September 11 And
Operation Condor
From Mike Nelson

Operation Condor was a 1970s terrorist conspiracy by six U.S.-supported Latin American governments -- Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay -- to murder their political opponents around the world. Known as Operation Condor, "foreign armies and security services cooperated in dealing with political opponents from one country who crossed into another, and assigned their own men to out-of-country operations to avoid the identification of local agents.

A few web pages and a new book is out suggesting that U.S. military and intelligence officials supported and collaborated with Condor as a secret partner or sponsor.

From Publishers Weekly -

When a Spanish judge pressed charges against Gen. Augusto Pinochet in 1998, the case broke an international code of silence on the

fates of the tens of thousands of Latin Americans who were tortured and killed during more than a decade of dictatorship in Chile and neighboring countries. The United States agreed to Spain's request for 60,000 pages of secret files on Chile, including CIA operational files. Former NPR news managing editor Dinges (Our Man in Panama), who lived in Chile and was interrogated in a secret torture camp during the Pinochet dictatorship, pored through those files and has uncovered the chilling story of Operation Condor, a Chilean-led conspiracy among six South American dictatorships to hunt down and eliminate leftist rebels and their sympathizers. Condor was responsible for the 1973 murder in Washington, D.C., of Chilean exile Orlando Letelier, which U.S. diplomats were aware of and failed to stop.

Indeed, the picture that emerges of U.S. policy is frightening. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's "green light, red light" human rights policy for the first time presented a public U.S. stance in favor of human rights, yet behind closed doors, he was reassuring Latin America's dictators of U.S. support. Hampered by the weight and significance of its revelations, the book gets off to a slow start. Soon enough, however, vivid stories and details emerge: double agents, the euphemisms of the spy trade (e.g., "wet work" for assassinations), bumbling murderers and rebels, and cynical U.S. diplomats. Dinges's meticulously documented study is a cautionary tale for today's war on terror-which shares a major anniversary with the 1973 Chilean coup that brought Pinochet to power: September 11.



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