The story

How Pinochet Got Away With a Brazen Murder in D.C.

How Pinochet Got Away With a Brazen Murder in D.C.

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One September morning in 1976, a bomb blew up a car as it was driving up Embassy Row in Washington, D.C. When police arrived at the scene, they found a human foot in the road, and a man lying on the pavement who was missing half his legs. Minutes later, he was dead.

That man was 44-year-old Orlando Letelier, the most prominent Chilean exile living in the U.S. The former ambassador had fled his country two years before to escape persecution under General Augusto Pinochet. Chile was an American ally during the Cold War, and it seemed unthinkable that Pinochet would be so bold as to carry assassinate him in the U.S. capital. But as we now know from declassified documents, that’s exactly what he did. In fact, he even considered killing his head of intelligence to cover his tracks.

Letelier had been an ambassador to the U.S. under Chile’s democratically elected president Salvador Allende, whose administration the CIA covertly undermined. On September 11, 1973, Pinochet succeeded Allende in a coup d'état. That same day, Pinochet’s people arrested Letelier and other officials from Allende’s government and sent them to concentration camps.

After nearly a year in prison, Chile released Letelier under international pressure from Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, among others. Letelier sought refuge the U.S., and while traveling through Venezuela to get there, he told The New York Times: “they're going to kill me.” The “they,” he seemed to imply, were the National Intelligence Directorate, or DINA—Pinochet’s secret police.

For two years, Letelier worked at the Institute for Policy Studies in D.C. His assistant Juan Gabriel Valdés—who now holds Letelier’s position of Chilean ambassador to the U.S.—said that during that time Letelier received threats slipped under his door.

“Orlando always dismissed our concerns, saying: ‘They would never dare to attack me in Washington,’” Valdés tells The Washington Post. “‘If they want to attack me, they will wait for me to be in Europe, particularly in [the Netherlands],’ where he traveled a lot.”

The day before Letelier’s assassination on September 21, 1976, he told a man who worked for him, Michael Moffitt, that he suspected DINA was behind recent attacks on Chilean exiles in other countries. Furthermore, he believed the secret police were spying on him. Moffitt and his wife, Ronni, were both in the car with Letelier when the bomb went off. He survived, but his wife did not. Amidst the carnage that day, Moffitt screamed about whom he thought was behind the attack: “Assassins, fascists!”

This wasn’t the first time that Chile tried to assassinate someone on another nation’s soil. In 1974, the country orchestrated a bombing that killed General Carlos Prats Gonzalez in Buenos Aires. The next year, agents opened fire on Bernardo Leighton, the vice president of Chile's Christian Democratic Party in Exile, and his wife while they were in Rome. Yet Letelier’s death was the first known act of violence against a Chilean exile in the U.S.

In addition, it was the FBI’s first case of state-sponsored international terrorism in D.C. Because of this, the bureau didn’t really know how to handle it.

“It was the first time we were dealing with a foreign government as a suspect,” says Carter Cornick, the FBI agent assigned to the Letelier case, according to The Washington Post. “The real issue to me was the potential for creating a precedent of assassinating foreign diplomats in the U.S., let alone in the heart of Washington. Every government has an obligation to protect its visiting diplomats.”

Over the next few years, the FBI uncovered the lower-level operatives who’d carried out the assassination. The main organizer was Michael Townley, an American who was working with DINA. Townley confessed that he’d recruited Cuban exiles living in the U.S. to place the bomb on the car.

Many speculated that the person pulling the strings at the highest level—the person who’d ordered the assassination—was Pinochet himself. However, the public didn’t learn this for sure until 2015, when President Barack Obama’s administration declassified intelligence documents about the assassination and delivered them to Chilean President Michelle Bachelet.

The documents show that Pinochet ordered the assassination directly, and that the U.S. knew this as early as 1978. Even so, the U.S. doesn’t seem to have used this information to challenge or reprimand him. Valdés speculates that the larger federal government’s desire to maintain a Cold War ally prevented the FBI and the Justice Department from seeking international justice. Pinochet died in 2006 without ever standing trial for the assassination, or any other human rights abuses he oversaw as Chile’s leader.

Federal Judicial Cowardice in Rene Schneider’s Murder

In his Farewell Address in 1960, President Dwight Eisenhower, who had served as commander of allied forces in World War II, warned the American people of the danger of a national-security establishment, which he called the “military-industrial complex.” He said that this particular type of governmental structure, new in American life, posed a grave threat to the freedom and democratic processes of the American people.

In 1973, the people of Chile learned firsthand what Ike was talking about. The national-security establishment of Chile decided to oust the country’s democratically elected president, Salvador Allende, from office and replace him with a military dictatorship. On September 11, 1973, the military and intelligence segment of the government launched a violent military attack against Allende and some of his aides.

While the president’s forces held out for a while with small-arms fire, they were no match against the air force (whose jet planes were firing missiles at their position) and the army (which surrounded the president’s position with infantry and armor and began firing bullets at him. Within just a few hours, the national-security establishment had prevailed and the president, Salvador Allende, lay dead.

Up to that point, Chile had had a long history and tradition of democracy. That came to an end with the military coup that ousted Allende and installed a brutal military dictatorship in his stead. Headed by Gen. Augusto Pinochet, Chilean national-security state forces proceeded to round up, kidnap, torture, rape, incarcerate, kill, or disappear tens of thousands of innocent people, including two Americans.

