Monday, December 03, 2007

Plan Condor in Latin America

Free Speech Radio News
by Marie Trigona

Former military dictator Jorge Rafael Videla and 16 other military leaders in Argentina will be prosecuted on charges of conspiring to kidnap and kill political activists in a scheme known as Plan Condor, developed by Henry Kissinger and George Bush Sr., head of the CIA at the time. Dictators in Uruguay, Chile , Paraguay, Brazil , and Argentina killed opponents in the 1970s and 80s under the plan, which was also called operation condor. Marie Trigona reports from Argentina where some 30,000 people were disappeared as result, leaving loved ones to seek justice decades later.

REVIEW of STORY by James Reiss

Marie Trigona's reports from Argentina regularly appear on PRX. Rather than riffing on the tango or on Buenos Aires's fun-filled night life -- a bargain during this era of The Depressed Yankee Dollar -- Trigona's essays circle like condors high above the Rio de la Plata. With unerring instinct, her pieces dive into the wreck of recent Argentine history, and they make a feast -- of dead meat.

If this sounds disgusting, I am sorry to say that it is. Imagine our situation in Guantanamo, where hundreds of suspected terrorists have been imprisoned for years. Multiply that by, say, 30. Now imagine a bullet in the back of every suspected terrorist's head.

Thanks to the military dictators ruling Argentina not that long ago, the verb "disappeared" has been broadened to become a kind of noun, as in the case of "On the night of June 14, 1979, Juan was disappeared" or "Maria has been disappeared ever since she marched in the Plaza de Mayo." While it may be a semantic breakthrough to equate "was disappeared" with "got dead," the real human meaning of the phrase is a setback recalling Genghis Khan, Attila the Hun, and that master sleight-of-hand man, Adolph ("the Disappearer") Hitler.

Once in a while Americans hear that Argentine junta thugs like Jorge Rafael Videla are finally being prosecuted for their crimes. The big news about Trigona's piece under review here is that it implicates our own fellow Americans Henry Kissinger and George H. Walker Bush in the scheme to make a killing field for Argentine dissidents. Back when he was CIA chief, Bush, with Kissinger, actually developed Plan Condor. This would be the rough equivalent of saying that President George W. Bush and a high administration official like Colin Powell secretly masterminded the abuses, torture, rape, and killing of prisoners in Baghdad's notorious correctional facility, Abu Ghraib.

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