Carter Helped Argentine Satellite Dictator Drown Thousands of Dissidents: New Docs

Newly declassified documents pertaining to ‘Operation Condor‘, a deadly crackdown on pro-democracy sentiment in US satellites in Latin America, reveal that the government of Jimmy Carter provided assistance to the US proxy dictator in Argentina that helped him drown thousands of dissidents in the ocean or rivers.

The revelations add to Carter’s already bloody legacy, which includes numerous similar crackdowns in US satellites around the globe.

Carter is also known for such fake-news/hoax statements as his claim that the US and Vietnam experienced equal levels of destruction as a result of the US’s illegal invasion of that country to preserve Western colonialism, an act of aggression that killed some 3 million Vietnamese people, including up to about 70,000 in a single US operation targeting civilians, the ‘Phoenix‘ program.  Less than 60,000 of the invading US forces were killed (2% of 3 million), and the US was not invaded by Vietnam.

The newly declassified documents on Operation Condor also detail how the program was assisted by former members of the Nazi SS, Gestapo, Luftwaffe, etc., who took refuge under US-backed dictatorships in Latin America.

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  • Josh Stern

    Below are a particular set of links related to US involvement in Condor [ https://en.wikipedia.org
    /wiki/Operation_Condor ] that also happen to illustrative of some of the mechanisms that help keep these type of CIA sponsored activities going and out of the public eye while they are active. They are all connected to the timing of the Letelier assassination mentioned above – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassination_of_Orlando_Letelier – which was, in essence, a US sponsored terrorist bombing in the middle of Washington DC.

    It is now known that Pinochet himself ordered the Leterlier hit –

    http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB560-CIA-report-concludes-Pinochet-behind-Letelier-Moffit-bombing-in-1976-and-calls-it-act-of-state-terrorism/

    And it is known that the leader who directed the operation, Manuel Contreras, was a CIA asset – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manuel_Contreras

    Here is a link to a letter from Kissinger himself directing State Dept. employees not to warn diplomatic colleagues about a wave of Condor assassinations to take place around this time – http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB312/

    And here is a link to then CIA director George H.W. Bush warning then Congressman Ed Koch that he might reconsider his support for cutting off military aid to Uruguay because a couple of Condor linked Uruguay thugs had recently threatened to assassinate Koch in the US: http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB112/ As the story makes clear, Koch was not warned of the threat until after the Leterlier hit, and the State Dept. did eventually cancel diplomatic immunity for the Uruguyans proposing to assassinate Koch. However, the CIA & FBI were both on the side of keeping Condor support hush-hush, and they did not offer Koch any support other than the politically motivated warning. So Koch apparently kept quiet about it with journalists until spilling the beans to Dinges.

    These things were also not known in the State Dept. as show in this 2004 debate in the Journal/Mag Foreign Affairs in which a Kissinger protoge tells Kenneth Maxwell to be quiet about his crazy conspiracy theories, which of course Kissinger new to be true and was keeping quiet about. Maxwell ended up being fired/blackballed from his journalist position for speaking the truth about incidents which were already over 15 years old at that time.

    https://www.thenation.com/article/maxwell-affair/
    https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/chile/2004-01-01/fleeing-chilean-coup-debate-over-us-complicity

    I see these examples as illustrative. The CIA consistently supports international terrorism so long as it fits with current CIA geopolitical alignment – the School of the Americas was another CIA vehicle for sponsoring terrorism in the Latin America that did even more damage than Condor and claimed many more lives.. The CIA consistently lies about its support and the nature of these programs. The FBI backs up the CIA in any way it can. And low to mid level people in the CIA/FBI/State Dept. are every bit as clueless as the public, if not more so, because they work in an echo chamber of intensely false US propaganda.

    • Eric Zuesse

      Terrific comment.

  • Eric Zuesse

    Terrific article.

  • Charlie Primero

    Barsochinni seems to suffer some type of mental illness wherein he thinks exterminating Communists is a bad thing.