The reason for the coup? The U.S. government had decided that the Chilean people had acted irresponsibly by democratically electing Allende as their president. That’s because Allende was a self-avowed socialist or communist. He believed that the purpose of government was to take care of people with such programs as Social Security, free healthcare, and free education. He believed that government should take money from the rich and give it to the poor. Allende also committed the cardinal sin (in the eyes of U.S. officials) of reaching out to the Soviet Union in a spirit of peace and friendship.

The U.S. national-security established convinced their national-security state counterparts in Chile that they had a legal and moral duty to violently oust Allende from power and save the country from socialism and communism, even though a coup was illegal under Chile’s constitution.

One of the Chileans who objected to a coup was Gen. Rene Schneider, the overall commander of Chile’s armed forces. His position was simple and clear: As a soldier, he had taken an oath to support and defend the constitution of Chile, which provided for only two ways to remove a president: impeachment and election. Under Chilean constitutional law, coups were forbidden.

Pentagon and CIA officials didn’t see things that way. Their position, which they relayed to Chilean military and intelligence officials from 1970-9173, was that when a president is adopting policies that are destroying the country, it is incumbent on the national-security establishment to step in and save the country by removing the president from office, violently if necessary, even though the country’s constitution doesn’t permit it.

After the Chilean coup succeeded, the federal courts in Chile went silent. Most judges in the federal court system realized that things had changed fundamentally with the coup. Like the rest of the populace, they could see that people were disappearing. They could also see the mutilated corpses that were turning up on the streets. They could see the stacks of bodies of people that were piling up in the morgues.

Rather than enforcing the constitution of the country, which made all this illegal, the federal judiciary buckled. They understood that there was nothing they could, as a practical matter, to stop the national-security establishment from doing what it was going to do. They also took the position that discretion is the better part of valor, given what the military and intelligence agencies could do to them if they issued rulings against them. So, they just went along and supported the severe tyranny that the military dictatorship was imposing and enforcing.

That’s the type of thing that Ike was talking about when he said that the military-industrial complex posed a grave threat to the freedom and democratic processes of the American people. As it turned out, the U.S. national-security establishment also posed a grave threat to the freedom and democratic processes of Chile, just as Chile’s own national-security establishment did.

Interestingly enough, the same thing happened within the federal judiciary here in the United States. Recognizing the overwhelming power of the national security establishment, the federal judiciary, like its counterpart in Chile, buckled and deferred to the power of the Pentagon and the CIA.

One of the best examples of this phenomenon involved Gen. Rene Schneider, the man who was in charge of Chile’s armed forces. When he refused to go along with the CIA’s request for a coup, U.S. officials decided to remove him from the scene.

A conspiracy to kidnap Schneider was entered into either in Washington, D.C., or in Virginia, either at the Pentagon, the CIA, or both. As part of the conspiracy, the CIA smuggled high-powered weapons into the country and conspired with local thugs to do the actual kidnapping.

While the CIA has long denied that the conspiracy included plans to kill Schneider, the denials ring false. After all, what else could have been done with Schneider after they kidnapped him and initiated the coup? It would have been extremely awkward to simply return him to Chilean life.

Writings of J. Todd Ring

A brief overview of the past ten years, and where we stand now

The short passage I want to share with you to introduce our discussion was written by Arudhati Roy, in September 2001: here are a few thoughts that should make us pause and think.

“Someone recently said that if Osama bin Laden didn’t exist, America would have had to invent him. But, in a way, America did invent him. He was among the jihadis who moved to Afghanistan in 1979 when the CIA commenced its operations there. Bin Laden has the distinction of being created by the CIA and wanted by the FBI.”

That was 10 years ago. Perhaps now more of us can face the truth, and start dealing with reality, instead of illusion. The world will never be healed by illusion, but only by courageous hearts, willing to face the truth, and address it honestly and directly. The time is now. The time has come. The truth alone will set us free.

911 marked the beginning, not of a global war on terror, as the official story line goes, but the rapid and massive escalation of a long-standing global war on democracy. Shortly after the attacks of September 11 George Bush said to the public, “Freedom itself has been attacked this morning, and freedom will be defended.” It is ironic, and also cynically Machiavellian, that this horrible act was used to attack civil liberties, freedom and democracy, not just in the United States, but all around the world, ever since that day. In the fashion of true Orwellian double-speak, George Bush told us exactly what was going on: freedom is being attacked – but of course, he failed to mention all of the attackers: included in which, he and his cronies and his masters are among the most vile and the most culpable. Starry-eyed partisans must come to realize, as they are beginning to, that Obama did not change this. Obama has not only left unchallenged all of the anti-constitutional laws and the worst practices ushered in by the Bush administration, including the domestic and global surveillance state, torture and “extraordinary rendition,” along with the heinous and bill of rights-shredding Patriot Act – which he himself voted to endorse and support, not once, but twice, even going so far as to vote in favour of making 14 of its provisions permanent: he has furthermore talked peace and democracy and other noble ideals, while actively continuing and expanding the “global war on terror” – which has meant in practice, apart from the rhetoric and spin, an unending imperial war for global geopolitical dominance and economic benefits for the ruling corporate elite, at the great expense and suffering of both the American people and people all around the world. Freedom and democracy are in truth being attacked: we need to understand who is doing the attacking – who is waging this war on democracy and freedom. We must now come to understand the real meaning of 911, to understand this major turning point in our recent world history, or we will be doomed to continue to repeat the tragedies of the past.

“There is a class warfare, all right….but it’s my class, the rich class, that is making war….. and we’re winning.”
Warren Buffett

(So far Mr. Buffett, so far –
but people of prescience know that the tides are turning.)

