by George Beres
(Swans - February 27, 2006) I was a longtime resident of suburban Chicago. I also happen to be of Greek derivation, with parents who were early 20th century immigrants to the United States from Greece. I've always taken pride in that heritage. But recent developments suggest ethnic concerns.
They have to do with high-level positions held in the Bush administration by two of my fellow Greek-Americans, John Negroponte and George Tenet.
Negroponte, resurrected by Bush from the dump heap of discredited one-time Ronald Reagan functionaries, currently is the nation's first Intelligence czar. Before that, he had brief flings as US ambassador to the United Nations, then our first ambassador to the "new" Iraq. What will forever define his character is the role he played as Reagan's pointman for the illegalities of the Iran-Contra scandal in Latin America. As ambassador to Honduras, he implemented Iran-Contra actions, including the murder of my fellow Oregonian, Ben Linder.
Tenet recently left government service after being head of the CIA. In that role, he dismayed his fellows in the Central Intelligence Agency by agreeing to lie about intelligence so Bush could claim justification for the invasion of Iraq. Had Tenet told the truth, he could have become a national hero, preventing the folly of that preemptive attack, saving the lives of thousands of US soldiers and many thousands of Iraqi civilians. Instead, he made possible the lie, and later received from Bush the highest award given to a civilian, the Freedom Medal -- an act designed to assure Tenet's lips forever would be sealed about his murderous complicity.
I relate this to Chicago -- which once claimed to have the largest population of Greeks outside Athens -- because of the recent folly of United Hellenic-American Congress (UHAC), headquartered in Chicago. UHAC honored Negroponte in November 2005 at a testimonial dinner in Chicago's Fairmount Hotel. It described what it saw as Negroponte's service to democracy, while ignoring how his actions have sullied a concept whose roots are in Greece.
Some Chicago Greek-Americans now eagerly anticipate a forthcoming event when another traitor to democracy, Tenet, can be honored. The date has not been set by UHAC, but it's just a matter of time because his credentials are so much alike Negroponte's. Revelations from Washington investigator Ray McGovern verify what many long have known: Tenet doctored CIA information on Iraq to enable Bush to claim an excuse to invade Iraq.
That is ignored by gullible Greek-Americans for whom the staged presentation to Tenet of the Medal of Freedom verifies for them that Greeks truly have become Americans, with all the tragic baggage that title implies in the Bush administration.
Greeks morally support Swans.practically?