    • Robert Barsocchini

      That was just me trying to be objective for the report. Actual personal opinion: exterminating commies was my favorite aspect of the Holocaust. Hitler was the king! 30-40 million, gone. And not only commies, but Rooskies! Gotta respect that.

      • Charlie Primero

        True. Hitler knew Communism was the most vicious, anti-human, Capitalist enslavement program ever developed by Wall Street and the City of London. He knew the entire world would suffer if it were not stopped.

        History proved him correct. Today billions of people slave in Chinese factories and on impoverished subsistence GMO crop farms in India and Brazil to provide profits and power for the Oligarchs of New York, Beijing, London, and Sao Paulo.

        Instead of National Socialism wherein every people have self-determination and local
        sovereignty to organize their productive capacity for the benefit of their people, the entire planet is falling under Global Marxism where power and profits are concentrated at the very top of a global pyramid of predation.

        • Robert Barsocchini

          Glad we’re on the same page. You’ll probably also agree with me that, since more people died in just one US-backed country due to ‘Capitalism’ than died overall according to the wildest, most cartoonish propaganda about ‘Communism’, that the best outcome during the Cold War would have been nuclear holocaust that wiped out all humans.

          • Charlie Primero

            No. I don’t agree. The best outcome of the Cold War would have been to see both Communism and Predatory Capitalism die out, not the extinction of the human race as you propose.

          • Robert Barsocchini

            Interesting! Very glad we’re pursuing this. More questions, if you’ll indulge me.

            Appears you are a pure utilitarian, ie you would kill five people to save ten, hence your endorsement of killing six million ‘Bolshevik’ Jews presumably to save 6 million and 1 people or more.

            Thus, since you are aware that what you call Predatory Capitalism killed far more people than what you call Communism is said, even in the wildest exaggeration, to have killed, and though you are in favor of both the Communist and Capitalist purges that took place, if you could only choose one, you would have opted for the Capitalists to be wiped out by the millions, since you are a utilitarian and their ideology resulted in more deaths, yes?

            Next question is that since you qualify Capitalism as Predatory but offer no qualification for Communism, apparently viewing it as an evil monolith with no complexity, I assume there is some other version of capitalism that you endorse, though not so for Communism?

            If this is the case, what version of Capitalism, or other system or general principles, if any, do you endorse?

            And final question for now: as a utilitarian who endorses the extermination of what Hitler, Churchill, etc. called the Bolshevist Jews who were trying to take over the world, if the only way to end their scourge would have also been to have your wife, mother, father, and siblings killed in horrific ways, would you still give the go-ahead?

            Thank you. I love getting the chance to have these philosophical conversations. I’m learning a lot here.

          • Charlie Primero

            Your premise is wrong. I don’t believe more democide can be attributed to Capitalist flavored countries than Communist ones. I don’t recall saying that, and I ignored when you said it because you offered no example.

          • Robert Barsocchini

            “I ignored when you said it because you offered no example.”

            Yes, I withheld the source because I first wanted to see what your source was for your statistic of what you called ‘evil incarnate’, Communism’, killing 200 million people in 20th century, and then see if you also were familiar with the statistics on deaths attributable to ‘Capitalist’ countries, without me having to give them to you.

            From what you are saying it is fairly obvious you are committed to some form of Capitalist anti-communist ideology, and thus don’t know as much about the ideology towards which you are biased. This also might provide a hint as to why you didn’t answer some of my other questions, or respond positively to my observation that the one part of your ideology that is clear so far from the discussion is that you are in favor of murdering people if you don’t like their ideology, but not in favor of yourself or your family being murdered by people who don’t like your own ideology.

            But please do answer my other questions. I am getting some great lessons here today and I don’t want them to end. That would make me very sad, and I know you don’t want to do that.

    • Carl_Herman

      Primero seems to suffer some type of mental illness wherein he thinks exterminating “Communists,” “terrorists,” “fake news propagandists,” etc. is a good thing.

