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The Lies of Tom Lantos


He is a fake, a phony and a complete fraud. He constantly stresses his victimhood: first as a Holocaust survivor in Nazi-run Hungary and then as a refugee when the Communists took power. He fancies himself as the leading human rights specialist on Capitol Hill. In fact, this odious so-called Democrat is a master of deception and propaganda and a wallower in corrupt campaign money.

Meet California Congressman Tom Lantos. The Gollum-like Lantos has launched his latest string of invectives at France, Germany, and Belgium. He said “the failure of these three states to honor their commitments is beneath contempt” and that he is “particularly disgusted by the blind intransigence and utter ingratitude” of America’s three NATO allies.

Lantos, who represents California’s 12th District (San Mateo), has a history of just plain lying and intimidating others in order to push his sordid agenda.

He once told Clinton White House security chief Craig Livingstone, who was testifying before a House committee on the so-called “Travelgate” matter, that he should think about committing suicide. Lantos, who sounds a lot like Bela Lugosi, told the beleaguered aide, “At least Admiral Boorda had the decency to commit suicide,” a reprehensible reference to the tragic suicide of the Chief of Naval Operations.

And who can forget the last time Lantos shilled for a Bush war on Iraq? On October 10, 1990, Lantos, who laughably chaired the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, held a meeting during which a 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl who only went by the name Nayirah told a sobbing hearing room that as a volunteer for a Kuwait hospital she personally witnessed Iraqi soldiers yank new born babies from their incubators, steal the incubators, and leave the infants on the cold floors to die. Lantos, it turns out, was in on a little scam he cooked up with Citizens for a Free Kuwait and an entity Lantos chaired called the Congressional Human Rights Foundation. In fact, both organizations were rump entities set up by the public relations firm Hill and Knowlton, the same company that is now shilling for the Saudis to fend off all criticism of Osama bin Laden’s true paymasters.

Lantos, the consummate prevaricator, said that poor Nayirah’s last name had to be kept confidential or otherwise her family in Kuwait might face reprisals from Iraqi occupiers. Nice try, but soon it was revealed that Nayirah’s actual last name was Al Sabah and that she was the daughter of Kuwait’s ambassador to the United States. But the disinformation soon caught on. George H. W. Bush traveled around the country condemning the Brute of Baghdad for throwing newborn babies on to the floors of Kuwaiti hospitals. Support for Bush’s war skyrocketed as a result.

Now, as another President Bush hones his plans to control Iraq through pro-consul and fellow Texan, General Tommy Franks, Lantos is bleating forth more disinformation about the “treacherous” French, Germans, and Belgians for not jumping into Bush’s lap in the same manner as Britain’s Tony Blair and Australia’s John Howard.

Lantos’ venomous brand of politics has earned him scorn from many of his House colleagues, especially those in the Congressional Black Caucus. Always quick to accuse those who don’t stand with Israel of being anti-Semitic, Lantos is intolerant of African-American members who have accused the international diamond industry of responsibility for a large share of Africa’s bloody civil wars and torment. Lantos has, in some cases, made no secret of his disdain for people of color who dare question his competency to lord over human rights issues from his Capitol Hill perch. The relationship between Lantos and Hill and Knowlton, the agents of past brutal dictatorships in Indonesia and Turkey, makes Lantos’s congressional monopoly on human rights advocacy an outrageous fraud.

In 1992, high tech entrepreneur Glenn Tenney challenged Lantos in the Democratic primary. Although Lantos is well-known for his arrogance in Washington, Tenney and his supporters pointed out that this haughtiness extended to the constituents of the 12th District as well. But Lantos, who is propped up partly with the infusion of campaign funds from mob-controlled unions at San Francisco International Airport, remained invulnerable to the challenge.

Although Lantos’s biography says he is the only Holocaust survivor to have ever served in Congress, it glosses over the fact that his wife, also a Holocaust survivor, and two daughters left the Jewish faith and are practicing Mormons. And it is also a well-known fact that the Latter Day Saints Church remains a prime backer of the Republican Party and George W. Bush. Nonetheless, Lantos was quick to hurl his hackneyed anti-Semitism charges at his two last challengers, Republican Michael Moloney, who favored cutting off all U.S. aid to Israel and Libertarian Maad Abu Ghazalah, a Palestinian refugee from the West Bank, who called for a more even-handed American foreign policy in the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

As eloquent Democrats like West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd and Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold call into question Bush’s Iraq adventure and his creeping totalitarianism at home, Lantos, to coin a phrase, remains, as always, “beneath contempt.”

WAYNE MADSEN is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and columnist. He wrote the introduction to Forbidden Truth.

Madsen can be reached at:


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