This is the real meaning of 911: it was used as a pretext for unending imperial war, the elimination of civil liberties and the shredding of constitutions the further evisceration and destruction of democracy – and most essentially, it was hoped, the successful consolidation of power by the ruling corporate elite, who were and are terrified that real democracy is beginning to arise among the people – and that they will lose their global dominance and their current position as de facto rulers of the world.

For those who may be inclined to be dismissive of any suggestion that high level members of the U.S. political elite or the transnational corporate elite could ever have been involved in grotesquely criminal acts, let us ask ourselves a few pertinent questions before we proceed. Have members of the U.S. government or global corporate elite ever committed violent or criminal acts in the past? Do the political and business elite conduct all of their affairs with complete transparency and in the full light of day? Is there such a thing as covert action? Do coups happen? Do bids for power occur? Have members of the U.S. political elite or the global corporate elite ever used violence to advance political or economic goals and objectives? We could list a host of U.S. military, paramilitary and covert actions spanning more than a century to show that yes, high levels of the U.S. political elite and the business elite with whom they tend to align themselves, have acted with stealth or brazen openness, covertly as well as overtly, with mass violence, to achieve political and economic objectives: the Business Plot which was exposed by General Smedley Butler, the murder of Sandino in Nicaragua and the installation of the dictator Somoza…the Contras, Arbenz in Guatemala, the slaughter in Jakarta, the Shaw in Iran, Allende and Pinochet in Chile…. The list of violent, criminal acts carried out by U.S. political elites and their trans-national corporate backers in the pursuit of power and wealth, and the acts of mass violence, both overt and covert, to destroy democracy, subdue a people, and consolidate their power and their economic dominance, is very long. Only the wilfully ignorant or hopelessly naive or ideologically fixated could possibly deny these facts. In light of the historical record of many U.S. political elites, and the record of corporate conduct over the years and around the world, to assume that complicity in terrible acts of criminality on the part of the political or economic elite is impossible and inconceivable, is simply delusional.

911 was a desperate, grotesquely criminal and Machiavellian act by desperate men, afraid of losing power. It was a desperate and frightened bid to hang onto a dying empire. All such efforts to preserve empire ultimately fail, as history has repeatedly shown (as Ozymandias reminds us), but as Chomsky pointed out, such death throes of a wounded, vicious animal should not be taken lightly. These are dangerous times, as well as times of great opportunity for real positive change (paraphrasing a great man once again – although, even the grand magus of dissidents is not infallible, of course.)

911 was a Reichstag incident. See 1931 Germany and the burning of the Reichstag, when Hitler aided a terrorist in order to create a panic and a “war on terror,” so that he could dissolve the German parliament, attack all who threatened or limited his power, and destroy democracy, concentrating all power in the hands of a few megalomaniacs and Machiavellian thugs.

The burning of the Reichstag: this was the thought that flashed through my mind when I heard on the radio that a second plane had hit the towers, and it became clear that this was no accident. My instincts have proven correct – the evidence is overwhelmingly clear, and is available, at present at least, for anyone who cares to look at it.

911 was a turning point in the long-standing war of the elite against democracy and the people. It was an act of unspeakable atrocity, and it was a pretext for a power grab. If we fail to understand this, then we understand nothing about 911, or the world that took shape since that day. 911 is a case study in the abuse of power, and in the current state of the world and who rules it, for whose benefit, and by what means.

We live in a corporatocracy: 1,000 corporations and the family dynasties that control them, now dominate the globe. If we are to have justice, freedom, true democracy, human rights, environmental sustainability or even a future on this earth, we will have to take back our communities, nations, democracies and world from these oligarchs and robber barons. 911 is one of countless case studies that can show us why it is urgent that we do so. Please investigate for yourself. Take no one’s word on anything: examine things for yourself. Then act with love and peace, boldness and courage, and let us together, create a better world for all.

Along with being one of the most horrible and grotesque acts of mass murder in recent history, 911 marked the beginning of the deliberate push toward corporate fascism and the elimination of the last remains of democracy and human rights. If we do not understand this trend, which was set in motion very consciously by the ruling few, then we will inadvertently help it along, by being silent and unknowingly complicit, if not actively supportive of our own enslavement, through a simple lack of understanding.

Put the event in context, and its terrible logic becomes clear. Look into the actual evidence, and the conclusions are inescapable. The implications are profound, and far-reaching. 911 spells the death of legitimacy for the ruling corporate elite just as it was a response by those same elite to an already existing and critical crisis of legitimacy.

The stakes are high. If we don’t debunk 911, we likely will fail to debunk the “global war on terror” (GWOT), which the 911 official story is used to support. And if we don’t debunk the “war on terror” we will not rally the needed popular movements for peace, for civil liberties, for constitutional rule, for democracy, for justice or for freedom. Worse still, if we do not debunk the “war on terror” the corporate elite and their client states – and Europe, Canada and the U.S., among many others, are by now all client states of the global corporate empire – three very dangerous trends will continue. 1. The war on democracy will continue to escalate. 2. The global imperial wars for resources, cheap labour, real estate and compliant markets, led by and for the corporate elite, will continue to escalate. 3. The war on nature – led by a rape and pillage mentality of the corporate elite, with the willing or unwitting support of their cogs, collaborators and consumer drones (us) – will continue to escalate, along with the severe and mounting ecological crisis which is its result. In short, if we do not stop the juggernaut of corporate empire, there will be a global corporate fascist tyranny, the end of freedom and democracy, and the increasing deterioration of life on earth, due to on-going and ever increasing levels of war, injustice and ecological madness.

