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Congressional Record: October 26, 1999 (Senate)
Page S13160-S13162


                        FULL DISCLOSURE ON CHILE

  Mr. KENNEDY. Mr. President, the National Security Archives recently 
released an additional selection of declassified documents from the 
State Department, Defense Department, and the CIA on U.S. relations 
with Chile between 1970 and 1973, when the democratically-elected 
government of President Allende was overthrown by General Pinochet. The 
release of these documents is part of the Administration's ongoing 
"Chile Declassification Project," an effort begun following the 
arrest of General Pinochet last year. According to the President's 
directive, U.S. national security agencies are directed to "review for 
release * * * all documents that shed light on human rights abuses, 
terrorism, and other acts of political violence during and prior to the 
Pinochet era in Chile."
  On October 24, the Washington Post carried two articles which 
emphasized the need for full disclosure by the CIA of its documents 
related to its covert operations in Chile during this period. The 
release of these documents will facilitate a full understanding of this 
period in U.S.-Chile relations. I believe that these articles will be 
of interest to all of us in Congress concerned about this issue, and I 
ask unanimous consent that they may be printed in the Record.
  There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in 
the Record, as follows:

               [From the Washington Post, Oct. 24, 1999]

       Still Hidden: A Full Record Of What the U.S. Did in Chile

                          (By Peter Kornbluh)

       As Augusto Pinochet continues to fight extradition from 
     England to face charges of

[[Page S13161]]

