STASI-WARNUNG – VORBESTRAFTE RUFMÖRDER, SERIENBETRÜGER UND MUTMASSLICHE MÖRDER DER GoMoPa

Liebe Leser,

mit weiteren Lügen, Fälschungen und Rufmorden im Internet sollen wir dazu gebracht werden unsere Aufklärungsarbeit in Sachen STASI und “GoMoPa” und deren mutmassliche Auftraggeber/Partner  Gerd Bennewirtz und Peter Ehlers einzustellen und zu löschen.

DAS WIRD NICHT PASSIEREN !

Herzlichst Ihr

Bernd Pulch, Magister Artium

SZ: John le Carré: “Marionetten” Ihre eigenen Geschöpfe

Terror-Paranoia und eine Politik, die mit der Angst spielt: John le Carré beweist in seinem neuen Roman, dass kaum einer so viel über Deutschland weiß, wie er.

Während des Kalten Kriegs war Deutschland geteilt und nicht im Besitz seiner vollen Souveränitätsrechte. Das Land war einerseits machtlos, andererseits lag es in der Mitte der Weltpolitik, gewissermaßen im Auge des Orkans. Diese eigentümliche Mixtur aus Provinz und Weltbühne, aus Abseitigkeit und Zentralität hat kein Schriftsteller so prägnant erfasst wie der englische Thriller-Autor John le Carré. Der Titel eines seiner frühen Romane bringt es mit schlafwandlerischer Treffsicherheit auf den Begriff: “Eine kleine Stadt in Deutschland”. Wie viel altfränkische Verschlafenheit klingt da mit – und doch ist dieses Deutschland Hauptschauplatz des Kalten Kriegs, auch wenn andere dabei die Fäden in der Hand halten.

Bild vergrößern Arbeitete vor seiner Schriftstellerkarriere für den britischen Geheimdienst: John le Carré. (© Foto: dpa)

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Damals, in den sechziger Jahren, waren die Zeiten der Großmachtsphantasien schon lange vorbei. Die Bundesrepublik war ein politischer Zwerg, der daran arbeitete, unter dem Sicherheitsschirm der USA zum wirtschaftlichen Riesen zu werden. Und doch war es dieses beschauliche Ländchen, das ganz kleine Brötchen buk, in dem die beiden Supermächte das Weiße im Auge ihres Feindes sehen konnten.

Vielleicht hat es ja sogar eine tiefere Bedeutung, wenn George Smiley, John le Carrés unvergesslicher Secret-Service-Mann, während seines Studiums der Literaturwissenschaft sich besonders passioniert der deutschen Literatur des Barock widmet – mithin jener Epoche, in der Deutschland in Folge des Dreißigjährigen Krieges in die Kleinstaaterei zerfiel.

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Der Fremde

Dass der Fremde das Eigene schärfer zu erfassen vermag, als man selbst, ist ein Gemeinplatz – aber man muss ihn im Falle John le Carrés erneut bemühen: Er hat das Deutschland des Kalten Krieges erzählerisch ins Bild gesetzt. Er hat in seinem berühmtesten Roman, “Der Spion, der aus der Kälte kam”, die Glienicker Brücke zwischen Berlin und Potsdam zum geographischen Sinnbild der Block-Konfrontation werden lassen, wo die Geheimdienste aus West und Ost sich zum Agenten-Austausch trafen – noch heute ein Ort, an dem einen das Glück der Wiedervereinigung geradezu körperlich anspringt.

Für das Pathos wie für die Beschaulichkeit der politischen Situation der beiden Deutschlands hatte John le Carré ein Gespür wie kein zweiter. Als Mitarbeiter sowohl des British Foreign Office wie des britischen Geheimdienstes lebte le Carré, der nahezu akzentfrei Deutsch spricht, Anfang der sechziger Jahre in Bonn und in Hamburg.

In diesen Tagen hat “Arte” einen Film über den großen Spionage-Autor gezeigt. Da sah man John le Carré, mit seinen 77 Jahren noch immer ein blendend aussehender Gentleman, im Garten seines hinreißend zum Meer hin exponierten Hauses in Cornwall. Zu seiner Linken, die Steilküste hinunter, erstreckte sich eine große Bucht, an deren anderer Seite ein Städtchen zu sehen war: “Wie sagte Theodor Storm über Husum? ,Die graue Stadt am Meer’. Das dort ist meine graue Stadt am Meer.”

“Marionetten” heißt sein 21. Roman, und er spielt in Hamburg. Auf Englisch heißt das Buch “A Most Wanted man”. Aber der deutsche Titel ist gar nicht schlecht. Im Grunde greift er ein altes Motiv auf. Zwar ist Deutschland mittlerweile ein souveränes Land. Wenn es aber um den Krieg gegen den Terror geht, wird es zum Vasallen Amerikas, und seinen Geheimdiensten bleibt auf ihrem eigenen Territorium nichts anderes übrig, als die transatlantischen Kollegen walten und schalten zu lassen.

Keine der “Marionetten”-Figuren vermag souverän zu handeln, immer ziehen andere an den Strippen. Im Kleist’schen Sinne anmutig sind diese Marionetten nicht. Vielmehr werden sie ohne Rücksicht auf Verluste durch die Machtkämpfe der Weltpolitik geschleift, an ihren Fäden, mit polternden Körpern.

Issa, ein junger Moslem, gelangt illegal nach Deutschland. Annabel Richter, Tochter aus bester deutscher Juristen-Familie, arbeitet für die Organisation Fluchthafen, die politischen Flüchtlingen dabei hilft, ihren Aufenthalt in Deutschland zu legalisieren. Mit Issa hat sie einen schwierigen Fall. Er gibt sich als Tschetschene aus, spricht aber nur russisch. Seine Frömmigkeit stellt er umständlich zur Schau, aber manchmal wirkt sie gerade deshalb wie zwielichtiges Kasperltheater. Er hat geradezu heiligenmäßige Züge kindlicher Unschuld. Dann wieder wirkt er mit seiner gestelzten Ausdrucksweise wie von allen guten Geistern verlassen. Sein Körper jedenfalls weist Spuren von Folter auf.

Die Geschichte, die Issa seiner Anwältin Annabel auftischt, ist haarsträubend: Sein Vater sei ein russischer Oberst der Roten Armee gewesen, der wie nur je ein grausiger Warlord in Tschetschenien gewütet habe. Er habe seine tschetschenische Mutter vergewaltigt, sich dabei aber in sie und damit auch in seinen Bastard-Sohn verliebt. Seine Mutter sei wegen der Schande von ihrer eigenen Familie getötet worden, während sein Vater ihn auf einem russischen Internat habe großziehen lassen.

Nervös

Issa hasst seinen Vater und verehrt seine tote Mutter. Seine Loyalität gehört dem geschundenen tschetschenischen Volk. Der russische Geheimdienst hält ihn für einen gefährlichen Islamisten und hatte ihn hinter Gitter gebracht. Aber Issa gelang die Flucht. Und jetzt steht er nicht mit leeren Händen da. Von seinem Vater soll er ein gewaltiges Vermögen geerbt haben. Es ist schmutziges Geld, das weiß Issa, er möchte es deshalb islamischen Wohltätigkeitsorganisationen vermachen. Aber Hamburg ist auch die Stadt von Mohammed Atta, einem der 9/11-Attentäter. Da hatte der Verfassungsschutz des Stadtstaats auf ganzer Linie versagt. Entsprechend nervös sind jetzt alle. Der Erfolgsdruck bei den Geheimdiensten ist hoch. Die Briten, die Amerikaner sind anwesend und pfuschen den deutschen Diensten ins Spiel.

“Marionetten” erzählt davon, wie eine Politik, die mit der Angst spielt, ihre rechtsstaatliche Balance verliert. John le Carré hat während der Recherchen Murat Kurnaz interviewt, der nach Guantanamo verschleppt wurde. Die Terror-Paranoia schafft sich unter Umständen ihre eigenen Geschöpfe. Wenn die Agenten in “Marionetten” die Lage beschreiben, dann reden sie von den “verschlungenen Pfaden des Dschihadismus”. Dieser Roman führt meisterhaft vor, wie sich um ein Schlagwort eine ganze Sicherheits-Bürokratie bildet, ja, sich aus dem Begriff heraus eine eigene Handlungslogik entfaltet. In dieser Logik hat ein gläubiger Tschetschene, der uns wie Murat Kurnaz fremd und deshalb fanatisch vorkommt, keine Chance auf eine faire Beweisaufnahme. Im Zweifel für den Angeklagten – dieser Rechtsgrundsatz ist im Bann der Terrorangst aufgehoben.

Aber die Wege des Dschihadismus sind ja tatsächlich verschlungen; und le Carré ist niemand, der die Gefahr des Terrorismus unterschätzt. Was es mit Issa wirklich auf sich hat, das weiß auch sein Erfinder nicht. Klar ist nur, dass die Logik der Geheimdienste keine Rücksicht auf Verluste nimmt. Man klappt dies Buch stöhnend zu und möchte eine Welt, unsere Welt weit von sich weisen, in der es keine Möglichkeit gibt, sauber durchzukommen.

JOHN LE CARRÉ: Marionetten. Aus dem Englischen von Sabine Roth und Regina Rawlinson. Ullstein Verlag, Berlin 2008. 368 S., 22,90 Euro.


John le Carré findet STASI-Operationen teilweise “vorzüglich” – STASI-MORALISCH EKELHAFT

Der Schriftsteller und ehemalige Geheimdienst-Mitarbeiter John le Carré hat sich in einem Interview der “Süddeutschen Zeitung” (Montagausgabe) teilweise positiv über den DDR-Staatssicherheitsdienst geäußert. “Moralisch gesehen war die Stasi einfach nur ekelhaft”, sagte der 79-jährige Brite, der mit bürgerlichem Namen David Cornwell heißt. “Aber ihre grenzüberschreitenden Operationen waren vorzüglich”, fügte er hinzu. “Dies übrigens nicht nur in Westdeutschland, sondern auch in Kuba, in Afrika. Die Staatssicherheit wurde vom sowjetischen KGB gelenkt, aber der KGB hat sie gehasst.” Le Carré kritisierte heutige fragwürdige Methoden von Geheimdiensten: “Heutzutage ist der widerwärtige Ausdruck ‘verschärfte Befragung’ in Gebrauch gekommen”, sagte er. Unlängst habe die Zeitung “Guardian” aufgedeckt, dass es eine Geheimdienststudie gebe zum Thema “In welchem Verhältnis steht der Schmerz, der Menschen zugefügt wird, zum Wahrheitsgehalt der Aufgaben, die solche Leute dann machen”. Der Autor sagte: “Ich finde das entsetzlich.” Zu seiner Zeit – er war bis 1964 im diplomatischen Dienst – wäre es ihm nicht in den Sinn gekommen, dass informelle Befragungen unter Folter durchgeführt werden könnten, sagte le Carré. “In meiner Welt war das so: Wir hielten uns für Superjournalisten, der Wahrhaftigkeit verpflichtet. Es war ein Schock für mich, als ich erfuhr, dass John Scarlett vom britischen Auslandsdienst MI6 sich dazu hergegeben hat, eine Krisensituation herbeizureden, dass er Tony Blair dabei geholfen hat, Großbritannien unter verlogenen Vorwänden in den Irak-Krieg zu treiben.”

TOP-SECRET: TRIALS/EXECUTIONS OF ANTI-GOVERNMENT ELEMENTS

R 090540Z MAR 72
FM AMEMBASSY TEHRAN
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 7682
INFO AMEMBASSY ANKARA
AMEMBASSY BONN
AMCOMSUL DHAHRAN
AMEMBASSY JIDDA
AMEMBASSY KUWAIT
AMEMBASSY LONDON
AMEMBASSY PARIS
UNCLASSIFIED SECTION 01 OF 01 TEHRAN 1381 

E.O. 12958: AS AMENDED; DECLASSIFIED JUNE 21, 2006
TAGS: PREL PGOV IR
SUBJECT: TRIALS/EXECUTIONS OF ANTI-GOVERNMENT ELEMENTS: STUDENTS DEMONSTRATE AND SHAH LASHES OUT AT FOREIGN CRITICS 

1. IN PROTEST AGAINST RECENT TRIALS/PUNISHMENT (PARTICULARLY EXECUTIONS, WHICH NOW TOTAL 10) OF ANTI-GOVERNMENT-ELEMENTS, TEHRAN UNIVERSITY STUDENTS -- LEAD BY FACULTY OF ENGINEERING STUDENTS-- MOUNTED ON-CAMPUS DEMONSTRATION AFTERNOON OF MARCH 7 AND EVEN LARGE ONE (CIRC 600) MORNING OF MARCH 8. WHILE UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATION FELT CAPABLE OF HANDLING MARCH 7 DEMONSTRATION WITHOUT HELP OF OUTSIDE POLICE, THEY APPARENTLY FELT UNABLE DO SO MARCH 8 AND CALLED NATIONAL POLICE ONTO CAMPUS FOR BRIEF PERIOD. RESULT WAS MUCH MANHANDLING OF STUDENTS BUT THERE ARE NO REPORTS OF ANY SERIOUS CASUALTIES/CLASHES, AND UNIVERSITY WAS QUIET BY EARLY AFTERNOON. 

2. SOME FACULTIES AT OTHER TEHRAN UNIVERSITIES (E.G. ARYAMEHR, NATIONAL AND POLYTECHNIC) ARE REPORTED TO HAVE ENGAGED IN SYMPATHY STRIKES" MARCH 8 BUT SO FAR NO DEMONSTRATIONS REPORTED* THERE IS RELIABLE REPORT THAT DEMONSTRATIONS BY STUDENTS AT UNIVERSITY OF MESHED (SIX OF 10 EXECUTED CAME FROM MESHED AREA) BECAME SERIOUS ENOUGH THAT UNIVERSITY WAS CLOSED THREE DAYS AGO AND STILL REMAINS CLOSED. (COMMENT: WE WOULD NOT BE SURPRISED IF GOI ORDERS TEHRAN UNIVERSITIES CLOSED UNTIL AFTER NO RUZ HOLIDAY.) 

3. FROM COMMENTS OF STUDENTS AND OBSERVERS CLOSE TO ACADEMIC CIRCLES, IT SEEMS CLEAR LARGE PART OF MOTIVATION FOR DEMONSTRATION AND SYMPATHY STRIKES  IS STUDENT ANGER OVER GOI'S CONTINUED DETENTION OF SEVERAL STUDENTS AS "ANTI-STATE" SUBVERSIVES AND, EVEN MORE, ANGER OVER RECENT TRIALS AND EXECUTIONS OF THOSE CONVICTED OF ANTI-STATE ACTIVITIES. THERE ARE ALREADY INDICATIONS, HOWEVER, THAT GOI CONSIDERS TIMING OF DEMONSTRATIONS (PERHAPS DEMONSTRATIONS THEMSELVES) PROMOTED BY ANTI-STATE ELEMENTS TO EMBARRASS GOI DURING VISIT OF CHANCELLOR BRANDT AND HIS CONSIDERABLE PRESS RETINUE. 

4. IN RELATED DEVELOPMENT, WHICH MIGHT WELL HAVE BEEN INTENDED FOR EARS OF STUDENT DEMONSTRATORS AND THEIR SYMPATHIZERS SHAH LASHED OUT STRONGLY IN MARCH 7 PRESS CONFERENCE (WITH GERMAN PRESSMEN) AT WHAT HE LABELLED DISTORTED FOREIGN REPORTING ABOUT TRIALS AND EXECUTIONS. HIM HIT AT LE MONDE VIGOROUSLY AND REPEATEDLY, AND TOOK PARTICULAR EXCEPTION TO LE MONDE'S APPEAL FOR CLEMENCY FOR THOSE CONVICTED IN RECENT TRIALS. AFTER ASKING TWO RHETORICAL QUESTIONS "HAS LE MONDE EVER ASKED WHETHER THESE MURDERERS HAVE RIGHT TO TAKE LIVES OF INNOCENT PEOPLE? HAS LE MONDE EVER WRITTEN ONE WORD OF CONDEMNATION AGAINST TERRORISTS AND ASSASSINS SENT BY IRA TO EXTERMINATE PEOPLE?"), SHAH SAID FOREIGN PRESS HAS NO RIGHT GIVE ADVICE ON MATTERS THEY KNOW NOTHING ABOUT. HE RECALLED HIS "CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY" NOT TO PERMIT "TERROR OR ATTEMPTS AGAINST MY COUNTRY'S SOVEREIGNTY AND TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY BY AGENTS OF OTHER COUNTRIES." 

EXEMPT 

HECK

TOP-SECRET: CONTINUING TERRORIST VIOLENCE

UNCLASSIFIED TEHRAN 5055 

E.O. 12958: AS AMENDED; DECLASSIFIED JUNE 21, 2006
TAGS: IR PTER
SUBJECT: CONTINUING TERRORIST VIOLENCE 

REF: TEHRAN 4887 

SUMMARY: FOLLOWING ASSASSINATION OF GENERAL SAID TAHERI, BOMBING AND OTHER TERRORIST ACTIVITIES HAVE CONTINUED TO INCREASE. SAVAK MAINTAINING ITS POLICY OF WIDESPREAD PREVENTIVE ARRESTS AND, WHILE THIS RUNS RISK OF HEIGHTENING RESENTMENT AMONG POPULACE, OFFICIALS SEEM CONFIDENT THAT GUERRILLAS ARE ON THE RUN. WE ARE SKEPTICAL ABOUT THE OFFICIAL OPTIMISM AND FEEL THAT SANGUINE PUBLIC STATEMENTS AND THE GUERRILLA REACTION THEY USUALLY PROVOKE MAY FURTHER ERODE CREDIBILITY OF SECURITY ORGANS IN MIND OF PUBLIC.
END SUMMARY 

1. IN WAKE OF SMOOTHLY HANDLED ASSASSINATION AUGUST 13 OF HEAD OF PRISONS BRIGADIER GENERAL SAID TAHERI (REFTEL) WHO WAS ALSO CHIEF OF AN ANTI-GUERRILLA SUBCOMMITTEE WITH RESPONSIBILITY FOR UNIVERSITY STUDENTS, FREQUENCY OF TERRORIST ACTIVITIES HAS INCREASED. RECENT CONFIRMED INCIDENTS HAVE INCLUDED A BOMB IN A TEHRAN DEPARTMENT STORE WHICH INJURED THE TERRORIST PLANTING IT, BOMB IN TEHRAN NATIONAL IRANIAN OIL COMPANY BUILDING WHICH KILLED WATCHMAN, APPREHENSION OF A TERRORIST IN SOUTH TEHRAN WHICH RESULTED IN ONE KILLED AND FIVE WOUNDED, AND SHOOTING TO DEATH OF THREE POLICEMEN IN A SMALL BAZAAR IN SOUTH TEHRAN. NUMEROUS OTHER BOMBINGS AND SHOOTINGS RUMORED BUT NOT VERIFIED BY EMBASSY OR CONFIRMED BY GOI. 

2. SAVAK AND OTHER SECURITY ORGANS ARE PROCEEDING WITH A WIDESPREAD AND, WE HEAR, NOT VERY WELL TARGETED ROUND-UP OF SUSPECTS, AIDED BY LISTS OF NAMES AND OTHER DOCUMENTS FOUND IN DWELLING OF A RECENTLY SLAIN TERRORIST LEADER. POLICE NETS, WHICH ARE REPORTEDLY HAULING IN THE INNOCENT WITH THE GUILTY, HAVE EXTENDED AS FAR AFIELD AS ISFAHAN WHERE A NUMBER OF SUSPECTS WERE ARRESTED TWO WEEKS AGO. 

3. DESPITE INCREASING LEVEL OF GUERRILLA ACTIVITY, POLICE OFFICIALS REMAIN OPTIMISTIC. CHIEF OF NATIONAL POLICE LTG JAFFARQOLI SADRI ASSURED EMBOFF AUG. 17 THAT CURRENT FLURRY OF INCIDENTS CONSTITUTES DYING GASP OF GUERRILLAS WHO, HE CLAIMS, HAVE BEEN REDUCED BY TWO THIRDS IN PAST YEAR AND ARE FORCED TO ACT NOW TO SHOW THEY STILL EXIST. IN A MEDIA INTERVIEW PUBLISHED IN LOCAL PRESS AUG. 19, SADRI UPPED FIGURE FOR REDUCTION OF GUERRILLA FORCES TO THREE FOURTHS, PREDICTED THAT REMAINING TERRORISTS WOULD SOON BE WIPED OUT AND REITERATED STANDARD GOVERNMENT LINE THAT GUERRILLAS ARE CONFUSED MISGUIDED INDIVIDUALS OF MARXIST-LENINIST BENT BUT WITHOUT GOALS OR PROGRAM. IN DISCUSSION WITH EMBOFF SADRI ATTACHED NO PARTICULAR IMPORTANCE TO MURDER OF GENERAL TAHERI, ASSERTING THAT TERRORISTS WOULD HAVE BEEN SATISIFED WITH ANY HIGH-RANKING OFFICER AND CHOSE TAWERI ONLY BECUASE OF IOSLATED LOCATION OF HIS HOUSE AND HIS PREFERENCE FOR LONG WALKS ALONE. SADRI ALSO DISCOUNTED POSSIBILITY THAT ASSASSINS WERE OF HIGHER CALIBER THAN RUN-OF-THE-MILL GUERRILLAS, POINTING OUT THAT SHOTS WHICH KILLED TAHERI HAD BEEN FIRED FROM 50 CENTIMETERS AND THAT "A CHILD COULD HIT A MAN FROM THAT DISTANCE." 

COMMENT: WE CONSIDER IT MORE LIKELY THAT TAHERI WAS PERSONALLY TARGETED DUE TO HIS DIRECT INVOLVEMENT IN ANTI-GUERRILLA ACTIVITIES. MOREOVER, SKILLFUL MANNER IN WHICH ASSASSINATION CARRIED OUT, REQUIRING CAREFUL PLANNING AND RECONNAISSANCE AS WELL AS DEFT EXECUTION, APPEARS TO INDICATE THAT THOSE INVOLVED WERE MUCH BETTER TRAINED THAN AVERAGE TERRORISTS, SOME OF WHOM HAVE BEEN BLOWN UP BY THEIR OWN BOMBS. 

IT IS POSSIBLE THAT NUMBER OF GUERRILLA INCIDENTS WILL BEGIN TO TAPER OFF, BUT WE DO NOT SHARE SADRI'S CONFIDENCE THAT HIS TACTICS AND THOSE OF SAVAK CAN COMPLETELY HALT TERRORIST ACTIVITY. IN FACT OVER REACTION AND TOO ZEALOUS A REPRESSION BY SECURITY ORGANIZATIONS SEEM AT LEAST AS LIKELY TO RECRUIT NEW GUERRILLAS AS TO STAMP OUT OLD ONES. IN ADDITION WISDOM SEEMS QUESTIONABLE OF SECURITY OFFICIALS MAKING PUBLIC PRONOUNCEMENTS ABOUT BREAKUP OF GUERRILLA GROUPS AND PREDICTIONS OF THEIR DEMISE. WE RECALL THAT THE LAST SUCH ANNOUNCEMENT LAST JANUARY WAS FOLLOWED BY SERIES OF EXPLOSIONS ON US-PROPERTIES AND OTHER SITES IN TEHRAN. IN OUR VIEW SUCH PUBLIC DECLARATIONS RUN RISK OF INCREASING CREDIBILITY GAP AND RESENTMENT ON PART OF PUBLIC WHO LIKELY BE INCREASINGLY APPREHENSIVE OF INDISCRIMINATE ARRESTS THAT DO NOT SEEM TO BE STAMPING OUT TERRORISTS. 

THE PROGNOSTICATION THEREFORE IS FOR A CONTINUATION OF THE TERRORISM BUT, DESPITE SUCCESSFUL MURDER OF TAHERI, WE DO NOT CONCLUDE THAT GUERRILLAS WILL NOW PLACE GREATER RELIANCE ON ASSASSINATION AS A TOOL. REASON IS THAT TERRORISTS STILL LACK ENOUGH TRAINED PERSONNEL TO PULL OFF ASSASSINATIONS ON REGULAR BASIS. 

FARLAND

TOP-SECRET: The United States vs. Rito Alejo del Río

Former Colombian Army Gen. Rito Alejo del Río Rojas (ret.)

The United States vs. Rito Alejo del Río

Ambassador Cited Accused Colombian General’s Reliance on Death Squads

“Systematic” Support of Paramilitaries “Pivotal to his Military Success”

Infamous General a “Not-So-Success” Story of U.S. Military Training

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 327

Former U.S. ambassador to Colombia Curtis Kamman called Del Río’s reliance on paramilitaries “pivotal.”

Washington, D.C., September 29, 2010 – The U.S. ambassador to Colombia reported in 1998 that the “systematic arming and equipping of aggressive regional paramilitaries” was “pivotal” to the military success of Gen. Rito Alejo del Río Rojas, now on trial for murder and collaboration with paramilitary death squads while commander of a key army unit in northern Colombia.

The Secret “Biographic Note” from Ambassador Curtis Kamman is one of several documents published today by the National Security Archive pertaining to Del Río, whose trial resumes this month after years of impunity and delay. The documents are also the subject of an article published today in Spanish at VerdadAbierta.com, the leading online gateway for information on paramilitarism in Colombia. The article was also published in English today on the Web site of the National Security Archive.

“The collection is a unique and potentially valuable source of evidence in the case against Del Río, reflecting years of reports linking the senior army commander to paramilitarism,” said Michael Evans, director of the Archive’s Colombia Documentation Project. “As Del Río’s trial resumes, the court should examine the contemporaneous accounts of U.S. officials who were required by law to monitor and certify Colombia’s human rights performance.”

Other revelations include:

  • The U.S. embassy takes a favorable view of Col. Carlos Alfonso Velásquez, who called for an investigation of Del Río’s ties to paramilitary groups, noting that his statements “add credibility to our human rights report.”
  • A report on a conversation with Col. Velásquez, who told U.S. military officials that cooperation with paramilitaries “had gotten much worse under Del Río.”
  • Documents reporting conspicuous increases in anti-paramilitary operations after Del Río’s transfer out of northern Colombia. The embassy said it was “more than coincidental that the recent anti-paramilitary actions have all taken place since the departure from northern Colombia of military personnel believed to favor paramilitaries.”
  • The embassy notes a disturbing instance of possible military-paramilitary complicity in a paramilitary attack outside Bogotá just weeks after Del Río took command of the nearby military brigade.
  • The shifting U.S. opinion about Del Río is clearly evident in two U.S. military reports from early 1998. In the first, Del Río, who attended the U.S. Army School of the Americas, is lauded as a U.S. military training “success story.” But a second, corrected, report from March 1998 lists Del Río instead as a “not-so-success” story, citing his alleged paramilitary ties.

The United States vs. Rito Alejo del Río
By Michael Evans

Curtis Kamman will not be called to testify in the trial of Rito Alejo del Río, the former Colombian Army general on trial for murder and collaboration with paramilitary death squads, but we do have some idea what the former U.S. ambassador to Colombia might have said, thanks to declassified documents published today on the Web site of the National Security Archive.

In a Secret “Biographic Note” attached to an August 1998 cable to Washington, Kamman asserted that the former 17th Brigade commander’s “systematic arming and equipping of aggressive regional paramilitaries was pivotal to his military success” in northern Colombia.

Obtained through the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, these documents are a unique and potentially valuable source of evidence in the case against Del Río, reflecting years of reports linking the senior army commander to paramilitarism. As Del Río’s trial resumes, the court would do well to examine the contemporaneous accounts of U.S. officials who were required by law to monitor and certify Colombia’s human rights performance.

Once lauded as a staunch anti-guerrilla fighter, Del Río first came under scrutiny in 1996 after his deputy at the Urabá-based 17th Brigade, Col. Carlos Alfonso Velásquez, wrote an internal report (published last week by VerdadAbierta) calling on the Army to investigate the unit’s paramilitary ties and accusing Del Río of turning a blind eye to paramilitary activity. Rather than heed his warning, the Army fired Velásquez, forcing him into early retirement for insubordination. Velásquez offered similar testimony last week as a key witness in the case.

Interviewed by the embassy in December 1997, Velásquez directly implicated his former commander, lamenting the “body count syndrome” that “fueled human rights abuses” and stressing that 17th Brigade collaboration with paramilitaries “had gotten much worse under Del Río.” Another embassy report on the Velásquez episode testifies to the colonel’s integrity, noting that Velásquez was an “admired and much-decorated” military officer who had helped bring down the Cali drug mafia and had once gone public about an extramarital affair rather than submit to a cartel blackmail attempt.

His statements “bring extra pressure to bear on the Colombian military,” noted U.S. Ambassador Myles Frechette, who was then involved in tense negotiations with the army over its rights record. “They will add credibility to our human rights report.”

By then the embassy had begun to notice that paramilitary activity tended to flourish in areas where Del Río commanded troops and that anti-paramilitary operations seemed to increase in those same zones after he left. In January 1998, the embassy noted that an unprecedented string of 17th Brigade actions against paramilitaries “took place only about a week after the departure of the Brigade’s commander, Brig. Gen. Rito Alejo del Río, who was long-alleged to be not unfriendly toward paramilitaries.” A February report called it “more than coincidental” that a recent series of military blows against paramilitaries had “all taken place since the departure from northern Colombia of former First Brigade commander MG Iván Ramírez and his 17th Brigade commander BG Rito Alejo Del Río, who were widely believed to have contributed to a command climate conducive to turning a blind eye to paramilitaries, or worse.”

At the same time, the embassy noted a disturbing instance of possible military-paramilitary complicity in a paramilitary attack in La Horqueta, outside Bogotá, just weeks after Del Río left Urabá to take command of the nearby military brigade. “Why was it necessary,” the embassy asked in a January 1998 cable, “for another army unit to travel all the way from Bogotá in order to intervene?”

Del Río’s 13th Brigade was “strangely non-reactive” to the killing, notable as the first paramilitary massacre to occur so close to the Colombian capital. Also implicating Del Río was the discovery that the paramilitary who led the attack was the president of a legal Convivir militia group from Urabá, Del Río’s former area of operations, “who had been imported to the region to strike back against the FARC.”

The general’s star was falling so fast in 1998 that U.S. reporting could barely keep up. The shifting opinion about Del Río is clearly evident in two U.S. military reports from early 1998. In the first, Del Río, a 1967 graduate of the U.S. Army School of the Americas, is lauded as a U.S. military training “success story.” But a second, corrected, report from March 1998 lists Del Río instead as a “not-so-success” story, noting that he was “alleged to have ties not only to paramilitary elements on the north coast and in the Urabá region…but also in the conflictive ‘Magdalena Medio’ region before that” and was also”implicated in the 1985 theft of a [Colombian Army] weapons shipment destined for Magdalena Medio paramilitaries.”

By August 1998, Colombian prosecutors had opened a preliminary investigation of the general’s ties to paramilitaries, a development Kamman said would “serve as a marker to those army officers who continue to assist or otherwise work with paramilitary groups.” Del Río had been “very successful” against FARC guerrillas, the ambassador said in his Secret “Biographic Note,” and his “systematic arming and equipping of aggressive regional paramilitaries was pivotal to his military success at the time.”

The ambassador’s reports had an impact in Washington, where human rights figured prominently in negotiations over the nascent Plan Colombia aid package. In January 1999, two senior State Department officials wrote to Kamman to express their dissatisfaction with Colombia’s progress on human rights, noting in particular the “appointment to key positions of several generals credibly alleged to have ties to paramilitaries” including Del Río, who had recently been named the army’s operations director.

Frustrated and essentially out of options, the State Department took the unusual step of cancelling Del Río’s visa for “drug trafficking and terrorist activities” precipitating his forced retirement and the end of his military career in April 1999.

As years went on, the United States became increasingly concerned about official impunity in Colombia, especially for senior military officers like Del Río, prompting sharp discussions after Prosecutor General Luis Camilo Osorio dropped all charges against the former general in 2001. A briefing paper for the State Department’s top human rights official, Lorne Craner, notes “concern in Congress” that Osorio’s dismissal of the case showed that he was “less focused on prosecuting paramilitaries and military personnel accused of colluding with paramilitary.” A 2005 State Department memorandum found it “troubling” that the government had not yet sent “a clear message” regarding impunity for Del Río.

More than five years later, the case has finally come to trial, and the court will hear the testimony of many important witnesses, each of whom brings a unique perspective to the proceedings. And while no U.S. officials will appear, the court should consider the declassified perspective of the U.S. government and the formerly secret files on one of its “not-so-success” stories.


Read the Documents

Document 1
1998 August 13
General Ramirez Lashes Out at State Department; Two More Generals Under Investigation for Paramilitary Links
U.S. Embassy Colombia cable, 1998 Bogota 9345

This U.S. Embassy cable from August 13, 1998, reports, among other things, that Gen. Del Río was under investigation for links to illegal paramilitary groups. In a “Biographic Note,” the Embassy says that Del Río’s “systematic arming and equipping of aggressive regional paramilitaries was pivotal to his military success at the time.”

Biographic Note: Although brigade commands are generally rotated every year, General Del Rio was allowed to remain in command of the 17th Brigade in highly-conflictive Uraba region for two years, apparently because he had been very successful in bloodying the FARC’s nose during the period of his command. His systematic arming and equipping of aggressive regional paramilitaries was pivotal to his military success at the time.

Document 2
1997 January 11
Retired Army Colonel Lambastes Military for Inaction against Paramilitaries
U.S. Embassy Colombia cable, 1997 Bogota 274

In this cable, the U.S. Embassy in Colombia reports the public statements of former Colombian Army colonel Carlos Alfonso Velásquez that his commanding officer at the 17th Brigade, Gen. Rito Alejo del Río, had been negligent in not combating paramilitary groups in Urabá. In its analysis of the information, the Embassy takes a favorable view of Velásquez:

[Embassy officers] who know Velasquez speak highly of his performance as head of the anti-narcotics special joint command’s Army component in Cali. When the cartel tried to blackmail him, then Minister of Defense Botero saved him from dismissal. Botero characterized him as clean, among the best, and of unquestionable integrity. [Several lines deleted] Velasquez’s statements bring extra pressure to bear on the Colombian military as they prepare for a new defense minister. They will add credibility to our human rights report.

Document 3
1997 December 24
Retired Army Colonel Talks Freely About the Army He Left Behind
U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, Intelligence Information Report

In this document, a U.S. military attaché reports his conversation with a retired Colombian Army colonel (almost certainly Carlos Alfonso Velásquez) about his time at the 17th Brigade in Urabá. The report notes that the colonel “seems to know a lot about paramilitaries and their links to drug traffickers and the Army.” The colonel says that there is a “body count syndrome” in the Colombian Army “when it comes to pursuing the guerrillas.” This way of thinking “tends to fuel human rights abuses by otherwise well-meaning soldiers trying to get their quota to impress superiors.” The colonel said he had served under one commander he respected, as well as Rito Alejo del Río, “about whom he had fewer nice things to say.”

[Name deleted] was asked if the paramilitary wave of violence in the Uraba region and related military collusion were recent phenomena. [Deleted] replied in the negative, saying that military cooperation with the paramilitaries had been occurring for a number of years, but that it had gotten much worse under Del Río.”

Document 4
1998 January 09
Colombians Strike Two Blows Against the Paras
U.S. Embassy Colombia cable, 1998 Bogota 120

The U.S. Embassy noted with interest the sudden surge of anti-paramilitary activity by the 17th Brigade immediately after the departure of Del Río as brigade commander.

It is interesting to note that the 17th Brigade confrontation took place only about a week after the departure of the brigade’s commander, Brig. Gen. Rito Alejo del Río, who was long-alleged to by not unfriendly toward paramilitaries. His own former deputy, Col. Carlos Alfonso Velasquez, was retired from the Army under a cloud in January 1997 for privately criticizing Del Río’s refusal to combat the paramilitaries headquartered in the region. Although the Army has claimed for some time that the 17th Brigade has moved against the paramilitaries, we are unaware of any other such encounters that have been publicly confirmed.

Document 5
1998 January 28
Narcos Arrested for La Horqueta Paramilitary Massacre
U.S. Embassy Colombia cable

The U.S. Embassy questions why it was another military unit, and not the Army’s 13th Brigade, under the command of Gen. Del Río, that finally responded to the January 1998 La Horqueta paramilitary massacre.

If the Army was immediately in the area in the immediate aftermath of the killings, however, as the priest asserts, why was it necessary for another Army unit to travel all the way from Bogotá in order to intervene? That is precisely the question prosecutors are now asking. Finally, the strangely non-reactive 13th Brigade recently came under the command of BG Rito Alejo Del Rio, who earned considerable attention as commander of the 17th Brigade covering the heartland of Carlos Castaño’s paramilitaries in Cordoba and Uraba.

Document 6
1998 February 09
Colombian Army Reportedly Captures 23 Paramilitaries
U.S. Embassy cable, 1998 Bogota 1249

The Embassy speculates that a recent surge in 17th Brigade anti-paramilitary activity in Urabá may be related to the departure of Gen. Rito Alejo del Río as commander.

We are encouraged by this development but we are not yet sure how to interpret it. Until recently, the military has had little success in capturing paramilitaries… The 17th Brigade has a new commander, which may also have contributed to an increased surge in anti-paramilitary activity. The previous commander, Brigadier General Rito Alejo Del Rio, now the head of the 13th Brigade in Bogota, was rumored to have been quite tolerant of paramilitary activity in Uraba.

Document 7
1998 February 25
U.S. Army School of the Americas Success Stories
U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, Intelligence Information Report

A U.S. military intelligence report, subsequently revised (see Document 9), lists Gen. Del Río among U.S. military training “success stories.”

Document 8
1998 February 26
Military and Police Begin Clearly Cracking Down on Paramilitaries Around Carlos Castano
U.S. Embassy Colombia cable, 1998 Bogota 2097

The U.S. Embassy says that it “seems more than coincidental” that recent anti-paramilitary operations by the military “have all taken place since the departure from northern Colombia” of First Division commander Gen. Iván Ramírez and 17th Brigade commander Gen. Rito Alejo del Río.

We note that these latest anti-paramilitary incidents have all taken place since the departure from northern Colombia of former first division commander MG Ivan Ramirez and his 17th Brigade commander BG Rio [sic] Alejo Del Rio, who were widely believed to have contributed to a command climate conducive to turning a blind eye to paramilitaries, or worse. Nothing is irreversible, but at long last those days appear to be over.

We note that this new-found effectiveness in curbing the paramilitaries correlates closely with the recent change of command in several key military positions in northern Colombia, including the First Division in Santa Marta (formerly headed by Major General Ivan Ramirez), the 17th Brigade in Uraba, and the 11th Brigade in Monteria… It seems more than coincidental that the recent anti-paramilitary actions have all taken place since the departure from northern Colombia of military personnel believed to favor paramilitaries.

Document 9
1998 March 31
U.S. Army School of the Americas Not-So-Success Stories – Digging Back into History (Corrected Report)
U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, Intelligence Information Report

The U.S. military attaché in Colombia corrects an earlier report on Colombian military graduates from the U.S. Army School of the Americas, noting that Gen. Rito Alejo del Río was alleged to have ties to paramilitaries in Urabá as well as the Magdalena Medio, where “he was implicated in the 1985 theft of a [Colombian Army] weapons shipment destined for Magdalena Medio paramilitaries.”

Report follows up earlier detailed IIR on high-ranking/high-visibility Colombian military/national police graduates of the School of the Americas. Since then, additional—mostly derogatory—info on some of the older, mostly now retired, officers has come to light.

Brigadier General Rito Alejo ((Del Rio)) Rojas—Alleged to have ties not only to paramilitary elements on the north coast and in the Uraba region (adjacent to the Darien region of Panama), but also in the conflictive “Magdalena Medio” region before that. For example, he was implicated in the 1985 theft of a [Colombian Army] weapons shipment destined for Magdalena Medio paramilitaries. The case came to light only because the overloaded airplane crashed. BG Del Rio is currently serving as commander of the 13th Brigade in Bogota.

Document 10
1998 May 14
Army/Fiscalia Raid on a Church Based NGO Viewed as a Major Blunder
U.S. Embassy Colombia cable, 1998 Bogota 5554

The U.S. Embassy asserts that a raid by the Army’s 13th Brigade on the offices of the Comisión Interclesial de Justicia y Paz might be “related to long-standing friction between the Jesuit director of the NGO and the commander of the Army’s 13th Brigade.

Comment. [Two lines deleted] Jesuit priest Father Javier Giraldo worked in Uraba during the time period in which General Rito Alejo Del Rio was commanding the 17th Brigade there. [Two lines deleted] Recently, General Del Rio was reassigned to his new, more responsible position commanding the 13th Brigade; the brigade which participated in the raid on Justicia y Paz.

Document 11
1999 January 25
Official Informal for Ambassador Kamman from WHA/AND Director Chicola and DRL DAS Gerson
U.S. State Department cable, 1999 State 13985

Two senior U.S. officials register their dissatisfaction with Colombia’s progress on human rights during the first six months of the Pastrana government, noting the “appointment to key positions of several generals credibly alleged to have ties to paramilitaries. These include Generals Fernando Millan Perez, Rito Aleto Del Rio Rojas, and Rafael Hernandez Lopez.”

Document 12
2001 December 13
Your Meeting with Fiscal General Luis Camilo Osorio
U.S. State Department briefing memorandum

A briefing paper for the State Department’s top human rights official, Lorne Craner, notes “concern in the US Congress” that Osorio is “less focused on prosecuting paramilitaries and military personnel accused of colluding with paramilitary,” citing his dismissal of charges against Rito Alejo del Río.

Document 13
Circa 2005
Memorandum of Justification Concerning Human Rights Conditions with Respect to Assistance for Colombian Armed Forces
U.S. State Department memorandum

A U.S. State Department review of Colombia’s human rights performance finds it “troubling” that the government had not yet sent “a clear message” regarding impunity for Del Río.

TOP-SECRET: THE CIA FILE ON LUIS POSADA CARRILES

T

THE CIA FILE
ON LUIS POSADA CARRILES

A FORMER AGENCY ASSET GOES ON TRIAL IN THE U.S

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 334

Washington, D.C., January 11, 2011 – As the unprecedented trial of Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles begins this week in El Paso, Texas, the National Security Archive today posted a series of CIA records covering his association with the agency in the 1960s and 1970s. CIA personnel records described Posada, using his codename, “AMCLEVE/15,” as “a paid agent” at $300 a month, being utilized as a training instructor for other exile operatives, as well as an informant.  “Subject is of good character, very reliable and security conscious,” the CIA reported in 1965. Posada, another CIA document observed, incorrectly, was “not a typical ‘boom and bang’ type of individual.”

Today’s posting includes key items from Posada’s CIA file, including several previously published by the Archive, and for the first time online, the indictment from Posada’s previous prosecution–in Panama–on charges of trying to assassinate Fidel Castro with 200 pounds of dynamite and C-4 explosives (in Spanish).

“This explosive has the capacity to destroy any armored vehicle, buildings, steel doors, and the effects can extend for 200 meters…if a person were in the center of the explosion, even if they were in an armored car, they would not survive,” as the indictment described the destructive capacity of the explosives found in Posada’s possession in Panama City, where Fidel Castro was attending an Ibero-American summit in November 2000.

The judge presiding over the perjury trial of Posada has ruled that the prosecution can introduce unclassified evidence of his CIA background which might be relevant to his “state of mind” when he allegedly lied to immigration officials about his role in a series of hotel bombings in Havana in 1997. In pre-trial motions, the prosecution has introduced a short unclassified “summary” of Posada’s CIA career, which is included below.  Among other things, the summary (first cited last year in Tracey Eaton’s informative blog, “Along the Malecon”) reveals that in 1993, only four years before he instigated the hotel bombings in Havana, the CIA anonymously warned former agent and accused terrorist Luis Posada of an assassination threat on his life.

A number of the Archive’s CIA documents were cited in articles in the Washington Post, and CNN coverage today on the start of the Posada trial. “The C.I.A. trained and unleashed a Frankenstein,” the New York Times quoted Archive Cuba Documentation Project director Peter Kornbluh as stating.  “It is long past time he be identified as a terrorist and be held accountable as a terrorist.”

Posada was convicted in Panama in 2001, along with three accomplices, of endangering public safety; he was sentenced to eight years in prison. After lobbying by prominent Cuban-American politicians from Miami, Panamanian president Mireya Moscoso pardoned all four in August 2004. A fugitive from justice in Venezuela where he escaped from prison while being tried for the October 6, 1976, mid air bombing of a Cuban jetliner which killed all 73 people on board, Posada showed up in Miami in March 2005. He was arrested on May 17 of that year by the Department of Homeland Security and held in an immigration detention center in El Paso for two years, charged with immigration fraud during the Bush administration.  Since mid 2007, he has been living on bail in Miami. In April 2009, the Obama Justice Department added several counts of perjury relating to Posada denials about his role in organizing a series of hotel, restaurant and discotheque bombings in 1997.  Since mid 2007, he has been living on bail in Miami

According to Kornbluh, “it is poetic justice that the same U.S. Government whose secret agencies created, trained, paid and deployed Posada is finally taking steps to hold him accountable in a court of law for his terrorist crimes.”


Read the Documents

Document 1: CIA, Unclassified, “Unclassified Summary of the CIA’s Relationship With Luis Clemente Posada Carriles,” Undated.

This unclassified summary of the relationship between Luis Posada Carriles and the CIA, which was provided to the court by the US Justice Department, says the CIA first had contact with Posada in connection with planning the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961. He remained a paid agent of the CIA from 1965-1967 and again from 1968-1974. From 1974-76, Posada provided unsolicited threat reporting. (Additional documents introduced in court show that he officially severed ties with the CIA in February 1976.) According to this document, the CIA last had contact with Posada in 1993 when they anonymously contacted him in Honduras by telephone to warn him of a threat to his life. (This document was first cited last year in Tracey Eaton’s informative blog, “Along the Malecon.”)

Document 2: CIA, “PRQ Part II for AMCLEVE/15,” September 22, 1965.

“PRQ Part II,” or the second part of Posada’s Personal Record Questionnaire, provides operational information. Within the text of the document, Posada is described as “strongly anti-Communist” as well as a sincere believer in democracy. The document describes Posada having a “good character,” not to mention the fact that he is “very reliable, and security conscious.” The CIA recommends that he be considered for a civil position in a post-Castro government in Cuba (codenamed PBRUMEN).

Document 3: CIA, Cable, “Plan of the Cuban Representation in Exile (RECE) to Blow Up a Cuban or Soviet Vessel in Veracruz, Mexico,” July 1, 1965.

This CIA cable summarizes intelligence on a demolition project proposed by Jorge Mas Canosa, then the head of RECE. On the third page, a source is quoted as having informed the CIA of a payment that Mas Canosa has made to Luis Posada in order to finance a sabotage operation against ships in Mexico. Posada reportedly has “100 pounds of C-4 explosives and some detonators” and limpet mines to use in the operation.

 Document 4: CIA, Memorandum, “AMCLEVE /15,” July 21, 1966.

This document includes two parts-a cover letter written by Grover T. Lythcott, Posada’s CIA handler, and an attached request written by Posada to accept a position on new coordinating Junta composed of several anti-Castro organizations. In the cover letter, Lythcbtt refers to Posada by his codename, AMCLEVE/I5, and discusses his previous involvement withthe Agency. He lionizes Posada, writing that his ”performance in all assigned tasks has been excellent,” and urges that he be permitted to work with the combined anti-Castro exile groups. According to the document, Lythcott suggests that Posada be taken off the CIA payroll to facilitate his joining the anti-Castro militant junta, which will be led by RECE. Lythcott insists that Posada will function as an effective moderating force considering he is “acutely aware of the international implications of ill planned or over enthusiastic activities against Cuba.” In an attached memo, Posada, using the name “Pete,” writes that if he is on the Junta, “they will never do anything to endanger the security of this Country (like blow up Russian ships)” and volunteers to “give the Company all the intelligence that I can collect.”

Document 5: CIA, Personal Record Questionnaire on Posada, April 17, 1972.

This “PRQ” was compiled in 1972 at a time Posada was a high level official at the Venezuelan intelligence service, DISIP, in charge of demolitions. The CIA was beginning to have some concerns about him, based on reports that he had taken CIA explosives equipment to Venezuela, and that he had ties to a Miami mafia figure named Lefty Rosenthal. The PRQ spells out Posada’s personal background and includes his travel to various countries between 1956 and 1971. It also confirms that one of his many aliases was “Bambi Carriles.”

Document 6: CIA, Report, “Traces on Persons Involved in 6 Oct 1976 Cubana Crash,” October 13, 1976.

In the aftermath of the bombing of Cubana flight 455, the CIA ran a file check on all names associated with the terror attack. In a report to the FBI the Agency stated that it had no association with the two Venezuelans who were arrested. A section on Luis Posada Carriles was heavily redacted when the document was declassified. But the FBI retransmitted the report three days later and that version was released uncensored revealing Posada’s relations with the CIA.

Document 7: CIA, Secret Intelligence Report, “Activities of Cuban Exile Leader Orlando Bosch During his Stay in Venezuela,” October 14, 1976.

A source in Venezuela supplied the CIA with detailed intelligence on a fund raiser held for Orlando Bosch and his organization CORU after he arrived in Caracas in September 1976. The source described the dinner at the house of a Cuban exile doctor, Hildo Folgar, which included Venezuelan government officials. Bosch was said to have essentially asked for a bribe in order to refrain from acts of violence during the United Nations meeting in November 1976, which would be attended by Venezuelan President Carlos Andres Perez. He was also quoted as saying that his group had done a “great job” in assassinating former Chilean ambassador Orlando Letelier in Washington D.C. on September 21, and now was going to “try something else.” A few days later, according to this intelligence report, Luis Posada Carriles was overheard to say that “we are going to hit a Cuban airplane” and “Orlando has the details.”

Document 8: First Circuit Court of Panama, “Fiscalia Primera Del Primer Circuito Judicial De Panama: Vista Fiscal No. 200”, September 28, 2001.

