Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Let's Hope The CIA Doesn't Have A Libyan Augusto Pinochet Waiting In The Wings


If you're getting sick of me harping on CIA atrocities (like in Iran and Guatemala) and comparing them to what's going down in Libya... just skip right over this admittedly disturbing post and go back to reading about what a psychopath Rick Perry is.

I'm getting sick of reading all the self-congratulatory tweets and posts about how we took out the dictator in Libya. You can leave me out of that "we," if you don't mind. When "we" were making the world safe from godless Communism in southeast Asia, I decided to leave the country rather than be part of that murderous "we." Sorry, but I'm not convinced-- at least not yet-- that this is that much different. Big country stomping on little country to get it's way-- and, in this case, its oil. Let's talk about Chile and what the U.S. did down there to protect "us." By now everyone knows how the arch war-criminals Nixon and Kissinger engineered the overthrow and execution of the President of Chile and the transformation of that country's robust democracy into a horrifying fascist dictatorship. But it didn't start with Nixon and Kissinger. Presidents and Secretaries of State come and go... the CIA and a foreign policy establishment is forever-- or has been since a fascist takeover in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Turning to Glen Yeadon's Nazi Hydra in America for some background...
The CIA began covert operations in Chile following the 1958 presidential election, in which Allende came within 3 percent of winning. The next presidential election was scheduled in 1964, and Washington was determined that an avowed socialist like Allende not win.

In 1961, the Kennedy administration set up an electoral committee composed of more than 100 top-level officials from the State Department, the CIA and the White House. A parallel committee was set up in the U.S. embassy in Chile. Committee operatives laid the groundwork for the election by establishing relationships with key political figures. After channeling funds to right-wing groups, the committee decided to back a centrist, Eduardo Frei of the Christian Democratic Party. The CIA underwrote more than half of the party's expenses in the 1964 election, spending an estimated $20 million. The amount is about equal to the money spent by John F. Kennedy ($9.7 million) and Richard Nixon ($10.1 million) together in the 1964 election. The CIA took the Chilean election seriously.

The CIA spent the money on a scare campaign, with images of Russian tanks and Cuban firing squads, with extra attention on women and religion because, traditionally, women in Chile are more religious. The CIA produced massive volumes of propaganda to fill the airwaves and the press. Besides buying the press piecemeal, the agency subsidized wire services, magazines and right-wing newspapers from 1953-70.

One of the assets the CIA employed in the 1964 election was Roger Vekemans, a Belgian Jesuit who founded a network of social action organizations. Vekemans admits to receiving $5 million from the CIA, as well as a like amount of aid. The results of the 1964 election were gratifying for the CIA. Frei won the election with a commanding margin of victory. The continued operations of the CIA network kept Allende and the socialists at bay throughout the 1960s. However, no amount of propaganda can cover the lack of needed reforms and social progress.

By 1970 Allende's popularity was high and his chances in the upcoming presidential election were good. His rising popularity did not go unnoticed by the Nixon White House, which increased anti-Allende spending by $300,000. The CIA continued to use its networks in Chile against Allende. Despite all efforts by the CIA and the Nixon White House, Allende won the Sept. 4 election.

On October 24, the Chilean Congress was due to confirm the winner, assuring Allende of the presidential office. This left the Nixon White House and the CIA with seven weeks to prevent him from taking office. Nixon met with Kissinger, CIA Director Richard Helms and Attorney General John Mitchell. The Committee of 40 received authorized funds to bribe Chilean congressmen to vote against Allende, but soon abandoned the effort as unfeasible. The Nixon administration concentrated on fermenting a military coup, which would cancel the congressional vote. The White House also made it clear that an assassination was not unwelcome.

The CIA and the Nixon administration launched a new propaganda campaign to impress on the military the danger of Allende taking office. Privately, military officers were threatened with a cut in aid if Allende were seated. During this seven-week period the CIA produced more than 700 articles, broadcasts and editorials in Europe and Latin America. Journalists in the pay of the CIA from at least 10 countries traveled to Chile for on-the-spot coverage. The propaganda came with the usual communist scare tactics-- fabricated stories that Allende would nationalize everything down to the small shops. The campaign was so intense that it affected the Chilean economy negatively, inducing a financial panic...

Meanwhile, the CIA was consulting actively with several military officers receptive to a coup. It was difficult due to apolitical attitudes and support for the constitution. The prime obstacle to a military coup was the Commander and Chief of the Chilean Army, Rene Schneider, who insisted on following the constitution. The coup attempt was a direct result of a plea for action by Donald Kendall, chairman of PepsiCo, in two phone calls to the company's former lawyer, President Richard Nixon.