Most pointedly perhaps – if these were not enough reasons to resist, to confront and to challenge the currently reigning corporatist regime – their imperial wars are becoming more and more dangerous. A war with Iran, for example, which the U.S. government is gearing up for now, could literally spell WW3.

China and Russia, two military, economic and nuclear superpowers, have formally aligned with Iran militarily and have begun joint military training exercises. Meanwhile, the U.S. is not only sabre-rattling with regards to Iran, and setting up the prerequisite spin and story line which always precede an act of military aggression, but have also deployed major forces in ready. Why? Control of oil reserves of course, which means further control of the critical energy reserves that the global economy relies upon, which means in turn greater dominance and control over the world’s economy, and therefore, greater consolidation of the Western corporate elite’s global dominance. But this is an extremely dangerous gambit to take in pursuit of continued global dominance.

Attacking Iran is one of the most dangerous things the U.S. government and its corporate controllers could possibly do. And yet, every indication is that the Western corporate powers are determined to do just that, and are preparing for such a brazen and utterly reckless, frankly insane act.

We must stop the madness now. The truth must be sought, and told, and we must stand for peace, for justice, for democracy, for freedom, for ecological sanity, and for the future of humanity. The “war on terror” must be debunked and shown for what it is: a global war on democracy, and an attempt by the presently ruling corporate elite to consolidate their power and their global dominance while they can. 911 offers a window of insight into the “war on terror” and its true parameters, motives and nature, unlike any other.

Dig deep now. Then speak and act. History is with us. Although there is a war against democracy being waged, the people of the earth are beginning to awaken, as the ruling elite’s own polls and intellectuals have acknowledged.

We are at a juncture point in human history. What we do or do not do now, will shape the coming decades, and may very well decide the fate of humanity on earth. We have everything we need to build a better world, and to take the power back and reclaim our democracy and these lands from the tyrants who now control them. It is up to us. It is up to you and I. As it ever has been, it is up to the people.

It is ironic, and it is also predictable: the escalation of the war on democracy by the ruling corporate elite and their bid to consolidate their power, which was kicked off on September 11, 2001, was brought on by the elite’s terror at what they realized was a global crisis of legitimacy. The people have lost faith, confidence and trust in their rule: this means their power is extremely fragile, and will collapse, as it did with the ruling order in the Soviet Union recently and for the same reasons, unless something drastic is done immediately.

Something drastic was done, and is being done: the ruling elite are fighting like mad dogs to consolidate and preserve their power before they lose it. There are external and internal threats to the current de facto rule by the Western corporate elite. The external threats are rising competing power blocs, particularly the rising power of the BRIC alliance – Brazil, Russia, India and China, along with many others that are loosely aligned with this trade bloc, as well as from nations which stubbornly wish to pursue their own course, and not be mere puppets and servants of the ruling transnational corporate powers – for example, much of Latin America as well as the examples of the Arab Spring. But the greatest threat to the de facto rule of the corporate elite is from within: from the people themselves, who are beginning to demand justice, an end to imperial warfare – and most threateningly of all to the ruling elite, the people are beginning to demand real democracy, and the throwing off of corporate dominance over the political process, the economy, the media and the world. The corporate rulers, who call themselves literally, “the masters of the universe” – as absurd and insane as that may be – are feeling very afraid, and are looking for any means possible to preserve their power and their global dominance.

“The other superpower” – the people – has begun to awaken: and the power elite, as sociologist C. Wright Mills called them, know this very well, and are very concerned and dismayed. See, for example, the statement by Brzezinski just this past spring, at one of the ruling elite’s annual closed-door meetings, that there is a global political awakening occurring among humanity. Or see the statement by George Soros just a few years ago, speaking as a member of the global financial elite, to the elite: “We have to make major concessions, and now, or we will lose everything.” The elite do not wish to make any concessions, and are not willing to give up power voluntarily either – therefore they had to do something else, something desperate, to try to maintain their power in the face of a rising people’s power. Or see intellectual in residence for the French section of the ruling elite, Jacques Attali, detailed in his book, Millennium: he acknowledges that the current ruling order is anything but stable, and that the greatest threat is the rise of the discontented majority within the heart of the Western empire, in Europe and North America. The elite know that this is a time of great fragility of their power. The people should recognize the opportunity, and seize it.

The game is being played, and it is end game. Ironically however, every heavy-handed and oppressive move against the people made by the fearful ruling corporate elite, removes them further from the arena of the just, and drives them deeper into a profound and global crisis of legitimacy.

By January of 2001, according to the World Economic Forum’s own global poll, the ruling regime of global corporatocracy was in a profound crisis of legitimacy world-wide. 911 came just months after the global corporate elite realized they had lost the propaganda war and were in trouble: that they were about to lose their power unless something was done immediately. When propaganda fails, and a crisis of legitimacy ensues, the ruling elite have only two options: cede power to the people, step aside and let democracy rule or resort to force. Guess which option the corporate elite preferred.

Unfortunately for the would-be God-kings and pharaohs, resort to force brings about a further collapse of legitimacy, and hence, hastens the fall of the presently ruling global corporate empire, and fuels the rise of the people in authentic democracy.

The new wave of propaganda which followed 911 centred around the “global war on terror.” But very quickly, the people began to see through this ruse. Support for imperial wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere fell away, and deep suspicions arose that the “war on terror” was really a war on civil liberties, a war on democracy, and an imperial war for oil and real estate – as it is, of course. By 2008, 84% of Americans did not believe the official story of 911, and 41% of New York City residents believed there was high level complicity and active involvement in the attacks by members of the U.S. government. Even the desperate measures of the ruling elite are not working, although we have no time and no space for complacency: the dangers are still great, as are the opportunities for truly positive change.

