In The Trial of Henry Kissinger, Christopher Hitchens shifts focus from Pinochet, Milosevic, Hussein, and Kim Jong-il to a man seemingly lauded and revered by the American people for what are undeniably war crimes: Henry Kissinger. Now available as a Signal paperback.
Forget the regular cadre of war criminals that pollute our news headlines day in and day out; we need look no further than America's own celebrated leaders for a war criminal whose offenses rival those of the most heinous dictators in recent history: Henry Kissinger. Employing evidence based on firsthand testimony, unpublished documents, and new material uncovered by the Freedom of Information Act, and using only what would hold up in international courts of law, The Trial of Henry Kissinger outlines worldwide atrocities authorized by the former secretary of state--among them "conspiracy to commit murder, kidnap, and torture." With the precision and tenacity reminiscent of a prosecutor presenting his case, Hitchens offers readers an unrepentant, honest portrait of Kissinger, and implores governments around the world, including our own, to swiftly bring him to justice.
The arrest of Augusto Pinochet signaled a significant shift in enforcing international law, noticed by Henry Kissinger if not others. Vanity Fair columnist Hitchens (No One Left to Lie To, etc.), a self-described "political opponent of Henry Kissinger," writes to remedy the awareness gap, focusing on specific charges of Kissinger's responsibility for mass killings of civilians, genocide, assassinations, kidnapping, murder and conspiracy involving Indochina, East Timor, Bangladesh, Cyprus, Greece and Chile. If the book's title is direct, Hitchens's style is not. Indeed, so much attention is given to unraveling Kissinger's denials and cover stories that the underlying allegations recede into the background. Most of the material is known, but Kissinger's possible culpability has been overlooked for so long that Hitchens's stylish summation may be precisely what's required to bring resolution to a chapter in American foreign policy. Topics include what Hitchens casts as Kissinger's role in helping Nixon undermine the Paris peace talks on the eve of the 1968 election; the bombings of Cambodia and Laos, which killed roughly a million civilians; the assassination of Chilean chief of staff General Rene Schneider, whose loyalty blocked the planned coup against Allende; Kissinger's approval and support for Indonesia's invasion of East Timor and the resulting genocide; his support for the Pakistan military government's 1971 genocide in Bangladesh and for a bloody military coup in independent Bangladesh in 1975, and more. If America does not act promptly, Hitchens warns, others will, further eroding our claims to moral leadership.