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Blood Diamond

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Blood Diamond:

Double Think and Deception Over Those Worthless Little Rocks of Desire

Rick Hines and keith harmon snow

Part One appeared June 1, 2007 in Z Magazine http://zmagsite.zmag.org/June2007/snow0607.html

Minor corrections and adjustments July 20, 2007

 

"All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory.  'Reality control,' they called it; in Newspeak, 'doublethink.'"

George Orwell, 1984

Blood Diamond is a Hollywood film depicting horrific bloodshed in West Africa, in 1999, spawned by the lust for diamonds. The film opens with the understatement that "thousands have died and millions have become refugees." But more than 70,000 people died in Sierra Leone's war. The film immediately segues to a palatial boardroom in Antwerp, Belgium, to the G-8 Conference on diamonds. The all-white executives are ostensibly concerned, holding worried discussions about...the fate of people? Africa's people?

"According to a devastating report by Global Witness," says one of the G-8 execs, "these [conflict] stones are being used to purchase arms and finance civil war." The inference is that world leaders were surprised by the revelations of Global Witness--a London-based watchdog organization that the film clearly advertised for exposing corporate malfeasance. "We must remember that these stones comprise only a small percentage of the legitimate diamond industry," says another G-8 exec, "whose trade is critical to the economies of many emerging nations." Excuse me? Legitimate diamond industry? Emerging nations...?

The Africans in the film are remarkably well dressed and salubrious, and the African scenes are remarkably sunny, clean, or, well, sanitized: the effects of poverty and hunger are made invisible. Indeed, the film plays and replays miscellaneous objectionable stereotypes and inaccuracies, but this is Hollywood, after all, part of the American media, where degrading racial themes are routinely peddled. The film also has its share of embedded corporate branding--Hustler; Smirnoff, National Geographic; Guinness; BBC; UNCHR, Mercedes, World Food Program...

At the end of the film a disclaimer tells us that in 2003 the international community--those G-8 executives "partnered" with the diamond industry--established formal mechanisms to control the flow of conflict diamonds. The film's disclaimer parrots the line of the World Diamond Council, an international organization created by the diamond industry. Both assure consumers that more than 99% of rough stones today come from conflict-free sources, thanks to the United Nations-mandated Kimberley Process--a voluntary self-regulation scheme where the industry crafts 'passport' documents certifying all stones as conflict free. According to the people who profit from diamonds, the blood diamonds problem is passé.[1]

"It's not passé," says Father Rocco Puopolo of the Africa Faith and Justice Network. A child soldier in Sierra Leone shot Puopolo in 1999. "The diamond industry can claim what they want. The film is a template for what I believe is going on in parts of Africa today."

Looking behind the scenes of the movie--and behind the sparkle of the World Diamond Council--we are reminded of George Orwell's novel 1984, where the character Winston falsifies news to peddle the Party's propaganda. Orwell's 'Ministry of Truth' turned all truth upside-down, and all deceptions downside-up. Orwell gave us 'doublethink' and 'newspeak' and a fictionalized portrait of the future grounded in Orwell's experience of propaganda.

Is the diamond industry peddling Orwellian diamondthink? "More than 99% of diamonds are conflict free," the industry chorus tells us, "thus all diamonds are conflict free." Like the Blood Diamond disclaimer, the World Diamond Council (WDC) sweeps conflict diamonds into the mindshafts of history. The "Clean Diamond Act"--passed by the U.S. Congress in 2003--does the same. All is well, they say, in Diamondville.

To be sure we understand that, the WDC in 2006 launched a blitzkreig advertising campaign--full-page ads in the New York Times, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, the International Herald Tribune--touting the self-policing successes of the Kimberley Process. The campaign was presumably coordinated to counter the supposed "negative publicity" of the Blood Diamond film.

To shore up lover's hearts in the pre-Christmas '06 diamond rush, the New York Times echoed the WDC's statement, adding that diamond revenues today bring health care, education and development to African countries, those emerging nations. "This [diamond] is supposed to be a symbol of all things good," a pullout in the NYT article reads--page E-10--next to a seductive model with a glimmering smile and a glamorous gown. The article points buyers to diamonds from Canada: no blood spilt in Canada, right? [2] Same paper, same day, had a full-page Tiffany advert--page A-10--with soft aquamarine hues offsetting the sparkle of diamonds and the tender allure of text: "My True Love Gave to Me."

Are blood diamonds merely polished by public relations? The Kimberly Process was launched under the narrow definition that "conflict diamonds" only originate from conflicts between 'rebels' and 'governments': it refers to smuggling by militias antagonistic to 'legitimate' member governments. But the examples of Angola and Zimbabwe illustrate how the new rules are used against immigrants, refugees and poor citizen miners. This is the essence of diamondthink: truth and lie are inseparable, with deadly consequences.

 

My True Love Took from Thee

In Angola they are called artisanos or garimpeiros, and they are literally mining for their lives: garimpeiros in Angola are forced into 'illegal' mining because Angola's mining security companies push people off their own land. While agriculture and commerce in the region require the direct authorization of the Provincial Governor, not one artisano has been granted a license for diamond exploration or subsistence agriculture. The 'legitimate' government of Angola forces desperate people to resort to 'illegal' activities to survive. [3]

Three private military companies--PMCs--have been targeting garimpeiros in Angola. The mercenary firms Alfa-5, Teleservices, and K&P Mineira defend Angola's big name diamond firms like Sociedade de Desenvolvimento Mineiro (Sodiam), Sociedade Mineira de Cuango, and Sociedade Mineira Luminas. Human rights researcher Rafael Marques documented case after case of PMCs arresting, beating and torturing garimpeiros. They stop garimpeiros from fishing in their rivers, growing their own food, or living traditional lives; they have forced sexual relations on family members, including same-sex rape and sodomy.[4] The PMCs operate behind Angola's public diamond company, Endiama, and have exclusive rights to Angola's diamonds. Endiama owns 99% of shares in Sodiam, which has a joint venture with Lazare Kaplan International (LKI) of the Israeli-American Maurice Tempelsman family.

Sodiam works with the Russo-Israeli Lev Leviev Group. Endiama owns part of Alfa-5, the PMC that exploits and tortures garimpeiros. Alfa-5 and K&P Mineira provide security for ASCORP--the Angola Selling Corporation--another Angolan monopoly. In Marques' case reports, garimpeiros describe a mysterious white foreigner of British origin, an armed agent working in the field for Alfa-5, who beats and tortures people.

One of ASCORP's controlling investors, Lev Leviev, runs a global commercial empire that includes: Leviev Group of Companies; Lev Leviev Diamonds; Africa-Israel (commercial real estate in Prague and London); Gottex (swimwear) Company; 1,700 Fina gas stations in the Southwest U.S.; 173 7-Elevens in New Mexico and Texas; a 33% stake in Cross Israel Highway (Israel's first toll road); and more. [5] Leviev partner Arcady Gaydamak, an arms dealer, also reportedly works with Danny Yatom, a former MOSSAD (Israeli secret service) chief and security advisor to former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. Leviev is connected to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and to Sandline International, a U.K./South African mercenary firm.[6]

Angola remains a war-torn country. The União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA) rebels, backed by the CIA during the Cold War, and then targeted by the Clinton Administration, and then partnered with the "rebels" in Congo's wars, are known to sell $100 million worth of diamonds annually. While participants in the Kimberley Process complained of UNITA's criminality, they gave the "legitimate" Dos Santos government a sparkling bill of health. The Angola example shows how 'black markets' are created by predatory 'white' economies which perpetuate suffering and dispossession; diamond companies do not 'ignore atrocities' as the New York Times wrote in their December whitewash, they create and perpetuate them.