      Charlie also misses the point: the US is a rogue state empire routinely supporting fascists for its own control. Charlie misses the point that US .01% psychopaths call opponents to their illegal empire whatever “bad words” they model will work best. Charlie will earn the world he works for.

      • Charlie Primero

        Thank you for the goodwill and confidence Carl. A world where the U.S. is not a rouge state working in service of Global Marxist is a goal we can achieve. Keep fighting with me to resist the Oligarchs brother.

        • Carl_Herman

          Oh, perhaps I misjudged your comment, Charlie. If so, I apologize. If you mean by the term “Communist” the .01% lying leaders taking dictatorial control with spin of “sharing and teamwork” then I’m all with you to reveal and exterminate this as legitimate leadership.

          As Robert documents, such lying leaders include American .01% “Freedom lovers” who supported fascists.

          • Charlie Primero

            Carl, check out this new interview of Catherine Austin Fitts by Jay Dyer. They discuss the global slave system I’m always on about. Worth your time.

            https://jaysanalysis.com/2016/12/13/esoteric-hollywood-catherine-austin-fitts-on-systemic-corruption-2/

            “Former Asst. Secretary Catherine Austin Fitts joined me to discuss the
            systemic corruption that plagues the U.S. economic sphere. From the
            black budget to Enron to BCCI and the bailout, Fitts deconstructs how
            exactly we got into the mess we’re in, including the tie-ins of black
            markets.”

    • Josh Stern

      Hard to tell if you are trolling or serious. Let’s start with Democratially elected, left of center Allende vs. U.S. coup-backed notorious war criminal Pinochet. Do you want to take the Pinochet side of that and support his thousands of murders & war crimes? The floor is open. Feel free to clarify with a different interpretation.
      .

      • Charlie Primero

        Yes. I take the side of Pinochet. Communism slaughtered 200 million innocent people during the last century. It is evil incarnate. This is why Wall Street and the City of London use it to enslave people. This why they paid to have it installed in countries around the world.

        • Josh Stern

          I believe you are trolling, but I’ll reply anyway…

          A premise we agree on – Militarized governments have killed tremendous numbers of people all over the world. Sometimes they kill their own populations, sometimes they kill other nations populations, and sometimes they do both in quantity (e.g. Stalin).

          Another premise you seem to support is that killing lots of people is bad. But Pinochet did just that, and evidence suggests that Allende was not a mlitarist. Yet you say you support Pinochet over Allende. And you focus the discussion on killing as a negative…

          It follows from the above that either that you have, in mind, some counterfactual theory about either how Allende’s regime would have led to a lot of deaths or how the poor civilians and political opponents that Pinochet murdered would have caused even more deaths if he had not ended them. Care to elaborate?

          • Charlie Primero

            Correct. Communism is an ideology of revolutionary aggression. Defense against aggression is not a vice.

            The Cold War is a misnomer because many people died on both sides. Pinochet prevented untold numbers of deaths by famine, gulag, and purges like those carried out by Communists in Cambodia, China, Venezuela, Romania, Korea, Tibet, Ethiopia, et al.

          • Josh Stern

            There are three huge problems with what you are saying:

            1) There is no objective check on your categorical projections. You feel free to label all sorts of politicians who were more economically liberal than your preference as a “Communists”, cherry pick among your artificially created category, and then claim that your cherry picked examples represent your artificially created group. An extreme example of an argument in this form would be something like the following: Here is a left-handed mass-murderer…there’s probably something genetic that leads to murder and to left-handedness…we need to round up the lefties. No…you don’t get to pick like that. IMO, it’s clear that right wing dictators in Latin America were much, much more violent and killed far many people on both and absolute and an opportunity basis than leftists or socialists.

