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Re: [casi] Members of US official cultural panel resign

It is not a pretty picture that is emerging re antiquity "looting" of Iraq.

Rump antiquity group,  "American Council for Cultural Policy", meets with
Bush in January, 2003:
"The Councilís potential influence could be significant. The inaugural
meeting of its 45-person Board of Advisers on 9 October at the Fifth Avenue
apartment of Guido Goldman, a collector of Uzbek textiles"

US scholars are alarmed, and on February 27 the following letter was sent to

"Dear Secretary Rumsfeld,
 I am writing to you as president of the Society for American Archaeology.
Like all Americans, we hope that ongoing diplomatic efforts will be
successful in resolving the situation in Iraq, but should those efforts fail
and should the US take military action, we request that occupying military
forces make every possible effort to comply with the 1954 Hague Convention
for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict and
protect Iraq's unique and priceless cultural heritage housed in museums,
cultural institutions, and archaeological sites. ....>

And here is the reply, dated March 18, 2003....
".....I have forwarded your letter, through the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
of Staff to the Staff Judge Advocate of U.S. Central Command...."

Neo-cons who captured the White House in 2000 are managing  to circumvent
every legitimate American institution just as they are de-legitimizing the
United Nations. There is now rumbling in DC about voiding the constitutional
amendment limiting a president to two terms in office. .  It is more than
just worrying.  And unfortunately not only for Americans. When will Blair
end his blind support?

----- Original Message -----
From: "ppg" <>
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, April 17, 2003 3:21 PM
Subject: [casi] Members of US official cultural panel resign

> The official presidential cultural advisors were cut out in January at the
> White House by Bush's hastily assembled rump outfit of wheeler dealers,
> suddenly pressing for relaxed regulations on importing of antiquities.
> Today, in the Washington Post :
> Bush Cultural Advisers Quit Over Iraq Museum Theft
> Reuters
> Thursday, April 17, 2003; 1:43 PM
> WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The head of a U.S. presidential panel on cultural
> property has resigned in protest at the failure of U.S. forces to prevent
> the wholesale looting of priceless treasures from Baghdad's antiquities
> museum.
> "It didn't have to happen," Martin Sullivan said of the objects that were
> destroyed or stolen from the Iraqi National Museum in a wave of looting
> erupted as U.S.-led forces ended President Saddam Hussein's rule last
> Sullivan, who chaired the President's Advisory Committee on Cultural
> Property for eight years, said he wrote a letter of resignation to the
> House this week in part to make a statement but also because "you can't
> speak freely" as a special government-appointed employee.
> The president appoints the 11-member advisory committee. Another panel
> member, Gary Vikan, also plans to resign because of the looting of the
> museum.
> "Our priorities had a big gap," Sullivan told Reuters on Thursday. "In a
> pre-emptive war that's the kind of thing you should have planned for."
> The National Museum held rare artifacts documenting the early
> of ancient Mesopotamia, and leading archeologists were meeting in Paris on
> Thursday to seek ways to rescue Iraq's cultural heritage.
> Earlier this week, antiquities experts said they had been given assurances
> from U.S. military planners that Iraq's historic artifacts and sites would
> be protected by occupying forces.
> U.S. archeological organizations and the U.N.'s cultural agency UNESCO
> they had provided U.S. officials with information about Iraq's cultural
> heritage and archeological sites months before the war began.
> Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has rejected charges the U.S. military
> to blame for failing to prevent the looting, noting the country has
> rewards for the return of artifacts and information on their whereabouts.
> "Looting is an unfortunate thing. Human beings are not perfect," Rumsfeld
> said, earlier this month. "To the extent it happens in a war zone, it's
> difficult to stop."
> The Advisory Committee on Cultural Property convenes when a country
> U.S. assistance under the 1970 UNESCO Convention on international
> of cultural objects.
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