 

Betrayal is Forever

Zimbabwe is the epitome of diamondthink. From December 2006 to January 2007, Zimbabwe's police executed Operation Chikorokoza--"end of illegal mining"--against 'illegal' gold panners and diamond miners countrywide. Police set up roadblocks and brutalized travelers.[7] They arrested and terrorized at least 24,890 people, and burned down the houses of artisanal miners and others displaced by the international destabilization of Zimbabwe. Meanwhile, police confiscated some 3.5 kilograms of gold worth over $57.3 million; 552,227 kilograms of gold ore; 92 emeralds; and 7,868 diamonds. [8]

Robert Mugabe's cronies and their international benefactors have destabilized and depopulated DRC, looting copper, cobalt, timber, uranium and diamonds. Mugabe's Zanu-PF party in recent years crashed the international media scene for evicting white farmers under 'land reform', but untouched are the largest landholders: multinational corporations. Mugabe seized power in 1981 on the empty promise of land reform. In the 1980's Mugabe and his "liberation" army terrorized the Ndebele people under the Gukurahundi--a bona fide genocide. After arming Mugabe's gang, the international "community" closed its eyes to the slaughter; attempts to break the story were squashed in Britain and the U.S.[9] Equally invisible are Mugabe's ties to international arms dealer John Bredenkamp, one of the 50 richest Britons, worth $1 billion, tied to BAE Systems (British Aerospace) and the U.S. state department, and Billy Rautenbach, another Western mining cartel crony and white patron of Mugabe.[10]

The World Diamond Council "expressed concern" about Zimbabwe's complicity in pillaging and smuggling rough diamonds from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) into neighboring South Africa for onward sale into the world market under fraudulent certificates of origin.[11] But the threat of sanctions against Zimbabwe is not about diamonds: while international capital is isolating and punishing Zimbabwe's intransigent President, Robert Mugabe, other criminal diamond networks and racketeering of equal scale and nature will be tolerated.

Angola and Zimbabwe exemplify the process whereby an international certification scheme enforced by the United Nations rubber stamps boxes of rough stones according to their 'country of origin.' Stamped 'Angola' or 'Zimbabwe' the public is assured that these diamonds are now 'conflict free,' because these nations are members of the Kimberley certification. Coming from 'governments'--and not 'rebels' or  'militias'--consumers can be at peace as they slip a diamond on their fiancé's finger.

 

What Clinton (Lovers) Will Never See

Botswana is a classic example of a "peaceful" country engaged in diamond exploration: if any diamond in Africa were conflict free, one would think Botswana would be the place to find it. But the Botswana government has a long history of oppression against the San people--Bushmen of the Kalahari--and continues to force them off ancestral lands to make way for the world's premier diamond cartel, De Beers/Anglo-American Corp.

The diamondthink of De Beers knows no limits: they have claimed that protecting tribal homelands leads to apartheid. Diamond finds in the Bushmen's ancestral lands inspired government evictions. "Money from diamonds has undoubtedly funded the evictions and the 'relocation camps' which the Bushmen call 'places of death,'" wrote Survival International. "De Beers' Managing Director in Botswana backed the removals. De Beers falsely claims there were no Bushmen originally in its concession. It has also stated that laws to protect tribal peoples should not be applied in Africa, as they 'lead to apartheid.'" [12]

Botswana and Namibia have been fighting over water, and the flows of refugees and dissidents brought Botswana into the cross hairs of the Pentagon in the late 1990's. A U.S. military build-up ensued: electronic intelligence listening posts, an expansive air base built in the Bushman's desert, weapons and training programs. Construction began in 1994, and the U.S. "turned the base into a staging area for [special operations] forces involved in quelling civil wars and secessionist movements in Africa." Botswana's opposition complained: "Why should we put up such a sophisticated and costly facility when people are starving?" [13]

After President Clinton's glowing speech in Botswana in 1998, Professor Larry Swatuk at the University of Botswana complained: "The San people of the Central Kalahari have been relocated from within the Central Kalahari Game Reserve to make way for new tourism ventures and mineral prospecting by multinational corporations, including De Beers. About 3,000 San were moved to a bleak settlement called New Xade some 45 km beyond the reserve's western border... Unemployment, jobless economic growth, political in-fighting, conflicts over natural resources within and between states, and increasing militarization in a region too familiar with the human and material costs of war: these are some of the realities that Bill Clinton should have seen." [14]

By 2003 Australian BHP-Billiton was prospecting with leases over 78,000 sq. kms of Botswana, some 27,000 sq. kms in the Kalahari Reserve.[15] In a "landmark" court case decided in December 2006, the San won the "rights" to re-enter their ancestral lands in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, but the government stipulated that they cannot erect permanent structures, they cannot hunt, or drill boreholes, and to expect no services from government. Rapaport News called the court case, "the longest and most expensive in Botswana's history."[16] Diamonds are a $2 billion industry in Botswana, and the government is a 15% shareholder in De Beers. The Bushmen say: "We as First People of the Kalahari believe that conflict diamonds are whenever diamonds cause pain and suffering. That is why we call Botswana diamonds conflict diamonds." [17]

 

Where Do Hillary's Diamonds Come From?

Belgian-born Maurice Tempelsman has a long and bloody history in Africa. When Congo's first Premier, Patrice Lumumba, pledged to return diamond wealth back to the newly independent Congo in the early 60's, Tempelsman, who began with De Beers in the 1950's, helped engineer the coup d'etat that consolidated the dictatorship of 29 year-old Colonel Mobutu, and the coup against Ghana's Kwame Nkrumah; diamonds were at stake in each. [18]

"I believe this was the beginning of what we now know of as conflict diamonds in the Congo," says blood diamond expert Janine Roberts. "From then on diamonds would be extensively used to discreetly fund wars, coups, repression and dictatorships, in Africa." [19] "Tempelsman's role in the confluence of public policy and private profit as a middleman for the De Beers diamond cartel may have shaped every major U.S. covert action in Africa since the early 1950s. Declassified memos and cables between former U.S. presidents and State Department officials over the last four decades directly linked Tempelsman to the destabilization of Zaire/Congo, Sierra Leone, Angola, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Rwanda and Ghana."[20]

For over 35 years Maurice and son Leon Tempelsman worked the diamond connection behind the repression of Mobutu Sese Seko and his Israeli-trained shock troops. Now, 47 years later, the Tempelsman empire remains rock solid behind three companies: Leon Tempelsman & Sons, De Beers, and Lazare Kaplan International; LKI supplies Tiffany's and Cartier's. A client of Adelai Stevenson's law firm during the first Congo crises (1960-1970), Tempelsman later hired Lawrence Devlin, a CIA station chief responsible for covert operations in Katanga, to maintain the Mobutu diamond/cobalt connections into the late 1980's.

Tempelsman's capacity to sway governments and leverage markets is unrivaled. In 2002, Tempelsman offered Namibia's President Sam Nujoma an $80 million interest free "loan" to bridge Namibia's budgetary shortfall against future sales of Namibia's gemstones.[21]

Namibia is the leading producer of offshore deep sea diamonds, through DeBeers and Diamond Fields, and South Africa second. Offshore diamond mining has expanded to Papua New Guinea and New Zealand waters, and global mining investors call it the "new gold rush," but scientists compare deep-sea dredging to destroying an eco-system as complex as a tropical rain forest. Specialized deep-sea crawler vessels like DeBeers "The Peace in Africa" reflect the expertise of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.[22] Maurice Tempelsman is an honorary trustee and an honorary member of the corporation of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.[23]

Tempelsman is the deep pockets of the Democratic party, a regular supporter of the campaigns of John Kerry (D); Ed Royce (R); Tom Daschle (D); Barack Obama (D); Maxine Waters (D); John Rockefeller (D); Richard Gephardt (D); Howard Wolpe (D); Patrick (D) and Edward Kennedy (D); and the 1988 win of George H.W. Bush. Tempelsman also exploited ties with Anthony Lake, Clinton's National Security adviser, who intervened at the U.S. Export-Import Bank on Tempelsman's behalf. [24]

Tempelsman contributed some $500,000 to Clinton for president, and he is backing Hillary (D). He traveled at Clinton's side on the 1998 Presidential Africa tour--along with National Security Council staffer John Prendergast, now an International Crises Group "expert" and leading "Save Darfur!" cheerleader. The Clinton's Botswana visit was not about an Okavango Delta wildlife reserve safari. Botswana's President Mogae attended the 1999 Attracting Capital to Africa Summit in Houston (TX), organized by the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), the "who's who" of multinational corporations.[25] CCA chairman Maurice Tempelsman organized the summit, where 10 African heads of state met with half of Clinton's Cabinet and 200 corporate representatives.[26] Tempelsman and the CCA organized the U.S.-Africa Business Summit in Africa in 2001, featuring DRC President Joseph Kabila, coordinated with an Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) meeting involving President G. W. Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powel.

Maurice Tempelsman was Jackie O'Nassis Kennedy's lover and he reportedly courted Madeline Albright. Tempelsman is Chairman of the American Jewish Congress, a Zionist pressure group that claims it "works closely with the Israeli military." [27] He sits on the boards of nationalist American think tanks that also seat Madeleine Albright. As Vice-Chairman of Lazare Kaplan International, Tempelsman's annual base pay is $458,833, with a bonus of $80,000; as principal director/shareholder in Leon Tempelsman and Sons he gets a comparable amount again. SEC filings show that LKI directors are high-rolling Zionist lawyers and investment bankers: one director belongs to the law firm that represented President Kennedy--another Tempelsman friend. LKI is also connected to the euphemistically named United States Agency for International Development (USAID). [28] Selling to the U.S. Diamond Stockpile and to his private profits, Tempelsman companies have plundered tens of billions of diamond dollars from Congo/Zaire--alone--in the past five decades.