By the way, Mr. Corporate Happy Face, the man who was intended to stave off a populist revolt and the birth of authentic democracy, who was meant to shore up the crumbling legitimacy of the ruling order for a little longer – which he and his handlers and media cronies succeeded in doing, for a time – Wall Street’s man, Mr. Barack Obama, has lost all credibility and legitimacy in the eyes of the majority of the people, on both the left and the right, as well as the centre. Recent polls reported by the Washington Post, for example, show that only 17% of Americans feel Obama is helping the economy – a large and growing minority, if not by now a majority of Americans, feel that he has aided and abetted the criminals on Wall Street who just got away with one of the greatest mass thefts in history. Obama’s legitimacy now hangs by a thread, and it is thoroughly shattered in the eyes of a growing majority, despite the ravings of the ever-compliant and servile mass media – the same media that are owned and controlled by the same ruling elite that put Obama in power, and whom he serves, as the media serves, slavishly and eagerly.

The crisis of legitimacy widens and deepens daily. When it reaches a critical threshold, which it will, and soon, the game will be over for the rulers, and democracy will be reborn. What we must be aware of, along with the tremendous opportunity now for building an authentic democracy and a better world, is this: the ruling corporate elite know these things they know they are in a deep crisis of legitimacy, that democracy is resurfacing among the people, that the people are beginning to awaken, and that if or when they do, the rulers will be out on their ears – and are doing everything in their power to ward off a collapse of their power, and to prevent a rekindling of democracy. The ruling elite, as they have shown, will stop at nothing to preserve their power and their privilege. Do not think this will be easy, but it will be done. Democracy will triumph. Her day is not yet over, but only barely begun.

The writing is on the wall. The corporate elite will fall. The people will rise, and democracy will be reclaimed and renewed, and brought to a fuller flowering than ever before. These are the birth pains of a new world, and a new day for humanity. The people will be free, and will live in justice, prosperity and peace. This is not the end, but only the beginning.

Here are a few resources for further information and consideration. I hope you find these useful. I guarantee you will find them thought-provoking.

Operation Northwoods, the burning of the Reichstag, 911 insider trading, WTC 7, thermite, refusal of Taliban offer to turn over Bin Laden, CIA station chief visits Osama in hospital, Taliban burning opium poppy fields / fields replanted after occupation, pipeline, goat, war games, stand down, Bin Laden family protection, Brzezinski admits creating terrorist network, crisis of legitimacy, war on democracy, corporate rule, the other 911, and particularly, CIA/ISI/lead hijacker connection, among others.

Wow … just WOW ! ! !

KEY POINT: When even the POTUS appears to be completely impotent in stopping these bold assaults on the citizenry, it’s that much more clear that We the People must assume a posture of self defense, as well as one that SCARES THE BEJESUS OUT OF THE PERPS. ATTACK ON CALIFORNIA: An Open Letter to President Trump

Firestorm consumes a home in Lakeport, California on July 31, 2018.

Here’s how they did it

The long and lethal reach of Gen. Pinochet / Declassified memos show Kissinger, Nixon condoned assassination, human rights abuses in Chile

Henry Kissinger continues to cast a deep, lingering shadow over the violent middle decades of the Cold War years. From 1969 to 1977, his smug baritone dominated U.S. foreign policy, guiding many of the more dubious alliances formed with less-than-democratically minded governments. It should come as no surprise, then, as John Dinges makes clear in his book "The Condor Years," that Kissinger played a role in the unflinching brutality that was known as Operation Condor.

Led by Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, Condor was a highly organized anti-terrorist, anti-communist military intelligence operation carried out by six "Southern Cone" countries (Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil), roughly between 1973 and 1980. During that time, anywhere from 15, 000 to 30,000 people were tortured or murdered by the group, all in the name of keeping communist forces from gaining a foothold in South America -- and keeping corrupt military dictatorships in power.

The ball started rolling with the 1970 election of Salvador Allende as the president of Chile. Allende immediately took steps to socialize the country's economy, taking business ownership away from several large U.S. corporations and handing them over to local workers. Kissinger and President Nixon, hardly amused by a country in the Western Hemisphere "going communist," gave the nod to the CIA to stage a military coup, resulting in the kidnapping and (possibly mistaken) murder of Chilean chief of staff Rene Schneider. By 1973, under pressure from militant groups on the right and left, and buckling under a U.S. embargo, the Allende government was overthrown by Gen. Pinochet's forces. Allende was killed in a firefight.

Soon after installing himself in power, Pinochet reached out to other like-minded military dictatorships in South America and set up Operation Condor, a far-reaching operation that shared information and coordinated action against leftist groups, and -- through a process of intimidation, arrest, torture and murder -- attempted to break the back of the opposition. Although the U.S government didn't officially support Condor, it tended to turn a blind eye to some of its more violent -- and illegal -- actions.

Kissinger, like any master of realpolitik, refrained from making any overt comments about the situation, instead using the CIA and U.S. embassies in South America to communicate his wishes by gesture, inference and inaction. "Under the leadership of Henry Kissinger," Dinges writes, "first as Richard Nixon's national security adviser and later as secretary of state, the United States sent an unequivocal signal to the most extreme rightist forces that democracy could be sacrificed in the cause of ideological warfare. Criminal operational tactics, including assassination, were not only acceptable but supported with weapons and money."

