What was the United States Role in Argentina’s #Fascist Dirty War?

ixquick.com_2016-03-23_18-30-16Obama declassification may yield new facts on Argentine dirty war – Washington, March 23, 2016 – Reinforcing the Obama administration’s planned “comprehensive effort to declassify” historical records on Argentina’s dirty war, the National Security Archive today posted examples of the kinds of materials in U.S. government files that would most likely enhance public understanding of that troubled period in Latin American history. The posted documents, relating not just to regional developments but to official U.S. policy and operations, were declassified either through similar government decrees — thus setting a useful precedent for current administration officials — or the U.S. Freedom of Information Act. In August 2002, the State Department released 4,700 documents on Argentina dating from 1975 to 1984. Declassified under a directive from Secretary of State Madeleine Albright during the Clinton administration, the documents were processed and delivered to the public during the administration of George W. Bush. The State Department acted in response to numerous requests in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s from human rights groups as well as from Argentine judges investigating abuses under military rule.

How Obama’s ‘Declassified Diplomacy’ Could Aid the Cause of Justice in Argentina | The Nation – On March 14, US National Security Adviser Susan Rice publicly stated that Obama will “announce a comprehensive effort to declassify additional documents, including for the first time military and intelligence records,” when he travels to Argentina on March 23.
While much media attention has focused on Obama’s historic trip to Cuba, his visit to Argentina falls on the 40th anniversary of the March 24, 1976, military coup. For weeks, White House officials have considered how Obama could pay appropriate homage to that painful date in Argentine history and use the power of the presidency to make a meaningful gesture, as Rice stated, “to underscore our shared commitment to human rights.” A special declassification project of still-secret CIA, Defense Department, and FBI records not only would reveal concrete evidence regarding unresolved atrocities in Argentina, but also offer a long-overdue acknowledgment of US support for the ensuing repression in the months following the military takeover. “This anniversary and beyond,” Rice said, “we’re determined to do our part as Argentina continues to heal and move forward as one nation.”

ixquick.com_2016-03-23_18-36-02America’s Role in Argentina’s Dirty War – NYTimes.com – By THE EDITORIAL BOARD
March 17, 2016

A few months after a military junta overthrew President Isabel Perón of Argentina in 1976, the country’s new foreign minister, Adm. Cesar Guzzetti, told Henry Kissinger, America’s secretary of state, that the military was aggressively cracking down on “the terrorists.” Mr. Kissinger responded, “If there are things that have to be done, you should do them quickly,” an apparent warning that a new American Congress might cut off aid if it thought the Argentine government was engaging in systemic human rights abuses. The American ambassador in Buenos Aires soon reported to Washington that the Argentine government had interpreted Mr. Kissinger’s words as a “green light” to continue its brutal tactics against leftist guerrillas, political dissidents and suspected socialists.

Why A Nobel Peace Prize Winner Is Denouncing The Timing Of Obama’s Visit To Argentina | WBEZ – “It’s definitely a very sensitive date,” says Buenos Aires-based journalist Irene Caselli. “Let’s remember that as many as 30,000 people were tortured and disappeared by the military dictatorship, and many of those families of the victims and many human rights activists feel that the US played a big role in at least installing the military dictatorship. They see that Henry Kissinger had a big responsibility not only in backing the dictatorship here in Argentina, but also in other countries around the continent in the 1970s.” The White House announced last week a plan to declassify US military and intelligence records linked to the “Dirty War,” at the request of Argentina’s government. The US State Department ordered a similar release under Secretary of State Madeleine Albright during the Clinton Administration, but the CIA, the FBI and Defense Department didn’t participate.

