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The Death of Ronni Moffitt


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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 American involved in the campaign to bring democracy to 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 Sampol 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 Letelier. In 1978 Chile agreed to extradite him to the United States. Townley, a CIA contract agent, confessed he had hired five anti-Castro Cubans exiles to booby-trap Letelier's car. Guillermo Novo Sampol, Ignacio Novo Sampol, Virgilio Paz Romero, Dionisio Suárez, and Alvin Ross Díaz are indicted for the crime.

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.

On the 9th January, 1979, the trial of Guillermo Novo Sampol, Ignacio Novo Sampol 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.

Just another example of the CIA's support of international terrorism.

http://www.november.org/razorwire/rzold/20/20008.html

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William Turner , Rearview Mirror, 2001 (pages 221-22)

In 1968, as the CIA scaled back its Cuba campaign, Orlando Bosch's MIRR morphed into Cuban Power, a terrorist faction that, like the religious lunatic on the train in "On the Twentieth Century", stuck trademark red, white and blue stickers at the scene of the crime. On May 31, a Japanese freighter docked at Tampa and a British merchantman under way off Key West were racked by explosions. The following day, in Miami, a man calling himself Ernesto staged a press conference condemning countries doing business with Cuba and warned that "other ships are going to explode." Although Ernesto wore a sack over his head in the manner of a Mafia defector before a Senate hearing, he was easily identified as Bosch. That summer Cuban Power terrorism spread to Los Angeles, where an Air France office, the Mexico Tourist Department and the British consulate were bombed, and Manhattan, where the diplomatic and tourist agencies of six countries with normal relations with Cuba were hit, and a time bomb was found in the Air France facility in Rockefeller Center. For good measure, two bars frequented by pro-Castro Cubans were bombed, and the audience attending a play, "The Cuban Thing", at the Henry Miller Theater off Times Square were driven crying into the street by tear gas devices. But on September 16, 1968, Bosch was caught red-handed by FBI agents tipped off by an informant inside Cuban Power as he fired on the Polish motor ship Polancia at dock in Miami. Convicted of terrorism, he was incarcerated at the Marion Federal Penitentiary, where he played gin rummy with Rolando Masferrer, locked up for violating the Neutrality Act.

When Bosch was released from prison in the fall of 1972 through the intercession of Florida politicians eyeing the exile-bloc vote, Republican Governor Claude Kirk rhapsodized, "When I think of free men seeking a homeland, I must necessarily think of Dr. Bosch." As it turned out, the mad bomber was free to resume his old ways, this time promising "an internationalization of the war." By early 1975 he was in Chile, where General Augusto Pinochet, whose junta had bloodily overthrown Allende, put him up in a government guest house while he conferred with Pinochet's secret police, the brutal DINA (National Intelligence Directorate), which was responsible for hundreds of desaparecidos during the dictatorship. "Bosch had a book on the life of Yasir Arafat with him," reported a Miami newsman who interviewed him there, "and an impressive stack of cash on the table." On September 21, 1976, Allende's ambassador, Orlando Letelier, an effective opponent of the Pinochet regime, was driving along Washington's Embassy Row when a radio-triggered bomb under his car exploded, killing him and a companion.

As CIA director, George Bush was in the loop on this one: within a week the Agency knew that DINA and several CIA-connected Cubans were responsible. But it leaked an item to Newsweek reading, "The CIA has concluded that the Chilean secret police was not involved." The lie was put to that when DINA agent Michael V. Townley was arrested and convicted. Townley implicated two journeymen in Bosch's network, Guillermo Novo and Alvin Ross Diaz, who were tried and convicted, then acquitted at a retrial (when arrested in Miami, the pair was in possession of a pound of cocaine, a terrorist currency). And in 1993, after democracy returned to Chile, Manuel Contreras, the head of DINA at the time, was convicted of masterminding the Letelier murder. In a recent clemency petition, Contreras deposed that Pinochet approved and supervised all major DINA operations.

