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John Simkin

The History of Operation Condor

19 posts in this topic

On 11th December, 1959, Colonel J. C. King, chief of CIA's Western Hemisphere Division, sent a confidential memorandum to Allen W. Dulles, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency. King argued that in Cuba there existed a "far-left dictatorship, which if allowed to remain will encourage similar actions against U.S. holdings in other Latin American countries."

As a result of this memorandum Dulles established Operation 40. It obtained this name because originally there were 40 agents involved in the operation. Later this was expanded to 70 agents. The group was presided over by Richard Nixon. Tracy Barnes became operating officer of what was also called the Cuban Task Force. The first meeting chaired by Barnes took place in his office on 18th January, 1960, and was attended by David Atlee Phillips, E. Howard Hunt, Jack Esterline, and Frank Bender.

On 4th March, 1960, La Coubre, a ship flying a Belgian flag, exploded in Havana Bay. It was loaded with arms and ammunition that had been sent to help defend Cuba's revolution from its enemies. The explosion killed 75 people and over 200 were injured. Fabian Escalante, an officer of the Department of State Security (G-2), later claimed that this was the first successful act carried out by Operation 40.

Operation 40 was not only involved in sabotage operations. In fact, it evolved into a team of assassins. One member, Frank Sturgis, claimed: "this assassination group (Operation 40) would upon orders, naturally, assassinate either members of the military or the political parties of the foreign country that you were going to infiltrate, and if necessary some of your own members who were suspected of being foreign agents... We were concentrating strictly in Cuba at that particular time."

Over the next few years Operation 40 worked closely with several anti-Castro Cuban organizations including Alpha 66. CIA officials and freelance agents such as William Harvey, Thomas Clines, Porter Goss, Gerry Hemming, E. Howard Hunt, David Morales, Carl E. Jenkins, Bernard L. Barker, Barry Seal, Frank Sturgis, Tosh Plumlee, and William C. Bishop also joined the project.

Cuban figures used by Operation 40 included Antonio Veciana, Luis Posada, Orlando Bosch, Rafael Quintero, Roland Masferrer, Eladio del Valle, Guillermo Novo, Rafael Villaverde, Carlos Bringuier, Eugenio Martinez, Antonio Cuesta, Hermino Diaz Garcia, Barry Seal, Felix Rodriguez, Ricardo Morales Navarrete, Juan Manuel Salvat, Isidro Borjas, Virgilio Paz, Jose Dionisio Suarez, Felipe Rivero, Gaspar Jimenez Escobedo, Nazario Sargent, Pedro Luis Diaz Lanz, Jose Basulto, and Paulino Sierra.

Michael Townley was another CIA agent who was involved in organizing assassinations of political opponents. He became associated with a Cuban group called the Chicago Junta. This group included Frank Sturgis, Orlando Bosch, Antonio Veciana and Aldo Vera Serafin. According to Peter Dale Scott, this operational hit team was disbanded on 21st November, 1963, the day before John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

The CIA also used the International Development's Office of Public Safety (OPS) to help establish right-wing military dictatorships. This included Daniel Mitrione who helped to overthrow President João Goulart in Brazil in 1964. According to Franco Solinas, Mitrione was also in the Dominican Republic after the 1965 US intervention.

In 1967 Daniel Mitrione returned to the United States to share his experiences and expertise on "counterguerilla warfare" at the Agency for International Development (AID), in Washington. In 1969, Mitrione moved to Uruguay, again under the AID, to oversee the Office of Public Safety. At this time the Uruguayan government was led by the very unpopular Colorado Party. Richard Nixon and the CIA feared a possible victory during the elections of the Frente Amplio, a left-wing coalition, on the model of the victory of the Unidad Popular government in Chile, led by Salvador Allende.

In 1969 the CIA arranged for Michael Townley to be sent to Chile under the alias of Kenneth W. Enyart. He was accompanied by Aldo Vera Serafin of the SAO. Townley now came under the control of David Atlee Phillips who had been asked to lead a special task force assigned to prevent the election of Salvador Allende as President of Chile. This campaign was unsuccessful and Allende gained power in 1970. He therefore became the first Marxist to gain power in a free democratic election.

On July 31, 1970, the Tupamaros kidnapped Daniel Mitrione and an Agency for International Development associate, Claude L. Fly. Although they released Fry they proceeded to interrogate Mitrione about his past and the intervention of the U.S. government in Latin American affairs. They also demanded the release of 150 political prisoners. The Uruguayan government, with U.S. backing, refused, and Mitrione was later found dead in a car. He had been shot twice in the head but there was no evidence that he had been tortured.

Michael Townley continued to try and undermine the government of Salvador Allende. The CIA attempted to persuade Chile's Chief of Staff General Rene Schneider, to overthrow Allende. He refused and on 22nd October, 1970, his car was ambushed. Schneider drew a gun to defend himself, and was shot point-blank several times. He was rushed to hospital, but he died three days later. Military courts in Chile found that Schneider's death was caused by two military groups, one led by Roberto Viaux and the other by Camilo Valenzuela. It was claimed that the CIA was providing support for both groups.

David Atlee Phillips set Townley the task of organizing two paramilitary action groups Orden y Libertad (Order and Freedom) and Protecion Comunal y Soberania (Common Protection and Sovereignty). Townley also established an arson squad that started several fires in Santiago. Townley also mounted a smear campaign against General Carlos Prats, the head of the Chilean Army. Prats resigned on 21st August, 1973. His replacement as Commander in Chief was General Augusto Pinochet.

On 11th September, 1973, a military coup removed Allende's government from power. Salvador Allende died in the fighting in the presidential palace in Santiago. General Augusto Pinochet replaced Allende as president. Soon afterwards Michael Townley was recruited by General Juan Manuel Contreras, the head of DINA, the new secret police.

Townley's main task was to deal with those dissents who had fled Chile after General Augusto Pinochet gained power. This included General Carlos Prats who was writing his memoirs in Argentina. Donald Freed argues in "Death in Washington: The Murder of Orlando Letelier" that: "On September 30, 1974, shortly after the first anniversary of the violent overthrow of the Allende government, Townley and a team of assassins murdered Carlos Prats and his wife in Buenos Aires. Their auto was exploded by a bomb."

James Abourezk, who represented South Dakota in the U.S. Senate, discovered that the Office of Public Safety had been training Latin America police to torture left-wing activists for many years. Abourezk made this information public and in 1974, Congress banned the provision by the U.S. of training or assistance to foreign police and the OPS was closed down.

The CIA continued to fund the activities of agents like Michael Townley. Promoted to the rank of major by General Juan Manuel Contreras, chief of DINA (the Chilean secret police). Townley made regular visits to the United States in 1975 to meet with Rolando Otero and other members of the White Hand group. In September 1975, Townley's death squad struck again. Former Chilean vice-president Bernardo Leighton and his wife were gunned down in Rome by local fascists working with DINA.

