Pinochet: the blame game

Malcolm, for once not entirely convincing us, believes a Connacht newspaper acknowledged the lingering death, after an assassination attempt, of Hendrick Verwoerd with the valediction: “He was a rotten bastard, God rot his soul” (or words to that effect). So let it be with Pinochet.

Any obituary of Pinochet which misses the “why?” factor should be instantly discounted. So, Malcolm urges all to bestir themselves and study Peter Kornbluh’s The Pinochet File. There is also a full hard-copy on Amazon. Beginners might even start here.

Kornbluh unpicked the US Government files to show how Pinochet was manufactured, established and maintained as a tool of US policy.

Nixon’s own tapes show him, on Kissinger’s advice, planning to subvert Allende by “anything short of a Dominican-type action”. The most readable account is Chris Hitchens stitching up a prosecution case against Kissinger: the original articles were in Harper’s, but see here.

Hitchens makes it clear that the intention came from Nixon, repaying debts to Pepsico and ITT. The mechanics, the “hard line”, came from Kissinger, pliant to his President’s will, eager to please, and the arch-manipulator chairing the “40 committee”. Kissinger forthwith instigated the plot to assassinate General Rene Schneider, Head of the Chilean Army, who was too prissy and legalistic for US needs. Let it be understood: Kissinger planned the operation, actively sought out fascistic elements in Chile, and supplied untraceable weaponry, that a inconvenient and loyal officer might be removed from the equation. As Tom Lehrer put it: political satire died when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

The “soft line” of US intervention was, in Richard Helms’ account of Nixon’s words, to “make the [Chilean] economy scream.” The US ambassador in Chile was ordered “to do all within our power to condemn Chile and the Chileans to utmost deprivation and poverty.”

The Church Commission is cited as absolving the CIA from involvement in the 1973 military coup in Chile. Not so fast, says Malcolm. Hitchens and other researchers show otherwise: that the CIA and other agencies of US policy actively recruited and supplied the military in the build-up to the other 9/11 (the bloody 1973 coup in Chile). Even more: there seems then to have been a cover-up, involving US complicity in the murder of its own citizens. Witness the unresolved case of Charles Horman (try Thomas Hauser’s book, which was the basis for the 1982 movie, Missing, over which the US Ambassador in Chile (Nat Davies) tried to sue. Another victim was Frank Teruggi.

Lest we forget …

And, inevitably, an eldrich screech from today’s Daily Telegraph:

Baroness Thatcher, who remained a loyal supporter to the last, was said to be “greatly saddened” by the news.

General Pinochet
General Pinochet: thousands were killed or disappeared during his time in power

She maintained that Gen Pinochet had offered vital help to Britain during the Falklands conflict in 1982.

A spokesman said Lady Thatcher would not be issuing a formal statement but would be sending her “deepest condolences” to Gen Pinochet’s widow and family.

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