State Dept Mourns HIV Denier's Death;
U.S. Silent on Gay Iraqi Torture
(Tate Swindell and I at the CA Supreme Court building, moments before the Prop 8 ruling was made public earlier this week.)
This is a twisted tale, and I hope you'll bear with me through the many turns that eventually lead to Baghdad and the torture of gays.
Let's begin with Thursday's State Department press briefing. On behalf of the United State government and people, spokesman Ian Kelly used 260 words to mourn the passing of longtime correspondent Lambros the Greek
, who was also an HIV denier
This is a sad day for all of us here. We learned this morning that our long-time friend and colleague Lambros Papantoniou passed away. Lambros was a veteran member of our press corps family here and he was proud to say that he covered the State Department from Nixon to Obama. He loved his work here and we loved him.
He had very strong ties to my country, to the United States, beginning with his birthday. He was born on the Fourth of July. He arrived in the U.S. in 1973, earned advanced degrees in international law and political science from the University of California at Berkeley. In 1975, he began his career as a journalist, ultimately specializing in U.S. foreign policy relating to Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, and the Balkans.
Over the years, he wrote thousands of articles and became a leading voice on issues related to Southeast Europe.
We here at State will miss our lively interaction with our friend Lambros during the daily briefings where he offered us ample opportunity to engage on many important issues. We extend our sincere condolences to his family in Greece and here in the United States and to his many close friends among you all in the press corps. I understand a memorial service is being arranged on Monday and we will, of course, share with you any information we receive about this service.
Finally, I would just ask you all today to spare a thought or a short prayer for our friend Lambros, a man who touched all of our lives.
No mention of his beliefs that HIV doesn't exist, AIDS is a boon to Big Pharma profits and the drugs persons with AIDS take are poison. We also were not informed by the State Department, or an obituary from the Greek press
, of what killed Lambros.
After reading Lambros' comments from the December 1, 2008, State press briefing regarding World AIDS Day
, and his questions about proof of HIV isolates, I contacted him. Even though I believe HIV exists and is the cause of AIDS, and take my daily drug cocktail, I spoke to Lambros about foreign gay people and their human rights violations.
From the start of our acquaintance, as two highly-opinionated and passionate advocates of Greek heritage, we had lively, sometimes forceful phone and email discussions on a lot of topics.
I made my goals plain to him in December: In the future, ask on the record questions of State regarding gays in other countries, struggling to come out of the closet and gain dignity and respect. He agreed and requested that I send him updates on foreign gay issues, until the time I really needed him to pose questions to the officials.
That time came in April, when mainstream news outlets and NGOs reported on the growing and horrific torture and murder of gay Iraqis. My emails to Lambros, begging him to raise questions about the torture being forced upon Iraqi gays at a briefing, bounced back because his AOL inbox was full.
On April 17, I learned why from a State briefing
I’d also like to make one other brief announcement. We – I think you all know our colleague, Lambros, who I understand has been hospitalized. And we wish him a very speedy recovery and our thoughts are with him and his family.
What does the death of Lambros and the State Department's comments on his hospitalization and demise have to do with gay Iraqis? The answer starts with a story yesterday from ABC News, which reported on the continuing torture of Iraqi gays
The army source said the bodies of four gay men were unearthed in Sadr City March 25, each bearing signs reading "pervert" in Arabic on their chests. All the bodies found bore signs of torture, and were found fixed to poles when they were killed. The Iraqi army source also said two of the men found dead were wearing diapers and women's lingerie.
Two gay men were found elsewhere in Sadr City, alive but bearing the scars of severe torture. They were beaten, their chests showed signs of cigarette burns, and when police found them they were rushed to the hospital. They had been sodomized with iron bars, sources said. Other men said they had had their chests slashed and their nipples cut off.
Here's what the State Department had to say yesterday about this story:
"_______________________________," was the on-the-record non-response.
Not a single word uttered at Thursday's briefing on the dead and butchered homosexuals in Baghdad, but 260 words spoken by a State Department official regarding the death of a reporter and HIV denier.
If we lived in a world that valued gay men, State reporters would cite the ABC News story and pose questions to the department about the torture, but that didn't happen yesterday. Actually, since the gay torture reports surfaced in April, the matter has not been raised once at a State presser. Great reminder of how dead faggots are of little concern to many.
Perhaps I should not be so hard on the State Department spokespersons and the press corps that covers the department, given that the "good German" professional LGBT leaders running Gay Inc organizations, especially HRC, NGLTF, and GLAAD, act as though their mouths have been glued shut on this matter. We have not seen a push by Gay Inc to pressure the U.S. government to either condemn the torture or assist the Iraqi gays.
The continuing anti-gay violence in Baghdad, coming on years of targeting gays for death, unquestionably reeks of annihilation of homosexual Iraqis, leading me to charge that a gay genocide is being organized and perpetrated.
I believe Article 2 of the international Genocide Convention
, which President Reagan made the U.S. a party in November 1988
, is the foundation for making the charge of gay genocide in Iraq:
In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; ...
How much torture and death must gay Iraqis suffer before our State Department deplores the abuse, and Gay Inc understands that we are talking about genocide of our brothers in Baghdad?