On 25th November 1975, leaders of the military intelligence services of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay met, with Juan Manuel Contreras in Santiago de Chile. The main objective was for the CIA to coordinate the actions of the various security services in "eliminating Marxist subversion". Operation Condor was given tacit approval by the United States which feared a Marxist revolution in the region. The targets were officially leftist guerrillas but in fact included all kinds of political opponents. For example, in Argentina an estimated 30,000 socialists, trade-unionists, relatives of activists, etc. were murdered by the military government.

Donald Freed claims that on 29th June, 1976, Michael Townley had a meeting with Bernardo De Torres, Armando Lopez Estrada, Hector Duran and General Juan Manuel Contreras Sepulveda. The following month Frank Castro, Luis Posada, Orlando Bosch and Guillermo Novo established Coordination of United Revolutionary Organizations (CORU). CORU was partly financed by Guillermo Hernández Cartaya, another Bay of Pigs veteran closely linked to the CIA. He was later charged with money laundering, drugs & arms trafficking and embezzlement. The federal prosecutor told Pete Brewton that he had been approached by a CIA officer who explained that "Cartaya had done a bunch of things that the government was indebted to him for, and he asked me to drop the charges against him."

One Miami police veteran told the authors of "Assassination on Embassy Row" (1980): "The Cubans held the CORU meeting at the request of the CIA. The Cuban groups... were running amok in the mid-1970s, and the United States had lost control of them. So the United States backed the meeting to get them all going in the same direction again, under United States control." It has been pointed out that George H. W. Bush was director of the CIA when this meeting took place.

Frank Castro told the Miami Herald why he had helped establish CORU: "I believe that the United States has betrayed freedom fighters around the world. They trained us to fight, brainwashed us how to fight and now they put Cuban exiles in jail for what they had been taught to do in the early years."

On 18th September, 1976, Orlando Letelier, who served as foreign minister under Salvador Allende, was traveling to work at the Institute of Policy Studies in Washington when a bomb was ignited under his car. Letelier and Ronni Moffitt, a 25 year old woman who was campaigning for democracy in Chile, both died of their injuries.

The director of the CIA, George H. W. Bush, was quickly told that DINA and several of his contract agents were involved in the assassination. However, he leaked a story to members of Operation Mockingbird that attempted to cover-up the role that the CIA and DINA had played in the killings. Jeremiah O'Leary in the Washington Star (8th October, 1976) wrote: "The right-wing Chilean junta had nothing to gain and everything to lose by the assassination of a peaceful and popular socialist leader." Newsweek added: "The CIA has concluded that the Chilean secret police was not involved." (11th October).

William F. Buckley also took part in this disinformation campaign and on 25th October wrote: "U.S. investigators think it unlikely that Chile would risk with an action of this kind the respect it has won with great difficulty during the past year in many Western countries, which before were hostile to its policies." According to Donald Freed Buckley had been providing disinformation for the General Augusto Pinochet government since October 1974. He also unearthed information that William Buckley's brother, James Buckley, met with Michael Townley and Guillermo Novo in New York City just a week before Orlando Letelier was assassinated.

The FBI eventually became convinced that Michael Townley was organized the assassination of Orlando Letelier. In 1978 Chile agreed to extradite him to the United States. Townley confessed he had hired five anti-Castro Cubans exiles to booby-trap Letelier's car. Guillermo Novo, Ignacio Novo, Virgilio Paz Romero, Dionisio Suárez, and Alvin Ross Díaz were eventually indicted for the crime.

Michael Townley agreed to provide evidence against these men in exchange for a deal that involved him pleading guilty to a single charge of conspiracy to commit murder and being given a ten-year sentence. His wife, Mariana Callejas also agreed to testify, in exchange for not being prosecuted.

On the 9th January, 1979, the trial of Guillermo Novo, Ignacio Novo and Alvin Ross Díaz began in Washington. General Augusto Pinochet refused to allow Virgilio Paz Romero and Dionisio Suárez, two DINA officers, to be extradited. All three were found guilty of murder. Guillermo Novo and Alvin Ross were sentenced to life imprisonment. Ignacio Novo received eighty years. Soon after the trial Michael Townley was freed under the Witness Protection Program.

Details of Operation Condor was not fully exposed until 1992 when José Fernández, a Paraguayan judge, discovered what became known as the "terror archives", detailing the fates of thousands of Latin Americans secretly kidnapped, tortured and killed by the security services of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay. The archives provided details of 50,000 people murdered, 30,000 "disappeared" and 400,000 imprisoned.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKcondor.htm

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Back to the other point that I want to clear up. Bob Vernon had all of my papers, including the original manuscript and my notes for “To Kill A Country,” and he gave them to at that time, “warden Godinez” who is now the D.D. for the D.O.C. And in writing, I had it plainly stated the Orlando Letelier was killed by a bomb, that had the explosives transported by me, to Buckley, and Michael Townley put the bomb in his car, a Chevy Nova, if my memory is correct and the car exploded in front of the Chilean Embassy on Sheridan Circle, better known as Embassy Row. The explosives came from the Falcondo Mining Co. and they were 60 per-cent strength dynamite, that is referred to as “engineering explosives.” The man that I shot was sitting in the back seat of the limo when I pulled my .45 and shot the S.O.B. and yes, I ticked off a lot of people. But he was Russian, he was not a Chilean. Bob had all of the paperwork on all of this. Bob knows what I had down in writing and I even had the route that he, Orlando Letelier, took to work that morning. Ronnie Moffit and Michael Moffit were in the car with him. She was killed, but Michael survived it. Please tell them to get their facts straight. I know what I said.

The Cover-up, Part I

But in November 1976, because Bosch was talking and not about jealous lovers, the agency's line shifted to "the Cubans did it alone." But because the Cubans took revenge on Townley for the betrayal of Rolando Otero, Phillips's hand would be exposed. Except for FBI questioning of Mrs. Letelier and her fellows at the Institute for Policy Studies there was no immediate investigation into the double assassination. None because George Bush, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, had informed the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation that there was no Chilean connection in this "unprofessional" act of passion. And the CIA would know, of course, because it had reliable sources in both the junta and DINA and to offer more than that by way of explanation would touch on most sensitive matters of "National Security."

According to Andrew Young, Jimmy Carter believed that a faithful investigation would determine that both President Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King had died at the hands of a conspiracy. Carter was dealing with a shattered rogue intelligence as he assumed office. The President-elect according to Young, had complained, "If they can do this (kill Letelier) and get away with it under the nose of the CIA and the FBI, then no President can govern. These are armed federal employees, and either we control them or they control us!!" Thus, Carter is said tot have ordered a serious far-reaching investigation. The problem was that Phillips, the AFIO (Association of Former Intelligence Officers) and the media pack were able to call in enough favors so that the new President was not able to appoint a man of his own choice, Theodore Sorenson, director of the CIA or, finally, impose actual sanctions on Chile.