Conditions in Congo today are Leopoldian. Some Congolese earn as little as $2 a month working like slaves for Western companies. In a recent study, Medicins Sans Frontieres found conditions surveyed across Congo beyond "emergency" and into "catastrophic" classification. Since the war ended in 2003, conditions--in terms of mortality and access to health care--have deteriorated. People die of malaria, diarrhea, malnutrition, tuberculosis, measles, and the inability to seek or receive treatment. Conditions in peaceful areas of DRC remain worse than most war zones in the world. [29] Mortality in Eastern DRC remained over 1000 people per day in April 2007.[30]

 

Peace is War, Ignorance is Strength

In 2001, the World Peace Foundation Program on Intrastate Conflict at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government organized a conference on conflict diamonds that "involved stakeholders of diverse interests." WPF program director Robert Rotberg chaired the meeting. Rotberg also directs the Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Human Rights, whose directors are the core of the defense and intelligence establishment, men like John Deutch, former CIA director, and Richard Darmam, partner, Carlyle Group. The Harvard diamond conference actually normalized De Beers' relations with the U.S. Government: De Beers reps received a special government amnesty to attend the conference after years of exile from the U.S. due to anti-trust law violations.

In 2002 the WPF produced a report Diamonds in Peace and War: Severing the Conflict-Diamond Connection. The report lauded the Kennedy School's efforts based on a rush of activity that followed the conference at the end of November 2001.[31] The "rush of activity" included the U.S. government's Clean Diamond Trade Act (H.R. 722), born in November 2001, passed in April 2003. All bluster and polish, the Act gave the U.S. President authority to institute "War on Terror" sanctions against any country that deals in dirty diamonds. The U.S. General Accounting Office noted in 2006 that the law is weak and deeply flawed. Since at least 1996, the campaigns of Russ Feingold (D-WI), who co-sponsored the Senate version, have been heavily funded by Leon Tempelsman & Son.

The Kennedy school today peddles their report as a comprehensive success. "Using diamonds to import arms and sponsor war is less likely now that the Kimberley Process has produced a near-final agreement," the current abstract reads. "Diamonds in Peace and War is the place to learn all about this remarkably successful initiative of conflict prevention and conflict reduction." [32]

Maurice Tempelsman chairs the International Advisory Council at the Harvard AIDS Institute (HAI) of the School of Public Health. HAI partners with the U.S. Military HIV Research Program (USMHRP), a program whose said purpose is to develop vaccines and AIDS prevention for U.S. Military servicemen. [33] Tempelsman's involvement in covert actions and interventions flags this program as cover for clandestine biowarfare in "emerging" countries.

When contacted, Robert Rotberg praised the Kimberley Process as a "remarkable achievement" and he dismissed any conflict of interest between Tempelsman and the Kimberley initiatives. "We invited Maurice Tempelsman to the [2001] conference, but he chose not to come." Asked about the U.S. Government diamond stockpile, Robert Rotberg indicated that its existence "is news to me." The U.S. Defense Logistics Agency controls the national diamond stockpiles: some 3.1 million carats are held at the Defense National Stockpile Centers.[34] Pressed further about Tempelsman, Rotberg replied. "There is no contact between this side of the Charles river and that side. This is not a conspiracy, the real problem is not Maurice Tempelsman: the biggest problem is that the U.S. Treasury has been really slow to put [Kimberley] structures in place." [35]

Maurice Tempelsman and Robert Rotberg are members of the Council on Foreign Relations. No contact between them? From 1999 to 2002 the CFR sponsored a series of panels titled "Roundtable on Private Capital Flows to Sub-Saharan Africa." The panels' director was Mahesh Kotecha and Chair was Maurice Tempelsman. At the time, Tempelsman was funding the CFR's Africa Program. Panelists included Walter Kansteiner, Robert Rotberg, Frank Wisner and Botswana's President Festus Mogae. The Vice President of Botswana, Lt. General S.K.I Khama, is on the board of U.S.-based Conservation International, a corporate "conservation" organization whose tiny smokescreen "ecotourism" project is used to tout their support in helping the San Bushmen.[36] Conservation International directors include Louis Cabot, whose Cabot Corporation benefited from the plunder of columbium-tantalite (coltan) from Congo.

The Kotecha family is directly involved with illegal networks pillaging coltan from Congo.

Walter Kansteiner--National Security Council African Affairs director under Clinton--is today director of Moto Gold, a company involved in Congo's blood-drenched Ituri region, and the Kansteiner family of Chicago trades in coltan.[37] Walter Kansteiner was the U.S. President's "personal representative" to the G-8 Africa Process, and he is a founding principal of the Scowcroft Group, under Brent Scowcroft, former National Security Adviser to G. H. W. Bush and Gerald Ford. Kansteiner also works for the Center for Strategic and International Studies Africa Policy Advisory Panel. [38]

Panelist Frank Wisner was also on the National Security Council under Clinton. Wisner's co-directors of the American International Group include: Marshall Cohen, a director of the Bush-connected Barrick Gold Corporation and Canadian Government Official; Harvard Professor Martin Stuart Feldstein; Clinton Cabinet members William Cohen and Richard Holbrooke; and Carla Hills, NAFTA negotiator and director of Chevron-Texaco and the International Crises Group, a flak organization active in all Africa's hotspots.

(William) Cohen Group partners include former top Pentagon officers, White House officials, U.K. Lords, NATO Chiefs, and directors of Lockheed Martin and Dyncorp. Note that Dyncorp director Mark Ronald was previously President/CEO of BAE Systems.[39] Another Cohen Group director, Gen. (ret.) Paul Kern, participated in operations in Rwanda and Zaire. Frank Wisner's father was CIA director of the Office of Policy Coordination, an early covert operations bureau; Operation Mockingbird, designed to infiltrate and control the U.S. media, was one of theirs. Frank Wisner--a USAID and state department official in Vietnam--was involved with the black-operations Pheonix assassinations program.[40]

Tempelsman's affiliation with Robert Rotberg at the CFR explains the absence of any mention of Tempelsman or his diamond interests in the Kimberly-related conferences, policies and papers that came out of the Kennedy School. Seven Harvard professionals, including Michael Ignatief, and Samantha Power, who won a Pulitzer for her whitewash of the U.S.-backed coup in Rwanda, [41] took part in the 2001 Kennedy School conference that led to Diamonds in Peace and War, the report that whitewashed Maurice Tempelsman's involvement.

 

(end: part one.)

 

*

 

BLOOD DIAMOND Part Two:

Appeared July 1, 2007 in Z Magazine (abridged and edited) http://zmagsite.zmag.org/JulAug2007/snow.html

 

Mining the Apocalypse

Over the past fifty years, top Israeli, American, French and Belgian diamond dealers have perpetrated conflict and injustice in Africa, fueled by and for diamonds. According to a report by the American Jewish Committee: after 1980 "Mossad agents, military emissaries, and a small group of private businessmen... replaced diplomats as Israel's main interlocutors with African leaders and political (mainly opposition) groups." The report cites rising involvement of private defense and security interests, especially in Angola, DRC and Central Africa Republic, since 1992. [42]

Retired Israeli Defense Forces Colonel Yair Klein reportedly organized arms for diamonds networks in Sierra Leone and Liberia after President Charles Taylor was depose d. President in 1997, Taylor was imprisoned in Massachusetts in 1984 for embezzlement in Liberia, but "escaped" mysteriously. He was close with President Blaise Compaoré, which is Israel's base of operations in Africa and a conduit for illegal stones. Yair Klein violated the U.N. embargo by trading arms for diamonds from the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), the rebels in Sierra Leone who chopped people's hands off, as depicted the film. In 1999 Klein was arrested in Sierra Leone on charges of smuggling arms to the RUF; transactions went through Ibrahim Bah, a Senegalese Soldier of Fortune--and purported Al Qaeda businessman.[43]

Lebanese diamond middlemen in both Sierra Leone and DRC are linked to Hezbollah. The U.N. documented collaborations between Sierra Leone' rebels, Tempelsman companies, and Tempelsman's Lazare Kaplan diamond agent Damian Gagnon. [44]

The Congo's state diamond mining company, Societe Miniere De Bakwanga (MIBA), has been cited for shooting 'illegal' diamond workers on its concessions in Mbuju Mayi, the diamond capital of Congo.