This lengthy document is the official indictment in Panama of Luis Posada Carriles and 4 others for the attempted assassination of Fidel Castro at the 10th Ibero-American Summit in November 2000. In this indictment, Posada Carriles is accused of possession of explosives, endangerment of public safety, illicit association, and falsification of documents. After traveling to Panama, according to the evidence gathered, “Luis Posada Carriles and Raul Rodriguez Hamouzova rented a red Mitsubishi Lancer at the International Airport of Tocumen, in which they transported the explosives and other devices necessary to create a bomb.” (Original Spanish: “Luis Posada Carriles y Raul Rodriguez Hamouzova rentaron en el Aeropuerto Internacional de Tocumen de la referida empresa el vehículo marca Mitsubishi Lancer, color rojo, dentro del cual se transportaron los explosives y artefactos indicados para elaborar una bomba.”)  This bomb was intended to take the life of Fidel Castro; Castro was to present at the Summit on November 17th, and what Carriles had proposed to do “wasn’t easy, because it occurred at the Summit, and security measures would be extreme.” (Original Spanish: “lo que se proponía hacer no era fácil, porque ocurría en plena Cumbre, y las medidas de seguridad serían extremas.”)

After being discovered by agents of the Explosives Division of the National Police, they ascertained that “this explosive has the capacity to destroy an armored vehicle, buildings, steel doors, and the effects of an explosive of this class and quality can extend for 200 meters.” Additionally, “to a human, from a distance of 200 meters it would affect the senses, internal hemorrhages, and if the person were in the center of the explosion, even if they were in an armored car, they would not survive…the destructive capacity of this material is complete.” (Original Spanish: “Este explosivo tiene la capacidad de destruir cualquier carro blindado, puede destruir edificios, puertas de acero, y que la onda expansiva de esta calidad y clase de explosive puede alcanzar hasta 200 metros…Al ser humano, sostienen, a la distancia de 200 metros le afectaría los sentidos, hemorragios internos, y si la persona estuviese en el centro de la explosion, aunque estuviese dentro de un carro blindado no sobreviviría…la capacidad destructive de este material es total.”)

The indictment states that when Posada was “asked about the charges against him, including possession of explosives, possession of explosives that endanger public safety, illicit association, and falsification of documents…he expresses having fought subversion against democratic regimes along several fronts, specifically Castro-sponsored subversion.” (Original Spanish: “Preguntado sobre los cargos formulados, es decir Posesión de Explosivos, Posesión de Explosivos que implica Peligro Común, Asociación Ilicita, y Falsedad de Documentos…Expresa haber combatido en distintos frentes la subversión contra regimens democráticos, ‘quiero decir la subversión castrista.’”)

Posada and his accomplices were eventually convicted of endangering public safety and sentenced to 8 years in prison. He was pardoned by Panamanian president, Mireya Moscosa, after only four years in August 2004 and lived as a fugitive in Honduras until March 2005 when he illegally entered the United States and applied for political asylum.


TOP-SECRET: Ex-Kaibil Officer Connected to Dos Erres Massacre Arrested in Alberta, Canada

Graduation ceremony at the school for the Guatemalan Army’s elite Kaibil, counterinsurgency unit formed in the mid-1970s. [Photo © Jean-Marie Simon]

Ex-Kaibil Officer Connected to Dos Erres Massacre Arrested in Alberta, Canada

Declassified documents show that U.S. officials knew the Guatemalan Army was responsible for the 1982 mass murder

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 316

Kaibil unit on Army Day, Campo de Marte field, Guatemala City. [Photo © Jean-Marie Simon]

Washington, D.C. – August 30, 2011 – Jorge Vinicio Sosa Orantes was arrested in Alberta, Canada on January 18, 2011 on charges of naturalization fraud in the United States. Sosa Orantes, 52, is a former commanding officer of the Guatemalan Special Forces, or Kaibil unit, which brutally murdered more than 250 men, women and children during the 1982 massacre in Dos Erres, Guatemala. Sosa Orantes, a resident of Riverside County, California where he was a well known martial arts instructor, was arrested near the home of a relative in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. The charges for which he was arrested stem from an indictment by the United States District Court, Central District of California on charges of making false statements under oath on his citizenship application. Sosa Orantes will come before the Canadian court in Calgary to face possible extradition to the United States.

In an interview with the Calgary Sun, U.S. Justice Department prosecutor David Gates said that the extradition request was not a result of the allegations against Sosa Orantes for his involvement in the massacre; his extradition is being requested for alleged naturalization fraud. However, considering the similar case against Gilberto Jordan, it is possible that the precedence set with the ruling on that case may affect the outcome of Sosa Orantes’s case.

On September 16, 2010 in a historic ruling, former Guatemalan special forces soldier Gilberto Jordán, who confessed to having participated in the 1982 massacre of hundreds of men, women and children in Dos Erres, Guatemala, was sentenced today by a judge in a south Florida courtroom to serve ten years in federal prison for lying on his citizenship application about his role in the crime. Calling the massacre, “reprehensible,” U.S. District Judge William Zloch handed down the maximum sentence allowed for naturalization fraud, stating he wanted the ruling to be a message to “those who commit egregious human rights violations abroad” that they will not find “safe haven from prosecution” in the United States.

On May 5, 2010, agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested Gilberto Jordan, 54, in Palm Beach County, Florida, based on a criminal complaint charging Jordán with lying to U.S. authorities about his service in the Guatemalan Army and his role in the 1982 Dos Erres massacre. The complaint alleged that Jordán, a naturalized American citizen, was part of the special counterinsurgency Kaibiles unit that carried out the massacre of hundreds of residents of the Dos Erres village located in the northwest Petén region. Jordán allegedly helped kill unarmed villagers with his own hands, including a baby he allegedly threw into the village well.

The massacre was part of the Guatemalan military’s “scorched earth campaign” and was carried out by the Kaibiles ranger unit. The Kaibiles were specially trained soldiers who became notorious for their use of torture and brutal killing tactics. According to witness testimony, and corroborated through U.S. declassified archives, the Kaibiles entered the town of Dos Erres on the morning of December 6, 1982, and separated the men from women and children. They started torturing the men and raping the women and by the afternoon they had killed almost the entire community, including the children. Nearly the entire town was murdered, their bodies thrown into a well and left in nearby fields. The U.S. documents reveal that American officials deliberated over theories of how an entire town could just “disappear,” and concluded that the Army was the only force capable of such an organized atrocity. More than 250 people are believed to have died in the massacre.

The Global Post news organization conducted an investigative report into the investigation of the Guatemalan soldiers living in the United States and cited declassified documents released to the National Security Archive’s Guatemala Documentation Project under the Freedom of Information Act. These documents are part of a collection of files assembled by the Archive and turned over to Guatemala’s truth commission investigators, who used the files in the writing of their ground-breaking report, “Guatemala: Memory of Silence.” [see CEH section on Dos Erres]

The documents include U.S. Embassy cables that describe first-hand accounts by U.S. officials who traveled to the area of Dos Erres and witnessed the devastation left behind by the Kaibiles. Based on their observations and information obtained from sources during their trip, the American officials concluded “that the party most likely responsible for this incident is the Guatemalan Army.”


Declassified U.S. Documents on Kaibiles and the Dos Erres Massacre

December 1980
Military Intelligence Summary (MIS), Volume VIII–Latin America
U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, Secret, Intelligence Summary, 12 pages

Photos courtesy of Jean-Marie Simon, Guatemala: Eternal Spring, Eternal Tyranny. More photos of Guatemala can be found in Jean-Marie Simon’s newly-released Spanish version of her book Guatemala: Eterna Primavera, Eterna Tiranía.

The Defense Intelligence Agency periodically produces intelligence summary reports with information on the structure and capabilities of foreign military forces. On page six of this 1980 summary on the Guatemalan military, the DIA provides information on the Kaibil (ranger) counterinsurgency training center, which is located in La Pólvora, in the Péten. The report describes how each of Guatemala’s infantry battalions has a Kaibil platoon, “which may be deployed as a separate small unit. These platoons are used as cadre for training other conscripts in insurgency and counterinsurgency techniques and tactics. The Air Force sends personnel to the Kaibil School for survival training.”

November 19, 1982
Army Establishes a Strategic Reaction Force
U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, Confidential, Cable, 2 pages

Less than a month before the Dos Erres killings, the DIA reports on the creation of a “strategic reaction force” made up of 20 Kaibil ranger instructors based out of Guatemala City’s Mariscal Zavala Brigade. The special unit was assembled in order to carry out the mission “of quickly deploying to locations throughout the country to seek and destroy guerrilla elements.” The document indicates that the Kaibil unit was placed under direct control of Guatemala’s central military command. It states; “the unit’s huge success in previous engagement with the enemy have prompted the Guatemalan Army General Staff (AGS) to assume direct command and control of this unit.”

December 10, 1982
Guatemalan Counter Terrorism Capabilities
U.S. Embassy in Guatemala, Secret Cable, 3 pages

Days after the Dos Erres massacre the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala sends a secret cable back to Washington with information on the counter-terrorist tactical capability of the Guatemalan police and military forces. The cable reports that a Kaibil unit, based in the Mariscal Zavala Brigade headquarters, “has recently been deployed to the Petén, and is now operationally under the Poptún Military Bridage.”

This reporting coincides with the CEH and OAS summary of the events leading up to the Dos Erres massacre.

December 28, 1982
Alleged Massacre of 200 at Village of Dos R’s, Petén
U.S. Embassy in Guatemala, Secret Cable, 3 pages 

As information begins to surface about the Dos Erres massacre U.S. officials look into the matter and report on information obtained through a “reliable embassy source” who tells U.S. officials that the Guatemalan Government Army may have massacred the 200 villagers of Dos Erres. According to the source, an Army unit disguised as guerrillas entered the Dos Erres village gathered the people together and demanded their support. The source tells officials that the villagers knew they were not with the guerrilla, and did not comply with their demands. One villager who managed to escape later recounts the story to people in Las Cruces, 12 kilometers from Dos Erres, and to the Embassy source who relays the information to American officials. Another witness tells the source that the village was completely deserted, and claimed to have found burnt identification cards in the nearby Church.  They also claim that the Army came back to the village a few days later and took roofing and furniture to the Army Base in Las Cruces.

The U.S. officials offer possible theories on why no bodies were found, and on how the entire Dos Erres population could have just “disappeared.” One theory was that the Army killed everyone in the village, dumped the bodies into the well, and covered the well over. This was based on the local testimonies of those who had gone into the village and saw that the well was covered over, but they were afraid to look inside.

The cable goes on to say that because of the reliability of the source, and the seriousness of the allegations, that an embassy office will go to investigate on Dec. 30th, 1982.

December 31, 1982
Possible Massacre in “Dos R’s”, El Petén
U.S. Embassy in Guatemala, Secret Cable, 4 pages

On December 30th three mission members from the U.S. Embassy and a Canadian diplomat visit Las Cruces in Poptún to investigate the allegations of the Dos R’s massacre. The document verifies the existence of the Dos Erres village, noting that the settlement was deserted and many of the houses burnt to the ground.

The Mission Team visit the Army Base in Poptún, El Petén, where they speak with the operations officer (S3), who tells the mission members that the area near Las Cruces was exceptionally dangerous because of recent guerrilla activity. Army officials explain how Dos Erres “had suffered from a guerrilla attack in early December,” and that it would pose a considerable risk for them to visit the town.  From Poptún, the mission Members fly directly to the town of Las Cruces (using the directions provided by their source) and then to the village of Las Dos Erres. When they reach Dos Erres, however, the helicopter pilot refuses to touch down, but agrees to sweep low over the area. From this view the Embassy officials could see that houses had been “razed or destroyed by fire.” They then fly back to Las Cruces to speak with locals, including a member of the local civil defense patrol (PAC) and a “confidant of the Army in the area.” He tells officials that the Army was responsible for the disappearance of the people in Dos Erres and that he had been told to keep out of the area in early December, because the army was going to “sweep through.” He also confirms the prior reports that the Army officials wore civilian dress during the sweep, but had identifiable Army combat boots and Galil rifles. The cable notes that this information matches that of previous reftel source.

Based on the information obtained during their trip, the cable reports that “Embassy must conclude that the party most likely responsible for this incident is the Guatemalan Army.”

TOP-SECRET: Landmark Conviction in Colombia’s Palace of Justice Case

Former Colombian Army Col. Luis Alfonso Plazas Vega (ret.) [Photo: Revista Semana]
andmark Conviction in Colombia’s Palace of Justice CaseFirst-Ever Criminal Sentence Handed Down in Infamous Army AssaultDeclassified Documents Implicate Colonel, Army, in Civilian Killings, Disappearances

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 319

The Palace of Justice burned to the ground during military efforts to retake the building from M-19 guerrillas. Eleven Supreme Court justices died in the blaze, along with dozens of others. [Photo: Revista Semana]

Washington, D.C., August 30, 2011 – To mark the first-ever criminal conviction in Colombia’s infamous Palace of Justice case, the Archive today posts a selection of key declassified documents pertaining to the episode, including a 1999 U.S. Embassy cable that found that Colombian Army soldiers under the command of Col. Alfonso Plazas Vega had “killed a number of M-19 members and suspected collaborators hors de combat [“outside of combat”], including the Palace’s cafeteria staff.”

On Wednesday, a Colombian court sentenced retired Col. Plazas Vega to 30 years in prison for the disappearances of 11 people, including members of the cafeteria staff, during Army operations to retake the building from M-19 guerrillas who seized control of the building in November 1985. In all, more than 100 people died in the conflagration that followed, including 11 Supreme Court justices.

U.S. Embassy Situation Reports obtained by the National Security Archive in collaboration with the Truth Commission on the Palace of Justice shed light on how the Colombian government and military forces responded to the crisis, indicating widespread agreement that the operation be carried out expeditiously and using whatever force necessary. In one cable sent to Washington during the crisis, the Embassy said: “We understand that orders are to use all necessary force to retake building.” Another cable reported : “FonMin [Foreign Minister] said that President, DefMin [Defense Minster], Chief of National Police, and he are all together, completely in accord and do not intend to let this matter drag out.”

The Embassy documents also include a pair of reports on the fate of “guerrillas” detained during the operation: one saying that “surviving guerrillas have all been taken prisoner,” and another, two days later, reporting that “None of the guerrillas survived.”

The landmark ruling, coming nearly 25 years after these tragic events, was welcomed by the families of the victims and hailed by human rights groups, but harshly condemned by President Álvaro Uribe and members of the military high command, who said they were saddened by the decision. Yesterday, Uribe called an emergency meeting with the country’s top military commanders to discuss the outcome of the case, and last night proposed new legislation to shield the military from civil prosecution. The Colombian military has long resisted efforts by civilian authorities to prosecute senior military commanders and a military judge unsuccessfully tried to seize control of the case in 2009. Members of the M-19 guerrilla group are covered by a general amnesty declared as part of disarmament negotiations in 1990.

The conviction of Plazas Vega comes six months after the Truth Commission on the Palace of Justice, established by the Colombian Supreme Court, issued its final report, finding that “there never was a real or effective plan by the national government to try to save the lives of the hostages.” The Commission found that state responsibility for deaths and disappearances during the crisis stemmed from two fundamental decisions by President Betancur: “the decision to not participate in a dialogue (with the insurgents)” and the decision “to authorize or tolerate military operations [to retake the building] until its final consequences.”

At least three other former Army officers face similar charges in the case, including former Army commander Gen. Jesús Armando Arias Cabrales, and former Army intelligence officers Gen. Ivan Ramirez Quintero and Col. Edilberto Sánchez Rubiano.

Colombian security forces lead survivors of the Palace of Justice assault across the street to the Casa del Florero. [Photo: Revista Semana]

Col. Plazas defended his role in the Palace of Justice operation in a 1995 meeting with U.S. Embassy officials after being denied consular positions in Germany and the United States on human rights grounds. Embassy officials told Plazas that the U.S. “took no position on the veracity of the charges against him, and that he should get an official explanation for the withdrawal of his nomination to San Francisco from the [Colombian] Foreign Ministry.” Plazas offered that “if any guerrillas were captured alive [during the Palace of Justice assault], the only ones that might have taken them away would have been from Army Intelligence, about whose operations he knew nothing,” according to the Embassy report. A subsequent Embassy document found that, “None of the above allegations [against Plazas] were ever investigated by the authorities – a common problem during the 1980’s in Colombia.”

Gen. Arias Cabrales, the former armed forces commander, was sanctioned in 1990 by the government’s inspector general (Procuraduría) for failure to take the necessary measures to protect civilian lives during the assault and was forcibly retired from the military in 1994. That investigation caused considerable friction between the military and the watchdog agency, with public denouncements similar to those heard this week from Uribe and others. Arias now faces criminal charges in his role as commander of the Army brigade that oversaw the assault on the Palace.

Also under investigation is Gen. Ramírez Quintero, considered the architect of Colombia’s military intelligence program during the 1990s. Ramírez and others connected to the Army’s 20th Intelligence Brigade came under scrutiny in the mid-1990s for connections to illegal paramilitary death squads. The U.S. revoked his visa in 1998.


Read the Documents

Document 1
1985 November 6
Terrorist Attack on Colombian Palace of Justice
U.S. Embassy Bogota cable, Secret

During the midst of the crisis, the U.S. Embassy reports its understanding “that orders are to use all necessary force to retake the building.”

Document 2
1985 November 7 (Sitrep as of November 6, 7:00 PM)
Terrorist Attack on Colombian Palace of Justice
U.S. Embassy Bogota cable, Secret

Another crisis report from the U.S. Embassy, based on a conversation with Colombian Foreign Minister Augusto Ramírez Ocampo, says that “FonMin [Foreign Minister] said that President, DefMin [Defense Minster], Chief of National Police, and he are all together, completely in accord and do not intend to let this matter drag out.”

Document 3
1985 November 7 (Sitrep as of November 7, 5:00 PM)
Terrorist Attack on Colombian Palace of Justice
U.S. Embassy Bogota cable, Secret

This Embassy report notes that “surviving guerrillas have all been taken prisoner.”

Document 4
1985 November 9
The Palace of Justice Attack – Losses and Gains
U.S. Embassy Bogota cable, Confidential

An initial Embassy post-mortem on the Palace of Justice attack notes that “none of the guerrillas survived,” differing from the November 7 report that surviving guerrillas had been “taken prisoner.”

Document 5
1990 November 2
Charges Brought in Palace of Justice Case
U.S. Embassy Bogota cable, Confidential

Charges brought by the Procuraduría (Inspector General) against Colombian Army officers, including Gen. Arias Cabrales, for excessive use of force in the Palace of Justice case “may lead to increased friction between the Army and the independent institution,” according to this Embassy report. “Many officers will note that, while Sanchez and Arias face public condemnation, the M-19, whose terrorist assault led to the 1985 massacre, has converted itself into a respected political party.”

Document 6
1990 November 7
Palace of Justice—Procuraduria Disciplinary Sanctions Provoke a Storm of Criticism
U.S. Embassy Bogota cable, Confidential

The decision by the Procuraduría to officially remove from office retired Gen. Arias Cabrales “has generated a firestorm of criticism,” according to this Embassy cable. The outcry over the ruling from influential circles of the government and top military commanders is likely “to limit the independent institution’s ability to perform its constitutional responsibility as a watchdog for human rights and other abuses committed by government officials effectively.”
The Embassy concludes:

It seems inevitable that the virtually universal condemnation of the Procuraduria will undermine the prestige of the independent institution. Undoubtedly, some military officers will insist on inaccurately interpreting the decision against Arias and recent investigations by the Procuraduria into Army human rights abuses as reflections of a conspiracy to cripple the Army as an institution.

Document 7
1994 April 15
General’s Dismissal Stirs Controversy
U.S. Embassy Bogota cable, Confidential

The dismissal of Gen. Arias Cabrales has provoked a round of intense criticism, according to this cable. The Embassy says it agrees “with General Arias that [in dismissing him] both President Gaviria and Minister Pardo were forced into action.”

Document 8
1995 October 5
Conversation with Retired Colonel Alfonso Plazas Vega
U.S. Embassy Bogota cable, Confidential

In a meeting with U.S. Embassy officials, Col. Plazas defends his role in the Palace of Justice operation after being denied consular positions in Germany and the United States on human rights grounds. Embassy officials told Plazas that the U.S. “took no position on the veracity of the charges against him, and that he should get an official explanation for the withdrawal of his nomination to San Francisco from the [Colombian] Foreign Ministry.” Plazas noted that “if any guerrillas were captured alive, the only ones that might have taken them away would have been from Army Intelligence, about whose operations he knew nothing.”

Document 9
1996 February 7
Information on Colombian [Deleted]
U.S. Embassy Bogota cable, Confidential

In response to an inquiry for human rights-related information on Col. Plazas Vega, the Embassy concludes that, “None of the above allegations [against Plazas] were ever investigated by the authorities — a common problem during the 1980’s in Colombia.”

Document 10
1999 January 15
Colombian Military: Our Judiciary Requires No Reform, and Police Have Responsibility for Combatting Paramilitaries
U.S. Embassy Bogota cable, Confidential

A U.S. Embassy cable about a meeting between military officials and members of civilian non-governmental organizations appears to blame the Colombian Army and Col. Plazas Vega for civilian deaths following the Palace of Justice assault.[Please note that the French phrase “hors de combat“, means, literally, “outside of combat”.]

The presence among the “NGO representatives” of two military officers (one active duty, one retired), who killed time with lengthy, pro-military diatribes, also detracted from the military-NGO exchange. One of the two was retired Colonel Alfonso Plazas Vargas [sic], representing the “Office for Human Rights of Retired Military Officers.” Plazas commanded the November, 1985 raid on the Supreme Court building after it had been taken over by the M-19. That raid resulted in the deaths of more than 70 people, including eleven Supreme Court justices. Soldiers killed a number of M-19 members and suspected collaborators hors de combat, including the Palace’s cafeteria staff.

TOP-SECRET – THE FBI FILEAS ABOUT THE AMERICAN NAZI PARTY

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American Nazi Party

American Nazi Party
NS Party of America flag.gif
Founder George Lincoln Rockwell
Founded 1959
Headquarters Arlington, Virginia
Ideology Neo-Nazism
White Separatism
White Nationalism
Antisemitism
National Socialism
Political position Far-Right
Website
http://www.americannaziparty.com/

The American Nazi Party (ANP) was an American political party founded by discharged U.S. Navy Commander George Lincoln Rockwell. Headquartered in Arlington,Virginia, Rockwell initially called it the World Union of Free Enterprise National Socialists (WUFENS), but later renamed it the American Nazi Party in 1960 to attract maximum media attention.[1] The party was based largely upon the ideals and policies of Adolf Hitler‘s NSDAP in Germany during the Third Reich but also expressed allegiance to the Constitutional principles of the U.S.’s Founding Fathers[citation needed]. It also added a platform of Holocaust denial.

Headquarters

The WUFENS headquarters was first located in a residence on Williamsburg Road in Arlington, but was later moved as the ANP headquarters to a house at 928 North Randolph Street (now a hotel and office building site). Rockwell and some party members also established a “Stormtrooper Barracks” in a farmhouse in the Dominion Hills section of Arlington at what is now the Upton Hill Regional Park, the tallest hill in the county. After Rockwell’s death, the headquarters was moved again to one side of a duplex brick and concrete storefront at 2507 North Franklin Road which featured a swastika prominently mounted above the front door. This site was visible from busy Wilson Boulevard. Today the Franklin Road address is often misidentified as Rockwell’s headquarters when in fact it was the successor organization’s last physical address in Arlington (now a coffeehouse).[2] [3]

Name change and party reform

After several years of living in impoverished conditions, Rockwell began to experience some financial success with paid speaking engagements at universities where he was invited to express his controversial views as exercises in free speech. This inspired him to end the rancorous “Phase One” party tactics and begin “Phase Two”, a plan to recast the group as a legitimate political party by toning down the verbal and written attacks against non-whites, replacing the party rallying cry of “Sieg Heil!” with “White Power!”, limiting public display of the swastika, and entering candidates in local elections. On January 1, 1967 Rockwell renamed the ANP to the National Socialist White People’s Party (NSWPP), a move that alienated some hard-line members. Before he could fully implement party reforms, Rockwell was assassinated on August 25, 1967 by disgruntled follower, John Patler.

Assassination of George Lincoln Rockwell

An assassination attempt was made on Rockwell on June 28, 1967. As Rockwell returned from shopping, he drove into the party headquarters driveway on Wilson Boulevard and found it blocked by a felled tree and brush. Rockwell assumed that it was another prank by local teens. As a young boy cleared the obstruction, two shots were fired at Rockwell from behind one of the swastika-embossed brick driveway pillars. One of the shots ricocheted off the car, right next to his head. Leaping from the car, Rockwell pursued the would-be assassin. On June 30, Rockwell petitioned the Arlington County Circuit Court for a gun permit; no action was ever taken on his request.

On August 25, 1967, Rockwell was killed by John Patler, a former party member whom Rockwell had ejected from the party for allegedly trying to introduce Marxist doctrine into the party’s platforms. While leaving the Econowash laundromat at the Dominion Hills Shopping Center in Arlington, Virginia, two bullets entered his car through his windshield, striking Rockwell in the head and chest. His car slowly rolled backwards to a stop and Rockwell staggered out of the front passenger side door of the car, and then collapsed on the pavement.[4]

Koehl succession and ideological divisions

Rockwell’s deputy commander, Matt Koehl, a staunch Hitlerist, assumed the leadership role after a party council agreed that he should retain command. Koehl continued some of Rockwell’s reforms such as emphasizing the glories of a future all-white society but retained the pseudo-Nazi uniforms of the party’s “Storm Troopers” who had been modeled on the NSDAP‘s Sturmabteilung, and the swastika-festooned party literature. In 1968 Koehl moved the party to a new headquarters at 2507 North Franklin Road, clearly visible from Arlington‘s main thoroughfare, Wilson Boulevard. He also established a printing press, a “George Lincoln Rockwell Memorial Book Store”, and member living quarters on property nearby.

The party began to experience ideological division among its followers as it entered the 1970s. In 1970, member Frank Collin, who was secretly an ethnic Jew, broke away from the group and founded the National Socialist Party of America, which became famous due to an attempt to march through Skokie, Illinois, which led to anUnited States Supreme Court Case.[5]

Other dissatisfied members of the NSWPP chose to support William Luther Pierce, eventually forming the National Alliance in 1974.

Further membership erosion occurred as Koehl, drawing heavily upon the teachings of Hitlerian mystic Savitri Devi, began to suggest that National Socialism was more akin to a religious movement than a political one. He espoused the belief that Hitler was the gift of an inscrutable divine providence sent to rescue the white race from decadence and gradual extinction caused by a declining birth rate and miscegenation. Hitler’s death in 1945 was viewed as a type of martyrdom; a voluntary, Christ-like self-sacrifice, that looked forward to a spiritual resurrection of National Socialism at a later date when the Aryan race would need it the most. These esoteric beliefs led to disputes with the World Union of National Socialists, which Rockwell had founded and whose leader, Danish neo-Nazi Povl Riis-Knudsen, had been appointed by Koehl. Undaunted, Koehl continued to recast the party as a new religion in formation. Public rallies were gradually phased out in favor of low-key gatherings in private venues. On Labor Day 1979, in a highly unpopular move for some members, Koehl disbanded the party’s paramilitary “Storm Troopers”. The Koehl organization is now known as the New Order and operates so far from the public spotlight that few of today’s neo-Nazis are aware of its existence or know that it is the linear descendant of Rockwell’s original ANP. On November 3, 1979, members of the American Nazi Party and the Ku Klux Klan attacked a Communist Workers’ Party protest march. The alliance of Nazis and Klansmen shot and killed five marchers. Forty Klansmen and Nazis, and several Communist marchers were involved in the shootings; sixteen Klansmen and Nazis were arrested and the six best cases were brought to trial first. Two criminal trials resulted in the acquittal of the defendants by all-white juries. However, in a 1985 civil lawsuit the survivors won a $350,000 judgment against the city, the Klan and the Nazi Party for violating the civil rights of the demonstrators. The shootings became known as the “Greensboro Massacre“.

Namesake organization

Today, the name “American Nazi Party” has been adopted by an organization headed by Rocky J. Suhayda. Headquartered in Westland, Michigan, this group claims George Lincoln Rockwell as their founder, but there is no actual connection to the original ANP or its successor organizations, apart from the fact that their website sells nostalgic reprints of Rockwell’s 1960s-era magazine “The Stormtrooper”.

Notable former members

TOP-SECRET – THE FBI FILES ABOUT WERNHER VON BRAUN – THE SS-LEADER AND THE NASA-BRAIN

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Wernher von Braun

Wernher von Braun

Von Braun at his desk at Marshall Space Flight Center in May 1964, with models of the Saturn rocket family
Born March 23, 1912
WirsitzGerman Empire
Died June 16, 1977 (aged 65)
Alexandria, VirginiaUnited States
Cause of death Pancreatic cancer
Resting place AlexandriaVirginiaUnited States
Nationality German, American
Alma mater Technical University of Berlin
Occupation Rocket engineer and designer
Spouse Maria Luise von Quistorp(m. 1947–1977)
Children Iris Careen von Braun
Margrit Cecile von Braun
Peter Constantine von Braun
Parents Magnus von Braun (senior) (1877-1972)
Emmy von Quistorp (1886-1959)
Military career
Allegiance Nazi Germany
Service/branch SS
Years of service 1937–1945
Rank SturmbannführerSS
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knights Cross of the War Merit Cross (1944)
War Merit Cross, First Class with Swords (1943)
Other work Rocket engineer, NASA, Built the Saturn V rocket of the Apollo manned moon missions

Wernher Magnus Maximilian, Freiherr[1] von Braun (March 23, 1912 – June 16, 1977) was a German rocket scientistaerospace engineerspace architect, and one of the leading figures in the development of rocket technology in Nazi Germany during World War II and in the United States after that.

A former member of the Nazi party, commissioned Sturmbannführer of the paramilitary SS and decorated Nazi war hero, von Braun would later be regarded as the preeminent rocket engineer of the 20th century in his role with the United States civilian space agency NASA.[2] In his 20s and early 30s, von Braun was the central figure in Germany’s rocket development program, responsible for the design and realization of the deadly V-2 combat rocket during World War II. After the war, he and some of his rocket team were taken to the U.S. as part of the then-secret Operation Paperclip. Von Braun worked on the US Army intermediate range ballistic missile(IRBM) program before his group was assimilated by NASA, under which he served as director of the newly-formed Marshall Space Flight Center and as the chief architect of the Saturn V launch vehicle, the superbooster that propelled the Apollo spacecraft to the Moon.[3] According to one NASA source, he is “without doubt, the greatest rocket scientist in history. His crowning achievement was to lead the development of the Saturn V booster rocket that helped land the first men on the Moon in July 1969.”[4] In 1975 he received the National Medal of Science.

Early life

Wernher von Braun was born in Wirsitz (Wyrzysk), Province of Posen, then a part of the German Empire, and was the second of three sons. He belonged to anaristocratic family, inheriting the German title of Freiherr (equivalent to Baron). His father, conservative civil servant Magnus Freiherr von Braun (1878–1972), served as a Minister of Agriculture in the Federal Cabinet during the Weimar Republic. His mother, Emmy von Quistorp (1886–1959), could trace her ancestry through both parents to medieval European royalty, a descendant of Philip III of FranceValdemar I of DenmarkRobert III of Scotland, and Edward III of England.[5][6] Von Braun had a younger brother, also named Magnus Freiherr von Braun.[7] After Wernher von Braun’s Lutheran confirmation, his mother gave him a telescope, and he developed a passion for astronomy. When Wyrzysk was transferred to Poland at the end of World War I, his family, like many other German families, moved to Germany. They settled in Berlin, where 12-year-old von Braun, inspired by speed records established by Max Valier and Fritz von Opel in rocket-propelled cars,[8] caused a major disruption in a crowded street by detonating a toy wagon to which he had attached a number of fireworks. He was taken into custody by the local police until his father came to collect him.

Von Braun was an accomplished amateur musician who could play Beethoven and Bach from memory. Von Braun learned to play the cello and the piano at an early age and originally wanted to become a composer. He took lessons from Paul Hindemith, the famous composer. The few pieces of von Braun’s youthful compositions that exist are reminiscent of Hindemith’s style.[9]

Beginning in 1925, von Braun attended a boarding school at Ettersburg Castle near Weimar where he did not do well in physics and mathematics. In 1928 his parents moved him to the Hermann-Lietz-Internat (also a residential school) on the East Frisian North Sea island of Spiekeroog. There he acquired a copy of Die Rakete zu den Planetenräumen (1929) (By Rocket into Interplanetary Space) (in German)[10] by rocket pioneer Hermann Oberth. Space travel had always fascinated von Braun, and from then on he applied himself to physics and mathematics to pursue his interest in rocket engineering.

In 1930 he attended the Technical University of Berlin, where he joined the Verein für Raumschiffahrt (VfR, the “Spaceflight Society”) and assisted Willy Ley in his liquid-fueled rocket motor tests in conjunction withHermann Oberth.[11] He also studied at ETH Zurich. Although he worked mainly on military rockets in his later years there, space travel remained his primary interest.

The following episode from the early 1930s is telling in this respect. At this time von Braun attended a presentation given by Auguste Piccard. After the talk the young student approached the famous pioneer of high-altitude balloon flight, and stated to him: “You know, I plan on travelling to the Moon at some time.” Piccard is said to have responded with encouraging words.[12]

He was greatly influenced by Oberth, and he said of him:

Hermann Oberth was the first, who when thinking about the possibility of spaceships grabbed a slide-rule and presented mathematically analyzed concepts and designs…. I, myself, owe to him not only the guiding-star of my life, but also my first contact with the theoretical and practical aspects of rocketry and space travel. A place of honor should be reserved in the history of science and technology for his ground-breaking contributions in the field of astronautics.[13]

German career

]The Prussian rocketeer and working under the Nazis

Walter Dornberger, Friedrich OlbrichtWilhelm von Leeb, and von Braun at Peenemünde, 1941

Von Braun was working on his creative doctorate when the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP, or Nazi party) came to power in a coalition government in Germany; rocketry almost immediately became part of the national agenda. An artillery captain, Walter Dornberger, arranged an OrdnanceDepartment research grant for Von Braun, who then worked next to Dornberger’s existing solid-fuel rocket test site at Kummersdorf. He was awarded a doctorate in physics[14] (aerospace engineering) on July 27, 1934 from the University of Berlin for a thesis titled About Combustion Tests; his doctoral advisor was Erich Schumann.[15] However, this thesis was only the public part of von Braun’s work. His actual full thesis, Construction, Theoretical, and Experimental Solution to the Problem of the Liquid Propellant Rocket (dated April 16, 1934) was kept classified by the army, and was not published until 1960.[16] By the end of 1934, his group had successfully launched two rockets that rose to heights of 2.2 and 3.5 kilometers.

At the time, Germany was highly interested in American physicist Robert H. Goddard‘s research. Before 1939, German scientists occasionally contacted Goddard directly with technical questions. Wernher von Braun used Goddard’s plans from various journals and incorporated them into the building of the Aggregat(A) series of rockets. The A-4 rocket is the well known V-2.[17] In 1963, von Braun reflected on the history of rocketry, and said of Goddard’s work: “His rockets … may have been rather crude by present-day standards, but they blazed the trail and incorporated many features used in our most modern rockets and space vehicles.”[8] Goddard confirmed his work was used by von Braun in 1944, shortly before the Nazis began firing V-2s at England. A V2 crashed in Sweden and some parts were sent to an Annapolis lab where Goddard was doing research for the Navy. If this was the so-called Bäckebo Bomb, it had been procured by the British in exchange for Spitfires; Annapolis would have received some parts from them. Goddard is reported to have recognized components he had invented, and inferred that his brainchild had been turned into a weapon.[18]

There were no German rocket societies after the collapse of the VFR, and civilian rocket tests were forbidden by the new Nazi regime. Only military development was allowed and to this end, a larger facility was erected at the village of Peenemünde in northern Germany on the Baltic Sea. This location was chosen partly on the recommendation of von Braun’s mother, who recalled her father’s duck-hunting expeditions there. Dornberger became the military commander at Peenemünde, with von Braun as technical director. In collaboration with the Luftwaffe, the Peenemünde group developed liquid-fuel rocket engines for aircraft and jet-assisted takeoffs. They also developed the long-range A-4 ballistic missile and the supersonic Wasserfall anti-aircraft missile.

In November 1937 (other sources: December 1, 1932), von Braun joined the National Socialist German Workers Party. An Office of Military Government, United States document dated April 23, 1947, states that von Braun joined the Waffen-SS (Schutzstaffel) horseback riding school in 1933, then the National Socialist Party on May 1, 1937, and became an officer in the Waffen-SS from May 1940 until the end of the war.

Amongst his comments about his NSDAP membership von Braun has said:

I was officially demanded to join the National Socialist Party. At this time (1937) I was already technical director of the Army Rocket Center at Peenemünde … My refusal to join the party would have meant that I would have to abandon the work of my life. Therefore, I decided to join. My membership in the party did not involve any political activities … in Spring 1940, one SS-Standartenführer (SS Colonel) Müller … looked me up in my office at Peenemünde and told me that Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler had sent him with the order to urge me to join the SS. I called immediately on my military superior … Major-General W. Dornberger. He informed me that … if I wanted to continue our mutual work, I had no alternative but to join.[19]

Schematic of the A4/V2

That claim has been often disputed because in 1940, the Waffen-SS had shown no interest in Peenemünde yet.[20] Also, the assertion that persons in von Braun’s position were pressured to join the Nazi party, let alone the SS, has been disputed.[21] When shown a picture of him behind Himmler, Braun claimed to have worn the SS uniform only that one time,[citation needed] but in 2002 a former SS officer at Peenemünde told the BBC that von Braun had regularly worn the SS uniform to official meetings; it should be noted that this was mandatory.[22] He began as an Untersturmführer (Second Lieutenant) and was promoted three times by Himmler, the last time in June 1943 to SS-Sturmbannführer (Wehrmacht Major). Von Braun claimed this was a technical promotion received each year regularly by mail.[22]

On December 22, 1942, Adolf Hitler signed the order approving the production of the A-4 as a “vengeance weapon” and the group developed it to target London. Following von Braun’s July 7, 1943 presentation of a color movie showing an A-4 taking off, Hitler was so enthusiastic that he personally made von Braun a professor shortly thereafter.[23] In Germany at this time, this was an exceptional promotion for an engineer who was only 31 years old.

By that time the British and Soviet intelligence agencies were aware of the rocket program and von Braun’s team at Peenemünde. Over the nights of 17 and 18 August 1943RAF Bomber Command‘s Operation Hydra dispatched raids on the Peenemünde camp consisting of 596 aircraft and dropping 1,800 tons of explosives.[24] The facility was salvaged and most of the science team remained unharmed; however, the raids killed von Braun’s engine designer Walter Thiel and Chief Engineer Walther, and the rocket program was delayed.[25][26]

The first combat A-4, renamed the V-2 (Vergeltungswaffe 2 “Retaliation/Vengeance Weapon 2”) for propaganda purposes, was launched toward England on September 7, 1944, only 21 months after the project had been officially commissioned. Von Braun’s interest in rockets was specifically for the application of space travel, which led him to say on hearing the news from London: “The rocket worked perfectly except for landing on the wrong planet.” He described it as his “darkest day”.[citation needed] However, satirist Mort Sahl is often credited with mocking von Braun with the paraphrase “I aim at the stars, but sometimes I hit London“.[27] In fact that line appears in the film I Aim at the Stars, a 1960 biopic on von Braun.

Experiments with rocket aircraft

During 1936 von Braun’s rocketry team working at Kummersdorf investigated installing liquid-fuelled rockets in aircraft. Ernst Heinkel enthusiastically supported their efforts, supplying a He 72 and later two He 112sfor the experiments. Late in 1936 Erich Warsitz was seconded by the RLM to Wernher von Braun and Ernst Heinkel, because he had been recognized as one of the most experienced test-pilots of the time, and because he also had an extraordinary fund of technical knowledge.[28] After von Braun familiarized Warsitz with a test-stand run, showing him the corresponding apparatus in the aircraft, he asked:

“Are you with us and will you test the rocket in the air? Then, Warsitz, you will be a famous man. And later we will fly to the moon – with you at the helm!”[29]

A regular He 112

In June 1937, at Neuhardenberg (a large field about 70 kilometres east of Berlin, listed as a reserve airfield in the event of war), one of these latter aircraft was flown with itspiston engine shut down during flight by test pilot Erich Warsitz, at which time it was propelled by von Braun’s rocket power alone. Despite the wheels-up landing and having the fuselage on fire, it proved to official circles that an aircraft could be flown satisfactorily with a back-thrust system through the rear.[30]

At the same time, Hellmuth Walter‘s experiments into Hydrogen peroxide-based rockets were leading towards light and simple rockets that appeared well-suited for aircraft installation. Also the firm of Hellmuth Walter at Kiel had been commissioned by the RLM to build a rocket engine for the He 112, so there were two different new rocket motor designs at Neuhardenberg: whereas von Braun’s engines were powered by alcohol and liquid oxygen, Walter engines had hydrogen peroxide and calcium permanganate as acatalyst. Von Braun’s engines used direct combustion and created fire, the Walter devices used hot vapours from a chemical reaction, but both created thrust and provided high speed.[31] The subsequent flights with the He 112 used the Walter-rocket instead of von Braun’s; it was more reliable, simpler to operate and the dangers to test-pilot Erich Warsitz and machine were less.[32]

Slave labor

SS General Hans Kammler, who as an engineer had constructed several concentration camps including Auschwitz, had a reputation for brutality and had originated the idea of using concentration camp prisoners as slave laborers in the rocket program. Arthur Rudolph, chief engineer of the V-2 rocket factory at Peenemünde, endorsed this idea in April 1943 when a labor shortage developed. More people died building the V-2 rockets than were killed by it as a weapon.[33] Von Braun admitted visiting the plant at Mittelwerk on many occasions, and called conditions at the plant “repulsive”, but claimed never to have witnessed any deaths or beatings, although it had become clear to him by 1944 that deaths had occurred.[34] He denied ever having visited the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp itself, where 20,000 died from illness, beatings, hangings and intolerable working conditions.[35]

On August 15, 1944, von Braun wrote a letter to Albin Sawatzki, manager of the V-2 production, admitting that he personally picked labor slaves from the Buchenwald concentration camp, who, he admitted 25 years later in an interview, had been in a “pitiful shape”.[not in citation given][3]

In Wernher von Braun: Crusader for Space, numerous statements by von Braun show he was aware of the conditions but felt completely unable to change them. A friend quotes von Braun speaking of a visit to Mittelwerk:

It is hellish. My spontaneous reaction was to talk to one of the SS guards, only to be told with unmistakable harshness that I should mind my own business, or find myself in the same striped fatigues!… I realized that any attempt of reasoning on humane grounds would be utterly futile. (Page 44)

When asked if von Braun could have protested against the brutal treatment of the slave laborers, von Braun team member Konrad Dannenberg told The Huntsville Times, “If he had done it, in my opinion, he would have been shot on the spot.”[36]

Others claim von Braun engaged in brutal treatment or approved of it. Guy Morand, a French resistance fighter who was a prisoner in Dora, testified in 1995 that after an apparent sabotage attempt:

Without even listening to my explanations, [von Braun] ordered the Meister to have me given 25 strokes…Then, judging that the strokes weren’t sufficiently hard, he ordered I be flogged more vigorously…von Braun made me translate that I deserved much more, that in fact I deserved to be hanged…I would say his cruelty, of which I was personally a victim, are, I would say, an eloquent testimony to his Nazi fanaticism.[37]

Robert Cazabonne, another French prisoner, testified that von Braun stood by and watched as prisoners were hung by chains from hoists.[38] Von Braun claimed he “never saw any kind of abuse or killing” and only “heard rumors…that some prisoners had been hanged in the underground galleries”.[39]

Arrest and release by the Nazi regime

According to André Sellier, a French historian and survivor of the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp, Himmler had von Braun come to his Hochwald HQ in East Prussia in February 1944. To increase his power-base within the Nazi régime, Heinrich Himmler was conspiring to use Kammler to gain control of all German armament programs, including the V-2 program at Peenemünde.[40] He therefore recommended that von Braun work more closely with Kammler to solve the problems of the V-2, but von Braun claimed to have replied that the problems were merely technical and he was confident that they would be solved with Dornberger’s assistance.

Apparently von Braun had been under SD surveillance since October 1943. A report stated that he and his colleagues Riedel and Gröttrup were said to have expressed regret at an engineer’s house one evening that they were not working on a spaceship and that they felt the war was not going well; this was considered a “defeatist” attitude. A young female dentist who was an SS spy reported their comments.[40] Combined with Himmler’s false charges that von Braun was a communist sympathizer and had attempted to sabotage the V-2 program, and considering that von Braun was a qualified pilot who regularly piloted his government-provided airplane that might allow him to escape to England, this led to his arrest by the Gestapo.[40]

The unsuspecting von Braun was detained on March 14 (or March 15),[41] 1944 and was taken to a Gestapo cell in Stettin (now Szczecin, Poland),[40] where he was imprisoned for two weeks without even knowing the charges against him. It was only through the Abwehr in Berlin that Dornberger was able to obtain von Braun’s conditional release and Albert Speer, Reichsminister for Munitions and War Production, convinced Hitler to reinstate von Braun so that the V-2 program could continue.[40] Quoting from the “Führerprotokoll” (the minutes of Hitler’s meetings) dated May 13, 1944 in his memoirs, Speer later relayed what Hitler had finally conceded: “In the matter concerning B. I will guarantee you that he will be exempt from persecution as long as he is indispensable for you, in spite of the difficult general consequences this will have.”

Von Braun (with arm cast) immediately after his surrender

Surrender to the Americans

The Soviet Army was about 160 km from Peenemünde in the spring of 1945 when von Braun assembled his planning staff and asked them to decide how and to whom they should surrender. Afraid of the well known Soviet cruelty to prisoners of war, von Braun and his staff decided to try to surrender to the Americans. Kammler had ordered relocation of von Braun’s team to central Germany; however, a conflicting order from an army chief ordered them to join the army and fight. Deciding that Kammler’s order was their best bet to defect to the Americans, von Braun fabricated documents and transported 500 of his affiliates to the area around Mittelwerk, where they resumed their work. For fear of their documents being destroyed by the SS, von Braun ordered the blueprints to be hidden in an abandoned mine shaft in the Harzmountain range.[42]

While on an official trip in March, von Braun suffered a complicated fracture of his left arm and shoulder after his driver fell asleep at the wheel. His injuries were serious, but he insisted that his arm be set in a cast so he could leave the hospital. Due to this neglect of the injury he had to be hospitalized again a month later where his bones had to be re-broken and re-aligned.[42]

In April, as the Allied forces advanced deeper into Germany, Kammler ordered the science team to be moved by train into the town of Oberammergau in the Bavarian Alpswhere they were closely guarded by the SS with orders to execute the team if they were about to fall into enemy hands. However, von Braun managed to convince SS Major Kummer to order the dispersion of the group into nearby villages so that they would not be an easy target for U.S. bombers.[42]

On May 2, 1945, upon finding an American private from the U.S. 44th Infantry Division, von Braun’s brother and fellow rocket engineer, Magnus, approached the soldier on a bicycle, calling out in broken English: “My name is Magnus von Braun. My brother invented the V-2. We want to surrender.”[7][43] After the surrender, von Braun spoke to the press:

“We knew that we had created a new means of warfare, and the question as to what nation, to what victorious nation we were willing to entrust this brainchild of ours was a moral decision more than anything else. We wanted to see the world spared another conflict such as Germany had just been through, and we felt that only by surrendering such a weapon to people who are guided by the Bible could such an assurance to the world be best secured.”[44]

The American high command was well aware of how important their catch was: von Braun had been at the top of the Black List, the code name for the list of German scientists and engineers targeted for immediate interrogation by U.S. military experts. On June 19, 1945, two days before the scheduled handover of the area to the Soviets, US Army Major Robert B. Staver, Chief of the Jet Propulsion Section of the Research and Intelligence Branch of the U.S. Army Ordnance Corps in London, and Lt Col R. L. Williams took von Braun and his department chiefs by jeep from Garmisch to Munich. The group was flown to Nordhausen, and was evacuated 40 miles (64 km) southwest to Witzenhausen, a small town in the American Zone, the next day.[45] Von Braun was briefly detained at the “Dustbin” interrogation center at Kransberg Castle where the elite of the Third Reich’s economy, science and technology were debriefed by U.S. and British intelligence officials.[46] Initially he was recruited to the U.S. under a program called “Operation Overcast,” subsequently known as Operation Paperclip.

American career

U.S. Army career

On June 20, 1945, U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull[dubious – discuss] approved the transfer of von Braun and his specialists to America; however this was not announced to the public until October 1, 1945.[47]Von Braun was among those scientists for whom the U.S. Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency created false employment histories and expunged Nazi Party memberships and regime affiliations from the public record. Once “bleached” of their Nazism, the US Government granted the scientists security clearance to work in the United States. “Paperclip,” the project’s operational name, derived from the paperclips used to attach the scientists’ new political personæ to their “US Government Scientist” personnel files.[48]

The first seven technicians arrived in the United States at New Castle Army Air Field, just south of Wilmington, Delaware, on September 20, 1945. They were then flown to Boston and taken by boat to the Army Intelligence Service post at Fort Strong in Boston Harbor. Later, with the exception of von Braun, the men were transferred to Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland to sort out the Peenemünde documents, enabling the scientists to continue their rocketry experiments.

Finally, von Braun and his remaining Peenemünde staff (see List of German rocket scientists in the United States) were transferred to their new home at Fort Bliss, Texas, a large Army installation just north of El Paso. Von Braun would later write he found it hard to develop a “genuine emotional attachment” to his new surroundings.[49] His chief design engineer Walther Reidel became the subject of a December 1946 article “German Scientist Says American Cooking Tasteless; Dislikes Rubberized Chicken,’ exposing the presence of von Braun’s team in the country and drawing criticism from Albert Einstein and John Dingell.[49]Requests to improve their living conditions such as laying linoleum over their cracked wood flooring were rejected.[49] Von Braun remarked that “…at Peenemünde we had been coddled, here you were counting pennies…”[49] At the age of 26, von Braun had thousands of engineers who answered to him, but was now answering to “pimply” 26 year-old Major Jim Hamill who possessed an undergraduate degree in engineering.[49] His loyal Germans still addressed him as Herr Professor, but Hamill addressed him as Wernher and never bothered to respond to von Braun’s request for more materials, and every proposal for new rocket ideas were dismissed.[49]

While there, they trained military, industrial and university personnel in the intricacies of rockets and guided missiles. As part of the Hermes project they helped to refurbish, assemble and launch a number of V-2s that had been shipped from Germany to the White Sands Proving Ground in New Mexico. They also continued to study the future potential of rockets for military and research applications. Since they were not permitted to leave Fort Bliss without military escort, von Braun and his colleagues began to refer to themselves only half-jokingly as “PoPs,” “Prisoners of Peace.”