Sorenson had known Letelier, and like others in the Kennedy circle, he saw in the Letelier case a golden opportunity to clean out the "antidemocratic" forces in both the Agency and the Bureau, according to an associate. But Carter was not able to appoint a Kennedy man to be Director of the Agency. "The Agency was more powerful than the President."

At the Department of Justice, J. Stanley Pottinger and Michael Shaheen were working overtime to blunt the charge that the Federal Bureau of Investigation might have murdered Dr. King and certainly had not investigated the crime. Thus, until a handful of independent investigators forced them to act in the Letelier case, the Justice Department left the field free for the AFIO-led Disinformation steamroller. In 1977, when the Justice Department ws forced to move, Attorney General Griffin Bell was drive to protect CIA influence to the White House.

At IPS, bitterness grew as 1976 ended. The New York Times had not assigned a reporter to the Letelier murder case and it disappeared from the news. Jack Anderson's aide, Les Whitter, aired the charge of "Letelier as a Castro Agent." When Isabel Letelier and Michael Moffitt confronted Attorney General Bell, he complained that he "didn't want another Watergate." When in 1977, the IPS investigation came up with the names Edwin P. Wilson as a possible supplier of explosive devices tot Townley, and James E. Sutton alias James E. Files as a Black Operative and close friend to Wilson and Townley, the The IPS insisted that the FBI interview the former C.I.A. agend and Black Operative Clandestine makers of coups in the Carribean and the Congo. The agency broke off relations with the stalled Justice Department probe.

In 1977 James E. Sutton/Files underwent an exstensive investigation in the shipment and dealings in various weapons and explosives. When questioned by the FBI Sutton/Files refused to answer any questions on the advice of his attorney. Sutton/Files was the owner of a restaurant in Melrose Park, Illinois, known as a hangout for the mob and visited regular by the Cuban, "White Hand Organisation."

In April, 1980, Sutton/Files became top priority as the FBI moved in for a full investigation on his Criminal Activities. He was under investigation for: Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisations; Interstated Transportation of Stolen Property; Illegal Gambling Business; Police Corruption; Theft From Interstate Shipment; Extortionate Credit Transactions; Arson and Bombing; and Conspiracy to Commit Murder.

In may 1981, and indictment was handed down for Interstate Transportation. Sutton/Files is now currently serving a 15 year sentence in a Federal Institution, for the Interstate Transportation Act. All other Charges are still under investigation. The 1980 indictment on Wilson also charged that the two former C.I.A. agents paid $1 million to three persons to assassinate a former Libyan government official who led an abortive coup against el-Quaddafi in 1975. The assassination never took place, because the three men backed out. Indicted were: Francis E. Terpil, Edwin P. Wilson, and Jerome S. Brower. Terpil and Wilson are former CIA Agents.

The Cover-up, Part II

The deadly silence and obstruction of justice that was the official Letelier investigation exploded on October 6, 1976. Cuban airliner en-route from Barbados to Cuba blew up killing all 73 on board. Within a week, Orlando Bosch, the chief of CORU, started talking about the Letelier case. An investigative team located a White Hand man who led them to another, who could "break the case". There would have to be a deal that would allow the informant to walk on the major charges.

After the Pinochet coup in 1973, a new day had dawned for Bosch's White Hand. Pinochet's personal representative, Eduardo Sepulveda, had flown to Miami to meet with Bosch and others. Later Pedro Ernesto Diaz was there for DINA to set up a front group (Buckleys'and Phillips" American-Chilean Council) to represent the junta's interest, undercover, in the United States. Under the new arrangement with the guerillas, Bosch and other CORU luminaries were able to travel through the hemisphere on Chilean Airlines, protected by DINA bodyguards, carrying Chilean money and passports bearing false names.

By the spring of 1977, IPS. and independent investigators had learned: A formal agreement between DINA and CORU was made in November 1975. Michael Townley was selected as liaison between the groups. In July 1976 Cuban Terrorist and Michael Townley met in Bonao in the Dominican Republic at the executive lodge of the Falcondo Mining Company to plan joint ventures: both the Cubana bombing and the Letelier killing. Sacha Volman, the veteran CIA agent, and Cuban exile Frank Castro, another CIA man working with Gulf and Western, hosted the meeting. Volman had been a key CIA-labor operative in the Dominican Republic under David Phillips.

In 1977, Ambassador George Landau entered the case as a principal and revealed the circumstance of the Paraguayan Passports. The false names and photographs of the two men had been lost by the CIA. Now, after Landau remembered them, they reappeared. "Juan William Rose" and "Sergio Castillo" would later be identified by Chileans as Michael Vernon Townley (Rose), and James E. Sutton (Castillo).

1976, only days after Letelier was murdered, the FBI was pressing Aldo Vera for Information and Vera was co-operating. Vera had been expelled from Accion Cubana in June 1976, according to FBI documents, because of his informant activity. On October 25, 1976, he was murdered in San Juan. He and Townley had started out together in the SAO and PyL. Then Vera had helped to set up Cruz in Franace. Now he was dead, and Townley and his wife feared for their lives.

Jose Suarez, given immunity and sent before the Grand Jury in 1977, refused to answer questions and went to jail for almost a year. When the life of the Grand Jury expired in 1978, Suarez was released, and disappeared. How would a main suspect in the murders just vanish? How could he not be under constant FBI surveillance, as he had been before incarceration?

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There has been much debate about how much George Bush knew about Operation Condor. It is significant that several people involved in Operation 40 ended up in this new CIA operation. One of the most interesting aspects of this story concerns U.S. Congressman Edward Koch. The investigative journalist, John Dinges, published The Condor Years: How Pinochet and His Allies Brought Terrorism to Three Continents in 2004. In an interview for the book, Koch said that the then Director of Central Intelligence, George Bush, informed him in October 1976 that his sponsorship of legislation to cut off U.S. military assistance to Uruguay on human rights grounds had provoked secret police officials to "put a contract out for you."

According to documents obtained by Dinges and interviews he conducted for The Condor Years, the CIA station chief in Montevideo received information in late July 1976 that two high-level Uruguayan intelligence officers had discussed their ability to have Chile's secret police, DINA, send agents to the United States to kill Koch. The station chief, identified in the book as Frederick Latrash, reported the conversation to CIA headquarters but recommended that the Agency take no action because the officers had been drinking at a cocktail party when the threat was made.

Only after Chilean operatives carried out the September 21, 1976, assassination of former ambassador Orlando Letelier did the CIA warn Koch and share the intelligence with the FBI and the State Department. The documents that Dinges got hold of suggests that the CIA was fully aware of the plot to kill Letelier. They decided to give him no protection. However, after his death, they did decide to warn Edward Koch. Understandably, if the assassination went ahead, Congress might have started asking some awkward questions.