"Every day, hundreds of unemployed Congolese take similar risks in the diamond fields of Mbuji-Mayi," wrote Amnesty International in 2002. "And every day, dozens of gunshots ring out as guards employed by MIBA seek to deter illegal miners." [45] The BBC in August 2006 reported that MIBA security guards were sniping unemployed diamond miners.[46] MIBA security is run by one of the many DRC interests of Belgian billionaire tycoon Philippe de Moerloose. A member of the Kinshasa elite, De Moerloose supplies jets and other presidential toys to DRC President Kabila.

Multinational mining giants De Beers and BHP-Billiton both have partnered with MIBA.

In 2003, as the Kimberley Process crystallized, MIBA signed an exclusive contract with Canadian Emaxon, a subsidiary of Dan Gertler Israel (DGI) Group. But the expansion of Gertler companies in Congo began in 2000, when former Congolese president Laurent Kabila offered Gertler's International Diamond Industries (IDI) a monopoly on Congolese diamonds, and 88% of the proceeds, in exchange for Israeli military assistance to his new government.[47] The DRC government expelled IDI's competitors from Congo: smuggling and fraud proliferated as thousands of poor artisanal miners suffered increasing coercion, violence and exclusion. [48]

Gertler pledged military assistance through retired General Yosi Ben-Hanan, Avigdor Lieberman-- Deputy Prime Minister of Israel since November 2006 and leader of Israel's far-right nationalist party Beitenu--and Yossi Kamisa, a former Israeli policeman in the Anti-Terrorism Unit and advisor to the Ministry of National Infrastructures director general.[49] Though the deal was revoked in April 2001--President Laurent Kabila was assassinated that January--Gertler formed DGI and partnered with other top Israeli military officials and moved ahead.

Claiming he was cut out of the deal to train the Congolese army, Kamisa filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Dan Gertler, Foreign Defense Assistance and Defense Export Organization (SIBAT), and SIBAT's director-general Gen. (ret.) Yosi Ben-Hanan. Kamisa's assistance was conditional on Gertler obtaining a diamond mining franchise in Congo: an agreement was indeed signed granting Gertler a diamond mining franchise worth about $US 1 billion.[50]

Kamisa, in January 2001, said SIBAT rejected his application to set up and train the Congo Army on the grounds that it violated Israel's defense export policy. Meanwhile, Mossad Chief Meir Dagan and Gen. (ret.) Yanush Avigdor Ben-Gal applied to train the Congo Army in Israel and in Congo, in cooperation with Gertler.[51] By 2002 Gertler's company was the leading exporter of Congolese gems. Top Congolese military officials apparently flew to Israel in 2000 to negotiate the deal, and Gertler reportedly bribed Congolese officials and Angola Army generals who commanded Angola Army troops protecting the Congo capital Kinshasa. Note that Angola sent troops to Congo in July 2006 to quell any possible rebellion by a Congolese public angered by Western interests' engineering of Congo's "historic national elections."

AngloGold=AngloAmerican=De Beers=Oppenheimers

Dan Gertler and partner Beny Steinmetz control DGI, Gertler Brothers, Beny Steinmetz Global Resources, Nikanor and Global Enterprises Corporate (GEC), companies with massive diamond, and copper/cobalt concessions in Katanga, some in partnership with John Bredenkamp and Billy Rautenbach. The Gertler Brothers are Israeli property tycoons. The privatized Congolese mining parastatal GECAMINES is minority partner, and J.P. Morgan Chase is involved. George Forrest's Kinross-Forrest Group also joined the fray. Forrest companies made the U.N. hit list of Congo's looters. Forrest has munitions factories in East Africa and has partnered in DRC with OM-Group of Ohio, USA. A pillar of exploitation in Congo since 1922, Forrest bankrolled Joseph Kabila's election "victory".[52] A holding company for DRC properties, Nikanor's stock prices rose early in July 2006 in expectation of a July 30 "win" for Joseph Kabila.  Dan Kurtzer--former U.S. ambassador to Israel--Nikanor's board.

Maurice Tempelsman was for decades the unofficial ambassador to Congo/Zaire; Dan Gertler has usurped that role. In 2000 Gertler was named Honorary Consul to the Congo. Beny Steinmetz may be the biggest De Beers "sightholder". Africa Confidential called President Kabila's 2003 visit to the Bush White House a "coup" for Gertler and Steinmetz. Gertler's best friend is Brooklyn-born Chaim Leibowitz, a personal friend of Condoleeza Rice. In 2003, Rice introduced Gertler and Leibowitz to Jendayi Frasier, a former NSC agent focused on Africa, and a Harvard Kennedy School affiliate. Frasier was one of seven special G. W. Bush delegates sent to Kinshasa for the inauguration of President Joseph Kabila on 6 December 2006; Phelps Dodge mining executive John Fenn was another. [53]

Tempelsman and Steinmetz bought diamonds from both sides during Angola's thirty-year war. Israeli diamond tycoons Gertler and Leviev are reportedly jockeying for power with Isabel Dos Santos, the high-rolling diamond-studded daughter of the President of Angola. [54] Given U.S. support for Rwanda and Uganda, and the U.S. alliance with Israel, Dan Gertler's backing the Congolese army to fight rebel groups backed by Rwanda and Uganda amounts to the U.S. and Israel backing both sides in Congo's holocaust.

Dan Gertler's grandfather, Moshe Schnitzer, is known in Israel as "Mr. Diamond;" in youth he joined the Irgun, an Israeli military cell responsible for terrorism; he later founded the Israel Diamond Exchange in Tel Aviv, which today brings Israel $13 billion annually in commerce, and is the country's second-largest industry. Israel buys some 50% of the world's rough diamonds, and the U.S. buys two-thirds of these. Moshe Schnitzer's son and Dan Gertler's uncle is Shmuel Schnitzer, Vice-Chairman of the Belgian-based World Diamond Council--the entity that promotes the false image of  "clean" or "conflict-free" diamonds. [55]

The Congo is producing $1-billion a year in diamonds," Victor Kasongo, chief executive officer of DRC's Centre d'Evaluation, d'Expertise Et de Certification told Reuters at a rough diamond conference in Tel Aviv in 2004. The World Diamond Council lists Congolese businessman Victor Kasongo as a 'member.' DRC mines minister, Simon Tuma-Waku is "special adviser" to one Gertler/Steinmetz project in DRC.

Dan Gertler's forays into the bloody world of diamonds involve Israeli arms dealer Yair Klein--the retired Israeli Defense Forces Colonel mentioned above--who is reportedly wanted by the U.S. for training Medellin drug-cartel militias in Colombia. Klein was convicted by Israel (1991) for his involvement with Columbian groups that targeted and assassinated Colombian politicians, journalists, and police. Klein was jailed in 1999 in Sierra Leone: Klein was a field representative for Gertler in war-torn Sierra Leone and Liberia. Gertler also mingles with the Russian Military Brotherhood, a group of "retired Russian generals whom Gertler describes as good friends." [56]

Another partner in the Israeli-American networks of the Gertler and Steinmetz brothers is Israeli-born Nir Livnat, managing director of Johannesburg-based Ascot Diamonds, a member of the Steinmetz Group of Diamond Companies: Livnat is connected to a string of Israeli-Americans--lawyers, investment bankers and venture capitalists--running companies from Florida to New York, Toronto to Tel Aviv.[57]

According to Chaim Evan-Zohar of Diamond.Com, "The Steinmetz Group is known as 'the master' in the field of diamonds and is one the leading customers of De Beers. The Steinmetz Group has several sources of independent mines that supply the rough diamonds. Whenever a large sale, auction or event appears in the diamond business, you can be sure that the Steinmetz Group is part of it. The Steinmetz Group supports Diamond.com as the Jeweler of the Millennium Diamonds." [58]

The Millenium Star diamond was discovered in the Mbuji-Mayi region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo--then Zaire--in 1990 in alluvial deposits; uncut it was 777 carat (155.4 g). The blue "Millenium Star" diamond unveiled in 2000 is 203.04 carats. Other blue diamonds have been auctioned at between $560,000 to $580,000 per carat, but never has a diamond of this size or quality been sold. Nicky Oppenheimer of De Beers "was careful not to put a value on the Millennium Star, saying that any figure he would give would be purely academic. The London Evening Star was not as conservative as Mr. Oppenheimer and insured the Star for 100 million English pounds. This is believed to be a fraction of its true worth." [59] The cutting and polishing process for the "Millenium Star" series diamonds took three years, and was led by Nir Livnat.

