Thursday, March 27, 2008

American Myths of Freedom and Justice for All & Building An Empire

Pinochet one of America's Favorite Dictators who like Bush and Cheney enjoyed Torturing Detainees - So much for America Spreading Good Cheer and Democracy !!!

As the last few weeks of the Primary Season aka the Silly Season P. G. Woodehouse would say has shown that in order to run for President in the United States the candidate must accept all of the Myths about America and about American History. America has never committed any wrongs and has treated all of her citizens as equals and with dignity and justice. So don't mention slavery or Lynchings or the Ku Klux Klan or continuing racial inequality or even gender inequality . Hillary seems to forget women had to fight for equal rights since the White Men in power did not want to share their power with women whom they believed to be inferior. Nor did these White Man and later White women want to share their power with people of color whether black, brown, red,or yellow .

The other Big Myth is that America has never engaged in a war which was questionable or was just a war to extend the American Empire . Nor did the US get involved in a foreign country except to foster democracy and freedom.

Anyway as for American notions of freedom and Justice for all this seems to be an empty phrase to be repeated on certain occasions. Most of the history of the United States is in fact one of injustice and inequality . What's worse for those of us who are not American citizens is that America has a history of involving itself in the internal affairs of other countries. And this interference has more often than not led to despotic, dictatorial, authoritarian and totalitarian Regimes who abuse and terrorize their own citizens . For example we have the case of Chile. Even today most Americans know little or nothing about the US engineered Coup d'etat in Chile which overthrew a legally elected government and ended almost 150 years of Democracy in Chile . Given this why should we expect any new President of the United States to act any differently than George Bush or Ronald Reagan or Richard Nixon or Bill Clinton in the end even the most idealistic to placate the lobbyists or big business or a Nativistic Xenophobic public will commit various Crimes against Humanity in order to stay in power. So maybe Hillary Clinton is correct that the system is so corrupt and Americans in general are so myopic in their view of the world that change is either painfully slow or non-existent.

The question I would pose for Hillary Clinton and John McCain and Barack Obama as an acid test for their supposed dedication to Human Rights and the Rights of a Sovereign Nation - so would they have supported the overthrow of president Allende who was legally elected and was very popular ?
Further would they have supported Pinochet's Brutal Regime which detained innocent civilians , tortured large numbers of these detainees ? Or are they like those who are in power now or previously who have little regard for the lives of Non-American citizens. This seems to me to be the leit motif of America that is that only American citizens count and even they are divided up into those who are worthy and those who are not . The rich and successful are worthy the rest of Americans not so much except when their votes are needed.

American Crimes Against Humanity
Indifference to human rights
indifference to Foreign Nation's Right to Sovereignty
indifference to the deaths of 3,000 innocent civilians
indifference to the torture and detention of tens of thousands of Chilean Citizens
What is good for America's elite and America's corporations is more important than what the citizens of a foreign nation desire for their own country " The Crimes Of Pinochet "
Chile Coup d'Etat by Pinochet backed by the United States
The slaughter of approximately 3,000 unarmed civilians
mostly academics, artists, professionals, University students

Chile - "The Crimes of Pinochet" (Sep.2007)
"He claimed he was Chile's saviour but devised one of the worst concentration camp regimes since Hitler's 'Grand Plan.' As Chile comes to terms with General Pinochet's death, we offer you the definitive film on his crimes.

Under Pinochet's regime, over a quarter of a million people were detained in prisons like the Chacabuco desert camp. These are the only images to have emerged from his camps and reveal the true horror of his regime. "They must stay here until they realise they are on the wrong path," states the guard at Chacabuco Concentration camp. Nearby prisoners suspected of being Communists are forced to march and sing military songs. One of the victims filmed at the camp was Patricia Letelier. Now, she lives in exile in Scotland and recalls what happened to her at Chacabuco. "I heard shouting and screaming and knew what was waiting for me. Shortly afterwards my own torture began." Powerful images show men kneeling with their hands in the air, being kicked and beaten with the butts of soldiers' guns. Others show men being marched into the stadium stripped naked with blankets over their heads." journeymanpictures

For more verification on US involvement see:

The Pinochet File at The National Security Archive



National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 110

February 3 , 2004

WASHINGTON D.C. - President Richard Nixon acknowledged that he had given instructions to "do anything short of a Dominican-type action" to keep the democratically elected president of Chile from assuming office, according to a White House audio tape posted by the National Security Archive today. A phone conversation captured by his secret Oval Office taping system reveals Nixon telling his press secretary, Ron Zeigler, that he had given such instructions to then U.S. Ambassador Edward Korry, "but he just failed, the son of a bitch…. He should have kept Allende from getting in."

