government operatives who have done things that would normally mean they ended their days in prison, yet do it in the name of Empire- rape, murder, torture and you get a raise and a promotion and you are a respectable senior official. I wonder what his wife and four children think of him, spreading lies about a rape & torture victim to protect his fellow gang members, one of many crimes he assisted in, I guess the money and prestige helps with that. If I were a US citizen I would contact my Reps and insist the Obama administration fire this Bush hangover and rights abuser. I’ll leave you with this Bruce Cockburn song.
30 September, 2009 at 1:23 am
Oh, that tears it. Hillary Clinton will be on my Wankers of the Week list too–for sheer hypocrisy. How can one hear the story of a Dianna Ortiz, admit that “Alejandro” worked for the US, and still KNOWINGLY keep anyone who covered up the truth in the employ of the State Dept.?
Anselem, need I say, will be Wanker #1.
30 September, 2009 at 1:28 am
Yes that gets me, a bit like she doesn’t mind as he deals with ‘the backyard’, awful. And of course that is one case, the crimes he knows of and was part of would put any serial killer to shame.
“Guatemala as the Embassy Political-Military Officer (1988-92), and to La Paz, Bolivia (1992-95) as Counselor for Political Affairs.
In Washington (1995-97) he served in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs as Deputy Director and then acting Director of the Office of International Security and Peacekeeping. He became Counselor for Political and Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Panama (1997-2000) and Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Colombo, Sri Lanka (2000-2003).”
That is the resume of a guy who can be relied on to do ‘the business’.
30 September, 2009 at 3:02 am
The elder Gramajo, it seems had a heart attack: there weren’t enough bee stings, but the story is still, umm, funny(?)
30 September, 2009 at 3:18 am
Or did the bees know he had a weak heart (or non existent as his life demonstrates)?
30 September, 2009 at 5:56 am
Either way you slice it, that was karma.
1 October, 2009 at 11:00 pm
I wrote my congresswoman (Pelosi) about Anselem, asking for his head, after his moronic insult of Zelaya. However, that was before I knew his history. My wife is a Guatemalan ex-refugee, her mother was tortured and released; now I really hate this dude. If you have any further suggestions of how to get him, I’m all ears – feel free to use my real email, blogger, or anybody else just respond here.
1 October, 2009 at 11:13 pm
It’s great you wrote Pelosi, you should copy it to Clinton at State, let her know he has not been forgotten, she should fire him, not least because she just-
I would also write to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)
also utilising partisan support via something like the Daily Kos, if you make the case he is a Bush stay behind along with his behaviour it might stir some organised Dems.
And of course media, go to local papers and tv, ask them did they know about Amselem’s past? And maybe Guatemalan groups in your area (if there are any) will be interested to help.
I’m sorry to hear of your wife’s mothers ordeal, I am not religious but I wish you and your family good health and the grace to overcome the crimes done.
2 October, 2009 at 12:29 am
Here’s the letter I wrote to Clinton (posted here):
Dear Secretary Clinton:
When you met with Dianna Ortiz, the Ursuline nun who was kidnapped, raped, and tortured in Guatemala in 1989, she told you her story. She probably told you how U.S. officials at the embassy helped besmirch her name, spreading vicious rumors that the hundreds of cigarette burns on her back were the result of a lesbian tryst. When that happened, you surely did not imagine that the unprintable responsible for spreading these rumors would one day work for you.
W. Lewis Anselem, the Deputy U.S. Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States, is that man, if you can call him a man.
And yet, that is not the main reason you should fire him.
Am I advocating a witch hunt for all those functionaries complicit with cold war atrocities? If criminal guilt is unprovable, as is the case here, I am not. The reason you should fire him is what he did last Monday.
On a day when the coup government in Honduras had raided the two largest opposition media, he said “The return of Zelaya absent an agreement is irresponsible and foolish … He should cease and desist from making wild allegations and from acting as though he were starring in an old movie.” This egregious insult was seen as support for the coup, and was trumpeted on the remaining, coup-friendly, media in Honduras. This directly undermines your efforts, with your friend Oscar Arias, to facilitate a negotiated solution to the crisis.
In Tuesday’s regular briefing, your colleague Mr. Crowley was forced to implicitly dissociate himself from this statement by calling attention to the name of it’s author and archly saying “mm-hmmm”.
Lew Anselem is a bad diplomat. He is a bad subordinate. And he is a very, very bad person. He should be fired immediately, or, at the very least, reassigned as deputy vice assistant sub-consul to Antarctica.
Thank you very much for your attention to this matter,
4 October, 2009 at 8:15 pm
That’s a great letter, I will have some more on this next week.
23 October, 2009 at 10:37 pm
HEYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY, its naiaraaaa, his daughterrrr, you guys are soo sillly
your all a bunch of dirty hippies
Antartica would be very cold , I hate cold. All of you are shitty diplomats. Because you arent one.
this is dumb i
23 October, 2009 at 10:43 pm
hey girl i feel you
23 October, 2009 at 10:43 pm
Heyyy its one of his four kidsss. You know what it iss.
I never knew my dad was down with the rapists. He is just a dandy fellow at home and makes a mean turkey on thanksgiving.
So this my big Fuck You to all you dirty hippies.
23 October, 2009 at 10:45 pm
Maybe when you sober up you should ask your father about Dianna Ortiz. And please see my offer Naiara
23 October, 2009 at 11:59 pm
[…] Storey & … on Friday! Jon Brion & Deanna…NAIARA AMSELEM on Lewis Amselem, Friend of Rapis…RickB on Kweshtuning TimesRickB on Asked & AnsweredRickB on EntitledPops on Did Nick […]
24 October, 2009 at 3:34 pm
Lewis Amselem has something in common with Hillary Clinton. Both are militant, Christian fundamentalists. I wonder if that helped him keep his job.
25 October, 2009 at 12:38 am
Dem or Repub they both have pretty similar foreign policy and a fondness for torture in Lat Am.
25 October, 2009 at 12:34 am
(snicker) I note that she doesn’t have a Facebook page, and she answers herself in lowercase (as opposed to the initial ALL CAPS). Meth head much? Or is crack the poison du choix?
25 October, 2009 at 12:37 am
She did, it appears to have been closed or hidden since I made the offer of Dianna Ortiz’s book.
29 November, 2009 at 5:25 pm
Amselem is a tireless defender of America and a n honest broker of American interests – honest beyobd reproach and a caring family man. Theaccusations are absurd.
29 November, 2009 at 5:52 pm
As absurd as your spelling?
29 November, 2009 at 6:27 pm
What part of being a broker of US interests conflicts with him being a criminal? It was in US interests to oversee death squads, that does not make them moral or a desirable characteristic. As Samuel Johnson so rightly said ‘Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.’
Josef Fritzl, I’m sure, also thought of himself as a caring family man.
Your definitions of good person are absent any reasoned ethical argument. And I’m sure everyone notes your non-denial denial on Lewis’ behalf.