            2) Some communists had an ideology of worldwide communism, like some favoring democracy have an ideology of worldwide democracy – so far, that’s a draw as far as aggressive violence is concerned. Now in reality, which group had the aggressive policies? The answer is that the US/British right wing group was the one with the aggressive policies, constantly attacking other nations at a far, far greater rate than any Communist state ever did. This is fact. The US/Brith attacked the Bolsheviks during their revolution. The US was sending commandos into the Ukraine to fight USSR in 1947. The US was sending commandos into Red China at the same time. The CIA started large wars all over the globe since that time, and is fully or partly responsible for many, many acts of international terrorism. There is nothing comparable from any Communist state.

            3) You want the audience to accept your claims about counterfactuals. You want to say “We did this violent thing in Latin America, in Indochina, in the Middle East…but if we had not, then something even more violent would have happened there. Trust us.” Why? It sounds pompous and absurd. Why should any rational person trust such claims?

          • Charlie Primero

            You are ignorant of the fact that certain New York and London banks funded Marx, Trotsky, and Lenin, as well as funding the Bolshevik revolution.

            Mao was a Yale. Study why that was the case.

            Create a table of all democide by fascist versus Marxist inspired governments. See which is greater.

          • Josh Stern

            You didn’t respond to any of the points I made above.

            Totalitarian militarized govts. kill their own citizens and others. The US policy of backing such govts. in preference to *any* economically liberal one is toxic on its face, and a historical failure. These govts. have always been terrible for their own citizens. The CIA does not “spread democracy” – it typically opposes democracy. It often supports violent regimes with poor human rights and extensive records of civilian murder/violence. In many cases it actively trains the soldiers of those regimes to carry out violence against their own population.

            The CIA does not usually argue that these policies are good for the civilians of those countries. It argues that they are good for US “interests”. You want to argue that they are justified anytime they can call a lot of the people they are killing or governments they displaced “leftist”, just because, you can call other terrible despots like Stalin and Mao leftist. So you say that the U.S. backed Somoza family controlling 60% of Nicaragua wealth just in their own family is fine, but a leftist opposition is a reason to the US to intervene militarily? Why shouldn’t the people of the country insist on some redistribution of wealth and industry and farm land in a situation like that? Why should the US back Contra death squads to oppose it? Because you say leftists rather than totalitarians are the problem with Stalin and Mao and all other pro-redistribution govts??

          • cityspeak

            The Cold War is a misnomer because many people died on both sides. Pinochet prevented untold numbers of deaths by famine, gulag, and purges like those carried out by Communists in Cambodia, China, Venezuela, Romania, Korea, Tibet, Ethiopia, et al.

            This complete and utter nonsense. You have no proof whatsoever that Allende was going to turn Argentina into a totalitarian hell hole. For the West to justify killing political opponents by crying communism ends up with “we had to burn to village to save the village” mentality.

            Then again using the word exterminating when you are talking about the murder of human beings gives us keen insight in the ethical deficiencies of your character.

            You wrote: wherein he thinks exterminating Communists is a bad thing.
            As if the USA mucking about around the world is acting as the Great White Father protecting the ignorant savage children from themselves. It is about power and money and that is it. As if the USA in its current Imperial state cares about saving human lives and civil liberties?
            Wake up. You are an apologist for the worst things the USA has become.

  • David Schultz

    Although this may seem shocking to younger readers, it was well known at the time that America support ruthless dictators around the world as part of a cold war strategy. The Carter administration was a bit preoccupied with cleaning up just one of our failed despots, the Shaw of Iran. Our attempt to wean ourselves off of using ruthless war lords to fight communism is later exemplified by our failed policy with the Contra’s in Nicaragua. Although the argument can be made that Carter did not do enough, this story takes out context a no-win political situation developed under Johnson and Nixon. In essence when America tried to stop it, elements of the government simply broke the law to continue arming the Contras. That is the type of internal opposition that Carter had to deal with in those times.

    • Robert Barsocchini

      You are probably more informed on this than the average person. Chalmers Johnson states directly, based on polling and other research, that these policies are “kept secret” from the US general population. He and many other scholars of the subject also point out that of course the US, and every other nation and other type social hierarchy virtually in history that commits violent acts does so under the pretext of fighting evil, saying they have to do it or the evil will take over. For example, this was Hitler’s mantra. And unfortunately many within the group believe the propaganda. Just look what’s happening in the US right now.