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Released documents show that the CIA had close contact with members of the Chilean secret police, DINA, and its chief Manuel Contreras, who was the head of Operation Condor. In fact, Contreras was on the CIA pay-roll (it was later stated this was an adminstrative mistake).

A 1978 cable from the US ambassador to Paraguay, Robert White, to the Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, was was released in November 2000 by the Bill Clinton administration under the Chile Declassification Project. In the cable Ambassador White reported a conversation with General Alejandro Fretes Davalos, chief of staff of Paraguay's armed forces, who informed him that the South American intelligence chiefs involved in Condor kept "in touch with one another through a U.S. communications installation in the Panama Canal Zone which covered all of Latin America". White feared that the US connection to Condor might be publicly revealed during the investigation into the murder of Letelier.

John Dinges argues that "The paper trail is clear: the State Department and the CIA had enough intelligence to take concrete steps to thwart Condor assassination planning. Those steps were initiated but never implemented." Hewson Ryan, who worked for Henry Kissinger, later admitted that: "We knew fairly early on that the governments of the Southern Cone countries were planning, or at least talking about, some assassinations abroad in the summer of 1976. … Whether if we had gone in, we might have prevented this, I don't know. But we didn't."

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My husband is Chilean and was involved in the events of 1973 says that the planes that bombed the Moneda Palace were flown by US personnel. Either Chilean planes or US planes with Chilean markings. He has gone to bed now but I will ask him in the morning (Australia) for his source. Many of the people tortured and 'interrogated' were tortured in the presence of people speaking English with American accents. So the US was more involved than they wish to be known to be not just supplying money and telephone systems. Colonia Dignidad is in south Chile and was like a country within a country. It was started by an ex Nazi (Schaffer?)and was used as a place of torture and disappearnce as well as arms storage and manufacturing of drugs and biological warfare (ricin/sarin) type things. As far as I can tell there was no FDR German involvement just a bunch of old fascists and Nazis doing favors for each other. There was more connection with the Catholic church and France especially with Argentina.

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To John Simkin:

Untill this day I have no idea who wrote the above article: The Cover Up part I and II, but I would very much like to know.

A search from Google comes up with this website:

http://www.jfkmurdersolved.com/blackops.htm

Indeed, it was not on the Internet untill I put it there, from two pieces of paper.

Wim

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A book has just been published entitled "The Art of Political Murder". It is a study of the death of Juan José Gerardi Conedera. In May 1967 Gerardi Conedera was appointed as Bishop of Verapaz. He developed a reputation for being deeply concerned about the indigenous communities in Guatemala. For example, he played an important role in securing authorisation for two radio stations to broadcast in Mayan languages.

In August 1974, Gerardi Conedera was appointed Bishop of Quiché. General Fernando Romeo Lucas García was elected President of Guatemala in 1978. Over the next few years the government resorted to political repression and assassinations of major progressive opposition figures. Conedera led the protests against the military government. While serving as president of the Guatemalan Conference of Bishops, he spoke out openly about the 31st January 1980 Spanish embassy fire in which 39 people lost their lives and in which government instigation was widely suspected. In June 1980 there was an attempt to kill Gerardi Conedera.

Soon afterwards the Bishop Gerardi was called to the Vatican to attend a synod. General Lucas García ordered that he should not be allowed to return to Guatemala. He travelled to neighbouring El Salvador, which refused to grant him right of asylum. Bishop Gerardi eventually settled in Costa Rica.

On 23rd March, 1982, General Fernando Romeo Lucas García was ousted from power by General José Efraín Ríos Montt. Condedera was now allowed to return to Guatemala. However, the new military government continued to persecute the indigenous Mayans, who were suspected of supporting the left-wing guerrilla movement in Guatemala. We now know that the military regime was getting support from the CIA as part of Operation Condor.

In 1988 the Conference of Bishops assigned Juan José Gerardi Conedera to serve on the National Reconciliation Commission. Later he was appointed as Coordinator of the Human Rights Office for the Archdiocese of Guatemala and director of the Interdiocesan Historical Memory Recovery Project (REMHI).

On 24th April, 1988, Bishop Gerardi released a REMHI report entitled "Guatemala: Never Again." According to this report, 150,000 civilians had been killed and another 50,000 "disappeared" during the internal armed conflict. More than 400 villages were erased from the landscape as homes were burned, crops destroyed and the inhabitants cruelly massacred. The victims, for the most part, were Mayan peasant farmers from poor and isolated villages throughout the western highlands. And 90% of the time the perpetrators, REMHI confirmed, were members of the Armed Forces or the army-commissioned Civil Defense Patrols.

Two nights after Bishop Gerardi released his report he was attacked in his garage as he got out of his car. Gerardi was battered him to death with concrete slabs.

The Catholic Church in Guatemala, realizing that it could not rely on the legal system to look into the bishop's murder, took the controversial decision to form an investigative team of young men who called themselves Los Intocables (the Untouchables) to find the killers.

On 8th June 2001 three army officers: Byron Disrael Lima Estrada, Byron Lima Oliva and José Obdulio Villanueva, were convicted of his murder and sentenced to 30-year prison terms. A priest, Mario Orantes, was sentenced to 20 years for the crime.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SAgerardi.htm

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I do not want to detract from this thread, because it is a subject of vital importance. The following is what I would consider supplemental information, of which the intent is to demystify how the preceding has an obvious inter-relationship, with the events of Dallas, and Kennedy's assassination. First, let me say that the first few years I spent researching the Kennedy Assassination, were pretty much like the average novice researcher.

After a few years, it became obvious to me that the allegation our own government was involved in the circumstances which led to his death, had and has a certain validity, it was then, that I began to believe, that barring a miracle of Biblical proportions, the unfortunate fact that if such an allegation is valid, it defies logic to believe that anything resembling "coming clean," on our governments part will be taking place, unless it is "not in our lifetime."

I hope and pray for America's restoration as a force dedicated to the principles elucidated in the Constitution, regarding the inherently American vision, extolling life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But the concept of constitutional government, probably disappeared in the 1990's, but that is strictly an opinion.

Nevertheless, the point of my post, is that to understand the dynamics of the assassination of JFK practically requires a historian, and, as John Simkin has pointed out historians, for the most part have been extremely reticent about advocating any validity to the premise of a conspiracy, even though to those who have the intellectual honesty, and principles that are inherent in the idea of "dedication to reality," the logical response, arguably is to feel or surmise, that such a characteristic is due to a lack of moral courage, and self-preservation more than a historical obligation to accurately portray history in all its abject reality.

To understand the dynamics of Operation Condor, it would be helpful to be aware of a few things.

First, a book based, on inherently factual information which painstakingly details the pre-history of what subject matter is contained in regards to Operation Condor, I stipulate, can be found in the book....

American Swastika: The Shocking Story of Nazi Collaborators in Our Midst from 1933 to the Present Day - The author, Charles Higham also authored Trading with the Enemy.......

