Congress (narrowly) votes NOT to declassify US files on Argentine junta

Published on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 by
Keeping “Secrets and Lies” on Argentina’s Past

By C├ęsar Chelala and Alejandro Garro
May 24, 2011

For a relatively slight margin, the US Congress rejected an
amendment by Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D) to declassify files on
Argentina’s 1976-1983 military dictatorship. The refusal to
declassify files on Argentina is likely to have momentous
consequences on the fate of hundreds of babies stolen or
‘disappeared’ during those years. Many of those babies were
born in clandestine torture centers, while others were
adopted or given in adoption by the same members of the
military or police personnel responsible for their parents’

It is not altogether clear whose interests are sought to be
protected, but one can hardly imagine that national security,
or the work of US spies fighting Al Qaeda, as suggested by
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers (R),
may be put in jeopardy by keeping these files in secret. It
is not even clear whether President Cristina Kirchner’s
administration is interested in having these files in the
open. However, if an official request from the Argentine
government were submitted, the U.S. government would be hard
pressed, as a matter of international comity, not to reveal
at least a redacted text of those files.

Aside from governmental interests and politicians’ desires to
keep secrets, what is at stake are human lives, victims, and
the administration of justice. In 1999, during the Clinton
administration, Rep. Hinchey presented a similar amendment
for declassifying documents related to General Augusto
Pinochet’s administration. Declassification resulted in the
publication of 24,000 documents that proved to be crucial in
the prosecution of crimes committed during the Chilean
dictatorship. It provided clear evidence of Pinochet’s
connections to the 1976 assassination, in Washington, D.C.,
of Chilean foreign minister Orlando Letelier, along with his
secretary Ronni Karpen Moffitt. Also disclosed was Pinochet
secret police’s plans to assassinate former Chilean president
Patricio Aylwin, the presidential candidate of the coalition
that ultimately defeated General Pinochet in 1988.

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2 thoughts on “Congress (narrowly) votes NOT to declassify US files on Argentine junta”

  1. same with chile. CIA&navy overthrew the democratically elected, landslide popular populist allende; assassinated him and called it suicide… then installed the vicious pinochet who is now, finally behind bars… against the will of the US govt… figures the fascisti would want their secrets kept that way.

    an old friend of mine was traveling throughout south america in 1978-9 and, on a beach in chile, he overheard some soldiers discussing how much fun they were going to have killing him. when he told them he was a recognized american writer with connections, they let him live. actually he was yet to write his long-bestselling books on how to grow marijuana..

    and likewise kept secret are the atrocities we backed by peru’s fujimori, especially against the native peoples like the tupa amru, who bill clinton denounced as terrorists!

    old ‘give em hell’ harry truman once said of our puppet dictator in nicaragua, “yeah, somoza’s a bastard; but he’s OUR BASTARD!”


  2. I know for a fact that Henry Kissinger was a supporter, and met with Gen. Vidala (head of the military junta and dictator of Argentina from 1976-83) at least once. Video footage of Kissinger emerging from a meeting from him and being interviewed by the Argentine press can be seen in the excellent documentary, “Our Dissapeared”. Also, this film features a beautiful soundtrack composed by a friend of mine who fled Buenos Aries in 1979 for all the reasons one would think.

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