FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Who Should be Watching Whom?

by PAUL CANTOR

Forty years ago a friend of mine, Charles Horman, was executed.

Charles was killed in order to prevent him from blowing the whistle on the role our government played in helping to orchestrate the military coup d’état that overthrew the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende in Chile.

On September 4, 1970 Allende, a socialist, won a plurality of the vote in a three-way presidential election.   Therefore, it was expected that when the Chilean Congress met on October 24th it would declare him the winner.   But the President of the United States, Richard Nixon, and his National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger, were determined to prevent that from happening.  Hence, behind the backs of the American people and members of Congress and with the help of anti-Allende forces in Chile they hatched a plan to provoke a military take over.

That plan led to the murder of General René Schneider, the commander-in-chief of the army.  But it did not lead to the hoped for coup.  Instead, the Chilean Congress met as scheduled and declared Allende the winner of the election.  Consequently, on November 3, 1970 Allende took office as the President of Chile.

Nevertheless, as is well documented in reports issued by the United State’s Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations and formerly classified documents released by the Clinton administration, President Nixon and Henry Kissinger continued to prepare the ground for a coup.  As a result on September 11, 1973 Allende was killed and General August Pinochet, a murderous despot, seized power.

Subsequently Charles spoke with U.S. intelligence and military operatives in Chile who, thinking he was a tourist, boasted about the part they played in Allende’s overthrow.  It wasn’t long, however, before those operatives discovered he was a journalist living in Santiago who supported Allende’s effort to move in a democratic manner along a “peaceful road to socialism” and that he was investigating the events leading to the murder of General Schneider.

No doubt, therefore, they and their bosses in Washington sought to keep him from revealing what he had learned with their help and on his own.  But first, I suspect, they wanted to know precisely what information he had obtained, how he had obtained it, and with whom he may have shared it.

Hence on September 17, Charles was arrested and, according to a former Chilean intelligence officer who claims to have witnessed his interrogation, tortured and shot.  Then his body was dumped onto a street in Santiago to make it look as if he had been killed as the result of an armed confrontation.

But Charles, as is now well known, did not die in an armed confrontation.  He died while in the hands of the military more than six days after they seized control of the country.  Hence it is unlikely that he would have been executed without at least the tacit approval of President Nixon and Henry Kissinger.  Not only were Nixon and Kissinger the two individuals most responsible for orchestrating the coup but they were as well the two most important foreign leaders the Chilean military authorities turned to for support in its aftermath.

Why then hasn’t Henry Kissinger, who was charged in a suit brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights with complicity in the murder of Charles Horman, been brought to trial and found guilty of those charges? That is one question we should be asking.  But given the role the Nixon administration played in orchestrating the other 9/11 an even more important question Charles would want us to ask is:  “Who is keeping an eye on our government operatives to ensure that they are not violating the most basic principles of our democracy?”

Thanks to Edward Snowden we know they are watching us.  But who is watching them?

Paul Cantor, a professor of economics, is a sponsor of the Charles Horman Truth Foundation (CHTF).  On September 9th in recognition of the 40th anniversary of the coup d’état in Chile the CHTF is holding panel discussions open to the public and a human rights award ceremony.  Judge Baltasar Garzón, the Spanish Judge who had Pinochet arrested for crimes against humanity; Juan Guzmán Tapia, the Chilean judge who prosecuted Pinochet; Peter Weiss, the Center for Constitutional Rights lawyer who headed the legal team that charged Kissinger with complicity in Charles’ execution; Peter Kornbluh, the author of The Pinochet File; and Joyce Horman, Charles’ widow are among those who will be participating in the event.   For more information go to: http://www.hormantruth.org/ht

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
June 23, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Democrats in the Dead Zone
Gary Leupp
Trump, Qatar and the Danger of Total Confusion
Andrew Levine
The “Democracies” We Deserve
Jeffrey St. Clair - Joshua Frank
The FBI’s “Operation Backfire” and the Case of Briana Waters
Rob Urie
Cannibal Corpse
Joseph G. Ramsey
Savage Calculations: On the Exoneration of Philando Castile’s Killer
John Wight
Trump’s Attack on Cuba
Dave Lindorff
We Need a Mass Movement to Demand Radical Progressive Change
Brian Cloughley
Moving Closer to Doom
David Rosen
The Sex Offender: the 21st Century Witch
John Feffer
All Signs Point to Trump’s Coming War With Iran
Jennifer L. Lieberman
What’s Really New About the Gig Economy?
Pete Dolack
Analyzing the Failures of Syriza
Vijay Prashad
The Russian Nexus
Mike Whitney
Putin Tries to Avoid a Wider War With the US
Gregory Barrett
“Realpolitik” in Berlin: Merkel Fawns Over Kissinger
Louis Yako
The Road to Understanding Syria Goes Through Iraq
Graham Peebles
Grenfell Tower: A Disaster Waiting to Happen
Ezra Rosser
The Poverty State of Mind and the State’s Obligations to the Poor
Ron Jacobs
Andrew Jackson and the American Psyche
Pepe Escobar
Fear and Loathing on the Afghan Silk Road
Andre Vltchek
Why I Reject Western Courts and Justice
Lawrence Davidson
On Hidden Cultural Corruptors
Christopher Brauchli
The Routinization of Mass Shootings in America
Missy Comley Beattie
The Poor Need Not Apply
Martin Billheimer
White Man’s Country and the Iron Room
Joseph Natoli
What to Wonder Now
Tom Clifford
Hong Kong: the Chinese Meant Business
Thomas Knapp
The Castile Doctrine: Cops Without Consequences
Nyla Ali Khan
Borders Versus Memory
Binoy Kampmark
Death on the Road: Memory in Tim Winton’s Shrine
Tony McKenna
The Oily Politics of Unity: Owen Smith as Northern Ireland Shadow Secretary
Nizar Visram
If North Korea Didn’t Exist US Would Create It
John Carroll Md
At St. Catherine’s Hospital, Cite Soleil, Haiti
Kenneth Surin
Brief Impressions of the Singaporean Conjucture
Paul C. Bermanzohn
Trump: the Birth of the Hero
Jill Richardson
Trump on Cuba: If Obama Did It, It’s Bad
Olivia Alperstein
Our President’s Word Wars
REZA FIYOUZAT
Useless Idiots or Useful Collaborators?
Clark T. Scott
Parallel in Significance
Louis Proyect
Hitler and the Lone Wolf Assassin
Julian Vigo
Theresa May Can’t Win for Losing
Richard Klin
Prog Rock: Pomp and Circumstance
Charles R. Larson
Review: Malin Persson Giolito’s “Quicksand”
David Yearsley
RIP: Pomp and Circumstance
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail