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Congressional Record: July 1, 1999 (Extensions)
Page E1472-E1473



                           HON. GEORGE MILLER

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                         Thursday, July 1, 1999

  Mr. GEORGE MILLER of California. Mr. Speaker, as my colleagues will 
recall, I have worked for several years now, along with Mr. Conyers of 
Michigan and others here, to have the United States declassify 
documents concerning Gen. Augusto Pinochet's 1973 military coup in 
Chile and its aftermath and what the United States knew about 
Pinochet's connection to human rights violations and acts of terrorism 
both in Chile and abroad.
  A Spanish court is trying to extradite General Pinochet to stand 
trial in Spain for international human rights violations. The documents 
held by the United States are expected to shed important light on 
Pinochet's activities that will help clarify his personal role in this 
bloody period of history.
  Yesterday, the first significant release of documents took place. I 
commend to my colleagues the articles below, from the New York Times 
and the Washington Post concerning the 5,800 documents released at the 
National Archives. As you will note from the articles below, it is 
suspected that there are still many more relevant documents that have 
not been released, particularly from the Central Intelligence Agency, 
which only contributed 490 documents to yesterday's release. I applaud 
the Administration for releasing yesterday's documents but I strongly 
urge them to continue to release documents on a timely basis from all 
branches of the Administration, including the CIA.
  The search for the truth is important not only for the historic case 
against General Pinochet, but for Americans too who wish to know what 
role their government may have played in a violent period of history 
and how we may avoid playing such a role in the future.
  The New York Times notes also that not only will the documents help 
Spain, but that Spain has already helped provide information to the 
United States that might help the Justice Department complete its still 
open case against those responsible for the assassination of Chilean 
exile Orlando Letelier and his American assistant Ronnie Karpen Moffitt 
in Washington, D.C. in 1976. It is widely believed, but has not yet 
been proven, that General Pinochet personally ordered Letelier's 
  The documents released yesterday further demonstrate that the United 
States was well aware of atrocities taking place during and after the 
coup and that despite this knowledge the Nixon Administration sought to 
maintain close ties to General Pinochet.
  "U.S. Releases Files on Abuses in Pinochet Era," The New York 
Times, July 1, 1999, Page A11.
  "Documents Show U.S. Knew Pinochet Planned Crackdown in '73," The 
Washington Post, July 1, 1999, Page A23.

                [From the New York Times, July 1, 1999]

             U.S. Releases Files on Abuses in Pinochet Era

                           (By Philip Shenon)