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Kind of interesting coincidence that the CIA inspired coup of Allende occurred on 9/11/73. Our tax dollars at work helping instrument the violent overthrow of a democratically elected leader of a foreign nation ( because he was a Marxist).

Edited by Alan Espy
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Kind of interesting coincidence that the CIA inspired coup of Allende occurred on 9/11/73. Our tax dollars at work helping instrument the violent overthrow of a democratically elected leader of a foreign nation (because he was a Marxist).

Pinochet is still alive and has still to be brought to trial. One of the reasons was that he passed a law before leaving office in 1990 that gave him immunity from prosecution for human rights abuses in Chile.

As well as the killings, thousands were tortured during his period of power. This includes the current president of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, and her mother, Angela Jeria.

The Supreme Court of Chile has now stripped Pinochet of his immunity from prosecution. However, he is now 90 years old and time is running out. Let he lives long enough to tell the world how he got help from the CIA to create his dictatorship. Hopefully it will also draw attention to the way the US legal system has protected CIA contract agents from the law. For example, Michael Townley confessed to being the person who planted the bomb that killed Orlando Letelier and Ronni Moffitt. Whereas his Cuban friends were sent to prison for life, Townley was allowed to go free.

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[quote name='John Simkin' date='Sep 12 2006, 09:05 AM' post='74659']

Kind of interesting coincidence that the CIA inspired coup of Allende occurred on 9/11/73. Our tax dollars at work helping instrument the violent overthrow of a democratically elected leader of a foreign nation (because he was a Marxist).

It's the norm actually. The US terrorists enjoy repeat acts of terrorism on significant anniversaries.

Dawn

Pinochet will never talk, with or without immunity. He made a deal with the devil. The CIA.

For those anti- CTists on this forum who have never seen the film "Missing" rent it. I know it's just a movie you say, but a very eye opening film of what this government did in Chile. Jack Lemon's character is awesome; his transformation is brilliant.

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

It might be worth noting here that in an Agency contact report on Grayston Lynch, he said that the 'street word' from the Cubans is that the people who killed Letelier were the same people who killed John Roselli. He also said that the front money for both hits had emanated from Santo Traficante.

James

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  • 2 weeks later...

Michael Vernon Townley made a full confession to the murder of Orlando Letelier and Ronni Moffitt. The authors, John Dinges & Saul Landau, used this confession for their book Assassination on Embassy Row (1980):

Townley added the final touches to the bomb as Paz held the parts in place for him. Suarez read and talked. Townley planned to place the bomb under the driver's seat; he molded the plastique to blow the full explosive force directly upward.

At about midnight he felt satisfied with his handiwork. The three left the motel in Paz's Volvo and stopped by the train station; Townley went to the ticket window to find out if there were any trains leaving for the New York area in the early morning hours. There were none.

"During the ride to Letelier's house," he wrote, "I was informed by Paz and Suarez that they expected me to place the device on the car as they wished to have a DINA agent, namely myself, directly tied to the placing of the device."

Townley kept quiet. He carried the bomb under his dark blue sweatshirt and wore corduroy pants. He hadn't planned on getting his pants dirty, but he had weighed the alternatives and decided he would have to tape the bomb himself.

Paz drove into the street parallel to Ogden Court. Townley walked from behind two houses into the turn-around area of the cul-de-sac and surveyed the block. People were entering a neighboring house, "so I turned around, returning to the parallel street, and walked up the hill on this parallel street, until I met Paz and Suarez, at which time we drove around to take up some time and then returned to the entrance of Letelier's street, where I was dropped off at the top of the hill."

On one side of the Leteliers lived an FBI agent; on the other, a Foreign Service officer. As Townley walked down the hill, some dogs barked, then stopped. Television screens glowed greyly through windows.

Letelier's car was parked in the driveway, nose in. Townley walked directly to the car, lay down on his back on the driver's side, pulled up his blue sweatshirt to expose the bomb, put his tools in accessible positions, and slid under the car. The space was small, Townley large. Moving as little as possible, he attached the bomb to the crossbeam with black electrical tape, occasionally flicking on a pencil flashlight to check its position.

