Remembering America’s Role in Argentina’s Dirty War

kissinger_videlaBy Derrick Broze

On Wednesday, President Obama visited Argentina and promised to release classified files related to the United States’ role in the military coup which took place 40 years ago today.

After speaking with Argentine President, Mauricio Macri, Obama announced that he would declassify new US military and intelligence files from Argentina’s “Dirty War.” The release of the new documents marks the first time since 2000 that related files have been declassified. President Macri said he hoped the visit would mark “new mature and intelligent relations” between the two countries.

“We are absolutely determined to do our part as Argentina continues to heal and move forward as one nation, and I hope this gesture also helps to rebuild trust that may have been lost between our two countries,” said President Obama.

On March 24, 1976, General Jorge Rafael Videla declared martial law after leading a military coup that lasted until 1983. The coup led to the deaths of nearly 30,000 people, including victims who were killed by throwing them alive from helicopters into Atlantic Ocean. Thousands more were illegally detained and tortured. General Videla was sentenced to prison for human rights violations and died behind bars in 2013. President Macri called the Dirty War, “the darkest chapter in our history.” On Thursday morning, President Obama and President Macri will visit the Parque de la Memoria, a memorial park for victims of the dictatorship.

Despite President Obama’s statements of support, he seemed unwilling to outright acknowledge the role the U.S. government played in installing and supporting dictatorships across South America. Obama’s silence, coupled with wounds that are still fresh for many Argentine families, has sparked a number of protests and boycotts of Obama’s visit. The Guardian reports:

But both the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo and the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo, who continue to search for missing victims and babies born to their imprisoned daughters, have announced they will not be present at the ceremony.

“It’s a provocation, it’s our date,” said Nora Cortiñas of the Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, who feels Obama’s presence will encroach on a day of painful remembrance for many Argentinians.

The two groups, together with other human rights groups, are instead organizing what they expect to be massive marches in Buenos Aires and across the country for Thursday afternoon.

To understand Argentina’s Dirty War, you have to understand Operation Condor, and to understand Operation Condor we must talk about former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Depending on your view Kissinger is either the greatest statesman that ever lived or a blood thirsty war criminal. Either way, Henry Kissinger is no stranger to controversy. In recently released memos it is made perfectly clear that in 1976 the former Secretary of State gave his approval for Argentina’s Dirty War.

The Dirty War was only one part of a larger plan known as Operation Condor. Condor was a campaign of political repression and terror involving assassination and intelligence operations implemented in 1975 by the dictatorships of Chile and Argentina. The former Secretary of State was heavily involved in Operation Condor.

Kissinger’s approval of Argentina’s decision to move forward with their repressive campaign has been suspected for years and confirmed since at least 2004 when the National Security Archive released a secret memo recounting a conversation between assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights, Patt Derian, and the US ambassador in Buenos Aires, Robert Hill. The two met in April 1977 and discussed a meeting between Henry Kissinger and Argentine Foreign Minister Cesar Augusto Guzzetti. Kissinger gives Guzzetti explicit permission to move forward with whatever they must do to repress “terrorism.”

In 1987, Martin Edwin Andersen reported that Kissinger had given the Argentine Generals permission to carry out their state-sponsored terrorism. In 2014,  Andersen released another memo which is even more clear than the National Security Archive file. The memo contains the conversation between Ambassador Hill and Secretary Derian discussing Argentina’s fears of lecturing from the United States.

The Argentines were very worried that Kissinger would lecture to them on human rights. Guzzetti and Kissinger had a very long breakfast but the Secretary did not raise the subject. Finally Guzzetti did. Kissinger asked how long will it take you (the Argentines) to clean up the problem. Guzzetti replied that it would be done by the end of the year. Kissinger approved.

In other words, Ambassador Hill explained, Kissinger gave the Argentines the green light.

In the memo Kissinger expresses concern over new human rights laws requiring the U.S. to certify that foreign aid would not go towards terrorism. Kissinger wanted the generals to hurry their campaign and get back to normal by the end of the year. Kissinger is well known for promoting the idea of taking action whether legal or not. A leaked transcript from Monday, March 10, 1975 outlines Kissinger’s thoughts on the legality of government sponsored crime.