Nir Livnat is also a director of Anglovaal Mining with Rick and Brian Menell. The other principals on Anglovaal are South African and Canadian. The Anglovaal Chairman is Kennedy Maxwell, head of the gold and uranium division of Johannesburg Consolidated Investments (JCI) and a member of the S.A. Mining Industry's Chamber of Mines' controlling executive. Anglovaal director David N. Murray, who lives in the U.K., is also director of Canada's Ivernia Company, whose directors include Canadian Senator J. Trevor Eaton.

Senator Eyton is a board member of a number of corporations, including Coca-Cola Enterprises (Atlanta), General Motors of Canada, Noranda Mining, Nestle Canada, and the Bush-connected Barrick Gold Corporation, whose directors include Brian Mulroney. Barrick, of course, is partnered up with Anglo-American Ashanti in Congo. Brian Mulroney, former Prime Minister of Canada, appointed Eaton to the Senate of Canada in 1991; Mulroney is also a director of Barrick Gold. Other Barrick directors include Vernon Jordan and former U.S. Senator Howard Baker. Mulroney is also a director of Archers Daniels Midland, with former Ambassador and Mayor of Atlanta Andrew Young. The corporate clients of Young's consulting firm Goodworks International include the Government of Angola, Coca-Cola, Barrick Gold, Chevron-Texaco and Guinness International--one of the branded products advertised in the storyline of the film Blood Diamond. Andrew Young has been very close with the Museveni and Kagame officials plundering diamonds and other natural resources out of Congo.

Brian Menell, Nir Livnat's associate on the board of Anglovaal, is on the board of ENERGEM with Tony Teixeira, and like Teixeira he is involved in numerous other companies and interlocking directorships. That ties Teixeira into networks supporting both Kabila and Bemba.

Brian Menell is also on the board of First Africa Oil, which operates in seven African countries, and First Africa Oil director John Bentley is on the board of Adastra Minerals--formerly America Mineral Fields (AMF, AMFI, AMX) based at one time in Hope, Arkansas and another time in London, and set up by "friends of Bill Clinton" Robert Friedland [60] and Max and Jean-Raymond Boulle. John Bentley is also a director of Osprey Oil and Gas, whose directors include Carol Bell, a director of Chase Manhattan Bank.

De Beers holds twelve diamond concessions in DRC's blood-drenched Kasai provinces; Emaxon also holds concessions in the Kasais. One of DRC's largest diamond concessions, Kasai Shield, involves Australia's Gravity Diamonds with BHP-Billiton, Mwana Africa, and MIBA, and through these BHP-Billiton links to AngloGold, Barrick Gold, and Moto Gold (Kansteiner) in Ituri. BHP-Billiton directors include: Paul Andersen, U.S. President's Advisory Council for Science and Technology, and David Jenkins, Halliburton Corp. Halliburton subsidiary Brown and Root backed the Rwandan Patriotic Front coups d'etat in Rwanda (1994) and Zaire (1996): millions of innocent people were slaughtered.[61] The numbers of dead from Congo's wars--which began with the U.S.-backed invasion of 1996 and continue to today--likely exceed ten million. [62]

Depopulation is a Diamond (Magnates) Best Friend

While plundering DRC, Uganda's diamond exports to Belgium tripled, and their weapons imports rose, Uganda denied everything, the Western media reported nothing, and Uganda's backers kept the "development aid" flowing.[63] Friendly with Israel for years,[64] Uganda has bought Mi-17 transport helicopters and armaments from Silver Shadow, an Israeli PMC registered with SIBAT, and one of many PMC's reportedly in DRC.[65] In 1999, Uganda purchased seven MiG jet fighters from Belarus, and four were modified in Israel to increase their firepower.[66] The Uganda governments' terrorism in Congo is matched by decades of internal state terrorism in Northern Uganda; as of April 25 some 2300 Ugandan troops were involved in the U.S. deconstruction of Somalia; Uganda is also involved in Sudan.

With their constant military presence in eastern DRC since 1996, establishing informal networks to plunder, extort, and terrorize, top Rwandan officials and cronies shipped Congo's stones from Kigali to Belgium on Sabena--the Belgian National Airline that carried Congolese nationalist Patrice Lumumba to his own murder in 1961. Kagame's elite network funds their killing machine with illicit diamonds, coltan and timber, and extortion through commercial levies in Congo. According to the U.N. Panel of Experts on Illegal Exploitation of DRC, they set up a "Congo desk" run by Lebanese diamond merchant Aziz Nassour, purportedly linked to Al Qaeda.[67] Nassour was displaced by Israeli diamond dealer, Philippe Surowicz, remembered for his 'reign of terror' in collusion with the RPA military. The "Congo Desk" replaced Surowicz with a Lebanese, Hamad Khalil, backed by comptoirs in Kisangani.[68]

Lebanese and Indian traders in Congo/Zaire operate as middlemen--mafia networks that proliferated under Mobutu--and these networks were reorganized by war in DRC. Middlemen, backed by military structures, maintain a stranglehold over poor Congolese artisans. Stones move into international trade through Belgian, Israeli and Russian buyers working for the bigger diamond concerns like Lazare Kaplan, De Beers, and Emaxon.

Another godless force in the African diamond plunder is Pat Robertson, evangelist minister with the Christian Coalition. A Mobutu confidant, Robertson's African Development Corp. used the "humanitarian" cover of "Operation Blessing" to plunder diamonds during Congo's bloodbath. He worked closely with Charles Taylor (1997-2003). Robertson's Freedom Gold, is today bleeding Liberia. [69]

The resource thefts from DRC occurred amidst slavery, crimes against humanity, and genocide committed under the direct oversight of Presidents Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni, their generals James Kabarebe, James Kazini, Charles Kayonga, and Museveni's half-brother Salim Saleh. Israel's Verona Commodities reportedly brokered arms shipments to Rwanda, but weapons are routed to the killing fields of Darfur, Congo, Uganda, Ethiopia and Somalia through a vast array of companies and countries, including Israel, U.S., Canada and the U.K. As everywhere, weapons destabilize and depopulate: as of March 2007, landmines and unexploded ordinance remained heavily concentrated in Congo, maiming innocent people. While the system has seen various facelifts, little has changed. Diamonds out of DRC today continue to fuel warfare beyond the DRC's borders, while Congolese artisans suffer under an average life expectancy of about 42 years.

At the Antwerp Diamond Conference in November 2003, Bill Clinton praised the Kimberley Process for breaking the link between diamonds and brutal African wars. This was reminiscent of his disingenuous speech (1998) about "the failure of the U.S. to stop genocide" in Rwanda; Maurice Tempelsman spoke after Clinton. [70]

Westerners concerned about the Holocaust--and genocide in Darfur--will find in Africa many judicious applications of the Nazi term Lebensraum, or "living space," the concept of killing people off to clear land and acquire raw materials.

 

Stones of Misfortune

The companies of Tony Buckingham and partner Antonio Teixeira operate through subsidiaries and joint ventures. One, DiamondWorks, counts Beny Steinmetz as a 50% shareholder. Through subsidiary Branch Energy, DiamondWorks has perpetuated war in 11 African countries,[71] places like Equatorial Guinea, where the bloodbath is whitewashed by U.S.-based Cassidy and Associates PR campaigns at some $120,000 a month.[72] Dan Gertler's Emaxon company "won" the Kasai Shield project over rivals De Beers and Energem, a Buckingham-Teixeira diamond firm with J. P. Morgan as shareholder. Social "unrest" in Kasai is a product of outside interventions, not African tribalism. [73] DRC's rebel warlord Jean-Pierre Bemba is married to Lillian Teixeira, the daughter of Antonio Teixeira.

Sandline International is the follow-on to Executive Outcomes--the Soldiers-of-Fortune portrayed in Blood Diamond . Mercenaries Tony Buckingham and Tim Spicer were partners in Executive Outcomes, and their Sandline has backed insurgencies in Africa. A Buckingham interest, Heritage Oil & Gas, is reportedly tied to the Carlyle Group and part of a major thrust to control oil and natural gas from the Red Sea, through Darfur, to the Great Lakes of Africa. [74] Heritage is pumping on the Uganda-DRC border and in Congo-Brazzaville, and Buckingham interests have also worked in Angola and Sierra Leone. [75]

The mining mafia of "Friends of Bill Clinton"--criminal networks of offshore subsidiaries and joint ventures--are run by international "financiers" like Max and Jean-Raymond Boulle, Robert Friedland, and Michael McMurrough, and their companies operate in all the wrong places: Burma, Angola, Sierra Leone, Congo, Papua New Guinea. America Mineral Fields (AMF), renamed ADASTRA, partnered with AngloAmerican in DRC, and was recently bought by First Quantum of Canada. The Rothchilds Group and Meryl Lynch Bank are also involved. First Quantum directors are also directors of Tahera Diamond, one of many start-up diamond firms plundering Canada's northern territories. Tahera's directors include former Rothschild's and current Lundin Mining directors. [76] Rothchilds' diamond interests are linked with Holland's ABN AMRO Bank, which counts a British Lord, a Dutch Parliamentarian, and an advisor to the Harvard Business School on its board. Jean-Raymond Boulle, Maurice Tempelsman, Walter Kansteiner, Ed Royce (R) and Corporate Council on Africa members like Halliburton, Boeing, Cargill and Freeport McMoran-- these are the architects of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), America's NAFTA for Africa. Freeport McMoran directors include International Rescue Committee and CSIS adviser Henry Kissinger. The AGOA destroys local markets, erects discriminatory trade barriers, undermines local economies to enrich elites and impoverish the masses--a.k.a. in the language of diamondthink, the AGOA promotes free-rade .