Footsteps. Townley froze, trying to control his breathing. Not more than two inches separated him from the car chassis. The footsteps faded. He began to run tape from the speedometer cable to the explosive. What had seemed like an ample supply of tape now appeared scanty. He didn't want the bomb to slip or fall off.

He heard the sound of an engine: a car was approaching with its radio on. He stopped again, perspiration now pouring down his face and soaking his hands and body. The radio became louder; it was a police band. Townley fought to stay calm. The radio got still louder; now he could see the tires from the corner of his eye. But the car moved on, turned around in the cul-de-sac, and picking up speed, left the block. Townley flicked the flashlight on. The bomb was firmly attached, even though he would have preferred to run more tape around the crossbeam. He began to slide out. But had he taped the slide switch into the "on" position? He might have covered it in the "off" or "safety" position. He slid back under and felt, trying to remember which side was on and which off. He found the nub; it was off. He pushed it until it clicked, then pressed the tape into the groove with his finger to prevent the switch from falling back. But electrical tape is pliant and may not hold the switch, he thought.

Lack of time could lead to mistakes. Paz and Suarez had insisted that he place the bomb personally and that he do it that night. Townley felt a chill enter his sweat-laden body as he walked up the hill out of Ogden Court.

The Cubans picked him up on the deserted corner and headed slowly onto River Road. Townley told them of his uncertainty about the switch being in the correct position.

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Townley added the final touches to the bomb as Paz held the parts in place for him. Suarez read and talked. Townley planned to place the bomb under the driver's seat; he molded the plastique to blow the full explosive force directly upward. (John Simkin quoting text)

The guy on the far right below is Virgilio Paz.

James

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  • 2 months later...

Peter Dale Scott, in his Dallas COPA talk, twice mentions the Sheridan Circle DC car bomb assassination of Orlando Letelier and Ronnie Moffett, and the role of G. W. Bush in attempting to thwart the prosecution.

Eventually the evidence was presented to a Special Federal Grand Jury in DC, the type of Grand Jury we need to solve the JFK Assassination, and there were indictments and convictions.

BK

Edited by William Kelly
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Peter Dale Scott, in his Dallas COPA talk, twice mentions the Sheridan Circle DC car bomb assassination of Orlando Letelier and Ronnie Moffett, and the role of G. W. Bush in attempting to thwart the prosecution.

Eventually the evidence was presented to a Special Federal Grand Jury in DC, the type of Grand Jury we need to solve the JFK Assassination, and there were indictments and convictions.

BK

Great talk, I just watched it an hour ago. Bill what can we the people do to assist in the Grand Jury effort you and others have initiated? I did write to former Dallas DA Bill Hill a few years ago, but received no response. Big surprise. We need either the District Attorney in Dallas or a Federal Prosecutor to actually convene a Grand Jury.

A few years back I had high hopes with Fitzgerald, but he's done virtually nothing.

Do you- or anyone- know anything about the current Dallas DA?

Dawn

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Peter Dale Scott, in his Dallas COPA talk, twice mentions the Sheridan Circle DC car bomb assassination of Orlando Letelier and Ronnie Moffett, and the role of G. W. Bush in attempting to thwart the prosecution.

Eventually the evidence was presented to a Special Federal Grand Jury in DC, the type of Grand Jury we need to solve the JFK Assassination, and there were indictments and convictions.

BK

Great talk, I just watched it an hour ago. Bill what can we the people do to assist in the Grand Jury effort you and others have initiated? I did write to former Dallas DA Bill Hill a few years ago, but received no response. Big surprise. We need either the District Attorney in Dallas or a Federal Prosecutor to actually convene a Grand Jury.

A few years back I had high hopes with Fitzgerald, but he's done virtually nothing.

Do you- or anyone- know anything about the current Dallas DA?

Dawn

Hi Dawn, While I don't want to hijack this post on the murder of Ronnie Moffet, the means that were used to solve that crime can and should be used to solve the JFK case. (For more info see the books Assassination on Embassy Row and Labrynth.