A transcript of the president's comments on March 23, 1972, made after the leak of corporate papers revealing collaboration between ITT and the CIA to rollback the election of socialist leader Salvador Allende, was recently published in the National Security Archive book, The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability by Peter Kornbluh; the tape marks the first time Nixon can be heard discussing his orders to undermine Chilean democracy. The conversation took place as Zeigler briefed the President on a State Department press conference to contain the growing ITT/CIA scandal which included one ITT document stating that Korry had been "given the green light to move in the name of President Nixon…to do all possible short of a Dominican Republic-type action to keep Allende from taking power." Other declassified records show that Nixon secretly ordered maximum CIA covert operations to "prevent Allende from coming to power or unseat him" in the fall of 1970 but that Ambassador Korry was deliberately not informed of covert efforts to instigate a military coup.


Results of the 1973 Church Committee Hearings, on CIA misdeeds, and the 1984 Iran/Contra Hearings....

"Our Presidents should not be able to conduct secret operations which violate our principles, jeopardize our rights, and have not been subject to the checks and balances which normally keep policies in line."

Morton Halperin
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of
Defense for International Affairs

"In its consideration of covert action, the Committee was struck by the basic tension--if not incompatibility--of covert operations and the demands of a constitutional system. Secrecy is essential to covert operations; secrecy can, however, become a source of power, a barrier to serious policy debate within the government, and a means of circumventing the established checks and procedures of government. The Committee found that secrecy and compartmentation contributed to a temptation on the part of the Executive to resort to covert operations in order to avoid bureaucratic, congressional, and public debate."

The Church Committee

"The nation must to a degree take it on faith that we too are honorable men, devoted to her service."

Richard Helms, then DCI
April, 1971


A good example of the CIA's use of the type of political action mentioned above is the Agency's involvement in the internal political affairs of Chile beginning in 1963 and reaching a climax in 1973. In 1964, the United States became involved in a covert assistance program to Eduardo Frei in his campaign for the presidency of Chile. Frei was running against Salvador Allende, a candidate disliked by U.S. leaders for his leftist leanings. The CIA had judged previously that Frei would come to power regardless, with a plurality of the vote, and the assistance given by it to Frei was supposedly to help strengthen the Democratic process in Chile. Although Frei won the election, the United States continued to meddle in the internal affairs of Chile for another nine years.

The largest covert operation in Chile from 1963-1973 was propaganda. The CIA station in Santiago placed materials in the Chilean media, maintained a number of assets or agents on major Chilean newspapers, radio, and television stations, and manufactured and disseminated "black" propaganda. Examples of CIA activities ranged from support of the establishment of a commercial television service in Chile to the placement of anti-Soviet propaganda on eight radio news stations and in five provincial newspapers. The most significant contribution in this area of covert activity was the money provided to El Mercurio, the major Santiago daily newspaper during the Allende regime. The CIA spent over $12 million on the Chilean operation.

Another category of CIA involvement in Chile was that of political action. The most impressive of these actions undertaken was the massive effort made from 1963 to 1974 to influence elections. The CIA spent over $3 million in election programs alone. In addition to attempting to influence elections, the Agency combatted the principle Communist-dominated labor union in Chile and wrested control of Chilean university student organizations from the Communists.

As was discussed earlier, the United States never liked Salvador Allende, and in 1970, the CIA began covert political operations against the government of Allende under express orders from President Richard Nixon and his National Security Assistant, Dr. Henry Kissinger. Both the CIA and the State Department were apparently reluctant to become involved in what appeared to be an infeasible program to keep President Salvador Allende out of office, even though he had won by plurality in the September, 1970 election.

Nevertheless, the President and Mr. Kissinger directed the CIA, much against its officers' better judgments, to stage a coup in Chile. The project never developed into anything substantial. However, the CIA provided large sums of money (around $8 million) to support parliamentary opposition to Allende and to keep alive an opposition press. For all its efforts, the CIA was unsuccessful in defeating Allende although on September 11, 1973, he was overthrown in a coup which, though not under U.S. control, may well have been caused by U.S. anti-Allende pressures.


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