Canada's Golden Goose

When Warner Brothers launched its pre-release advertising of Blood Diamond in the fall of 2006, the diamond industry launched its pre-emptive strike. CNN News and the New York Times began peddling Canada as an "alternative" source for "clean" diamonds. "When Mr. Walker, a medical student went shopping," wrote the NYT on 14 December 2006, "he knew it would be a 'conscience issue' for his fiancée, he said. He bought a Canadian diamond with a certificate."

The same NYT article apologized for diamond polishing in India by promoting a notion of workers freed from hunger and "because many Africans depend on diamonds for their livelihood," the NYT pontificated, "a boycott is not the answer." This is NYT columnist Nicholas Kristof's happy, expedient theme: "the only thing worse than exploitation--is no exploitation! Two cheers for sweatshops!" [77] Again and again we are blessed to find that the people responsible for causing mayhem become the bearers of our salvation!

In South Africa, De Beers diamonds are embedded in asbestos, and hundreds of thousands of miners have suffered miserably or died from cancer, leukemia and silicosis over the decades of De Beers operations. In India, where 90% of all diamonds are finely cut--for about 40 cents each, often by child slaves--cutters suffer and die of silicosis caused by inhalation of gem dust. Diamonds from South Africa and India are officially certified 'clean' and 'safe'. [78]

"The most effective means of helping communities is giving them a hand up, not a handout," says De Beers' PR about the open pit mining spreading through Canada's First Nations. "This is a cornerstone of De Beers' approach to social sustainability. The idea is to build capacity, not dependency, in the communities with which the company interacts." [79]

Alvin Fiddler, a leader of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation in Canada's boreal forest, rejects the spit-and-polish of De Beers PR for what it is: conflict and strife, a lot of spit rubbed into the wounds of his people. "The Nishnawbe Aski Nation communities are among the poorest in the world, ranked 69th in the U.N.'s Human Development Index, with the lowest life expectancy in Canada, the highest youth suicide rates in the world, and an unemployment rate of more than 60 percent. With diamonds on our lands our communities should be wealthy." [80]

De Beers' program to clear-cut boreal forest and open pit mine the Nishnawbe Aski Nation is not only ripping apart the land; court battles, corruption and greed are tearing apart the people. De Beers' violated treaties and trespassed; helicopters and drill rigs destroyed the spring goose hunt on which the community depends for winter food. De Beers' pumping out boreal swamps means salination and sludge spoiling the Attawapiskat River fishing. Some 260,000 hectares of pristine Canadian wildernesses will be devastated for diamonds. [81] Northern Canada is seeing an explosion of diamond mining by unscrupulous firms and offshore companies, with government complicity: another page in the ongoing North American genocide.

"The diamond industry has failed to deliver on its promises to combat blood diamonds," says Corinna Gilfillan of Global Witness , a non-government member of the Kimberley delegations, "and instead has launched a PR campaign to undermine and convince the public that blood diamonds are no longer a problem. Contrary to the industry's misleading and disingenuous PR campaign, diamonds are still fuelling conflict today." [82]

But Global Witness (GW ) itself appears to be under the sway of De Beers and Tempelsman. GW supports the Kimberley Process, approving the "legitimate government" stamping of diamonds--and this only institutionalizes structural violence. It seems, indeed, that Global Witness was used by the diamond industry: the involvement of Global Witness in the Kimberley Process, and in Kennedy School initiatives, likely benefits powerful factions seeking to leverage access to the diamond cartel, or exclude challengers from it. GW 's representatives attended the 2001 Kennedy School conference on conflict diamonds and participated in the creation of the Kimberley Process, but they would not respond to questions about Tempelsman's relationship to the Harvard Conference or the Kimberley Process. [83] And Global Witness nowhere mentions or challenges Maurice Tempelsman. On inspection it's easy to see why: they can't.

Big foundations have a keen purpose. Sponsors of Global Witness include the National Endowment for Democracy, Gleitsman Foundation, Open Society Institute, and the Tempelsman-friendly USAID. George Soros' OSI funds sprang out of currency speculation that plundered Eastern European economies; Soros is an International Crises Group (ICG) director, and an insider in Russian affairs. The Gleitsman Foundation supports Harvard's Kennedy School. [84]

The National Endowment for Democracy is more problematic: NED and its partners facilitate political intervention in foreign countries. The NED's core affiliate Center for International Private Enterprise works, for example, with USAID in Afghanistan, and is linked to Bechtel (Nexant). The NED's core affiliate the National Democratic Institute counts Maurice Tempelsman and Madeleine Albright as directors. Richard Gephardt is o n the boards of NDI and NED, both of which funded Congo's "historic national elections" from 2004 to 2006, and have been funding the opposition MDC party in Zimbabwe for years.

NED directors tied to Tempelsman include: Howard Wolpe; Richard Holbrooke; and Morton Abramowitz. Wolpe was Clinton's Special Envoy to Africa's Great Lakes Region, and director of the "Africa and U.S. National Interests" project of the Ninetieth American Assembly, where some 69 reps from elite military, intelligence and corporate interests attended closed-door think-tank proceedings: Maurice Tempelsman funded it. [85] Holbrooke, Wolpe, Abramowitz, John Deutch (Rotberg connection) are "experts" for the intelligence consulting firm, Intellibridge, founded by Tempelsman's confidante Anthony Lake. Wolpe is on the board of Africare, and so is Joseph Kennedy. Holbrooke is President/CEO of the Global Business Council on AIDS, whose director Mark Moody Stuart is a director of Anglo-American mining and former director of Royal/Dutch Shell (ret. 2005). Holbrooke and Tempelsman are on the board of the Africa-America Institute, along with former USAID official Gayle Smith, Clinton's National Security negotiator for Rwanda and Uganda, member of the CFR and the Corporate Council on Africa, whose Chair is Maurice Tempelsman. [86]

Global Witness is not a serious threat to extractive industries, and that is why GW was advertised in the film Blood Diamond. The message is "don't you worry about blood diamonds (or big oil): Global Witness is on it." In fact, like the big foundations that fund them, GW plays an important role as a shaper of public policy. But can they be effective, given their sources of income? "The blood diamonds campaign by Global Witness has protected De Beers, and it has had De Beers' full support publicly," says blood diamond expert Janine Roberts. "Although privately GW has been very critical of De Beers, they are not critical publicly."

After reviewing the above critique, Global Witness removed the National Endowment for Democracy from the "Our Funders" section on their web site (NED remains listed in their Annual Reports).

All evidence suggests that the diamond industry has no intention of substantive change. Indeed, in June 2002, as the Kimberley Process was unfolding in earnest, Daniel Horowitz, CEO of IDH Diamonds, gave a speech at the 3rd World Diamond Conference which reveals what the industry is trying so desperately to hide. A diamond distributor for the powerful Rio Tinto mining group, IDH works with Endiama, BHP-Billiton, De Beers and others. The speech was titled "Rough Diamonds in a Brave New World." [87]

"Ladies and gentlemen, it would be irresponsible to circumvent the fact that it is highly problematic, if not unfeasible, to work out a system in order to control the flow of rough diamonds around the world. The reality is that once diamonds are mined there is almost nothing one can do in order to prevent them from reaching the market. No certification scheme can truly be reliable, not only because war-torn areas are by definition disorganized, but mainly because it is intrinsically impossible to distinguish between good and bad diamonds. Misguiding traders and consumers with untrustworthy guarantees would inevitably be demystified over time."