Kissinger: Before the Freedom of Information Act, I used to say at meetings, “The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer.” [laughter] But since the Freedom of Information Act, I’m afraid to say things like that.

Kissinger has evaded questions and legal summons by investigators in France, Spain, Chile and Argentina. They seek answers about his involvement in disappearances of citizens in the US and other countries in regard to Operation Condor. On September 10, 2001, the family of General Schneider initiated a civil action in federal court in DC, claiming that Kissinger gave the agreement to murder the general because he had refused to endorse plans for a military coup in Chile.

November 13, 2002, 11 individuals brought suit against Kissinger for human rights violations following the coup. They accused him of forced disappearance, torture, arbitrary detention, and wrongful death. The suit claims that Kissinger provided practical assistance and encouragement to the Chilean regime with reckless disregard for the lives and well-being of the victims and their families.

Both cases were dismissed based on sovereign and diplomatic immunity.

It’s been forty years since Henry Kissinger gave the “green light” to Argentina’s campaign of death and destruction yet the wounds are still fresh. It is more important than ever to understand the truth about U.S. history. If the free hearts and minds of this land are going to create a new world based on freedom and justice, we must learn from the past and hold criminals accountable for their actions.

For a deeper understanding of the crimes of Henry Kissinger, check out this report.

Image Credit

Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist and liberty activist. He is the Lead Investigative Reporter for ActivistPost.com and the founder of the TheConsciousResistance.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Derrick is available for interviews.

This article may be freely reposted in part or in full with author attribution and source link.

  • gifteconomy

    Serbs are remembering today the start of bombing :

    17 years ago, on March 24th 1999 US/NATO has started the bombing of Serbia without the UN resolution and in massive lying/diabolizing media attacks!
    Today two Muslims’ states exist on Serbian lands: Kosovo and B&H – both are Muslims sleeping cells where Islam is the law!
    Now SHAME on satanic US foreign policies !

    You should remember Chile (killing a democratic elected president Aliende and instaling Pinoche dictatorship), remember stealing 700 bilion Iraqi petrol dolars and poisonoig through radioactivity the entire land, stealing Gaddafis gold from Libyian people, stealing Ukraninian gold, El SAlvador massacers, Nicaragua terror, Panama injustice, destroying Syria… (google: US crimes all over the world)

  • gifteconomy

    Japan (1945)

    China (1945-46)

    Korea & China (1950-53)

    Guatemala (1954, 1960, 1967-69)

    Indonesia (1958)

    Cuba (1959-61)

    Congo (1964)

    Peru (1965)

    Laos (1964-70)

    Vietnam (1961-1973)

    Cambodia (1969-70)

    Grenada (1983)

    Lebanon (1983-84)

    Libya (1986)

    El Salvador (1980s)

    Nicaragua (1980s)

    Iran (1987)

    Panama (1989)

    Iraq (1991-2000)

    Kuwait (1991)

    Somalia (1993)

    Bosnia (1994-95)

    Sudan (1998)

    Afghanistan (1998)

    Pakistan (1998)

    Yugoslavia (1999)

    Bulgaria (1999)

    Macedonia (1999)

    US Use of Chemical & Biological Weapons

    The US has refused to sign Conventions against the development and use of

    chemical and biological weapons, and has either used or tested (without

    informing the civilian populations) these weapons in the following

    locations abroad:

    Bahamas (late 1940s-mid-1950s)

    Canada (1953)

    China and Korea (1950-53)

    Korea (1967-69)

    Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia (1961-1970)

    Panama (1940s-1990s)

    Cuba (1962, 69, 70, 71, 81, 96)

    And the US has tested such weapons on US civilian populations, without

    their knowledge, in the following locations:

    Watertown, NY and US Virgin Islands (1950)

    SF Bay Area (1950, 1957-67)

    Minneapolis (1953)

    St. Louis (1953)

    Washington, DC Area (1953, 1967)

    Florida (1955)

    Savannah GA/Avon Park, FL (1956-58)

    New York City (1956, 1966)

    Chicago (1960)

    And the US has encouraged the use of such weapons, and provided the

    technology to develop such weapons in various nations abroad, including:

    Egypt

    South Africa

    Iraq

    US Political and Military Interventions since 1945

    The US has launched a series of military and political interventions since

    1945, often to install puppet regimes, or alternatively to engage in

    political actions such as smear campaigns, sponsoring or targeting

    opposition political groups (depending on how they served US interests),

    undermining political parties, sabotage and terror campaigns, and so forth.

