“Make the Economy Scream”:


We continue our coverage of the 40th anniversary of the overthrow of Chilean President Salvador Allende with a look at the critical U.S. role under President Richard Nixon and his national security adviser, Henry Kissinger. Peter Kornbluh, who spearheaded the effort to declassify more than 20,000 secret documents that revealed the role of the CIA and the White House in the Chilean coup, discusses how Nixon and Kissinger backed the Chilean military’s ouster of Allende and then offered critical support as it committed atrocities to cement its newfound rule. Kornbluh is author of the newly updated book, "The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability," and director of the Chile Documentation Project at the National Security Archive. In 1970, the CIA’s deputy director of plans wrote in a secret memo: "It is firm and continuing policy that Allende be overthrown by a coup. … It is imperative that these actions be implemented clandestinely and securely so that the USG [the U.S. government] and American hand be well hidden." That same year President Nixon ordered the CIA to "make the economy scream" in Chile to "prevent Allende from coming to power or to unseat him." We’re also joined by Juan Garcés, a former personal adviser to Allende who later led the successful legal effort to arrest and prosecute coup leader Augusto Pinochet. See Part 2 of this interview here.

AARON MATÉ: 10.0pt;line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”> Yeah.

OPERATOR: line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”> Yes, sir.

PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”> The State Department dealt with that today.

PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”> Yes, sir.

PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”> They denied it, but they were cautious on how they dealt with the Korry statement, because they were afraid that might backfire.

PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”> Well, Korry said that he had received instructions to do anything short of a Dominican-type—alleged to have said that.

PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”> Right.

PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”> Well, Anderson received that from some source. Al Haig is sitting with me now.

PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”> It was a report contained in an IT&T—

PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”> —thing, but—

PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”> Well, but—

PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”> In any event, State has denied—

PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”> —it today, and they referred to—to your comments about Latin America and Chile and—

PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”> —and so, you just refer to that on that one.

PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”> Yes, sir.

PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”> That’s President Nixon speaking in 1972. Peter Kornbluh of the National Security Archive, can explain to us what Nixon is talking about here, and put it in context of the U.S. role in destabilizing Chile?

PETER KORNBLUH: line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”> Talk about Kissinger’s role. Most recently, people may have seen Stephen Colbert dancing around him, the—Henry Kissinger, of course, still alive, considered an elder statesmen by most of the press in the United States. Give us a thumbnail sketch of his role.

PETER KORNBLUH: line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”> In The Pinochet File, you quote an assessment by the CIA’s directorate of operations, who advised President Nixon and Henry Kissinger on covert action in Chile. He argued that far from being a pawn of the communists, Allende would, quote, "be hard for the Communist Party and for Moscow to control." He also said covert operations to stop Allende from becoming president would be, quote, "worse than useless. Any indication that we are behind a legal mickey mouse or some hardnosed play exacerbate relations even further. … I am afraid we will be repeating the errors we made in 1959 and 1960 when we drove Fidel Castro into the Soviet camp." You also quote Kissinger’s top aide on Latin America, Viron Vaky, who wrote in a top-secret cable, "it is far from given that wisdom would call for covert action programs; the consequences could be disastrous. The cost-benefit-risk ratio is not favorable." Peter Kornbluh?

PETER KORNBLUH: line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”> In this last minute, Juan Garcés, it is interesting, though you experienced the intensity of what happened 40 years ago with Salvador Allende ultimately killing himself in the palace as the bombs rained down, you are focused on today and what is happening today—you brought Pinochet to justice. You had Baltasar Garzón, through the famous Spanish judge, issue an arrest warrant for him when he took a visit to London, and he was held there, although ultimately sent back to Chile. What lesson can we learn, in these last 25 seconds? And we’ll continue the conversation after the show.

JUAN GARCÉS: line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”> We have to leave it there, but part two we’ll post at democracynow.org. Juan Garcés, Spanish lawyer, ex-aide to Salvador Allende, and Peter Kornbluh. The latest book, The Pinochet File.
 

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