      • David Schultz

        It is not a question whether Carter knew about Argentina but whether he could risk political capitol breaking political ties with any individual dictator. For God sake, I was barely out of school at the time and I knew then that Argentina was a hell hole. On day one, it became a constant battle for Carter not only with the “deep government” Nixon people but also his own Johnson era Democrats who some would say were worse. If we use the same measuring stick, then Carter being bad means that Johnson was a monster. Yes, the Carter administration dealt with brutal dictators but it is like blaming Thomas Jefferson for slavery because he had slaves. Like Jefferson I see people try to break down the idealists and say, “See, he did something bad, therefore everything else he promoted was bad too.” We would have been better served had the author dug up Carter’s old papers on Palestine. We might have learned something useful about Carter instead.

        • Robert Barsocchini

          What this appears to come down to is an ideological affinity for Carter, Johnson, and maybe others, a desire that this information didn’t come out, and that we focus on things that in your opinion paint Carter in a better light. But the reality is complex. Also, the report does not express any opinion of Carter or anyone else, just factually states findings about him. As for Jefferson, he said slavery was terrible yet kept slaves his entire life so he could amass luxury and power, and because he was a very sexual being and he could use them as sex slaves, and he evidently didn’t have the will-power to stop.

          • David Schultz

            I did not get involved in federal government until the late Reagan Administration so I don’t claim to have any inside information on the Carter years. It is widely known that Carter was at war with his own CIA for those short four years. I don’t know if Ted Shackley had anything to do directly with Argentina, but there were still plenty of other guys like him running things well into the mid eighties. I guess “Carter…bloody legacy” was a bit over the top for me. My point is that if you walk back the time line, the helicopters would have been sold to Argentina when daddy Bush’s guys were still running the CIA. It is commonly accepted that Operation Condor was waining during the Carter years and much more associated with Kissinger and the previous Nixon/Ford Administrations. For the casual reader the short article makes Operation Condor sound like a Carter era policy rather than a legacy program of earlier administrations.

          • Robert Barsocchini

            For ‘bloody legacy’, see provided link for details. It’s an uncontroversial statement, at least if we are trying to be objective and not wear kid-gloves when we talk about figures in our own country.

            ‘commonly accepted that Condor was waning during Carter years’. Yes, these are newly declassified documents, as specified. This is new information. The report does not say Condor was only under Carter.

            Not only do the docs specify that the military aid was approved by Carter’s VP, but other torture aspects of Condor were approved by Carter’s nat sec adviser, Brzezinski, who, also under Carter, helped spark a war he and Bob Gates hoped would claim the lives of millions, and sure enough, did. This is all part of the bloody legacy.

          • David Schultz

            South America was big news when I was in college. I just read some of the original Carter briefings that you were referencing. Playing Viola (bad) verses Menendez (worse); yes we knew that. Argentina planning to go nuclear; could have guessed that. The French mucking things up as usually not being a good cold war partner. “Communists on economic grounds is likely to increase if the US Congress denies supplier credits through the Export- Import Bank of approximately $800 million for US exports to Argentina.” Yep. “European governments have expressed concern for some time that the US might press the issue [Argentina human rights] too hard at the review conference on compliance with Helsinki accords.” (That surprised me!) “Whenever possible, Secretary Vance and Mr . Christopher have concluded that the U.S. must move soon to a vote-no position unless there are substantial improvements in the Argentine human rights situation.” (What expected to see.) It looks like France and the USSR were undermining anything the Carter Administration could do with Argentina. Am I missing some smoking gun in all this?

