Skip to main content

It's hardly news that Henry Kissinger is a war criminal. Not convicted, of course. And as long as he avoids landing in hostile territory like, say, Spain, for the rest of his life, he never will be.

A newly declassified memo offers another tidbit of evidence in the voluminous file of the former Secretary of State, bloody bon vivant and serial liar. As Peter Kornbluh at the National Security Archive points out, the documents prove that, despite his later claims, Kissinger rescinded unimplemented instructions to U.S. ambassadors that they were, in a diplomatic démarche, to warn several dictators in the Southern Cone of Latin America not to engage in "a series of international murders." The cable Kissinger sent told them to "take no further action."

These assassinations were part of Operation Condor, whose overall death toll is estimated to have been as high as 80,000.

"The September 16th cable is the missing piece of the historical puzzle on Kissinger's role in the action, and inaction, of the U.S. government after learning of Condor assassination plots," according to ... Kornbluh, the Archive's senior analyst on Chile and author of the book, The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability. "We know now what happened: The State Department initiated a timely effort to thwart a 'Murder Inc' in the Southern Cone, and Kissinger, without explanation, aborted it," Kornbluh said. "The Kissinger cancellation on warning the Condor nations prevented the delivery of a diplomatic protest that conceivably could have deterred an act of terrorism in Washington D.C."

On September 21, 1976, just five days after the instructions to ambassadors were rescinded, former Chilean foreign minister Orlando Letelier and a 26-year old American, Ronni Karpen Moffitt, were killed in a bombing in Washington, D.C., ordered by Augusto Pinochet, who became military dictator of Chile in a coup.  Members of the Chilean secret police, DINA, were later convicted of the crime, along with CIA agent Michael Townley, who confessed that he was the one who had contracted with the car bombers. He was convicted, served a brief sentence and now lives in the United States under the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has been implicated in several other assassinations in Latin America and Europe.

The newly released documents show that Kissinger not only lied about having nothing to do with rescinding the instructions to the ambassadors to deliver the démarche to the dictators, but also that he applied pressure through close associates on the editor of the publication Foreign Affairs. FA had published a review by Senior Council on Foreign Relations Fellow Kenneth Maxwell of Kornbluh's 2004 book, in which he mentioned the undelivered démarche. The late William D. Rogers, an assistant secretary of state under Kissinger, contested the reviewer's interpretation, stating, "Kissinger had nothing to do with the cable." Maxwell wrote a reply. Rogers got a second letter charging Maxwell with "bias" published, and Kissinger used his high-powered pals to keep the Maxwell's reply out of the publication. Maxwell then resigned from both FA and the CFR.

Now we know that Maxwell was right. Kissinger ordered the ambassadors not to warn the dictators to end their murderous operations. But then it's hardly the first time he's lied about what he did and didn't do in a career noteworthy for its trail of blood. Yet he continues to be treated as an elder statesman. And he will no doubt arrive at his grave without justice having been done, just as the Pinochet did.

= = =

[Full Disclosure: I used to edit Kissinger's syndicated column for the Los Angeles Times.]

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Mon Apr 12, 2010 at 02:34 PM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