American Swastika chronicles a Machiavellian world of the years both before and after World War II, where the lines between religion, ideology and the agenda to destroy "godless Communism" found such strange bedfellows as Father Charles Coughlin, who was not only anti-Semitic, but was in the employ of the Nazi's along with Ukranian groups, which were ideologically on the same page as the Third Reich; hence there is a chapter entitled "The White Russian Nazi's." Among the Ukranian groups Higham elaborates on as being ideological soulmates, [in my words] of the conceptualization of the 1000 Year Reich, none perhaps were more significant than the All Russian National Socialist Labor Party, which was synonymous with the person of Count Anastase Vonsiatsky and his wife Marion Stephens. The two were married in New York at the Russian Orthodox St. Nicholas Cathedral in 1922.....

A chilling passage regarding Vonsiatsky,.....He [Vonsiatsky] had a large following --- and a small battalion of armed followers situated in Thompson, Connecticut. His favorite remarks to visitors of his own persuasion was "America First does good work. It is a must when Hitler wins. Your Senators Wheeler, Nye, and D. Worth Clark will save your America for you Americans. And Lindbergh is great! And Father Coughlin!"

Vonsiatsky saw this group correctly as the forerunners of the Fourth Reich, where America would join with Germany in the new dawn of racial purity.......

The problem for those researchers who are trying, and will succeed, in connecting the dots of the Kennedy assassination

can perhaps be illustrated more than anything else, by the perceptions of the research community in the 1980's....A popular magazine of the era, mentions all of the usual suspects....The CIA, Mafia, LBJ, KGB and FBI......Three decades later, at least in my mind and others, there is an omission or, at the very least, a distinction that should be made when mentioning the CIA.

The year 1998 marked the formation of something called "The 1998 Nazi War Crimes Disclosure Act." On the heels of that event, a book was released entitled "U.S. Intelligence and the Nazi's." There is extremely compelling information, which serves as a catalyst to better understanding the actions and inactions of U.S. Intelligence legends, if you will, Allen Dulles and Jim Angleton during the period preceding the 1960's. I will submit that one cannot understand the dynamics of the Kennedy Assassination, without either reading, or having access to the same documentation of events, contained in these two works....

As a final note, to continue the thought regarding researchers honestly trying to put all the pieces together, a common mistake is to unlock a portion of the "how" of the assasination say, regarding the issue of the anti-Castro Cuban's and how they fit in the overall context of 11/22/1963 and oversimplify the myriad connections between all of these various groups, and reduce that particular research into presenting what in reality is a sub-plot, if you will, to being, "the big picture of how it happened"......

I believe the facts bear me out on this as in the 1960's on through till today, we have in reality, different slices of the conspiracy, influenced perhaps, as a result of the painfully obvious lack of forthrightness by the government in revealing the truth.

The Kennedy assassination will be solved in the sense that a very good understanding of how it happened will eventually emerge, in my estimation.

I hope everyone realizes how important what they contribute to revealing the truth of that event is for future generations.

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To understand the dynamics of Operation Condor, it would be helpful to be aware of a few things.

First, a book based, on inherently factual information which painstakingly details the pre-history of what subject matter is contained in regards to Operation Condor, I stipulate, can be found in the book....

American Swastika: The Shocking Story of Nazi Collaborators in Our Midst from 1933 to the Present Day - The author, Charles Higham also authored Trading with the Enemy.......

Thank you for reminding me about these two books. I have just purchased them via Amazon. Higham is also the author of Howard Hughes: The Secret Life.

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UPDATE:

As you read the following, recall that Michael Townley was run by David Atlee Phillips. From:

http://antifascist-calling.blogspot.com/20...-operation.html

Death Squad International: New Operation Condor Revelations

An Italian judicial investigation into the transnational snatch-and kill program known as Operation Condor has brought to light new evidence of U.S. government foreknowledge and probable complicity in these murderous operations.

According to information posted last Friday by the National Security Archive, newly declassified documents,

... show that the U.S. government had detailed knowledge of collaboration between the Peruvian, Bolivian and Argentine secret police forces to kidnap, torture and "permanently disappear" three militants in a Cold War rendition operation in Lima in June 1980--but took insufficient action to save the victims.

The new documents,

... address what has become known as "the case of the missing Montoneros," a covert operation by a death squad unit of Argentina's feared Battalion 601 to kidnap three members of a militant group living in Lima, Peru, on June 12, 1980, and render them through Bolivia back to Argentina. (A fourth member, previously captured, was brought to Lima to identify his colleagues and then disappeared with them.) "The present situation is that the four Argentines will be held in Peru and then expelled to Bolivia where they will be expelled to Argentina," a U.S. official reported from Buenos Aires four days after Esther Gianetti de Molfino, María Inés Raverta and Julio César Ramírez were kidnapped in broad daylight in downtown Lima. "Once in Argentina they will be interrogated and then permanently disappeared."

Operation Condor, the brainchild of Chile's murderous Pinochet regime was launched in 1975 as a covert program that targeted leftists for elimination; a planned political genocide that claimed tens of thousands of lives. By the time of its official launch, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay Peru and Uruguay were collaborating in the project.

The program became infamous for its terrorist operations when Chilean agents and anti-Castro exiles affiliated with Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles' fascist group CORU (Coordination of United Revolutionary Organizations), planted a bomb under the car of former Chilean ambassador Orlando Letelier and detonated it in September 1976 on Washington's Embassy Row, killing the outspoken Pinochet opponent and his colleague, Ronni Moffitt.

The Chilean Condor operative, Michael Vernon Townley, an American ex-pat with links to the Chilean fascist group Patria y Libertad and long-suspected of being a CIA asset, was later apprehended by the FBI as the organizer and bomb maker for the attack. Though convicted for the murders in federal court Townley was freed by authorities and remains to this day, in a U.S. Witness Protection Program.

Shortly after Letelier's assassination, Bosch and Posada conspired to blow up Cubana Airline Flight 455 on October 6, 1976, killing all 73 passengers on board.

Operation Condor drew from a seemingly inexhaustible pool of neofascists, anti-Castro terrorists, drug traffickers and military/intelligence operatives, many of whom were trained by the Pentagon at its infamous School of the Americas, and by the CIA at the Agency's Camp Peary facility near Williamsburg, Virginia. As such, Condor bears a striking resemblance to today's "extraordinary rendition" program and, similarly, utilized an unaccountable network of paramilitary "specialists," corporate cut-outs and dodgy characters to do the dirty work.

According to the Archive's latest revelations,

Peru's former military ruler, General Enrique Morales Bermudez, has admitted authorizing the Montonero kidnappings but continues to deny that Peru was a member of Operation Condor. But a secret CIA report, dated August 22, 1978, and titled "A Brief Look at Operation Condor" described Condor as "a cooperative effort by intelligence/security services in several South American countries to combat terrorism and subversion. The original members included services from Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil and Bolivia. Peru and Ecuador recently became members." (Emphasis added) A Chilean intelligence document confirms that Peru formally joined Operation Condor in March 1978.