       Washington, June 30--The C.I.A. and other Government 
     agencies had detailed reports of widespread human rights 
     abuses by the Chilean military, including the killings and 
     torture of leftist dissidents, almost immediately after a 
     1973 right-wing coup that the United States supported, 
     according to once-secret Government documents released today.
       The 5,800 documents which the Clinton Administration 
     decided last year to declassify and make public could provide 
     evidence to support the prosecution of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, 
     who seized power in the coup and was arrested in Britain last 
     October. Spain is seeking his extradition, charging that his 
     junta had kidnapped, tortured and killed Spanish citizens.
       The documents were released as Clinton Administration 
     officials confirmed that the Justice Department has been 
     conferring with Spanish authorities, in part to exchange 
     information about General Pinochet, including his possible 
     involvement in the 1976 car-bomb assassination in Washington 
     of the Chilean Ambassador to the United States, Orlando 
     Letelier, and a colleague, Ronni Moffitt, of the Institute 
     for Policy Studies. Because the Justice Department considers 
     the Letelier investigation to be ongoing, the Government 
     withheld documents related to the murders, officials said 
       Historians and human rights advocates, who were busily 
     trying to sort through the nearly 20,000 pages released today 
     by the National Archives, agreed that the documents did not 
     offer startling revelations about American ties to the 
     Chilean junta under General Pinochet.
       Instead, they said, the documents provide rich new detail 
     to support the long-held view that the United States knew 
     during and after the coup about the Chilean military's 
     murderous crackdown on leftists.
       On Sept. 21, 1973, 10 days after the coup, one C.I.A. 
     report said: "The prevailing mood among the Chilean military 
     is to use the current opportunity to stamp out all vestiges 
     of Communism in Chile for good. Severe repression is planned. 
     The military is rounding up large numbers of people, 
     including students and leftists of all descriptions, and 
     interning them."
       The report noted that "300 students were killed in the 
     technical university when they refused to surrender" in 
     Santiago, the capital, and that the military was considering 
     a plan to kill "50 leftists" for every leftist sniper still 
       In a summary of the situation in Chile a month after the 
     coup, a C.I.A. report dated Oct. 12 found that "security 
     considerations still have first priority with the junta."
       "The line between people killed during attacks on security 
     forces and those captured and executed immediately has become 
     increasingly blurred," the report continued. It said the 
     junta "has launched a campaign to improve its international 
     image; the regime shows no sign of relenting in its 
     determination to deal swiftly and decisively with dissidents, 
     however, and the bloodshed goes on."
       However, a C.I.A. report dated March 21, 1974, insisted 
     that "the junta has not been bloodthirsty."
       "The Government has been the target of numerous charges 
     related to alleged violations of human rights," it said. 
     "Many of the accusations are merely politically inspired 
     falsehoods or gross exaggerations."
       An estimated 5,000 people were killed in the coup, 
     including Chile's democratically elected President, Salvador 
     Allende, whose body was recovered from the bombed remains of 
     the Presidential Palace, which had been attacked by military 
       Thousands more died or were tortured at the hands of the 
     military during General Pinochet's 17-year rule. Last week, 
     the Chilean College of Medicine reported that at least 
     200,000 people had been tortured by Government forces at the 
       Under the Nixon Administration, the Central Intelligence 
     Agency mounted a full-tilt covert operation to keep Dr. 
     Allende from taking office and, when that failed, undertook 
     subtler efforts to undermine him. The C.I.A.'s director of 
     operations at the time, Thomas Karamessines, later told 
     Senate investigators that those efforts "never really 
       The C.I.A. has never provided a full explanation of what it 
     knew about human rights abuses carried out by the Chilean 
     military during and after the coup. But internal Government 
     documents released since have shown that the agency's 
     knowledge of the violence was extensive.
       The Clinton Administration announced last December that, as 
     a result of the arrest of General Pinochet, it would 
     declassify some of the documents.
       The Administration described the move as an attempt at 
     Government accountability, and it was the first sign that the 
     United States intended to cooperate in the criminal case 
     being built against General Pinochet.
       The vast majority of the documents released today--5,000 of 
     the 5,800--came from the files of the State Department. The 
     C.I.A. released 490 documents, the Federal Bureau of 
     Investigation, 100, and the Pentagon, 60.
       Human rights groups said they were surprised by the paucity 
     of documents declassified by the C.I.A.
       "The C.I.A. has the most to offer but also the most to 
     hide," said Peter Kornbluh of the National Security Archive, 
     a public-interest clearing-house for declassified documents. 
     The documents that were released

[[Page E1473]]

     today, he said, "show that the C.I.A. was well-apprised of 
     the vicious nature of the Chilean regime."
       The public affairs office at the C.I.A. did not respond to 
     phone calls early this evening.
       The documents released today date from 1973 to 1978, "the 
     period of the most flagrant human rights abuses in Chile," 
     said James Foley, a State Department spokesman.
       The White House said in a statement that "a limited number 
     of documents have not been released at this time, primarily 
     because they relate to an ongoing Justice Department 
     investigation" of the murder of Mr. Letelier and Ms. 
       Administration officials, speaking on condition that they 
     not be identified, said that the inquiry was active, in part 
     as a result of information available to the United States 
     from Spanish prosecutors seeking to try General Pinochet.
       In April, they said, a senior criminal prosecutor from the 
     Justice Department, Mark Richard, traveled to Spain to meet 
     with Spanish authorities to discuss whether Washington and 
     Madrid could swap information in their investigations. 
     Prosecutors here have long been interested in whether there 
     is evidence that General Pinochet or his deputies ordered the 
     murders in Washington because Mr. Letelier was an opponent of 
     the Pinochet regime.
       The killings here are believed to have been part of an 
     orchestrated campaign of violence known within the Pinochet 
     Government as Operation Condor, in which opponents of the 
     junta were targeted for assassination in and out of Chile.
       A State Department document dated Aug. 18, 1976, only a 
     month before Mr. Letelier's murder, shows that Secretary of 
     State Henry A. Kissinger and other senior department 
     officials were warned of "rumors" that Operation Condor 
     might "include plans for the assassination of subversives, 
     politicians and prominent figures both within the national 
     borders of certain Southern Cone countries and abroad."
       Reed Brody of Human Rights Watch, who unearthed the 
     document, said it "shows the United States was very aware of 
     the terrorist activities that General Pinochet and his 
     colleagues were engaging in there, as well as abroad."