sdf, claude, bink, JekyllnHyde, Alumbrados, davej, paradox, Ed in Montana, JWC, Sylv, Garrett, LeislerNYC, jazzmaniac, Chi, hannah, catdevotee, dalemac, teacherken, El Zmuenga, yerioy, mickT, Maxlongstreet, Joan McCarter, tiggers thotful spot, cosbo, Dvd Avins, msl, mattman, BooMan23, ortcutt, dengre, tommurphy, rincewind, Shockwave, byteb, jazzizbest, Wintermute, LuvSet, darrelplant, eeff, Mnemosyne, ThirstyGator, frisco, lawnorder, theran, RFK Lives, SallyCat, mataliandy, Creosote, Heart of the Rockies, sardonyx, RubDMC, catnip, rasbobbo, agoldnyc, Justina, bronte17, Zinman, missLotus, 88kathy, conchita, TracieLynn, indybend, Wee Mama, wonkydonkey, leveymg, SamSinister, Summer F, ask, Xapulin, Pithy Cherub, boadicea, chuckvw, Geonomist, cosmic debris, mkfarkus, farmerhunt, Frederick Clarkson, JuliaAnn, Larry Bailey, nargel, dqueue, Boston to Salem, jbeach, ornerydad, Iberian, Beelzebud, wader, Texknight, recontext, Oke, psnyder, MrSandman, danthrax, sockpuppet, TexDem, mrkvica, Miss Jones, Tracker, ranger995, brainwave, churchylafemme, texasmom, BMarshall, Nemagaiq, GN1927, AbsurdEyes, Buzzer, kalmoth, Timbuk3, MeToo, inclusiveheart, econlibVA, side pocket, lonespark, Marianne Benz, valadon, Nova Land, AlwaysDemocrat, eztempo, sawgrass727, Big Tex, Brecht, nailbender, nehark, vcmvo2, ExStr8, tovan, Bluesee, Simian, Tinfoil Hat, denise b, socks, SherwoodB, OpherGopher, Militarytracy, mike101, bagman, ccasas, frandor55, ZappoDave, truong son traveler, eightlivesleft, basquebob, Mahler3, drewfromct, YucatanMan, Dobber, Laurence Lewis, reflectionsv37, ratzo, lennysfo, GUGA, Annalize5, Pam from Calif, jimstaro, Sara R, jimreyn, where4art, LABobsterofAnaheim, Burned, Kayakbiker, cassidy3, sofia, ivorybill, Southside, nyseer, Geekesque, neroden, Floja Roja, Lisa Lockwood, northanger, distraught, Unduna, JanL, dancewater, Snud, terjeanderson, kathny, Jim P, begone, Nowhere Man, Grassee, elliott, LeftOverAmerica, kovie, Sanuk, tarheelblue, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, vigilant meerkat, Clytemnestra, BlueInARedState, tonyahky, rl en france, Yellow Canary, borkitekt, koNko, martyc35, buhdydharma, veus, deha, fromer, Magnifico, arlene, fou, mystery2me, sailmaker, Lefty Coaster, blueoasis, Blue Wind, MJ via Chicago, Francine Shacter, bubbanomics, imabluemerkin, JVolvo, NearlyNormal, Preston S, el cid, gabriella, sceptical observer, ER Doc, doinaheckuvanutjob, Turbonerd, jim d, profh, Timothy J, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, Dreaming of Better Days, blueoregon, kurt, chapel hill guy, shaharazade, PoxOnYou, SeekCa, blueintheface, Little, NonnyO, BentLiberal, tegrat, lams712, bigchin, One Pissed Off Liberal, old wobbly, FoundingFatherDAR, out of left field, bluicebank, zelbinion, mochajava13, donnamarie, oklacoma dem, dmh44, FWIW, california keefer, possum, leema, ColoTim, WeBetterWinThisTime, terryhallinan, la urracca, yowsta, noofsh, Jimdotz, dclawyer06, Unbozo, newpioneer, Strabo, bnasley, jayden, crose, Uberbah, Newzie, millwood, Moderation, jhop7, yella dawg, Rumarhazzit, Probus, Got a Grip, Brahman Colorado, JML9999, TexasTwister, cacamp, Jahiz, B12love, Terra Mystica, TomP, Empower Ink, MKinTN, gundyj, Clio2, davidseth, gimmeshelter, condorcet, Louisiana Fiddle Gal, RickMassimo, Phil N DeBlanc, rontun, Youffraita, Tchrldy, Involuntary Exile, dadadata, NewDealer, bythesea, elwior, ajr111240, lineatus, VL Baker, Deep Harm, pamelabrown, geomoo, icebergslim, TokenLiberal, home solar, mofembot, Seamus D, temptxan, KttG, Gemina13, o the umanity, bob zimway, luckylizard, BYw, allie123, priceman, Quilldriver, Guadalupe59, ekyprogressive, Ellinorianne, protectspice, rhutcheson, watercarrier4diogenes, shortgirl, papicek, CIndyCasella, LaFeminista, wv voice of reason, maggiejean, Pris from LA, multilee, nippersdad, DeepLooker, UkieOli, Rick Aucoin, litoralis, snackdoodle, greengemini, divineorder, deMemedeMedia, LinSea, An Affirming Flame, Dopeman, Rabbithead, pvlb, Partisan Progressive, FrugalGranny, mrchumchum, JesseCW, Daily Activist, dRefractor, geodemographics, elziax, obiterdictum, MKSinSA, ZilV, sanglug, Denise Oliver Velez, kevinpdx, Shelley99, Keith Pickering, IreGyre, babeuf, ArthurPoet, ohmyheck, futureliveshere, citisven, ratmach, catilinus, Words In Action, Govinda, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, smileycreek, littlezen, rb137, FogCityJohn, veracityus, eXtina, Observerinvancouver, The Free Agent, marsanges, jethrock, Simple, BonnieSchlitz, hepshiba, wbramh, gulfgal98, samanthab, Lady Libertine, elginblt, ItsSimpleSimon, juturna, ThisIsMyTime, Yasuragi, Lolo08, JRandomPoster, jazzbuff, sluggahjells, Johnny Q, elengul, Nada Lemming, nosleep4u, timmah, soaglow, cany, Actbriniel, slice, Onomastic, gobears2000, Front Toward Enemy, SuperBowlXX, ban nock, slowbutsure, Gracian, wildlife advocate, AuroraDawn, fishboots, FarWestGirl, BlueHead, Situational Lefty, gravlax, Civil Writes Activist, thethinveil, mrsgoo, marleycat, majii, Cinnamon Rollover, thomask, Wolf10, KVoimakas, tardis10, lizard people, Vtdblue, IL JimP, enhydra lutris, MuskokaGord, Safina, Tyto Alba, Conure, hpchicago, StateOfGrace, Wom Bat, cailloux, mfprtoo, blue aardvark, SoCalSal, zenox, stlsophos, Ezekial 23 20, StepLeftStepForward, Imperial, jobobo, MichaelNY, PrometheusUnbound, Mathazar, DawnN, neaguy, Patric Juillet, James Robinson, wolfie1818, FireBird1, We Won, Eric Nelson, J Brunner Fan

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site