     crimes against humanity, the historical record of U.S. 
     support for the former Chilean dictator remains 
     desaparecido--disappeared--like so many victims of his 
     violent regime. Unless President Clinton ensures that the 
     record is brought to light, a singular opportunity to find 
     answers to unresolved cases of atrocities against Chileans 
     and Americans, and to fully understand the role U.S. 
     Government played in this Cold War tragedy, will be lost.
       In the wake of Gen. Pinochet's stunning arrest in London 
     one year ago, the Clinton administration has been conducting 
     a special "Chile Declassification Project." On Feb. 1, U.S. 
     national security agencies were directed "on behalf of the 
     president" to begin searching their archives "and review 
     for release . . . all documents that shed light on human 
     rights abuses, terrorism, and other acts of political 
     violence during and prior to the Pinochet era in Chile."
       What began as a precedent-setting exercise in official 
     openness, however, has devolved into an example of government 
     censors holding history hostage. The "securocrats" of the 
     national security bureaucracy are blocking the release of 
     virtually all documents that chronicle the full extent of the 
     U.S. role in Chile. The result, so far, is a public record 
     skewed by omission, open to charges of fraud and a coverup.
       Chile holds a special place in the annals of American 
     foreign policy. During the mid-1970s, the country that poet 
     Pablo Neruda described as "a long petal of sea, wine, and 
     snow" became the subject of international scandal. News 
     reports revealed that the CIA had conducted massive 
     clandestine operations to undermine the democratically 
     elected socialist government of Salvador Allende and help 
     bring the military to power in 1973. Secretary of State Henry 
     Kissinger's embrace of the Pinochet regime, despite its 
     ongoing atrocities, prompted Congress to pass the very first 
     laws establishing human rights as a criterion for U.S. policy 
       The CIA's covert operations and the debate over U.S. policy 
     toward Pinochet generated a slew of secret documents. So, 
     too, did the 1973 murder in Chile of two U.S. citizens, 
     freelance writers Charles Horman and Frank Teruggi, as well 
     as the brazen 1976 car bombing in Washington that killed 
     former Chilean ambassador Orlando Letelier and his American 
     associate, Ronni Karpen Moffitt. The Clinton administration's 
     special review carried the promise of finally declassifying 
     these records and answering the outstanding questions that 
     haunt this shameful era.
       Such questions include:
       What role did the United States play in the violent coup 
     that brought Pinochet to power?
       Why was Horman, whose case was made famous in the Hollywood 
     movie "Missing," detained and executed? Did U.S. 
     intelligence somehow finger him, as recently declassified 
     documents suggest, for the Chilean military?
       What support did the CIA provide to Pinochet's notorious 
     secret police, the DINA?
       Could the United States have prevented the assassination of 
     Letelier and Moffitt on American soil?
       Since the White House ordered declassification, the 
     agencies' review has yielded almost 7,000 documents--a major 
     feat given the usual snail's pace of the national security 
     bureaucracy. On June 30, the administration released same 
     5,800 records, covering the most repressive years of 
     Pinochet's bloody rule, 1973 to 1978. Significantly, 
     however, 5,000 of those were from the State Department; 
     the CIA released only 500 documents--a fraction of its 
     secret holdings on that period.
       On Oct. 8, approximately 1,100 documents were declassified 
     in a second phase that was supposed to cover the years of 
     Allende's presidency, 1970 to 1973. Based on the accumulated 
     evidence of U.S. involvement in Chile during that period, 
     that figure is a meager percentage of the true record.
       To be sure, some of the documents that were declassified 
     contain extremely detailed information on the Pinochet 
     regime, and they undoubtedly will prove useful to future 
     efforts within Chile to hold Pinochet's military officers 
     accountable for human rights violations.
       But while Chileans are learning about their dark history 
     from the U.S. documents, American citizens are learning 
     almost nothing about their own government's actions. Among 
     more than 25,000 pages released to date, there is not a 
     single page of the thousands of CIA, National Security 
     Council (NSC) or National Security Agency (NSA) records on 
     U.S. policy and operations to bring down Allende and help 
     Pinochet consolidate his rule. This documentation includes 
     the files of the CIA's covert "Task Force on Chile," 
     planning papers from the Nixon White House, records of U.S. 
     material support for the DINA, and intelligence documents on 
     the Horman and Letelier-Moffitt cases.
       That such records exists is beyond dispute. As the subject 
     of repeated controversy over the years, the U.S. role in 
     Chile has generated congressional inquiries, murder 
     investigations, criminal prosecutions and civil lawsuits--not 
     to mention hundreds of requests under the Freedom of 
     Information Act. These have yielded extensive information 
     (which I have spent almost 20 years compiling and analyzing) 
     about what still is hidden.
       A close reading of two detailed Senate reports published in 
     1975, for example, shows that the CIA station in Santiago 
     sent a number of cables about its "liaison relations" with 
     the Chilean DINA after the coup. Justice Department files on 
     the prosecution of former CIA head Richard Helms for lying to 
     Congress about covert operations in Chile reveal that the 
     agency filed daily progress reports on "Track II"--the code 
     name for U.S. efforts to foment a coup against Allende. An 
     aborted lawsuit filed by the Horman family against Kissinger 
     produced references to classified records containing 
     information about Charles Horman's death. But while President 
     Clinton clearly intended these cables, files and records to 
     be released, none of them have been.
       The Horman case is a classic example of the cult of 
     secrecy. As the movie "Missing" suggests, his family has 
     long suspected that the U.S. intelligence community knew far 
     more than it admitted about how and why he was singled out by 
     the Chilean military after the coup. But it took 26 years for 
     the U.S. government to acknowledge that State Department 
     officials shared the family's suspicion. "U.S. intelligence 
     may have played a part in Horman's death. At best, it was 
     limited to providing or confirming information that helped 
     motivate his murder. . ." according to a passage in an Aug. 
     25, 1976, State Department memorandum released this month--a 
     document that Horman's widow, Joyce calls "close to a 
     smoking pistol." (When the same document was released to the 
     family in 1980, this critical paragraph was blacked out.) And 
     although Clinton's order explicitly directed agencies to 
     declassify documents on Horman, neither the CIA nor the NSA 
     has released a single record relating to his case.
       Hundreds of documents have also been withheld on the 
     Letelier and Moffitt assassinations--albeit with the 
     explanation, wholly unsatisfactory to their families, that 
     these records are material to an "ongoing" investigation 
     into Pinochet's possible role.
       As coordinator of the Chile Declassification Project, the 
     NSC bears responsibility for failure to comply with the 
     president's directive. Under its watch, countless documents 
     have been blocked from release.
       The CIA, which has the most to offer history but also the 
     most to hide, has refused to conduct a full file search of 
     its covert action branch, the Directorate of Operations. 
     After I sent a comprehensive list of documents missing from 
     the first release to the CIA's declassification center--the 
     address of which is classified--an official informed me that 
     the agency was "not legally obliged" to search such file 
     because it had never "officially acknowledged" covert 
     operations in Chile. (President Gerald Ford's public 
     admission in 1974 that the CIA had covertly intervened in 
     Chile apparently doesn't count.)
       Moreover, with the acquiescence of the NSC, the 
     intelligence community has taken the position that policy and 
     planning documents are "not responsive" to the president's 
     directive. Under this narrow interpretation, the 
     deliberations of Nixon, Kissinger, Helms and others in 
     plotting and financing political violence in Chile will not 
     be considered for declassification--severely distorting the 
     historical record.
       Consider one example: The CIA has released one heavily 
     blacked-out cable reporting on the October 1970 kidnapping 
     and murder of Chilean Gen. Gene Schneider, who opposed a 
     military move against Allende. But the agency did not even 
     submit for review the dozens of secret "memcons" 
     (memorandums of conversations), meeting minutes and briefing 
     papers showing that the White House and the CIA covertly 
     orchestrated this operation in an aborted attempt to 
     instigate a coup in Chile.
       To the surprise of the intelligence community, the National 
     Archives Records Administration (NARA) found such documents 
     among Nixon's papers. In compliance with Clinton's order, 
     these records were submitted to the Chile Declassification 
     Project, but CIA and NSA officials objected to their release. 
     Since the documents deal with the Allende era, they should 
     have been made public on Oct. 8. They weren't.
       It is unclear how many, if any, will be included in the 
     third and final declassification, now scheduled for April. 
     Under the media spotlight, the CIA recently said it will 
     review some records related to covert action. But it is 
     unlikely that the credibility of this important project can 
     be salvaged unless the president explicitly orders full 
     cooperation and maximum disclosure.
       There are compelling reasons to do so:
       Abroad, Washington's reputation as a standard-bearer on 
     human rights is at stake. It will prove far more difficult to 
     encourage Chileans to undergo a process of truth and 
     reconciliation if Washington is unwilling to admit its own 
     involvement in their history. Indeed, the credibility of U.S. 
     diplomatic efforts to press other nations, from Germany to 
     Guatemala, to acknowledge and redress their mistakes of the 
     past will be undermined by this flagrant attempt to hide our 
       At home, the American public has the right to know the full 
     story of U.S. policy toward Chile and Pinochet's brutal 
     regime. And his victims' families deserve to be able to lay 
     this painful history to rest. Clinton's directive said the 
     declassification project responded, in part, "to the 
     expressed wishes of the families of American victims." But 
     an incomplete review, as Joyce Horman wrote recently, would 
     be "little more than an exercise in hypocrisy."
       At least rhetorically, Clinton appears to agree: "I think 
     you're entitled to know what happened back then and how it 
     happened," he recently told reporters. We are indeed.

