Helena Raymond Lencevicius
November 22, 2009
The latest news of yet another CIA black site in Lithuania has caught the country’s image-makers off guard.
|Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaite.|
This, following earlier claims by ABC News and backed up by reporting from Russia Today on another black site used by CIA to transfer and interrogate Afghan “enemy combatants” lead the Lithuanian foreign minister, former ambassador to the US Vygaudas Usackas to call for damage-control mode to protect the small Baltic nation’s international image.
Likewise, Lithuania’s first female president, Dalia Grybauskaite, has publicly called for everything to be thoroughly investigated. She’s called for everything short of actual criminal prosecution.
Gryabauskaite, a former European Commission commissioner and qualified economist–if you consider a Soviet degree in economics a qualification–, replaced former president Valdas Adamkus in the post earlier this year.
Adamkus, asked point-blank by reporters during his second term if there were CIA black sites in Lithuania, said “I have no information of any.”
If you imagine his quote in the voice of sergeant Schultz from the Hogan’s Heroes television program, you’re pretty close to the truth.
Adamkus lived most of his life in the United States, where he worked with US Army military intelligence before being appointed by Richard Nixon to head Region 5–Chicagoland–of the newly created Environmental Protection Agency. When he was elected Lithuanian president in 1998, the election commission conveniently overlooked his non-eligibility based on lack of prior residency. He also failed to disclose his stint with Army intelligence in the USA.
One thing Adamkus didn’t bother to cover up was his service as a partisan soldier under Nazi command in late 1944 in Lithuania.
When at the end of his first term Adamkus lost the election to Rolandas Paksas, Lithuania experienced its first modern CIA color revolution. Paksas was quickly dogged by dupes and rent-a-mobs, his character was assassinated in every media outlet and the parliament voted to impeach him. And just in case the Lithuanian elite weren’t sure who was who and what was what, then-US secretary of state Colin Powell whispered in the ear of Lithuanian foreign minister Antanas Valionis (since driven out of political life because of evidence that surfaced showing he was a KGB agent) that the removal of Paksas was what Washington wanted. Paksas was duly removed and Lithuania’s short experiment in real democracy ended.
[efoods]Since then, transitions of power have been smooth, much like the passing of a baton in a relay race, with only occasional ripples demanding “damage control.”
One such incident arose when a respected journalist “outed” Grybauskaite, then a European Commissioner. In fantstically homophobic Lithuania this was tantamount to treason. Fortunately, the journalist was successfully silenced, driven out of his job and ostracized, so that by 2009 this little bump was no obstacle to Grybauskaite’s installation in the president’s office.
Lithuania has employed the same tactic in dealing with the Holocaust.
From the point of view of the genocidal maniacs in charge, Lithuania was the most successful in the process of exterminating Jews during WWII. Nowhere in Europe was there a higher kill rate. While various factions argue over the exact figures, based on their ideological orientations, the fact is about 95% of Lithuanian Jews were killed, the majority of them in the first three months after the German invasion in June, 1941. And the vast majority of those initial deaths were at the hands of Lithuanians, many in locations where the Germans had not yet arrived (see scholar and survivor Dov Levin for real information on this). Lithuania and Ostland in general did not have gas chambers, they killed Jews the old-fashioned way, with bullets, machetes, hammers, saws. Once the process became established, with killing pits and transports at major urban centers, it was still Lithuanians who did the killing, and not because they were threatened with death, but because they were bribed with the opportunity to rob the victims and with free alcohol.
Lithuanians have never faced up to the role their society played in the Holocaust 1941-1944. In fact they’ve done everything possible to obscure history, either claiming the killers were a small minority of hoodlums (which isn’t true: the mobs that literally tore Jews apart in Kaunas and Vilnius in summer and fall of ’41 were high school and college students, ex-Lithuanian military and various other members of society), or that Lithuanians suffered under “Jewish NKVD” before the Germans arrived, and that in fact the Lithuanian “genocide” is just as important or more than the Jewish one.
This close-looped propaganda Lithuanians have been repeating for generations has reached a fever pitch recently, with the parliament threatening to make it a crime to smear the good name of the Lithuanian partisans who fought the USSR. Any reasonable book on the Lithuanian Holocaust will tell you that it was Lithuanian partisans who undertook the first wave of genocide in 1941. This is damage control, Lithuanian style.
It’s also important because it demonstrates why the Lithuanian body politic embraced Bush’s diktat after 9/11. It would be easy to blame Adamkus as a US agent in the highest post, but support for the US under Bush was broader. Lithuanians outdid themselves to prove themselves in the “war on terror,” just as Lithuanians outdid themselves in 1941 to show the Nazis what good Aryans they were. It’s exactly the same dynamic, right down to the correspondence: the provisional government of Lithuania in 1941 sent a letter to “the Great Fuehrer of Germany, his excellency Adolf Hitler” praising his policies and invasion of Lithuania. The son of one of that government’s ministers, the son also a high ranking politician, sent a similar letter to Condalizza Rice in 2001 pledging undying support for the US program, a program which, in the end, is genocide in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
Damage control: don’t do the damage to begin with, and then you don’t have to cover it up for centuries.
Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.