A State Department cable dated several weeks after the kidnapping stated that "there seems to be little doubt that the Peruvian army, acting in concert with its Argentine counterpart, resorted to the kinds of illegal repressive measures more familiar in the Southern Cone" than Peru.

Italian judge Luisianna Figliolia, issued a 250-page court filing last December, indicting Morales, his military deputy Pedro Richter Prada as well as 138 other military officers from Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay involved the kidnapping, torture and "disappearance" of 25 Latin Americans who had dual Italian citizenship. The indictments followed a six-year probe by investigative magistrate Giancarlo Capaldo who referenced hundreds of declassified documents provided by the Archive's Southern Cone project.

"These documents provide hard evidence of Condor crimes," according to project director Carlos Osorio, "that almost 30 years later still demand the resolution of justice."

Battalion 601: The CIA's Handmaid

Argentina's Battalion 601 was tasked by the ruling junta to "internationalize" the battle against Marxism beyond national borders. A Foreign Task Force (GTE) coordinated through the State Intelligence Agency (SIDE), was created for this express purpose. Commanded by Gen. Carlos Guillermo Suárez Mason, a graduate of the U.S. Army's School of the Americas and a hard-line Nazi with links to Operation Gladio, Suárez Mason was later tied to international narcotrafficking networks throughout Europe and Latin America.

Suárez Mason was a key proponent of the crusade to "fight the first battle of World War III" in Central America. Indeed, much of the funding that flowed into the coffers of the so-called Nicaraguan "resistance" from Southern cone "dirty warriors" were derived from illicit narco-profits; a by-product of Argentina's involvement in the 1980 Bolivian putsch that installed Gen. Luis Garcia Mesa as president in La Paz. The coup had been financed by drug lord Roberto Suárez. (see "The CIA, Paramilitarism & Narcotrafficking: The Colombian Connection," for details of Bolivia's "Cocaine Coup.")

At the Fourth Congress of the Latin American Anti-Communist League in 1980, an affiliate of the World Anti-Communist League (WACL), Suárez Mason argued for the need to develop the anticommunist struggle in Central America, especially in light of the 1979 overthrow of the corrupt Somoza dictatorship by the Sandinistas.

During the early 1980s WACL was directed by former U.S. Gen. John Singlaub, a key figure in the illegal arming of the Contra network. During Singlaub's watch WACL provided some $8 million for the initial cost of stationing Argentine advisors in Central America. According to Uruguayan journalist Samuel Blixen, the money may have come from secret funds managed by the CIA. A strong argument in favor of this scenario stems from the fact that years before the U.S. was publicly committed to overthrowing the Sandinistas, Argentine GTE operatives had created an extensive financial- and money-laundering network inside the United States. Blixen reports:

Leandro Sánchez Reisse is the only member of the External Task Force of Batallion 601 who has confessed the link between the Argentine advisors and drug trafficking to finance undercover operations. ...

Sánchez Reisse revealed that General Suárez Masón and the section of the army under his command received drug money...to fund counterinsurgency efforts in Central America. He explained that two businesses in Miami, one called Argenshow, dedicated to contracting singers for Latin American tours, and another called Silver Dollar, in reality a pawn shop, managed by Raúl Guglielminetti, were the two locations for transferring money. He admitted that Silver Dollar and Argenshow had channelled US$30mn in drug money sent via Panama to Switzerland, Liechtenstein, the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands. The money, he said, ended up in the hands of the Nicaraguan contras. He also revealed that since the mid-80s the CIA was fully informed of the two Florida businesses and that it gave its approval to the money laundering operations. ("The Double Role of Drug Trafficking in State Terrorism and Militarized Democracy," in Democracy, Human Rights, and Militarism in the War on Drugs in Latin America, TNI, Cedib and Inforpress Centroamericana, Guatemala, April 1997)

Yet despite overwhelming evidence of Peru's participation in Operation Condor, the program's links to international narcotics syndicates during General Morales' collaboration with Suárez Mason, President Alan García, a staunch U.S. ally in the "war on drugs," denounced the Italian indictments as an "affront to Peru's sovereignty."

The U.S. State Department has not commented on the case.

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UPDATE:

As you read the following, recall that Michael Townley was run by David Atlee Phillips. From:

http://antifascist-calling.blogspot.com/20...-operation.html

Death Squad International: New Operation Condor Revelations

An Italian judicial investigation into the transnational snatch-and kill program known as Operation Condor has brought to light new evidence of U.S. government foreknowledge and probable complicity in these murderous operations.

According to information posted last Friday by the National Security Archive, newly declassified documents,

... show that the U.S. government had detailed knowledge of collaboration between the Peruvian, Bolivian and Argentine secret police forces to kidnap, torture and "permanently disappear" three militants in a Cold War rendition operation in Lima in June 1980--but took insufficient action to save the victims.

The new documents,

... address what has become known as "the case of the missing Montoneros," a covert operation by a death squad unit of Argentina's feared Battalion 601 to kidnap three members of a militant group living in Lima, Peru, on June 12, 1980, and render them through Bolivia back to Argentina. (A fourth member, previously captured, was brought to Lima to identify his colleagues and then disappeared with them.) "The present situation is that the four Argentines will be held in Peru and then expelled to Bolivia where they will be expelled to Argentina," a U.S. official reported from Buenos Aires four days after Esther Gianetti de Molfino, María Inés Raverta and Julio César Ramírez were kidnapped in broad daylight in downtown Lima. "Once in Argentina they will be interrogated and then permanently disappeared."

Operation Condor, the brainchild of Chile's murderous Pinochet regime was launched in 1975 as a covert program that targeted leftists for elimination; a planned political genocide that claimed tens of thousands of lives. By the time of its official launch, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay Peru and Uruguay were collaborating in the project.

The program became infamous for its terrorist operations when Chilean agents and anti-Castro exiles affiliated with Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles' fascist group CORU (Coordination of United Revolutionary Organizations), planted a bomb under the car of former Chilean ambassador Orlando Letelier and detonated it in September 1976 on Washington's Embassy Row, killing the outspoken Pinochet opponent and his colleague, Ronni Moffitt.

The Chilean Condor operative, Michael Vernon Townley, an American ex-pat with links to the Chilean fascist group Patria y Libertad and long-suspected of being a CIA asset, was later apprehended by the FBI as the organizer and bomb maker for the attack. Though convicted for the murders in federal court Townley was freed by authorities and remains to this day, in a U.S. Witness Protection Program.

Shortly after Letelier's assassination, Bosch and Posada conspired to blow up Cubana Airline Flight 455 on October 6, 1976, killing all 73 passengers on board.

