Wednesday, July 8, 2009

CIA's September 1973 Chilean Military Coup Revisited

As partially dramatized in the 1980s Costa-Gavras film Missing, about 20,000 Chileans were killed and 30,000 were arrested by the CIA’s Chilean military in the weeks following the September 11, 1973 coup in Chile.

In an essay that appeared in the 1978 book Uncloaking The CIA, titled “The Facts About Chile,” the widow of Chilean President Salvador Allende—Hortensia Bussi de Allende—stated the following:

The chapter concerning CIA and North American imperialist intervention in Chile is by no means closed…Each day we know of new facts that…have been hidden from the North American people…It is necessary that these so-called `secrets' be known…I ask the people of the United States to insist that the…responsibility of the U.S. government for the fascist massacre that exists in Chile be made known and denounced…

“In September [1973], ships from the U.S. Navy arrive in Chilean waters to participate with the Chilean Navy in the joint maneuvers called `Operation Unitas.’

“At the same time, 32 U.S. observation and battle planes land in Mendoza, Argentina; 15 of the planes leave 48 hours after the coup. Simultaneously 150 North Americans described as `specialists in air acrobatics’ arrive in Chile.

“On Sept. 9 [1973], President Nixon is informed about plans for the military coup in Chile.

“On Sept. 11 [1973], the military coup takes place. The Popular Unity government is overthrown; President Allende is murdered and a fascist dictatorship is installed.

“The fact that the U.S. warships from the Unitas maneuvers were standing by ready to help in case they were needed in carrying out the coup is disclosed.

“Another fact is revealed…: namely, that on the day of the coup a WB-575 plane was operated in Chile by Majors V. Ouenes and T. Schull from the U.S. Air Force. The plane was a flying electronic control station, servicing to coordinate the communications of the putschists.

The German magazine, Neue Berliner Illustrierte of Dec. 25, 1973, states that it has a confidential U.S. Army document, taken from a vault at Fort Gulick, Panama, outlining a plan to destroy the Popular Unity government. The U.S. plan revealed in Germany has characteristics very similar to the events of Sept. 11…”

In another essay that appeared in Uncloaking The CIA, titled “The Case of Chile,” Adam Schuesch and Patricia Garrett also described the U.S. role in the Sept. 11, 1973 Chilean military coup:

Evidence published in Argentina suggests that the planes actually used in the precision bombing attack on the presidential palace were U.S. planes using `smart bombs’ and piloted by foreigners. At the same time units of the U.S. Navy were stationed off the major port, Valparaiso, ostensibly to participate in joint naval exercises. In fact, U.S. Navy personnel played a key role in communications coordination during the coup.

“…What is important about the U.S. intervention in Chile is the preparatory phase. Without active U.S. financing, training and supplies, the coup could clearly never have been successful…The U.S. involvement in the overthrow of the democratic government of Chile is a serious warning for United States citizens. The investigations of the CIA have shown that the people behind the Chilean coup have few scruples about similar activities in the U.S. Chile teaches us that it could happen here.”

(Downtown 9/1/93)