In 1950, at the start of the Korean War, von Braun and his team were transferred to Huntsville, Alabama, his home for the next 20 years. Between 1950 and 1956, von Braun led the Army’s rocket development team at Redstone Arsenal, resulting in the Redstone rocket, which was used for the first live nuclear ballistic missile tests conducted by the United States.

As director of the Development Operations Division of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency (ABMA), von Braun, with his team, then developed the Jupiter-C, a modified Redstone rocket.[50] The Jupiter-C successfully launched the West’s first satellite, Explorer 1, on January 31, 1958. This event signaled the birth of America’s space program.

Despite the work on the Redstone rocket, the twelve years from 1945 to 1957 were probably some of the most frustrating for von Braun and his colleagues. In the Soviet UnionSergei Korolev and his team of scientists and engineers plowed ahead with several new rocket designs and the Sputnik program, while the American government was not very interested in von Braun’s work or views and only embarked on a very modest rocket-building program. In the meantime, the press tended to dwell on von Braun’s past as a member of the SS and the slave labor used to build his V-2 rockets.

Popular concepts for a human presence in space

Repeating the pattern he had established during his earlier career in Germany, von Braun – while directing military rocket development in the real world – continued to entertain his engineer-scientist’s dream of a future world in which rockets would be used for space exploration. However, instead of risking being sacked, he now was increasingly in a position to popularize these ideas. The May 14, 1950 headline of The Huntsville Times (“Dr. von Braun Says Rocket Flights Possible to Moon”) might have marked the beginning of these efforts. These disclosures rode a moonflight publicity wave that was created by the two 1950 U.S. science fiction films, Destination Moon and Rocketship X-M.

In 1952, von Braun first published his concept of a manned space station in a Collier’s Weekly magazine series of articles entitled “Man Will Conquer Space Soon!“. These articles were illustrated by the space artist Chesley Bonestell and were influential in spreading his ideas. Frequently von Braun worked with fellow German-born space advocate and science writer Willy Ley to publish his concepts, which, unsurprisingly, were heavy on the engineering side and anticipated many technical aspects of space flight that later became reality.

The space station (to be constructed using rockets with recoverable and reusable ascent stages) would be a toroid structure, with a diameter of 250 feet (76 m). The space station would spin around a central docking nave to provide artificial gravity, and would be assembled in a 1,075 mile (1,730 km) two-hour, high-inclination Earth orbit allowing observation of essentially every point on earth on at least a daily basis. The ultimate purpose of the space station would be to provide an assembly platform for manned lunar expeditions. The notion of a rotating wheel-shaped station was introduced in 1929 by Herman Potočnik in his bookThe Problem of Space Travel – The Rocket Motor. More than a decade later, the movie version of 2001: A Space Odyssey would draw heavily on the design concept in its visualization of an orbital space station.

Von Braun envisaged these expeditions as very large-scale undertakings, with a total of 50 astronauts travelling in three huge spacecraft (two for crew, one primarily for cargo), each 49 m (160.76 ft) long and 33 m (108.27 ft) in diameter and driven by a rectangular array of 30 rocket propulsion engines.[51] Upon arrival, astronauts would establish a permanent lunar base in the Sinus Roris region by using the emptied cargo holds of their craft as shelters, and would explore their surroundings for eight weeks. This would include a 400 km expedition in pressurized rovers to the crater Harpalus and the Mare Imbrium foothills.

Walt Disney and von Braun, seen in 1954 holding a model of his passenger ship, collaborated on a series of three educational films.

At this time von Braun also worked out preliminary concepts for a manned Mars mission that used the space station as a staging point. His initial plans, published in The Mars Project (1952), had envisaged a fleet of ten spacecraft (each with a mass of 3,720 metric tons), three of them unmanned and each carrying one 200-ton winged lander[52] in addition to cargo, and nine crew vehicles transporting a total of 70 astronauts. Gigantic as this mission plan was, its engineering and astronautical parameters were thoroughly calculated. A later project was much more modest, using only one purely orbital cargo ship and one crewed craft. In each case, the expedition would use minimum-energy Hohmann transfer orbits for its trips to Mars and back to Earth.

Before technically formalizing his thoughts on human spaceflight to Mars, von Braun had written a science fiction novel, set in 1980, on the subject. According to his biographer, Erik Bergaust, the manuscript was rejected by no less than 18 publishers. Von Braun later published small portions of this opus in magazines, to illustrate selected aspects of his Mars project popularizations. The complete manuscript, titled Project MARS: A Technical Tale, did not appear as a printed book until December 2006.[53]

In the hope that its involvement would bring about greater public interest in the future of the space program, von Braun also began working with Walt Disney and the Disney studios as a technical director, initially for three television films about space exploration. The initial broadcast devoted to space exploration was Man in Space, which first went on air on March 9, 1955, drawing 42 million viewers and unofficially the second-highest rated television show in American history.[49][54]

Later (in 1959) von Braun published a short booklet[55] — condensed from episodes that had appeared in This Week Magazine before—describing his updated concept of the first manned lunar landing. The scenario included only a single and relatively small spacecraft—a winged lander with a crew of only two experienced pilots who had already circumnavigated the moon on an earlier mission. The brute-force direct ascent flight schedule used a rocket design with five sequential stages, loosely based on the Novadesigns that were under discussion at this time. After a night launch from a Pacific island the first three stages would bring the spacecraft (with the two remaining upper stages attached) to terrestrial escape velocity, with each burn creating an acceleration of 8-9 times standard gravity. Residual propellant in the third stage would be used for the deceleration intended to commence only a few hundred kilometers above the landing site in a crater near the lunar north pole. The fourth stage provided acceleration to lunar escape velocity while the fifth stage would be responsible for a deceleration during return to the Earth to a residual speed that allows aerocapture of the spacecraft ending in a runway landing, much in the way of the Space Shuttle. One remarkable feature of this technical tale is that the engineer Wernher von Braun anticipated a medical phenomenon that would become apparent only years later: being a veteran astronaut with no history of serious adverse reactions to weightlessness offers no protection against becoming unexpectedly and violently spacesick.

Von Braun with President Kennedy at Redstone Arsenal in 1963

Von Braun with the F-1 engines of the Saturn V first stage at the US Space and Rocket Center

Still with his rocket models, von Braun is pictured in his new office at NASA headquarters in 1970

Concepts for orbital warfare

Von Braun developed and published his space station concept during the very “coldest” time of the Cold War, when the U.S. government for which he worked put the containment of the Soviet Union above everything else. The fact that his space station – if armed with missiles that could be easily adapted from those already available at this time – would give the United States space superiority in both orbital and orbit-to-ground warfare did not escape him. Although von Braun took care to qualify such military applications as “particularly dreadful” in his popular writings, he elaborated on them in several of his books and articles. This much less peaceful aspect of von Braun’s “drive for space” has recently been reviewed by Michael J. Neufeld from the Space History Division of the National Air and Space Museum in Washington.[56]

]NASA career

The U.S. Navy had been tasked with building a rocket to lift satellites into orbit, but the resulting Vanguard rocket launch system was unreliable. In 1957, with the launch of Sputnik 1, there was a growing belief within the United States that America lagged behind the Soviet Union in the emerging Space Race. American authorities then chose to utilize von Braun and his German team’s experience with missiles to create an orbital launch vehicle, something von Braun had originally proposed in 1954 but had been denied.[49]

NASA was established by law on July 29, 1958. One day later, the 50th Redstone rocket was successfully launched from Johnston Atoll in the south Pacific as part ofOperation Hardtack I. Two years later, NASA opened the Marshall Space Flight Center at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, and the ABMA development team led by von Braun was transferred to NASA. In a face-to-face meeting with Herb York at the Pentagon, von Braun made it clear he would go to NASA only if development of the Saturn was allowed to continue.[57] Presiding from July 1960 to February 1970, von Braun became the center’s first Director.

Charles W. Mathews, von Braun, George Mueller, and Lt. Gen. Samuel C. Phillips in the Launch Control Center following the successful Apollo 11 liftoff on July 16, 1969

The Marshall Center’s first major program was the development of Saturn rockets to carry heavy payloads into and beyond Earth orbit. From this, the Apollo program for manned moon flights was developed. Wernher von Braun initially pushed for a flight engineering concept that called for an Earth orbit rendezvous technique (the approach he had argued for building his space station), but in 1962 he converted to the more risky lunar orbit rendezvous concept that was subsequently realized.[58] During Apollo, he worked closely with former Peenemünde teammate, Kurt H. Debus, the first director of the Kennedy Space Center. His dream to help mankind set foot on the Moonbecame a reality on July 16, 1969 when a Marshall-developed Saturn V rocket launched the crew of Apollo 11 on its historic eight-day mission. Over the course of the program, Saturn V rockets enabled six teams of astronauts to reach the surface of the Moon.

During the late 1960s, von Braun was instrumental in the development of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville. The desk from which he guided America’s entry in the Space Race remains on display there.

During the local summer of 1966–67, von Braun participated in a field trip to Antarctica, organized for him and several other members of top NASA management.[59] The goal of the field trip was to determine whether the experience gained by US scientific and technological community during the exploration of Antarctic wastelands would be useful for the manned exploration of space. Von Braun was mainly interested in management of the scientific effort on Antarctic research stations, logistics, habitation and life support, and in using the barren Antarctic terrain like the glacial dry valleys to test the equipment that one day would be used to look for signs of life on Mars and other worlds.

In an internal memo dated January 16, 1969,[60] von Braun had confirmed to his staff that he would stay on as a center director at Huntsville to head the Apollo Applications Program. A few months later, on occasion of the first moon-landing, he publicly expressed his optimism that the Saturn V carrier system would continue to be developed, advocating manned missions to Mars in the 1980s.[61]

However, on March 1, 1970, von Braun and his family relocated to Washington, D.C., when he was assigned the post of NASA’s Deputy Associate Administrator for Planning at NASA Headquarters. After a series of conflicts associated with the truncation of the Apollo program, and facing severe budget constraints, von Braun retired from NASA on May 26, 1972. Not only had it become evident by this time that his and NASA’s visions for future U.S. space flight projects were incompatible; it was perhaps even more frustrating for him to see popular support for a continued presence of man in space wane dramatically once the goal to reach the moon had been accomplished.

Von Braun and William R. Lucas, the first and third Marshall Space Flight Center directors, viewing a Spacelabmodel in 1974

Dr. von Braun also developed the idea of a Space Camp that would train children in fields of science and space technologies as well as help their mental development much the same way sports camps aim at improving physical development.

Career after NASA

After leaving NASA, von Braun became Vice President for Engineering and Development at the aerospace company, Fairchild Industries in Germantown, Maryland on July 1, 1972.

In 1973 a routine health check revealed kidney cancer, which during the following years could not be controlled by surgery.[62]Von Braun continued his work to the extent possible, which included accepting invitations to speak at colleges and universities as he was eager to cultivate interest in human spaceflight and rocketry, particularly with students and a new generation of engineers. On one such visit in the spring of 1974 to Allegheny College, von Braun revealed a more personal side, including an allergy to feather pillows and a disdain for some rock music of the era.[citation needed]

Von Braun helped establish and promote the National Space Institute, a precursor of the present-day National Space Society, in 1975, and became its first president and chairman. In 1976, he became scientific consultant to Lutz Kayser, the CEO ofOTRAG, and a member of the Daimler-Benz board of directors. However, his deteriorating health forced him to retire from Fairchild on December 31, 1976. When the 1975 National Medal of Science was awarded to him in early 1977 he was hospitalized, and unable to attend the White House ceremony.

Personal life

Maria von Braun, wife of Wernher von Braun

During his stay at Fort Bliss, von Braun mailed a marriage proposal to 18-year-old Maria Luise von Quistorp (born June 10, 1928), his cousin on his mother’s side. On March 1, 1947, having received permission to go back to Germany and return with his bride, he married her in a Lutheran church in Landshut, Germany. He and his bride, as well as his father and mother, returned to New York on March 26, 1947.

On 9 December 1948, the von Brauns’ first daughter, Iris Careen, was born at Fort Bliss Army Hospital.[50] The von Brauns eventually had two more children, Margrit Cécile on May 8, 1952 and Peter Constantine on June 2, 1960.

On April 15, 1955, von Braun became a naturalized citizen of the United States.

Death

On June 16, 1977, Wernher von Braun died of pancreatic cancer in Alexandria, Virginia, at the age of 65.[63][64] He was buried at the Ivy Hill Cemetery in Alexandria, Virginia.[65]

Grave of Wernher von Braun in Ivy Hill Cemetery (Alexandria, Virginia)

Published works

  • Proposal for a Workable Fighter with Rocket Drive. July 6, 1939.
    • The proposed vertical take-off interceptor[66] for climbing to 35,000 ft in 60 seconds was rejected by the Luftwaffe in the autumn of 1941[26]:258 for the Me 163 Komet[67] and never produced. (The differingBachem Ba 349 was produced during the 1944 Emergency Fighter Program.)
  • ‘Survey’ of Previous Liquid Rocket Development in Germany and Future Prospects. May 1945.[68]
  • A Minimum Satellite Vehicle Based on Components Available from Developments of the Army Ordnance Corps. September 15, 1954. “It would be a blow to U.S. prestige if we did not [launch a satellite] first.”[68]
  • The Mars Project, Urbana, University of Illinois Press, (1953). With Henry J. White, translator.
  • German Rocketry, The Coming of the Space Age. New York: Meredith Press. 1967.
  • First Men to the Moon, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York (1958). Portions of work first appeared in This Week Magazine.
  • Daily Journals of Werner von Braun, May 1958-March 1970. March 1970.[68]
  • History of Rocketry & Space Travel, New York, Crowell (1975). With Frederick I. Ordway III.
  • The Rocket’s Red Glare, Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Press, (1976). With Frederick I. Ordway III.
  • Project Mars: A Technical Tale, Apogee Books, Toronto (2006). A previously unpublished science fiction story by von Braun. Accompanied by paintings from Chesley Bonestell and von Braun’s own technical papers on the proposed project.
  • The Voice of Dr. Wernher von Braun, Apogee Books, Toronto (2007). A collection of speeches delivered by von Braun over the course of his career.
  • Wernher von Braun, Crusader for Space, A Biographical Memoir, Ernst Stuhlinger and Fredrick I. Ordway III, Krieger ISBN 0-89464-842-X. Two volumes on the life of von Braun,

Recognition and critique

In 1970, Huntsville, Alabama honored von Braun’s years of service with a series of events including the unveiling of a plaque in his honor. Pictured (l–r), his daughter Iris, wife Maria, U.S. Sen. John Sparkman, Alabama Gov. Albert Brewer, von Braun, son Peter, and daughter Margrit.

  • Apollo space program director Sam Phillips was quoted as saying that he did not think that America would have reached the moon as quickly as it did without von Braun’s help. Later, after discussing it with colleagues, he amended this to say that he did not believe America would have reached the moon at all.[citation needed]
  • The crater von Braun on the Moon is named after him.
  • Von Braun received a total of 12 honorary doctorates, among them, on January 8, 1963, one from the Technical University of Berlin from which he had graduated.
  • Von Braun was responsible for the creation of the Research Institute at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. As a result of his vision, the university is one of the leading universities in the nation for NASA-sponsored research. The building housing the university’s Research Institute was named in his honor, Von Braun Research Hall, in 2000.
  • Several German cities (BonnNeu-IsenburgMannheimMainz), and dozens of smaller towns have named streets after Wernher von Braun.
  • The Von Braun Center (built 1975) in Huntsville is named in von Braun’s honor.
  • Scrutiny of von Braun’s use of forced labor at the Mittelwerk intensified again in 1984 when Arthur Rudolph, one of his top affiliates from the A-4/V2 through to the Apollo projects, left the United States and was forced to renounce his citizenship in place of the alternative of being tried for war crimes.[69]
  • A science- and engineering-oriented Gymnasium in Friedberg, Bavaria was named after Wernher von Braun in 1979. In response to rising criticism, a school committee decided in 1995, after lengthy deliberations, to keep the name but “to address von Braun’s ambiguity in the advanced history classes.”
  • An avenue in the Annadale section of Staten Island, New York was named for him in 1977.
  • Von Braun’s engineering approach was very conservative, building in additional strength to structure designs, a point of contention with other engineers who struggled to keep vehicle weight down. Von Braun’s insistence on further tests after Mercury-Redstone 2 flew higher than planned, has been identified as contributing to the Soviet Union’s success in launching the first human in space.[70]

Summary of SS career

  • SS number: 185,068
  • Nazi Party number: 5,738,692

Dates of rank

  • SS-Anwärter: November 1, 1933 (received rank upon joining SS Riding School)
  • SS-Mann: July 1934

(left SS after graduation from the school; commissioned in 1940 with date of entry backdated to 1934)

Honors

Quotations

On surrendering with his rocket team to the Americans in 1945: “We knew that we had created a new means of warfare, and the question as to what nation, to what victorious nation we were willing to entrust this brainchild of ours was a moral decision more than anything else. We wanted to see the world spared another conflict such as Germany had just been through, and we felt that only by surrendering such a weapon to people who are guided by the Bible could such an assurance to the world be best secured.”[75]

“All of man’s scientific and engineering efforts will be in vain unless they are performed and utilized within a framework of ethical standards commensurate with the magnitude of the scope of the technological revolution. The more technology advances, the more fateful will be its impact on humanity.”

“You must accept one of two basic premises: Either we are alone in the universe, or we are not alone in the universe. And either way, the implications are staggering”.

“If the world’s ethical standards fail to rise with the advances of our technological revolution, the world will go to hell. Let us remember that in the horse-and-buggy days nobody got hurt if the coachman had a drink too many. In our times of high-powered automobiles, however, that same drink may be fatal….”

On Adolf Hitler: “I began to see the shape of the man – his brilliance, the tremendous force of personality. It gripped you somehow. But also you could see his flaw — he was wholly without scruples, a godless man who thought himself the only god, the only authority he needed.”[77]

“Science and religion are not antagonists. On the contrary, they are sisters. While science tries to learn more about the creation, religion tries to better understand the Creator. While through science man tries to harness the forces of nature around him, through religion he tries to harness the force of nature within him.”

“My experiences with science led me to God. They challenge science to prove the existence of God. But must we really light a candle to see the sun?”

“Late to bed, early to rise, work like hell and advertise.”

TOP-SECRET: PKK TERRORISM – SYRIAN CONNECTION

R 141518Z MAY 90
FM AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 5425
INFO AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM
AMEMBASSY ANKARA
AMCONSUL ADANA
C O N F I D E N T I A L DAMASCUS 02993 

E.O. 12356:  DECL:  OADR
TAGS: PTER PREL SW SY
SUBJECT:     PKK TERRORISM - SYRIAN CONNECTION 

1.  CONFIDENTIAL - ENTIRE TEXT. 

2.  ROLF GAUFFIN, SWEDEN'S AMBASSADOR IN DAMASCUS,
TOLD DCM RECENTLY THAT AN ARAB NATIVE WITH A CLAIM
TO SWEDISH PERMANENT RESIDENCY HAD WALKED INTO THE
SWEDISH EMBASSY IN THE PAST FEW WEEKS TO SEEK REPATRI-
ATION.  THE PERSON SAID HE HAD BEEN IN TRAINING AT THE
PKK CAMP IN THE BIQA BUT HAD BECOME DISAFFECTED AND
WANTED TO RETURN TO SWEDEN.  GAUFFIN IS ARRANGING FOR
HIS DEPARTURE. 

3.  GAUFFIN SAID HE WAS APPREHENSIVE OF THE SYRIAN
REACTION TO HIS HANDLING SUCH A CASE, ESPECIALLY WITH
THE PKK CONNECTION.  HE, THEREFORE, ALERTED THE
POLITICAL SECURITY DIVISION TO ASSURE THEY KNEW THE
WHOLE STORY.  THE PSD REPLY LED GAUFFIN TO BELIEVE
THEY WERE WELL AWARE OF HIS "WALK-IN" AND HAD NO
INTENTION OF INTERFERING.  THIS EPISODE ALSO CONFIRMED
FOR GAUFFIN THAT THE SYRIANS DO KEEP TABS ON COMINGS
AND GOINGS IN THE BIQA. 

4.  IN VIEW OF HIS RECENT EXPOSURE TO THE PKK AND
SYRIAN COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM, THE DEPARTMENT MIGHT BE
INTERESTED IN CONTACTING THE GOS TO SEE IF A DEBRIEF-
ING WITH THE EX PKK TRAINEE MIGHT BE ARRANGED. 

DJEREJIAN

DIE WELT: Wie in Brandenburg die Stasi wieder mitregiert

In Brandenburgs SPD machen Stasi-Spitzel Karriere – und das ausgerechnet im Wahlkreis von Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Viele Genossen sind entsetzt.

//

Es ist der Wahlkreis des prominentesten Brandenburger SPD-Genossen: Frank-Walter Steinmeier, einst Außenminister und heute SPD-Bundestagsfraktionschef, errang 2009 in Brandenburg an der Havel erstmals ein eigenes Bundestagsmandat.

Stasi
Foto: dpa/DPA Regale mit Akten des einstigen Ministeriums für Staatssicherheit der DDR (Stasi) im Archiv der Jahn-Behörde

Dafür genügten ihm 32,8 Prozent der Wählerstimmen. Ausgerechnet hier, in der drittgrößten Stadt Brandenburgs, ist der SPD-Unterbezirk von Stasi-Spitzeln durchsetzt. Weder das politische Schwergewicht Steinmeier noch Brandenburgs Ministerpräsident und SPD-Landeschef Matthias Platzeck konnten bislang den Wiederaufstieg der alten Seilschaften stoppen.

 

Bereits im März mussten die beiden Vorzeige-Sozialdemokraten hilflos zusehen, wie mit Dirk Stieger (IM „Bergmann“) und Thomas Reichelt (IM „Wolfgang“) gleich zwei ehemalige Spitzel der SED-Geheimpolizei in den Parteivorstand des SPD-Unterbezirks gewählt wurden.

 

Brisante Papiere für die Presse

Doch das war erst die Ouvertüre. Jetzt hat die Stasi-Unterlagen-Behörde von Roland Jahn brisante Papiere für die Presse freigegeben. Es sind nur 51 Seiten, doch die haben es in sich. Denn sie beleuchten die Vergangenheit des SPD-Kandidaten für das Amt des Oberbürgermeisters in der kreisfreien Stadt – genau vier Monate vor dem Urnengang ein Debakel sondergleichen.

Anzeige

//

//

Ohnehin steht die rot-rote Regierungskoalition in Potsdam unter keinem guten Stern. Als sie im Herbst 2009 ihre Arbeit aufnahm, wurden reihenweise Mandatsträger der Linkspartei, darunter eine stattliche Zahl von Landtagsabgeordneten, als ehemalige Mitarbeiter des Ministeriums für Staatssicherheit (MfS) enttarnt.

Stasi-Beauftragter mit Stasi-Akte
Roland Jahn
Foto: dpa Der Journalist und Bürgerrechtler Roland Jahn ist der neue Bundesbeauftragte für Stasi-Unterlagen. Mit der Staatssicherheit hat er selbst einige Erfahrungen gemacht.
Foto: Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft Schon als Student in Jena (Bild von 1975) fiel der junge Roland Jahn der Staatssicherheit als “feindlich-negativ” auf und musste das Studium der Wirtschaftswissenschaften aufgeben. Dagegen…
Foto: Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft/ Manfred Hildebrand/Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft/Manfred Hildebrand … protestierte er mit einer Postkarte, die ihn mit überklebtem Mund zeigte. Als er auch noch die unabhängige polnische Gewerkschaft Solidarnosc in der DDR unterstützte, platzte der SED der Kragen: Am 1. September 1982 wurde er festgenommen …
Foto: Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft … und in Isolationshaft mit psychischer Folter und falschen Angaben dazu gebracht, einen Ausreiseantrag zu unterschreiben. Auf Druck der Bundesrepublik wurde er im Februar 1983 freigelassen. Das Bild zeigt Jahn am Ende seiner Haft. Trotzdem gab er…
Foto: MDA … nicht auf. Hier nimmt Roland Jahn im Jahr 1983 mit der Jenaer Friedensgemeinschaft an einer offiziellen Demonstration teil. Dabei…
Foto: Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft/Albrecht/Kleindienst … hatten die Bürgerrechtler eigene, nicht von der DDR-Regierung vorgesehene Transparente mitgebracht. Das…
Foto: Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft/Albrecht/Kleindienst … wurde von Stasi-Angehörigen und FDJ-Funktionären bestraft. Das Bild zeigt, wie sie die Friedensaktivisten angreifen und ihre Plakate zerstören.
Foto: Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft Für die SED waren Jahns öffentliche Aktionen zu viel: Im Juni 1983 wurde er abgeschoben. Die bundesdeutschen Grenzer begrüßte er mit den Worten “Ich bin immer noch Bürger der DDR”. Doch auch von Westdeutschland aus (hier auf der West-Seite der Berliner Mauer) arbeitete Roland Jahn weiter für die Bürgerrechte in der DDR.
Foto: Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft Als Journalist für die rbb-Sendung “Kontraste” drehte Jahn (r.) mit seinem Kollegen Peter Wensierski zahlreiche DDR-kritische Beiträge. Nach dem Ende der DDR machten sie sich um die Aufarbeitung verdient.
Foto: Robert-Havemann-Gesellschaft/Nicola Kuzma, Super illu Als neuer Beauftragter für Stasi-Unterlagen hat Roland Jahn die Arbeit als TV-Journalist niedergelegt. Sein Thema bleibt aber das gleiche.

http://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article13341878/Wie-in-Brandenburg-die-Stasi-wieder-mitregiert.html// //

Die SPD war geschockt. Jetzt zeigen die Vorgänge in Brandenburg an der Havel, dass die Sozialdemokraten sich auch ernsthafte Sorgen über die Vorgänge in den eigenen Reihen machen müssen. Offenbar wurde es versäumt, genauer hinzuschauen – zumindest in jener Stadt, die wegen ihres markanten Doms und einer mehr als 1000-jährigen Geschichte weit über die Landesgrenzen hinaus bekannt ist.

 

Dilemma für die SPD

Das Dilemma, in dem die SPD dort steckt, war vorhersehbar. Denn die Partei nominierte im März den umstrittenen Kommunalpolitiker Norbert Langerwisch zum Spitzenkandidaten für das höchste Amt im Rathaus. Ausgerechnet Langerwisch – der frühere Polizeichef und Bürgermeister hatte schon in der Vergangenheit mit einer Affäre bundesweit für Schlagzeilen gesorgt.

Kurz nachdem er 2003 bei der damaligen Oberbürgermeisterwahl gegen die CDU-Bewerberin Dietlind Tiemann unterlegen war, fanden sich bei einem Drogendealer Hunderte Blanko-Wahlzettel, die den Verdacht einer Manipulation des Wählervotums nahelegten. Langerwisch bestritt Kontakte zu der Unterweltsgröße – später musste er sie jedoch einräumen. Die Stadtverordneten wählten ihn daraufhin ab.

Vergeblich hat Platzeck jetzt versucht, eine neuerliche Kandidatur von Langerwisch zu verhindern. Doch eine Alternative fand sich nicht. Daraufhin schwenkte der Ministerpräsident und SPD-Landeschef um, nun lobte er den Parteifreund in höchsten Tönen.

 

Platzeck lobte Langerwisch

In einer am 28. April veröffentlichten Erklärung schrieb Platzeck: „Norbert Langerwisch ist eine gute Wahl für Brandenburg. Als Bürgermeister und als Polizist hat er seine Heimatstadt mitgestaltet und viel bewegt.“ Gut möglich, dass der Brandenburger Regierungschef diese Worte inzwischen bedauert. Denn Langerwisch hatte mit der DDR-Staatssicherheit offenbar engere Kontakte als bisher eingeräumt.

Die Jahn-Behörde jedenfalls hat den Sozialdemokraten, der zu DDR-Zeiten treu der SED diente, als Inoffiziellen MfS-Mitarbeiter eingestuft. Das Stasi-Unterlagen-Gesetz, auf dem die Arbeit der Jahn-Behörde beruht, ließ da keine andere Wahl. Denn laut seiner Akte hat Langerwisch noch kurz vor dem Fall der Mauer brisante Informationen an die SED-Geheimpolizei geliefert. Ausweislich der Stasi-Dokumente denunzierte er einen Kollegen der Volkspolizei, der „sehr dem Alkohol“ zuspreche, und berichtete über Familienangehörige mit West-Kontakten.

 

MfS spendierte Weinbrand

Das MfS war angetan: Laut einer überlieferten Quittung spendierte es dem Zuträger eine Flasche Weinbrand im Wert von 48 DDR-Mark. Langerwisch will nicht völlig ausschließen, dass er das Geschenk angenommen hat: „Das kann sein, die Stasi kam immer zum Geburtstag.“ Doch die Einstufung als Inoffizieller Mitarbeiter des MfS empört den SPD-Politiker, der nie eine Verpflichtungserklärung unterschrieben hat. „Ich habe keine inoffiziellen Informationen übermittelt“, sagte der Polizist dieser Zeitung. Er könne nichts dafür, was ein Stasi-Offizier über ihn aufgeschrieben habe. Dessen Darstellung entspringe „lebhafter Fantasie“.

Mehrere Überprüfungen auf eine Stasi-Tätigkeit seien ergebnislos verlaufen. Doch laut Stasi-Unterlagengesetz kommt es bei der Einstufung als IM allein darauf an, ob jemand bereit war, Informationen zu liefern.

Aus Langerwischs Sicht hat es sich um offizielle Kontakte in seiner Funktion bei der Volkspolizei gehandelt. In der Akte liest sich das anders. Dort heißt es, Langerwisch sei „aufgeschlossen“ und habe „keine Vorbehalte, sich zu Interna zu äußern“ – und zwar hinter dem Rücken seines Chefs, jedenfalls wenn stimmt, was in den Papieren steht.

 

Stasi-Mitarbeiter in der Justiz

Während Platzeck mit einer Wirtschaftsdelegation die USA bereist, gibt es weitere Hiobsbotschaften aus der Heimat. In Brandenburgs Justiz sind deutlich mehr Stasi-belastete Mitarbeiter tätig als bislang bekannt. Justizminister Volkmar Schöneburg (Linke) korrigierte am Mittwoch frühere Angaben nach oben: Demnach haben 152 Beschäftigte eine Stasi-Vergangenheit. Davon sind 13 Richter, einer ist Staatsanwalt.

Damit sind nun fast doppelt so viele Fälle bekannt wie noch vor knapp zwei Monaten. Juristen zeigten sich erstaunt über die neuen Angaben. „Mit dieser Zahl hätte ich nicht gerechnet“, sagte der Brandenburger Generalstaatsanwalt Erardo Rautenberg. „Die Zahl ist erstaunlich“, so Matthias Deller, Chef des Deutschen Richterbundes in Brandenburg.

 

Landesregierung muss politische Hygiene herstellen

Die Vereinigung der Opfer der Stalinismus (VOS) pocht auf Konsequenzen. Offensichtlich hätten in Brandenburg „Erich Mielkes Enkel in Scharen Karriere machen dürfen“, kritisierte der stellvertretende VOS-Bundeschef Hugo Diederich. Die Landesregierung in Potsdam sei gefordert, endlich die politische Hygiene in Brandenburg herzustellen. Er forderte eine Regelüberprüfung für den öffentlichen Dienst. Justizminister Schöneburg lehnt selbst eine Überprüfung der etwa 800 Richter im Lande ab.

 

Die SPD wiederum tut sich im Umgang mit ihrem Parteifreund Langerwisch schwer. Dessen Glaubwürdigkeit ist schwer erschüttert. Die CDU-Landeschefin Saskia Ludwig wirft Platzeck schon mangelnde Durchsetzungskraft in der eigenen Partei vor. „Dieser Mann hätte niemals aufgestellt werden dürfen.“ Der laxe Umgang der SPD mit ihrem politischen Personal „schadet dem Ansehen des Landes Brandenburg in Deutschland“.

Auch im Bundestag sind der Aktenfund und der Zustand der SPD im Unterbezirk Brandenburg an der Havel ein Thema. „Die Kandidatur einer Person wie Langerwisch beschädigt die Demokratie“, sagte der stellvertretende Vorsitzende der CDU/CSU-Bundestagsfraktion, Arnold Vaatz, dieser Zeitung.

 

Platzeck muss Angelegenheit zur Chefsache machen

Der ehemalige Bürgerrechtler ist erstaunt, dass sich Platzeck noch jüngst hinter den Parteifreund gestellt hatte. „Er muss die Angelegenheit jetzt zur Chefsache machen und dafür sorgen, dass die Kandidatur zurückgezogen wird“, forderte Vaatz. Geschehe dies nicht, könne „aus der Personalie des OB-Kandidaten schnell eine Personalie Platzeck werden“.

In der Verantwortung sieht Vaatz aber auch Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Der gilt zwar nicht gerade als ein Freund des rot-roten Modells in Potsdam, hat aber bislang keinen Anlass gesehen, sich von den Stasi-Seilschaften in seinem Wahlkreis zu distanzieren. Ob er diese Linie bis zur Oberbürgermeisterwahl im September durchhält, wird sich zeigen.

 

http://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article13341878/Wie-in-Brandenburg-die-Stasi-wieder-mitregiert.html

GAST-BEITRAG: “Die Täter sind unter uns – STASI-Seilschaften”

Die Täter sind unter uns. Über das Schönreden der DDR-Diktatur referierte der Historiker Dr. Hubertus Knabe am vergangenen Dienstag im voll besetzten Saal des Steigenberger Hotels in Hamburg.

Nach einleitenden Worten des Moderators Dr. Siegfried Schöne von der der CDU-nahen Konrad Adenauer Stiftung äußerte sich der Direktor der Gedenkstätte im ehemaligen Zentralgefängnis der DDR Staatssicherheit in Berlin Hohenschönhausen, Dr. Hubertus Knabe, äußerst kritisch über die Aufarbeitung der SED Verbrechen seit der Wiedervereinigung: „Die DDR wird vielfach verharmlost.”

Opfer benachteiligt

Knabe versteht sich gleichwohl als Anwalt der Opfer. So machte er deutlich, dass das Opferschutzgesetz für politisch Verfolgte in der kommunistischen DDR bis heute unzureichend sei.

Im Gegensatz zu NS-Opfern liege die Beweislast für erlittene Gesundheitsschäden durch Haft und Verfolgung bei den SED Opfern. Das erkläre, warum 95 Prozent der Anträge auf Opferrente von den Behörden abgelehnt werden. So komme es dazu, dass ein ehemaliger Wärter im Stasi-Knast Bautzen heute mehr Rente bekommt als ein damals dort inhaftierter Systemgegner. Hier konnte der Zuhörer leicht den Eindruck gewinnen, dass sich das Eintreten für Freiheits- und Menschenrechte und der Kampf gegen ein totalitäres Regime nicht „gelohnt” hat. Der Historiker forderte, dass nach den lobenden Worten für das Stasi-Filmdrama „Das Leben der Anderen” nun auch praktische Taten für die Opfer der Stasi folgen sollten.

„Mauertote selbst schuld an ihrem Tod”

Die Stasi-Offiziere von damals haben sich in verschiedenen Vereinigungen zu einem Netzwerk zur Durchsetzung ihrer Interessen organisiert, berichtete der Referent. Mit Hilfe findiger Juristen haben sie nicht nur die von der Bundesregierung geplante Kürzung ihrer Renten verhindert, sondern oftmals mit erfolgreichen Unterlassungsklagen, gerichtlichen Verfügungen und Durchsetzung hoher Geldstrafen eine Aufdeckung ihres menschenverachtenden Wirkens unterbunden. Hierbei berufen sich die Täter von damals auf das heutige Recht zur Wahrung ihres Persönlichkeitsschutzes. Auch seien die Mauertoten selbst daran schuld, dass sie tot seien, sie hätten ja Grenzübergänge benutzen können, so die dreiste öffentliche Behauptung der organisierten MfS-Mitarbeiter* Diese treten nun zunehmend selbstbewusster in der Öffentlichkeit auf. Knabe sieht die Ursache dafür in den fehlenden gesetzlichen Grundlagen für eine angemessene Strafverfolgung. Diese seien im Einigungsvertrag vom Bundestag nicht festgeschrieben worden. Aufgrund dieser Schilderung konnte der Zuhörer zur Erkenntnis gelangen, eine Ahndung des DDR-Unrechts sei politisch nicht gewollt. Schließlich seien in 40 Jahren DDR immer neue Kredite von der BRD in den offiziell verhassten Nachbarstaat geflossen, eingefädelt von ranghohen Bundespolitikern.

„Stasis-Peiniger nun Fallmanager”

Mangels Ausbildung geeigneter Mitarbeiter wurden nach der Wende in bundesdeutschen Behörden sehr viel mehr Bedienstete aus Polizei und Staatssicherheit der DDR übernommen als bisher angenommen. Ganz besonders sei dies bei den Arbeitsämtern der Fall, führte Knabe aus.

Nicht selten komme es vor, das dort ein arbeitsloses SED-Opfer seinem Peiniger aus DDR-Zeiten gegenübersitzt, der sich ihm dann als sein „Fallmanager” vorstellt. Schlimmer könne Demütigung nicht sein, sagte Knabe.

„Chance der Aufarbeitung nicht genutzt”

Statt die Chance zu ergreifen sich zu offenbaren und an der Aufklärung ihres Wirkens für einen neuen gesellschaftlichen Anfang beizutragen, haben die Täter von damals den erlernten Weg der Konspiration fortgesetzt.

Über den konstruierten Rechtspositivismus** des Leugnens und Klagens sind auch heute noch zahlreiche Personen in Amt und Würden, wie man an den Beispielen des Juristen Gregor Gysi (PDS) und des Politikers Manfred Stolpe (SPD) erkennen könne, bemerkte Knabe abschließend .

Die Freiheitskämpfer und Bürgerrechtler der DDR als wahre Helden der Wendezeit führen heute jedoch größtenteils ein Leben in der Bedeutungslosigkeit.

„Vergangenheitsbewältigung endet mit NS-Zeit”

Nach dem Vortrag entbrannte eine lebhafte Diskussion. Ein Teilnehmer sagte: „Ich war 10 Jahre wegen des „Verbrechens” der geplanten Republikflucht in Bautzen inhaftiert und halte heute Vorträge an Hamburger Schulen. Nach meinem letzten Vortrag kam ein Schüler auf mich zu und bedankte sich. In 13 Jahren Schule habe er noch nie von seinen Lehrern etwas über diese schlimme Zeit in Deutschland erfahren. Anscheinend endet die deutsche Vergangenheitsbewältigung mit der NS-Zeit auf dem Lehrplan!”

Thilo Gehrke

* MfS: Ministerium für Saatssicherheit, ein Instrument der SED zur Unterdrückung und Überwachung der DDR-Bürger

** Rechtspositivismus: Richtung der Rechtswissenschaft, die im Unterschied zum Naturrecht das Recht mit den in einem Staat tatsächlich (›positiv‹) geltenden Normen (gesetztes Recht und Gewohnheitsrecht) gleichsetzt und seine Rechtfertigung in der staatlichen Macht sieht. (aus: Meyers Lexikon)

http://www.epochtimes.de/126236_wenn-das-unrecht-verblasst-stasi-seilschaften-.html

DIE WELT: “STASI-Seilschaften” in Cottbus attackieren die Pressefreiheit a la “GoMoPa”

Telefonterror, Bedrohung der Interviewpartner, diskreditierende Unterstellungen – in den vergangenen Monaten war die Chefreporterin der “Lausitzer Rundschau”, Simone Wendler, unzähligen Einschüchterungsversuchen ausgesetzt. Ihr Haus wurde observiert, die Mailbox ihres Handys gar mit Morddrohungen besprochen. Seit kurzem nun wird versucht, Simone Wendler und ihre Arbeitsweise auch öffentlich zu diffamieren.

Vorreiter dieser Attacke auf den Ruf der 46-Jährigen ist “Der Märkische Bote”, ein in Cottbus erscheinendes Anzeigenblatt. Am 8. August schrieb Jürgen Heinrich, Herausgeber des Blattes, dass die “Journalistin ?S.W.’ den Verhör-Stil als journalistische Methode” betreibe. Dem Präsidenten der Handwerkskammer, Werner Schröter, sei durch ihre Berichterstattung zum Cottbuser Baufilz ein “kaum reparierbarer seelischer und geschäftlicher Schaden” zugefügt worden. Unterstützung fand “Der Märkische Bote” in dem Stadtfernsehen LTV, das Bilder von Simone Wendler mit den Worten begleitete, sie bedrohe ihre Interviewpartner.

Hintergrund der Angriffe auf Simone Wendler ist ihre fortwährende Berichterstattung über Filz und Korruption in Cottbus. Dadurch war die Chefreporterin, die nach der Wende für die “Berliner Morgenpost”, den “Tagesspiegel”, die “Frankfurter Rundschau” sowie für Antenne Brandenburg gearbeitet hatte, maßgeblich an der Aufklärung des Cottbuser Bau-Skandals im Herbst vergangenen Jahres beteiligt. Die führenden Köpfe der städtischen Gebäudewirtschaft GWC hatten, so fand Wendler bei ihren Nachforschungen heraus, bevorzugt an Bekannte oder Unternehmen Aufträge vergeben, an denen die Manager selbst oder Angehörige beteiligt waren. Inzwischen hat sich die GWC, die mit 23 500 Wohnungen der größte Vermieter und auch wichtigste Bauauftraggeber ist, von ihrem Geschäftsführer Günter Thiesaat getrennt. Die Staatsanwaltschaft Neuruppin ermittelt gegen Thiesaat sowie gegen zwei Manager.

In Cottbus wird nun vermutet, dass sich die derzeitigen Angriffe auf Simone Wendler darauf gründen, dass “Die Lausitzer Rundschau” erneut den Namen eines Mannes genannt hat: Helmut Rauer. Der Unternehmer, der früher hauptamtlicher Mitarbeiter im Ministerium für Staatsicherheit war, habe es vermutlich nicht gern gesehen, im Zusammenhang mit einem Bericht über Schröter genannt zu werden. Das Blatt hatte im Juli geschrieben, dass Schröter als eine Art Strohmann für seine eigene Firma, die Werner Schröter GmbH, fungiere, an der Ex-Stasi-Mann Rauer stiller Teilhaber ist.

Es sei erschreckend, sagt Peter Stefan Herbst, Chefredakteur der “Lausitzer Rundschau”, dass alte Stasi-Seilschaften in Cottbus immer noch Macht und Einfluss besitzen, und auch heute noch griffen die ehemaligen Stasi-Mitarbeiter zu den Methoden von damals. “Dieser Fall hat eine ganz besondere Qualität,” so Herbst. Trotzdem lasse man sich nicht einschüchtern. “Wir werden unsere Berichterstattung natürlich fortsetzen.” Auch für Simone Wendler steht außer Frage, bei entsprechenden Hinweisen weiter über die Situation in Cottbus zu berichten. “Alles andere käme einer Kapitulation der Pressefreiheit gleich.”

http://www.welt.de/print-welt/article469360/Stasi_Seilschaften_in_Cottbus_attackieren_die_Pressefreiheit.html

TOP-SECRET: BELARUS BI-WEEKLY POL/ECON REPORT

VZCZCXRO5335
RR RUEHIK
DE RUEHSK #0059/01 0591540
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 281540Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY MINSK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0699
INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 0053
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEHSK/AMEMBASSY MINSK 0709
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 MINSK 000059 

SIPDIS 

STATE FOR EUR/UMB (ASHEMA), DRL (DNADEL), AND EUR/ACE (KSALINGER)
EMBASSY KYIV FOR USAID (JRIORDAN AND KMONAGHAN) 

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM ECON ENRG ETRD BO
SUBJECT: BELARUS BI-WEEKLY POL/ECON REPORT - FEBRUARY 26, 2009 

MINSK 00000059  001.3 OF 004 

1. The following are brief items of interest compiled by Embassy
Minsk. 

TABLE OF CONTENTS 

Civil Society
-------------
- GOB Crackdown on Polish Minority Sparks Flash Point with EU
- The Aggressive Suppression of Peaceful Demonstrations Returns
- New Election Law But GOB Control of Election Commission Endures
- State Media is Encouraged to Criticize Opposition Candidates 

Economy
-------
- Belarus Accepts New Russian Oil Tariff, But Only for Six Months
- Gazprom Now Has 50% of Beltransgaz, But May Want Majority
- IMF Most Likely To Issue Final SBA Tranche in late March
- Belarus Suspends Unilateral WTO Accession Talks 

Quote of the Week
----------------- 

-------------
Civil Society
------------- 

2. GOB Crackdown on the Polish Minority Sparks Flash Point with
EU 

During his meeting with Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw
Sikorski in Kyiv on February 25, President Lukashenka termed the
conflict between Polish minority groups in Belarus a
"misunderstanding" that would be resolved.  He stated that there
were no bilateral problems stemming from differences between the
Union of Poles of Belarus (UPB) recognized by the GOB and the
Warsaw-backed UPB.  Sikorski said that Lukashenka had agreed to
set up an expert group to study the issue of Belarus' Polish
minority.  The meeting came as a European Parliament (EP)
delegation arrived in Minsk on February 25 for a three-day
fact-finding mission.  The delegation will meet with GOB
officials, representatives of civil society, and opposition
forces.  The mission is expected to issue a report based on its
findings that will be incorporated into an EP resolution on the
human rights situation in Belarus.  The report will also include
recommendations on membership of a Belarus' delegation to the
EU-Neighborhood East Parliamentary Assembly Euronest to be
comprised of ten participants with observer status, likely
representing MPs and civil society and opposition parties, a
position the GOB opposes.  Anzhelika Borys, Leader of the
Warsaw-backed UPB, was in Brussels and Warsaw recently for a
series of meetings with EP members and the Polish President who
expressed solidarity with the Polish minority in Belarus.  Borys
explained that the GOB has sought "to present it as an internal
conflict in order to distract peoples' attention, so that the
issue is not seen in the context of human rights."  The
Spokesperson for Catherine Ashton, the EU's High Representative
on foreign policy, expressed EU FMs' concerns about the human
rights situation in Belarus and announced that the EU will
"remain vigilant and continue to raise the issue."  In addition,
Ashton condemned police action against the Warsaw-backed union
and what she called "attempts by authorities to impose a new
leadership on the Polish community."  Critical statements and
yet another round of confrontation between the official and
unrecognized unions stemmed from the February 17 GOB ruling that
ordered Borys' union to vacate the Polish House in Ivyanets.  In
addition, Borys was sentenced February 15 to a $365 fine for
participating in an unsanctioned demonstration in Hrodna on
February 10 in support of Teresa Sobal, the ousted manager of
the Ivyanets Polish House.  Borys' three senior associates
received five-day jail sentences for similar charges on February
15.  A senior Polish MFA official was quoted on February 19 as
saying that all the 16 Polish Houses in Belarus should be under
control of the Borys' union.  Only two of the Polish Houses,
which serve as social and cultural centers, still remain outside
control of the GOB-controlled union. 

3. The Aggressive Suppression of Peaceful Demonstrations Returns 

After permitting the monthly Solidarity Day demonstrations to
take place this fall (reftel Minsk 024), authorities cracked
down aggressively, manhandling and arresting demonstrators, as 

MINSK 00000059  002.3 OF 004 

activists attempted to stage three public protests in February.
Belarus security forces arrested 29 democratic activists
demonstrating in downtown Minsk on February 16 in remembrance of
opposition leaders who disappeared in 1999-2000.  Police for the
first time grabbed people as they approached the venue dragged
them off to waiting vans, while others were arrested in the
square a few minutes later.  Only two of the several dozen
policemen on site were in uniform.  Officers in plainclothes
used force against journalists, blocking photo and video
cameras, and pushing them away from the demonstrators.  In a
separate incident on February 14, police broke up a St.
Valentine's Day march staged by the Malady Front and arrested 22
activists, including four legal minors.  Young Belarus and
European Belarus civil groups held three rallies at different
venues on February 8 in support of the two Vaukavysk activists,
Mikalay Autukhovich and Uladzimir Asipenka, who have been held
in pretrial detention on terrorism charges since February 8,
2009.  Approximately 20 activists from those groups were
detained.  On all three days, people detained were eventually
released without charges but many reported being fingerprinted
and recorded on video and complained of suffering bruises and
scratches while in police detention, as well being threatened
verbally. 

4. New Election Law But GOB Control of Election Commission
Endures 

At a press conference on February 1, Central Election Commission
(CEC) Chairwoman Lidziya Yarmoshyna said that for the April 25
local elections 1,495 territorial election commissions covering
regional, town, and village councils have been established in
Belarus, with a total membership of 11,697.  Of those, 51.9
percent were nominated through the collection of voter
signatures, 35.3 percent were nominated by NGOs and political
parties, and 12.8 percent by "workers' collectives."  The
requirement that one-third of commissions' membership be
nominated by NGOs and political parties is a new requirement in
the electoral law.  However, as it has turned out only 105
persons or 0.9 percent of the total territorial commission
members are affiliated with political parties; and of these only
15 represent opposition parties, including nine with the
Spravedlivy Mir Belarusian Party of the Left, four with the
United Civic Party, and two with the Belarusian Social
Democratic Party Hramada.  There are 4,024 NGO members on the
territorial commission, but the vast majority are associated
with the state-controlled NGOs or associations such as Belaya
Rus, National Youth Union, Women's Union, Veterans' Union,
Federation of Trade Unions and others.  Independent observers
concluded that the overwhelming majority of territorial
commission members had served on commissions during previous
elections campaigns in Belarus and described them as
"ideologically" loyal to the regime.  At the district level,
there are 367 elections commissions (covering Oblast/Regional
councils and the Minsk city council).  The district commissions
have a total of 4,542 members, of whom 43 percent were nominated
by NGOs, mostly GOB-controlled, 18.2 percent by "workers'
collectives," 6.7 percent by political parties; 32.1 percent
sought membership through the collection of signatures.  Of the
political party representatives, only 72 come from opposition
parties.  The deadline for establishment of precinct-level
electoral commissions is March 7. 