Fitzgerald is the type of guy you need to focus on JFK, but he's not the guy. Current DAs in Dallas and New Orleans could do what Garrison did, but they also saw what happened to him. I think a Special Fed. Grand Jury is way to go and in DC, where most of the evidence now is at the NARA, but we are going to send the first JFK Grand Jury petition to the Federal Court of North Texas soon.

We originally wanted to present it in person over the anniversary week in November in Dallas, but continuing unfolding events have interceeded. The delay is only temporary and we hope to get it into the registered mail for a certified response before the end of the year.

I will put a full update under the JFK Grand Jury Seminar in the Controversial Issues In History Section of this forum.

Rather than just convening a grand jury to investigate the case, we are are requesting a hearing at which we can present the evidence of crimes related to the assassination that can be resolved today. If we were granted such a hearign tomorrow however, I don't think we are ready to present a complete and convincing case, as we must.

What can people do to assist the grand jury project, well the evidence that will be presented must be refined and the list of living witnesses must be compiled and outstanding questions raised and,....

Those interested in pursing the grand jury project with us could read the stories about the assassination of Ronnie Moffet and learn how two enterprizing asst. DAs, Proper and Barcella, conducted their investigation, collection of evidence and prosecution of those responsible.

We're still in the collection of evidence stage, and need some guys like Proper and Barcella to take the ball. Know any?

BK

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Peter Dale Scott, in his Dallas COPA talk, twice mentions the Sheridan Circle DC car bomb assassination of Orlando Letelier and Ronnie Moffett, and the role of G. W. Bush in attempting to thwart the prosecution.

Eventually the evidence was presented to a Special Federal Grand Jury in DC, the type of Grand Jury we need to solve the JFK Assassination, and there were indictments and convictions.

BK

Great talk, I just watched it an hour ago. Bill what can we the people do to assist in the Grand Jury effort you and others have initiated? I did write to former Dallas DA Bill Hill a few years ago, but received no response. Big surprise. We need either the District Attorney in Dallas or a Federal Prosecutor to actually convene a Grand Jury.

A few years back I had high hopes with Fitzgerald, but he's done virtually nothing.

Do you- or anyone- know anything about the current Dallas DA?

Dawn

Hi Dawn, While I don't want to hijack this post on the murder of Ronnie Moffet, the means that were used to solve that crime can and should be used to solve the JFK case. (For more info see the books Assassination on Embassy Row and Labrynth.

Fitzgerald is the type of guy you need to focus on JFK, but he's not the guy. Current DAs in Dallas and New Orleans could do what Garrison did, but they also saw what happened to him. I think a Special Fed. Grand Jury is way to go and in DC, where most of the evidence now is at the NARA, but we are going to send the first JFK Grand Jury petition to the Federal Court of North Texas soon.

We originally wanted to present it in person over the anniversary week in November in Dallas, but continuing unfolding events have interceeded. The delay is only temporary and we hope to get it into the registered mail for a certified response before the end of the year.

I will put a full update under the JFK Grand Jury Seminar in the Controversial Issues In History Section of this forum.

Rather than just convening a grand jury to investigate the case, we are are requesting a hearing at which we can present the evidence of crimes related to the assassination that can be resolved today. If we were granted such a hearign tomorrow however, I don't think we are ready to present a complete and convincing case, as we must.

What can people do to assist the grand jury project, well the evidence that will be presented must be refined and the list of living witnesses must be compiled and outstanding questions raised and,....

Those interested in pursing the grand jury project with us could read the stories about the assassination of Ronnie Moffet and learn how two enterprizing asst. DAs, Proper and Barcella, conducted their investigation, collection of evidence and prosecution of those responsible.

We're still in the collection of evidence stage, and need some guys like Proper and Barcella to take the ball. Know any?

BK

Bill: I totally agree. No DA in Dallas is going touch this, so a Federal Grand Jury is the way to go. I am in the midst of trial prep myself today, but I will go back a re-aquaint myself with the Ronni Moffet case. I followed it closely when it first occurred. Just horrifying.

