You guys are full of hot wind... There was no mass murders or cover-ups in Panama.

I was the Deputy Chief Engineer for Joint Task Force South and later the Chief Engineer for the Military Support Group Panama.

There was no way that mass murders could have been committed without my knowledge. I was all over Panama before, during and after [Operation] Just Cause.

Many of the officers of Panamanian Defense Force were relatives of my wife and my friends. A large number of US soldiers also were married to Panamanians. Do you really think we killed our in-laws and then covered it up?

The grave you referred to was a temporary burial site at the US cemetery at Curundu (outside of Fort Clayton). Yes, the dead were for the most part civilians who were killed during the invasion. The question is, who killed them - the PDF or the US military or both? I suspect both.

You can believe what you want. However, I was there and know the truth.

Major Kenneth E. Sivula

US Army (retired)
(Printed as written and by permission).


Editorial: 11/10/97


    The report here written concerning the Panama invasion was taken largely from a documentary, "The Panama Deception." You have charged us with being full of hot wind but we are not alone. I saw the film myself and the pictures of the event do not at all show the almost non-event you mention. I witnessed the military trying to stop the picture-taking. I saw the large burned-out areas. I saw the graves. I saw the dead.

    The death figures that the U.S. publishes are at least ten to twenty times lower than most other observers have estimated and, while we used the term "mass grave", you used the term "temporary grave". I am not sure what the difference is. You may have not lost family members but many Panamanians did. Those taking the bullets did not believe they were receiving someone benevolent and helpful. Many of the civilians were shot in their cars while driving down the road. Whole families were slaughtered. I have a question for you, sir. Why would Panamanians kill their own countrymen while being invaded by a foreign nation?

    Did the President announce when the war was over, "and here folks you will find the four-thousand or so of those we accidentally killed." No, that was kept out of the news and it was kept out of the official reports. Sir, however you cut it, that constitutes a cover-up. Instead, the focus was on the funerals of the few Americans killed. I saw the American funerals and I witnessed the news events.

    And concerning those buried in the temporary grave, when they were exhumed, were the relatives notified and were the corpses all cleaned up and put in coffins for nice, normal funerals? Did our news media cover the funerals of those who had died there at the hands of Americans when they went after their president? One might say, Noriega was a criminal. Is not that in the eye of the beholder? And would that fact give us license to murder?

    But let's be real, shall we? Can we just speak man-to-man about real things? Let us put aside our terms and let us put aside our points of view and deal with a very simple principle. It is written somewhere that we should "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Let us suppose Saddam Hussein sent a few thousand men over to arrest President Clinton for the crime of being the great Satan. Suppose they killed a few thousand Americans in the process and took the president to Iraq to face trial imprisoning him for a number of years. Now tell me, would that please you? Would that seem right to you? Is that how Americans want to be treated?

    The U.S. invaded a sovereign nation without a declaration of war and arrested their president while killing nearly 4,000 civilians in the process. That was an illegal act in anybody's law book. An illegal act constitutes murder of the civilians and kidnapping of the president. The official line is that Noriega was mixed- up in drugs. So, is our own president the bastion of integrity and virtue? Is our own president better or just prettier?

    Our own president said today (November 9) that he would not permit Iraqis to murder pilots who were spying on them. So who is the murderer? Saddam is a murderer if he kills a pilot who flies over his country, but we are not murderers when we invade a foreign country, killing as we go when there is not even a war on.

    I can understand why the U.S. called the operation Just Cause. It is because it certainly was not a just cause. If we had been brave enough to do that to any sizeable nation, we would have gotten our fat bottoms kicked as in Vietnam. We had to pick on the smallest of the small. Since we are the biggest spoiled bully on the block now, we get away with all sorts of things that honorable men would consider crimes.

    So now our brave president and most other non-thinkers want us to go over and blow up a few more Iraqis because they do not do what we want. They don't bow low enough. Well, sir, the day is soon coming when this nation will have its own head pushed right into the mud. It will be humbled about as low as one can get. America will have to climb a ten-foot ladder just to get up to a snake's tail. You may have heard an expression similar to that before.

    The point of my dissertation here is simple. A nation that will treat foreign nationals as we have will treat its own citizens the same way. An example of this is the illegal act and unconstitutional act of using military armaments against private citizens such as with the Branch Davidians and Randy Weaver. A government that has no respect for foreigners, has no respect for its own people.

    The WINDS has no point to make in the evil of this nation's government and the policies of the people. Men have been wicked for thousands of years. Most nations have been unjust in earth's history just as our own. Our point is that this nation speaks peace, human rights and brotherhood but means none of it. Our constitution guarantees the rights of men and almost none of those rights are respected. Simply put, this is a nation of hypocrites. They speak love, hope, joy and unity but they deliver death, fire, poverty, debt (slavery) and ruin. Everyone will soon be a slave of this tyrant if he is not one already.

    If this nation would speak honestly and simply say, "we are out to take over the world for the U.N. and anyone in our way will get killed. We will burn you and roll our tanks right over your dead carcasses", then The WINDS would have no more "hot wind" as you term it. If this nation would tell the truth, we would be silent.


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