5. State Media is Encouraged to Criticize Opposition Candidates 

On February 16, CEC Chairwoman Yarmoshyna stated at a workshop
on the role of the media in the election process that state
media have the right to criticize "opposition candidates" during
the election campaign.  The First Deputy Head of the
Presidential Administration Natallya Pyatkevich echoed her
remarks, saying that any journalist has the right to hold an
opinion and "report" it.  It is up to the journalist to do this
"correctly," she said, arguing that the interest of freedom of
information should be counterbalanced by responsibility on the
part of reporters. 

-------
Economy
------- 

6. Belarus Accepts New Russian Oil Tariff, But Only for Six
Months 

MINSK 00000059  003.3 OF 004 

Lukashenka issued an edict on February 12 approving the January
27 bilateral agreement on oil imports from Russia.  Russian
President Medvedev signed the amendments into law on February
15.  According to the new agreement, Belarus will receive 6.3
million tons of Russian oil duty-free in 2010 for internal use;
but additional supplies for refinement and export to any market
other than Russia will be subject to a 100% export duty.
Russian duty-free quota for Belarus may be reduced if Belarus
imposes additional transit duties on Russian oil passing through
Belarus to Europe.  Domestic consumption of crude oil for each
year will be adjusted by October 1.  While Lukashenka made no
public comments after signing the amendments, some senior GOB
officials have repeatedly argued that the export duty applied to
Russian oil supplies to Belarus violates Russia's commitments
under principles of the Custom Union of Belarus, Russian and
Kazakhstan.  Belarus' Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Yevdochenko
announced on February 16 that Belarus will insist that the
export duty be abolished starting July 1, 2010, when the single
Customs Union is scheduled to become operational.  In the
meantime, the GOB is looking for ways maintain the profitability
of the country's two oil refineries, which are facing serious
difficulty in adjusting to terms of the new oil supply agreement
with Russia.  IMF has calculated that GOB will lose no less than
$2 billion dollars in revenues since it is no longer able to
pocket the difference between the subsidized oil it use to
receive from Russia, and the refined petroleum products it sold
mainly to Europe at market rates. 

7. Gazprom Now Has 50% of Beltransgaz, But May Want Majority 

According to media reports, Russia's Gazprom transferred $625
million on February 24 for 12.5% stock in the Beltransgaz
natural gas transportation company, thus increasing its stake in
Beltransgaz to 50%. This was the final tranche under $2.5
billion agreement signed on May 18, 2007.  On February 25, the
Russian Ambassador to Belarus Alexander Surikov told the press
that Gazprom is interested in acquiring a controlling stake in
OAO Beltransgaz. "If Gazprom paid for 50% in Beltransgaz, it
definitely wants to have more. What other reason is there to buy
a 50% stake?" he explained.  On a separate issue, according to
the First Deputy Director of Beltransgaz Sorokhan, Belarus did
pay for Russian gas delivered in January 2010 under the terms
outlined in the five-year gas supply contract signed with
Gazprom in 2006, that will remove Russian subsidies on gas in
full by 2011.  The average import price Belarus paid in 2009 was
$148 per 1,000 cubic meters.  In the first quarter of 2010,
Belarus will pay $168, and given the current trends in world
prices, expects the price to go up $4 in the 2nd quarter "unless
we have contract adjustments," the official explained.  Belarus
has already been forced to raise natural gas prices for its
industrial consumers by 25% to $217.7 per 1,000 cubic meters.
The country imported a total of 17.6 billion cubic meters of
Russian natural gas in 2009 - 20.4% short of the agreed volume,
but Gazprom, according to Russian Ambassador to Belarus
Alexander Surikov, is not likely to seek compensation from
Belarus for importing less than agreed.  At the same time,
Belarus' Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Yevdochenko stated on
February 16 that Belarus objected to the Gazprom's monopoly of
gas supply within the Belarusian, Russian, and Kazakhstani
Customs Union. Commenting on the wish of the Belarusian
authorities to revise Gazprom's monopoly on gas supplies to
Belarus the Russian Ambassador said that Belarus must respect
the monopoly of Russia's Gazprom on natural gas export. When
Belarusian monopoly exporters supply tractors and trucks to
Russia, "this is considered normal but when a single Russian
exporter supplies natural gas, it is considered wrong," he argued 

8. IMF Most Likely To Issue Final SBA Tranche in late March 

An IMF staff mission and the GOB have reached an agreement,
subject to approval by the IMF Executive Board at the end of
March, on completion of the fourth and final review of the $3.52
billion Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) with Belarus, the IMF
announced.  The final tranche is valued at approximately $700
million under the current SBA.  According to the IMF staff
mission statement, "performance under the economic program
supported by the SBA has been good.  All end-December
performance criteria and structural benchmarks were met~ The
recent agreement with Russia on the pricing of imported crude
oil, in the absence of any offsetting measures, would widen
significantly the current account deficit and the general
government deficit.  The government is taking strong actions to 

MINSK 00000059  004.3 OF 004 

contain the effects of the oil price increase on the budget and
the balance of payments, and Fund staff support these measures.
Monetary policy and, more specifically, further tightening of
the limits on lending under government programs would support
the credibility of the exchange rate regime.  The current
exchange rate regime remains appropriate~  The authorities made
good progress on the financial sector issues~ The privatization
process has been slower than expected and the authorities need
to step it up to reduce government intervention in the economy
and to attract foreign direct investment.  The mission reached
understandings with the authorities on the measures which would
move the privatization process forward~  The authorities
expressed interest in continued cooperation with the IMF after
the expiration of the current program.  A possible follow-up
program with the Fund could be considered upon the completion of
the current [15-month] SBA."  The estimated external financial
gap that GOB will face in 2010 is $2 billion. 

9. Belarus Suspends Unilateral WTO Accession Talks 

Belarus Foreign Ministry official, Anton Kudasaw, announced on
February 19 that the WTO will soon take up consideration of the
possibility of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia jointly joining
WTO as a single Customs Union.  A negotiating team has been
formed to hold consultations with WTO members on the
simultaneous accession of the three countries. "Our side is
suspending unilateral negotiations on accession to the WTO," the
official explained.  Negotiations may begin after WTO members
study the explanatory notes for the Customs Union that are
expected to be submitted soon. 

-----------------
Quote of the Week
----------------- 

10. Speaking at the seminar for ideology officials of Minsk
region on February 17 the Fist Deputy Head of the Presidential
Administration Natalia Petkevich said: 

"Political and economic culture of Belarusians has grown. As a
result, their attitude to life and the world has become more
critical. In this context, ideology methods should change. They
should not be prohibitive. One should act subtler, wiser and
more cunningly~ We need an informal approach. The time of
slogans is gone. We should proceed from life and follow the
needs of people. If they need information, you should give it to
them. Otherwise, they will get it from other sources~ Let the
information originate from ideology services rather than
opposition websites."
SCANLAN

TOP-SECRET: DOCUMENTS ON SYRIAN SUPPORT FOR TERRORISM

O 190550Z DEC 86
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO ALL DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR POSTS IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY BEIRUT IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY KABUL IMMEDIATE
AMEMBASSY MOSCOW IMMEDIATE
AMCONSUL LENINGRAD IMMEDIATE
UNCLAS STATE 391887 

FOR POLITICAL OFFICERS, INFO PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICERS 

E.O. 12356:   N/A
TAGS: PTER SY
SUBJECT:      DOCUMENTS ON SYRIAN SUPPORT FOR TERRORISM 

1.  FOLLOWING IS THE TEXT OF A FACT PAPER ON SYRIAN
SUPPORT FOR TERRORISM AND A CHRONOLOGY OF SELECTED
TERRORIST INCIDENTS BY SYRIAN-SUPPORTED GROUPS.  EARLIER
VERSIONS OF BOTH DOCUMENTS WERE RELEASED TO THE PRESS ON
NOVEMBER 14 AND APPEARED IN THE USIA WIRELESS FILE ON
THAT DATE.  BOTH DOCUMENTS HAVE NOW BEEN REVISED TO
REFLECT THE HASI CONVICTION IN WEST BERLIN ON NOVEMBER
26.  WE ASSUME USIS MADE APPROPRIATE USE OF THE MATERIAL
APPEARING IN THE WIRELESS FILE.  WE ARE SENDING THE
REVISED VERSIONS SO THAT POLOFFS MAY SHARE THE
INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THESE DOCUMENTS WITH HOST
GOVERNMENTS. 

2.  (BEGIN TEXT OF FACT PAPER) 

DECEMBER 5, 1986 

SYRIAN SUPPORT FOR INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM:  1983-1986 

NEW EVIDENCE OF SYRIAN SUPPORT FOR AND DIRECT INVOLVEMENT
IN INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM HAS BEEN BROUGHT TO LIGHT IN
TWO RECENT TRIALS INCLUDING THE CONVICTION IN GREAT
BRITAIN OF NIZAR HINDAWI FOR THE ATTEMPTED BOMBING OF AN
EL AL CIVILIAN AIRPLANE WITH 375 PASSENGERS ABOARD. 

SYRIA CLEARLY HAS A LONG RECORD OF INVOLVEMENT IN
TERRORISM.  SYRIA IS ONE OF THE "CHARTER MEMBERS" OF
COUNTRIES ON THE U.S. GOVERNMENT'S TERRORISM LIST, WHICH
WAS FIRST COMPILED IN 1979.  (COUNTRIES CURRENTLY ON THE
LIST ARE SYRIA, LIBYA, IRAN, SOUTH YEMEN, AND CUBA.) 

THE PATTERN OF SYRIAN ACTIVITY IN SUPPORT OF TERRORISM
HAS VARIED.  FROM THE MID-1970'S THROUGH 1983, SYRIAN
PERSONNEL ARE KNOWN TO HAVE BEEN DIRECTLY INVOLVED IN
TERRORIST OPERATIONS.  THESE OPERATIONS WERE PRIMARILY
DIRECTED AGAINST OTHER ARABS, SUCH AS SYRIAN DISSIDENTS,
MODERATE ARAB STATES SUCH AS JORDAN, AND PRO-ARAFAT
PALESTINIANS, AS WELL AS ISRAELI AND JEWISH TARGETS.  IN
1982, FOR EXAMPLE, A CAR BOMB EXPLODED IN FRONT OF THE
OFFICES OF A LEBANESE-OWNED PRO-IRAQI NEWSPAPER IN
DOWNTOWN PARIS, KILLING ONE PERSON AND INJURING SCORES OF
OTHERS.  FRANCE LATER EXPELLED TWO SYRIAN DIPLOMATS AND
ORDERED ITS AMBASSADOR HOME FOR CONSULTATIONS. 

BY LATE 1983 DAMASCUS HAD CURTAILED USE OF ITS OWN
PERSONNEL.  INSTEAD, IT BEGAN TO RELY MORE HEAVILY ON
TERRORIST GROUPS MADE UP OF NON-SYRIANS WHO HAVE BASES
AND TRAINING FACILITIES IN SYRIA AND SYRIAN-OCCUPIED
AREAS OF LEBANON.  THE MOST NOTORIOUS OF THESE IS THE ABU
NIDAL ORGANIZATION. 

AVAILABLE EVIDENCE INDICATES THAT SYRIA PREFERS TO
SUPPORT GROUPS WHOSE ACTIVITIES ARE GENERALLY IN LINE
WITH SYRIAN OBJECTIVES, RATHER THAN TO SELECT TARGETS OR
CONTROL OPERATIONS ITSELF.  DAMASCUS UTILIZES THESE
GROUPS TO ATTACK OR INTIMIDATE ENEMIES AND OPPONENTS AND
TO EXERT ITS INFLUENCE IN THE REGION.  YET AT THE SAME
TIME IT CAN DISAVOW KNOWLEDGE OF THEIR OPERATIONS.  SUCH
SYRIAN-SUPPORTED GROUPS HAVE CARRIED OUT SCORES OF
ATTACKS AGAINST PALESTINIAN AND OTHER ARAB, TURKISH,
ISRAELI AND WESTERN TARGETS DURING THE PAST THREE
YEARS. 

THIS YEAR, INVESTIGATIONS INTO MAJOR INCIDENTS HAVE
REVEALED ANOTHER CHANGE IN SYRIAN ACTIVITIES:  THAT SYRIA
HAS NOT ABANDONED ITS WILLINGNESS TO BE DIRECTLY INVOLVED
IN TERRORIST ATTACKS.  THE BRITISH TRIAL AND
INVESTIGATION OF THE ABORTIVE EL AL BOMBING EXPOSED THE
DIRECT INVOLVEMENT OF PRESIDENT ASSAD'S INTELLIGENCE
SERVICES.  AND THE WEST BERLIN TRIAL INTO THE BOMBING OF
THE GERMAN-ARAB FRIENDSHIP UNION IN WEST BERLIN REVEAED
THE INVOLVEMENT OF SYRIAN OFFICIALS.  TO A LARGE DEGREE,
SYRIA HAD BEEN SUCCESSFUL IN COVERING ITS TRACKS.  NOW,
HOWEVER, IN BRITAIN AND BERLIN, EVIDENCE OF MORE DIRECT
SYRIAN INVOLVEMENT HAS EMERGED. 

LONDON AND BERLIN INVESTIGATIONS 

IN THE BRITISH INVESTIGATION OF THE ABORTED EL AL ATTACK,
HINDAWI TOLD BRITISH POLICE HE WAS RECRUITED BY HAITHAM
SAID, AN AIDE TO MAJOR GENERAL AL-KHULI, CHIEF OF SYRIAN
AIR FORCE INTELLIGENCE.  ACCORDING TO THE EVIDENCE
PRESENTED AT THE TRIAL, AL-KHULI'S OPERATIVES: (1)
SUPPLIED HINDAWI, A JORDANIAN, WITH A SYRIAN PASSPORT;
(2) GAVE HIM DOLLARS 12,000 AND PROMISED HIM MORE MONEY
WHEN HE COMPLETED HIS MISSION TO PLANT A BOMB ABOARD AN
EL AL CIVILIAN AIRLINER; (3) PROVIDED HIM WITH THE BOMB
WHICH WAS CARRIED INTO LONDON ABOARD THE SYRIAN ARAB
AIRLINES, WHICH ALSO GAVE HIM SAA CREW MEMBER HOTEL
ACCOMMODATIONS; AND (4) TRAINED HIM IN THE BOMB'S USE. 

HINDAWI TRIED TO USE HIS PREGNANT GIRL FRIEND AS THE
UNWITTING CARRIER OF THE SOPHISTICATED BOMB WHICH WAS
BUILT INTO HER CARRY-ON BAG.  IF AN ALERT SECURITY
OFFICIAL HAD NOT SPOTTED THE DEVICE AFTER HER BAG CLEARED
AN EARLIER CHECK, 375 INNOCENT PERSONS, INCLUDING SOME
230 AMERICANS, WOULD HAVE PERISHED. 

AFTER THE APRIL 17 PLAN FAILED, ACCORDING TO EVIDENCE
PRESENTED AT THE TRIAL, HINDAWI FOLLOWED INSTRUCTIONS TO
GO TO THE SYRIAN EMBASSY, WHERE HE WAS GREETED BY THE
AMBASSADOR AND HIDDEN IN A SYRIAN SAFEHOUSE IN LONDON.
BRITISH PRESS REPORTS OF THE INVESTIGATION SAY BRITAIN
ALSO HAS EVIDENCE THAT THE SYRIAN AMBASSADOR IN LONDON
WAS PERSONALLY INVOLVED SEVERAL MONTHS BEFORE THE
ATTEMPTED BOMBING IN RECRUITING HINDAWI FOR SYRIAN
INTELLIGENCE. 

IN WEST BERLIN, HINDAWI'S BROTHER, AHMAD HASI, AND
ANOTHER ARAB, FAROUK SALAMEH, WERE CONVICTED FOR THE
MARCH 29 BOMBING OF THE GERMAN-ARAB FRIENDSHIP UNION IN
WEST BERLIN IN WHICH ELEVEN PERSONS WERE INJURED.  IN A
SWORN STATEMENT, HASI SAID HE PICKED UP THIS BOMB AT THE
SYRIAN EMBASSY IN EAST BERLIN FROM A SENIOR SYRIAN AIR
FORCE INTELLIGENCE OFFICER, HAITHEM SAEED, AND A SYRIAN
EXPLOSIVES EXPERT WAS SENT FROM DAMASCUS TO REPAIR THE
DEVICE AFTER IT TWICE FAILED TO EXPLODE. 

ABU NIDAL 

SYRIA CONTINUES TO SUPPORT THE MOST ACTIVE AND BRUTAL
INTERNATIONAL TERRORIST GROUP OPERATING TODAY, ABU NIDAL.
(SEE NOTE BELOW)  ALTHOUGH ABU NIDAL NOW ALSO RECEIVES
BACKING AND SUPPORT FROM LIBYA, AND SANCTUARY IN EASTERN
EUROPE, DAMASCUS HAS PROVIDED ABU NIDAL WITH IMPORTANT
LOGISTICAL SUPPORT EVER SINCE THE GROUP MOVED FROM IRAQ
IN 1983.  SYRIA ALLOWS ABU NIDAL'S GROUP TO MAINTAIN
TRAINING CAMPS IN THE LEBANESE BIQA' VALLEY, AN AREA
UNDER THE CONTROL OF THE SYRIAN ARMED FORCES.  SYRIA
PROVIDES THE GROUP WITH TRAVEL DOCUMENTS AND PERMITS ITS
OPERATIVES TO TRANSIT FREELY THROUGH DAMASCUS WHEN
DEPARTING ON MISSIONS.  SYRIA CONTINUES TO PERMIT
OPERATION OF ABU NIDAL FACILITIES IN DAMASCUS.  (THE
SYRIAN GOVERNMENT ASSERTS THAT THE SOLE FUNCTION OF THESE
FACILITIES IS LIMITED TO CULTURAL AND POLITICAL AFFAIRS.) 

ALTHOUGH LAST DECEMBER'S ROME AIRPORT ATTACK WAS
COMMITTED UNDER LIBYAN SPONSORSHIP, THE SURVIVING MEMBER
OF THE FOUR-MAN TERRORIST TEAM, ACCORDING TO REPORTS ON
THE ITALIAN INVESTIGATION, TOLD INVESTIGATORS THE TEAM
WAS TRAINED IN SYRIAN-OCCUPIED AREAS OF LEBANON BY
SYRIANS.  THE TEAM THEN TRAVELED TO DAMASCUS, WHERE IT
REMAINED WHILE FINAL PREPARATIONS WERE MADE FOR THE
ATTACK IN WHICH 16 CIVILIANS AND 3 TERRORISTS WERE
KILLED. 

IN ANKARA ON NOVEMBER 6, TURKISH PROSECUTERS ISSUED AN
INDICTMENT ACCUSING SIX PALESTINIANS WORKING FOR THE ABU
NIDAL ORGANIZATION OF KILLING A JORDANIAN DIPLOMAT IN
JULY, 1985.  THE INDICTMENT ALSO LINKED THE MEN WITH FOUR
OTHER ACTIONS, INCLUDING THE SEPTEMBER 6, 1986 ATTACK ON
AN ISTANBUL SYNAGOGUE, KILLING 21 PERSONS AND A 1983
ATTEMPT TO PLACE A BOMB ON AN ALITALIA FLIGHT, AND THE
ATTEMPTED CAR BOMBING OF A U.S. OFFICERS CLUB IN IZMIR IN
1983. 

(BEGIN NOTE)  THE OFFICIAL NAME OF THE ABU NIDAL
ORGANIZATION IS "FATAH - REVOLUTIONARY COUNCIL."  IT IS
HEADED BY SABRI AL-BANNA, A PALESTINIAN WHO USES THE NOM
DE GUERRE ABU NIDAL.  THE GROUP'S ORIGINAL NAME WAS THE
BLACK JUNE ORGANIZATION WHEN IT WAS FORMED IN 1976.
IRONICALLY, THIS GROUP FIRST CONCENTRATED ON SYRIAN
TARGETS, INCLUDING AN ATTACK ON SYRIAN FOREIGN MINISTER
KHADDAM, NOW VICE PRESIDENT, IN 1977.  (END NOTE) 

THE ABU NIDAL ORGANIZATION'S MOVE TO SYRIA IN 1983 WAS
FOLLOWED BY A DRAMATIC INCREASE IN THE GROUP'S TERRORIST
ATTACKS:  MORE THAN A DOZEN ATTACKS IN 1984 AND TWICE
THAT NUMBER IN 1985.  MORE THAN HALF OF THE 1985 ATTACKS
OCCURRED IN WESTERN EUROPE, INCLUDING ATTACKS ON BRITISH
TOURISTS AT HOTELS IN ATHENS.   WHEN KING HUSSEIN
LAUNCHED HIS FEBRUARY 1985 PEACE INITIATIVE, JORDAN
BECAME A MAJOR TARGET.  BUT WHEN JORDANIAN-SYRIAN
RELATIONS BEGAN TO WARM IN MID-1985, ATTACKS ON
JORDANIANS AT HOME AND ABROAD DIMINISHED. 

IN ITS DEALINGS WITH WESTERN COUNTRIES, SYRIA HAS
CONSISTENTLY TRIED TO PLAY DOWN THE IMPORTANCE OF ITS
CONNECTION WITH ABU NIDAL AND HAS DENIED PERMITTING HIS
GROUP TO ENGAGE IN TERRORIST ACTIVITY.  HOWEVER, THERE IS
NO EVIDENCE THAT DAMASCUS HAS ACTUALLY RESTRAINED ABU
NIDAL'S ACTIVITIES (ABU NIDAL TRAINING CAMPS IN THE
SYRIAN-CONTROLLED BIQA' VALLEY CONTINUE TO OPERATE FOR
EXAMPLE) OR CUT BACK ON OTHER FORMS OF SUPPORT.  ALTHOUGH
IT MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT EVERY OPERATION, GIVEN THE AMOUNT
AND NATURE OF SYRIAN SUPPORT, DAMASCUS COULD INFLUENCE
AND CONSTRAIN THE ABU NIDAL GROUP'S ACTIVITIES IN SYRIA
AND SYRIAN-CONTROLLED AREAS OF LEBANON IF IT CHOSE TO DO
SO. 

OTHER SYRIAN-SUPPORTED PALESTINIAN GROUPS 

SYRIA ALSO PROVIDES VARYING AMOUNTS OF SUPPORT TO OTHER
RADICAL PALESTINIAN GROUPS.  THESE INCLUDE:  SAIQA, WHICH
IS UNDER TOTAL SYRIAN CONTROL; THE ABU MUSA GROUP, NOW
ALMOST TOTALLY DEPENDENT ON DAMASCUS; THE POPULAR FRONT
FOR THE LIBERATION OF PALESTINE--GENERAL COMMAND
(PFLP-GC); AND THE MARXIST POPULAR FRONT FOR THE
LIBERATION OF PALESTINE (PFLP), WHICH NOW MAINTAINS ITS
PRINCIPAL BASE IN DAMASCUS. 

IN ALL, SYRIAN-SPONSORED GROUPS, INCLUDING THE ABU NIDAL
ORGANIZATION, WERE LINKED TO ABOUT 30 TERRORIST ATTACKS
DURING 1985, A QUARTER OF THEM IN GREECE ALONE.  THE ABU
MUSA GROUP ANNOUNCED FROM DAMASCUS ITS RESPONSIBILITY FOR
ANOTHER ATTEMPT TO BOMB AN EL AL AIRLINER, IN MADRID ON
JUNE 26 OF THIS YEAR.  THE SUSPECT IN THAT ATTEMPT HAS
ADMITTED BEING A MEMBER OF THE GROUP.  TWO WEEKS LATER,
OTHER GROUPS SUPPORTED BY SYRIA, THE PFLP AND THE
LEBANESE SYRIAN SOCIAL NATIONALIST PARTY, ATTEMPTED AN
ATTACK ON AN ISRAELI RESORT TOWN ON JULY 10, 1986. 

SUPPORT FOR NON-PALESTINIAN TERRORISTS 

IN ADDITION TO THE RADICAL PALESTINIAN GROUPS, A VARIETY
OF OTHER TERRORISTS HAVE FACILITIES AND RECEIVED
TERRORIST TRAINING IN SYRIA OR SYRIAN-CONTROLLED AREAS OF
LEBANON:  THE JAPANESE RED ARMY, THE KURDISH LABOR PARTY,
THE ARMENIAN SECRET ARMY FOR THE LIBERATION OF ARMENIA
(ASALA), AND THE PAKISTANI AL ZULFIKAR.  IN ADDITION, THE
LEBANESE ARMED REVOLUTIONARY FACTION (LARF) IS BASED IN
THE LEBANESE VILLAGE OF QUBAYAT, WITHIN THE AREA OF
SYRIAN CONTROL IN LEBANON. 

TO THESE GROUPS MUST BE ADDED THE INDIVIDUAL
INTERNATIONAL TERRORISTS WHO FREQUENT DAMASCUS.   BRUNO
BREGUET, AN ASSOCIATE OF CARLOS, THE INTERNATIONAL
TERRORIST, WAS ARRESTED IN PARIS IN FEBRUARY 1982 FOR
TRANSPORTING ARMS AND EXPLOSIVES.  LATER RELEASED, HE WAS
RECENTLY SIGHTED ON A FLIGHT TO DAMASCUS, MET ON ARRIVAL
BY SYRIAN AUTHORITIES, AND ESCORTED THROUGH THE AIRPORT
WITHOUT HAVING TO PASS THROUGH THE NORMAL CONTROLS.
EVIDENCE EXISTS THAT FREDERIC ORIACH, A MILITANT MEMBER
OF THE  FRENCH ACTION DIRECT, SPENT JULY AND AUGUST 1986
IN DAMASCUS PURSUING IDEOLOGICAL AND MILITARY STUDIES. 

CASUALTIES AND CONTROL 

ATTACKS BY SYRIAN-SUPPORTED GROUPS SINCE 1983 HAVE KILLED
OR WOUNDED NEARLY 500 PEOPLE. 

SYRIAN-SUPPORTED GROUPS HAVE ATTACKED U.S. FACILITIES IN
THE MIDDLE EAST OVER 10 TIMES SINCE 1983.  IN JORDAN LAST
YEAR, FOR EXAMPLE, THE SYRIAN-SPONSORED JORDANIAN PEOPLES
REVOLUTIONARY PARTY ATTEMPTED TWO ANTI-U.S. ATTACKS.
BOMBS WERE FOUND AT A USAID EMPLOYEE'S HOME AND AT THE
AMERICAN CENTER FOR ORIENTAL STUDIES.  THESE OPERATIONS,
AS WELL AS OTHERS AIMED AGAINST JORDANIAN TARGETS, HAVE
HALTED SINCE THE SYRIAN-JORDANIAN RAPPROCHEMENT LATE LAST
YEAR--UNDERSCORING SYRIA'S ABILITY, IF IT WISHES, TO
CONTROL ITS SURROGATES' ACTIVITIES AND TO SEVERELY CURB
THE CAPABILITY OF THOSE TO WHOM IT PROVIDED SAFE HAVEN
AND SUPPORT. 

THIS HAS BEEN ACKNOWLEDGED BY A TOP SYRIAN OFFICIAL WHO
TRIED TO DISMISS, IN A WASHINGTON POST PRESS INTERV1EW
THIS SEPTEMBER, EVIDENCE THAT ABU NIDAL'S GROUP WAS
INVOLVED IN TERRORIST ATTACKS.  SYRIAN FOREIGN MINISTER
FAROUK CHARAA SAID IN DISCUSSING THE ACTIONS OF THE ABU
NIDAL GROUP:  "WHOEVER KNOWS MY GOVERNMENT MUST REALIZE
THAT SUCH ATTACKS COULD NOT BE CARRIED OUT WITHOUT ITS
AWARENESS."  (END TEXT OF FACT PAPER.) 

3.  (BEGIN TEXT OF CHRONOLOGY) 

CHRONOLOGY OF SELECTED TERRORIST INCIDENTS BY
SYRIAN-SUPPORTED GROUPS:  1983-1986 

 THE FOLLOWING LIST OF TERRORIST INCIDENTS IS NOT
INTENDED TO BE ALL-INCLUSIVE BUT IS ILLUSTRATIVE OF
SYRIA'S INVOLVEMENT IN AND SUPPORT FOR TERRORISM AND
TERRORIST GROUPS.  THE GROUPS CITED HERE HAVE LINKS WITH
SYRIA. 

1986 

26 NOVEMBER WEST BERLIN.  A COURT CONVICTED TWO ARABS FOR
        THE MARCH 29 BOMBING OF THE GERMAN-ARAB
        FRIENDSHIP UNION WHICH INJURED 11 PERSONS.  IN
        A SWORN STATEMENT ONE OF THE DEFENDENTS, AHMAD
        HASI, SAID HE PICKED UP THE BOMB AT THE SYRIAN
        EMBASSY IN EAST BERLIN FROM A SYRIAN AIR FORCE
        INTELLIGENCE OFFICER.  HASI IS A BROTHER OF
        NIZAR HINDAWI, WHO WAS CONVICTED IN A BRITISH
        COURT FOR THE ATTEMPTED BOMBING OF AN EL AL
        AIRLINER. 

6 NOVEMBER  TURKEY.  TURKISH PROSECUTORS ISSUED AN
        INDICTMENT ACCUSING SIX PALESTINIANS WORKING
        FOR THE ABU NIDAL ORGANIZATION OF KILLING A
        JORDANIAN DIPLOMAT IN JULY 1985.  AN ARREST
        WARRANT ALSO WAS ISSUED FOR THE SYRIAN EMBASSY
        SECOND SECRETARY, MOHAMMED DARWICHI, WHO WAS
        ONE OF THE ORIGINAL DEFENDENTS AND LEFT
        TURKEY.  THE INDICTMENT ALSO LINKED MEMBERS OF
        THE GROUP WITH FOUR OTHER ACTIONS:  THE
        SEPTEMBER 6, 1986 ATTACK ON AN ISTANBUL
        SYNAGOGUE, WHICH KILLED 22 PERSONS; AN ATTEMPT
        TO PLACE A BOMB ON AN ALITALIA FLIGHT IN 1983;
        THE ATTEMPTED CAR BOMBING OF A U.S. OFFICERS'
        CLUB IN IZMIR IN 1983, AND THE KILLING OF A
        PALESTINIAN STUDENT IN ANKARA IN 1982. 

26 JUNE     MADRID.  A SPANIARD ATTEMPTED TO BOARD AN EL
       AL FLIGHT WITH A SUITCASE BOMB, APPARENTLY
       WITHOUT KNOWING IT.  THE SUSPECT ARRESTED BY
       SPANISH POLICE CARRIED A SYRIAN PASSPORT.  A
       SPOKESMAN FOR THE ABU MUSA GROUP, WHICH IS
       ALMOST TOTALLY DEPENDENT ON DAMASCUS, CLAIMED
       RESPONSIBILITY FOR PLANTING THE BOMB, ALTHOUGH
       THE SYRIAN GOVERNMENT DENIED INVOLVEMENT. 

17 APRIL  LONDON.  EL AL SECURITY DISCOVERED A SYRIAN-MADE
      BOMB IN THE LUGGAGE OF AN IRISH WOMAN AS SHE
      ATTEMPTED TO BOARD A PLANE FOR TEL AVIV.  A
      BRITISH COURT FOUND HER BOYFRIEND, NIZAR
      HINDAWI, GUILTY OF THE ATTEMPTED BOMBING, AND
      THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCED THAT IT HAD
      CONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE OF SYRIAN OFFICIAL
      INVOLVEMENT IN THE TERRORIST ACT. 

2 MARCH   WEST BANK.  TWO GUNMEN ASSASSINATED THE MAYOR OF
      NABLUS, ZAFER AL-MASRI, A PALESTINIAN APPOINTED
      BY ISRAEL.  BOTH THE ABU NIDAL GROUP AND THE
      POPULAR FRONT FOR LIBERATION OF PALESTINE
      CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY. 

1985 

27 DEC.   ROME AND VIENNA.  ABU NIDAL TERRORISTS
      SIMULTANEOUSLY ATTACKED EL AL TICKET COUNTERS IN
      THE ROME AND VIENNA AIRPORTS, KILLING MORE THAN
      20 PEOPLE, INCLUDING FIVE AMERICANS, AND
      WOUNDING SOME 120 OTHERS.  (ALTHOUGH THESE
      ATTACKS WERE COMMITTED UNDER LIBYAN SPONSORSHIP,
      REPORTS ON THE ITALIAN INVESTIGATION INDICATE
      THAT THE ROME TERRORIST TEAM RECEIVED TRAINING
      IN SYRIAN-CONTROLLED AREAS OF LEBANON AND PASSED
      THROUGH DAMASCUS.) 

30 SEPT.  NETHERLANDS.  A SMALL BOMB DAMAGED THE EL AL
      OFFICE OF AMSTERDAM.  FATAH REVOLUTIONARY
      COUNCIL--THE ABU NIDAL GROUP'S OFFICIAL
      NAME--CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY. 

25 SEPT.  ITALY.  A BOMB EXPLODED IN A BRITISH AIRWAYS
      OFFICE IN ROME, INJURING 15 PEOPLE.  POLICE
      ARRESTED HASSAN ITAB FLEEING THE SCENE.  ITAB
      CLAIMED HE WAS A MEMBER OF THE REVOLUTIONARY
      ORGANIZATION OF SOCIALIST MOSLEMS, AN ABU NIDAL
      "COVER" NAME, AND WAS LATER IDENTIFIED BY
      WITNESSES AS THE SAME MAN WHO THREW A GRENADE AT
      THE JORDANIAN AIRLINE OFFICE IN ATHENS IN MARCH. 

18 SEPT.  GREECE.  MICHEL NIMRI, A JORDANIAN MAGAZINE
      PUBLISHER AND REPORTEDLY A PERSONAL FRIEND OF
      YASSIR ARAFAT, WAS ASSASSINATED IN ATHENS.
      BLACK SEPTEMBER, A NAME USED BY THE ABU NIDAL
      GROUP, CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY THE NEXT DAY. 

16 SEPT.  ITALY.  A GRENADE ATTACK ON A ROME SIDEWALK CAFE
      INJURED 38 TOURISTS, INCLUDING NINE AMERICANS.
      POLICE ARRESTED A PALESTINIAN IN CONNECTION WITH
      THE ATTACK.  THE REVOLUTIONARY ORGANIZATION OF
      SOCIALIST MOSLEMS, ANOTHER SYRIAN-LINKED GROUP,
      CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY ON 19 SEPTEMBER. 

3 SEPT.   GREECE.  TERRORISTS THREW HAND GRENADES THAT
      WOUNDED 19 BRITISH TOURISTS AT THE GLYFADA HOTEL
      IN ATHENS.  BLACK SEPTEMBER CLAIMED THE ATTACK
      WAS TO PRESSURE THE GREEK AUTHORITIES TO RELEASE
      A MAN ARRESTED NEAR THE JORDANIAN EMBASSY ON 31
      AUGUST. 

31 AUGUST GREECE.  POLICE ARRESTED A HEAVILY ARMED MAN
      NEAR THE JORDANIAN EMBASSY IN ATHENS.  SAMIR
      SALAMEH ACKNOWLEDGED MEMBERSHIP IN BLACK
      SEPTEMBER AND CLAIMED HE PLANNED TO ASSASSINATE
      THE JORDANIAN AMBASSADOR. 

8 AUGUST  GREECE.  A BOMB EXPLODED IN THE KITCHEN OF THE
      LONDON HOTEL IN ATHENS, INJURING 13 PEOPLE--NINE
      OF THEM BRITISH SUBJECTS.  THE REVOLUTIONARY
      ORGANIZATION OF SOCIALIST MOSLEMS CLAIMED
      RESPONSIBILITY, CONTENDING THE HOTEL WAS A
      "HIDEOUT" FOR BRITISH SPIES. 

24 JULY   TURKEY.  THE FIRST SECRETARY AT THE JORDANIAN
      EMBASSY IN ANKARA WAS ASSASSINATED BY A LONE
      GUNMAN.  THE INCIDENT WAS CLAIMED BY BLACK
      SEPTEMBER. 

11 JULY   KUWAIT.  TWO BOMBS EXPLODED WITHIN MINUTES OF
      EACH OTHER KILLING EIGHT PEOPLE AND INJURING 89
      IN TWO CAFES ABOUT TEN KILOMETERS APART.  THE
      ARAB REVOLUTIONARY BRIGADES CLAIMED
      RESPONSIBILITY. 

1 JULY    SPAIN.  A BOMB EXPLODED AT THE BRITISH AIRWAYS
      TICKET OFFICE IN MADRID, ALSO DAMAGING THE TWA
      OFFICE UPSTAIRS.  THE ALIA ROYAL JORDANIAN
      AIRLINES TICKET OFFICE NEARBY WAS HIT BY
      AUTOMATIC WEAPONS FIRE AND TWO GRENADES THAT
      FAILED TO EXPLODE.  ONE PERSON WAS KILLED AND 27
      WERE WOUNDED.  CLAIMED BY ORGANIZATION OF THE
      OPPRESSED, REVOLUTIONARY ORGANIZATION OF
      SOCIALIST MOSLEMS, AND BLACK SEPTEMBER. 

4 APRIL   GREECE.  A ROCKET WAS FIRED AT A JORDANIAN
      AIRLINER AS IT WAS TAKING OFF FROM ATHENS
     AIRPORT.  THE PROJECTILE HIT THE PLAN BUT DID
     NOT EXPLODE.  BLACK SEPTEMBER CLAIMED
     RESPONSIBILITY. 

3 APRIL   ITALY.  A ROCKET NARROWLY MISSED THE JORDANIAN
     EMBASSY ON THE FIFTH FLOOR OF AN OFFICE BUILDING
     IN ROME.  NO CASUALTIES WERE REPORTED.  BLACK
     SEPTEMBER CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY. 

21 MARCH  ITALY.  THREE UNIDENTIFIED MEN THREW HAND
     GRENADES INTO A JORDANIAN AIRLINE OFFICE IN
     ROME, INJURING TWO PEOPLE.  BLACK SEPTEMBER
     CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY. 

21 MARCH  GREECE.  AN UNIDENTIFIED MAN THREW A HAND
     GRENADE INTO THE JORDANIAN AIRLINE OFFICE IN
     ATHENS, INJURING THREE PEOPLE.  CLAIMED BY BLACK
     SEPTEMBER.  (SEE SEPTEMBER 25, 1985 INCIDENT.) 

21 MARCH  CYPRUS.  AN UNIDENTIFIED MAN THREW TWO HAND
     GRENADES INTO THE JORDANIAN AIRLINE OFFICE IN
     NICOSIA.  CLAIMED BY BLACK SEPTEMBER. 

9 MARCH   UNITED ARAB EMIRATES.  A BOMB WAS FOUND ON A
     JORDANIAN AIRLINER.  THE YOUNG PALESTINIAN WHO
     CARRIED THE BOMB ONTO THE KARACHI-TO-AMMAN
     FLIGHT SAID HE THOUGHT HE WAS TRANSPORTING DRUGS
     TO SUPPORT ABU NIDAL TERRORIST OPERATIONS. 

22 FEB.   JORDAN.  THE JORDANIAN PEOPLE'S REVOLUTIONARY
     PARTY PLACED A BOMB AT THE AMERICAN CENTER FOR
     ORIENTAL RESEARCH IN AMMAN.  THE BOMB WAS FOUND
     AND DEFUSED. 

10 JAN.   JORDAN.  A BOMB PLANTED BY THE JORDANIAN
     PEOPLE'S REVOLUTIONARY PARTY WAS DEFUSED NEAR A
     USAID EMPLOYEE'S HOME.  THE EXPLOSIVES HAD
     NEITHER A POWER SOURCE NOR A TIMING DEVICE. 

1984 

29 DEC.   JORDAN.  TWO UNIDENTIFIED GUNMEN ASSASSINATED
     FAH AL-QAWASMEH, A MEMBER OF THE PLO EXECUTIVE
     COMMITTEE AND FORMER MAYOR OF HEBRON, OUTSIDE
     HIS HOME IN AMMAN.  TWO WITNESSES TO THE
     SHOOTING WERE INJURED BY GUNFIRE AS THEY TRIED
     TO BLOCK THE ASSASSINS' FLEEING VEHICLE.  BLACK
     SEPTEMBER CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY. 

14 DEC.   ITALY.  ISMAIL DARWISH, A LEADING MILITARY
      FIGURE IN THE FATAH MOVEMENT, WAS GUNNED DOWN ON
      A ROME STREET BY AN UNIDENTIFIED MAN WHO FLED ON
      A WAITING MOTOR SCOOTER.  ARAB REVOLUTIONARY
      BRIGADES CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY. 

4 DEC.    ROMANIA.  THE DEPUTY CHIEF OF MISSION OF THE
       JORDANIAN EMBASSY WAS SHOT AND KILLED AS HE WAS
      GETTING INTO HIS CAR IN BUCHAREST.  BLACK
      SEPTEMBER CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY. 

2 DEC.    JORDAN.  A GUARD DISCOVERED A BOMB CONCEALED IN
       AN ATTACHE CASE INSIDE THE AMERICAN LIFE
       INSURANCE AND CITIBANK BUILDING IN AMMAN.  BOMB
       TECHNICIANS DEFUSED THE DEVICE, WHICH CONTAINED
       18 BLOCKS OF TNT AND A TIMER.  THE JORDANIAN
       PEOPLE'S REVOLUTIONARY PARTY WAS LATER
       DETERMINED TO BE RESPONSIBLE. 

4 OCT.    CYPRUS.  A CAR BOMB EXPLODED BEHIND THE ISRAELI
       EMBASSY IN NICOSIA, SLIGHTLY INJURING ONE
       PERSON.  CLAIMED BY ABU MUSA'S FATAH DISSIDENT
       ORGANIZATION. 

13 AUGUST JORDAN.  JORDANIAN POLICE DEFUSED A BOMB
       CONSISTING OF SEVERAL HUNDRED GRAMS OF
       SOVIET-MADE EXPLOSIVES NEAR THE RESIDENCE OF A
       US EMBASSY OFFICIAL.  THE JORDANIAN PEOPLE'S
       REVOLUTIONARY PARTY WAS LATER DETERMINED TO BE
       RESPONSIBLE. 

11 AUGUST JORDAN.  MEMBERS OF THE JORDANIAN PEOPLE'S
       REVOLUTIONARY PARTY TRIED TO SET OFF A BOMB
       OUTSIDE THE JORDAN RADIO AND TELEVISION
       STATION.  THE BOMB WAS DISCOVERED AND DEFUSED. 

3 AUGUST  JORDAN.  A BOMB EXPLODED UNDER A WATER TRUCK
       PARKED NEAR THE U.S. EMBASSY WAREHOUSE IN
       AMMAN.  THERE WERE NO CASUALTIES AND ONLY MINOR
       DAMAGE.  THE ABU NIDAL GROUP CLAIMED
       RESPONSIBILITY. 

29 MAY    CYPRUS.  A FORMER SAIQA OFFICER WHO HAD SWITCHED
       HIS ALLEGIANCE TO ARAFAT, ABDULLAH AHMAD
       SULEIMAN EL SAADI, WAS MURDERED IN LIMASSOL.
       FOUR SYRIAN MEN AND TWO WOMEN WERE ARRESTED FOR
       THE MURDER AND SUBSEQUENTLY DEPORTED FROM CYPRUS. 

3 MAY     CYPRUS.  AN UNIDENTIFIED MAN SHOT AND KILLED
      PALESTINIAN PUBLISHER HANNA MUQBIL AND WOUNDED
      HIS SECRETARY IN NICOSIA.  MUQBIL WAS REPORTEDLY
      A FORMER MEMBER OF ABU NIDAL WHO HAD DEFECTED TO
      ARAFAT'S CAMP. 

24 MARCH  JORDAN.  A BOMB WAS DEFUSED OUTSIDE THE BRITISH
      CONSULATE IN AMMAN.  THE ABU NIDAL GROUP CLAIMED
      RESPONSIBILITY. 

24 MARCH  JORDAN.  A BOMB WAS DISCOVERED AND DEFUSED
      OUTSIDE THE BRITISH CULTURAL CENTER.  THE ABU
      NIDAL GROUP CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY. 

24 MARCH  JORDAN.  A BOMB EXPLODED IN THE PARKING LOT OF
      THE INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL, WHICH IS ACROSS THE
      STREET FROM THE U.S. EMBASSY, DAMAGING TWO
      VEHICLES AND SLIGHTLY INJURING A USAID EMPLOYEE
      AND HIS DAUGHTER.  A SECOND BOMB WAS DISCOVERED
      IN THE PARKING LOT AND DEFUSED.  THE ABU NIDAL
      GROUP CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY. 

1983 

29 DEC.   SPAIN.  TWO JORDANIAN EMBASSY EMPLOYEES WERE
      ATTACKED BY A LONE GUNMAN AS THEY WERE LEAVING
      THE EMBASSY.  WALID JAMAL BALKIS WAS KILLED
      INSTANTLY, AND IBRAHIM SAMI MOHAMMED WAS
      SERIOUSLY WOUNDED.  THE ARAB REVOLUTIONARY
      BRIGADES CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY. 

19 DEC.   TURKEY.  A CAR BOMB WAS DISCOVERED IN AN
      ABANDONED RENTAL CAR MIDWAY BETWEEN THE FRENCH
      CULTURAL HOUSE AND THE CORDON HOTEL USED BY
      AMERICAN MILITARY PERSONNEL IN IZMIR.  THE
      BOMB'S TIMER APPARENTLY MALFUNCTIONED.  TURKISH
      POLICE LINKED THE ABU NIDAL GROUP AND SYRIAN
      AGENTS TO THE INCIDENT. 

7 NOV.    GREECE.  TWO SECURITY GUARDS OF THE JORDANIAN
      EMBASSY WERE WOUNDED ON A CROWDED STREET IN
      ATHENS.  ONE OF THE TWO VICTIMS DIED FROM HIS
      WOUNDS.  THE ARAB REVOLUTIONARY BRIGADES CLAIMED
      RESPONSIBILITY. 

26 OCT.   ITALY.  THE JORDANIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE VATICAN
      AND HIS DRIVER WERE WOUNDED IN AN ASSASSINATION
      ATTEMPT IN ROME.  THE ARAB REVOLUTIONARY
      BRIGADES CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY. 

25 OCT.   INDIA.  JORDANIAN AMBASSADOR WOUNDED BY AN
     UNKNOWN ASSAILANT IN NEW DELHI.  CLAIMED BY THE
     ARAB REVOLUTIONARY BRIGADES. 

13 OCT.   JORDAN.  TWO HAND GRENADES WERE THROWN INTO A
     POLICE BARRACKS IN AMMAN.  A MEMBER OF THE
     POLICE RECRUITED BY SAIQA CONFESSED TO THE
     ATTACK.  LOCAL AUTHORITIES SUSPECTED THAT ABU
     NIDAL ELEMENTS MAY ALSO HAVE BEEN INVOLVED. 

21 AUGUST GREECE.  A HIGH-LEVEL PLO OFFICIAL, MA'MUM
     MURAYSH, WAS SHOT AND KILLED BY TWO UNIDENTIFIED
     MEN ON A MOTORCYCLE.  THE VICTIM'S SON AND HIS
     DRIVER WERE WOUNDED.  THE MOVEMENT FOR
     REBUILDING FATAH CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY. 

10 APRIL  PORTUGAL.  THE PLO OBSERVER TO AN INTERNATIOAL
     CONFERENCE OF SOCIALISTS, ISAM AL-SARTAWI, WAS
     SHOT TO DEATH IN A HOTEL LOBBY.  SARTAWI'S
     SECRETARY WAS SLIGHTLY WOUNDED IN THE ATTACK.
     THE ABU NIDAL GROUP CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY. 

1 JANUARY ISRAEL.  A GRENADE ATTACK ON A CIVILIAN BUS IN
     TEL AVIV INJURED 12.  BOTH SAIQA AND ABU NIDAL
     CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY. 

(END TEXT OF CHRONOLOGY.) 

4.  MINIMIZE CONSIDERED FOR BEIRUT, KABUL, MOSCOW, AND
LENINGRAD. 

SHULTZ

TOP-SECRET:TO SAVE DAN MITRIONE NIXON ADMINISTRATION URGED DEATH THREATS FOR URUGUAYAN PRISONERS

Dan Mitrione

TO SAVE DAN MITRIONE NIXON ADMINISTRATION URGED
DEATH THREATS FOR URUGUAYAN PRISONERS

In Response Uruguayan Security Forces Launched Death Squads to Hunt and Kill Insurgents

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 324

President Richard M. Nixon
Secretary of State William Rogers
U.S. ambassador to Uruguay Charles Adair
Uruguayan Foreign Minister Jorge Peirano

Washington, D.C., August 11, 2010 – Documents posted by the National Security Archive on the 40th anniversary of the death of U.S. advisor Dan Mitrione in Uruguay show the Nixon administration recommended a “threat to kill [detained insurgent] Sendic and other key [leftist insurgent] MLN prisoners if Mitrione is killed.” The secret cable from U.S. Secretary of State William Rogers, made public here for the first time, instructed U.S. Ambassador Charles Adair: “If this has not been considered, you should raise it with the Government of Uruguay at once.”

The message to the Uruguayan government, received by the U.S. Embassy at 11:30 am on August 9, 1970, was an attempt to deter Tupamaro insurgents from killing Mitrione at noon on that day. A few minutes later, Ambassador Adair reported back, in another newly-released cable, that “a threat was made to these prisoners that members of the ‘Escuadrón de la Muerte’ [death squad] would take action against the prisoners’ relatives if Mitrione were killed.”

Dan Mitrione, Director of the U.S. AID Office of Public Safety (OPS) in Uruguay and the main American advisor to the Uruguayan police at the time, had been held for ten days by MLN-Tupamaro insurgents demanding the release of some 150 guerrilla prisoners held by the Uruguayan government. Mitrione was found dead the morning of August 10, 1970, killed by the Tupamaros after their demands were not met.

“The documents reveal the U.S. went to the edge of ethics in an effort to save Mitrione—an aspect of the case that remained hidden in secret documents for years,” said Carlos Osorio, who directs the National Security Archive’s Southern Cone project. “There should be a full declassification to set the record straight on U.S. policy to Uruguay in the 1960’s and 1970’s.”

“In the aftermath of Dan Mitrione’s death, the Uruguayan government unleashed the illegal death squads to hunt and kill insurgents,” said Clara Aldrighi, professor of history at Uruguay’s Universidad de la República, and author of “El Caso Mitrione” (Montevideo: Ediciones Trilce, 2007). “The U.S. documents are irrefutable proof that the death squads were a policy of the Uruguayan government, and will serve as key evidence in the death squads cases open now in Uruguay’s courts,” Osorio added. “It is a shame that the U.S. documents are writing Uruguayan history. There should be declassification in Uruguay as well,” stated Aldrighi, who collaborated in the production of this briefing book.