No, I don't know any DA's of the calibre of Proper and Barcella, tho I know a lot of terrific assistant DA's. I have no personal experience with Federal law, so don't know any Federal Prosecutors. But it would seem that this is the next step. Getting Congress to appoint such a person will be a problem. Also, a bigger problem is that there is no longer a special prosecutor statute. That ended after Clinton. Another hurdle. And Justice gets involved as well. Not gonna happen with the Bush Justice Dept. Perhaps Doug Caddy can weigh in here, with his background with Billie Sol, he may have some useful suggestions. Additionally, if we could find a Federal prosecutor he'd have to be appointed by W. Fat chance of that happening. But it's our last hope: Someone with the conscience, committment and authority of Garrison.

Dawn

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Guest John Woods
Peter Dale Scott, in his Dallas COPA talk, twice mentions the Sheridan Circle DC car bomb assassination of Orlando Letelier and Ronnie Moffett, and the role of G. W. Bush in attempting to thwart the prosecution.

Eventually the evidence was presented to a Special Federal Grand Jury in DC, the type of Grand Jury we need to solve the JFK Assassination, and there were indictments and convictions.

BK

Great talk, I just watched it an hour ago. Bill what can we the people do to assist in the Grand Jury effort you and others have initiated? I did write to former Dallas DA Bill Hill a few years ago, but received no response. Big surprise. We need either the District Attorney in Dallas or a Federal Prosecutor to actually convene a Grand Jury.

A few years back I had high hopes with Fitzgerald, but he's done virtually nothing.

Do you- or anyone- know anything about the current Dallas DA?

Dawn

Hi Dawn, While I don't want to hijack this post on the murder of Ronnie Moffet, the means that were used to solve that crime can and should be used to solve the JFK case. (For more info see the books Assassination on Embassy Row and Labrynth.

Fitzgerald is the type of guy you need to focus on JFK, but he's not the guy. Current DAs in Dallas and New Orleans could do what Garrison did, but they also saw what happened to him. I think a Special Fed. Grand Jury is way to go and in DC, where most of the evidence now is at the NARA, but we are going to send the first JFK Grand Jury petition to the Federal Court of North Texas soon.

We originally wanted to present it in person over the anniversary week in November in Dallas, but continuing unfolding events have interceeded. The delay is only temporary and we hope to get it into the registered mail for a certified response before the end of the year.

I will put a full update under the JFK Grand Jury Seminar in the Controversial Issues In History Section of this forum.

Rather than just convening a grand jury to investigate the case, we are are requesting a hearing at which we can present the evidence of crimes related to the assassination that can be resolved today. If we were granted such a hearign tomorrow however, I don't think we are ready to present a complete and convincing case, as we must.

What can people do to assist the grand jury project, well the evidence that will be presented must be refined and the list of living witnesses must be compiled and outstanding questions raised and,....

Those interested in pursing the grand jury project with us could read the stories about the assassination of Ronnie Moffet and learn how two enterprizing asst. DAs, Proper and Barcella, conducted their investigation, collection of evidence and prosecution of those responsible.

We're still in the collection of evidence stage, and need some guys like Proper and Barcella to take the ball. Know any?

BK

Bill: I totally agree. No DA in Dallas is going touch this, so a Federal Grand Jury is the way to go. I am in the midst of trial prep myself today, but I will go back a re-aquaint myself with the Ronni Moffet case. I followed it closely when it first occurred. Just horrifying.

No, I don't know any DA's of the calibre of Proper and Barcella, tho I know a lot of terrific assistant DA's. I have no personal experience with Federal law, so don't know any Federal Prosecutors. But it would seem that this is the next step. Getting Congress to appoint such a person will be a problem. Also, a bigger problem is that there is no longer a special prosecutor statute. That ended after Clinton. Another hurdle. And Justice gets involved as well. Not gonna happen with the Bush Justice Dept. Perhaps Doug Caddy can weigh in here, with his background with Billie Sol, he may have some useful suggestions. Additionally, if we could find a Federal prosecutor he'd have to be appointed by W. Fat chance of that happening. But it's our last hope: Someone with the conscience, committment and authority of Garrison.

