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Assassination on Embassy Row (McGraw-Hill paperbacks) Paperback – 1981


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Product Details

  • Series: McGraw-Hill paperbacks
  • Paperback: 411 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill (1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0070169985
  • ISBN-13: 978-0070169982
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,858,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Erika Mitchell TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book details the strange story behind the murders of Orlando Letelier and Ronni Moffitt in 1976. Dinges, a journalist with extensive experience in Chile, and Landau, director of the institute where Moffitt worked, are exceptionally qualified for telling this story. Orlando Letelier was the Chilean ambassador to the USA under the Allende administration, and was at the time of the murders, serving as the director of the Transnational Institute, where Moffitt worked. Dinges and Landau present the background behind the murders from many points of view, going back to Allende's rise to power, and CIA connections to groups opposing him. They tell the life story of Orlando Letelier, how he came to serve as ambassador, how he was tortured under the Pinochet regime, and how he was eventually assassinated by a Chilean government terrorist team led by Michael Townley, an American who had adopted Chile as his home. The text is exceptionally well written and well documented, although it does get a little bogged down in legalistic detail towards the end.
Fifteen years ago, I met a Chilean named Juan in the streets of Stockholm. At the time, I had never heard of Allende or of his overthrow. Juan told me that I should learn about his story because the CIA were behind the assassination of this democratically elected leader. At the time, I found Juan's tale a little hard to believe- -would the CIA really dare to murder a foreign leader in his own country, and why would they care about the politics of a small South American country anyway? On the other hand, I could see that Juan's life had been ruined by the coup. Identified as an Allende supporter, he had been jailed and tortured. He had escaped to Sweden, but his life was in tatters.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. Mack on August 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
I'm saddened to learn that this book is out of print. It tells a compelling story of how a courageous man was killed in the United States, the political problems of his native country reaching out to him here. The U.S. is often a temporary home to dissidents from oppressive regimes, but it is not always the safe haven it seems. Full of intrigue and fact, this book is a good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By TLR on October 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover
By 1975-76, former ambassador Orlando Letelier had become one of the top leaders of the Chilean exiles who fled the country after Pinochet ousted Salvador Allende in 1973. The Pinochet regime also believed he was responsible for Chile losing some important foreign business contracts. Sometime in June 1976, Pinochet and Juan Manuel Contreras (head of Chile's intelligence bureau, DINA) decided to have Letelier killed. This was part of a much larger program (Operation Condor) by right-wing Latin American regimes to target opponents and critics.

The car bomb that killed him and Ronnie Moffitt in the middle of Washington DC was the handiwork of American Michael Townley (who had CIA contacts) and his Cuban exile associates.

Initially, the US government and media tried to steer the focus away from the Chilean government and blame it on extreme leftists who wanted to make a martyr out of Letelier. The CIA in particular favored this theory. The FBI for a change did a real investigation and the truth came out. The question remains how much foreknowledge the CIA (and its Director, George H.W. Bush) had of the assassination plan. The authors' FOIA requests for documents on the assassination from the CIA, FBI, Justice Dept and State Dept had met with not one released document.
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