Uruguay, with a long-standing democratic tradition, entered a crisis during most of the 1960’s and 1970’s. The U.S. government feared the strongest Latin American insurgency at the time, the leftist Movimiento Nacional de Liberación (MLN-Tupamaros) would topple a weak Uruguayan government so they therefore supported the Uruguayan Government with economic and security assistance. The U.S. AID Office of Public Safety helped enhance the counterinsurgency techniques of a Uruguayan police renowned for the wide use of torture among prisoners. Under Dan Mitrione, the OPS consolidated the Uruguayan police’s National Directorate for Information and Intelligence (Dirección Nacional de Información e Inteligencia, DNII). It was right at this time that the Tupamaro insurgents kidnapped Mitrione on July 31, 1970, and demanded the release of 150 Tupamaro prisoners.

During the ten days Mitrione was kidnapped, the U.S. went to great lengths to secure his release. Nixon administration officials pressured the Uruguayan government to negotiate, offer ransom and, in the words of President Richard Nixon himself, “spare no effort to secure the safe return of Mr. Mitrione.”

Dan Mitrione was a policeman from Richmond, Indiana who later became an FBI agent. In the mid 1960’s, he was hired by the U.S. AID Office of Public Safety to train policemen in Brazil and Uruguay. According to A. J. Langguth in his book Hidden Terrors (Pantheon Books, 1978, p. 286) in Uruguay, as the U.S.-trained officers came to occupy key positions in the police, the claims of torture grew. Langguth believed Mitrione taught torture to Uruguayan officers. Mitrione’s activities inspired filmmaker Costa Gavras for his film “State of Siege” which portrays the U.S. support for a dictatorial government and the widespread use of torture by security forces in Uruguay.

The nine documents posted today by the National Security Archive contain evidence that the Government of Uruguay unleashed death squads activity in the wake of Mitrione’s execution, and that the United States was aware of these extra-judicial operations. While further declassification is needed to fully comprehend the development of death squad activities in Uruguay, the release of these documents is an important step in advancing international understanding of the Mitrione case and this chapter of U.S. and Uruguayan history.


Read the Documents

July 31, 1970 – [Kidnapping of Dan Mitrione]
(Time: 13:31 UR – 11:31 US – 16:31 Z)
[National Security Archive Southern Cone FOIA Project]

At 1:31 pm, Uruguay time, the CIA Director is informed that “[D]uring morning 31 July [excised] terrorists, presumably MLN or FARO, made four kidnapping attempts in Montevideo. Kidnapped and still missing as of 1300 hours [excised] time are U.S. Public Safety advisor Daniel Mitrione and Brazilian Consul in Montevideo Aloysio Mares Dias Gomide. Embassy economic officer Gordon Jones was also kidnapped but escaped shortly thereafter. Police reports also indicate that an unsuccessful attempt was made against Uruguayan Minister of Public Works Walter Pintos Risso.”

Note: U.S. government documents bear a Zulu (z) or Greenwich standard time. For clarity as to how events evolved, we have included here Uruguayan (UR) and (US) times also.


August 1970 – DNII Memoria Mensual Mes de Agosto 1970 [part one]

DNII Memoria Mensual Mes de Agosto 1970 [part two]
[Obtained by Clara Aldrighi at DNII Archive, Uruguay]

This monthly summary of insurgent activities by the National Directorate of Information and Intelligence (Dirección Nacional de Información e Inteligencia-DNII) of the Uruguayan police includes information on the kidnapping and eventual death of Dan Mitrione on August 10. Some of the entries report:

On August 1st the MLN-Tupamaros issue a communiqué requesting the liberation of detained Tupamaros which at the time amounted to 150 prisoners. The communiqué reports on the health situation of Mitrione who had a wound on his upper abdomen.

In the morning of August 7, Tupamaros kidnap American agricultural advisor Claude Fly. Later in the day, police forces capture Tupamaro founder and leader Raul Sendic along with other eight high-ranking Tupamaros.

On August 8, the Tupamaros announce that their demand for the release of insurgent prisoners has not been met and that they will kill Dan Mitrione at noon on Sunday, August 9.

Note: This document was found by Clara Aldrighi who was granted access to the DNII archives in Montevideo along with a group of researchers in 2005.
August 6, 1970 – Mitrione Kidnapping
(Time: 17:05 UR – 15:05 US – 20:05 Z )
[Obtained by Clara Aldrighi at U.S. National Archive, NARA]

In a personal message addressed to Uruguayan President Pacheco, President Richard Nixon expresses his appreciation for “your assurances in your cable of August 2 to employ every means available to you to secure the most rapid release of Dan Anthony Mitrione […]” Nixon concludes by stressing “I am confident that consistent with the spirit of your cable you will not foreclose any actions which could bring about the safe return of Mr. Mitrione […]”
August 09, 1970 – Mitrione Kidnapping – Meeting at Foreign Ministry
(Time: 22:34 UR – 20:34 US – 01:34 Z)
[Obtained by Clara Aldrighi at US National Archive, NARA]

On Saturday, August 8, U.S. Ambassador Charles Adair, along with Embassy officials and Uruguayan Foreign Minister Peirano and his staff, meet in Montevideo for half an hour at around 19:00 hours. The day before, nine top MLN-Tupamaro leaders had been captured by the police and the Tupamaros announced that they would kill Mitrione at noon on Sunday if their request for the release of all MLN members in prisons is not met.

In this cable, Adair reviews his conversation: “I briefly reviewed current situation and expressed growing concern over now critical position of Mitrione… I then handed him a list of four suggestions for activity:

A. Appeal publicly to those few who are holding Mitrione for safe delivery Mitrione. Offer them amnesty or amnesty plus an award (5 million pesos).

B. Offer amnesty to key persons now being held in return for information leading to release of the three men [Mitrione, Dias Gomide, Fly]

C. Repeat (and repeat) offer of reward for information.

D. If information has been received and 5 million pesos paid– thank the person (not identified) publicly and urge others to come forth with more information.”

Peirano dismisses public calls for a reward for information and favors communication with the insurgents through discreet channels. Adair reports that Peirano “wanted to suggest to me that the US government (Repeat, US government) itself undertake secret ransom effort directly with MLN.” Adair rejects the idea and Peirano accepts it.

An official whose name is excised in the cable, states that the “Uruguayan Government is now asking judge for authority to utilize sodium pentathol [truth serum] on MLN prisoners and has requested assistance from Buenos Aires. Also interior Ministry would shortly issue communiqué saying it intended to undertake most extreme police measures to locate kidnap victims.”

Adair adds in the cable that Peirano called him after this meeting to say that a private channel had been established to negotiate amnesty and reward to someone within the Tupamaros. Adair closes his report by asking the Department of State to get ready to come through with the U.S. government offer for cash “as it is conceivable GOU or private contact (unknown to us) who now dealing with subject may before noon tomorrow approach us for participation in funding the operation.”

Note: Brazilian Consul Dias Gomide and American agricultural advisor Claude Fly were eventually released unharmed after months of being captive.
August 9, 1970 – Ambassador from the Secretary
(Time: 11:35 UR – 09:35 US – 14:35 Z)
[National Security Archive Southern Cone FOIA Project]

Nine days after Dan Mitrione’s kidnapping, the Uruguayan security forces still had no information of his whereabouts. They did, however, capture Raúl Sendic, MLN leader/founder, and several other important MLN leaders on August 7.

On August 9, thirty minutes before the deadline set by the Tupamaros to kill Mitrione, in a “flash” secret cable urging action from Ambassador Adair, Secretary of State William Rogers writes,

“[w]e have assumed that the Government of Uruguay has considered use of threat to kill Sendic and other key MLN prisoners if Mitrione is killed. If this has not been considered, you should raise it with GOU at once.”

The cable bears the Exclusive Distribution caption EXDIS, meaning that the information in this message is highly classified and should be shared only with the recipient (Adair), the Secretary of State and the White House.

Note: Raul Sendic escaped from prison in 1971, was recaptured by police in 1972 and remained in prison until the military dictatorship ended in 1985.


August 09, 1970, – Mitrione/Fly kidnapping – Last Minute Meeting with Foreign Minister
(Time: 12:01 UR – 10:01 US – 15:01 Z)
[Obtained by Clara Aldrighi at US National Archive, NARA]

Right at the time of the noon deadline, Ambassador Adair reports in this cable about a meeting he held at 11 am with the Uruguayan Foreign Minister to discuss the situation.

Adair reports that he spoke to Foreign Minister Peirano who had just “returned from President Pacheco’s office. I told him that at this last moment, we were receiving number of telephone calls and (as a backdoor method of bringing up subject of possible U.S. contribution to Uruguayan Government efforts) I told him one had been from Uruguayan vigorously complaining that money offered by Uruguayan Government was not sufficient.” Adair states that the Uruguayan government now is clear that money should not be an issue and implies that the U.S. is ready to provide whatever is necessary. He then goes on to describe ongoing secret meetings with undisclosed contacts.

Nevertheless, Adair writes that the Uruguayans have “an increasing feeling that in fact Mitrione is dead.” Adair reports that “[w]hen the noon deadline is reached, the Uruguayan Government intends to take what [excised] called ‘severe measures’ (which he did not describe).”

August 9, 1970 – For Secretary from Ambassador
(Time: 12:03 UR – 10:03 US – 15:03 Z)
[National Security Archive Southern Cone FOIA Project]

In his response to Secretary Rogers’ suggestions, Ambassador Adair explains that he showed the Secretary of State’s message to the Uruguayan Foreign Minister. While the latter stated that “his type of government did not permit such action,” but “he [the Foreign Minister] understood that through indirect means, a threat was made to these prisoners that members of the ‘Escuadrón de Muerte’ (Death Squad) would take action against the prisoners’ relatives if Mitrione were killed.”

This cable represents the earliest recorded recognition of the existence of Uruguayan death squads by the U.S. government, and evidence of Washington’s knowledge of their use.

Note: This document was found by National Security Archive Southern Cone FOIA Project intern George Leyh.
August 09, 1970 – [Letter from President Nixon to President Pacheco]
(Time: 18:07 UR – 16:07 US – 21:07 Z)
[Obtained by Clara Aldrighi at US National Archive, NARA]

Since there is no conclusive reports that Dan Mitrione is dead, on the evening of August 9, 1970, President Nixon sends a message to President Pacheco insisting that his government “spare no effort to secure the safe return of Mr. Mitrione and Dr. Fly.”


August 1987 – The Mitrione Kidnapping in Uruguay
[National Security Archive Southern Cone FOIA Project]

This sixty page joint study report by the RAND Corporation for the Department of State concludes that

“Policemen found Mitrione’s body at 4:15 a.m… August 10… He had been shot several times at close range. U.S. Public Safety advisers, including two experienced homicide detectives, rushed to the scene… [They] concluded without doubt that death must have occurred at or shortly before 4:00 a.m., well after the Tupamaro deadline.”

Written originally in 1981, the report was later revised to include additional declassified records documenting the policies and actions of the U.S., the Uruguayan government and the Tupamaros during the 11 days of Mitrione’s kidnapping.

“Heavy police and military operations were authorized…” by the Uruguayan government during that period. The U.S. government efforts included “urgent diplomatic suggestions and even pressure for the Uruguayan government to break the communications impasse and open some channel to the kidnappers; [and] intensive participation of Public Safety Advisers in local police operations.”

The report writers evidently did not have access to the key documents showing U.S. support of death threats against prisoners nor the Uruguayan government’s launching of death squads. Nevertheless, a brief mention of the subject on page 55 states that at the time of the kidnappings, “[o]minous talk…hinted at the prospective formation of death-squad and vigilante paramilitary organizations.”

TOP-SECRET: The United States vs. Rito Alejo del Río

Former Colombian Army Gen. Rito Alejo del Río Rojas (ret.)

The United States vs. Rito Alejo del Río

Ambassador Cited Accused Colombian General’s Reliance on Death Squads

“Systematic” Support of Paramilitaries “Pivotal to his Military Success”

Infamous General a “Not-So-Success” Story of U.S. Military Training

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 327

Former U.S. ambassador to Colombia Curtis Kamman called Del Río’s reliance on paramilitaries “pivotal.”

Washington, D.C., August 29, 2011 – The U.S. ambassador to Colombia reported in 1998 that the “systematic arming and equipping of aggressive regional paramilitaries” was “pivotal” to the military success of Gen. Rito Alejo del Río Rojas, now on trial for murder and collaboration with paramilitary death squads while commander of a key army unit in northern Colombia.

The Secret “Biographic Note” from Ambassador Curtis Kamman is one of several documents published today by the National Security Archive pertaining to Del Río, whose trial resumes this month after years of impunity and delay. The documents are also the subject of an article published today in Spanish at VerdadAbierta.com, the leading online gateway for information on paramilitarism in Colombia. The article was also published in English today on the Web site of the National Security Archive.

“The collection is a unique and potentially valuable source of evidence in the case against Del Río, reflecting years of reports linking the senior army commander to paramilitarism,” said Michael Evans, director of the Archive’s Colombia Documentation Project. “As Del Río’s trial resumes, the court should examine the contemporaneous accounts of U.S. officials who were required by law to monitor and certify Colombia’s human rights performance.”

Other revelations include:

  • The U.S. embassy takes a favorable view of Col. Carlos Alfonso Velásquez, who called for an investigation of Del Río’s ties to paramilitary groups, noting that his statements “add credibility to our human rights report.”
  • A report on a conversation with Col. Velásquez, who told U.S. military officials that cooperation with paramilitaries “had gotten much worse under Del Río.”
  • Documents reporting conspicuous increases in anti-paramilitary operations after Del Río’s transfer out of northern Colombia. The embassy said it was “more than coincidental that the recent anti-paramilitary actions have all taken place since the departure from northern Colombia of military personnel believed to favor paramilitaries.”
  • The embassy notes a disturbing instance of possible military-paramilitary complicity in a paramilitary attack outside Bogotá just weeks after Del Río took command of the nearby military brigade.
  • The shifting U.S. opinion about Del Río is clearly evident in two U.S. military reports from early 1998. In the first, Del Río, who attended the U.S. Army School of the Americas, is lauded as a U.S. military training “success story.” But a second, corrected, report from March 1998 lists Del Río instead as a “not-so-success” story, citing his alleged paramilitary ties.

The United States vs. Rito Alejo del Río
By Michael Evans

Curtis Kamman will not be called to testify in the trial of Rito Alejo del Río, the former Colombian Army general on trial for murder and collaboration with paramilitary death squads, but we do have some idea what the former U.S. ambassador to Colombia might have said, thanks to declassified documents published today on the Web site of the National Security Archive.

In a Secret “Biographic Note” attached to an August 1998 cable to Washington, Kamman asserted that the former 17th Brigade commander’s “systematic arming and equipping of aggressive regional paramilitaries was pivotal to his military success” in northern Colombia.

Obtained through the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, these documents are a unique and potentially valuable source of evidence in the case against Del Río, reflecting years of reports linking the senior army commander to paramilitarism. As Del Río’s trial resumes, the court would do well to examine the contemporaneous accounts of U.S. officials who were required by law to monitor and certify Colombia’s human rights performance.

Once lauded as a staunch anti-guerrilla fighter, Del Río first came under scrutiny in 1996 after his deputy at the Urabá-based 17th Brigade, Col. Carlos Alfonso Velásquez, wrote an internal report (published last week by VerdadAbierta) calling on the Army to investigate the unit’s paramilitary ties and accusing Del Río of turning a blind eye to paramilitary activity. Rather than heed his warning, the Army fired Velásquez, forcing him into early retirement for insubordination. Velásquez offered similar testimony last week as a key witness in the case.

Interviewed by the embassy in December 1997, Velásquez directly implicated his former commander, lamenting the “body count syndrome” that “fueled human rights abuses” and stressing that 17th Brigade collaboration with paramilitaries “had gotten much worse under Del Río.” Another embassy report on the Velásquez episode testifies to the colonel’s integrity, noting that Velásquez was an “admired and much-decorated” military officer who had helped bring down the Cali drug mafia and had once gone public about an extramarital affair rather than submit to a cartel blackmail attempt.

His statements “bring extra pressure to bear on the Colombian military,” noted U.S. Ambassador Myles Frechette, who was then involved in tense negotiations with the army over its rights record. “They will add credibility to our human rights report.”

By then the embassy had begun to notice that paramilitary activity tended to flourish in areas where Del Río commanded troops and that anti-paramilitary operations seemed to increase in those same zones after he left. In January 1998, the embassy noted that an unprecedented string of 17th Brigade actions against paramilitaries “took place only about a week after the departure of the Brigade’s commander, Brig. Gen. Rito Alejo del Río, who was long-alleged to be not unfriendly toward paramilitaries.” A February report called it “more than coincidental” that a recent series of military blows against paramilitaries had “all taken place since the departure from northern Colombia of former First Brigade commander MG Iván Ramírez and his 17th Brigade commander BG Rito Alejo Del Río, who were widely believed to have contributed to a command climate conducive to turning a blind eye to paramilitaries, or worse.”

At the same time, the embassy noted a disturbing instance of possible military-paramilitary complicity in a paramilitary attack in La Horqueta, outside Bogotá, just weeks after Del Río left Urabá to take command of the nearby military brigade. “Why was it necessary,” the embassy asked in a January 1998 cable, “for another army unit to travel all the way from Bogotá in order to intervene?”

Del Río’s 13th Brigade was “strangely non-reactive” to the killing, notable as the first paramilitary massacre to occur so close to the Colombian capital. Also implicating Del Río was the discovery that the paramilitary who led the attack was the president of a legal Convivir militia group from Urabá, Del Río’s former area of operations, “who had been imported to the region to strike back against the FARC.”

The general’s star was falling so fast in 1998 that U.S. reporting could barely keep up. The shifting opinion about Del Río is clearly evident in two U.S. military reports from early 1998. In the first, Del Río, a 1967 graduate of the U.S. Army School of the Americas, is lauded as a U.S. military training “success story.” But a second, corrected, report from March 1998 lists Del Río instead as a “not-so-success” story, noting that he was “alleged to have ties not only to paramilitary elements on the north coast and in the Urabá region…but also in the conflictive ‘Magdalena Medio’ region before that” and was also”implicated in the 1985 theft of a [Colombian Army] weapons shipment destined for Magdalena Medio paramilitaries.”

By August 1998, Colombian prosecutors had opened a preliminary investigation of the general’s ties to paramilitaries, a development Kamman said would “serve as a marker to those army officers who continue to assist or otherwise work with paramilitary groups.” Del Río had been “very successful” against FARC guerrillas, the ambassador said in his Secret “Biographic Note,” and his “systematic arming and equipping of aggressive regional paramilitaries was pivotal to his military success at the time.”

The ambassador’s reports had an impact in Washington, where human rights figured prominently in negotiations over the nascent Plan Colombia aid package. In January 1999, two senior State Department officials wrote to Kamman to express their dissatisfaction with Colombia’s progress on human rights, noting in particular the “appointment to key positions of several generals credibly alleged to have ties to paramilitaries” including Del Río, who had recently been named the army’s operations director.

Frustrated and essentially out of options, the State Department took the unusual step of cancelling Del Río’s visa for “drug trafficking and terrorist activities” precipitating his forced retirement and the end of his military career in April 1999.

As years went on, the United States became increasingly concerned about official impunity in Colombia, especially for senior military officers like Del Río, prompting sharp discussions after Prosecutor General Luis Camilo Osorio dropped all charges against the former general in 2001. A briefing paper for the State Department’s top human rights official, Lorne Craner, notes “concern in Congress” that Osorio’s dismissal of the case showed that he was “less focused on prosecuting paramilitaries and military personnel accused of colluding with paramilitary.” A 2005 State Department memorandum found it “troubling” that the government had not yet sent “a clear message” regarding impunity for Del Río.

More than five years later, the case has finally come to trial, and the court will hear the testimony of many important witnesses, each of whom brings a unique perspective to the proceedings. And while no U.S. officials will appear, the court should consider the declassified perspective of the U.S. government and the formerly secret files on one of its “not-so-success” stories.


Read the Documents

Document 1
1998 August 13
General Ramirez Lashes Out at State Department; Two More Generals Under Investigation for Paramilitary Links
U.S. Embassy Colombia cable, 1998 Bogota 9345

This U.S. Embassy cable from August 13, 1998, reports, among other things, that Gen. Del Río was under investigation for links to illegal paramilitary groups. In a “Biographic Note,” the Embassy says that Del Río’s “systematic arming and equipping of aggressive regional paramilitaries was pivotal to his military success at the time.”

Biographic Note: Although brigade commands are generally rotated every year, General Del Rio was allowed to remain in command of the 17th Brigade in highly-conflictive Uraba region for two years, apparently because he had been very successful in bloodying the FARC’s nose during the period of his command. His systematic arming and equipping of aggressive regional paramilitaries was pivotal to his military success at the time.

Document 2
1997 January 11
Retired Army Colonel Lambastes Military for Inaction against Paramilitaries
U.S. Embassy Colombia cable, 1997 Bogota 274

In this cable, the U.S. Embassy in Colombia reports the public statements of former Colombian Army colonel Carlos Alfonso Velásquez that his commanding officer at the 17th Brigade, Gen. Rito Alejo del Río, had been negligent in not combating paramilitary groups in Urabá. In its analysis of the information, the Embassy takes a favorable view of Velásquez:

[Embassy officers] who know Velasquez speak highly of his performance as head of the anti-narcotics special joint command’s Army component in Cali. When the cartel tried to blackmail him, then Minister of Defense Botero saved him from dismissal. Botero characterized him as clean, among the best, and of unquestionable integrity. [Several lines deleted] Velasquez’s statements bring extra pressure to bear on the Colombian military as they prepare for a new defense minister. They will add credibility to our human rights report.

Document 3
1997 December 24
Retired Army Colonel Talks Freely About the Army He Left Behind
U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, Intelligence Information Report

In this document, a U.S. military attaché reports his conversation with a retired Colombian Army colonel (almost certainly Carlos Alfonso Velásquez) about his time at the 17th Brigade in Urabá. The report notes that the colonel “seems to know a lot about paramilitaries and their links to drug traffickers and the Army.” The colonel says that there is a “body count syndrome” in the Colombian Army “when it comes to pursuing the guerrillas.” This way of thinking “tends to fuel human rights abuses by otherwise well-meaning soldiers trying to get their quota to impress superiors.” The colonel said he had served under one commander he respected, as well as Rito Alejo del Río, “about whom he had fewer nice things to say.”

[Name deleted] was asked if the paramilitary wave of violence in the Uraba region and related military collusion were recent phenomena. [Deleted] replied in the negative, saying that military cooperation with the paramilitaries had been occurring for a number of years, but that it had gotten much worse under Del Río.”

Document 4
1998 January 09
Colombians Strike Two Blows Against the Paras
U.S. Embassy Colombia cable, 1998 Bogota 120

The U.S. Embassy noted with interest the sudden surge of anti-paramilitary activity by the 17th Brigade immediately after the departure of Del Río as brigade commander.

It is interesting to note that the 17th Brigade confrontation took place only about a week after the departure of the brigade’s commander, Brig. Gen. Rito Alejo del Río, who was long-alleged to by not unfriendly toward paramilitaries. His own former deputy, Col. Carlos Alfonso Velasquez, was retired from the Army under a cloud in January 1997 for privately criticizing Del Río’s refusal to combat the paramilitaries headquartered in the region. Although the Army has claimed for some time that the 17th Brigade has moved against the paramilitaries, we are unaware of any other such encounters that have been publicly confirmed.

Document 5
1998 January 28
Narcos Arrested for La Horqueta Paramilitary Massacre
U.S. Embassy Colombia cable

The U.S. Embassy questions why it was another military unit, and not the Army’s 13th Brigade, under the command of Gen. Del Río, that finally responded to the January 1998 La Horqueta paramilitary massacre.

If the Army was immediately in the area in the immediate aftermath of the killings, however, as the priest asserts, why was it necessary for another Army unit to travel all the way from Bogotá in order to intervene? That is precisely the question prosecutors are now asking. Finally, the strangely non-reactive 13th Brigade recently came under the command of BG Rito Alejo Del Rio, who earned considerable attention as commander of the 17th Brigade covering the heartland of Carlos Castaño’s paramilitaries in Cordoba and Uraba.

Document 6
1998 February 09
Colombian Army Reportedly Captures 23 Paramilitaries
U.S. Embassy cable, 1998 Bogota 1249

The Embassy speculates that a recent surge in 17th Brigade anti-paramilitary activity in Urabá may be related to the departure of Gen. Rito Alejo del Río as commander.

We are encouraged by this development but we are not yet sure how to interpret it. Until recently, the military has had little success in capturing paramilitaries… The 17th Brigade has a new commander, which may also have contributed to an increased surge in anti-paramilitary activity. The previous commander, Brigadier General Rito Alejo Del Rio, now the head of the 13th Brigade in Bogota, was rumored to have been quite tolerant of paramilitary activity in Uraba.

Document 7
1998 February 25
U.S. Army School of the Americas Success Stories
U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, Intelligence Information Report

A U.S. military intelligence report, subsequently revised (see Document 9), lists Gen. Del Río among U.S. military training “success stories.”

Document 8
1998 February 26
Military and Police Begin Clearly Cracking Down on Paramilitaries Around Carlos Castano
U.S. Embassy Colombia cable, 1998 Bogota 2097

The U.S. Embassy says that it “seems more than coincidental” that recent anti-paramilitary operations by the military “have all taken place since the departure from northern Colombia” of First Division commander Gen. Iván Ramírez and 17th Brigade commander Gen. Rito Alejo del Río.

We note that these latest anti-paramilitary incidents have all taken place since the departure from northern Colombia of former first division commander MG Ivan Ramirez and his 17th Brigade commander BG Rio [sic] Alejo Del Rio, who were widely believed to have contributed to a command climate conducive to turning a blind eye to paramilitaries, or worse. Nothing is irreversible, but at long last those days appear to be over.

We note that this new-found effectiveness in curbing the paramilitaries correlates closely with the recent change of command in several key military positions in northern Colombia, including the First Division in Santa Marta (formerly headed by Major General Ivan Ramirez), the 17th Brigade in Uraba, and the 11th Brigade in Monteria… It seems more than coincidental that the recent anti-paramilitary actions have all taken place since the departure from northern Colombia of military personnel believed to favor paramilitaries.

Document 9
1998 March 31
U.S. Army School of the Americas Not-So-Success Stories – Digging Back into History (Corrected Report)
U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, Intelligence Information Report

The U.S. military attaché in Colombia corrects an earlier report on Colombian military graduates from the U.S. Army School of the Americas, noting that Gen. Rito Alejo del Río was alleged to have ties to paramilitaries in Urabá as well as the Magdalena Medio, where “he was implicated in the 1985 theft of a [Colombian Army] weapons shipment destined for Magdalena Medio paramilitaries.”

Report follows up earlier detailed IIR on high-ranking/high-visibility Colombian military/national police graduates of the School of the Americas. Since then, additional—mostly derogatory—info on some of the older, mostly now retired, officers has come to light.

Brigadier General Rito Alejo ((Del Rio)) Rojas—Alleged to have ties not only to paramilitary elements on the north coast and in the Uraba region (adjacent to the Darien region of Panama), but also in the conflictive “Magdalena Medio” region before that. For example, he was implicated in the 1985 theft of a [Colombian Army] weapons shipment destined for Magdalena Medio paramilitaries. The case came to light only because the overloaded airplane crashed. BG Del Rio is currently serving as commander of the 13th Brigade in Bogota.

Document 10
1998 May 14
Army/Fiscalia Raid on a Church Based NGO Viewed as a Major Blunder
U.S. Embassy Colombia cable, 1998 Bogota 5554

The U.S. Embassy asserts that a raid by the Army’s 13th Brigade on the offices of the Comisión Interclesial de Justicia y Paz might be “related to long-standing friction between the Jesuit director of the NGO and the commander of the Army’s 13th Brigade.

Comment. [Two lines deleted] Jesuit priest Father Javier Giraldo worked in Uraba during the time period in which General Rito Alejo Del Rio was commanding the 17th Brigade there. [Two lines deleted] Recently, General Del Rio was reassigned to his new, more responsible position commanding the 13th Brigade; the brigade which participated in the raid on Justicia y Paz.

Document 11
1999 January 25
Official Informal for Ambassador Kamman from WHA/AND Director Chicola and DRL DAS Gerson
U.S. State Department cable, 1999 State 13985

Two senior U.S. officials register their dissatisfaction with Colombia’s progress on human rights during the first six months of the Pastrana government, noting the “appointment to key positions of several generals credibly alleged to have ties to paramilitaries. These include Generals Fernando Millan Perez, Rito Aleto Del Rio Rojas, and Rafael Hernandez Lopez.”

Document 12
2001 December 13
Your Meeting with Fiscal General Luis Camilo Osorio
U.S. State Department briefing memorandum

A briefing paper for the State Department’s top human rights official, Lorne Craner, notes “concern in the US Congress” that Osorio is “less focused on prosecuting paramilitaries and military personnel accused of colluding with paramilitary,” citing his dismissal of charges against Rito Alejo del Río.

Document 13
Circa 2005
Memorandum of Justification Concerning Human Rights Conditions with Respect to Assistance for Colombian Armed Forces
U.S. State Department memorandum

A U.S. State Department review of Colombia’s human rights performance finds it “troubling” that the government had not yet sent “a clear message” regarding impunity for Del Río.

TOP-SECRET FROM THE ARCHIVES OF THE FBI: THE ADOLF HITLER PARTY FILES

Adolph Hitler (1889-1945) was leader of the National Socialist (Nazi) Party and Chancellor of Germany from 1933-1945; he led that country into World War II in 1939. The documents in this file range from 1933 to 1947, but primarily fall either in 1933 or between 1945 and 1947. In 1933, the FBI investigated an assassination threat made against Hitler. In the aftermath of Germany’s surrender in 1945, western Allied forces suspected that Hitler had committed suicide but did not immediately find evidence of his death. At the time, it was feared that Hitler may have escaped in the closing days of the war, and searches were made to determine if he was still alive. FBI Files indicate that the Bureau investigated some of the rumors of Hitler’s survival.

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DIE ORGANISIERTE STASI-“GoMoPa”-KRIMINALIÄT: DER BEWEIS: “GoMoPa”-ERPRESST MERIDIAN CAPITAL “GoMoPa”-CEO MAURISCHT WIRD VOM BKA VERHAFTET

Millionen Finanzierungen mit Widersprüchen / Die Werbemethoden der Meridian Capital Enterprises

ORIGINAL ARTIKEL GOMOPA 2

ORIGINAL ARTIKEL GOMOPA

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Berlin (ots) – Die Meridian Capital Enterprises Ltd. bietet auf ihren Webseiten weltweite Finanzierungen an. GoMoPa hat die dort gemachten Angaben analysiert und starke Widersprüche entdeckt.

Die Unternehmensstruktur

Die Meridian Capital Enterprises Ltd. behauptet “ein Finanzinstitut” zu sein, “das zu einer internationalen Finanzgruppe gehört.” Diese Gruppe setze sich aus 11 verschiedenen Mitgliedern zusammen. GoMoPa fragte alle zuständigen Handelsregister ab. Ergebnis: 5 der 11 angegebenen Finanzinstitute sind nicht eingetragen.

Mitarbeiter der KLP Group Emirates, GoMoPa-Partner und Management-Gruppe in Dubai, machten sich die Mühe, drei weitere Geschäftsadressen der Meridian Capital Enterprises Ltd. zu überprüfen. Martin Kraeter, Prinzipal der KLP Group: “Alle 3 genannten Firmen existieren hier nicht, auch nicht in abgewandelter Form.”

Das Unternehmen will weltweit über zahlreiche Standorte verfügen. Bei denen handelt es sich allerdings lediglich um “Virtual Offices” eines Büroservice-Anbieters.

Laut Firmenhomepage hat das Unternehmen seinen “rechtlichen Geschäftssitz” in Dubai. In einem GoMoPa vorliegenden Schreiben der Meridian Capital Enterprises Ltd. heißt es jedoch, der Firmensitz sei in London. Auf der Homepage selbst tauchen zwei Londoner Adressen auf, die das Unternehmen als “Kundenabteilung für deutschsprachige Kunden” und “Abteilung der Zusammenarbeit mit Investoren” bezeichnet.

Die Meridian Capital Enterprises ist tatsächlich als “Limited” (Ltd.) mit Sitz in England und Wales eingetragen. Eine Abfrage beim Gewerbeamt Dubais (DED) zur Firmierung jedoch bleibt ergebnislos. Bemerkenswert ist auch der vermeintliche Sitz in Israel. Auf der Webseite von Meridian Capital Enterprises heißt es: “Die Firma Meridian Capital Enterprises Ltd. ist im Register des israelischen Justizministeriums unter der Nummer 514108471 (…) angemeldet.” Martin Kraeter hierzu: ” Ein ‘britisch-arabisch-israelisches bankfremdes Finanzinstitut sein zu wollen, wie die Meridian Capital Enterprises Ltd. es darstellt, ist mehr als zweifelhaft. Es würde keinem einzigen Emirati, geschweige denn einem ‘Scheich’, auch nur im Traum einfallen Geschäfte mit Personen oder Firmen aus Israel zu machen. ”

Eigenartig ist auch: Zwei angebliche Großinvestitionen der Meridian Capital Enterprises in Dubai sind Investmentruinen bzw. erst gar nicht realisierte Projekte.

Der Aktivitätsstatus der Meridian Capital Enterprises Ltd. ist laut englischem Handelsregister als “dormant” gemeldet. Auf der Grundlage des britischen Gesellschaftsrechts können sich eingetragene Unternehmen selbst “dormant” (schlafend) melden, wenn sie keine oder nur unwesentliche buchhalterisch zu erfassende Transaktionen vorgenommen haben. Angesichts der angeblichen globalen Investitionstätigkeit der Meridian Capital Ltd. ist dieses jedoch sehr erstaunlich.

Auf ihrer Webseite gibt die Meridian Capital Enterprises Ltd. einen Überblick über ihre größten Investitionen in Deutschland: “Dithmarschen Wind Powerplant, Waldpolenz Solar Park, AIDAdiva, Berlin Hauptbahnhof, Sony Center”. Die Eigentümer des Sony Centers am Potsdamer Platz teilten GoMoPA mit, dass ihnen sei ein solcher Investor unbekannt sei. Meridian Capital Enterprises Ltd. will übrigens angeblich auch in die Erweiterung des Panama-Kanals sowie in das Olympiastadion in Peking investiert haben.

Der Webauftritt

Die Internetseite der MCE ist aufwendig gestaltet. Bei näherer Betrachtung fällt jedoch auf, dass es sich bei zahlreichen Fotos der Veranstaltungen der Meridian Capital Enterprises in den meisten Fällen um Bildmaterial von Online-Zeitungen oder frei zugänglichen Medienfotos einzelner Institutionen handelt.

Auf der Homepage befinden sich Videofilme, die eine verblüffende Ähnlichkeit mit dem Werbematerial von NAKHEEL aufweisen, dem größten Bauträger der Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate. Den schillernden Videos über die berühmten drei Dubai Palmen wurden offensichtlich selbstproduzierte Trailersequenzen der Meridian Capital Enterprises vorangestellt.

Ab einem Volumen von 10 Millionen Euro oder höher präsentiert sich so die Meridian Capital Enterprises Ltd. als der passende Investitionspartner. Auf der Internetseite sind diverse Fotos mit Scheichs an Konferenztischen zu sehen. Doch diese großen Tagungen und großen Kongresse der Meridian Capital Enterprises werden in den Pressearchiven der lokalen Presse Dubais mit keinem Wort erwähnt.

Vertiefende Information unter:

http://www.presseportal.de/go2/mehr_zu_MCE_ltd

Originaltext: GoMoPa GmbH Digitale Pressemappe: http://www.presseportal.de/pm/72697 Pressemappe via RSS : http://www.presseportal.de/rss/pm_72697.rss2

Pressekontakt: Herr Friedrich Wasserburg Telefon: +49 (30) 51060992 Fax: +49 (30) 51060994 Zuständigkeitsbereich: Presse

Firmeninfo Goldman Morgenstern & Partners LLC 575 Madison Avenue USA-10022 – 2511 New York http://www.gomopa.net

Über Goldman Morgenstern & Partners LLC: Ein Zusammenschluss aus Unternehmens-, Steuer-, Anlageberatern und Rechtsanwälten.
© 2008 news aktuell

DANN GING DIe ERPRESSUNG LOS UND MERIDIAN CAPITAL REAGIERTE – STATT DIES ABER ZUZUGEBEN SETZEN DIE STASI-VERBRECHER EINE GEFÄLSCHTE PRESSE-MITTEILUNG IN NETZ, DIE MICH BELASTEN SOLL

BITTE KONTAKTIEREN SIE AUCH MERIDIAN CAPITAL

sales@meridiancapital.com

1 Battery Park Plaza
New York, NY 10004
TEL: 212-972-3600
FAX: 212-612-0100

TOP-SECRET: THE GERMAN ORGANIZED CRIME FAMILY “GoMoPa” AND THEIR FOUNDERS THE STASI

The German Organized Crime Family known by the name of “GoMoPa” is in association with the SJB, Neuss Rhineland, “GoMoPa” is as shortened version of their bogus name “Goldman, Morgenstern and Partner”

They are the heirs of the former Organized Crime Familiy in Germany – the STASI.

Here are the most important facts;

The Ministry for State Security (German: Ministerium für Staatssicherheit (MfS), commonly known as the Stasi (IPA: [ˈʃtaziː]) (abbreviation GermanStaatssicherheit, literally State Security), was the official state security service of East Germany. The MfS was headquartered in East Berlin, with an extensive complex in Berlin-Lichtenberg and several smaller facilities throughout the city. It was widely regarded as one of the most effective and repressive intelligence and secret police agencies in the world. The MfS motto was “Schild und Schwert der Partei” (Shield and Sword of the Party), that is the ruling Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED).

Ministerium für Staatssicherheit
Emblema Stasi.svg
Seal of the Ministry of State Security of the GDR
Agency overview
Formed February 9, 1950[1]
Dissolved October 4, 1990 (End of GDR)
Headquarters East BerlinGDR
Employees 68,000

Creation of the Stasi

The MfS was founded on 8 February 1950[citation needed]. It was modeled on the Soviet MGB[citation needed], and was regarded by the Soviet Union as an extremely loyal and effective partner[citation needed]Wilhelm Zaisser was the first Minister of State Security of the GDR, and Erich Mielke his deputy. Zaisser, who tried to depose SED General Secretary Walter Ulbricht after the June 1953 uprising[2] was after this removed by Ulbricht and replaced by Ernst Wollweber. Wollweber resigned in 1957 after clashes with Ulbricht and Erich Honecker, and was succeeded by his deputy, Erich Mielke.

Early on the Stasi waged a campaign against Jews, who were already subject to widespread discrimination and violence in the Soviet Union. The Stasi censored the fact that Jews had been victims during the previous regime and in one instance, took gold from the bodies of Jews. The Stasi labeled Jews as capitalists and criminals.[3][4] Gypsies were also blamed in the Stasi propaganda.[5]

In 1957, Markus Wolf became head of the Hauptverwaltung Aufklärung (HVA) (General Reconnaissance Administration), its foreign intelligence section. As intelligence chief, Wolf achieved great success in penetrating the government, political and business circles of West Germany with spies. The most influential case was that of Günter Guillaume which led to the downfall of West German Chancellor Willy Brandt in May 1974. In 1986, Wolf retired and was succeeded by Werner Grossmann.

[edit]Relationship with the KGB

Although Mielke’s Stasi was superficially granted independence in 1957, until 1990 the KGB continued to maintain liaison officers in all eight main Stasi directorates, each with his own office inside the Stasi’s Berlin compound, and in each of the fifteen Stasi district headquarters around East Germany.[6] Collaboration was so close that the KGB invited the Stasi to establish operational bases in Moscow and Leningrad to monitor visiting East German tourists and Mielke referred to the Stasi officers as “Chekists of the Soviet Union.”[6] In 1978, Mielke formally granted KGB officers in East Germany the same rights and powers they enjoyed in the Soviet Union.[6]

Organization

The Ministry for State Security also included the following entities:

  • Main Administration for Reconnaissance: focused its efforts primarily upon West Germany and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, but it also operated East German intelligence in all foreign countries.
  • Main Coordinating Administration of the Ministry for State Security:coordinated its work with Soviet intelligence agencies.
  • Main Department for Communications Security and Personnel Protection: provided personal security for the national leadership and maintained and operated an internal secure communications system for the government.
  • Administration for Security of Heavy Industry and Research and Main Administration for Security of the Economy: protection against sabotage or espionage.
  • Main Administration for Struggle Against Suspicious Persons: was charged with the surveillance of foreigners — particularly from the West — legally traveling or residing within the country. This included the diplomatic community, tourists, and official guests.
  • Division of Garbage Analysis: was responsible for analyzing garbage for any suspect western foods and/or materials.
  • Administration 12: was responsible for the surveillance of mail and telephone communications.
  • Administration 2000: was responsible for the reliability of National People’s Army (NVA) personnel. Admin 2000 operated a secret, unofficial network of informants within the NVA.
  • Penal System: to facilitate its mission of enforcing the political security of East Germany, the Stasi operated its own penal system, distinct from that of the Ministry of the Interior. This system comprised prison camps for political, as opposed to criminal, offenders.
  • Felix Dzerzhinsky Guards Regiment: the armed force at disposal of the ministry, named for the founder of the Cheka, the Bolshevik secret police. The members of this regiment, who served at least 3 years, were responsible for protecting high government and party buildings and personnel. The regiment was composed of six motorized rifle battalions, one artillery battalion, and one training battalion. Its equipment included PSZH-IV armored personnel carriers, 120mm mortars, 85mm and 100mm antitank guns, ZU-23 antiaircraft guns, and helicopters. A Swiss source reported in 1986 that the troops of the Ministry of State Security also had commando units similar to the Soviet Union’s Spetsnaz forces. These East German units were said to wear the uniform of the airborne troops, although with the violet collar patch of the Ministry for State Security rather than the orange one of paratroopers. They also wore the sleeve stripe of the Felix Dzerzhinsky Guards Regiment.[7]

Stasi operations

Further information: Eastern Bloc politics

Personnel

Between 1950 and 1989, the Stasi employed a total of 274,000 people in an effort to root out the class enemy.[8][9] In 1989, the Stasi employed 91,015 persons full time, including 2,000 fully employed unofficial collaborators, 13,073 soldiers and 2,232 officers of GDR army,[10] along with 173,081 unofficial informants inside GDR[11] and 1,553 informants in West Germany.[12] In terms of the identity of inoffizielle Mitarbeiter(IMs) Stasi informants, by 1995, 174,000 had been identified, which approximated 2.5% of East Germany’s population between the ages of 18 and 60.[8] 10,000 IMs were under 18 years of age.[8]

While these calculations were from official records, according to the federal commissioner in charge of the Stasi archives in Berlin, because many such records were destroyed, there were likely closer to 500,000 Stasi informers.[8] A former Stasi colonel who served in the counterintelligence directorate estimated that the figure could be as high as 2 million if occasional informants were included.[8]

Infiltration

Full-time officers were posted to all major industrial plants (the extensiveness of any surveillance largely depended on how valuable a product was to the economy)[9] and one tenant in every apartment building was designated as a watchdog reporting to an area representative of the Volkspolizei (Vopo).[13] Spies reported every relative or friend who stayed the night at another’s apartment.[13] Tiny holes were drilled in apartment and hotel room walls through which Stasi agents filmed citizens with special video cameras.[13] Schools, universities, and hospitals were extensively infiltrated.[13]

The Stasi had formal categorizations of each type of informant, and had official guidelines on how to extract information from, and control, those who they came into contact with.[14] The roles of informants ranged from those already in some way involved in state security (such as the police and the armed services) to those in the dissident movements (such as in the arts and the Protestant Church).[15] Information gathered about the latter groups was frequently used to divide or discredit members.[16] Informants were made to feel important, given material or social incentives, and were imbued with a sense of adventure, and only around 7.7%, according to official figures, were coerced into cooperating. A significant proportion of those informing were members of the SED; to employ some form of blackmail, however, was not uncommon.[15] A large number of Stasi informants were trolley conductors, janitors, doctors, nurses and teachers; Mielke believed the best informants were those whose jobs entailed frequent contact with the public.[17]

The Stasi’s ranks swelled considerably after Eastern Bloc countries signed the 1975 Helsinki accords, which Erich Honecker viewed as a grave threat to his regime because they contained language binding signatories to respect “human and basic rights, including freedom of thought, conscience, religion, and conviction.”[18] The number of IMs peaked at around 180,000 in this year, having slowly risen from 20,000–30,000 in the early 1950s, and reaching 100,000 for the first time in 1968, in response to Ostpolitik and protests worldwide.[19] The Stasi also acted as a proxy for KGB to conduct activities in other Eastern Bloc countries, such as Poland, where the Soviets were despised.[20]

The MfS infiltrated almost every aspect of GDR life. In the mid-1980s, a network of IMs began growing in both German states; by the time East Germany collapsed in 1989, the MfS employed 91,015 employees and 173,081 informants.[21] About one of every 63 East Germans collaborated with the MfS—one of the most extensive police infiltrations of a society in history. In 2007 an article in BBC stated that “Some calculations have concluded that in East Germany there was one informer to every seven citizens.”[22] Additionally, MfS agents infiltrated and undermined West Germany’s government and spy agencies.

In an extreme case, Stasi informant Knud Wollenberger (code name Daniel) married civil rights and peace activist Vera Lengsfeld specifically to keep a watch on her.[17]

Executions of dissidents

People were imprisoned for such reasons as trying to leave the country, or telling political jokes. Prisoners were kept, isolated and disoriented, knowing nothing of what was going on in the outside world.[23]

After the mid-1950s, Stasi executions were carried out in strict secrecy, and were usually accomplished with a guillotine and, in later years, by a single pistol shot to the neck.[24] In most instances, the relatives of the executed were not informed of either the sentence or the execution.[24]

After the Berlin Wall fell, X-ray machines were found in the prisons. Indeed, three of the best-known dissidents died within a few months of each other, of similar rare forms of leukaemia. Survivors state that the MfS intentionally irradiated political prisoners with high-dose radiation, possibly to provoke cancer in them.[23]International operations

International operations

Other files (the Rosenholz Files), which contained the names of East German spies abroad, led American spy agencies to capture them. After German reunification, it was revealed that the MfS had secretly aided left-wing terrorists such as the Red Army Faction, even though no part of the RAF had ever been ideologically aligned with the GDR.

Directorate X was responsible for disinformation. Rolf Wagenbreth, director of disinformation operations, stated “Our friends in Moscow call it ‘dezinformatsiya’. Our enemies in America call it ‘active measures,’ and I, dear friends, call it ‘my favorite pastime'”.

Examples

  • Stasi experts helped to build the secret police of Mengistu Haile Mariam in Ethiopia.[25][26]
  • Fidel Castro‘s regime in Cuba was particularly interested in receiving training from Stasi. Stasi instructors worked in Cuba and Cuban communists received training in East Germany.[27] The Stasi chief Markus Wolf described how he set up the Cuban system on the pattern of the East German system.[28]
  • The Stasi’s experts worked with building secret police systems in the People’s Republic of Angola, the People’s Republic of Mozambique, and the People’s Republic of Yemen (South Yemen).[26]
  • Stasi experts helped to set up Idi Amin‘s secret police.[29][26]
  • Stasi organized, trained, indoctrinated Syrian intelligence services.[30]
  • Stasi experts helped Kwame Nkrumah to build his secret police. When Ghanians overthrew the regime, Stasi Major Jurgen Rogalla was imprisoned.[31][26]
  • The Stasi sent agents to the West as sleeper agents. For instance, sleeper agent Günter Guillaume became a senior aide to social democratic chancellor Willy Brandt, and reported about his politics and private life.[32]
  • The Stasi operated at least one brothel. Agents were used against both men and women working in Western governments. “Entrapment” was used against married men and homosexuals.[33]
  • Martin Schlaff—According to the German parliament’s investigations, the Austrian billionaire’s Stasi codename was “Landgraf” and registration number “3886-86”. He made money by supplying embargoed goods to East Germany.[34]
  • Sokratis Kokkalis—Stasi documents suggest that the Greek businessman was a Stasi agent, whose operations included delivering Western technological secrets and bribing Greek officials to buy outdated East German telecom equipment.[35]
  • Red Army Faction (Baader-Meinhof Group)—A terrorist organization which killed dozens of West Germans and others.
  • The Stasi ordered a campaign in which cemeteries and other Jewish sites in West Germany were smeared with swastikas and other Nazi symbols. Funds were channelled to a small West German group for it to defend Adolf Eichmann.[36]
  • The Stasi channelled large amounts of money to Neo-Nazi groups in West, with the purpose of discrediting the West.[37]
  • The Stasi worked in a campaign to create extensive material and propaganda against Israel.[38]
  • Murder of Benno Ohnesorg—A Stasi agent carried out the murder, which stirred a whole movement of left-wing protest and violence. The Economist describes it as “the gunshot that hoaxed a generation”.[39][40]
  • Operation Infektion—The Stasi helped the KGB to spread HIV/AIDS disinformation that the United States had created the disease. Millions of people around the world still believe in these claims.[41][42]
  • Sandoz chemical spill—The KGB reportedly ordered the Stasi to sabotage the chemical factory to distract attention from the Chernobyl disaster six months earlier in Ukraine.[43][44][45]
  • Investigators have found evidence of a death squad that carried out a number of assassinations (including assassination of Swedish journalist Cats Falck) on orders from the East German government from 1976 to 1987. Attempts to prosecute members failed.[46][47][48]
  • The Stasi attempted to assassinate Wolfgang Welsch, a famous critic of the regime. Stasi collaborator Peter Haack (Stasi codename “Alfons”) befriended with Welsch and then fed him with hamburgers that were poisoned with thallium. It took weeks for doctors to find out why Haack had suddenly lost his hair.[49]
  • Documents in the Stasi archives state that the KGB ordered Bulgarian agents to assassinate Pope John Paul II, who was known for his criticism of human rights in the communist block, and the Stasi was asked to help with covering up traces.[50]
  • A special unit of the Stasi assisted Romanian intelligence in kidnapping Romanian dissident Oliviu Beldeanu from West Germany.[51]
  • In 1975 Stasi recorded a conversation between senior West German CDU politicians Helmut Kohl and Kurt Biedenkopf. It was then “leaked” to the Stern magazine as a transcript recorded by American intelligence. The magazine then claimed that Americans were wiretapping West Germans and the public believed the story.[52]
This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

Fall of Communism

Recruitment of informants became increasingly difficult towards the end of the GDR’s existence, and after 1986, there was a negative turnover rate of IMs. This had a significant impact on the Stasi’s ability to survey the population, in a period of growing unrest, and knowledge of the MfS’s activities became more widespread.[53] The Stasi had been tasked during this period with preventing the country’s economic difficulties becoming a political problem, through suppression of the very worst problems the state faced, but it failed to do so.[9]

Stasi officers reportedly had discussed rebranding East Germany as a democratic capitalist country to the West, but which would be in practice taken over by Stasi officers. The plan specified 2,587 OibE officers who would take over power (Offiziere im besonderen Einsatz, “officers on special assignment”) and it was registered as Top Secret Document 0008-6/86 of March 17, 1986.[54][55] According to Ion Mihai Pacepa, the chief intelligence officer in communist Romania, other communist intelligence services had similar plans.[55] On 12 March 1990 Der Spiegel reported that the Stasi was indeed attempting to implement 0008-6/86.[54]Pacepa has noted that what happened in Russia and how KGB Colonel Vladimir Putin took over Russia resembles these plans.[55] See Putinism.