With time running out before Allende was seated, the CIA distributed sterilized machine guns and ammunition to some of the conspirators on the morning of October 22. That same day, Schneider was mortally wounded in an attempted kidnapping. The CIA station in Santiago cabled headquarters that Schneider had been killed with CIA weapons. The assassination did not result in a coup; instead, military officers rallied around the flag and the constitution. Two days later, Allende was seated as president. The Nixon administration responded by cutting aid to Chile, including loans from the Export-Import Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank... In addition, holding what amounted to a veto, the United States denied all loans to Chile from the World Bank during 1971-73. The following U.S. banks [almost all fascist run outfits that had been ardent Hitler supporters very recently] canceled credit to Chile: Chase Manhattan, Chemical, First National City, Manufacturers Hanover and Morgan Guaranty. The CIA provided financial support to prolong strikes, and caused panic buying to further compound shortages. The CIA and the Nixon administration were determined to bring about a complete economic collapse and widespread public unrest to defeat the Allende government and prove socialism cannot work in the Western Hemisphere...

Large U.S. corporations also helped destabilize Chile in support of a coup to remove Allende. International Telephone and Telegraph (ITT) offered $1 million to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Officials denied the offer was accepted. However, former U.S. Ambassador to Chile Edward Korry has stated in recent interviews the offer was made by former CIA Director John McCone. McCone was a member of ITT's board at the time. The Nixon White House was well aware at the time that ITT was illegally channeling money to the Republican Party. Korry also stated that Anaconda Copper and other multinationals, under the aegis of David Rockefeller's Business Group for Latin America, gave $350,000 to the CIA to bribe members of Congress.

...On Sept 11. 1973. Allende's Administration ended in a violent coup. Allende was killed after an assault on the presidential palace, where he and a group of dedicated followers made a last stand. Within twelve hours, most of the people with Allende who had survived the military assault were executed.

...The Nixon administration immediately recognized the new regime and granted it $24 million in credit for wheat previously denied the Allende government. The resulting fascist regime of Augusto Pinochet was brutally repressive. Only 19 days after the coup, a briefing paper for Kissinger showed the death toll was 1,500, including 320 summarily executed. By mid-November, U.S. intelligence estimated 13,500 people had been arrested. Others were executed, disappeared or tortured, including two Americans killed in the mass executions at the national stadium... An estimated 50,000 died at the hands of Pinochet.

But the right wingers and the CIA hail Pinochet's rule of Chile as an economic miracle. For once in power he installed the boys from Chicago, a group of Chileans educated in economics at the University of Chicago. It may have been an economic miracle for the American corporations but it certainly wasn't for the average Chilean worker. As the Boys from Chicago promptly set about dismantling all social programs and destroying unions. The statistics of this so-called economic miracle are indeed bleak, as the GNP per capita fell from 1972 to 1982 by 6.4 percent. Presently Pinochet faces charges of murder in Spain if England will extradite him. But once again we see the model repeated, a legally elected reform minded government is overthrown to be replaced by a brutal right wing dictator, corporate America gets rich at the expense of the native population. In just Guatemala and Chile the body count from the CIA and their puppet regimes total over a quarter million... Does the reader have anymore questions over the fascist nature of our foreign policy as executed by the CIA?

And about that Libyan oil, which has NOTHING-- DO YOU HEAR ME? N.O.T.H.I.N.G.-- to do with the overthrown of the Qaddafi regime in the glorious name of democracy, the New York Times had a few salient facts that slipped through yesterday.
The fighting is not yet over in Tripoli, but the scramble to secure access to Libya’s oil wealth has already begun.

...Western nations-- especially the NATO countries that provided crucial air support to the rebels-- want to make sure their companies are in prime position to pump the Libyan crude.

...Colonel Qaddafi proved to be a problematic partner for international oil companies, frequently raising fees and taxes and making other demands. A new government with close ties to NATO may be an easier partner for Western nations to deal with. Some experts say that given a free hand, oil companies could find considerably more oil in Libya than they were able to locate under the restrictions placed by the Qaddafi government.

But, of course... to the victors, the spoils. Like everywhere in all ages. “We don’t have a problem with Western countries like Italians, French and U.K. companies,” Abdeljalil Mayouf, a spokesman for the Libyan rebel oil company Agoco, was quoted by Reuters as saying. “But we may have some political issues with Russia, China and Brazil.”

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At 12:50 PM, Blogger Trout Fishing in America said...

I was just a kid back then, so thanks for the injection of reality/relevance from past to present. Problem is, as Greg Palast once put it, most Americans totally down with the "blood for oil?... hell yeah!" program for their future.

At 10:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most Americans are oblivious to the history of CIA atrocities. I have read reports that the "rebel" leader in Tripoli is actually and Al Quida asset.


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