- Paperback: 587 pages
- Publisher: The New Press (September 30, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1565849361
- ISBN-13: 978-1565849365
- Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #383,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability
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From Publishers Weekly
For years, the United States government maintained top-secret archives detailing its policy in Chile and its role in aiding and securing General Pinochet's rise to dictatorial power in the early 1970s. In this examination of the thousands of records recently declassified by the CIA, White House, NSC, Pentagon and FBI, Kornbluh offers new revelations about America's development of a policy dedicated to overthrowing Chile's existing democratic government and to replacing it with a military leader reviled for his complete disregard for human rights. Throughout the book, Kornbluh-a director of the National Security Archive, a nonprofit research library-buttresses his assertions with excerpts from the relevant documents, and attempts to shed light on some of the outstanding questions of the period that still beg for answers, including what motivated President Nixon and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to authorize the bloody campaign and how involved the US government actually was in the September 1973 coup itself.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From The New Yorker
For Chileans, September 11th marks a different tragedy—the anniversary of the 1973 coup that overthrew the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende. This timely book weaves together thirty years of declassified documents with a gripping narrative of America's involvement in the affair. At a National Security Council meeting in 1970, Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird said of Allende, "We want to do everything we can to hurt him and bring him down," and a C.I.A. memo from the same year describes efforts of a key ally "to increase the level of terrorism in Santiago." This terrorism included the assassination of René Schneider, the constitutionalist commander-in-chief of Chile's armed forces, which was carried out with C.I.A.-provided funds and submachine guns. The evidence that Kornbluh has gathered is overwhelming. As Colin Powell recently remarked about the United States' role in the Pinochet coup, "It is not a part of American history that we are proud of."
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
I am no fan of neo-conservativism but one aspect of the movement I can appreciate is the desire to merge foreign policy with morality. Whether this has actually occurred is a debate for another book. Kissinger took such an amoral approach to foreign policy with his `realpolitik' that it's no wonder so many people around the world despise the United States. The United States did everything it could, including imposing economic sanctions using the World Bank, financing propaganda and fostering discontent among the military in order to bring down popularly elected president Salvador Allende. The goal was to wreck the economy and create conditions for a right wing takeover. So desperate to destroy Allende were Kissinger and Nixon that the CIA formed a working relationship with Patria y Libertad, a self-proclaimed neo-fascist paramilitary group that engaged in acts of terrorism including bombings who modeled themselves after Hitler's Brownshirts. After the violent coup that cost the lives of thousands of Chileans the U.S. government supported the brutally repressive Pinochet regime by reopening the spigot of foreign money and even selling military hardware while Pinochet's supporters rounded up and executed leftists. Chile wasn't just supported by the U.S. it was favored to the point where it was receiving 80% of all Title I Food for Peace in Latin America and $30 million from AID in housing guarantees compared to $4 million for the rest of Central and South America. Chile became the fifth largest customer of U.S. military weaponry falling just behind Iran.
There were at least as many people in government against what the United States was doing as for and the Republican leadership felt compelled to deliver endless and blatant lies to Congress in order to cover up their actions. This was a nasty, filthy piece of work that did incredible damage to the credibility of the United States and its place as a moral guidepost for emerging countries. So now Chile has come full circle with the election of Socialist Veronica Michelle Bachelet Jeria to the presidency. Venezuelian president Hugo Chavez has already learned that the United States still intends to set the limits of diversity with a U.S. backed coup attempt in 2002.
This is such an important book and if more American's were aware of history we might be less inclined to automatically blame others and spend more time correcting our own moral failings. When American's remain ignorant they become confused by the anger and resentment of others particularly in South America and the Middle East because people in those regions remember American actions quite well. This is not a blame America book but it is a look at actions that no American should be proud of. Chile is but one example of an amoral U.S. foreign policy and the more American's become aware the more we can improve in the future.
1. The left-leaning Chilean president, Allende, is targeted for being against American hegemony and corporations.
2. The CIA funds right-wing military assassins in Chile, and uses propaganda, lies, terror and economic methods to weaken Allende.
3. The USA State Department cooperates with the CIA plan to topple Allende.
4. Nixon and Kissinger rant privately against Chile as being another Cuba. Cuba had thrown out the corporations and the Mafia.
5. Fearfully, not wanting another failed coup as in Cuba, Nixon-Kissinger and The CIA plot with right-wing opponents of Allende.
6. Assassination is the quickest method to protect American interests, it is thought.
7. Right-wing military chief Pinochet is picked as the new leader who will kill Allende.
8. The aftermath of Allende's assassination is messy, but Pinochet takes charge.
9. Pinochet shocks some CIA operatives with his bloody coup and continued use of torture and disappearances.
10. Some Americans are assassinated and tortured.
11. The USA is broached by Pinochet in order to assassinate former Chilean Letellier in Washington D.C.
12. Years later, the movie MISSING shows the CIA and State Department as they try to keep their roles secret.
13. Using this book as a guideline, we can see recently, in the USA, the right-wing in America using a similar plan of demonizing Obama, attacking Obama, promoting lies and terrorism to promote fear, and causing economic failures to bring about a coup atmosphere against Obama.
14. So far, Obama is still in office, but the USA right-wing is still plotting.
15. Will the USA right-wing instigate an assassination against Obama?
16. Reading THE PINOCHET FILE will allow us to understand what was in Obama's past and what might be in Obama's future.
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