On 7 November 1989, in response to the rapidly changing political and social situation in the GDR in late 1989, Erich Mielke resigned. On 17 November 1989, the Council of Ministers (Ministerrat der DDR) renamed the MfS as the “Office for National Security” (Amt für Nationale Sicherheit – AfNS), which was headed by Generalleutnant Wolfgang Schwanitz. On 8 December 1989, GDR Prime Minister Hans Modrow directed the dissolution of the AfNS, which was confirmed by a decision of the Ministerrat on 14 December 1989.

As part of this decision, the Ministerrat originally called for the evolution of the AfNS into two separate organizations: a new foreign intelligence service (Nachrichtendienst der DDR) and an “Office for the Protection of the Constitution of the GDR” (Verfassungsschutz der DDR), along the lines of the West German Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, however, the public reaction was extremely negative, and under pressure from the “Round Table” (Runder Tisch), the government dropped the creation of the Verfassungsschutz der DDR and directed the immediate dissolution of the AfNS on 13 January 1990. Certain functions of the AfNS reasonably related to law enforcement were handed over to the GDR Ministry of Internal Affairs. The same ministry also took guardianship of remaining AfNS facilities.

When the parliament of Germany investigated public funds that disappeared after the Fall of the Berlin Wall, it found out that East Germany had transferred large amounts of money to Martin Schlaff through accounts in Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein, in return for goods “under Western embargo”. Moreover, high-ranking Stasi officers continued their post-DDR careers in management positions in Schlaff’s group of companies. For example, in 1990 Herbert Kohler, Stasi commander in Dresden, transferred 170 million marks to Schlaff for “harddisks” and months later went to work for him.[34][56] The investigations concluded that “Schlaff’s empire of companies played a crucial role” in the Stasi attempts to secure the financial future of Stasi agents and keep the intelligence network alive.[34] The Stern magazine noted that KGB officerVladimir Putin worked with his Stasi colleagues in Dresden in 1989.[56]

In the Soviet Union, about 50 billion U.S. dollars was transferred out of the country (see FIMACO).

Recovery of the Stasi files

During the Peaceful Revolution of 1989, MfS offices were overrun by enraged citizens, but not before the MfS destroyed a number of documents (approximately 5%).[57]

Storming the Stasi headquarters

As the GDR began to fall, the Stasi did as well. They began to destroy the extensive files that they had kept, both by hand and with the use of shredders.

Citizens protesting and entering the Stasi building in Berlin; the sign accuses the Stasi and SED of being Nazistic dictators.

When these activities became known, protest erupted in front of the Stasi headquarters.[58] In the evening of 15 January 1990, a large crowd of people formed outside the gates in order to stop the destruction of personal files. In their minds, this information should have been available to them and also have been used to punish those who had taken part in Stasi actions. The large group of protesters grew and grew until they were able to overcome the police and gain entry into the complex. The protestors became violent and destructive as they smashed doors and windows, threw furniture, and trampled portraits of Erich Honecker, leader of the GDR. Among the destructive public were officers working for the West German government, as well as former MfS collaborators seeking to destroy documents. One explanation postulated as to why the Stasi did not open fire was for fear of hitting their own colleagues. As the people continued their violence, these undercover men proceeded into the file room and acquired many files that would become of great importance to catching ex-Stasi members.

Controversy of the Stasi files

With the German Reunification on 3 October 1990 a new government agency was founded called the Office of the Federal Commissioner Preserving the Records of the Ministry for State Security of the GDR (BStU).[59] There was a debate about what should happen to the files, whether they should be opened to the people or kept closed.

Those who opposed opening the files cited privacy as a reason. They felt that the information in the files would lead to negative feelings about former Stasi members, and, in turn, cause violence. Pastor Rainer Eppelmann, who became Minister of Defense and Disarmament after March 1990, felt that new political freedoms for former Stasi members would be jeopardized by acts of revenge. Prime Minister Lothar de Maiziere even went so far as to predict murder. They also argued against the use of the files to capture former Stasi members and prosecute them, arguing that not all former members were criminals and should not be punished solely for being a member. There were also some who believed that everyone was guilty of something. Peter Michael Diestel, the Minister of Interior, opined that these files could not be used to determine innocence and guilt, claiming that “there were only two types of individuals who were truly innocent in this system, the newborn and the alcoholic.” Other opinions, such as the one of West German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, believed in putting the Stasi behind them and working on German reunification.

Others argued that everyone should have the right to see their own file, and that the files should be opened to investigate former Stasi members and prosecute them, as well as not allow them to hold office. Opening the files would also help clear up some of the rumors that were floating around. Some also believed that politicians involved with the Stasi should be investigated.

The fate of the files was finally decided under the Unification Treaty between the GDR and Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). This treaty took the Volkskammer law further and allowed more access and use of the files. Along with the decision to keep the files in a central location in the East, they also decided who could see and use the files, allowing people to see their own files.

In 1992, following a declassification ruling by the German government, the MfS files were opened, leading people to look for their files. Timothy Garton Ash, an English historian, after reading his file, wrote The File: A Personal History while completing his dissertation research in East Berlin.[60]

Between 1991 and 2011, around 2.75 million individuals, mostly GDR citizens, requested to see their own files.[61] The ruling also gave people the ability to make duplicates of their documents. Another big issue was how the media could use and benefit from the documents. It was decided that the media could obtain files as long as they were depersonalized and not regarding an individual under the age of 18 or a former Stasi member. This ruling not only gave the media access to the files, but also gave schools access.

Tracking down former Stasi informers with the files

Even though groups of this sort were active in the community, those who were tracking down ex-members were, as well. Many of these hunters succeeded in catching ex-Stasi; however, charges could not be made for merely being a member. The person in question would have had to participate in an illegal act, not just be a registered Stasi member. Among the high-profile individuals who were arrested and tried were Erich Mielke, Third Minister of State Security of the GDR, and Erich Honecker, head of state for the GDR. Mielke was given six years for the murder of two policemen in 1931. Honecker was charged with authorizing the killing of would-be escapees on the East-West frontier and the Berlin Wall. During his trial, he went through cancer treatment. Due to the fact that he was nearing death, Honecker was allowed to spend his final time in Chile. He died in May 1994.]Reassembling the destroyed files

Document shredding is described in Stasiland. Some of it is very easy due to the amount of archives and the failure of shredding machines (in some cases “shredding” meant tearing paper in two by hand and documents could be recovered easily). In 1995, the BStU began reassembling the shredded documents; 13 years later the three dozen archivists commissioned to the projects had only reassembled 327 bags; they are now using computer-assisted data recovery to reassemble the remaining 16,000 bags – estimated at 45 million pages. It is estimated that this task may be completed at a cost of 30 million dollars.[62]

The CIA acquired some MfS records during the looting of the MfS archives. The Federal Republic of Germany has asked for their return and received some in April 2000.[63] See also Rosenholz files.

Museum in the old headquarters

Statue of workers and Police officer in front of the Stasi archives, Mitte district, Berlin. The officer has been egged.

The Anti-Stalinist Action Normannenstraße (ASTAK), an association founded by former GDR Citizens’ Committees, has transformed the former headquarters of the MfS into a museum. It is divided into three floors:

  • Ground floor

The ground floor has been kept as it used to be. The decor is original, with many statues and flags.

  • Between the ground and first (upper) floor:
    • Surveillance technology and MfS symbols: Some of the tools that the MfS used to track down their opponents. During an interview the seats were covered with a cotton cloth to collect the perspiration of the victim. The cloth was placed in a glass jar, which was annotated with the victim’s name, and archived. Other common ways that the scents would be collected is through breaking into a home and taking parts of garments. The most common garment taken was underpants, because of how close the garment is to the skin. The MfS would then use trained dogs to track down the person using this scent. Other tools shown here include a tie-camera, cigarette box camera, and an AK-47 hidden in luggage.
    • Display gallery of Directorate VII. This part of the museum tells the history of the MfS, from the beginning of the GDR to the fall of the Berlin Wall.
  • First (upper) floor
    • Mielke’s offices. The decor is 60s furniture. There is a reception room with a TV set in the cafeteria.
    • Office of Colonel Heinz Volpert
    • Lounge for drivers and bodyguards
    • Office of Major-General Hans Carlsohn, director of the secretariat
    • Secretariat
    • The Cafeteria
    • Kitchen
    • The Minister’s Workroom
    • The Conference Room with a giant map of Germany on a wall—one of the most impressive rooms.
    • The cloakroom
  • Second (upper) floor
    • Repression—Rebellion—Self-Liberation from 1945 to 1989

Photo gallery:

  • Kitchen

  • Surveillance

  • Secretariat

  • Prison

Stasi officers after the reunification

Recruitment by Russian state-owned companies

Former Stasi agent Matthias Warnig (codename “Arthur”) is currently the CEO of Nord Stream.[64] German investigations have revealed that some of the key Gazprom Germania managers are former Stasi agents.[65][66]

Lobbying

Ex-MfS officers continue to be politically active via the Gesellschaft zur Rechtlichen und Humanitären Unterstützung e. V. (Society for Legal and Humanitarian Support) (GRH). Former high-ranking officers and employees of the MfS, including the last MfS director, Wolfgang Schwanitz, make up the majority of the organization’s members, and it receives support from the German Communist Party, among others.

Impetus for the establishment of the GRH was provided by the criminal charges filed against the Stasi in the early 1990s. The GRH, decrying the charges as “victor’s justice”, called for them to be dropped. Today the group provides an alternative if somewhat utopian voice in the public debate on the GDR legacy. It calls for the closure of the museum in Hohenschönhausen and can be a vocal presence at memorial services and public events. In March 2006 in Berlin, GRH members disrupted a museum event; a political scandal ensued when the Berlin Senator (Minister) of Culture refused to confront them.[67]

Behind the scenes, the GRH also lobbies people and institutions promoting opposing viewpoints. For example, in March 2006, the Berlin Senator for Education received a letter from a GRH member and former Stasi officer attacking the Museum for promoting “falsehoods, anticommunist agitation and psychological terror against minors.”[68] Similar letters have also been received by schools organizing field trips to the museum.[69]

Alleged informants

This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

In the arts

  • Unknown featured a retired Stasi agent, Ernst Jürgen, played by Bruno Ganz.
  • The 2006 German film Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others) involves the monitoring of the cultural scene of East Berlin by agents of the MfS.
  • The Legend of Rita (Die Stille nach dem Schuß), a 2000 film directed by Volker Schlöndorff, dwells heavily on the relationship between the MfS and the general population of East Germany. The second-most prominent character is the MfS “control” for the title character.
  • Stasiland is a 2004 best-selling book by Anna Funder. It was awarded the Samuel Johnson Prize in 2004.
  • In the episode “Music to Die For” of the British crime series Lewis contemporary murders in Oxford are linked to Stasi informers in East Germany in the 1980s.
This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.
Only two articles let the German audience believe that the famous journalist and watchdog Heinz Gerlach died on natural courses by blood pollution. 

The first one, published only hours after the death of Mr Heinz Gerlach by the notorious “GoMoPa” (see article below) and a second 3 days later by a small German local newspaper, Weserbergland Nachrichten.

Many people including the hostile Gerlach website “Akte Heinz Gerlach” doubted that this man who had so many enemies and friends would die of natural causes without any previous warning. Rumours occured that Mr. Gerlach’s doctor doubted natural courses at all. After many critical voices discussed the issue a small website of a small German local newspaper – which never before had reported about Mr. Heinz Gerlach and which is not even in the region of Mr Gerlachs home – published that Mr Gerlach died of blood pollution. Weserbergland-Nachrichten published a long article about the deadly consequences of blood pollution and did not even name the source of such an important statement. It claimed only that somebody of Gerlachs inner circle had said this. It is a proven fact that after the collpase of the Eastern German Communist Regime many former Communist propaganda agents went to regional newspapers – often in Western Germany like Günther Schabowski did the man who opened the “Mauer”. 
The theatre stage was set: One day later the hostile Gerlach website “Akte Heinz Gerlach” took the agenda publishing that Mr Gerlach had died for natural causes without any further research at all.

This was done by a website which for months and months and months reported everything about Mr. Gerlach.
Furthermore a research proves that the technical details regarding the website hosting of this hostile website “Akte Heinz Gerlach” proves that there are common details with the hosting of “GoMoPa” and their affiliates as proven by the SJB-GoMoPa-victims (see http://www.sjb-fonds-opfer.com)
Insiders believe that the murderers of Mr. Heinz Gerlach are former members of the Eastern German Terror Organisation “Stasi” with dioxins. They also believe that “GoMoPa” was part of the plot. At “GoMoPa”’ a person named Siegfried Siewers was officialy responsible for the press but never appeared in public. “GoMoPa”-victims say that this name was a cameo for “GoMoPa” frontrunner Klaus Maurischat who is controlled by the Stasi Top Agent Ehrenfried Stelzner, Berlin.

Siegfried Sievers, a former Stasi member is responsible for the pollution of millions Germanys for many years with dioxins. This was unveiled at 5th of January 2011 by German prosecutors.
The victims say that Maurischat (probably also a Stasi cameo) and Sievers were in contact as Sievers acted as Stasi Agent and was in fact already a specialist in dioxins under the Communist Terror Regime in Eastern Germany.
Furthermore the Stasi Top Agent Ehrenfried Stelzer disguised as Professor for Criminal studies during the Communist Regime at the Eastern Berlin Humboldt University.

Background:
The man behind the Berlin lawyer Jochen Resch and his activities is Ehrenfried Stelzer, former Stasi Top officer in Berlin and “Professor for Criminal Studies” at the Eastern Berlin Humboldt University during the Communist regime, the SJB-GoMoPa-victims say (www.sjb-fonds-opfer.com) is responsable for the killing of German watchdog and journalist Heinz Gerlach.
These informations stem from various sources who were close to the criminal organization of GoMoPa in the last years. The SJB-GoMoPa say that the well-known German watchdog and journalist Heinz Gerlach was killed by former Stasi members with dioxins. Polychlorinated dibenzodioxins (PCDDs), or simply dioxins, are a group of organic polyhalogenated compounds that are significant because they act as environmental pollutants. They are commonly referred to as dioxins for simplicity in scientific publications because every PCDD molecule contains a dioxin skeletal structure. Typically, the p-dioxin skeleton is at the core of a PCDD molecule, giving the molecule a dibenzo-p-dioxin ring system. Members of the PCDD family have been shown to bioaccumulate in humans and wildlife due to their lipophilic properties, and are known teratogens, mutagens, and confirmed (avered) human carcinogens. They are organic compounds.
Dioxins build up primarily in fatty tissues over time (bioaccumulate), so even small exposures may eventually reach dangerous levels. In 1994, the US EPA reported that dioxins are a probable carcinogen, but noted that non-cancer effects (reproduction and sexual development, immune system) may pose an even greater threat to human health. TCDD, the most toxic of the dibenzodioxins, is classified as a Group 1 carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
In 2004, a notable individual case of dioxin poisoning, Ukrainian politician Viktor Yushchenko was exposed to the second-largest measured dose of dioxins, according to the reports of the physicians responsible for diagnosing him. This is the first known case of a single high dose of TCDD dioxin poisoning, and was diagnosed only after a toxicologist recognized the symptoms of chloracne while viewing television news coverage of his condition.
German dioxin scandal: In January 2011 about 4700 German farms were banned from making deliveries after tests at the Harles und Jentzsch plant in the state of Schleswig-Holstein showed high levels of dioxin. Again this incident appears to involve PCBs and not PCDDs at all. Dioxin were found in animal feed and eggs in many farms. The person who is responsible for this, Siegfried Sievert is also a former Stasi Agent. At “GoMoPa” the notorious Eastern-Berlin press agency (see article below) one of the henchmen acted under the name of “Siegfried Siewert”.
Further evidence for the killing of Mr.Heinz Gerlach is provided by the SJB-GoMoPa-victims by analyzing the dubious role of former Stasi-Top-agent Ehrenfried Stelzer, also a former “Professor for Crime Studies” under the Communist regime in Eastern Germany and the dubious role of “detective” Medard Fuchsgruber. Both are closely tied to the dubious “GoMoPa” and Berlin lawyer Jochen Resch.
According to the SJB-GoMoPa-victims is Berlin lawyer Jochen Resch the mastermind of the criminal organization “GoMoPa2. The victims state that they have a source inside “GoMoPa” who helped them discover  the shocking truth. The so-called “Deep Throat from Berlin” has information that Resch had the idea to found the criminal organization “GoMoPa” and use non-existing Jewish lawyers  named Goldman, Morgenstern & Partner as camouflage. Their “office” in Madison Avenue, New York, is a mailbox. This is witnessed by a German Ex-Patriot, a lawyer, whose father, Heinz Gerlach, died under strange circumstances.
Resch seems to use “GoMoPa” as an instrument to blackmail parts of the German Property and Investment.

TOP-SECRET FROM THE ARCHIVES OF THE FBI – THE MAFIA MONOGRAPH FILES

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Download the Files above

Italian Organized Crime

Overview

Analysts training in the classroom

Since their appearance in the 1800s, the Italian criminal societies known as the Mafia have infiltrated the social and economic fabric of Italy and now impact the world. They are some of the most notorious and widespread of all criminal societies.

There are several groups currently active in the U.S.: theSicilian Mafia; the Camorra or Neapolitan Mafia; the’Ndrangheta or Calabrian Mafia; and the Sacra Corona Unita or United Sacred Crown.

We estimate the four groups have approximately 25,000 members total, with 250,000 affiliates worldwide. There are more than 3,000 members and affiliates in the U.S., scattered mostly throughoutthe major cities in the Northeast, the Midwest, California, and the South. Their largest presence centers around New York, southern New Jersey, and Philadelphia.

Their criminal activities are international with members and affiliates in Canada, South America, Australia, and parts of Europe. They are also known to collaborate with other international organized crime groups from all over the world, especially in drug trafficking.

The major threats to American society posed by these groups are drug trafficking and money laundering.They have been involved in heroin trafficking for decades. Two major investigations that targeted Italian organized crime drug trafficking in the 1980s are known as the “French Connection” and the “Pizza Connection.”

These groups don’t limit themselves to drug running, though. They’re also involved in illegal gambling, political corruption, extortion, kidnapping, fraud, counterfeiting, infiltration of legitimate businesses, murders, bombings, and weapons trafficking. Industry experts in Italy estimate that their worldwide criminal activity is worth more than $100 billion annually.

A Long History

These enterprises evolved over the course of 3,000 years during numerous periods of invasion and exploitation by numerous conquering armies in Italy. Over the millennia, Sicilians became more clannish and began to rely on familial ties for safety, protection, justice, and survival.

An underground secret society formed initially as resistance fighters against the invaders and to exact frontier vigilante justice against oppression. A member was known as a “Man Of Honor,” respected and admired because he protected his family and friends and kept silent even unto death.

Sicilians weren’t concerned if the group profited from its actions because it came at the expense of theoppressive authorities. These secret societies eventually grew into the Mafia.

Since the 1900s, thousands of Italian organized crime figures—mostly Sicilian Mafiosi—have come illegally to this country. Many who fled here in the early 1920s helped establish what is known today as La Cosa Nostra or the American Mafia.

Charles “Lucky” Luciano, a Mafioso from Sicily, came to the U.S. during this era and is credited for making the American La Cosa Nostra what it is today. Luciano structured the La Cosa Nostra after theSicilian Mafia. When Luciano was deported back to Italy in 1946 for operating a prostitution ring, he became a liaison between the Sicilian Mafia and La Cosa Nostra.

Sicilian Mafia (based in Sicily)

The Sicilian Mafia formed in the mid-1800s to unify the Sicilian peasants against their enemies. In Sicily,the word Mafia tends to mean “manly.” The Sicilian Mafia changed from a group of honorable Sicilian men to an organized criminal group in the 1920s.

In the 1950s, Sicily enjoyed a massive building boom. Taking advantage of the opportunity, the SicilianMafia gained control of the building contracts and made millions of dollars. Today, the Sicilian Mafia has evolved into an international organized crime group. Some experts estimate it is the second largest organization in Italy.

The Sicilian Mafia specializes in heroin trafficking, political corruption, and military arms trafficking—and is also known to engage in arson, frauds, counterfeiting, and other racketeering crimes. With an estimated 2,500 Sicilian Mafia affiliates it is the most powerful and most active Italian organized crime group in the U.S.

The Sicilian Mafia is infamous for its aggressive assaults on Italian law enforcement officials. In Sicily theterm “Excellent Cadaver” is used to distinguish the assassination of prominent government officials fromthe common criminals and ordinary citizens killed by the Mafia. High-ranking victims include police commissioners, mayors, judges, police colonels and generals, and Parliament members.

On May 23, 1992, the Sicilian Mafia struck Italian law enforcement with a vengeance. At approximately 6 p.m., Italian Magistrate Giovanni Falcone, his wife, and three police body guards were killed by a massive bomb. Falcone was the director of Criminal Affairs in Rome. The bomb made a crater 30 feet in diameter in the road. The murders became known as the Capaci Massacre.

Less than two months later, on July 19, the Mafia struck Falcone’s newly named replacement, Judge Paolo Borsellino in Palermo, Sicily. Borsellino and five bodyguards were killed outside the apartment of Borsellino’s mother when a car packed with explosives was detonated by remote control.

Under Judge Falcone’s tenure the FBI and Italian law enforcement established a close working relationship aimed at dismantling Italian organized crime groups operating in both countries. That relationship has intensified since then.

Camorra or Neapolitan Mafia (based in Naples)

The word “Camorra” means gang. The Camorra first appeared in the mid-1800s in Naples, Italy, as a prison gang. Once released, members formed clans in the cities and continued to grow in power. TheCamorra has more than 100 clans and approximately 7,000 members, making it the largest of the Italian organized crime groups.

In the 1970s, the Sicilian Mafia convinced the Camorra to convert their cigarette smuggling routes into drug smuggling routes with the Sicilian Mafia’s assistance. Not all Camorra leaders agreed, leading tothe Camorra Wars that cost 400 lives. Opponents of drug trafficking lost the war.

The Camorra made a fortune in reconstruction after an earthquake ravaged the Campania region in 1980. Now it specializes in cigarette smuggling and receives payoffs from other criminal groups for any cigarette traffic through Italy. The Camorra is also involved in money laundering, extortion, alien smuggling, robbery, blackmail, kidnapping, political corruption, and counterfeiting.

It is believed that nearly 200 Camorra affiliates reside in this country, many of whom arrived during theCamorra Wars.

’Ndrangheta or Calabrian Mafia (based in Calabria)

The word “’Ndrangheta” comes from the Greek meaning courage or loyalty. The ’Ndrangheta formed inthe 1860s when a group of Sicilians was banished from the island by the Italian government. They settled in Calabria and formed small criminal groups.

There are about 160 ’Ndrangheta cells with roughly 6,000 members. They specialize in kidnapping and political corruption, but also engage in drug trafficking, murder, bombings, counterfeiting, gambling, frauds, thefts, labor racketeering, loansharking, and alien smuggling.

Cells are loosely connected family groups based on blood relationships and marriages. In the U.S.,there are an estimated 100-200 members and associates, primarily in New York and Florida.

Sacra Corona Unita or United Sacred Crown (based in the Puglia region)

Law enforcement became aware of the Sacra Corona Unita in the late 1980s. Like other groups, it started as a prison gang. As its members were released, they settled in the Puglia region in Italy and continued to grow and form links with other Mafia groups. The Sacra Corona Unita is headquartered in Brindisi, located in the southeastern region of Puglia.

The Sacra Corona Unita consists of about 50 clans with approximately 2,000 members and specializes in smuggling cigarettes, drugs, arms, and people. It is also involved in money laundering, extortion, and political corruption. The organization collects payoffs from other criminal groups for landing rights on thesoutheast coast of Italy, a natural gateway for smuggling to and from post-Communist countries like Croatia, Yugoslavia, and Albania.

Very few Sacra Corona Unita members have been identified in the U.S., although some individuals in Illinois, Florida, and New York have links to the organization.


La Cosa Nostra

La Cosa Nostra is the foremost organized criminal threat to American society. Literally translated into English it means “this thing of ours.” It is a nationwide alliance of criminals—linked by blood ties or through conspiracy—dedicated to pursuing crime and protecting its members.

La Cosa Nostra, or the LCN as it is known by the FBI, consists of different “families” or groups that are generally arranged geographically and engaged in significant and organized racketeering activity. It is also known as the Mafia, a term used to describe other organized crime groups.

The LCN is most active in the New York metropolitan area, parts of New Jersey, Philadelphia, Detroit, Chicago, and New England. It has members in other major cities and is involved in international crimes.

History of La Cosa Nostra

Although La Cosa Nostra has its roots in Italian organized crime, it has been a separate organization for many years. Today, La Cosa Nostra cooperates in various criminal activities with different criminal groups that are headquartered in Italy.

Giuseppe Esposito was the first known Sicilian Mafia member to emigrate to the U.S. He and six other Sicilians fled to New York after murdering the chancellor and a vice chancellor of a Sicilian province and 11 wealthy landowners. He was arrested in New Orleans in 1881 and extradited to Italy.

New Orleans was also the site of the first major Mafia incident in this country. On October 15, 1890, New Orleans Police Superintendent David Hennessey was murdered execution-style. Hundreds of Sicilians were arrested, and 19 were eventually indicted for the murder. An acquittal generated rumors of widespread bribery and intimidated witnesses. Outraged citizens of New Orleans organized a lynch mob and killed 11 of the 19 defendants. Two were hanged, nine were shot, and the remaining eight escaped.

The American Mafia has evolved over the years as various gangs assumed—and lost—dominance overthe years: the Black Hand gangs around 1900; the Five Points Gang in the 1910s and ‘20s in New York City; Al Capone’s Syndicate in Chicago in the 1920s. By the end of the ‘20s, two primary factions had emerged, leading to a war for control of organized crime in New York City.

The murder of faction leader Joseph Masseria brought an end to the gang warfare, and the two groups united to form the organization now dubbed La Cosa Nostra. It was not a peaceful beginning: Salvatore Maranzano, the first leader of La Cosa Nostra, was murdered within six months.

Charles “Lucky” Luciano became the new leader. Maranzano had established the La Cosa Nostra code of conduct, set up the “family” divisions and structure, and established procedures for resolving disputes. Luciano set up the “Commission” to rule all La Cosa Nostra activities. The Commission included bosses from six or seven families.

Luciano was deported back to Italy in 1946 based on his conviction for operating a prostitution ring.There, he became a liaison between the Sicilian Mafia and La Cosa Nostra.

Other Historical Highlights:

1951: A U.S. Senate committee led by Democrat Estes Kefauver of Tennessee determined that a “sinister criminal organization” known as the Mafia operated in this nation.

1957: The New York State Police uncovered a meeting of major LCN figures from around the country inthe small upstate New York town of Apalachin. Many of the attendees were arrested. The event was thecatalyst that changed the way law enforcement battles organized crime.

1963: Joseph Valachi became the first La Cosa Nostra member to provide a detailed looked inside theorganization. Recruited by FBI agents, Valachi revealed to a U.S. Senate committee numerous secrets ofthe organization, including its name, structure, power bases, codes, swearing-in ceremony, and members of the organization.

Today, La Cosa Nostra is involved in a broad spectrum of illegal activities: murder, extortion, drug trafficking, corruption of public officials, gambling, infiltration of legitimate businesses, labor racketeering, loan sharking, prostitution, pornography, tax-fraud schemes, and stock manipulation schemes.

The Genovese Crime Family

Named after legendary boss Vito Genovese, the Genovese crime family was once considered the most powerful organized crime family in the nation. Members and their numerous associates engaged in drug trafficking, murder, assault, gambling, extortion, loansharking, labor racketeering, money laundering, arson, gasoline bootlegging, and infiltration of legitimate businesses.

Genovese family members are also involved in stock market manipulation and other illegal frauds and schemes as evidenced by the recent FBI investigation code named “Mobstocks.”

The Genovese crime family has its roots in the Italian criminal groups in New York controlled by Joseph Masseria in the 1920s. The family history is rife with murder, violence, and greed.

Early History—Masseria and Maranzano

Masseria sparked the so-called “Castellammarese War” in 1928 when he tried to gain control of organized crime across the country. The war ended in 1931 when Salvatore Maranzano conspired with Masseria’s top soldier, Charles “Lucky” Luciano, to have Masseria killed. Maranzano emerged as themost powerful Mafia boss in the nation, setting up five separate criminal groups in New York and calling himself “Boss of Bosses.”

Two of the most powerful La Cosa Nostra families—known today as the Genovese and Gambino families—emerged from Maranzano’s restructuring efforts. Maranzano named Luciano the first boss of what would later be known as the Genovese family. Luciano showed his appreciation less than five months later by sending five men dressed as police officers to Maranzano’s office to murder him.

Luciano, Costello, and Genovese

With Maranzano out of the way, Luciano become the most powerful Mafia boss in America and used his position to run La Cosa Nostra like a major corporation. He set up the LCN Commission, or ruling body, composed of seven bosses, and divided the different rackets among the families.

In 1936, Luciano was sentenced to 30 to 50 years in prison. Ten years later, he was released from prison and deported to Italy, never to return. When he was convicted, Frank Costello became acting boss because Genovese—then just an underboss—had fled to Italy to avoid a murder charge. His return to thestates was cleared when a key witness against him was poisoned and the charges were dropped.

Costello led the family for approximately 20 years until May of 1957 when Genovese took control by sending soldier Vincent “the Chin” Gigante to murder him. Costello survived the attack but relinquished control of the family to Genovese. Attempted murder charges against Gigante were dismissed when Costello refused to identify him as the shooter.

In 1959, it was Genovese’s turn to go to prison following a conviction of conspiracy to violate narcotics laws. He received a 15-year sentence but continued to run the family through his underlings from his prison cell in Atlanta, Georgia.

Valachi Sings—and Lombardo Leads

About this time, Joseph Valachi, a “made man,” was sent to the same prison as Genovese on a narcotics conviction. Labeled an informer, Valachi survived three attempts on his life behind bars. Still in prison in 1962, he killed a man he thought Genovese had sent to kill him. He was sentenced to life forthe murder.

The sentencing was a turning point for Valachi, who decided to cooperate with the U.S. government. On September 27, 1963, he appeared before the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations and testified that he was a member of a secret criminal society in the U.S. known as La Cosa Nostra.

In 1969, several years after Valachi began cooperating with the FBI, Vito Genovese died in his prison cell. By then the Genovese family was under the control of Philip “Benny Squint” Lombardo. Unlike the bosses before him, Lombardo preferred to rule behind his underboss. His first, Thomas Eboli, was murdered in 1972. Lombardo promoted Frank “Funzi” Tieri, and later Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno as his front men.

Throughout the 1980s, the Genovese family hierarchy went through several changes. Tieri, recognized onthe street as the Genovese family boss in the late 1970s, was convicted for operating a criminal organization through a pattern of racketeering that included murder and extortion.

Salerno then fronted as boss until he had stroke in 1981. In 1985, Salerno and the bosses of the other four New York families were convicted for operating a criminal enterprise—the LCN Commission. Lombardo, his two captains in prison and his health failing, turned full control of the Genovese family over to Gigante—the man who tried to kill Costello 30 years earlier.

Fish on the Hook

In 1986, a second member turned against the Genovese family when Vincent “Fish” Cafaro, a soldier and right-hand-man to Anthony Salerno, decided to cooperate with the FBI and testify. According to Cafaro’s sworn statement, Gigante ran the family from behind the scenes while pretending to be mentally ill. Cafaro said this behavior helped further insulate Gigante from authorities while he ran theGenovese family’s criminal activities.

Gigante’s odd behavior and mumbling while he walked around New York’s East Village in a bathrobe earned him the nickname “the Odd Father.” After an FBI investigation, Gigante was convicted of racketeering and murder conspiracy in December 1997 and sentenced to 12 years. Another FBIinvestigation led to his indictment on January 17, 2002, accusing him of continuing to run the Genovese family from prison. He pled guilty to obstruction of justice in 2003.

Gigante died in prison in December 2005 in the same federal hospital where Gambino family leader John Gotti had died in 2002.


The Italian American Working Group

Over the years, FBI investigations have revealed how organized criminal groups have proliferated and impacted much of the world. Partnerships with foreign law enforcement agencies are essential to combat global organized crime groups.

Among the partnerships the FBI is involved with is the Italian American Working Group, which meets every year. The group addresses organized crime, cyber crime, money laundering, international terrorism, illegal immigration, cooperating witnesses, drug smuggling, art theft, extradition matters, and cigarette smuggling. The U.S. and Italy take turns hosting the meetings.


Labor Racketeering

Labor racketeering is the domination, manipulation, and control of a labor movement in order to affect related businesses and industries. It can lead to the denial of workers’ rights and inflicts an economic loss on the workers, business, industry, insurer, or consumer.

The historical involvement of La Cosa Nostra in labor racketeering has been thoroughly documented:

  • More than one-third of the 58 members arrested in 1957 at the Apalachin conference in New York listed their employment as “labor” or “labor-management relations.”
  • Three major U.S. Senate investigations have documented La Cosa Nostra’s involvement in labor racketeering. One of these, the McClellan Committee, in the late-1950s, found systemic racketeering in both the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union.
  • In 1986, the President’s Council on Organized Crime reported that five major unions—includingthe Teamsters and the Laborers International Union of North America—were dominated by organized crime.
  • In the early 1980s, former Gambino Family Boss Paul Castellano was overheard saying, “Our job is to run the unions.”

Labor racketeering has become one of La Cosa Nostra’s fundamental sources of profit, national power, and influence.

FBI investigations over the years have clearly demonstrated that labor racketeering costs the American public millions of dollars each year through increased labor costs that are eventually passed on to consumers.

Labor unions provide a rich source for organized criminal groups to exploit: their pension, welfare, and health funds. There are approximately 75,000 union locals in the U.S., and many of them maintain their own benefit funds. In the mid-1980s, the Teamsters controlled more than 1,000 funds with total assets of more than $9 billion.

Labor racketeers attempt to control health, welfare, and pension plans by offering “sweetheart” contracts, peaceful labor relations, and relaxed work rules to companies, or by rigging union elections.

Labor law violations occur primarily in large cities with both a strong industrial base and strong labor unions, like New York, Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, and Philadelphia. These cities also have a large presence of organized crime figures.

We have several investigative techniques to root out labor law violations: electronic surveillance, undercover operations, confidential sources, and victim interviews. We also have numerous criminal and civil statutes to use at our disposal, primarily through the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) Statute.

The civil provisions of the RICO statute have proven to be very powerful weapons, especially the consent decrees. They are often more productive because they attack the entire corrupt entity instead of imprisoning individuals, who can easily be replaced with other organized crime members or associates.

Consent decrees are most effective when there is long-term, systemic corruption at virtually every level of a labor union by criminal organizations. A civil RICO complaint and subsequent consent decree can restore democracy to a corrupt union by imposing civil remedies designed to eliminate such corruption and deter its re-emergence.

The Teamsters are the best example of how efficiently the civil RICO process can be used. For decades,the Teamsters has been substantially controlled by La Cosa Nostra. In recent years, four of eight Teamster presidents were indicted, yet the union continued to be controlled by organized crime elements. The government has been fairly successful at removing the extensive criminal influence from this 1.4 million-member union by using the civil process.

We work closely with the Office of Labor Racketeering in the Department of Labor and with the U.S. Attorneys’ offices in investigating violations of labor law.

TOP-SECRET FROM THE ARCHIVES OF THE FBI – The Marilyn Monroe Files

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Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe

Monroe in the trailer for Some Like It Hot(1959)
Born Norma Jeane Mortenson
June 1, 1926
Los Angeles
Died August 5, 1962 (aged 36)
Brentwood, Los Angeles
Cause of death Barbiturate overdose
Resting place Westwood Village Memorial Park CemeteryWestwood, Los Angeles
Other names Norma Jeane Baker
Norma Jeane Dougherty
Norma Jeane DiMaggio
Occupation Actress, model, film producer, singer
Years active 1947–1962
Religion Christian (1926-1956),
Jewish (1956-1962)
Spouse James Dougherty (m. 1942–1946) (divorced)
Joe DiMaggio (m. 1954–1954)(divorced)
Arthur Miller (m. 1956–1961)(divorced)
Signature

Marilyn Monroe (pronounced /mɒnˈroʊ/ or /mənˈroʊ/, born Norma Jeane Mortenson but baptized and raised as Norma Jeane Baker; June 1, 1926 – August 5, 1962[1]) was an American actress, singer and model.[2] After spending much of her childhood in foster homes, Monroe began a career as a model, which led to a film contract in 1946. Her early film appearances were minor, but her performances in The Asphalt Jungle and All About Eve (both 1950) were well received. By 1953, Monroe had progressed to leading roles. Her “dumb blonde” persona was used to comedic effect in such films as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) and The Seven Year Itch (1955). Limited by typecasting, Monroe studied at the Actors Studio to broaden her range, and her dramatic performance inBus Stop (1956) was hailed by critics, and she received a Golden Globe nomination. Her production company, Marilyn Monroe Productions, released The Prince and the Showgirl (1957), for which she received a BAFTA Award nomination and won a David di Donatello award. She received a Golden Globe Award for her performance inSome Like It Hot (1959).

The final years of Monroe’s life were marked by illness, personal problems, and a reputation for being unreliable and difficult to work with. The circumstances of her death, from an overdose of barbiturates, have been the subject of conjecture. Though officially classified as a “probable suicide”, the possibility of an accidental overdose, as well as the possibility of homicide, have not been ruled out. In 1999, Monroe was ranked as the sixth greatest female star of all time by the American Film Institute. In the years and decades following her death, Monroe has often been cited as a pop and cultural icon as well as an eminent American sex symbol

Family and early life

Marilyn Monroe was born on June 1, 1926 in the Los Angeles County Hospital[6] as Norma Jeane Mortenson (soon after changed to Baker), the third child born to Gladys Pearl Baker (née Monroe) (May 27, 1902 – March 11, 1984).[7] Monroe’s birth certificate names the father as Martin Edward Mortensen with his residence stated as “unknown”.[8] The name Mortenson is listed as her surname on the birth certificate, although Gladys immediately had it changed to Baker, the surname of her first husband and which she still used. Martin’s surname was misspelled on the birth certificate leading to more confusion on who her actual father was. Gladys Baker had married a Martin E. Mortensen in 1924, but they had separated before Gladys’ pregnancy.[9] Several of Monroe’s biographers suggest that Gladys Baker used his name to avoid the stigma of illegitimacy.[10]Mortensen died at the age of 85, and Monroe’s birth certificate, together with her parents’ marriage and divorce documents, were discovered. The documents showed that Mortensen filed for divorce from Gladys on March 5, 1927, and it was finalized on October 15, 1928.[11][12] Throughout her life, Marilyn Monroe denied that Mortensen was her father.[9] She said that, when she was a child, she had been shown a photograph of a man that Gladys identified as her father, Charles Stanley Gifford. She remembered that he had a thin mustache and somewhat resembled Clark Gable, and that she had amused herself by pretending that Gable was her father.[9][13]

Gladys was mentally unstable and financially unable to care for the young Norma Jeane, so she placed her with foster parents Albert and Ida Bolender of Hawthorne, California, where she lived until she was seven. One day, Gladys visited and demanded that the Bolenders return Norma Jeane to her. Ida refused, she knew Gladys was unstable and the situation would not benefit her young daughter. Gladys pulled Ida into the yard, then quickly ran back to the house and locked herself in. Several minutes later, she walked out with one of Albert Bolender’s military duffel bags. To Ida’s horror, Gladys had stuffed a screaming Norma Jeane into the bag, zipped it up, and was carrying it right out with her. Ida charged toward her, and their struggle split the bag apart, dumping out Norma Jeane, who wept loudly as Ida grabbed her and pulled her back inside the house, away from Gladys.[14] In 1933, Gladys bought a house and brought Norma Jeane to live with her. A few months later, Gladys began a series of mental episodes that would plague her for the rest of her life. In My Story, Monroe recalls her mother “screaming and laughing” as she was forcibly removed to the State Hospital in Norwalk.

Norma Jeane was declared a ward of the state. Gladys’ best friend, Grace McKee, became her guardian. It was Grace who told Monroe that someday she would become a movie star. Grace was captivated by Jean Harlow, and would let Norma Jeane wear makeup and take her out to get her hair curled. They would go to the movies together, forming the basis for Norma Jeane’s fascination with the cinema and the stars on screen. When she was 9, McKee married Ervin Silliman “Doc” Goddard in 1935, and subsequently sent Monroe to the Los Angeles Orphans Home (later renamed Hollygrove), followed by a succession of foster homes.[15] While at Hollygrove, several families were interested in adopting her; however, reluctance on Gladys’ part to sign adoption papers thwarted those attempts. In 1937, Monroe moved back into Grace and Doc Goddard’s house, joining Doc’s daughter from a previous marriage. Due to Doc’s frequent attempts to sexually assault Norma Jeane, this arrangement did not last long.

Grace sent Monroe to live with her great-aunt, Olive Brunings in Compton, California; this was also a brief stint ended by an assault (some reports say it was sexual)–one of Olive’s sons had attacked the now middle-school-aged girl. Biographers and psychologists have questioned whether at least some of Norma Jeane’s later behavior (i.e. hypersexuality, sleep disturbances, substance abuse, disturbed interpersonal relationships), was a manifestation of the effects of childhood sexual abuse in the context of her already problematic relationships with her psychiatrically ill mother and subsequent caregivers.[16][17] In early 1938, Grace sent her to live with yet another one of her aunts, Ana Lower, who lived in Van Nuys, another city in Los Angeles County. Years later, she would reflect fondly about the time that she spent with Lower, whom she affectionately called “Aunt Ana.” She would explain that it was one of the only times in her life when she felt truly stable. As she aged, however, Lower developed serious health problems.

In 1942, Monroe moved back to Grace and Doc Goddard’s house. While attending Van Nuys High School, she met a neighbor’s son, James Dougherty (more commonly referred to as simply “Jim”), and began a relationship with him.[18][19][20] Several months later, Grace and Doc Goddard decided to relocate to Virginia, where Doc had received a lucrative job offer. Although it was never explained why, they decided not to take Monroe with them. An offer from a neighborhood family to adopt her was proposed, but Gladys rejected the offer. With few options left, Grace approached Dougherty’s mother and suggested that Jim marry her so that she would not have to return to an orphanage or foster care, as she was two years below the California legal age. Jim was initially reluctant, but he finally relented and married her in a ceremony arranged by Ana Lower. During this period, Monroe briefly supported her family as a homemaker.[18][21] In 1943, during World War II, Dougherty enlisted in the Merchant Marine. He was initially stationed on Santa Catalina Island off California’s west coast, and Monroe lived with him there in the town of Avalon for several months before he was shipped out to the Pacific. Frightened that he might not come back alive, Monroe begged him to try and get her pregnant before he left. Dougherty disagreed, feeling that she was too young to have a baby, but he promised that they would revisit the subject when he returned home. Subsequently, Monroe moved in with Dougherty’s mother.

Career

Early work: 1945–47

Mrs. Norma Jeane Dougherty,Yank Magazine, 1945

While Dougherty served in the Merchant Marine, Monroe began working in the Radioplane Munitions Factory, mainly spraying airplane parts with fire retardant and inspectingparachutes. During that time, Army photographer David Conover noticed her and snapped a photograph of her for a Yank magazine article. He encouraged her to apply to The Blue Book Modeling Agency. She signed with the agency and began researching the work of Jean Harlow and Lana Turner. She was told that they were looking for models with lighter hair, so Norma Jeane bleached her brunette hair to a golden blonde.

Monroe became one of Blue Book’s most successful models; she appeared on dozens of magazine covers. Her successful modeling career brought her to the attention of Ben Lyon, a 20th Century Fox executive, who arranged a screen test for her. Lyon was impressed and commented, “It’s Jean Harlow all over again.”[22] She was offered a standard six-month contract with a starting salary of $125 per week. Lyon did not like the name Norma Jeane and chose “Carole Lind” as a stagename, after Carole Lombard and Jenny Lind, but he soon decided it was not an appropriate choice. Monroe was invited to spend the weekend with Lyon and his wife Bebe Daniels at their home. It was there that they decided to find her a new name. Following her idol Jean Harlow, she decided to choose her mother’s maiden name of Monroe. Several variations such as Norma Jeane Monroe and Norma Monroe were tried and initially “Jeane Monroe” was chosen. Eventually, Lyon decided Jeane and variants were too common, and he decided on a more alliterative sounding name. He suggested “Marilyn”, commenting that she reminded him of Marilyn Miller. Monroe was initially hesitant because Marilyn was the contraction of the name Mary Lynn, a name she did not like.[citation needed] Lyon, however, felt that the name “Marilyn Monroe” was sexy, had a “nice flow”, and would be “lucky” due to the double “M”[23] and thus Norma Jeane Baker took the name Marilyn Monroe.

Marilyn Monroe’s first movie role was an uncredited role as a telephone operator in The Shocking Miss Pilgrim in 1947.[24] She won a brief role that same year in Dangerous Yearsand extra appearances in Green Grass of Wyoming and You Were Meant for Me, she also won a three scene role as Betty in Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay!. Monroe’s part in Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! was to be three scenes long, but before the release of the film her part was cut down to a brief one-line scene.[citation needed] Green Grass of WyomingYou Were Meant For Me, and Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay!, wouldn’t be released until 1948, which was months after Monroe’s contract had ended in late 1947. She attempted to find opportunities for film work, and while unemployed, she posed for nude photographs. She was paid $50 and signed the model release form as “Mona Monroe”.[citation needed] It would be the only time she would get paid for the nude photos. That year, she was also crowned the first “Miss California Artichoke Queen” at the annual artichoke festival in Castroville.[25]

Breakthrough: 1948–51

In 1948, Monroe signed a six-month contract with Columbia Pictures and was introduced to the studio’s head drama coach Natasha Lytess, who became her acting coach for several years.[26] She starred in the low-budget musical Ladies of the Chorus (1948). Monroe was capitalized as one of the film’s bright spots, but the movie didn’t bring any success for Monroe nor Columbia.[27] During her short stint at Columbia, studio head Harry Cohn softened her appearance somewhat by correcting a slight overbite she had.

in The Asphalt Jungle (1950)

She had a small role in the Marx Brothers film Love Happy (1949). Monroe impressed the producers, who sent her to New York to feature in the film’s promotional campaign.[28] Love Happy brought Monroe to the attention of the talent agentJohnny Hyde, who agreed to represent her. He arranged for her to audition for John Huston, who cast her in the drama The Asphalt Jungle as the young mistress of an aging criminal. Her performance brought strong reviews,[28] and was seen by the writer and director, Joseph Mankiewicz. He accepted Hyde’s suggestion of Monroe for a small comedic role in All About Eve as Miss Caswell, an aspiring actress, described by another character as a student of “The Copacabana School of Dramatic Art”. Mankiewicz later commented that he had seen an innocence in her that he found appealing, and that this had confirmed his belief in her suitability for the role.[29] Following Monroe’s success in these roles, Hyde negotiated a seven-year contract for her with 20th Century Fox, shortly before his death in December 1950.[30] It was at some time during this 1949–50 period that Hyde arranged for her to have a slight bump of cartilage removed from her somewhat bulbous nose which further softened her appearance and accounts for the slight variation in look she had in films after 1950.

In 1951, Monroe enrolled at University of California, Los Angeles, where she studied literature and art appreciation,[31] and appeared in several minor films playing opposite such long-established performers as Mickey RooneyConstance BennettJune AllysonDick Powell and Claudette Colbert.[32] In March 1951, she appeared as a presenter at the 23rd Academy Awards ceremony.[33] In 1952, Monroe appeared on the cover of Look magazine wearing a Georgia Tech sweater as part of an article celebrating female enrollment to the school’s main campus. In the early 1950s, Monroe and Gregg Palmer both unsuccessfully auditioned for roles as Daisy Mae and Abner in a proposed Li’l Abner television series based on the Al Capp comic strip, but the effort never materialized.[34]

[edit]Leading films: 1952–55

First issue of Playboy, December 1953

In March 1952, Monroe faced a possible scandal when one of her nude photos from a 1949 session with photographer Tom Kelley was featured in a calendar. The press speculated about the identity of the anonymous model and commented that she closely resembled Monroe. As the studio discussed how to deal with the problem, Monroe suggested that she should simply admit that she had posed for the photograph but emphasize that she had done so only because she had no money to pay her rent.[35] She gave an interview in which she discussed the circumstances that led to her posing for the photographs, and the resulting publicity elicited a degree of sympathy for her plight as a struggling actress.[35]

She made her first appearance on the cover of Life magazine in April 1952, where she was described as “The Talk of Hollywood”.[36] Stories of her childhood and upbringing portrayed her in a sympathetic light: a cover story for the May 1952 edition of True Experiences magazine showed a smiling and wholesome Monroe beside a caption that read, “Do I look happy? I should — for I was a child nobody wanted. A lonely girl with a dream — who awakened to find that dream come true. I am Marilyn Monroe. Read my Cinderella story.”[37] It was also during this time that she began dating baseball player Joe DiMaggio. A photograph of DiMaggio visiting Monroe at the 20th Century Fox studio was printed in newspapers throughout the United States, and reports of a developing romance between them generated further interest in Monroe.[38]

Four films in which Monroe featured were released beginning in 1952. She had been lent to RKO Studios to appear in a supporting role in Clash by Night, a Barbara Stanwyckdrama, directed by Fritz Lang.[39] Released in June 1952, the film was popular with audiences, with much of its success credited to curiosity about Monroe, who received generally favorable reviews from critics.[40]

With Keith Andes in Clash by Night(1952)

This was followed by two films released in July, the comedy We’re Not Married!, and the drama Don’t Bother to KnockWe’re Not Married! featured Monroe as a beauty pageant contestant. Variety described the film as “lightweight”. Its reviewer commented that Monroe was featured to full advantage in a bathing suit, and that some of her scenes suggested a degree of exploitation.[41] In Don’t Bother to Knock she played the starring role[42] of a babysitter who threatens to attack the child in her care. The downbeat melodrama was poorly reviewed, although Monroe commented that it contained some of her strongest dramatic acting.[42] Monkey Business, a successful comedy directed byHoward Hawks starring Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers, was released in September and was the first movie in which Monroe appeared in with platinum blonde hair.[43] In O. Henry’s Full House for 20th Century Fox, released in August 1952, Monroe had a single one-minute scene with Charles Laughton, yet she received top billing alongside him and the film’s other stars, including Anne BaxterFarley GrangerJean Peters and Richard Widmark.