"As opposed to this, it is critical to publicize that the mainstream diamond trade is legitimate. It needs to be said again and again that conflict diamonds are an irrelevant portion of world production. And as far as humanitarian issues are concerned, the added value the industry generates worldwide particularly benefits the developing world." [88]

Daniel Horowitz mapped out the public relations strategy now in play. Instead of addressing the structural factors that create and perpetuate misery in those far off places, the industry chose--as corporations and governments routinely do--to spend millions of its profits to manage public perceptions. Because the origins of no diamond can be traced or documented, as Horowitz confirmed, any diamond--from Liberia or Congo or Botswana or First Nations--can be rubber-stamped with a falsified certificate of origin: CANADA.

Blood Diamond was no exposé on the glitter and greed of capitalism. It was a necessary part of a massive PR campaign to manage public perceptions, displace competitors edging in on the big diamond cartels, and make a lot of money. Indeed, just as the blood diamond campaign was grinding into high gear the "rebel" diamond mafias were expediently linked to Al Qaeda: the media fanned the frenzy, saturating consumers with baseless stories about Islamic terrorists dealing in dirty diamonds. The big mining syndicates were the winners.

Health care, education, and development for "emerging" nations--such blanket claims have for years emanated from the "good governance" and "social responsibility" departments of all extractive industries. Full-page New York Times ads cost some $75,000 for a single appearance, $127,000 for a two-page spread. The reality is that more money is pumped into advertising diamonds as "clean" and "conflict-free" than is spent on development in Africa's diamond zones. And there is not a single example of De Beers legitimately "building capacity" anywhere in the world, no matter what the New York Times tells us.

"The Kimberley Process put in place in 2003 has prevented diamonds from fueling conflicts and financing terrorist networks," announced the New York Times in their shameful cover story of 27 March 2007. Headlined DIAMONDS MOVE FROM BLOOD TO SWEAT AND TEARS, the front page story jumps to page eight--with six ads for Tiffany and Cartier between and a $75,000 Tiffany ad after--wherein it says: "Some countries like Botswana have been able to make their [diamond] deposits a source of wealth, through careful management and control."

Careful management and control: remember the Bushmen and their "places of death?"

Even if the diamond industry did change--more than cosmetically--there are still all those millions of blood diamonds locked in the vaults of the diamond bourses to insure the artificially high, monopoly-fixed, prices of diamonds, our otherwise worthless rocks of desire. These little rocks, greedily hoarded over the past decades, are tainted, hexed, cursed with bad karma.

Walk into a diamond retailer and ask about blood diamonds and you will be told, with a nervous laugh, and an audacious lie, "well, that's all been cleaned up." Because Canadian diamonds are conflict free, all diamonds are conflict-free. Look down at your new diamond and think of your relationship, and love, and happiness ever after, just like someone else did--when they found your diamond in Africa.



[1] World Diamond Council, "Diamond Facts Sheet," http://diamondfacts.org/ see also:

[2] Mireya Navarro, "Diamonds are for Never?" New York Times, 14 December 2006: p. E1

[3] Rafael Marques-2006: Operation Kissonde: The Diamonds of Humiliation and Misery. http://www.cuango.net/kissonde/texto/KissondeING.pdf http://www.cuango.net/kissonde/default_I.htm

[4] Rafael Marques, Operation Kissonde: The Diamonds of Humiliation and Misery, 2006, <http://www.cuango.net/kissonde/default_I.htm, http://www.cuango.net/kissonde/texto/KissondeING.pdf >.

[5] Forbes Magazine, 15 September 2003.

[6] Christian Dietrich, "Blood Diamonds: Effective African-Based Monopolies," African Security Review, Vol. 10, No 3, 2001, < http://www.iss.co.za/ASR/10No3/Dietrich.html>.

[7] Lesley Moyo, "Operation Chikorokoza violating human rights," Zim Independent http://www.zimbabwesituation.com/dec15b_2006.html > ; and "Zimbabwe: Police Curb Gold Smuggling," The Herald (Harare), 17 January 2007, <http://www.AllAfrica.com>.

[8] Jeanette Goldman, "Zimbabwe Arrests + 16,000 Illegal Miners," Rapaport News, 28 December 2006, <http://www.diamonds.net/news/NewsItem.aspx?ArticleID=16402>, and "Zimbabwe: Police Curb Gold Smuggling," The Herald (Harare), 17 January 2007, < http://www.AllAfrica.com>.

[9] keith harmon snow, "The Great Betrayal: Mugabe's Gang and Genocide in Zimbabwe," All Things Pass, <http://www.allthingspass.com >;  and Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, Breaking the Silence, Building True Peace: A Report on the Disturbances in Matabeleland and the Midlands, 1980-1988, Legal Resources Foundation, Harare, Zimbabwe, 1997.

[10] "DRC/Zimbabwe: The British Connection," Africa Confidential, Vol. 43, No. 21: p. 3; Probe into BAE Arms Deals Widens," BBC, 19 October 2006, < http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/low/business/6065352.stm>.

[11] Rodrick Mukumbira, "Zimbabwe faces diamond export blacklist," Mineweb, 8 January 2007, http://www.mineweb.net/gems/561238.htm.

[12] "The Bushmen and conflict diamonds," Survival International, <http://www.survival-international.org/related_material.php?id=512>.

[13] Wayne Madsen, Genocide and Covert Operations in Africa, 1993-1999, Edwin Mellen Press, 1999: p. 258.

[14] Larry Swatuk, "Botswana: What Clinton Didn't See," Southern Africa Report, Vol. 13, No. 3, May 1998, <http://www.africafiles.org/article.asp?ID=3799>.

[15] Janine Roberts, Glitter and Greed: The Secret World of the Diamond Cartel, Disinformation Collective, 2003: p. 81.

[16] Jeff Miller and Jeanette Goldman, "Bushmen Win," Rapaport News, 13 December 2006 < http://www.diamonds.net/news/NewsItem.aspx?ArticleID=16300 >.

[17] "The Bushmen and conflict diamonds," Survival International, <http://www.survival-international.org/related_material.php?id=512>.

[18] Janine Roberts, Glitter and Greed: The Secret World of the Diamond Cartel, Disinformation, 2003: pp. 177-185; David Gibbs, The Political Economy of Third World Intervention: Mines, Money and U.S. Policy in the Congo Crises, University of Chicago Press, 1991; Wayne Madsen, Genocide and Covert Operations in Africa, 1993-1999, Edwin Mellen Press, 1999.

[19] Janine Roberts, Glitter and Greed: The Secret World of the Diamond Cartel, Disinformation Collective, 2003: pp. 177-185.

[20] See e.g., David Gibbs, The Political Economy of Third World Intervention: Money, Mines and U.S. Foreign Policy in the Congo Crises, University of Arizona Press, 1993; Wayne Madsen,
Genocide and Covert Operations in Africa, 1993-1999, Mellen Press,
1999; and Janine Roberts, Covert Action in Africa, A Smoking Gun in Washington, Special Congressional Hearing on Genocide and Covert Operations in Africa, April 2001, at <www.allthingspass.com> and < www.minesandcommunities.org/company/diamonds1.htm >.

[21] "Diamond Poker," Africa Confidential, Vol. 43, No. 25, 20 December 2002.

[22] See: "Deep Sea Mining: A Canadian Quest for the South Pacific's Pot of Gold," CBC News, June 25, 2007, < http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/mining/>; "SA engineers lead technology for global deep-sea diamond recovery," Mining Weekly, July 20, 2007, <http://www.miningweekly.co.za/article.php?a_id=112734>

[23] On Tempelsman see: The Africa Journal, Winter 2006, Corporate Council on Africa, <http://www.africacncl.org/AfricaJournal/AJ_Winter_2006.pdf>.

[24] Wayne Madsen, Genocide and Covert Operations in Africa, 1993-1999, Edwin Mellen Press, 1999: p. 92-93.

[25] "Mogae Invites U.S. Investors," Botswana Press Agency, 27 April 1999 < http://www.gov.bw/cgi-bin/news.cgi?d=19990427 >.

[27] "The Smoking Gun," American Jewish Congress, January 2007, <http://www.ajcongress.org>.

[28] Rafael Marques-2006: Operation Kissonde: The Diamonds of Humiliation and Misery,  <http://www.cuango.net/kissonde/texto/KissondeING.pdf >, <http://www.cuango.net/kissonde/default_I.htm>

[29] Medecins Sans Frontieres, Access to Healthcare, Mortality and Violence in Democratic Republic of Congo: results of five epidemiological surveys, March to May 2005, p. 57.

[30] Eastern Congo, Monthly Update, Enough!, March/April 2007.

[31] Tamm, Ingrid J., Diamonds in Peace and War: Severing the Conflict-Diamond Connection. Cambridge, MA: World Peace Foundation, March 2002.

