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US envoy called back for sounding facts in 1971

By Mahmudul Hasan Raju, Asraful Huq

DHAKA, March 14, 2016 (BSS) - In spite of having 18-month time left in his service as the American Consul General to then Dacca, Archer Kent Blood had been called back by his government in advance, only for telling the truth in 1971.

Blood a career diplomat from Chicago, was the senior official among 20 members of the US diplomatic corps who signed and sent a dissenting cable on April 6, 1971, narrating Pakistani occupation force's monstrous crimes against innocent Bengalees in the then East Pakistan.

"Our government has failed to denounce the suppression of democracy. Our government has failed to denounce atrocities. Our government has failed to take forceful measures to protect its citizens while at the same time bending over backwards to placate the West Pakistan dominated government and to lessen any deservedly negative international public relations impact against them.

"Our government has evidenced what many will consider moral bankruptcy, (...) Private Americans have expressed disgust. We, as professional civil servants, express our dissent with current policy and fervently hope that our true and lasting interests here can be defined and our policies redirected," the confidential cable said.

The then US President Richard M Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, seeking to use Pakistan as a backdoor diplomatic opening to China, immediately recalled Blood from his post. He never returned to his post. He was assigned to the State Department's personnel office, an article of The Washington Post said.

British author Christopher Hitchens in his book "The Trial of Henry Kissinger," described the cable as "the most public and the most strongly worded demarche, from State Department servants to the State Department that has ever been recorded."

In an earlier cable sent on March 27, 1971, Blood wrote about American observations at Dhaka under the subject heading "Selective genocide".

"Here in Dacca we are mute and horrified witnesses to a reign of terror by the Pakistani Military. Evidence continues to mount that the MLA authorities have list of AWAMI League supporters whom they are systematically eliminating by seeking them out in their homes and shooting them down.

"Among those marked for extinction in addition to the AL hierarchy are student leaders and university faculty. Moreover, with the support of the Pakistani Military, non-Bengali Muslims are systematically attacking poor people's quarters and murdering Bengalis and Hindus," the telegram said.

Blood also made another report in details about the harrowing oppression carried out by West Pakistan on the people in the East, Bengalees movement for independent Bangladesh and political program of their supreme leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Blood made the report titled "Conflicts in East Pakistan: Background and Prospects" with the help of three eminent scholars of Harvard University, Edward A Mason, Robert Dorfman and Stephen A Marglin. After having compiled the report, Blood sent it to the US Senate for their necessary guidance.

In an interview given to The Post, Blood said, "I paid a price for my dissent. But I had no choice. The line between right and wrong was just too clear-cut."

(Source: Bangladesh Genocide and World Press by Fazlul Quader Quadri, The Washington Post, Wikipedia.")