    It has done so in nations such as

    China (1945-51)

    South Africa (1960s-1980s)

    France (1947)

    Bolivia (1964-75)

    Marshall Islands (1946-58)

    Australia (1972-75)

    Italy (1947-1975)

    Iraq (1972-75)

    Greece (1947-49)

    Portugal (1974-76)

    Philippines (1945-53)

    East Timor (1975-99)

    Korea (1945-53)

    Ecuador (1975)

    Albania (1949-53)

    Argentina (1976)

    Eastern Europe (1948-56)

    Pakistan (1977)

    Germany (1950s)

    Angola (1975-1980s)

    Iran (1953)

    Jamaica (1976)

    Guatemala (1953-1990s)

    Honduras (1980s)

    Costa Rica (mid-1950s, 1970-71)

    Nicaragua (1980s)

    Middle East (1956-58)

    Philippines (1970s-90s)

    Indonesia (1957-58)

    Seychelles (1979-81)

    Haiti (1959)

    South Yemen (1979-84)

    Western Europe (1950s-1960s)

    South Korea (1980)

    Guyana (1953-64)

    Chad (1981-82)

    Iraq (1958-63)

    Grenada (1979-83)

    Vietnam (1945-53)

    Suriname (1982-84)

    Cambodia (1955-73)

    Libya (1981-89)

    Laos (1957-73)

    Fiji (1987)

    Thailand (1965-73)

    Panama (1989)

    Ecuador (1960-63)

    Afghanistan (1979-92)

    Congo (1960-65, 1977-78)

    El Salvador (1980-92)

    Algeria (1960s)

    Haiti (1987-94)

    Brazil (1961-64)

    Bulgaria (1990-91)

    Peru (1965)

    Albania (1991-92)

    Dominican Republic (1963-65)

    Somalia (1993)

    Cuba (1959-present)

    Iraq (1990s)

    Indonesia (1965)

    Peru (1990-present)

    Ghana (1966)

    Mexico (1990-present)

    Uruguay (1969-72)

    Colombia (1990-present)

    Chile (1964-73)

    Yugoslavia (1995-99)

    Greece (1967-74)

    US Perversions of Foreign Elections

    The US has specifically intervened to rig or distort the outcome of foreign

    elections, and sometimes engineered sham “demonstration” elections to ward

    off accusations of government repression in allied nations in the US sphere

    of influence. These sham elections have often installed or maintained in

    power repressive dictators who have victimized their populations. Such

    practices have occurred in nations such as:

    Philippines (1950s)

    Italy (1948-1970s)

    Lebanon (1950s)

    Indonesia (1955)

    Vietnam (1955)

    Guyana (1953-64)

    Japan (1958-1970s)

    Nepal (1959)

    Laos (1960)

    Brazil (1962)

    Dominican Republic (1962)

    Guatemala (1963)

    Bolivia (1966)

    Chile (1964-70)

    Portugal (1974-75)

    Australia (1974-75)

    Jamaica (1976)

    El Salvador (1984)

    Panama (1984, 89)

    Nicaragua (1984, 90)

    Haiti (1987, 88)

    Bulgaria (1990-91)

    Albania (1991-92)

    Russia (1996)

    Mongolia (1996)

    Bosnia (1998)

    US Versus World at the United Nations

    The US has repeatedly acted to undermine peace and human rights initiatives

    at the United Nations, routinely voting against hundreds of UN resolutions

    and treaties. The US easily has the worst record of any nation on not

    supporting UN treaties. In almost all of its hundreds of “no” votes, the US

    was the “sole” nation to vote no (among the 100-130 nations that usually

    vote), and among only 1 or 2 other nations voting no the rest of the time.

