While John Negroponte is today being sworn in as U.S. ambassador to Iraq, it is not a cause for celebration. Though the Bush administration is strenuously attempting to portray Negroponte a distinguished career Foreign Service professional, it should be recalled that his 1981-5 stint as ambassador to Honduras was filled with every form of chicanery, deception and later lying to Congress over his role during the Iran-contra era. Rather than heading for his Iraqi caliphate, Ambassador Negroponte should be facing proceedings concerning his sanctioning of Honduran death squads, pay-offs to venal Honduran military officials, violations of environmental procedures relating to a supply road construction project he was supervising, and a cover-up of the full scale of human rights violations that occurred in Honduras during his watch. He also should be held to account for the tainted testimony that he gave before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during hearings being held at the time of his nomination to be U.S. ambassador to the U.N.
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