[[Page S13162]]

     But only if he takes concrete action to support his words 
     will Americans finally learn what was done in Chile--in our 
     name, but without our knowledge.

               [From the Washington Post, Oct. 24, 1999]

                   The 'Jewels' That Spooked the CIA

                            (By Vernon Loeb)

       President Clinton's order to declassify all U.S. government 
     documents on human rights abuses and political violence in 
     Chile has forcefully recalled the most painful period in 
     agency history.
       It is a cautionary tale of secrets and lies, burned deep 
     into the CIA psyche. It begins on Feb. 7, 1973, with the 
     question that Sen. Stuart Symington put to former CIA 
     director Richard Helms before the Senate Foreign Relations 
       "Did you try in the Central Intelligence Agency to 
     overthrow the government of Chile?"
       "No, sir," Helms replied.
       The facts told a different story, and three months later, 
     after an order came down asking all CIA employees to report 
     any evidence they had of any unlawful acts, someone at 
     Langley questioned the truthfulness of Helm's response.
       His prevarication found its way into a 693-page compendium 
     of CIA misdeeds that was being compiled by the new director 
     of central intelligence, William Colby--a document that came 
     to be known as "the Family Jewels."
       The Family Jewels told all: of plots to assassinate foreign 
     leaders, overthrow government, bug journalists, test 
     psychedelic drugs on unwary subjects. And, of course, of the 
     agency's efforts to destabilize the socialist regime of 
     Chilean President Salvador Allende.
       Colby shared the Family Jewels with Congress, the White 
     House and, to a lesser extent, the news media. He hand-
     delivered a chapter to the Justice Department that directly 
     led to Helms facing criminal charges over his Chile 
     testimony. And Colby's revelations prompted the creation of 
     the Senate Select Committee to Study Government Operations 
     with Respect to Intelligence Activities, known as the Church 
     Committee after its chairman, Sen. Frank Church.
       Once the committee issued its final report, the CIA's 
     ability to do pretty much as it pleased without telling 
     anyone was over: Both houses of Congress created standing 
     select committees to oversee the CIA as a full-time pursuit.
       To this day, Helms--who pleaded no contest in 1977 for 
     failing to testify fully to Congress, was ordered to pay a 
     $2,000 fine and was given a two-year suspended sentence--
     remains one of the most revered figures in the secrecy-based 
     CIA culture. (At 86, he is currently working on his memoirs.) 
     But Colby, who died in 1996, is deeply resented by many for 
     what is seen as betrayal.
       "The first principle of a secret intelligence service is 
     secrecy." Thomas Powers wrote in his 1979 biography of 
     Helms, "The Man Who Kept the Secrets."
       "It was bad enough this ancient history was being raked up 
     at all, but to have it raked up in public, with all the 
     attendant hypocrisy of a political investigation conducted by 
     political men . . . This, truly, in Richard Helms' view, 
     threatened to destroy the agency he and a lot of men had 
     spent their lives trying to build."
       Whether a new spirit of openness prevails at the CIA 
     remains to be seen, at least when it comes to Clinton's 
     declassification order on Chile. No covert action documents 
     relating to CIA operations in Chile have yet been made 
     public. But CIA spokesman Mark Mansfield said their release 
     is only a matter of time.
       "We're still very much in the middle of this, and we are 
     going to be as forthcoming as possible," Mansfield said, 
     "consistent with protecting legitimate sources and 


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