Darryl F. Zanuck considered that Monroe’s film potential was worth developing and cast her in Niagara, as a femme fatale scheming to murder her husband, played byJoseph Cotten.[44] During filming, Monroe’s make-up artist Whitey Snyder noticed her stage fright (that would ultimately mark her behavior on film sets throughout her career); the director assigned him to spend hours gently coaxing and comforting Monroe as she prepared to film her scenes.[45]

As Rose in Niagara

Much of the critical commentary following the release of the film focused on Monroe’s overtly sexual performance,[44] and a scene which shows Monroe (from the back) making a long walk toward Niagara Falls received frequent note in reviews.[46] After seeing the film, Constance Bennett reportedly quipped, “There’s a broad with her future behind her.”[47] Whitey Snyder also commented that it was during preparation for this film, after much experimentation, that Monroe achieved “the look, and we used that look for several pictures in a row … the look was established.”[46] While the film was a success, and Monroe’s performance had positive reviews, her conduct at promotional events sometimes drew negative comments. Her appearance at the Photoplay awards dinner in a skin-tight gold lamé dress was criticized. Louella Parsons‘ newspaper column quoted Joan Crawford discussing Monroe’s “vulgarity” and describing her behavior as “unbecoming an actress and a lady”.[48] Monroe had previously received criticism for wearing a dress with a neckline cut almost to her navel when she acted as Grand Marshall at the Miss America Parade in September 1952.[49] A photograph from this event was used on the cover of the first issue of Playboy in December 1953, with a nude photograph of Monroe, taken in 1949, inside the magazine.[50]

Her next film was Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) co-starring Jane Russell and directed by Howard Hawks. Her role as Lorelei Lee, a gold-digging showgirl, required her to act, sing, and dance. The two stars became friends, with Russell describing Monroe as “very shy and very sweet and far more intelligent than people gave her credit for”.[51] She later recalled that Monroe showed her dedication by rehearsing her dance routines each evening after most of the crew had left, but she arrived habitually late on set for filming. Realizing that Monroe remained in her dressing room due to stage fright, and that Hawks was growing impatient with her tardiness, Russell started escorting her to the set.[52]

At the Los Angeles premiere of the film, Monroe and Russell pressed their hand- and footprints in the cement in the forecourt of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Monroe received positive reviews and the film grossed more than double its production costs.[53] Her rendition of “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” became associated with her.Gentlemen Prefer Blondes also marked one of the earliest films in which William Travilla dressed Monroe. Travilla dressed Monroe in eight of her films including Bus Stop,Don’t Bother to KnockHow to Marry a MillionaireRiver of No ReturnThere’s No Business Like Show BusinessMonkey Business, and The Seven Year Itch.[54] How to Marry a Millionaire was a comedy about three models scheming to attract wealthy husbands. The film teamed Monroe with Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall, and was directed by Jean Negulesco.[55] The producer and scriptwriter, Nunnally Johnson, said that it was the first film in which audiences “liked Marilyn for herself [and that] she diagnosed the reason very shrewdly. She said that it was the only picture she’d been in, in which she had a measure of modesty… about her own attractiveness.”[56]

Monroe’s films of this period established her “dumb blonde” persona and contributed to her popularity. In 1953 and 1954, she was listed in the annual “Quigley Poll of the Top Ten Money Making Stars”, which was compiled from the votes of movie exhibitors throughout the United States for the stars that had generated the most revenue in their theaters over the previous year.[57] “I want to grow and develop and play serious dramatic parts. My dramatic coach, Natasha Lytess, tells everybody that I have a great soul, but so far nobody’s interested in it.” Monroe told the New York Times.[58] She saw a possibility in 20th Century Fox’s upcoming film, The Egyptian, but was rebuffed by Darryl F. Zanuck who refused to screen test her.[59]

Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell putting signatures, hand and foot prints in cement atGrauman’s Chinese Theatre on June 26, 1953

Instead, she was assigned to the western River of No Return, opposite Robert Mitchum. Director Otto Preminger resented Monroe’s reliance on Natasha Lytess, who coached Monroe and announced her verdict at the end of each scene. Eventually Monroe refused to speak to Preminger, and Mitchum had to mediate.[60] Of the finished product, she commented, “I think I deserve a better deal than a grade Z cowboy movie in which the acting finished second to the scenery and the CinemaScopeprocess.”[61] In late 1953 Monroe was scheduled to begin filming The Girl in Pink Tights with Frank Sinatra. When she failed to appear for work, 20th Century Fox suspended her.[62]

International success: 1954–57

Marilyn Monroe, appearing with the USO, poses for soldiers in Korea after a performance at the 3rd U.S. Inf. Div. area, February 17, 1954.

Monroe and Joe DiMaggio were married in San Francisco on January 14, 1954. They traveled to Japan soon after, combining a honeymoon with a business trip previously arranged by DiMaggio. For two weeks she took a secondary role to DiMaggio as he conducted his business, having told a reporter, “Marriage is my main career from now on.”[63] Monroe then traveled alone to Korea where she performed for 13,000 American Marines over a three-day period. She later commented that the experience had helped her overcome a fear of performing in front of large crowds.[64] Edward H. Comins (1932–2011) of Las Vegas, Nevada, the winner of a Bronze Star medal in the Korean War, reported having cooked for Monroe during one of her engagements abroad.[65]

Returning to Hollywood in March 1954, Monroe settled her disagreement with 20th Century Fox and appeared in the musical There’s No Business Like Show Business. The film failed to recover its production costs[61] and was poorly received. Ed Sullivan described Monroe’s performance of the song “Heat Wave” as “one of the most flagrant violations of good taste” he had witnessed.[66] Time magazine compared her unfavorably to co-star Ethel Merman, while Bosley Crowther for The New York Timessaid that Mitzi Gaynor had surpassed Monroe’s “embarrassing to behold” performance.[67] The reviews echoed Monroe’s opinion of the film. She had made it reluctantly, on the assurance that she would be given the starring role in the film adaptation of the Broadway hit The Seven Year Itch.[68]

An iconic image entered popular culture.[69]

One of Monroe’s most notable film roles was shot in September 1954, a skirt-blowing key scene for The Seven Year Itch in New York City. In it, she stands with her co-star, Tom Ewell, while the air from a subway grating blows her skirt up. A large crowd watched as director Billy Wilder ordered the scene to be refilmed many times. Joe DiMaggio was reported to have been present and infuriated by the spectacle.[70] After a quarrel, witnessed by journalist Walter Winchell, the couple returned to California where they avoided the press for two weeks, until Monroe announced that they had separated.[71] Their divorce was granted in November 1954.[72] The filming was completed in early 1955, and after refusing what she considered to be inferior parts in The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing and How to Be Very, Very Popular, Monroe decided to leave Hollywood on the advice of Milton Greene. The role of Curly Flagg in How to Be Very, Very Popular went to Sheree North, and Girl in the Red Velvet Swing went to Joan CollinsThe Seven Year Itch was released and became a success, earning an estimated $8 million.[73] Monroe received positive reviews for her performance and was in a strong position to negotiate with 20th Century Fox.[73] On New Year’s Eve 1955, they signed a new contract which required Monroe to make four films over a seven-year period. The newly formed Marilyn Monroe Productions would be paid $100,000 plus a share of profits for each film. In addition to being able to work for other studios, Monroe had the right to reject any script, director or cinematographer she did not approve of.[74][75] In June 2011, the dress was sold for $4.6 million to an undisclosed buyer.[76]

Milton Greene had first met Monroe in 1953 when he was assigned to photograph her for Look magazine. While many photographers tried to emphasize her sexy image, Greene presented her in more modest poses, and she was pleased with his work. As a friendship developed between them, she confided in him her frustration with her 20th Century Fox contract and the roles she was offered. Her salary for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes amounted to $18,000, while freelancer Jane Russell was paid more than $100,000.[77] Greene agreed that she could earn more by breaking away from 20th Century Fox. He gave up his job in 1954, mortgaged his home to finance Monroe, and allowed her to live with his family as they determined the future course of her career.[78]

On April 8, 1955, veteran journalist Edward R. Murrow interviewed Greene and his wife Amy, as well as Monroe, at the Greenes’ home in Connecticut on a live telecast of the CBS program Person to Person. The kinescope of the telecast has been released on home video.[79]

Truman Capote introduced Monroe to Constance Collier, who gave her acting lessons. She felt that Monroe was not suited to stage acting, but possessed a “lovely talent” that was “so fragile and subtle, it can only be caught by the camera”. After only a few weeks of lessons, Collier died.[80] Monroe had met Paula Strasberg and her daughter Susan on the set of There’s No Business Like Show Business,[81] and had previously said that she would like to study with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio. In March 1955, Monroe met with Cheryl Crawford, one of the founders of the Actors Studio, and convinced her to introduce her to Lee Strasberg, who interviewed her the following day and agreed to accept her as a student.[82]

In May 1955, Monroe started dating playwright Arthur Miller; they had met in Hollywood in 1950 and when Miller discovered she was in New York, he arranged for a mutual friend to reintroduce them.[83] On June 1, 1955, Monroe’s birthday, Joe DiMaggio accompanied Monroe to the premiere of The Seven Year Itch in New York City. He later hosted a birthday party for her, but the evening ended with a public quarrel, and Monroe left the party without him. A lengthy period of estrangement followed.[84][85] Throughout that year, Monroe studied with the Actors Studio, and found that one of her biggest obstacles was her severe stage fright. She was befriended by the actors Kevin McCarthy and Eli Wallach who each recalled her as studious and sincere in her approach to her studies, and noted that she tried to avoid attention by sitting quietly in the back of the class.[86] When Strasberg felt Monroe was ready to give a performance in front of her peers, Monroe and Maureen Stapleton chose the opening scene from Eugene O’Neill‘s Anna Christie, and although she had faltered during each rehearsal, she was able to complete the performance without forgetting her lines.[87] Kim Stanley later recalled that students were discouraged from applauding, but that Monroe’s performance had resulted in spontaneous applause from the audience.[87] While Monroe was a student, Lee Strasberg commented, “I have worked with hundreds and hundreds of actors and actresses, and there are only two that stand out way above the rest. Number one is Marlon Brando, and the second is Marilyn Monroe.”[87]

The first film to be made under the contract and production company was Bus Stop directed by Joshua Logan. Logan had studied under Constantin Stanislavski, approved of method acting, and was supportive of Monroe.[88] Monroe severed contact with her drama coach, Natasha Lytess, replacing her with Paula Strasberg, who became a constant presence during the filming of Monroe’s subsequent films.[89]

Monroe’s dramatic performance as Chérie in Bus Stop(1956), a saloon singer with little talent, marked a departure from her earlier comedies.

In Bus Stop, Monroe played Chérie, a saloon singer with little talent who falls in love with a cowboy, Beauregard “Bo” Decker, played by Don Murray. Her costumes, make-up and hair reflected a character who lacked sophistication, and Monroe provided deliberately mediocre singing and dancing. Bosley Crowther of The New York Times proclaimed: “Hold on to your chairs, everybody, and get set for a rattling surprise. Marilyn Monroe has finally proved herself an actress.” In his autobiography, Movie Stars, Real People and Me, director Logan wrote: “I found Marilyn to be one of the great talents of all time… she struck me as being a much brighter person than I had ever imagined, and I think that was the first time I learned that intelligence and, yes, brilliance have nothing to do with education.” Logan championed Monroe for an Academy Award nomination and complimented her professionalism until the end of his life.[90] Though not nominated for an Academy Award,[91] she received a Golden Globe nomination.

In The Prince and the Showgirl (1957), Monroe co-starred with Laurence Olivier, who also directed the film.

Bus Stop was followed by The Prince and the Showgirl directed by Laurence Olivier, who also co-starred. Prior to filming, Olivier praised Monroe as “a brilliant comedienne, which to me means she is also an extremely skilled actress”. During filming in England he resented Monroe’s dependence on her drama coach, Paula Strasberg, regarding Strasberg as a fraud whose only talent was the ability to “butter Marilyn up”. He recalled his attempts at explaining a scene to Monroe, only to hear Strasberg interject, “Honey — just think of Coca-Cola and Frank Sinatra.”[92] Olivier later commented that in the film “Marilyn was quite wonderful, the best of all.”[93] Monroe’s performance was hailed by critics, especially in Europe, where she won the David di Donatello, the Italian equivalent of the Academy Awards, as well as the French Crystal Star Award. She was also nominated for a BAFTA. It was more than a year before Monroe began her next film. During her hiatus, she summered with Miller in Amagansett, New York. She suffered a miscarriage on August 1, 1957.[94][95]

Last films: 1958–62

With Miller’s encouragement she returned to Hollywood in August 1958 to star in Some Like It Hot. The film was directed by Billy Wilder and co-starred Jack Lemmon andTony Curtis. Wilder had experienced Monroe’s tardiness, stage fright, and inability to remember lines during production of The Seven Year Itch. However her behavior was now more hostile, and was marked by refusals to participate in filming and occasional outbursts of profanity.[96] Monroe consistently refused to take direction from Wilder, or insisted on numerous retakes of simple scenes until she was satisfied.[97] She developed a rapport with Lemmon, but she disliked Curtis after hearing that he had described their love scenes as “like kissing Hitler”.[98] Curtis later stated that the comment was intended as a joke.[99] During filming, Monroe discovered that she was pregnant. She suffered another miscarriage in December 1958, as filming was completed.[100]

Some Like it Hot became a resounding success, and was nominated for six Academy Awards. Monroe was acclaimed for her performance and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. Wilder commented that the film was the biggest success he had ever been associated with.[101] He discussed the problems he encountered during filming, saying “Marilyn was so difficult because she was totally unpredictable. I never knew what kind of day we were going to have… would she be cooperative or obstructive?”[102] He had little patience with her method-acting technique and said that instead of going to the Actors Studio “she should have gone to a train-engineer’s school … to learn something about arriving on schedule.”[103] Wilder had become ill during filming, and explained, “We were in mid-flight – and there was a nut on the plane.”[104] In hindsight, he discussed Monroe’s “certain indefinable magic” and “absolute genius as a comic actress.”[102]

By this time, Monroe had only completed one film, Bus Stop, under her four-picture contract with 20th Century Fox. She agreed to appear in Let’s Make Love, which was to be directed by George Cukor, but she was not satisfied with the script, and Arthur Miller rewrote it.[105] Gregory Peck was originally cast in the male lead role, but he refused the role after Miller’s rewrite; Cary GrantCharlton HestonYul Brynner andRock Hudson also refused the role before it was offered to Yves Montand.[106] Monroe and Miller befriended Montand and his wife, actress Simone Signoret, and filming progressed well until Miller was required to travel to Europe on business. Monroe began to leave the film set early and on several occasions failed to attend, but her attitude improved after Montand confronted her. Signoret returned to Europe to make a film, and Monroe and Montand began a brief affair that ended when Montand refused to leave Signoret.[107] The film was not a critical or commercial success.[108]

Monroe’s health deteriorated during this period, and she began to see a Los Angeles psychiatrist, Dr. Ralph Greenson. He later recalled that during this time she frequently complained of insomnia, and told Greenson that she visited several medical doctors to obtain what Greenson considered an excessive variety of drugs. He concluded that she was progressing to the point of addiction, but also noted that she could give up the drugs for extended periods without suffering any withdrawal symptoms.[109] According to Greenson, the marriage between Miller and Monroe was strained; he said that Miller appeared to genuinely care for Monroe and was willing to help her, but that Monroe rebuffed while also expressing resentment towards him for not doing more to help her.[110] Greenson stated that his main objective at the time was to enforce a drastic reduction in Monroe’s drug intake.[111]

Monroe in her final completed film, The Misfits (1961)

In 1956, Arthur Miller had briefly resided in Nevada and wrote a short story about some of the local people he had become acquainted with, a divorced woman and some aging cowboys. By 1960 he had developed the short story into a screenplay, and envisaged it as containing a suitable role for Monroe. It became her last completed film.The Misfits, directed by John Huston and costarring Clark GableMontgomery CliftEli Wallach and Thelma Ritter. Shooting commenced in July 1960, with most taking place in the hot Northern Nevada desert.[112] Monroe was frequently ill and unable to perform, and away from the influence of Dr. Greenson, she had resumed her consumption of sleeping pills and alcohol.[111] A visitor to the set, Susan Strasberg, later described Monroe as “mortally injured in some way,”[113] and in August, Monroe was rushed to Los Angeles where she was hospitalized for ten days. Newspapers reported that she had been near death, although the nature of her illness was not disclosed.[114] Louella Parsons wrote in her newspaper column that Monroe was “a very sick girl, much sicker than at first believed”, and disclosed that she was being treated by a psychiatrist.[114] Monroe returned to Nevada and completed the film, but she became hostile towards Arthur Miller, and public arguments were reported by the press.[115] Making the film had proved to be an arduous experience for the actors; in addition to Monroe’s distress, Montgomery Clift had frequently been unable to perform due to illness, and by the final day of shooting, Thelma Ritter was in hospital suffering from exhaustion. Gable, commenting that he felt unwell, left the set without attending the wrap party.[116] Monroe and Miller returned to New York on separate flights.[117]

Within ten days Monroe had announced her separation from Miller, and Gable had died from a heart attack.[118] Gable’s widow, Kay, commented to Louella Parsons that it had been the “eternal waiting” on the set of The Misfits that had contributed to his death, though she did not name Monroe. When reporters asked Monroe if she felt guilty about Gable’s death, she refused to answer,[119] but the journalist Sidney Skolsky recalled that privately she expressed regret for her poor treatment of Gable during filming and described her as being in “a dark pit of despair”.[120] Monroe later attended the christening of the Gables’ son, at the invitation of Kay Gable.[120] The Misfits received mediocre reviews, and was not a commercial success, though some praised the performances of Monroe and Gable.[120] Huston later commented that Monroe’s performance was not acting in the true sense, and that she had drawn from her own experiences to show herself, rather than a character. “She had no techniques. It was all the truth. It was only Marilyn.”[120]

During the following months, Monroe’s dependence on alcohol and prescription medications began to take a toll on her health, and friends such as Susan Strasberg later spoke of her illness.[121] Her divorce from Arthur Miller was finalized in January 1961, with Monroe citing “incompatibility of character”,[121] and in February she voluntarily entered the Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic. Monroe later described the experience as a “nightmare”.[122] She was able to phone Joe DiMaggio from the clinic, and he immediately traveled from Florida to New York to facilitate her transfer to the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. She remained there for three weeks. Illness prevented her from working for the remainder of the year; she underwent surgery to correct a blockage in her Fallopian tubes in May, and the following month underwent gallbladdersurgery.[123] She returned to California and lived in a rented apartment as she convalesced.

In 1962, Monroe began filming Something’s Got to Give, which was to be the third film of her four-film contract with 20th Century Fox. It was to be directed by George Cukor, and co-starred Dean Martin and Cyd Charisse. She was ill with a virus as filming commenced, and suffered from high temperatures and recurrent sinusitis. On one occasion she refused to perform with Martin as he had a cold, and the producer Henry Weinstein recalled seeing her on several occasions being physically ill as she prepared to film her scenes, and attributed it to her dread of performing. He commented, “Very few people experience terror. We all experience anxiety, unhappiness, heartbreaks, but that was sheer primal terror.”[124]

On May 19, 1962, she attended the early birthday celebration of President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden, at the suggestion of Kennedy’s brother-in-law, actor Peter Lawford. Monroe performed “Happy Birthday” along with a specially written verse based on Bob Hope‘s “Thanks for the Memory“. Kennedy responded to her performance with the remark, “Thank you. I can now retire from politics after having had ‘Happy Birthday’ sung to me in such a sweet, wholesome way.”[125] (also see entry Happy Birthday, Mr. President)

Monroe returned to the set of Something’s Got to Give and filmed a sequence in which she appeared nude in a swimming pool. Commenting that she wanted to “push Liz Taylor off the magazine covers”, she gave permission for several partially nude photographs to be published by Life. Having only reported for work on twelve occasions out of a total of 35 days of production,[124] Monroe was dismissed. The studio 20th Century Fox filed a lawsuit against her for half a million dollars,[126] and the studio’s vice president, Peter Levathes, issued a statement saying “The star system has gotten way out of hand. We’ve let the inmates run the asylum, and they’ve practically destroyed it.”[126] Monroe was replaced by Lee Remick, and when Dean Martin refused to work with any other actress, he was also threatened with a lawsuit.[126] Following her dismissal, Monroe engaged in several high-profile publicity ventures. She gave an interview to Cosmopolitan and was photographed at Peter Lawford’s beach house sipping champagne and walking on the beach.[127] She next posed for Bert Stern for Vogue in a series of photographs that included several nudes.[127] Published after her death, they became known as ‘The Last Sitting‘. Richard Meryman interviewed her for Life, in which Monroe reflected upon her relationship with her fans and her uncertainties in identifying herself as a “star” and a “sex symbol”. She referred to the events surrounding Arthur Miller’s appearance before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1956, and her studio’s warning that she would be “finished” if she showed public support for him, and commented, “You have to start all over again. But I believe you’re always as good as your potential. I now live in my work and in a few relationships with the few people I can really count on. Fame will go by, and, so long, I’ve had you fame. If it goes by, I’ve always known it was fickle. So at least it’s something I experienced, but that’s not where I live.”[128]

In the final weeks of her life, Monroe engaged in discussions about future film projects, and firm arrangements were made to continue negotiations on Something’s Got to Give.[129] Among the projects was a biography of Jean Harlow filmed two years later unsuccessfully with Carroll Baker. Starring roles in Billy Wilder‘s Irma la Douce[130] and What a Way to Go! were also discussed; Shirley MacLaine eventually played the roles in both films. Kim Novak replaced her in Kiss Me, Stupid, a comedy in which she was to star opposite Dean Martin. A film version of the Broadway musical, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, and an unnamed World War I–themed musical co-starring Gene Kelly were also discussed, but the projects never materialized due to her death.[129] Her dispute with 20th Century Fox was resolved, and her contract renewed into a $1 million two-picture deal, and filming of Something’s Got to Give was scheduled to resume in early fall 1962. Marilyn, having fired her own agent and MCA in 1961 managed her own negoiations as President of Marilyn Monroe Productions. Also on the table was an Italian four film deal worth 10 million giving her script, director, and co-star approval.[131] Allan “Whitey” Snyder who saw her during the last week of her life, said Monroe was pleased by the opportunities available to her, and that she “never looked better [and] was in great spirits”.[129]Death and aftermath

The crypt of Marilyn Monroe (2005)

On August 5, 1962, LAPD police sergeant Jack Clemmons received a call at 4:25 am from Dr Ralph Greenson, Monroe’s psychiatrist, proclaiming that Monroe was found dead at her home in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California.[132] She was 36 years old. At the subsequent autopsy, eight milligram per cent of Chloral hydrate and 4.5 milligram percent of Nembutal were found in her system,[133] and Dr. Thomas Noguchi of the Los Angeles County Coroners office recorded cause of death as “acutebarbiturate poisoning,” resulting from a “probable suicide.”[134] Many theories, including murder, circulated about the circumstances of her death and the timeline after the body was found. Some conspiracy theories involved John and Robert Kennedy, while other theories suggested CIA or Mafia complicity. It was reported that the last person Monroe called was the President.[135][136]

On August 8, 1962, Monroe was interred in a crypt at Corridor of Memories #24, at the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles. Lee Strasbergdelivered the eulogy. The crypt space immediately to the left of Monroe’s was bought and reserved by Hugh Hefner in 1992.[137] DiMaggio took control of the funeral arrangements which consisted of only 31 close family and friends. Police were also present to keep the press away.[138] Her casket was solid bronze and was lined with champagne colored silk.[139] Allan “Whitey” Snyder did her make-up which was supposedly a promise made in earlier years if she were to die before him.[139] She was wearing her favorite green Emilio Pucci dress.[139] In her hands was a small bouquet of pink teacup roses.[139] For the next 20 years, red roses were placed in a vase attached to the crypt, courtesy of Joe DiMaggio.[138]

In August 2009, the crypt space directly above that of Monroe was placed for auction[140] on eBay. Elsie Poncher plans to exhume her husband and move him to an adjacent plot. She advertised the crypt, hoping “to make enough money to pay off the $1.6 million mortgage” on her Beverly Hills mansion.[137] The winning bid was placed by an anonymous Japanese man for $4.6 million,[141] but the winning bidder later backed out “because of the paying problem”. Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner, who never met Monroe, bought the crypt next to hers at the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery. He affirmed that the initial success of his magazine directly correlated with Monroe.[citation needed]

Administration of estate

Monroe’s Brentwood home (1992)

In her will, Monroe stated she would leave Lee Strasberg her personal effects, which amounted to just over half of her residuary estate, expressing her desire that he “distribute [the effects] among my friends, colleagues and those to whom I am devoted”.[142] Instead, Strasberg stored them in a warehouse, and willed them to his widow, Anna, who successfully sued Los Angeles-based Odyssey Auctions in 1994 to prevent the sale of items consigned by the nephew of Monroe’s business manager, Inez Melson. In October 1999, Christie’s auctioned the bulk of Monroe’s effects, including those recovered from Melson’s nephew, netting an amount of $13,405,785. Subsequently, Strasberg sued the children of four photographers to determine rights of publicity, which permits the licensing of images of deceased personages for commercial purposes. The decision as to whether Monroe was a resident of California, where she died and where her will was probated,[143] or New York, which she considered her primary residence, was worth millions.[144]

On May 4, 2007, a New York judge ruled that Monroe’s rights of publicity ended at her death.[145][146][147] In October 2007, California Governor Arnold Schwarzeneggersigned Senate Bill 771.[148] The legislation was supported by Anna Strasberg and the Screen Actors Guild.[149] Senate Bill 771 established that non-family members may inherit rights of publicity through the residuary clause of the deceased’s will, provided that the person was a resident of California at the time of death.[150] In March 2008, the United States District Court in Los Angeles ruled that Monroe was a resident of New York at the time of her death, citing the statement of the executor of her estate to California tax authorities, and a 1966 sworn affidavit by her housekeeper.[151] The decision was reaffirmed by the United States District Court of New York in September 2008.[152]

In July 2010, Monroe’s Brentwood home was put up for sale by Prudential California Realty. The house was sold for $3.6 million.[153] Monroe left to Lee Strasberg an archive of her own writing – diaries, poems, and letters, which Anna discovered in October 1999. In October 2010, the documents were published as a book, Fragments.[154][155]

Personal life

Relationships

Monroe had three marriages, all of which ended in divorce. The first was to James Dougherty, the second to Joe DiMaggio, and lastly to Arthur Miller. Allegedly, she was briefly married to writer Robert “Bob” Slatzer. She is alleged to have had affairs with both John and Robert KennedyMarlon Brando, in his autobiography Songs My Mother Taught Me, claimed that he had had a relationship with her, and enduring friendship lasting until her death. She also suffered two miscarriages and an ectopic pregnancy during her three marriages.[156][157]

Monroe married James Dougherty on June 19, 1942, at the home of Chester Howell in Los Angeles. As a result of her modeling career, he began to lose interest in her and stated that he did not approve of her new job. Monroe then decided to divorce Dougherty. The marriage ended when he returned from overseas in 1946. In The Secret Happiness of Marilyn Monroe and To Norma Jeane with Love, Jimmie, he claimed they were in love, but dreams of stardom lured her away. In 1953, he wrote a piece called “Marilyn Monroe Was My Wife” for Photoplay, in which he claimed that she threatened to jump off the Santa Monica Pier if he left her. She was reported to have been furious and explained in 1956 interview that she confessed to having attempted suicide during the marriage and stated that she felt trapped and bored by Dougherty, even blaming their marriage on her foster mother.[158] In her autobiography, explaining the sudden dissolution of their marriage, Monroe stated, “My marriage didn’t make me sad, but it didn’t make me happy either. My husband and I hardly spoke to each other. This wasn’t because we were angry. We had nothing to say. I was dying of boredom.”[159]

Doc Goddard had plans to publish extra details about the marriage, citing that he hoped to clear up rumors about an arranged marriage, but decided against the publication at the last minute.[160] In the 2004 documentary Marilyn’s Man, Dougherty made three new claims: that he invented the “Marilyn Monroe” persona; studio executives forced her to divorce him; and that he was her true love and her “dedicated friend for life”.

Monroe eloped with Joe DiMaggio at San Francisco City Hall on January 14, 1954. In 1951, DiMaggio saw a photograph of Monroe alongside Chicago White Sox players Joe Dobson and Gus Zernial, prompting him to request a date with her in 1952. Of their initial meeting, Monroe wrote in My Story that she did not have a desire to know him, as she had feared a stereotypical jock. During their honeymoon in Japan, she was asked to visit Korea as part of the USO. She performed ten shows in four days for over 100,000 servicemen.

Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe staying at Imperial Hotel in Tokyo on their honeymoon (1954)

Maury Allen quoted New York Yankees PR man Arthur Richman that Joe told him that the marriage went wrong from then. On September 14, 1954, Monroe filmed the famed skirt-blowing scene for The Seven Year Itch in front of New York’s Trans-Lux Theater. Bill Kobrin, then Fox’s east coast correspondent, told the Palm SpringsDesert Sun in 1956 that it was Billy Wilder‘s idea to turn the shoot into a media circus, and that the couple had a “yelling battle” in the theater lobby.[161] She filed for divorce on grounds of mental cruelty nine months after the wedding. In February 1961, Monroe was admitted to the Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic. She contacted DiMaggio, who secured her release. She later joined him in Florida, where he was serving as a batting coach at the New York Yankees‘ training camp. Bob Hope jokingly dedicated Best Song nominee The Second Time Around to them at the 1961 Academy Awards. According to Allen, on August 1, 1962, DiMaggio – alarmed by how Monroe had fallen in with people he considered detrimental to her well-being – quit his job with a PX supplier to ask her to remarry him. After Monroe’s death, DiMaggio claimed her body and arranged her funeral. For 20 years, he had a half-dozen red roses delivered to her crypt three times a week. In 2006, DiMaggio’s adopted granddaughters auctioned the bulk of his estate, which featured two letters Monroe penned to him and a photograph signed “I love you, Joe, Marilyn.”[162]

On June 29, 1956, Monroe married playwright Arthur Miller, in a civil ceremony in White Plains, New York. Monroe met Miller in 1950. During this filming of Bus Stop, the relationship between Monroe and Miller had developed, and although the couple were able to maintain their privacy for almost a year, the press began to write about them as a couple,[163] often referred to as “The Egghead and The Hourglass”.[164] The reports of their romance were soon overtaken by news that Miller had been called to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee to explain his supposed communist affiliations. Called upon to identify communists he was acquainted with, Miller refused and was charged with contempt of Congress. He was acquitted on appeal.[165] During the investigation, Monroe was urged by film executives to abandon Miller, rather than risk her career but she refused, later branding them as “born cowards”.[165] The press began to discuss an impending marriage, but Monroe and Miller refused to confirm the rumor. In June 1956, a reporter was following them by car, and as they attempted to elude him, the reporter’s car crashed, killing a female passenger. Monroe became hysterical upon hearing the news, and their engagement was announced, partly in the expectation that it would reduce the excessive media interest they were being subjected to.[164] City Court Judge Seymour D. Robinowitz presided over the hushed ceremony in the law office of Sam Slavitt (the wedding had been kept secret from both the press and the public). Monroe and Miller wed again two days later in a Jewish ceremony before a small group of guests. Rabbi Robert E. Goldburg, a Reform rabbi at Congregation Mishkan Israel, presided over the ceremony.[166] Their nuptials were celebrated at the home of Miller’s literary agent, Kay Brown, in Westchester County, New York. Some 30 friends and relatives attended the hastily arranged party. Less than two weeks after the wedding, the Millers flew to London, where they were greeted at Parkside House by Laurence Olivier and wife Vivien Leigh. Monroe created chaos among the normally staid British press. In reflecting on his courtship of Monroe, Miller wrote, “She was a whirling light to me then, all paradox and enticing mystery, street-tough one moment, then lifted by a lyrical and poetic sensitivity that few retain past early adolescence.”[167] Nominally raised as a Christian but before her 1956 conversion (to Judaism),[168] Monroe laughingly rejected Jane Russell‘s conversion attempts during the 1953 filming of “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” saying “Jane tried to convert me (to religion) and I tried to introduce her to Freud”.[169] She did convert to Judaism before marrying Miller.[170][171][172][173] After she finished shooting The Prince and the Showgirl with Laurence Olivier, the couple returned to the United States from England and discovered she was pregnant. Tony Curtis, her co-star from Some Like It Hot, claims he got Monroe pregnant during their on-off affair that was rekindled during the filming of Some Like It Hot in 1959, while she was still married to Arthur Miller.[174][175][176][177]

Miller’s screenplay for The Misfits, a story about a despairing divorcée, was meant to be a Valentine gift for his wife, but by the time filming started in 1960 their marriage was beyond repair. A Mexican divorce was granted on January 24, 1961 in Ciudad Juarez by Francisco José Gómez Fraire. On February 17, 1962, Miller married Inge Morath, one of the Magnum photographers recording the making of The Misfits. In January 1964, Miller’s play After The Fall opened, featuring a beautiful and devouring shrew named Maggie. Simone Signoret noted in her autobiography the morbidity of Miller and Elia Kazan resuming their professional association “over a casket”. In interviews and in his autobiography, Miller insisted that Maggie was not based on Monroe. However, he never pretended that his last Broadway-bound work, Finishing the Picture, was not based on the making of The Misfits. He appeared in the documentary The Century of the Self, lamenting the psychological work being done on her before her death.

From President Kennedy’s birthday gala where Monroe sang “Happy Birthday, Mr. President“, May 19, 1962.

On May 19, 1962, Monroe made her last significant public appearance, singing “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” at a birthday party for President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden. The dress that she wore to the event, specially designed and made for her by Jean Louis, sold at an auction in 1999 for $1.26 million.[178] Monroe reportedly had an affair with President John F. Kennedy. JFK’s reputed mistress Judith Exner, in her 1977 autobiography, also wrote about an affair that she said the president and Monroe had.[179] Journalist Anthony Summers examines the issue of Monroe’s relationships with the Kennedy brothers at length in two books: his 1993 biography of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, entitled Official and Confidential: The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover, and his 1985 biography of Monroe, entitled Goddess. In the Hoover book, Summers concludes that Monroe was in love with President Kennedy and wanted to marry him in the early 1960s; that she called the White House frequently; and that, when the married President had to break off their affair, Monroe became even more depressed, and then turned to Robert Kennedy, who visited Monroe in Los Angeles the day that she died.[180] Patricia Seaton Lawford, the fourth wife of actor Peter Lawford, also deals with the Monroe-Kennedy matters in her 1988 biography of Peter Lawford, entitled The Peter Lawford Story. Lawford’s first wife was Patricia Kennedy Lawford, a sister of John and Robert; Lawford was very close to the Kennedy family for over a decade, including the time of Monroe’s death. In 1997, documents purporting to prove a coverup of a relationship between JFK and Monroe were discovered to be fraudulent.[181]

Psychoanalysis

Monroe had a long experience with psychoanalysis. She was in analysis with Margaret Herz Hohenberg, Anna FreudMarianne Rie Kris, Ralph S. Greenson (who found Monroe dead), and Milton Wexler.[182]

Politics

In Monroe’s last interview she pleaded with a reporter to end the article with the folllowing quote: “What I really want to say: That what the world really needs is a real feeling of kinship. Everybody: stars, laborers, Negroes, Jews, Arabs. We are all brothers. Please don’t make me a joke. End the interview with what I believe.”[183]

Monroe was friends with Ella Fitzgerald and helped Ella in her career. Ella Fitzgerald later recounted, “I owe Marilyn Monroe a real debt…it was because of her that I played the Mocambo, a very popular nightclub in the ’50s. She personally called the owner of the club, and told him she wanted me booked immediately, and if he would do it, she would take a front table every night. She told him – and it was true, due to Marilyn’s superstar status – that the press would go wild. The owner said yes, and Marilyn was there, front table, every night. The press went overboard. After that, I never had to play a small jazz club again. She was an unusual woman – a little ahead of her times. And she didn’t know it.”[184]

Political discussions were recounted with Robert Kennedy as to policy towards Cuba, and President Kennedy. The latter said to have taken place at had luncheon with the Peter Lawfords. She was very pleased, as she had asked the President a lot of socially significant questions concerning the morality of atomic testing.[185] Monroe supported Peace Action, which was created from a merge of Committee for a SANE Nuclear Policy and the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign.[186]

While in Mexico in 1962, she openly associated with Americans who were identified by the FBI as communists, such as Frederick Vanderbilt Field. The daughter of Monroe’s last psychiatrist, Joan Greenson, said that Monroe was “passionate about equal rights, rights for blacks, rights for the poor. She identified strongly with the workers.”[187]

TOP-SECRET FROM THE ARCHIVES OF THE FBI – The Mexican Mafia

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The Mexican Mafia (Spanish : Mafia Mexicana), also known as La Eme (Spanish for the letter M) is a Mexican American criminal organization, and is one of the oldest and most powerful prison gangs in the United States

Mexican Mafia

Mexican Mafia/La Eme
Mexican Mafia tattoo.jpg
Gang’s name tattooed on gang member’s abdomen.

Foundation

The Mexican Mafia was formed in 1957 by Chicano street gang members incarcerated at the Deuel Vocational Institution, a state prison located in Tracy, California.[7]The founder of the gang was Luis “Huero Buff” Flores, who was previously a member of the Hawaiian Gardens gang.[9] According to Tony Rafael,

By the time that Luis Flores got his brainstorm idea about creating La Mafia Mexicana, as it was first called, gang warfare between Hispanic neighborhoods had become an established fact. Rivalries were then set in stone; gangs like White Fence, San Fer, Avenues, Clanton, Varrio Nuevo Estrada, and Hoyo Maravilla were already into their second decade and firmly established as self sustaining entities… Given such deep street rivalries, it was a marvel that Luis Flores ever got so far as to suggest that inmates who were enemies on the streets should abandon their animosity when they hit the prisons. But he did and it worked.[10]

Luis Flores initially recruited violent members to the gang, in an attempt to create a highly-feared organization which could control the black market activities of the Deuel prison facilities.[9] According to Eme turncoat Ramon “Mundo” Mendoza,

“The goal in the beginning was to terrorize the prison system and enjoy prison comforts while doing time.”[11]

According to Luis Flores,

“It was a kid’s trip then, just a bunch of homeboys from East L.A. If I felt like killing somebody, I would, if I didn’t, I wouldn’t. We were just having fun then. The power was intoxicating.”[12]

As new members of La Eme filtered out back into the streets, Anacleta “Annie” Ramirez, a well-known member of the East Los Angeles community, took many of them under her wing and paired them up with neighborhood youngsters who lacked direction. Ramirez a sharp, tough woman, taught the youngsters discipline, rules of street life, and, at first, petty crime. This later escalated to her role as a shot caller–as drugs became a major part of the trade–who would get rid of her enemies by ordering youth loyal to her on missions. After she had given the directive, many of her enemies were reportedly murdered on sight. [13]

Rise

Sinaloa Cartel hierarchy in early 2008

According to Chris Blatchford,

“By 1961, administrators at DVI, alarmed by the escalating violence, had transferred a number of the charter Eme members to San Quentin, hoping to discourage their violent behavior by intermingling them with hardened adult convicts. It didn’t work. For example, the story goes that Cheyenne Cadena arrived on the lower yard and was met by a six-foot-five, 300-pound black inmate who planted a kiss on his face and announced this scrawny teenager would now be his ‘bitch.’ Chy returned a short time later, walked up to the unsuspecting predator, and stabbed him to death with a jailhouse knife, or shank. There were more than a thousand inmates on the yard. No witnesses stepped forward, and only one dead man entertained the idea that Cadena was anyone’s bitch.”[14]

A string of other slayings soon followed as Eme members sought to establish a reputation among the inmates of San Quentin.[15] According to Blatchford,

The Eme quest for complete control alienated many other Mexican-American inmates who were fed up with Mexican Mafia bullies stabbing, killing, and stealing their watches, rings, cigarettes and anything else of value. Some of them secretly founded a new prison gang called La Nuestra Familia (NF) or “Our Family.” It was first established in the mid-1960s at the California Training Facility in Soledad. Some of the early members were from the Los Angeles area, but NF soon drew inmates primarily from rural communities in northern California. The Mexican Mafia saw NF as lame and inferior, just a bunch of farmers, or farmeros. However, in 1968 at San Quentin, a full scale riot broke out after a Mexican Mafia soldier, orsoldado, stole shoes from an NF sympathizer. Nineteen inmates were stabbed, and one Eme associate ended up dead. The battle became known as the “Shoe War” and it established the Nuestra Familia as a major Eme rival.[16]

Criminal activities

The Mexican Mafia is an organization involved in extortion, drug trafficking, and murder, both inside and outside the prison system.[7] According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Mexican Mafia had arranged for contract killings to be carried out by the Aryan Brotherhood, a white prison gang. Both the Mexican Mafia and the Aryan Brotherhood are mutual enemies of the African-American gang Black Guerilla Family.[17]

The first prison gang street execution in Los Angeles was committed by the Mexican Mafia in 1971.[9] Responsible for the murder was Joe “Pegleg” Morgan – the notorious white godfather of La Eme who had ascended by then to become one of the highest-ranking bosses of the entire Eme organization, even with no “official” Mexican blood himself. His connections with cocaine and heroin suppliers in Mexico helped pave the foundation for the Mexican Mafia’s narcotics distribution throughout California.[9] During the 1970s, while under the control of Morgan’s protégé Rodolfo Cadena, the Mexican Mafia often took control over various community groups. The gang was able to filter money from alcohol and drug prevention programs to finance their criminal activities.[9][18] The Mexican Mafia and the Italian-American Los Angeles crime family collaborated in skimming money from Get Going, a taxpayer-funded drug treatment program. By 1977, Get Going founder Ellen Delia was determined to expose the infiltration of her beloved program. Shortly before an appointment with the California State Secretary of Health and Welfare Services, Delia was murdered. Her collection of evidence on Italian and Mexican Mafia infiltration of the Get Going program was never recovered.[19]

In 1995, United States federal authorities indicted 22 members and associates of the Mexican Mafia, charged under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act with crimes which included extortion, murder and kidnapping.[20] One of the arrested members, Benjamin “Topo” Peters, was allegedly the Mexican Mafia’s highest ranking member at the time, and was engaged in a power struggle with fellow member Ruben “Tupi” Hernandez.[20] Another indicted member was accused of having plotted the death of an anti-gang activist who served as a consultant for the film American Me. The indictments marked a two-year investigation by federal, local and state law enforcement officials.[20]

In 2006, a 36-count federal indictment was brought against members of the Mexican Mafia. The arrests were made for alleged acts of violence, drug dealing, and extortion against smaller Latino street gangs.[21]According to the federal indictment, Mexican Mafia members exert their influence in both federal and state prison systems through either violence or the threat of violence.[21]

Members and associates of the gang remain fiercely loyal to the criminal organization both in and outside of prison, particularly in Southern California cities such as Los Angeles and San Diego. The gang asserts its influence over Chicano gangs throughout Southern California by threatening violence against their members should they ever become incarcerated. Gangs and drug dealers who refuse to pay a protection “tax” to the Mexican Mafia are often murdered or threatened with murder.[21] High-ranking members of the Mexican Mafia who are locked in private cells for 23 hours of each day are still able to communicate with their associates, through methods which range from tapping in code on prison plumbing pipes to smuggled letters.[21]

Membership

While the Mexican Mafia is a highly-organized criminal entity, it is believed that the gang presently is not presided over by a single leader.[21] Prison membership of the gang is believed to consist of hundreds of members with authority to order murders, and at least thousands of associates who can carry out those orders.[21]

Members of the Mexican Mafia are expected to engage in tests of their loyalty to the gang, which may include theft or murder. The penalty for refusing orders or failing to complete an assigned task is often death.[8]According to the gang’s constitution, members may also be punished or murdered if they commit any of four major infractions. These include becoming an informant, acts of homosexuality, acts of cowardice, and showing disrespect against fellow gang members.[8] According to gang policy, a member of the Mexican Mafia may not be murdered without prior approval by a vote of three members, yet the murder of non-members requires no formal approval.[8]

During the early 1960s at San Quentin Prison, Luis Flores and Rudy “Cheyenne” Cadena established a blood oath for members of the Mexican Mafia.[9] Prior to the establishment of the oath, members of the Mexican Mafia were allowed to return to their street gangs after incarceration. The new oath stipulated that the only way for a member to leave the Mexican Mafia was to be killed.[9] Flores and Cadena also established a set of gang commandments.[9] These included policies such as: a new member must be sponsored by an existing member, unanimous approval from all existing members to join (no longer policy), prioritizing the gang over one’s family, denial of the existence of the Mexican Mafia to law enforcement or non-members, respect of other members, forgiving street conflicts which existed before incarceration. Execution of a member of the gang for policy violation must be committed by the gang member who sponsored him.[9]

While mostly found in California, the Mexican Mafia has a membership which extends to other states including TexasArizona, and New Mexico.[7]

Allies and rivals

The Mexican Mafia is the controlling organization for almost every Chicano gang in Southern California. All members of Chicano gangs in Southern California are obligated under the threat of death to carry out any and all orders from made Mexican Mafia members. The Mexican Mafia also holds a loose alliance with the Aryan Brotherhood, mainly due to their common rivals within the prison system.

The primary rivals of the Mexican Mafia are Nuestra Familia.[22] The Mexican Mafia is also a rival of the Black Guerrilla Family prison gang, which holds a loose alliance with Nuestra Familia.[22]

Symbols

Mexican Mafia symbols include print of a black hand.[21] and the Mayan number thirteen.

The new Arizona Mexican Mafia’s primary symbol, which is often used in tattoos by members, is the national symbol of Mexico (eagle and a snake) atop a flaming circle over crossed knives.[8]

Street gangs that are aligned with the Mexican Mafia often use the number 13 as a gang identifier, as the letter “M” is the 13th letter of the modern Latin-derived alphabet.[9]

In popular culture

The Mexican Mafia received mainstream notoriety after being featured in the 1992 movie American Me. The film was coproduced, directed and starred in by actor Edward James Olmos, who allegedly received death threats by members of the Mexican Mafia for what they considered an unflattering depiction of the gang.[23] Three consultants for the film were murdered shortly after the film’s release.[23] The Mexican Mafia was allegedly displeased with the portrayal of the murder of Rodolfo Cadena (who was the basis for Olmos’ character Santana) as being committed by his fellow gang members.[23] Mexican Mafia Members were also allegedly offended by the portrayal of homosexually inspired sodomy committed by Olmos’ character in the film. Olmos subsequently applied for a concealed handgun permit, which was denied to him.[24]

Joe Morgan, while serving a life sentence for murder at Pelican Bay State Prison, filed a $500,000 lawsuit against Olmos, Universal Studios and other producers of the film. Morgan claimed that one of the principal characters in the film was based on him without obtaining his permission.[23]

TOP-SECRET: THE CIA FILE ON LUIS POSADA CARRILES

Washington, D.C., August 28, 2011 – As the unprecedented trial of Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles begins this week in El Paso, Texas, the National Security Archive today posted a series of CIA records covering his association with the agency in the 1960s and 1970s. CIA personnel records described Posada, using his codename, “AMCLEVE/15,” as “a paid agent” at $300 a month, being utilized as a training instructor for other exile operatives, as well as an informant.  “Subject is of good character, very reliable and security conscious,” the CIA reported in 1965. Posada, another CIA document observed, incorrectly, was “not a typical ‘boom and bang’ type of individual.”

Today’s posting includes key items from Posada’s CIA file, including several previously published by the Archive, and for the first time online, the indictment from Posada’s previous prosecution–in Panama–on charges of trying to assassinate Fidel Castro with 200 pounds of dynamite and C-4 explosives (in Spanish).

“This explosive has the capacity to destroy any armored vehicle, buildings, steel doors, and the effects can extend for 200 meters…if a person were in the center of the explosion, even if they were in an armored car, they would not survive,” as the indictment described the destructive capacity of the explosives found in Posada’s possession in Panama City, where Fidel Castro was attending an Ibero-American summit in November 2000.

The judge presiding over the perjury trial of Posada has ruled that the prosecution can introduce unclassified evidence of his CIA background which might be relevant to his “state of mind” when he allegedly lied to immigration officials about his role in a series of hotel bombings in Havana in 1997. In pre-trial motions, the prosecution has introduced a short unclassified “summary” of Posada’s CIA career, which is included below.  Among other things, the summary (first cited last year in Tracey Eaton’s informative blog, “Along the Malecon”) reveals that in 1993, only four years before he instigated the hotel bombings in Havana, the CIA anonymously warned former agent and accused terrorist Luis Posada of an assassination threat on his life.

A number of the Archive’s CIA documents were cited in articles in the Washington Post, and CNN coverage today on the start of the Posada trial. “The C.I.A. trained and unleashed a Frankenstein,” the New York Times quoted Archive Cuba Documentation Project director Peter Kornbluh as stating.  “It is long past time he be identified as a terrorist and be held accountable as a terrorist.”