www.thestar.com_2016-03-23_18-39-27Was Pope Francis silent during Argentina’s Dirty War? | Public Radio International – He’s acknowledged that he made “hundreds of errors” when he directed Argentina’s Jesuit Order in the mid-1970s, in the lead up to the country’s Dirty War. Author Paul Vallely says Pope Francis argues that he made mistakes during that turbulent period because he’d been “put into the job too early.” “He said he was too young, too inexperienced, too authoritarian, people said he was an ultra-conservative because of the way he behaved,” says Vallely, author of Pope Francis: The Struggle for the Soul of Catholicism. “He regretted that.” Most Argentines agree that the Catholic church was complicit in military abuse during that era of dictatorship, in which up to 30,000 people, known as the disappeared, were kidnapped and presumed killed. Back then, Pope Francis was Jorge Mario Bergoglio, an opponent of Liberation Theology, a doctrine that embraced the poor and social change.

ixquick.com_2016-03-23_18-32-49Argentina’s dirty war: the museum of horrors – More than 30,000 Argentine citizens died in the military junta’s ‘dirty war’. Now one of its 400 torture camps is to be a public memorial to the disappeared. But as far-right groups intimidate those prepared to speak up, it seems the war of silence is not over. By Alfonso Daniels Last October Héctor Febres, a stocky 66-year-old former Coast Guard officer, dressed in an elegant light-green suit, entered a windowless Buenos Aires court for the first time. He was accused of torturing prisoners and being responsible for the abduction of hundreds of newborn babies from mothers who later ‘disappeared’ during the military dictatorship in Argentina 30 years ago. Nicknamed ‘Savage’ for his vicious methods, Febres was on the verge of denouncing colleagues behind the military junta’s seven-year ‘dirty war’ (1976-1983), but on December 10, four days before the verdict was to be given, he was found dead in his cell, poisoned with cyanide. He had promised to speak out at his sentencing, and his murder, according to Judge Sandra Arroyo, who was appointed to oversee the investigation into his death, achieved its objective: to silence him.

Obama to visit Argentina, will declassify military records from 1976 ‘Dirty War’ – Firstpost – Obama’s visit to Buenos Aires next week coincides with the 40th anniversary of the 1976 military coup that started Argentina’s 1976-83 dictatorship. Little is known about the US role leading up to that period, in which thousands of people were forcibly disappeared and babies systematically stolen from political prisoners. Representational image. APRepresentational image. AP Representational image. AP Susan Rice, Obama’s national security adviser, said Obama would use his trip to announce a “comprehensive effort” to declassify more documents, at Argentina’s request. She said Obama would also visit Remembrance Park in Buenos Aires to honor victims of the dictatorship.

Los Desaparecidos – “The Disappeared” of Buenos Aires, Argentina – 1976-1983 – This article is dedicated to “the disappeared”, the lost children of Argentina’s “Dirty War”, from 1976-1983, who disappeared from their families; and to Las Madres (the mothers) de la Plaza de Mayo and Las Abuellitas (the grandmas) de la Plaza de Mayo, who vigilantly fight everday to restore “the disappeared” to their true biological families.– suzettenaples Beautiful, sunny Buenos Aires, Argentina with its lovely tree lined boulevards holds an ugly, dirty, secret. Many of the government, military, and elite of :Argentina have adopted children that really came from a dark time in Argentina between the years of 1976-1983 when the babies and small children of “los desaparecidos” the disappeared, who where snatched off the streets of Buenos Aires, and have never known their true biological families still living in the city. And, the mothers and grandmothers of these babies and small children search vigilantly each day for those snatched children in hopes of being reunited with them one day.

goodmorningba.com_2016-03-23_18-41-43New Memo: Kissinger Gave the “Green Light” for Argentina’s Dirty War | Mother Jones – In April 1977, Patt Derian, a onetime civil rights activist whom President Jimmy Carter had recently appointed assistant secretary of state for human rights, met with the US ambassador in Buenos Aires, Robert Hill. A memo recording that conversation has been unearthed by Martin Edwin Andersen, who in 1987 first reported that Kissinger had told the Argentine generals to proceed with their terror campaign against leftists (whom the junta routinely referred to as “terrorists”). The memo notes that Hill told Derian about a meeting Kissinger held with Argentine Foreign Minister Cesar Augusto Guzzetti the previous June. What the two men discussed was revealed in 2004 when the National Security Archive obtained and released the secret memorandum of conversation for that get-together. Guzzetti, according to that document, told Kissinger, “our main problem in Argentina is terrorism.” Kissinger replied, “If there are things that have to be done, you should do them quickly. But you must get back quickly to normal procedures.” In other words, go ahead with your killing crusade against the leftists. The new document shows that Kissinger was even more explicit in encouraging the Argentine junta. The memo recounts Hill describing the Kissinger-Guzzetti discussion this way:

