In previously classified documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, it was revealed that "top officials in the Carter Administration gave prior approval to South Korean contingency plans to use military units against" student and labor demonstrations occurring in South Korea in 1980.
In a copyrighted article published in the Journal of Commerce, Feb. 27, 1996, reporter Tim Shorrock disclosed the contents of the government documents detailing President Carter's position in regard to the heavy- handed application of the South Korean military against its own citizens. It was further revealed that the Carter Administration "knew that those contingency plans included using Korean Special Forces, trained to fight behind the lines in a war against North Korea, against the pro-democracy opposition movement."
As a direct result of the United States' secret approval of the use of elite Korean Special Forces to quell the student riots, hundreds were massacred in an incident that brought attention worldwide.
The FOIA documents are in direct opposition to claims made by the State Department concerning the student protests. Those claims released in a 1989 publication called the "White Paper" took the hypocritical posture of expressing alarm at South Korea's military leaders threatening force against the demonstrations. They also claimed that they had no advance notice that the Special Forces would be employed.
The top secret documents disclose that knowledge of the communications link between the U.S. and the Republic of Korea, code named "Cherokee", were strictly limited to "President Carter and his Secretary of State, Deputy Secretary of State, Warren Christopher, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific, Richard C. Holbrooke and top intelligence officials at the National Security Council."--and the U.S. Ambassador to South Korea, William J. Gleysteen.
Ambassador Gleysteen, perfectly reflecting the Carter Administration's stance on Korea's use of its military against its own citizens, stated, "In none of our discussions will we in any way suggest that the USG [United States Government] opposes ROKG [Republic of Korea Government] contingency plans to maintain law and order, if absolutely necessary, by reinforcing the police with the army." Warren Christopher, who would become Secretary of State under Clinton, responded, "We agree that we should not oppose ROK contingency plans to maintain law and order."
The revelation of de facto U.S. approval of the use of another nation's military against its unarmed citizens is ominous at best. When one considers that the moral character of American government has continued to severely steepen the curve of its decline in the sixteen years since this incident, it leaves virtually no hope for democracy in this nation.
This diplomatic action by the Carter Administration carries a heavy burden of hypocrisy with it in light of the Posse Comatatus Act. This act of Congress, established in 1878, forbade the use of the United States Army against its own citizens. (It was later revised in 1956 to include other branches of the U.S. military). For this country to approve of, and, indeed encourage, such action in other countries reveals a specter on America's political horizons of apocalyptic substance. If the U.S. Executive Branch can give tacit approval to the use of military force by another "democratic" country against its own citizens, how far can we be removed from the same actions by the United States military upon U.S. citizens?
Has this nation already acted in violation of the Posse Comatatus Act? Would the horrifying images of tanks, armored personnel carriers and other weapons of war used in the assault on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco fit the scenario of violation?
The Korean Special Forces, it was earlier stated, were specifically trained for combat behind enemy lines with North Korea. When a nation uses the same soldiers, the same bullets, the same armament to kill its unarmed citizens as it would its enemies, does that not make its own citizens its enemies? The bullets don't know the difference. Those student demonstrators are just as dead as would be the North Koreans were those bullets used on them. It does not take the proverbial rocket scientist to see that the only thing of any value to the respective governments involved in this travesty is merely political survival. Anyone opposing to that is considered an enemy worthy of death.
President Bush once made the comment that when a nation turns its weapons of war against its own citizens, it cannot stand. In a nation that has become more fearful of its citizens rights and freedoms than protective of them, Bush's comment appears prophetic.
Jesus said, "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand."
In light of this government's approval of South Korea's actions and its own against U.S. citizens, we may know that this house is truly divided against itself.
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