Dawn

................

Edited by John Woods
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  • 2 weeks later...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/st...1977388,00.html

Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington

Friday December 22, 2006

The Guardian

Some secrets, it turns out, are too old or too big to keep - even for the Bush administration, which has made a crusade of rooting out leaks and clamping down on information on the inner workings of government.

In the new year, the CIA, FBI, state department and more than 80 other government agencies that handle state secrets will declassify hundreds of millions of pages of documents under a new policy that institutes an automatic release of material after 25 years.

Within those documents lie the most turbulent episodes of the 20th century: the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Vietnam war, the CIA's unauthorised experiments with LSD and its internal thinking on a raft of investigations into coups and assassinations overseas, and the FBI's hunt for communist sympathisers on US soil.

The release, awaited by scholars and journalists, goes against the grain for the president, George Bush, and the vice-president, Dick Cheney, who has argued that the disclosure of information from the White House erodes presidential power.

The decision to release documents after 25 years was made in 1995 under President Bill Clinton, although the Bush administration managed to delay it. "I was pleasantly surprised," said Steven Aftergood, who runs a project on government secrecy for the Federation of American Scientists. "I could have easily imagined this administration saying: 'Oh, no we can't possibly adopt an automatic declassification policy. That will only assist the terrorists'."

Until now, material could remain secret indefinitely unless researchers lodged a specific request under freedom of information regulations. But declassification does not guarantee documents will be made public. Government agencies can withhold them on privacy grounds, to protect an intelligence source, or to avoid compromising an ongoing investigation.

The FBI has been notoriously stringent about exercising that prerogative, refusing to release documents on the assassination in Washington of the Chilean diplomat Orlando Letelier by agents of the Pinochet regime on the grounds that investigators were still pursuing leads.

However, advocates of greater government accountability say an automatic release of documents remains an important step forward.

I see Bush is still protecting his daddy over the Orlando Letelier case.

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/st...1977388,00.html

Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington

Friday December 22, 2006

The Guardian

Some secrets, it turns out, are too old or too big to keep - even for the Bush administration, which has made a crusade of rooting out leaks and clamping down on information on the inner workings of government.

In the new year, the CIA, FBI, state department and more than 80 other government agencies that handle state secrets will declassify hundreds of millions of pages of documents under a new policy that institutes an automatic release of material after 25 years.

Within those documents lie the most turbulent episodes of the 20th century: the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Vietnam war, the CIA's unauthorised experiments with LSD and its internal thinking on a raft of investigations into coups and assassinations overseas, and the FBI's hunt for communist sympathisers on US soil.

The release, awaited by scholars and journalists, goes against the grain for the president, George Bush, and the vice-president, Dick Cheney, who has argued that the disclosure of information from the White House erodes presidential power.

The decision to release documents after 25 years was made in 1995 under President Bill Clinton, although the Bush administration managed to delay it. "I was pleasantly surprised," said Steven Aftergood, who runs a project on government secrecy for the Federation of American Scientists. "I could have easily imagined this administration saying: 'Oh, no we can't possibly adopt an automatic declassification policy. That will only assist the terrorists'."

Until now, material could remain secret indefinitely unless researchers lodged a specific request under freedom of information regulations. But declassification does not guarantee documents will be made public. Government agencies can withhold them on privacy grounds, to protect an intelligence source, or to avoid compromising an ongoing investigation.

The FBI has been notoriously stringent about exercising that prerogative, refusing to release documents on the assassination in Washington of the Chilean diplomat Orlando Letelier by agents of the Pinochet regime on the grounds that investigators were still pursuing leads.

However, advocates of greater government accountability say an automatic release of documents remains an important step forward.

I see Bush is still protecting his daddy over the Orlando Letelier case.

W, like his daddy, is a terrorist. So of course they will protect each other.

Do you by chance get Keith Oberman in your part of the world? He is the only person on tv with the balls to

take on W, his immoral war, his lies and call him for what he is. I am amazed every night. That he is still on, that someone has not shot him. I positively love this man.

Dawn

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