Operation Condor drew from a seemingly inexhaustible pool of neofascists, anti-Castro terrorists, drug traffickers and military/intelligence operatives, many of whom were trained by the Pentagon at its infamous School of the Americas, and by the CIA at the Agency's Camp Peary facility near Williamsburg, Virginia. As such, Condor bears a striking resemblance to today's "extraordinary rendition" program and, similarly, utilized an unaccountable network of paramilitary "specialists," corporate cut-outs and dodgy characters to do the dirty work.

According to the Archive's latest revelations,

Peru's former military ruler, General Enrique Morales Bermudez, has admitted authorizing the Montonero kidnappings but continues to deny that Peru was a member of Operation Condor. But a secret CIA report, dated August 22, 1978, and titled "A Brief Look at Operation Condor" described Condor as "a cooperative effort by intelligence/security services in several South American countries to combat terrorism and subversion. The original members included services from Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil and Bolivia. Peru and Ecuador recently became members." (Emphasis added) A Chilean intelligence document confirms that Peru formally joined Operation Condor in March 1978.

A State Department cable dated several weeks after the kidnapping stated that "there seems to be little doubt that the Peruvian army, acting in concert with its Argentine counterpart, resorted to the kinds of illegal repressive measures more familiar in the Southern Cone" than Peru.

Italian judge Luisianna Figliolia, issued a 250-page court filing last December, indicting Morales, his military deputy Pedro Richter Prada as well as 138 other military officers from Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay involved the kidnapping, torture and "disappearance" of 25 Latin Americans who had dual Italian citizenship. The indictments followed a six-year probe by investigative magistrate Giancarlo Capaldo who referenced hundreds of declassified documents provided by the Archive's Southern Cone project.

"These documents provide hard evidence of Condor crimes," according to project director Carlos Osorio, "that almost 30 years later still demand the resolution of justice."

Battalion 601: The CIA's Handmaid

Argentina's Battalion 601 was tasked by the ruling junta to "internationalize" the battle against Marxism beyond national borders. A Foreign Task Force (GTE) coordinated through the State Intelligence Agency (SIDE), was created for this express purpose. Commanded by Gen. Carlos Guillermo Suárez Mason, a graduate of the U.S. Army's School of the Americas and a hard-line Nazi with links to Operation Gladio, Suárez Mason was later tied to international narcotrafficking networks throughout Europe and Latin America.

Suárez Mason was a key proponent of the crusade to "fight the first battle of World War III" in Central America. Indeed, much of the funding that flowed into the coffers of the so-called Nicaraguan "resistance" from Southern cone "dirty warriors" were derived from illicit narco-profits; a by-product of Argentina's involvement in the 1980 Bolivian putsch that installed Gen. Luis Garcia Mesa as president in La Paz. The coup had been financed by drug lord Roberto Suárez. (see "The CIA, Paramilitarism & Narcotrafficking: The Colombian Connection," for details of Bolivia's "Cocaine Coup.")

At the Fourth Congress of the Latin American Anti-Communist League in 1980, an affiliate of the World Anti-Communist League (WACL), Suárez Mason argued for the need to develop the anticommunist struggle in Central America, especially in light of the 1979 overthrow of the corrupt Somoza dictatorship by the Sandinistas.

During the early 1980s WACL was directed by former U.S. Gen. John Singlaub, a key figure in the illegal arming of the Contra network. During Singlaub's watch WACL provided some $8 million for the initial cost of stationing Argentine advisors in Central America. According to Uruguayan journalist Samuel Blixen, the money may have come from secret funds managed by the CIA. A strong argument in favor of this scenario stems from the fact that years before the U.S. was publicly committed to overthrowing the Sandinistas, Argentine GTE operatives had created an extensive financial- and money-laundering network inside the United States. Blixen reports:

Leandro Sánchez Reisse is the only member of the External Task Force of Batallion 601 who has confessed the link between the Argentine advisors and drug trafficking to finance undercover operations. ...

Sánchez Reisse revealed that General Suárez Masón and the section of the army under his command received drug money...to fund counterinsurgency efforts in Central America. He explained that two businesses in Miami, one called Argenshow, dedicated to contracting singers for Latin American tours, and another called Silver Dollar, in reality a pawn shop, managed by Raúl Guglielminetti, were the two locations for transferring money. He admitted that Silver Dollar and Argenshow had channelled US$30mn in drug money sent via Panama to Switzerland, Liechtenstein, the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands. The money, he said, ended up in the hands of the Nicaraguan contras. He also revealed that since the mid-80s the CIA was fully informed of the two Florida businesses and that it gave its approval to the money laundering operations. ("The Double Role of Drug Trafficking in State Terrorism and Militarized Democracy," in Democracy, Human Rights, and Militarism in the War on Drugs in Latin America, TNI, Cedib and Inforpress Centroamericana, Guatemala, April 1997)

Yet despite overwhelming evidence of Peru's participation in Operation Condor, the program's links to international narcotics syndicates during General Morales' collaboration with Suárez Mason, President Alan García, a staunch U.S. ally in the "war on drugs," denounced the Italian indictments as an "affront to Peru's sovereignty."

The U.S. State Department has not commented on the case.

John:

As you know I take exception as to having GPH associated with Operation 40. He was in no way associated with OPS-40. Nor was he associated with CIA operations in any way shape or forum. Toney Bender was one of my case officers (documented) as well as Barns. Rip Robertson was also a close friend as well as Easterline and others. I was with it from the start as a pilot... or as GPH called me "...nothing but a bus jockey a wannabe...". Well time will prove truth and its happening now.

Declassified documents are now coming forth which I think supports some of what I have said long ago. AND TOO, on this forum where I was called a xxxx by many; remember?

GPH 'piggy backed' off others and their stories and inserted himself in them. Because he is dead I mean no disrespect, but facts are facts. It will take two lifetimes to undo what he did toward truth in this matter and others. The OPS 40 boys might not have been the best church goers, BUT I had to fly them to wherever they wanted to go or was sent. AND I damn sure had to get along with them.., especially the Cubans... some of them really did not like Gringos.

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UPDATE:

As you read the following, recall that Michael Townley was run by David Atlee Phillips. From:

http://antifascist-calling.blogspot.com/20...-operation.html

Death Squad International: New Operation Condor Revelations

An Italian judicial investigation into the transnational snatch-and kill program known as Operation Condor has brought to light new evidence of U.S. government foreknowledge and probable complicity in these murderous operations.

According to information posted last Friday by the National Security Archive, newly declassified documents,

... show that the U.S. government had detailed knowledge of collaboration between the Peruvian, Bolivian and Argentine secret police forces to kidnap, torture and "permanently disappear" three militants in a Cold War rendition operation in Lima in June 1980--but took insufficient action to save the victims.