Dinges brings to light all manner of recently declassified CIA and State Department memos and communications, including one in which the U.S. ambassador to Chile, David Popper, alarmed by the human rights abuses he was witnessing, made the mistake of broaching the subject to Pinochet during a meeting, the result of which was a quick Chilean protest to Kissinger, who shot back a memo to the embassy saying, "Tell Popper to cut out the political science lectures." Unsurprisingly, this curt reprimand doesn't exactly place Kissinger on the right side of history.

The abuses Condor perpetrated against leftist groups remained largely ignored for years, but thanks to the Freedom of Information Act and interviews with former officials and those who escaped the carnage alive, Dinges is able to go into remarkable detail in exposing the actions of both the opposition groups and the military strongmen who battled them. One often-overlooked nugget Dinges includes in the book is one of the most brazen acts of terrorism Condor ever attempted -- in Washington, D.C., of all places.

Orlando Letelier, a former Chilean ambassador to Washington and a Pinochet opponent, was assassinated when his car was blown up near Sheridan Square by a remote-control bomb in September 1976. Several men working for Condor were later arrested, and it was soon discovered that the group also had its sights on then-New York Rep. Ed Koch for a brief period of time.

Operation Condor fell victim to its own internal tensions in the late 1970s and broke apart soon after. By the early 1990s, none of the participating governments were still in power, and few involved had ever been brought to justice. But in 1996, Joan Graces, who at the time of the 1973 Chilean coup was an adviser to Allende, and by the 1990s was working as a lawyer in Spain, started work to bring charges against Pinochet, alleging that Chile and Argentina were participants in a conspiracy to commit human rights crimes.

At the same time, in a separate case, a court in Spain had begun proceedings to prosecute former members of Argentina's military junta for human rights abuses carried out in the '70s. Using contacts at the FBI, Graces unearthed thousands of Department of Justice, FBI and CIA documents outlining what the U.S. government knew about Condor and its crimes, and in October 1998, Pinochet was arrested in London.

There are more than 200 international warrants for the arrest of military officials who took part in Condor, but the U.S. government has remained mum on the issue. Kissinger has refused to testify in criminal proceedings related to Condor, and Dinges says that there is ample evidence of "cooperation, liaison, acquiescence, and even complicity" between the United States and Condor.

The Cold War, like the current war on terrorism, made for strange bedfellows. Nixon and Kissinger were willing to overlook human rights abuses and fund the overthrow of a democratically elected socialist government in the name of containing communism. Dinges' book, dense with fact and personal account, goes a long way toward finally bringing the truths of that dark time into the light.


DEL CITY, Okla. — A metro family comes home to find their house ransacked. A group of brazen thieves targeted a Del City home and they got away with more than $8,000 worth of stuff.

Lainey Burkett said she got off work early on Friday and noticed her home near Scott and I-40 was a mess.

“I came home early from work and I just walked in and saw my couch cushions were everywhere, TV was gone,” Burkett said

She said she knew immediately what happened and called Del City police. She looked around her house and saw a back window was kicked out, which is how she believes the thieves got inside her home.

She said they got away with the family’s TV, her wedding and engagement ring, a gaming system, pictures and a whole lot more.

Fortunately, Burkett said the alleged crooks were caught on camera. A surveillance camera captured the alleged thieves walking the neighborhood near this silver Chevy Silverado, which Burkett believes to be the getaway car.

In fact, one person even fed the family’s fish outside before knocking on the door to see if anyone was home.

“About 10:30, I looked back because we had a doorbell camera and somebody come up and knocked on the front door, so that was when they first showed up,” said Burkett.

She said they returned about an hour later.

“About 11:30, we have another guy walking in the house through the front door, so they broke the window, opened the front door and was just back and forth,” she said.

Now, the family is hoping these pictures will help catch the alleged thieves.

“For somebody to just come during the day, take all your stuff out of your house like that, and be so brazen about it because they were here for a long time they were walking in and out of my front door,” said Burkett.

The family is asking people to be on the lookout for the silver truck and if you recognize the suspects to call Del City police.

Evil Genius

G raduate of Princeton, Fellow at Harvard University, biographer, Robert A. Caro has written four superb volumes investigating the life of Lyndon Baines Johnson, “…a crooked man who walked a crooked mile.” Caro and wife Ina (a biographer and writer in her own right), traveled to Johnson City, Fredericksburg, Austin, Texas, lived, ate and slept LB Johnson, talked with hundreds of knowledgeable people in state and federal government, retirees, friends and enemies of Lyndon, for several long years, and almost became nuisances at the LBJ library. For this detection, Robert Caro has become “the standard by whom his fellows are measured.” Anyone who expects to be successful in politics can obtain a political science education in Caro’s exposes.

Furthermore, 254 pages of milled political gold lie in a modest paperback written by a cowboy in 1964, graduate of two colleges that include the University of Texas, a historian who detested Lyndon Baines Johnson, and was appalled by the crimes Johnson got away with. The student of political history, even the casual reader of biographies, must, if a rare copy can be had, read A TEXAN LOOKS AT LYNDON: A Study in Illegitimate Power, a condensed jewel, a mesmerizing page-turner. Most of the Johnson derelictions featured by Lone Star State historian J. Evetts Haley are mirrored in Robert Caro’s own majestic works.

Haley’s contemporary acquaintance with South Texas political machinations reveals the down and dirty behavior that made Lyndon Johnson a natural for a Benedict Arnold medallion, robbing his country and the middle-class to enhance LBJ and cronies, while looking down his prominent nose at “the little people.” Lyndon was the supreme ass-kisser, whose cooing inflections of voice were “offers one couldn’t refuse.”