Jailed Former Argentine Officer Escapes From Custody | InSerbia News – He was being transferred from a prison to the Palacio de Justicia, the main court building in central Buenos Aires via police van. When the van stopped in front of the court, Lawless and several other prisoners were walking toward the building and when the other prisoners began misbehaving and grabbed the attention of the guards, Lawless took advantage of the distraction and took off, running on foot toward the east on the busy and crowded Lavalle Street in the middle of the day. Several members of the Airport Security Police, the unit responsible for carrying Lawless and the other prisoners to court, have been punished by way of fine, suspension, or termination. Lawless was convicted of crimes against humanity in 2010 after voluntarily turning himself in after finding out he was being sought by Argentina’s justice system. 100,000 Argentine Pesos were offered for his capture, and he likely turned himself in for this reason, fearful that he would be spotted and stopped by a civilian.

ixquick.com_2016-03-23_18-52-44Human Rights First Praises Release of Files from Argentina’s Dirty War | Human Rights First – “Release of these documents is important not only for the people of Argentina, who continue to struggle to come to terms with a dark chapter in their history. It’s important for Americans, too,” said Human Rights First’s President and CEO Elisa Massimino. “We have to come to terms with the role our country played in the so-called Dirty War. We can’t close the gap between our actions and our ideals until we can measure how far we strayed. And we can’t learn the lessons of the past until we know the role of our own government in supporting the military dictatorship.” President Obama’s visit to Argentina coincides with the 40th anniversary of the onset of these atrocities. It will also be the first by a U.S. president since 2005, when President Bush’s visit to attend the Summit of the Americas was marked by anti-U.S. protests, and the first U.S. state visit to the country since 1990. In the years since then, Argentina has a new, democratically-elected government that appears eager to work with and develop strong ties to the United States. Human Rights First notes that declassifying and releasing these documents from the CIA, FBI, and Department of Defense is a strong gesture of support for Argentina’s new government, for its people, and for the cause of human rights around the world. It also sends a clear message that the United States repudiates any past participation in or support or regimes that torture, building on President Obama’s legacy of supporting the release of information about the United States’ past mistakes in using torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of detainees in the aftermath of the attacks of 9/11.

nsarchive.gwu.edu_2016-03-23_21-11-30On 30th Anniversary of Argentine Coup: New Declassified Details on Repression and U.S. Support for Military Dictatorship – [http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB185/index.htm]

The documents record Washington’s initial reaction to the military takeover. I do want to encourage them. I don’t want to give the sense that they’re harassed by the United States,” Secretary of State Kissinger ordered his staff after his assistants warned him that the junta would initiate a bloodbath following the coup. According to the transcript, Kissinger’s top deputy on Latin America, William Rogers, told him two days after the coup that “we’ve got to expect a fair amount of repression, probably a good deal of blood, in Argentina before too long.”

State Department cables, including some obtained previously by the Argentine newspaper, Clarin, show that U.S. officials had prior knowledge of coup plotting. More than a week before the coup, Ambassador Robert Hill sent Assistant Secretary Rogers a secret cable reporting that the commander of the Navy, Admiral Emilio Massera, had requested that the U.S. embassy “indicate to him one or two reputable public relations firms in the U.S. which might handle the problem for a future military government.” Massera, according to the cable, promised that the Argentine military would “not follow the lines of the Pinochet takeover in Chile,” and would “try to proceed within the law and with full respect for human rights.”

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