A new documentary will be screened in many theaters across the United States and will be available on demand on Oct. 7. Unlike other documentaries on the topic, this one is different and more relevant to today’s non-Armenian viewer. The documentary, titled “Architects of Denial” and subtitled “Genocide Denied Is Genocide Continued,” links the mass killings of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire in 1915 to contemporary massacres of Armenians by Azerbaijanis in various cities of Azerbaijan, and threats to kill Armenians living in the enclave of Nagorno-Karabagh (Artsakh).
The documentary is produced by two Hollywood celebrities, Dean Cain and Montel Williams. It interviews world-famous personalities and experts on the Armenian Genocide, some of them for the first time, such as Julian Assange of WikiLeaks fame; FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds; prominent international lawyer Geoffrey Robertson; Professor Taner Akcam; Genocide Watch’s Dr. Gregory Stanton; Armenia’s President Serge Sarkisian; Caucasus expert Tom de Wall; Former U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Evans; Congressman Adam Schiff; former Kurdish mayor of Sur, Diyarbakir, Abdullah Demirbas; His Holiness Catholicos Karekin II; Artsakh President Bako Sahakyan; Armenian Genocide expert professor Uğur Ümit Üngör; Baroness Caroline Cox; survivors of both the 1915 Armenian Genocide and the massacres in Baku and Sumgait; as well as the author of this piece.
The interviews were conducted in several countries, including the U.S, the U.K., Armenia, Artsakh, Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Russia, by camera crews sent to these places at major expense and great risk. The documentary also weaves the commonality of various genocides from Cambodia to Sudan (Darfur), the Holocaust, as well as the Bosnian and Rwandan genocides.
Here are important excerpts from statements made by some of those interviewed by the documentary-makers.
Julian Assange: “Turkey has gone all around the world aggressively lobbying diplomatically to make sure there are no references to the Armenian Genocide, including even the major powers such as the United States.”
President Serge Sarkisian: “The leaders of Turkey and Azerbaijan announce from time to time that they are one nation, but live in different countries. And naturally along with that one nation, they are injecting the ideology of denial.”
Perhaps the most scandalous revelation in the documentary was made by Sibel Edmonds, who was fired from her FBI job for informing her superiors about the involvement of high-ranking U.S. politicians in illegal Turkish schemes: “The justification to the excuse the United States government has been using, we are doing this [denial of the Armenian Genocide] for sensitive diplomatic relations. This is a hypocrisy that I have been witnessing, especially with inside knowledge of what takes place in the United States. It started with trying to do the right thing and we fought criminal activities bought and abused and basic retaliation for that.”
Explaining why then Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert killed the Genocide recognition bill at the last minute, Edmonds stated: “It was a move that came with a price. He had bribery with cash to lock this vote. He also took bribery in the form of sexual favors during his junket trips to Turkey in a particular hotel that he would stay. Sexual favors would be delivered to him—underage males. In addition, it was delivered in his townhouse; it was bribery, foreign bribery, which constituted treason. But that was a very small portion of what the FBI has already gathered. In Chicago, he also was directly involved with the notorious Turkish network that handled very large percentage of heroin-related activities, operations, sales in the United States, including receiving cash in suitcases from these particular people, and he and his chief of staff; their evidences were monitored. They were bugged not only for audio but also for video. The FBI had in its possession, starting from 1997, slam-dunk evidence in their hands, criminally implicated Dennis Hastert. The State Dept. knows, many people in Congress whom I testified to… they know. And I said, ‘You watch, there would be no accountability, and mockery of the entire system.’”
The documentary also shows original footage in which Azerbaijani soldiers barbarically cut off the heads and ears of Armenian soldiers and civilians during Azerbaijan’s attack on Artsakh in April 2016.
Finally, the documentary-makers question several members of Congress who refuse to answer whether they believe the Armenian Genocide actually took place, except Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Tex.), who is shown giving a speech at an Azeri energy conference, where she boasts: “I am a member of the [congressional] Azerbaijan Caucus, enthusiastic member, and supportive member.”
The documentary-makers then ask Congresswoman Johnson on camera: “Do you deny that the Armenian Genocide happened?” She shamelessly answers: “I do deny that!” This is a major scandal for a serving member of Congress to make such a categorical denial, which is rarely denied by members of Congress. The Armenian-American community nationwide and their friends should support her opponent in the next election, and those in her district should vote against her to remove her from Congress. Once one of these denialist scoundrels is kicked out of office, other members of Congress will be very careful not to deny the Armenian Genocide. We need to make an example of her.