Thursday, November 3, 2011

Contact: John M. Miller, 917-690-4391
Tom Keough, 718-768-6171

Historians Condemn Honoring of Kissinger

Urge New-York Historical Society to Withdraw Honor

November 3 - In a letter sent yesterday, more than 110 historians urged the New-York Historical Society (N-YHS) to "withdraw the name of Henry Kissinger as an honoree" at its upcoming event scheduled for November 7, 2011.

In their letter to the Society's Board of Trustees, the scholars wrote: "Kissinger remains one of the twentieth century’s worst war criminals, and to pretend otherwise is to condone his crimes. It is difficult to understand how the New-York Historical Society could consider honoring such a man." 

The letter with the list of signers can be found here (PDF).

"The failure to hold Kissinger to account for his myriad crimes has allowed him to continue dispensing recommendations for new wars and foreign interventions," the letter says. "The failure to confront this record has facilitated the invasion of Iraq, the use of torture at Abu Ghraib and elsewhere, the policy of rendition and the detentions at Guantánamo Bay, and other illegal actions of the 'war on terror.'"

Between 1969 and 1977, Kissinger served as National Security Advisor and then Secretary of State. He designed and implemented policies which led to hundreds of thousands of deaths, the overthrow of democratically-elected governments, and the invasion and occupation of sovereign countries. Examples include the invasion of Cambodia, the overthrow of the government of Chile and Indonesia's invasion and occupation of East Timor.

Should the N-YHS continue with its plan to honor Kissinger, protesters will gather outside the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on Monday, November 7 to express their outrage. Demonstrators will gather from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at 301 Park Ave. (between 49 & 50 St.) in Manhattan to condemn the honoring of the accused war criminal by the society at a $1000 a ticket gala.


see also Background on Kissinger, Ford and East Timor

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