The new documents,

... address what has become known as "the case of the missing Montoneros," a covert operation by a death squad unit of Argentina's feared Battalion 601 to kidnap three members of a militant group living in Lima, Peru, on June 12, 1980, and render them through Bolivia back to Argentina. (A fourth member, previously captured, was brought to Lima to identify his colleagues and then disappeared with them.) "The present situation is that the four Argentines will be held in Peru and then expelled to Bolivia where they will be expelled to Argentina," a U.S. official reported from Buenos Aires four days after Esther Gianetti de Molfino, María Inés Raverta and Julio César Ramírez were kidnapped in broad daylight in downtown Lima. "Once in Argentina they will be interrogated and then permanently disappeared."

Operation Condor, the brainchild of Chile's murderous Pinochet regime was launched in 1975 as a covert program that targeted leftists for elimination; a planned political genocide that claimed tens of thousands of lives. By the time of its official launch, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay Peru and Uruguay were collaborating in the project.

The program became infamous for its terrorist operations when Chilean agents and anti-Castro exiles affiliated with Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles' fascist group CORU (Coordination of United Revolutionary Organizations), planted a bomb under the car of former Chilean ambassador Orlando Letelier and detonated it in September 1976 on Washington's Embassy Row, killing the outspoken Pinochet opponent and his colleague, Ronni Moffitt.

The Chilean Condor operative, Michael Vernon Townley, an American ex-pat with links to the Chilean fascist group Patria y Libertad and long-suspected of being a CIA asset, was later apprehended by the FBI as the organizer and bomb maker for the attack. Though convicted for the murders in federal court Townley was freed by authorities and remains to this day, in a U.S. Witness Protection Program.

Shortly after Letelier's assassination, Bosch and Posada conspired to blow up Cubana Airline Flight 455 on October 6, 1976, killing all 73 passengers on board.

Operation Condor drew from a seemingly inexhaustible pool of neofascists, anti-Castro terrorists, drug traffickers and military/intelligence operatives, many of whom were trained by the Pentagon at its infamous School of the Americas, and by the CIA at the Agency's Camp Peary facility near Williamsburg, Virginia. As such, Condor bears a striking resemblance to today's "extraordinary rendition" program and, similarly, utilized an unaccountable network of paramilitary "specialists," corporate cut-outs and dodgy characters to do the dirty work.

According to the Archive's latest revelations,

Peru's former military ruler, General Enrique Morales Bermudez, has admitted authorizing the Montonero kidnappings but continues to deny that Peru was a member of Operation Condor. But a secret CIA report, dated August 22, 1978, and titled "A Brief Look at Operation Condor" described Condor as "a cooperative effort by intelligence/security services in several South American countries to combat terrorism and subversion. The original members included services from Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil and Bolivia. Peru and Ecuador recently became members." (Emphasis added) A Chilean intelligence document confirms that Peru formally joined Operation Condor in March 1978.

A State Department cable dated several weeks after the kidnapping stated that "there seems to be little doubt that the Peruvian army, acting in concert with its Argentine counterpart, resorted to the kinds of illegal repressive measures more familiar in the Southern Cone" than Peru.

Italian judge Luisianna Figliolia, issued a 250-page court filing last December, indicting Morales, his military deputy Pedro Richter Prada as well as 138 other military officers from Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay involved the kidnapping, torture and "disappearance" of 25 Latin Americans who had dual Italian citizenship. The indictments followed a six-year probe by investigative magistrate Giancarlo Capaldo who referenced hundreds of declassified documents provided by the Archive's Southern Cone project.

"These documents provide hard evidence of Condor crimes," according to project director Carlos Osorio, "that almost 30 years later still demand the resolution of justice."

Battalion 601: The CIA's Handmaid

Argentina's Battalion 601 was tasked by the ruling junta to "internationalize" the battle against Marxism beyond national borders. A Foreign Task Force (GTE) coordinated through the State Intelligence Agency (SIDE), was created for this express purpose. Commanded by Gen. Carlos Guillermo Suárez Mason, a graduate of the U.S. Army's School of the Americas and a hard-line Nazi with links to Operation Gladio, Suárez Mason was later tied to international narcotrafficking networks throughout Europe and Latin America.

Suárez Mason was a key proponent of the crusade to "fight the first battle of World War III" in Central America. Indeed, much of the funding that flowed into the coffers of the so-called Nicaraguan "resistance" from Southern cone "dirty warriors" were derived from illicit narco-profits; a by-product of Argentina's involvement in the 1980 Bolivian putsch that installed Gen. Luis Garcia Mesa as president in La Paz. The coup had been financed by drug lord Roberto Suárez. (see "The CIA, Paramilitarism & Narcotrafficking: The Colombian Connection," for details of Bolivia's "Cocaine Coup.")

At the Fourth Congress of the Latin American Anti-Communist League in 1980, an affiliate of the World Anti-Communist League (WACL), Suárez Mason argued for the need to develop the anticommunist struggle in Central America, especially in light of the 1979 overthrow of the corrupt Somoza dictatorship by the Sandinistas.

During the early 1980s WACL was directed by former U.S. Gen. John Singlaub, a key figure in the illegal arming of the Contra network. During Singlaub's watch WACL provided some $8 million for the initial cost of stationing Argentine advisors in Central America. According to Uruguayan journalist Samuel Blixen, the money may have come from secret funds managed by the CIA. A strong argument in favor of this scenario stems from the fact that years before the U.S. was publicly committed to overthrowing the Sandinistas, Argentine GTE operatives had created an extensive financial- and money-laundering network inside the United States. Blixen reports:

Leandro Sánchez Reisse is the only member of the External Task Force of Batallion 601 who has confessed the link between the Argentine advisors and drug trafficking to finance undercover operations. ...

Sánchez Reisse revealed that General Suárez Masón and the section of the army under his command received drug money...to fund counterinsurgency efforts in Central America. He explained that two businesses in Miami, one called Argenshow, dedicated to contracting singers for Latin American tours, and another called Silver Dollar, in reality a pawn shop, managed by Raúl Guglielminetti, were the two locations for transferring money. He admitted that Silver Dollar and Argenshow had channelled US$30mn in drug money sent via Panama to Switzerland, Liechtenstein, the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands. The money, he said, ended up in the hands of the Nicaraguan contras. He also revealed that since the mid-80s the CIA was fully informed of the two Florida businesses and that it gave its approval to the money laundering operations. ("The Double Role of Drug Trafficking in State Terrorism and Militarized Democracy," in Democracy, Human Rights, and Militarism in the War on Drugs in Latin America, TNI, Cedib and Inforpress Centroamericana, Guatemala, April 1997)

Yet despite overwhelming evidence of Peru's participation in Operation Condor, the program's links to international narcotics syndicates during General Morales' collaboration with Suárez Mason, President Alan García, a staunch U.S. ally in the "war on drugs," denounced the Italian indictments as an "affront to Peru's sovereignty."

The U.S. State Department has not commented on the case.

Nor should we forget George H. W. Bush's role in Operation Condor.

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