The scope of subornation carried out by Lyndon and cronies against the peace and dignity of the State of Texas and the United States of America, the magnitude of fraud in Johnson’s career is a common web that occurs in both the Caro and Haley books, where senators, representatives, lobbyists and other insiders are treated to piano bars, prostitutes, the finest foods, booze and furnishings by LBJ’s gofer, Bobby Baker. At the center of the web is pure poison, a Brown Recluse spider, Lyndon Johnson, his web-tender, Bobby Gene Baker, and others enamored of, or scared sh—-ss of LBJ, man with the power.

The story of Lyndon, as he becomes U.S. Representative, Senator, Vice President and ultimately President of the United States, is Haley’s story of a shooting star, a shambling juggernaut, “six feet four inches tall, looming threateningly over those who opposed him,” with a Normal School certificate, acidly embarrassed by his father’s financial failures, and his family’s privation. Lyndon becomes well paid, as head of the Texas NYA (National Youth Administration) in 1935, a “Communist ridden” organization of the time.

In his run for Senator, in 1948, Coke Stevenson led 39.7% to Johnson’s 33.7%. Representative Johnson was scared lily-white, squalled like a cub bear, called in some George Parr markers, and when the recount came, “… Parr converted a 12,000 vote Stevenson lead, to a 2000 vote Johnson lead.” In Jim Wells “Precinct #13, ‘a correction was made’ that gave Johnson an extra 87 votes that birthed the frivolous nickname, ‘Landslide Lyndon…’ established LBJ’s illegitimate seat in the Senate.”

Says historian Haley with rage insensate, “It peremptorily denied justice to Governor Stevenson, and nearly half a million Texans who had voted for him. It brazenly abridged the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, especially in their guarantee of States Rights and the limitation on jurisdiction. But, perhaps most terrible of all, it sanctioned corruption as public policy. There is nothing in American history like it.”

Enroute to Washington, D.C. in 1931 with little more than lunch money, LBJ managed to retire from the presidency in 1970 as a multi-millionaire (98% of his earning years spent in public office), assessed by TIME Magazine at $14 million dollars. That included a pilfered Convair, and a 6000 ft. jet-airstrip furnished at the LBJ ranch by taxpayers, some 800 acres of prime land, a beautiful ranch home and swimming pool, ownership of KTBC radio and television, including KANG and KWTX, Waco, TX, KRGV, Weslaco, TX in a monopoly TV market centered around Texas’ Capital at Austin. Owners losing station ownership to the Johnsons learned the FCC had turned down or cancelled their station licenses.

This is why a helpless electorate, daily pursuing jobs for beans and hogback, grievously need a defense against corrupt politicians: term-limits. Too many senators, representatives and presidents arrive hungry in D.C. and retire millionaires after two or more terms. The mechanism is known as quid pro quo, something-for-something, and the longer senators and representatives have been in office, the more arrogant, and the more of America they have stolen and sold under the table to buyers who are willing to pay enormous bribes for preferential treatment. Fraudulent and corrupt, the system is a disgrace, brazen theft from trusting taxpayers who put them into office.

With a devious mind that rivaled Machiavelli, LBJ was a political genius, an “intuitive salesman,” who “could read people almost on sight (‘Look at their eyes, their hands’),” but to whom the future was occasionally veiled in unintended consequences. While Medicare and Medicaid may have been luminaries in Lyndon’s journey, his murder of the 1921 Immigration Act is the salient action that “sounded the death knell” for the United States of America, and its attendant collapse.

With 50,000 dead, and 140,000 wounded, the U.S. swarmed away from Johnson’s Vietnam in the Nixon ‘70s, while leaving multi-billions of your tax dollars in every conceivable nook and cranny of South Vietnam: war machinery, foods, clothing, medical and office supplies, automobile and aircraft instruments and tools, PX goods, motor launches, “Ducks,” trucks, cannon, ammo, rifles, radio and satellite communications, sitting in storage warehouses and on the docks at Camranh Bay, Saigon, DaNang, Qui Nhon, Hue, Cap St. Jacques…America’s economic essence gifted to the enemy.

Parr, Duke of Duval County Texas, was at last enroute to jail, an Al Capone case, based on income tax evasion. Terrorized, “the Duke appealed to old friend, Lyndon Johnson, for help. Lyndon owed Parr, who had gotten him his job as Senator, and he assigned another good friend, lawyer Abe Fortas, to represent Parr pro bono.” Fortas kept Parr out of jail, where the Duke had been headed for a long, long stay, pro bono.

In another unforgivable foray, Lyndon began flying a pilfered half-million dollar Convair. Folks wondered where Johnson got the moola. “Rumor attributed the scratch to contractor H.B. Zachry, to Brown and Root, even to Billie Sol Estes, all favored friends of Lyndon.”

“…airliner was safely parked at Austin Airport, the weather socked in by fog.” Two superior pilots were on call, and Johnson ordered them to fly to the ranch. Johnson’s landing strip was lighted, and there was ground radio, but no electronic glide path. “Pilot Harold Teague consulted the Austin Tower.” It recommended he not fly, and he passed the negative on to Vice President Johnson, who exploded, cursed him, said, “What do you think I’m paying you for…Get that effing plane to the ranch.”

Teague was far more afraid of Johnson, than of fog, and the rest is history. Pilots Teague and Williams were both killed trying to land in the opaque sheen of fog and night shade 60 miles from the Johnson ranch.