    Here’s a representative sample of US votes from 1978-1987:

    US Is the Sole “No” Vote on Resolutions or Treaties

    For aid to underdeveloped nations

    For the promotion of developing nation exports

    For UN promotion of human rights

    For protecting developing nations in trade agreements

    For New International Economic Order for underdeveloped nations

    For development as a human right

    Versus multinational corporate operations in South Africa

    For cooperative models in developing nations

    For right of nations to economic system of their choice

    Versus chemical and biological weapons (at least 3 times)

    Versus Namibian apartheid

    For economic/standard of living rights as human rights

    Versus apartheid South African aggression vs. neighboring states (2 times)

    Versus foreign investments in apartheid South Africa

    For world charter to protect ecology

    For anti-apartheid convention

    For anti-apartheid convention in international sports

    For nuclear test ban treaty (at least 2 times)

    For prevention of arms race in outer space

    For UNESCO-sponsored new world information order (at least 2 times)

    For international law to protect economic rights

    For Transport & Communications Decade in Africa

    Versus manufacture of new types of weapons of mass destruction

    Versus naval arms race

    For Independent Commission on Disarmament & Security Issues

    For UN response mechanism for natural disasters

    For the Right to Food

    For Report of Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination

    For UN study on military development

    For Commemoration of 25th anniversary of Independence for Colonial Countries

    For Industrial Development Decade in Africa

    For interdependence of economic and political rights

    For improved UN response to human rights abuses

    For protection of rights of migrant workers

    For protection against products harmful to health and the environment

    For a Convention on the Rights of the Child

    For training journalists in the developing world

    For international cooperation on third world debt

    For a UN Conference on Trade & Development

    US Is 1 of Only 2 “No” Votes on Resolutions or Treaties

    For Palestinian living conditions/rights (at least 8 times)

    Versus foreign intervention into other nations

    For a UN Conference on Women

    Versus nuclear test explosions (at least 2 times)

    For the non-use of nuclear weapons vs. non-nuclear states

    For a Middle East nuclear free zone

    Versus Israeli nuclear weapons (at least 2 times)

    For a new world international economic order

    For a trade union conference on sanctions vs. South Africa

    For the Law of the Sea Treaty

    For economic assistance to Palestinians

    For UN measures against fascist activities and groups

    For international cooperation on money/finance/debt/trade/development

    For a Zone of Peace in the South Atlantic

    For compliance with Intl Court of Justice decision for Nicaragua vs. US.

    **For a conference and measures to prevent international terrorism

    (including its underlying causes)

    For ending the trade embargo vs. Nicaragua

    US Is 1 of Only 3 “No” Votes on Resolutions and Treaties

    Versus Israeli human rights abuses (at least 6 times)

    Versus South African apartheid (at least 4 times)

    Versus return of refugees to Israel

    For ending nuclear arms race (at least 2 times)

    For an embargo on apartheid South Africa

    For South African liberation from apartheid (at least 3 times)

    For the independence of colonial nations

    For the UN Decade for Women

    Versus harmful foreign economic practices in colonial territories

    For a Middle East Peace Conference

    For ending the embargo of Cuba (at least 10 times)

    In addition, the US has:

    Repeatedly withheld its dues from the UN

    Twice left UNESCO because of its human rights initiatives

    Twice left the International Labor Organization for its workers rights

    initiatives

    Refused to renew the Antiballistic Missile Treaty

    Refused to sign the Kyoto Treaty on global warming

    Refused to back the World Health Organization’s ban on infant formula abuses

    Refused to sign the Anti-Biological Weapons Convention

    Refused to sign the Convention against the use of land mines

    Refused to participate in the UN Conference Against Racism in Durban

    Been one of the last nations in the world to sign the UN Covenant on

    Political &

    Civil Rights (30 years after its creation)

    Refused to sign the UN Covenant on Economic & Social Rights

    Opposed the emerging new UN Covenant on the Rights to Peace, Development &

    Environmental Protection

    Sampling of Deaths >From US Military Interventions & Propping Up Corrupt

    Dictators (using the most conservative estimates)

