Close friends and comrades know my deep interest in Latin American revolutions, as well as the CIA's involvement in the various coups and assassinations that have toppled democratically-elected governments throughout the region, resulting in hundreds of thousands of lives lost and destroyed asserting US dominance in the region.
One of the more odious and unapologetic figures who features prominently in the supression of these Latin American liberation movements was Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. His fingerprints have long been on coups and assinations, to the point where Christopher Hitchens, before he went all neocon and batshit, wrote a pretty good book entitled The Trial of Henry Kissinger, which was made into a subsequent documentary which you can watch and/or download from google video. If you have an hour and twenty minutes, there's no better use of your time than watching the video.
If you don't have time, you can read two excerpts from Hitchens' book here and here
All that is a long way around to the point of this posting tonight. Word comes that Kissinger rescinded warnings against Condor assassinations, seen as essentially giving a greenlight to Chile's fascist regime to assassinate former Chilean Defense Minister Orlando Letelier in Washington in 1976.
Why does this matter now? For decades, Kissinger's defenders have said that Harry Shlaudeman, his assistant secretary of state for inter-American affairs, sent the cables to US ambassadors in Chile, Argentina and Uruguay on his own, countermanding an explicit State Department ban on assassinations by Southern Cone's military regimes as part of Operation Condor.
However, evidence has emerged that Shlaudeman was acting on behalf of Kissinger, at his behest, or, more clearly, under his orders. Washington knew of plans by Operation Condor to assassinate dissidents in their own countries and abroad, the State Department imposed a ban on such assassinations, and Kissinger rescinded that ban, paving the way for the assassination of Letelier by Pinochet's fascist assassins in Washington less than a week later.
Is this the smoking gun that will finally make Kissinger pay for his crimes against humanity? Probably not. Democrats have a weak stomach when it comes to punishing criminals of Kissinger's calibre, and "law and order" "strong on terrorism" Republicans would push back, saying Kissinger should be carved on Mt. Rushmore for his tireless fight against democracy in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, never mind he gave foreign terrorists permission to assassinate a political figure right in the heart of our nation's capitol.