A true Sergeant Bilko, LBJ came up with things unobtainable by mere mortals, and he hornswoggled some of the smartest men in America. TIME MAGAZINE probed the lucrative bonanza Johnson shoe-horned from rightful owners. “A syndicate of Texas ‘bidnessmen’ had been trying to buy KTBC long before the Johnson’s arrived, but the FCC refused to approve the sale.”

Lyndon met businessman E.G. Kingsbery, “explained he had gotten Kingsbery’s son an appointment to Annapolis through Johnson’s office… Now, E.G. I understand you’ve bought a radio station. I’d like to go in with you or have the station myself.”

Kingsbery suggested Senator Johnson “make his peace” with heirs of the late Austin publisher, J.M.West. “Lyndon told me he was going up to the West ranch to talk business, and he did, and came away with KTBC.”

To get Robert Byrd’s vote, LBJ wooed the little fiddle player from West Virginia. Author Caro paints a picture of Lyndon literally holding the Senator’s hand, kissing Byrd’s aging knuckles, as he soft-soaped the Senator with his sing-song ardor, begging help for passing a Civil Rights Bill that Byrd detested.

Johnson also spent hours with his fatherly mentor, Texas Representative Sam Rayburn, Speaker of the House, and often kissed the bald-headed Representative pate.

Kennedy Administration lads, bright and creative, composed a “Ratpack Innocente,” called Vice President Johnson, “Rufus cornpone, Little Beagle Johnson, Riverboat,” never realizing the venom of the king piranha lurking in the depths of the Vice President’s psyche.

Viewing the Armageddon that awaits America in 2013, scandal upon scandal, national cynicism, ballooning job layoffs, unsustainable federal debt, manufacturing gifted to China, and the destruction of immigration laws, Americans are crash victims hit by an off-course eighteen-wheeler.

If ever a doubt existed that LBJ operated a fraudulent national cesspool, another priceless link is the UK site called Spartacus Educational that explains more of the magnitude of collapse of America and the Texas Machiavelli who prepared the slide.

One must read J. Evetts Haley’s timeless gem of an expose, A Texan looks at Lyndon, as an appetizing accompaniment to Caro’s fourth volume, Passage of Power, now in paperback. Together, Haley and Caro serve up a repast of political intrigue, deceit, corruption and pure evil genius that was Lyndon Baines Johnson.

The Police Commissioner Speaks

Stories from The Sun-Herald on 6 June and The Sydney Morning Herald on 7 June by Graham Eccles, had Police Commissioner Norman Allan speaking. “It was a very well laid plan. Unfortunately, the plan didn’t go the way in which it was designed, in that the van could not be kept under surveillance all the way to the spot when it was abandoned.”

He went on to say, that immediately following the pay-off police worked to cut-off all escape routes out of the country and were hopeful the criminals responsible were still in Australia and for that matter, still in Sydney. He added “They are checking a thousand and one leads. Our top men honestly can’t leave it alone. They won’t put down the book. The whole case, despite the criminal aspect, is fascinating. It thrills every one of them and they simply won’t rest”.

In another news story Commissioner Allen commented:

“Sooner or later the man is going to crack under the strain of what he has done, about what to do with half a million dollars. He’ll give himself away to someone or make somebody just that little bit suspicious. He may buy a car, new clothes, flash his wealth just a little to catch someone’s eye.”


DEL CITY, Okla. — A metro family comes home to find their house ransacked. A group of brazen thieves targeted a Del City home and they got away with more than $8,000 worth of stuff.

Lainey Burkett said she got off work early on Friday and noticed her home near Scott and I-40 was a mess.

“I came home early from work and I just walked in and saw my couch cushions were everywhere, TV was gone,” Burkett said

She said she knew immediately what happened and called Del City police. She looked around her house and saw a back window was kicked out, which is how she believes the thieves got inside her home.

She said they got away with the family’s TV, her wedding and engagement ring, a gaming system, pictures and a whole lot more.

Fortunately, Burkett said the alleged crooks were caught on camera. A surveillance camera captured the alleged thieves walking the neighborhood near this silver Chevy Silverado, which Burkett believes to be the getaway car.

In fact, one person even fed the family’s fish outside before knocking on the door to see if anyone was home.

“About 10:30, I looked back because we had a doorbell camera and somebody come up and knocked on the front door, so that was when they first showed up,” said Burkett.

She said they returned about an hour later.

“About 11:30, we have another guy walking in the house through the front door, so they broke the window, opened the front door and was just back and forth,” she said.

Now, the family is hoping these pictures will help catch the alleged thieves.

“For somebody to just come during the day, take all your stuff out of your house like that, and be so brazen about it because they were here for a long time they were walking in and out of my front door,” said Burkett.

The family is asking people to be on the lookout for the silver truck and if you recognize the suspects to call Del City police.

Chileans Demand Resignation of Bishop, Former Pinochet Agent [Prensa Latina]

Santiago de Chile, Apr. 12 (Prensa Latina)

Human rights groups are demanding the resignation of the president of the Methodist Pentecostal Church of Chile, Roberto Lopez, a secret police agent of dictator Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990).

According to revelations on Monday, Lopez worked for the National Information Center (CNI), successor to the National Intelligence Directorate (DINA), chiefly responsible for murders and disappearances under the Pinochet military regime.

According to Lorena Pizarro, president of the Association of Families of the Detained and Missing in Chile, the news is an example of the dramatically slow process of bringing to justice former members of those repressive agencies who now hold important public posts.


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