    Nicaragua

    30,000 dead

    Brazil

    100,000 dead

    Korea

    4 million dead

    Guatemala

    200,000 dead

    Honduras

    20,000 dead

    El Salvador

    63,000 dead

    Argentina

    40,000 dead

    Bolivia

    10,000 dead

    Uruguay

    10,000 dead

    Ecuador

    10,000 dead

    Peru

    10,000 dead

    Iraq

    1.3 million dead

    Iran

    30,000 dead

    Sudan

    8-10,000 dead

    Colombia

    50,000 dead

    Panama

    5,000 dead

    Japan

    140,000 dead

    Afghanistan

    10,000 dead

    Somalia

    5000 dead

    Philippines

    150,000 dead

    Haiti

    100,000 dead

    Dominican Republic

    10,000 dead

    Libya

    500 dead

    Macedonia

    1000 dead

    South Africa

    10,000 dead

    Pakistan

    10,000 dead

    Palestine

    40,000 dead

    Indonesia

    1 million dead

    East Timor

    1/3-1/2 of total population

    Greece

    10,000 dead

    Laos

    600,000 dead

    Cambodia

    1 million dead

    Angola

    300,000 dead

    Grenada

    500 dead

    Congo

    2 million dead

    Egypt

    10,000 dead

    Vietnam

    1.5 million dead

    Chile

    50,000 dead

    Other Lethal US Interventions

    CIA Terror Training Manuals

    Development and distribution of training manuals for foreign military

    personnel or foreign nationals, including instructions on assassination,

    subversion, sabotage, population control, torture, repression,

    psychological torture, death squads, etc.

    Specific Torture Campaigns

    Creation and launching of direct US campaigns to support torture as an

    instrument of terror and social control for governments in Greece, Iran,

    Vietnam, Bolivia, Uruguay, Brazil, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Panama

    Supporting and Harboring Terrorists

    The promotion, protection, arming or equiping of terrorists such as:

    . Klaus Barbie and other German Nazis, and Italian and Japanese fascists,

    after WW II

    . Manual Noriega (Panama), Saddam Hussein (Iraq), Rafael Trujillo

    (Dominican Republic), Osama bin Laden (Afghanistan), and others whose

    terrorism has come back to haunt us

    . Running the Higher War College (Brazil) and first School of the Americas

    (Panama), which gave US training to repressors, death squad members, and

    torturers (the second School of the Americas is still running at Ft.

    Benning GA)

    . Providing asylum for Cuban, Salvadoran, Guatemalan, Haitian, Chilean,

    Argentinian, Iranian, South Vietnamese and other terrorists, dictators, and

    torturers

    Assassinating World Leaders

    Using assassination as a tool of foreign policy, wherein the CIA has

    initiated assassination attempts against at least 40 foreign heads of state

    (some several times) in the last 50 years, a number of which have been

    successful, such as: Patrice Lumumba (Congo), Rafael Trujillo (Dominican

    Republic), Ngo Dihn Diem (Vietnam) Salvador Allende (Chile)

    Arms Trade & US Military Presence

    . The US is the world’s largest seller of weapons abroad, arming

    dictators, militaries, and terrorists that repress or victimize their

    populations, and fueling scores of violent conflicts around the globe

    . The US is the world’s largest provider of live land mines which, even in

    peacetime, kill or injure at least several people around the world each day

    . The US has military bases in at least 50 nations around the world, which

    have led to frequent victimization of local populations.

    . The US military has been bombing one Middle Eastern or Muslim nation or

    another almost continuously since 1983, including Lebanon, Libya, Syria,

    Iran, the Sudan, Afghanistan, and Iraq (almost daily bombings since 1991)

    This, then, is a sampling of American foreign policies over the last 50

    years. The FBI uses the following definition for Terrorism: “The unlawful

    use of force or violence committed by a group or individual, who has some

    connection to a foreign power or whose activities transcend national

    boundaries, against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a

    government, the civilian population or any segment thereof, in furtherance

    of political or social objectives.” This sounds like the terrorism we just

    experienced. It also sounds a lot like the US policies and actions since

    1945 that I’ve just described.

  • Mike Silva

    Kinda like The Bush Administration over Iraq. No doubt it will be a case of Diplomatic Immunity.

  • Bradley James

    ZioJewmerica will be destroyed.

  • Edgardo L. Perez-De Leon

    It is a disgrace that Hillary Clinton has access to Henry Kissinger for his advices to her but that the governments of Chile, Argentina, The hands of US in the assassination of thousands of Chileans and Argentines are epitomized in the picture above of Kissinger and his lap dog General Jorge Rafael Videla.

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