[34] See, e.g., : http://minerals.usgs.gov/mnerals/pubs/commodity/diamonds/diamomcs06.pdf > and Janine Roberts, Glitter and Greed: The Secret World of the Diamond Cartel, Disinformation Collective, 2003: pp. 177-185.

[35] Telephone interview, February 2007.

[36] Press release, Botswana San Bushmen Launch Ecotourism Project, Conservation International, 2 April 2003.

[40] Douglas Valentine, The Pheonix Program, iUniverse.com, 1990, 2000.

[41] Samantha Power, A Problem from Hell: America in the Age of Genocide, 2002.

[42] Israel and Africa: Assessing the Past, Envisioning the Future, The Africa Institute American Jewish Committee and The Harold Hartog School Tel Aviv University, May 2006.

[43] Jimmy Johnson, "Israelis and Hezbollah Haven't Always Been Enemies," Appearing in Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions USA, 6 September 2006, < http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:pYAbqkMgTJ4J:www.icahdusa.org/2006/09/06/israelis-and-hezbollah-haven%E2%80%99t-always-been-enemies/+%22hezbollah%22+%22congo%22&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=15>.

[44] Report of the Panel of Experts Appointed Pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1306 (2000), Paragraph 19
, in Relation to Sierra Leone, December 2000, <http://www.sierra-leone.org/panelreport-I.html>.

[47] Nicole Gaouette, "Inside Israel's diamond trade: a family affair," Christian Science Monitor, 21 February 2002, http://www.boycottisraeligoods.org/modules6437.php.

[48] Christian Dietrich, Blood Diamonds: Effective African-Based Monopolies, African Security Review, Vol. 10, No 3., 2001, http://www.iss.co.za/ASR/10No3/Dietrich.html

[51] Yitzhak Danon, "Top Israelis accused of illegal diamond deals: Israel: Lawsuit claims corruption in Congo diamonds for arms deal," Globes (Israel), 18 February 2004, http://www.minesandcommunities.org/Action/press269.htm>.

[52] See: Barry Sergeant, "Nikanor's Quandry: Meet Dan the Man, King of the Congo," MoneyWeb, 4 April 2007, < http://www.moneyweb.co.za/mw/view/mw/en/page1329?oid=84351&sn=Detail>; "Congo Kinshasa: After the Election" Africa Confidential, Vol. 47, No. 23, 17 Nov. 2006; and United Nations Security Council Report to the Secretary General, S/2003/1027, 23 October 2003.

[53] Note that Phelps Dodge director Jack Thompson was Vice-Chairman of the Bush-connected Barrick Gold from 2001-2005; a U.S. Embassy official based in DRC during the war has recently become the V.P. of operations for Phelps Dodge--partnered with Bush affiliate Adolph Lundin--at the Tenke Fungarume mines in Katanga. Adolph Lundin companies in African hot spots include Tenke Mining (DRC), Lundin Oil and Talisman Oil (Sudan). Barrick partnered with AngloGold-Ashanti to hide their involvement in the killing fields of Ituri, DRC. One AngloAshanti director is Jerry John Rawlings, the U.S. military's former autocratic ruler of Ghana.

[54] "Diamond in the Rough," 24 March 2005, < http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/objects/pages/PrintArticleEn.jhtml?itemNo=556546%20>.

[55] Nicole Gaouette, "Inside Israel's diamond trade: a family affair," Christian Science Monitor, 21 February 2002, < http://www.boycottisraeligoods.org/modules6437.php>.

[56] Nicole Gaouette, "Inside Israel's diamond trade: a family affair," Christian Science Monitor, 21 February 2002, < http://www.boycottisraeligoods.org/modules6437.php>.

[58] Chaim Evan-Zohar, "The Millenium Star," diamond.com, < http://famousdiamonds.tripod.com/millenniumstardiamond.html>.

[59] Chaim Evan-Zohar, "The Millenium Star," diamond.com, < http://famousdiamonds.tripod.com/millenniumstardiamond.html>.

[60] One of the world's richest people: http://www.forbes.com/lists/2006/10/QXNL.html

[61] BHP-Billiton director Don Argus is a director of the New York Stock Exchange; director Paul Anderson sits on the U.S. President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology; director Carlos Cordeiro is an executive with Goldman Sachs investment bank, another diamonds interest.

[62] keith harmon snow and David Barouski, "Behind the Numbers, Suffering in Congo," Z Magazine, July 2006.

[63] "Kampala Diamond Exports Triple, Says UN Congo Report," Monitor Newspaper (Kampala), 22 November 2001.

[65] David Isenberg, "Security for Sale," Asia Times, 14 August 2003 < http://www.sandline.com/hotlinks/security_for_sale.html> ; and George Berghezan, "Transfers of Weapons Towards the Actors Involved in the Conflict in DRC," Arua Conference, February 2003, < http://www.passievoorvrede.nl/upload/afcongo/030202_Congo_report_Berghezan.pdf>.

[67] Douglas Farah, "Report Says Africans Harbored Al Qaeda," Washington Post, 29 Dec. 29, 2002: p. A01.

[68] Final Report of the Panel of Experts on the Illegal Exploitation of Natural Resources and Other Forms of Wealth of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, United Nations, S/2002/1146, 16 October 2002.

[69] Conrad Goeringer, Ed., "One of Pat Robertson's Latest Frauds," AANEWS and American Atheists, < http://www.skeptictank.org/robem2.htm>; see also: Ju-Lan Kim, "Diamonds are Pat Robertson's Best Friend," Sullivan County, < http://www.sullivan-county.com/news/pat_quotes/diamonds.html >.

[70] Robert Weldon, "Clinton Praises Kimberley Progress at Antwerp Diamond Conference," 7 November 2003, < http://www.professionaljeweler.com/archives/news/2003/110803story.html>.

[71] "Africa/Diamonds: Rough diamonds," Africa Confidential, 5 March 2004, Vol. 45, No. 5.

[72] "Equatorial Guinea: All Theft is Property," Africa Confidential, 17 Nov. 2006, Vol. 47, No. 23: p. 12.

[73] "Congo-Kinshasa: Full Circle," Africa Confidential, 5 August 2005, Vol. 46, No. 16.

[74] Private interview, Dem. Rep. of Congo, 17 February 2007; see also the following report: Heritage Oil Corporation, eResearch, April 24, 2006.

[75] See Tullow, Hardman and Heritage Oil Concessions Maps, < http://www.allthingspass.com/journalism.php?catid=49>; also: Wayne Madsen, Genocide and Covert Operations in Africa, 1993-1999, Edwin Mellen Press, 1999.

[77] Nicholas Kristof, "Two Cheers for Sweatshops," New York Times, 24 September 2006.

[78] Janine Roberts, "The Real Blood Diamonds: TB, Silicosis, Asbestosis and De Beers," forward, Second Edition, 2007, Glitter and Greed, published by Disinfo, Inc. NY, NY.

[79] "Attawapiskat," < http://www.De Beerscanada.com/files_2/pdf_documents/attawapiskat_article_031804.pdf >.

[80] Alvin Fiddler: "Canada's Blood Diamonds? What De Beers and the Canadian Governments Are Doing To Aboriginal Communities and the Environment in Canada's Boreal Forest," CBC News, 8 December 2006,

< http://knews.knet.ca/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=2361>.

[81] Joan Delaney, "Canadian Diamonds Not Conflict-Free: Many issues to be addressed, says First Nations leader," Epoch Times Victoria, 15 December 2006, < http://en.epochtimes.com/news/6-12-15/49359.html>.

[82] Email communication, Corinna Gilfillan, Global Witness , 26 January 2007, < http://www.blooddiamondaction.org >.

[83] Email communication, Alex Yearsley, Global Witness , 21 February 2007, < http://www.blooddiamondaction.org >.

[87] Daniel Horowitz, "Rough Diamonds in a Brave New World," Speech at the 3rd World Diamond Conference, Vancouver, 18 June 2002, http://www.idhdiamonds.com/news/article.php3?id_article=1#conflict

[88] Daniel Horowitz, Rough Diamonds in a Brave New World," Speech at the 3rd World Diamond Conference, Vancouver, 18 June 2002, http://www.idhdiamonds.com/news/article.php3?id_article=1#conflict

Written by: Rick Hines and keith harmon snow

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2 Comments

titanium jewelry | June 23, 2013 10:17 PM

I like it when folks get together and share opinions.
Great blog, stick with it!

http://globalgoldandsilver.com/ | October 18, 2013 11:11 PM

Yes! Finally something about diamonds.

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