                [From the Washington Post, July 1, 1999]

       Documents Show U.S. Knew Pinochet Planned Crackdown in '73

                   (By Karen DeYoung and Vernon Loeb)

       Days after the bloody 1973 coup that overthrew Chilean 
     President Salvador Allende, the CIA mission in Chile reported 
     to Washington that the new government of Gen. Augusto 
     Pinochet planned "severe repression" against its opponents. 
     A month later, the agency noted that "the line between 
     people killed during attacks on security forces and those 
     captured and executed immediately has become increasingly 
       The CIA cables are among nearly 6,000 newly declassified 
     government documents released yesterday related to human 
     rights and political violence in Chile during the first five 
     years of Pinochet's rule.
       In addition to indications that the CIA and the U.S. 
     Embassy in Santiago had detailed information on the extent of 
     repression and rights abuses there soon after the coup, the 
     documents provide new insights into disagreements within 
     President Richard M. Nixon's administration over policy 
     toward Pinochet's Chile.
       The Clinton administration agreed to review and release 
     selected documents from the State and Defense departments, 
     the CIA and the FBI after Pinochet was arrested last October 
     in London in response to a Spanish extradition request on 
     charges of alleged human rights violations committed during 
     his 17-year rule. The extradition trial is scheduled for 
       The redacted documents made public yesterday cover the 
     years of the worst excesses of the Chilean military 
     government, from 1973 to 1978, when at least 3,000 people 
     were killed or "disappeared" at the hands of government 
     forces. Additional documents--including some from 1968 to 
     1973 covering the election of Allende, a Marxist, as 
     president and the events leading up to the coup and his 
     death--are scheduled for later release.
       The documents are primarily status overviews and 
     intelligence reports on the situation inside Chile, and add 
     little of substance to scholarly and congressional reviews of 
     the period, as well as investigations conducted by the 
     democratically elected Chilean governments that followed 
     Pinochet. Nor are the documents likely to be useful in the 
     Pinochet extradition case.
       For example, information concerning the 1976 car bomb 
     assassination in Washington of former Chilean diplomat and 
     Pinochet opponent Orlando Letelier and his assistant Ronni 
     Karpen Moffitt were left out, the State Department said, 
     because aspects of the case are still being investigated by 
     the Justice Department.
       Human rights organizations commended the Clinton 
     administration for the release but expressed disappointment 
     at its selective nature. Peter Kornbluh of the National 
     Security Archives, who is compiling information for a book 
     about Pinochet, said of the released documents: "The CIA has 
     much to offer here, and much to hide. They clearly are 
     continuing to hide this history."
       Embassy reporting from Santiago reflected the Nixon 
     administration's support of the 1973 coup, although the 
     administration consistently denied helping to plan or carry 
     it out. In late September that year, the embassy reported, 
     the new Pinochet government appealed for American advisers to 
     help to set up detention camps for the thousands of Chileans 
     it had arrested.
       Worried about the "obvious political problems" such 
     assistance might cause, the embassy suggested in a cable to 
     the State Department that it instead "may wish to consider 
     feasibility of material assistance in form of tents, 
     blankets, etc. which need not be publicly and specifically 
     earmarked for prisoners."
       Ambassador David H. Popper wrote the State Department in 
     early 1974 that in conversations with the new government "I 
     have invariably taken the line that the U.S. government is in 
     sympathy with, and supports, the Government of Chile, but 
     that our ability to be helpful . . . is hampered by [U.S] 
     Congressional and media concerns . . . with respect to 
     alleged violations of human rights here."
       In a December 1974 secret cable, the agency reported on 
     information it had received concerning a briefing in which 
     Chile's interior minister and the head of the Directorate of 
     National Intelligence noted that the junta had detained 
     30,568 people, of whom more than 8,000 still were being held. 
     The two also agreed that an unspecified number of people were 
     being secretly held because "they are part of sensitive, 
     ongoing security investigations."
       The Pinochet government never publicly acknowledged secret 
     detentions. According to Chilean government reports in 1991 
     and 1996, a total of 2,095 extrajudicial executions and death 
     under torture took place during the military regime, and 
     1,102 people disappeared at the hands of government forces 
     and are presumed dead.
       By July 1977, U.S. policy under the new Carter 
     administration had turned sharply against Pinochet. Yet the 
     embassy expressed irritation over being asked to write 
     "still another human rights report" on Chile and noted the 
     "strong and varied views" inside the mission.
       In its own report, the embassy military group complained: 
     "We [the United States] do not appear to be visionary enough 
     to see the total picture; we focus only upon the relatively 
     few violation cases which occur and continue to hound the 
     government about past events while shrugging off demonstrated 

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