          • Robert Barsocchini

            That was a bit convoluted and most of my points have not been addressed – not just from the last comment but from previous ones as well. But it looks like we are now circling back to earlier points about accepting propaganda as legitimate pretext. You now seem to be trying to prove that Carter had to help torture and drown people because the real bad people (ie USSR and France) were making him do it. …Yes, and the real bad people in the US were making the USSR do all the bad things it did, if you ask a devoted Soviet nationalist. Ditto the evil Poles, Czechs, Jews, etc. for why the Nazis had to do their business. And on through history. What it comes down to is the US, including under Carter, overthrows democracies and was at the center of a vast torture network – teaching torture, sending tools of torture, and otherwise supporting regimes committing human rights violations. Also, it went beyond what the USSR did or was capable of doing, in the post Stalinist era. No, it doesn’t fit with nationalist-fundamentalist propaganda conceptions of the US, but that’s irrelevant. We are interested in reality, here.

          • David Schultz

            The quotes should have appeared as bullet points but formatting in Disqus escapes me. I find your reply odd. I have rather liked your previous writings. I can see we have little common ground on this.

          • Robert Barsocchini

            Yes, it would seem odd to me, as well, to characterize Soviet repression in their east euro satellites as something they were being forced to do by the US. But it would make sense coming from a dedicated Soviet nationalist. Remember, nationalism distorts our thinking. It is a form of religion, and I don’t just mean that rhetorically. Highly respected psychologists and other researchers characterize it that way. That’s what I am sensing from you on this topic; that we are hitting a wall nationalist bias is preventing you from getting past.

          • David Schultz

            I’m with you on that. The people being tortured were Bernie Sanders style socialists, not all Marxists. I’m probably more appalled that the USSR sold Argentina the hydroelectric generators that the US withheld. I’m curious. Are you equally vehement about Bill Clinton and Rwanda in 1994?

          • Robert Barsocchini

            “The people being tortured were Bernie Sanders style socialists, not all Marxists.” This is further evidence that you are coming at this from an ideologically biased perspective, as I have postulated. The implication is if they had been Marxists, which you are apparently taking a position against, then it would justify torturing, killing them, etc. This is the equivalent of being a Soviet and saying repression in Ukraine or wherever was justified because they were capitalists, though maybe it was wrong to repress some of the more democratic capitalists (the equivalent of what you are calling Sanders style socialists – which apparently meets with your approval.) My point is we are not taking ideological positions, here. We are trying to be objective. Part of that is attempting to shed our nationalism in favor of a bird’s eye view.

            ” I’m probably more appalled that the USSR sold Argentina the hydroelectric generators that the US withheld.” Yes, that would have been my prediction, given the evidence of your nationalist bias, and despite the US record of satellite repression being more extreme that than of the USSR in the post Stalin era.

            “I’m curious. Are you equally vehement about Bill Clinton and Rwanda in 1994?” I will be courteous and address this even though you are mysteriously eschewing most of the points or questions I am putting to you. I have written about this topic. See ‘The Violent Crimes and Shady Dealings of Hillary Clinton’ on Washington’s Blog.

            Would you like to answer my Maduro question now?

          • David Schultz

            I’m an old school progressive and an unabashed American nationalist. I rhetorically spare with hard core socialists all the time. Just too cynical to believe in that workers-of-the-world-unite stuff. I respect popular socialists like Chavez who took political heat for implementing wealth redistribution. As for the Argentine Marxists (not Peron era socialists) I draw the line at radicals primary supported by foreign entities. I suspect that those Marxist assassins, kidnappers and terrorists were unfortunately not the ones being disappeared in 1978. As for Maduro I’m guessing that he is not popular mainly because oil prices are low. Just because he slaps on a socialist label does not convince me that he nothing but another elitist who gained his position via a bureaucracy. Lastly, picturing a socialist as a jingoistic or racist war monger is fairly easy if you consider Stalin or Pol Pot.

          • Robert Barsocchini

            So then you would consider Lyndon Johnson, Stalin and Pol Pot, and Maduro if he performed Johnson’s actions, ‘jingoistic or racist war mongers’ but not monsters. Thanks for that and confirming the other info.