Posada was convicted in Panama in 2001, along with three accomplices, of endangering public safety; he was sentenced to eight years in prison. After lobbying by prominent Cuban-American politicians from Miami, Panamanian president Mireya Moscoso pardoned all four in August 2004. A fugitive from justice in Venezuela where he escaped from prison while being tried for the October 6, 1976, mid air bombing of a Cuban jetliner which killed all 73 people on board, Posada showed up in Miami in March 2005. He was arrested on May 17 of that year by the Department of Homeland Security and held in an immigration detention center in El Paso for two years, charged with immigration fraud during the Bush administration.  Since mid 2007, he has been living on bail in Miami. In April 2009, the Obama Justice Department added several counts of perjury relating to Posada denials about his role in organizing a series of hotel, restaurant and discotheque bombings in 1997.  Since mid 2007, he has been living on bail in Miami

According to Kornbluh, “it is poetic justice that the same U.S. Government whose secret agencies created, trained, paid and deployed Posada is finally taking steps to hold him accountable in a court of law for his terrorist crimes.”


Read the Documents

Document 1: CIA, Unclassified, “Unclassified Summary of the CIA’s Relationship With Luis Clemente Posada Carriles,” Undated.

This unclassified summary of the relationship between Luis Posada Carriles and the CIA, which was provided to the court by the US Justice Department, says the CIA first had contact with Posada in connection with planning the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961. He remained a paid agent of the CIA from 1965-1967 and again from 1968-1974. From 1974-76, Posada provided unsolicited threat reporting. (Additional documents introduced in court show that he officially severed ties with the CIA in February 1976.) According to this document, the CIA last had contact with Posada in 1993 when they anonymously contacted him in Honduras by telephone to warn him of a threat to his life. (This document was first cited last year in Tracey Eaton’s informative blog, “Along the Malecon.”)

Document 2: CIA, “PRQ Part II for AMCLEVE/15,” September 22, 1965.

“PRQ Part II,” or the second part of Posada’s Personal Record Questionnaire, provides operational information. Within the text of the document, Posada is described as “strongly anti-Communist” as well as a sincere believer in democracy. The document describes Posada having a “good character,” not to mention the fact that he is “very reliable, and security conscious.” The CIA recommends that he be considered for a civil position in a post-Castro government in Cuba (codenamed PBRUMEN).

Document 3: CIA, Cable, “Plan of the Cuban Representation in Exile (RECE) to Blow Up a Cuban or Soviet Vessel in Veracruz, Mexico,” July 1, 1965.

This CIA cable summarizes intelligence on a demolition project proposed by Jorge Mas Canosa, then the head of RECE. On the third page, a source is quoted as having informed the CIA of a payment that Mas Canosa has made to Luis Posada in order to finance a sabotage operation against ships in Mexico. Posada reportedly has “100 pounds of C-4 explosives and some detonators” and limpet mines to use in the operation.

 Document 4: CIA, Memorandum, “AMCLEVE /15,” July 21, 1966.

This document includes two parts-a cover letter written by Grover T. Lythcott, Posada’s CIA handler, and an attached request written by Posada to accept a position on new coordinating Junta composed of several anti-Castro organizations. In the cover letter, Lythcbtt refers to Posada by his codename, AMCLEVE/I5, and discusses his previous involvement withthe Agency. He lionizes Posada, writing that his ”performance in all assigned tasks has been excellent,” and urges that he be permitted to work with the combined anti-Castro exile groups. According to the document, Lythcott suggests that Posada be taken off the CIA payroll to facilitate his joining the anti-Castro militant junta, which will be led by RECE. Lythcott insists that Posada will function as an effective moderating force considering he is “acutely aware of the international implications of ill planned or over enthusiastic activities against Cuba.” In an attached memo, Posada, using the name “Pete,” writes that if he is on the Junta, “they will never do anything to endanger the security of this Country (like blow up Russian ships)” and volunteers to “give the Company all the intelligence that I can collect.”

Document 5: CIA, Personal Record Questionnaire on Posada, April 17, 1972.

This “PRQ” was compiled in 1972 at a time Posada was a high level official at the Venezuelan intelligence service, DISIP, in charge of demolitions. The CIA was beginning to have some concerns about him, based on reports that he had taken CIA explosives equipment to Venezuela, and that he had ties to a Miami mafia figure named Lefty Rosenthal. The PRQ spells out Posada’s personal background and includes his travel to various countries between 1956 and 1971. It also confirms that one of his many aliases was “Bambi Carriles.”

Document 6: CIA, Report, “Traces on Persons Involved in 6 Oct 1976 Cubana Crash,” October 13, 1976.

In the aftermath of the bombing of Cubana flight 455, the CIA ran a file check on all names associated with the terror attack. In a report to the FBI the Agency stated that it had no association with the two Venezuelans who were arrested. A section on Luis Posada Carriles was heavily redacted when the document was declassified. But the FBI retransmitted the report three days later and that version was released uncensored revealing Posada’s relations with the CIA.

Document 7: CIA, Secret Intelligence Report, “Activities of Cuban Exile Leader Orlando Bosch During his Stay in Venezuela,” October 14, 1976.

A source in Venezuela supplied the CIA with detailed intelligence on a fund raiser held for Orlando Bosch and his organization CORU after he arrived in Caracas in September 1976. The source described the dinner at the house of a Cuban exile doctor, Hildo Folgar, which included Venezuelan government officials. Bosch was said to have essentially asked for a bribe in order to refrain from acts of violence during the United Nations meeting in November 1976, which would be attended by Venezuelan President Carlos Andres Perez. He was also quoted as saying that his group had done a “great job” in assassinating former Chilean ambassador Orlando Letelier in Washington D.C. on September 21, and now was going to “try something else.” A few days later, according to this intelligence report, Luis Posada Carriles was overheard to say that “we are going to hit a Cuban airplane” and “Orlando has the details.”

Document 8: First Circuit Court of Panama, “Fiscalia Primera Del Primer Circuito Judicial De Panama: Vista Fiscal No. 200”, September 28, 2001.

This lengthy document is the official indictment in Panama of Luis Posada Carriles and 4 others for the attempted assassination of Fidel Castro at the 10th Ibero-American Summit in November 2000. In this indictment, Posada Carriles is accused of possession of explosives, endangerment of public safety, illicit association, and falsification of documents. After traveling to Panama, according to the evidence gathered, “Luis Posada Carriles and Raul Rodriguez Hamouzova rented a red Mitsubishi Lancer at the International Airport of Tocumen, in which they transported the explosives and other devices necessary to create a bomb.” (Original Spanish: “Luis Posada Carriles y Raul Rodriguez Hamouzova rentaron en el Aeropuerto Internacional de Tocumen de la referida empresa el vehículo marca Mitsubishi Lancer, color rojo, dentro del cual se transportaron los explosives y artefactos indicados para elaborar una bomba.”)  This bomb was intended to take the life of Fidel Castro; Castro was to present at the Summit on November 17th, and what Carriles had proposed to do “wasn’t easy, because it occurred at the Summit, and security measures would be extreme.” (Original Spanish: “lo que se proponía hacer no era fácil, porque ocurría en plena Cumbre, y las medidas de seguridad serían extremas.”)

After being discovered by agents of the Explosives Division of the National Police, they ascertained that “this explosive has the capacity to destroy an armored vehicle, buildings, steel doors, and the effects of an explosive of this class and quality can extend for 200 meters.” Additionally, “to a human, from a distance of 200 meters it would affect the senses, internal hemorrhages, and if the person were in the center of the explosion, even if they were in an armored car, they would not survive…the destructive capacity of this material is complete.” (Original Spanish: “Este explosivo tiene la capacidad de destruir cualquier carro blindado, puede destruir edificios, puertas de acero, y que la onda expansiva de esta calidad y clase de explosive puede alcanzar hasta 200 metros…Al ser humano, sostienen, a la distancia de 200 metros le afectaría los sentidos, hemorragios internos, y si la persona estuviese en el centro de la explosion, aunque estuviese dentro de un carro blindado no sobreviviría…la capacidad destructive de este material es total.”)

The indictment states that when Posada was “asked about the charges against him, including possession of explosives, possession of explosives that endanger public safety, illicit association, and falsification of documents…he expresses having fought subversion against democratic regimes along several fronts, specifically Castro-sponsored subversion.” (Original Spanish: “Preguntado sobre los cargos formulados, es decir Posesión de Explosivos, Posesión de Explosivos que implica Peligro Común, Asociación Ilicita, y Falsedad de Documentos…Expresa haber combatido en distintos frentes la subversión contra regimens democráticos, ‘quiero decir la subversión castrista.’”)

Posada and his accomplices were eventually convicted of endangering public safety and sentenced to 8 years in prison. He was pardoned by Panamanian president, Mireya Moscosa, after only four years in August 2004 and lived as a fugitive in Honduras until March 2005 when he illegally entered the United States and applied for political asylum.

TOP-SECRET: Ex-Kaibil Officer Connected to Dos Erres Massacre Arrested in Alberta, Canada

Graduation ceremony at the school for the Guatemalan Army’s elite Kaibil, counterinsurgency unit formed in the mid-1970s. [Photo © Jean-Marie Simon]

Washington, D.C. – January 20, 2011 – Jorge Vinicio Sosa Orantes was arrested in Alberta, Canada on January 18, 2011 on charges of naturalization fraud in the United States. Sosa Orantes, 52, is a former commanding officer of the Guatemalan Special Forces, or Kaibil unit, which brutally murdered more than 250 men, women and children during the 1982 massacre in Dos Erres, Guatemala. Sosa Orantes, a resident of Riverside County, California where he was a well known martial arts instructor, was arrested near the home of a relative in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. The charges for which he was arrested stem from an indictment by the United States District Court, Central District of California on charges of making false statements under oath on his citizenship application. Sosa Orantes will come before the Canadian court in Calgary to face possible extradition to the United States.

In an interview with the Calgary Sun, U.S. Justice Department prosecutor David Gates said that the extradition request was not a result of the allegations against Sosa Orantes for his involvement in the massacre; his extradition is being requested for alleged naturalization fraud. However, considering the similar case against Gilberto Jordan, it is possible that the precedence set with the ruling on that case may affect the outcome of Sosa Orantes’s case.

On September 16, 2010 in a historic ruling, former Guatemalan special forces soldier Gilberto Jordán, who confessed to having participated in the 1982 massacre of hundreds of men, women and children in Dos Erres, Guatemala, was sentenced today by a judge in a south Florida courtroom to serve ten years in federal prison for lying on his citizenship application about his role in the crime. Calling the massacre, “reprehensible,” U.S. District Judge William Zloch handed down the maximum sentence allowed for naturalization fraud, stating he wanted the ruling to be a message to “those who commit egregious human rights violations abroad” that they will not find “safe haven from prosecution” in the United States.

On May 5, 2010, agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested Gilberto Jordan, 54, in Palm Beach County, Florida, based on a criminal complaint charging Jordán with lying to U.S. authorities about his service in the Guatemalan Army and his role in the 1982 Dos Erres massacre. The complaint alleged that Jordán, a naturalized American citizen, was part of the special counterinsurgency Kaibiles unit that carried out the massacre of hundreds of residents of the Dos Erres village located in the northwest Petén region. Jordán allegedly helped kill unarmed villagers with his own hands, including a baby he allegedly threw into the village well.

The massacre was part of the Guatemalan military’s “scorched earth campaign” and was carried out by the Kaibiles ranger unit. The Kaibiles were specially trained soldiers who became notorious for their use of torture and brutal killing tactics. According to witness testimony, and corroborated through U.S. declassified archives, the Kaibiles entered the town of Dos Erres on the morning of December 6, 1982, and separated the men from women and children. They started torturing the men and raping the women and by the afternoon they had killed almost the entire community, including the children. Nearly the entire town was murdered, their bodies thrown into a well and left in nearby fields. The U.S. documents reveal that American officials deliberated over theories of how an entire town could just “disappear,” and concluded that the Army was the only force capable of such an organized atrocity. More than 250 people are believed to have died in the massacre.

The Global Post news organization conducted an investigative report into the investigation of the Guatemalan soldiers living in the United States and cited declassified documents released to the National Security Archive’s Guatemala Documentation Project under the Freedom of Information Act. These documents are part of a collection of files assembled by the Archive and turned over to Guatemala’s truth commission investigators, who used the files in the writing of their ground-breaking report, “Guatemala: Memory of Silence.” [see CEH section on Dos Erres]

The documents include U.S. Embassy cables that describe first-hand accounts by U.S. officials who traveled to the area of Dos Erres and witnessed the devastation left behind by the Kaibiles. Based on their observations and information obtained from sources during their trip, the American officials concluded “that the party most likely responsible for this incident is the Guatemalan Army.”


Declassified U.S. Documents on Kaibiles and the Dos Erres Massacre

December 1980
Military Intelligence Summary (MIS), Volume VIII–Latin America
U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, Secret, Intelligence Summary, 12 pages

Photos courtesy of Jean-Marie Simon, Guatemala: Eternal Spring, Eternal Tyranny. More photos of Guatemala can be found in Jean-Marie Simon’s newly-released Spanish version of her book Guatemala: Eterna Primavera, Eterna Tiranía.

The Defense Intelligence Agency periodically produces intelligence summary reports with information on the structure and capabilities of foreign military forces. On page six of this 1980 summary on the Guatemalan military, the DIA provides information on the Kaibil (ranger) counterinsurgency training center, which is located in La Pólvora, in the Péten. The report describes how each of Guatemala’s infantry battalions has a Kaibil platoon, “which may be deployed as a separate small unit. These platoons are used as cadre for training other conscripts in insurgency and counterinsurgency techniques and tactics. The Air Force sends personnel to the Kaibil School for survival training.”

November 19, 1982
Army Establishes a Strategic Reaction Force
U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, Confidential, Cable, 2 pages

Less than a month before the Dos Erres killings, the DIA reports on the creation of a “strategic reaction force” made up of 20 Kaibil ranger instructors based out of Guatemala City’s Mariscal Zavala Brigade. The special unit was assembled in order to carry out the mission “of quickly deploying to locations throughout the country to seek and destroy guerrilla elements.” The document indicates that the Kaibil unit was placed under direct control of Guatemala’s central military command. It states; “the unit’s huge success in previous engagement with the enemy have prompted the Guatemalan Army General Staff (AGS) to assume direct command and control of this unit.”

December 10, 1982
Guatemalan Counter Terrorism Capabilities
U.S. Embassy in Guatemala, Secret Cable, 3 pages

Days after the Dos Erres massacre the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala sends a secret cable back to Washington with information on the counter-terrorist tactical capability of the Guatemalan police and military forces. The cable reports that a Kaibil unit, based in the Mariscal Zavala Brigade headquarters, “has recently been deployed to the Petén, and is now operationally under the Poptún Military Bridage.”

This reporting coincides with the CEH and OAS summary of the events leading up to the Dos Erres massacre.

December 28, 1982
Alleged Massacre of 200 at Village of Dos R’s, Petén
U.S. Embassy in Guatemala, Secret Cable, 3 pages 

As information begins to surface about the Dos Erres massacre U.S. officials look into the matter and report on information obtained through a “reliable embassy source” who tells U.S. officials that the Guatemalan Government Army may have massacred the 200 villagers of Dos Erres. According to the source, an Army unit disguised as guerrillas entered the Dos Erres village gathered the people together and demanded their support. The source tells officials that the villagers knew they were not with the guerrilla, and did not comply with their demands. One villager who managed to escape later recounts the story to people in Las Cruces, 12 kilometers from Dos Erres, and to the Embassy source who relays the information to American officials. Another witness tells the source that the village was completely deserted, and claimed to have found burnt identification cards in the nearby Church.  They also claim that the Army came back to the village a few days later and took roofing and furniture to the Army Base in Las Cruces.

The U.S. officials offer possible theories on why no bodies were found, and on how the entire Dos Erres population could have just “disappeared.” One theory was that the Army killed everyone in the village, dumped the bodies into the well, and covered the well over. This was based on the local testimonies of those who had gone into the village and saw that the well was covered over, but they were afraid to look inside.

The cable goes on to say that because of the reliability of the source, and the seriousness of the allegations, that an embassy office will go to investigate on Dec. 30th, 1982.

December 31, 1982
Possible Massacre in “Dos R’s”, El Petén
U.S. Embassy in Guatemala, Secret Cable, 4 pages

On December 30th three mission members from the U.S. Embassy and a Canadian diplomat visit Las Cruces in Poptún to investigate the allegations of the Dos R’s massacre. The document verifies the existence of the Dos Erres village, noting that the settlement was deserted and many of the houses burnt to the ground.

The Mission Team visit the Army Base in Poptún, El Petén, where they speak with the operations officer (S3), who tells the mission members that the area near Las Cruces was exceptionally dangerous because of recent guerrilla activity. Army officials explain how Dos Erres “had suffered from a guerrilla attack in early December,” and that it would pose a considerable risk for them to visit the town.  From Poptún, the mission Members fly directly to the town of Las Cruces (using the directions provided by their source) and then to the village of Las Dos Erres. When they reach Dos Erres, however, the helicopter pilot refuses to touch down, but agrees to sweep low over the area. From this view the Embassy officials could see that houses had been “razed or destroyed by fire.” They then fly back to Las Cruces to speak with locals, including a member of the local civil defense patrol (PAC) and a “confidant of the Army in the area.” He tells officials that the Army was responsible for the disappearance of the people in Dos Erres and that he had been told to keep out of the area in early December, because the army was going to “sweep through.” He also confirms the prior reports that the Army officials wore civilian dress during the sweep, but had identifiable Army combat boots and Galil rifles. The cable notes that this information matches that of previous reftel source.

Based on the information obtained during their trip, the cable reports that “Embassy must conclude that the party most likely responsible for this incident is the Guatemalan Army.”

WIE AUCH SIE EIN OPFER DER DIOXIN- UND RUFMÖRDER DER GoMoPa-DDR-Gestapo WERDEN KOENNEN

Liebe Leserin, lieber Leser!

Stellen Sie sich bitte kurz vor, dass Sie mit einer tollen Geschäftsidee oder einer Geschäftserweiterung zu mehr Geld kommen möchten. Beispielsweise auch Ihr Unternehmen vergrössern oder gar Ihre Waren exportieren wollen.

Sie werben damit natürlich über die Medien….

Da meldet sich bei Ihnen möglicherweise ein Beauftragter des Finanz-Nachrichtendienstes GoMoPa mit der Mitteilung, dass im GoMoPa-Forum sehr negative Forenbeiträge über Ihre Person oder Ihr Vorhaben stünden. Äusserst Schlimmes wir über Sie berichtet. Zum Beispiel, dass Sie bisher schon Ihr Geld mit betrügerischen Machenschaften verdient hätten oder Ihr Sohn als erfolgreicher Sportler nach neuesten Ermittlungen in einem Kokain-Dealer-Ring verwickelt sei.

Ein anonymer User ( Schreiberling) habe dies geschrieben, wird vom GoMoPa-Beauftragten berichtet. Man könne jetzt noch nicht feststellen, ob dies so wahr sei. Man könne aber auch nicht den Beitrag einfach rausnehmen, denn es könne ja auch was Wahres daran sein!

Falls Sie selbst an der Wahrheitsfindung interessiert seien, könnten Sie auch beim ´seriösen Nachrichtendienst` GoMoPa als Gesellschafter oder alsPremium-Mitglied einsteigen, dann könne man ja…..usf. …ganz einfach den Beitrag herausnehmen!

So ähnlich könnte es geschehen und glauben Sie mir: ´Dies ist kein böser Traum,-keine Fata Morgana`, sondern schon Zigtausendmal in der fast 10-Jährigen GoMoPa- Geschichte so abgelaufen.

Wir, von der CSA-Agency, wurden selbst aus Wettbewerbsgründen seit 2002 von GoMoPa auf primitivste Weise im Forum diffamiert oder die von uns als seriöse Dienstleister empfohlenen Unternehmungen wurden per Rufmord mit schmutzigsten, unwahren Verleumdungs-Attacken von anonymen Bloggern ( bezahlte Helfershelfer vom GoMoPa) nahezu ruiniert. Nicht nur finanziell , sondern auch gesundheitlich nieder gemacht! Nicht umsonst heisst esRUFMORD.

Der Begriff ´Stalking` ist da noch eine vornehme Bezeichnung.

Auf gut deutsch passt Rufmord besser.

Geschäftlicher und gesundheitlicher RUFMORD gehört auch entsprechend bestraft.

Die Justiz tut sich sehr schwer damit. Vor allem, wenn die Rufmörder mit Ihren Machenschaften mit Gesellschaften wie z.B. ´GoMoPa` als Briefkastenfirma aus dem Ausland agieren. UND zum anderen, weil sich dieStalking-Terror-Experten von GoMoPa sich mit ihren Methoden auch der Justiz und der Medien bedienen.

Die seriöse Alternative zu systematischem Rufmord

Seriöse Aufklärung hilft!Auch der zuweilen personell überforderten Justizkann mit entsprechender Aufklärung zum Hintergrund der Go-Mafia ´GoMoPa` und ihrem Paten Klaus Maurischat geholfen werden!

oMoPa”-”EXPERTE” Gerd-Wilhelm Benenwirtz, 1989 – ein Jahr nach dem Fall der Mauer gründete er SJB

Das Stasi-Problem war mit dem Zusammenbruch der DDR keineswegs beendet. Ehemalige Stasi-Mitarbeiter gelangten nach der Wende in höchste Positionen. In Brandenburg hatten es sogar mehrere ehemalige Stasi-Mitarbeiter bis in die aktuelle rot-rote Landesregierung geschafft, um dort die Regierung zu übernehmen. Auch in Sachsen-Anhalt könnten nach der Landtagswahl ehemalige Stasi-Mitarbeiter in die Regierung gelangen. Und auch in der Wirtschaft sind viele Stasi-Mitarbeiter in hohe Positionen gelangt. So auch der Herr Sievert. Doch was bezweckte dieser tatsächlich mit der Dioxinvergiftung? Handelte er wirklich aus Profitgier, oder war die bundesweite Vergiftung eine verspätete Rache der Stasi gegen den ehemaligen Klassenfeind?

Zum Zeitpunkt des Zusammenbruches der DDR gab es in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland rund 2000 aktive MfS-Spione, wie die veröffentlichte Auswertung der sogenannten Rosenholz-Dateien im März 2004 ergab. Die Anzahl der IM, welche für die Hauptverwaltung Aufklärung in der DDR selbst tätig waren, wurde dabei mit 20.000 beziffert. Das MfS unterstützte in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland ihm nützlich erscheinende politische Kräfte. So wurden unter dem Decknamen „Gruppe Ralf Forster“ in der DDR ausgewählte Kader der DKP im Nahkampf und Sprengstoffeinsatz ausgebildet. Die Unterlagen des MfS zur „Gruppe Ralf Forster“ wurden geschreddert und im Jahr 2004 wieder in der Birthler-Behörde rekonstruiert. Die Agenten der MfS-Abteilung für Spezialkampfführung sollten eine militärische Besetzung des „Operationsgebietes“ durch Diversion, Spionage und Sabotage vorbereiten, sie waren in der Bundesrepublik und anderen westlichen Staaten, so auch in der Schweiz (z. B. Agentenpaar Müller-Hübner) aktiv

Stasi-Morde mit Dioxin: Millionen von Menschen kennen das Thema durch die Berichterstattung über den Dioxin-Skandal hervorgerufen durch Stasi-Top-Agent Siegfried Sievert. Sein Namensvetter Siegfried Siewert (ein Pseudonym) für einen „GoMoPa“-Mitarbeiter steht unter Mordverdacht im Fall Heinz Gerlach.
Bei der Staatsanwaltschaft Münster ist eine Strafanzeige wegen versuchten Mordes aus Habgier gegen den in den Dioxin-Skandal verwickelten Futtermittellieferanten Harles und Jentzsch eingegangen. Schwere Körperverletzung und Giftbeimischung lauteten weitere Vorwürfe, sagte Oberstaatsanwalt Wolfgang Schweer.
Demnach hat ein Arzt aus der Nähe von Münster die Firma aus Schleswig-Holstein angezeigt. Die Staatsanwaltschaft Münster wird den Fall vermutlich an die Behörden in Oldenburg oder Itzehoe abgeben. Dort laufen derzeit Ermittlungen wegen Verstößen gegen das Lebensmittelbedarfsgegenstände- und Futtermittel-Gesetz.
Die Firma Harles und Jentzsch aus dem schleswig-holsteinischen Uetersen hatte seit März vergangenen Jahres dioxinbelastetes Futterfett an Abnehmer in mehreren Bundesländern ausgeliefert. Bundesweit sind gegenwärtig rund 4.700 Betriebe wegen Dioxin-Verdachts geschlossen
Chef der Firma Harles und Jentzsch ist der ehemalige Stasi-Top-Agent und Dioxin-Panscher Siegfried Sievert.
Offensichtlich ist Dioxin bereits in der DDR-Zeit von Sievert im Auftrag der Stasi benutzt worden.
Beweis: „Stasi-Akte des Dioxin-Panschers belegt: Harles & Jentzsch-Geschäftsführer Sievert arbeitete 17 Jahre für die Stasi. Er trug den Decknamen “IM Pluto”.

Die Akte trägt die Registriernummer II 153/71, ist mehrere
Hundert Seiten dick. Auf dem Deckel ein Name: “Pluto“. Unter
diesem Decknamen spionierte Siegfried Sievert (58), der als Geschäftsführer
des Futtermittel-Herstellers Harles und Jentzsch mutmaßlich für
den Dioxin-Skandal verantwortlich ist, 18 Jahre lang für die
Staatssicherheit der DDR.“

http://infokriegergreifswald.blogspot.com/2011/01/stasi-dioxin-panscher.html

Die „Zeit“ schreibt:
Knapp 200 Seiten hat die Stasi-Akte von Siegfried Sievert. Der Chef des Fettherstellers Harles und Jentzsch ist für den Staatssicherheitsdienst der DDR tätig gewesen. Das geht aus Akten der Birthler-Behörde hervor, aus denen die Süddeutsche Zeitung zitiert. Sievert sei 18 Jahre lang bis zur Wende als IM Pluto geführt worden. Schon damals arbeitete er für fettverarbeitende Betriebe wie dem VEB Märkische Ölwerke in Wittenberge, schrieb die Zeitung weiter.
“Der IM hat keinerlei Vorbehalte bei der Belastung von Personen aus seinem Umgangskreis”, zitierte die Süddeutsche Zeitung aus seiner Akte. Weiter heißt es, dass Sievert nicht aus Überzeugung für die Stasi arbeite, sondern nur, weil er  “persönliche Vorteile/Nachteile in Erwägung” ziehe. Sievert wollte sich laut der Zeitung auf Anfrage nicht äußern.
Sievert ist Geschäftsführer des mittlerweile insolventen Fettherstellers Harles und Jentzsch im schleswig-holsteinischen Uetersen. Die Firma hatte dioxinbelastete Fettsäuren mit unbelasteten Fetten gemischt. Die Fette wurden zu Futtermitteln verarbeitet und führten bundesweit zur Dioxin-Belastung von Hühnern und Schweinen.
Derweil schrieb die Berliner Zeitung, dass der Fetthersteller Harles und Jentzsch regelmäßig und in viel größerem Ausmaß dioxinbelastete Fettsäuren gemischt und ausgeliefert haben soll als bislang bekannt. Die Zeitung berief sich dabei auf Messergebnisse des Niedersächsischen Landesamts für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit (Laves). Insgesamt 92 der 153 überprüften Fettproben haben Laves zufolge den zulässigen Dioxin-Grenzwert von 0,75 Nanogramm pro Gramm überschritten.
Ein besonderes Merkmal der Ergebnisse ist, dass sich der Dioxingehalt in den Proben eklatant voneinander unterscheidet. Der Dioxingehalt lag bei 1,0, in anderen bei 11,7 und 28,7 Nanogramm, auch Werte von 48,0 bis 61,6 Nanogramm kamen vor. Für die Ermittler erhöht sich damit der Verdacht, dass das erhöhte Dioxin nicht zufällig in den Fetten vorhanden ist sondern unterschiedlich belastete Fette vorsätzlich miteinander vermengt wurden.
Alle Proben stammen aus der Zeit vom 11. November bis zum 13. Dezember. Die Behörden schätzen, dass die Firma Harles und Jentzsch in diesem Zeitraum rund 2500 Tonnen Futtermischfette hergestellt hat und diese an 20 niedersächsische Futtermittelunternehmer lieferte. Diese hätten dann die Fette mit anderen Futtermitteln weiterverarbeitet. Daraus ergebe sich für Niedersachsen eine Futtermittelmenge von 25.000 bis 125.000 Tonnen, die auf diese Weise in der Nahrungskette eingegangen sind.“
Beweise: http://www.zeit.de/politik/deutschland/2011-01/dioxin-stasi-sievert

http://www.shz.de/nachrichten/schleswig-holstein/artikeldetail/article/111/dioxin-panscher-soll-als-im-pluto-fuer-die-ddr-stasi-gearbeitet.html

http://www.bz-berlin.de/aktuell/deutschland/war-fett-dioxin-panscher-bei-der-stasi-article1094984.html

GoMoPa” – “EXPERT” level Gerd Wilhelm Wirtz, 1989 – one year after the fall of the Berlin Wall, he founded SJB

The Stasi problem had led to the collapse of the GDR no. Former Stasi officers arrived after the turn into the highest positions. In Brandenburg, there were even several former Stasi members to the current red-red state government made in order to take over the government. In Saxony-Anhalt state election could after the former Stasi employees enter the government. And in the economy, many former Stasi members have come into high positions. So also the Lord Sievert. But what this actually was intended with the dioxin poisoning? He really acted out of greed, or was the nationwide poison a belated revenge against the Stasi the former class enemy?

At the time of the collapse of the GDR, there were in the Federal Republic of Germany, about 2,000 active-Stasi spies, as the published evaluation of the so-called Rose-Wood files in March 2004 found. The number of IM, which for the Main Intelligence Directorate in the GDR were self-employed was estimated at 20,000 here. The Stasi supported in the Federal Republic of Germany, it appears useful political forces. Thus, under the pseudonym “Ralf Forster group” trained in East Germany squad selected the DKP in the melee and explosives use. The records of the Stasi for “Ralf Forster Group” were shredded in 2004 and reconstructed in the Birthler Authority. The agents of the Stasi department for special warfare should prepare a military occupation of the “operational area” through sabotage, espionage and sabotage, they were in Germany and other Western states, including in Switzerland (eg agent pair Müller-Hübner) active

Stasi murders with dioxin: Millions of people know the issue by reporting on the dioxin scandal caused by Stasi top agent Siegfried Sievert. His namesake Siegfried Siewert (a pseudonym) for a “GoMoPa” employee is under suspicion of murder in the case of Heinz Gerlach.
Munster to the prosecutor a criminal complaint for attempted murder out of greed against the complex in the dioxin scandal feed suppliers Harles and Jentzsch has been received. Serious injury and toxic admixture denominated further allegations, said senior prosecutor Wolfgang Schweer.
Accordingly, a doctor from the nearby Cathedral, the company from Schleswig-Holstein has shown. The prosecution will give Munster the case probably due to the authorities in Oldenburg and Itzehoe. There currently under investigation for violations of the food commodities and animal feed law.
The company Harles and Jentzsch from the Schleswig-Holstein Uetersen had delivered since March last year, dioxin-contaminated feed fat to customers in several states. Nationwide are currently around 4,700 businesses closed because of suspected dioxin
Head of the company and Harles Jentzsch is a former Stasi agent and top-dioxin adulterator Siegfried Sievert.
Dioxin is apparently already in the communist era of Sievert on behalf of the Stasi was used.
Proof: “Stasi file of dioxin-occupied adulterator: Harles & Jentzsch, CEO Sievert worked 17 years for the Stasi. He bore the code name “IM Pluto.”

The record bears the registration number is 153/71 II, several
Hundred pages thick. On the cover of a name “Pluto”. Under
that code name spied Siegfried Sievert (58), who as CEO
the feed manufacturer Harles Jentzsch and presumably for
the dioxin scandal is responsible for 18 years for the
State Security of the GDR. ”

http://infokriegergreifswald.blogspot.com/2011/01/stasi-dioxin-panscher.html

The “Time” wrote:
Sievert has nearly 200 pages of the Stasi file Siegfried. The head of the grease manufacturer Harles and Jentzsch is for the State Security Service of the GDR had worked. This is clear from the files of the Birthler Authority, which quoted from the Süddeutsche Zeitung. Sievert was conducted for 18 years until the turn of Pluto as IM. Even then, he worked for fat-processing companies such as the VEB Märkische oil plants in Wittenberg, wrote on the paper.
“The IM has no reservations with the load of people from his circle of acquaintances”, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung quoted from his file. It said that Sievert work not out of conviction for the Stasi, but only because he had “personal advantages / disadvantages into consideration” pull. Sievert refused to comment on request according to the newspaper.
Sievert is the CEO of the now insolvent and Jentzsch Harles grease manufacturer in Schleswig-Holstein Uetersen. The company had mixed dioxin-contaminated fat with fat unloaded. The fats are processed into animal feed and carried nationwide on dioxin contamination of chickens and pigs.
Meanwhile, the Berliner Zeitung wrote, that should have mixed the grease manufacturer Harles and Jentzsch regularly and to a much greater extent dioxin-contaminated fatty acids and delivered as previously announced. The newspaper on the basis that results from the Lower Saxony State Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety (Laves). A total of 92 of the 153 examined fat samples have exceeded the permissible according Laves dioxin limit of 0.75 nanograms per gram.
A special feature of the results is that the dioxin content in the samples blatantly differ. The dioxin content was 1.0, occurred in another at 11.7 and 28.7 nanograms, and values ​​from 48.0 to 61.6 nanograms. For the investigators will thus increase the suspicion that the elevated dioxin accident in the fats present but differently charged lipids were intentionally mixed together.
All samples are from the period of 11 November to 13 December. The authorities estimate that the company Harles and Jentzsch has produced in this period around 2500 tons of feed mixing fats and delivered them at 20 Lower Saxony feed business. These were then further processed with other feed fats. It follows a feed lot for Lower 25000-125000 tons that arrived in this way in the food chain. ”
Prove http://www.zeit.de/politik/deutschland/2011-01/dioxin-stasi-sievert

SECRET: URGENT DEMARCHE TO GOA

VZCZCXYZ0003
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHC #8040 3392140
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TO RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA IMMEDIATE 0000
INFO RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD PRIORITY 0000
RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST PRIORITY 0000
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0000
RUEHSN/AMEMBASSY SAN SALVADOR PRIORITY 0000
RUEHTL/AMEMBASSY TALLINN PRIORITY 0000
S E C R E T STATE 128040 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/03/2018
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR MOPS IZ ES RO AS EN
SUBJECT: URGENT DEMARCHE TO GOA 

REF: BAGHDAD 03794 

Classified By: DAS G Davies for reasons 1.4 b and d 

Summary
------- 

1. (S) Department requests that Embassy Canberra demarche
the Australian Government on the way forward in the GOA's
negotiations with the Government of Iraq on an agreement
to permit Australian forces to remain in Iraq after the
expiration of the UNSCR 1790 mandate for the multinational
force.  Please report GOA response, in particular any
indication that the GOA will communicate with its mission
in Baghdad.  Info addressee posts should feel free to use
points below as the basis of their own approaches to host
government on this issue. Please slug replies for EAP/ANP,
NEA/I, and S/I.  End Summary. 

Background
---------- 

2. (S)  As the GOI moves beyond the process of gaining
agreement for the U.S.-Iraq Security Agreement, it
is focusing on the terms for the continued presence of
four Coalition partners (Australia, Romania, El Salvador
and Estonia) beyond December 31. (The British are engaging
with the GOI at the highest level and have made
significant progress on a mechanism to permit them to stay
in Iraq.) Regarding the other four, the GOI made clear its
conditions for agreement: 1) that the Government will not
present any more security agreements to the Council of
Representatives (COR) and 2) that the forces of the four
must conduct non-combat missions. The GOI is pressing for
the simplest exchange of letters or diplomatic notes or
signed MOUs to permit continued operations. 

3. (S) The Australians have a high-level team in Baghdad
and are working with the GOI but to date remain
convinced that they need an agreement that would require
COR approval. Given the importance of the Australian
staff officers to MNF-I operations in Iraq, it would be
most helpful for Embassy Canberra to press the GOA to
look for a mechanism short of COR ratification to allow
the continued presence of its military officers. 

Points
-------- 

4. (S/REL AS EN ES RO UK) Department suggests that the
demarche be based on the following points: 

--Now that the U.S. has concluded its complex
negotiations with the GOI for a bilateral security
agreement, the GOI is focused on negotiating terms to
allow Coalition partners to remain in Iraq. 

--The U.S. strongly supports the presence of Australian
staff officers in MNF-I beyond January 1, 2009 and
Australia's other significant contributions to Operation
Iraqi Freedom. 

--The GOI has made it clear that Australia's continued
presence will be in a non-combat assistance capacity. 

--PM al-Maliki has stated that he will not present any
other bilateral security agreements to the COR. 

--Canberra should explore whether there are other
mechanisms that would allow Iraq to conclude a legally
binding agreement without the approval of the COR. Such
arrangements or agreement could be in the form of an
exchange of diplomatic notes or a MOU, and draw upon
relevant provisions in the U.S. Security Agreement with
Iraq in order to establish a basis for the continued
presence of Australian officers in Iraq. 

Additional Point As Appropriate
-------------------------------
5. If this remains an issue: We understand that the GOA
wishes to include its combat forces in TF158 in its
bilateral agreement. We recommend that this be addressed
separately given the GOI's position against combat
missions for coalition forces and that the GOA focus on
a security agreement covering the Australian staff
officers embedded with MNF-I only. 

Reporting Deadline
------------------ 

6.  Embassy should report results of efforts by cable to
the Department before December 12. 

7.  Please contact EAP/ANP's Aleisha Woodward or NEA/I's
Shaun Mandelkorn for any necessary further background
information or argumentation to meet our objectives.
RICE

SECRET: STATUS OF COALITION PARTNERS IN IRAQ; RECOMMENDED DEMARCHE FOR AUSTRALIA

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RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST IMMEDIATE 0038
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA IMMEDIATE 0072
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S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 003794 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/02/2018
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR MOPS IZ ES RO AS EN
SUBJECT: STATUS OF COALITION PARTNERS IN IRAQ; RECOMMENDED DEMARCHE FOR AUSTRALIA

Classified By: Pol-Mil Minister-Counselor Michael H. Corbin for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

1. (S) This is an action request, see paragraph 11. 

2. (S) Summary:  As the GOI moves beyond the process of
gaining agreement for the U.S.-Iraq Security Agreement, it is
focusing on the terms for the continued presence of four
Coalition partners (Australia, Romania, El Salvador and
Estonia) beyond December 31. (The British are engaging with
the GOI at the highest level and have made significant
progress on a mechanism to permit them to stay in Iraq.)
Regarding the other four, the GOI made clear its conditions
for agreement: 1) that the Government will not present any
more security agreements to the Council of Representatives
(COR) and 2) that the forces of the four must conduct
non-combat missions.  The GOI is pressing for the simplest
exchange of letters or diplomatic notes or signed MOUs to
permit continued operations. 

3. (S) Summary Continued: An Estonian parliamentary
delegation recently visited Iraq and an MOD official remained
behind to continue discussions with us and the GOI.  The
Salvadoran Defense Minister and team will be in Iraq December
5.  The Australians have a high-level team in Baghdad and are
working with the GOI but to date remain convinced that they
need an agreement ratified by the COR.  Given the importance
of the 42 Australian staff officers to MNF-I operations in
Iraq, we request the Department consider sending an urgent
demarche to Canberra pressing the GOA to look for a mechanism
short of COR ratification to allow the continued presence of
its military officers.  Additionally, NATO is proceeding to
formalize the GOI's strong interest in the continuation of
NATO Training Mission Iraq (NTM-I) and will renew an exchange
of letters with the GOI, citing the U.S. Security Agreement
in lieu of the UNSCR. End Summary. 

4. (S) Following the adoption by the COR of the U.S. Security
Agreement, the GOI has clearly stated its conditions for the
continued presence of the remaining four Coalition partners
(Australia, Romania, El Salvador and Estonia).  The PM has
made it absolutely clear in discussions with the Ambassador
and MNF-I CG Odierno that it will not support any further
agreements which require COR ratification.  The GOI has also
reiterated that the continued presence of these Coalition
forces will be in a "non-combat" assistance capacity. The
British are conducting high-level discussions with the GOI to
provide protection and conduct specific combat missions. 

5. (S) Instead of engaging in another campaign with the
various political factions in the COR, PM Nouri al-Maliki has
said he strongly prefers an exchange of diplomatic notes or a
memorandum of understanding (MOU) referencing provisions in
the U.S. Security Agreement. 

6. (S) Post has met repeatedly and at various levels with the
Australians concerning a suitable agreement.  The GOA remains
convinced that in order for any such agreement to be binding,
it must be ratified by the COR.  The Australians have 42
staff officers embedded within the Multi-National Forces Iraq
(MNF-I) in key positions.  Additionally, the Australians
participate in TF158 operating in Iraqi waters to protect
Iraq's oil installations.  The Australians understand the
complexity of including combat forces (TF158) in their
Qcomplexity of including combat forces (TF158) in their
agreement and may be willing to drop this in order to focus
on the non-combat embedded officers. 

7. (S) Given the clear position of PM al-Maliki and the
importance of the Australians to MNF-I, we recommend the
Department consider sending an urgent demarche to Canberra
recommending that the GOA consider an exchange of diplomatic
notes with the GOI, referencing provisions in the U.S.
Security Agreement.  We also recommend that Australia agree
to limit its agreement to the 42 embedded staff officers
currently serving with MNF-I (See proposed points in
paragraph 11). 

8. (S) Mati Raidma, Chairman of the National Defense Council of the Estonian Parliament, led a visit by Estonian Parliament Members to Baghdad last week, accompanied by MOD officials, to participate in discussions with the GOI on Estonia's continued presence in Iraq. One MOD official remained behind to follow up on these talks. Post met with the Estonian delegation and advised they pursue an exchange of diplomatic notes with the GOI, also reiterating that Estonia's continued presence would be in a non-combat assistance capacity. The Estonian Members were clear on this matter and in a meeting with the Iraqi Minister of Defense on November 27, did not raise the issue of Estonian forces conducting combat operations. We linked the Estonians with the Australians to facilitate their understanding of the negotiating process, while focusing on an exchange of diplomatic notes rather than COR ratification. The Salvadoran MOD will visit Iraq on December 5, at which time Post will advise the same course of action.

9. (S) As for Romania, its Embassy is engaged on this matter
and we are supporting their efforts.  Post has advised
Romania to consider a similar approach to Estonia through an
exchange of diplomatic notes, referencing provisions in the
U.S. Security Agreement. 

10. (S) NTM-I was invited by PM al-Maliki on January 29 to
remain in Iraq until the end of 2009.  NTM-I's current legal
status is derived from an exchange of letters between NATO
and the GOI, referencing the UNSCR.  NATO has approved a
draft exchange of letters and NATO Assistant Secretary
General for Operations Martin Howard will travel to Baghdad
next week to negotiate the exchange of letters. 

---------------
ACTION REQUEST
--------------- 

11. (S) Post recommends that the Department consider
instructing our Embassy in Canberra to urgently demarche the
GOA to suggest strongly that the GOA consider an exchange of
diplomatic notes or other legal mechanism that does not
require action by the COR, referencing provisions in the U.S.
security agreement.  Post suggests that the demarche be based
on the following points: 

- Now that the U.S. has concluded its complex negotiations
with the GOI for a bilateral security agreement, the GOI is
focused on negotiating Coalition security agreements. 

- The U.S. strongly supports the presence of Australian staff
officers in MNF-I beyond January 1, 2009 and Australia's
other significant contributions to Operation Iraqi Freedom. 

- The GOI has made it clear that Australia's continued
presence will be in a non-combat assistance capacity. 

- PM al-Maliki has stated that he will not present any other
bilateral security agreements to the COR. 

- Canberra should strongly consider an exchange of diplomatic
notes or a MOU with the GOI, referencing provisions in the
U.S. Security Agreement with Iraq in order to establish a
basis for the continued presence of Australian officers in
Iraq. 

AS APPROPRIATE IF THIS REMAINS AN ISSUE: We understand that
the GOA wishes to include its combat forces in TF158 in its
bilateral agreement.  We recommend that this be addressed
separately given PM al-Maliki's position against combat
forces and that the GOA focus on a security agreement
covering the Australian staff officers embedded with MNF-I
only. 

CROCKER

27 Years Later, Justice for Fernando García

Family snapshot of Nineth de García, daughter Alejandra and husband Fernando before his abduction on February 18, 1984. Photo from “Guatemala, The Group for Mutual Support,” An Americas Watch Report. [Courtesy of Jean-Marie Simon]
Update on the conviction of the Guatemalan police officers
responsible for Fernando García’s “forced disappearance”

Washington, D.C., February 18, 2011 – Twenty-seven years ago today, Guatemalan labor activist Edgar Fernando García was shot and kidnapped by government security forces off a street in downtown Guatemala City. He was never seen again. In recognition of the anniversary of his disappearance, the National Security Archive today posts the complete text of the historic ruling issued last October by a Guatemalan court that convicted two former policemen to 40 years in prison for the crime, as well as key documents from the Guatemalan National Police Archive that were used in the prosecution.

Fernando García’s family continues to fight for justice inside Guatemala and internationally. The groundbreaking trial that found Héctor Roderico Ramírez Ríos and Abraham Lancerio Gómez – both low-ranking police agents at the time of the abduction – guilty of García’s “forced disappearance” ended with the court’s unprecedented order that the government investigate their superior officers. Meanwhile in Washington, where the García case has been pending before the Inter-American Human Rights Commission for over a decade, the commission announced on February 9 its decision to send the case to the Inter-American Court in Costa Rica due to Guatemala’s failure to act on commission findings.

The Fernando García trial took place over several days last October in a crowded courtroom in the “Tribunals Tower” in downtown Guatemala City, and brought together an extraordinary array of experts and witnesses testifying on behalf of the prosecution. (To see a more complete description of the first days of the trial, see Kate Doyle’s blog posting.) Congresswomen Nineth Montenegro, García’s wife and mother of their infant daughter, Alejandra, at the time of his abduction, told the court about her anguished search for her husband in the months following his disappearance, leading to the creation of one of Guatemala’s first human rights organizations, the Mutual Support Group (GAM). Alejandra García Montenegro, now a lawyer who served as the querellante adhesivo or “private prosecutor” in the case, spoke movingly at the trial’s end about the impact of his disappearance on her family and her own childhood. García’s elderly mother also testified, expressing the pain she has endured for almost three decades in losing her son without knowing his ultimate fate.

At the heart of the prosecution’s case were the official records of the former National Police of Guatemala, recovered by the Office of the Human Rights Prosecutor in 2005 and now being examined for evidence of human right crimes. Velia Muralles Bautista, an investigator with the Historic Archives of the National Police (AHPN), gave expert testimony on hundreds of police records connected to the February 1984 counterinsurgency operation that resulted in Fernando García’s abduction. Muralles drew particular attention to a handful of key documents that contained powerful evidence of the Guatemalan government’s role in planning and carrying out García’s capture. They included records of the police Joint Operations Center (Centro de Operaciones Conjuntas, or COC), which controlled and commanded the police units involved in the operation [documents 3, 4, 5, and 6]; a hand-drawn map of Guatemala City, assigning Zone 11— where García and his companion, Danilo Chinchilla, were captured — to the Fourth Corps of the National Police [document 7]; and the recommendation from the National Police hierarchy that the defendants be considered for medals for their heroic actions in the counterinsurgency operation on that day, at the time, and in the place of the capture of Edgar [document 2].

On the last days of the trial, Marco Tulio Alvarez, head of Guatemala’s Archivos de la Paz (Archives of Peace), testified on the political and historical context of Fernando García’s disappearance. His testimony addressed the coordination between government agencies in “cleansing operations”, specifically between the military and the National Police. In his testimony, Tulio Alvarez referred to documents from the AHPN, the Death Squad Diary, and declassified U.S. documents obtained by the National Security Archive, among other Guatemalan government documents. Tulio Alvarez used this documentary evidence to paint a picture for the court of government repression of those who spoke against the government, groups the Guatemalan government considered “internal enemies.” His testimony touched on the regime’s desire to “annihilate local secret communities, and military units…” which was described in a military document, Plan Victoria 82.

For a more detailed account of the last days of the trial and other witnesses, see the report written by C. Carolina López, our associate in Guatemala.

Now, the pressure is on the Guatemalan government, not only from the ruling of the three judges in Guatemala who heard this case, but also the pending hearing before the Inter-American Court in Costa Rica. An indictment and trial of superior officers allegedly responsible for ordering the cleansing operations would truly be a landmark development for human rights justice in Guatemala.


Read the Documents

Document 1
October 28, 2010
Organismo Judicial, Guatemala. C-01069-1997-00001 Oficial Tercero. Tribunal Octavo de Sentencia Penal, Narcoactividad y Delitos Contra el Ambiente, Guatemala.(Judicial Body of Guatemala, Third Official, Eighth Criminal Court Convcition, Drug-trafficking and Environmental Crimes, Guatemala)
93 pages

This document is the official ruling of the Guatemalan court, which convicted former National Police officers Héctor Roderico Ramírez Ríos and Abraham Lancerio Gómez of forced disappearance in the case of Edgar Fernando García. The two men received the maximum sentence of 40 years in prison. The ruling, written by three Guatemala judges, acknowledges that Edgar Fernando García was illegally detained; the disappearance was committed by state security agents within national security policy; and the crime was against the individual liberties and freedoms of Fernando García.

The official ruling also includes parts of the testimony from eye witnesses, as well as expert witness testimony on the documents from the Historical Archive of the National Police (AHPN) and the declassified U.S. government documents from the National Security Archive collections.

Document 2
Undated
Cuarto Cuerpo Guatemala, Nomina del Personal del Cuarto Cuerpo de la Policia Nacional que se hace a distinciones, según el reclamento de condecoraciones. (Fourth Corps Guatemala, Nomination of Personnel of the Fourth Corps of the National Police for distinction, according to regulations for awards)
Souce: Historical Archive of the National Police of Guatemala (Archivo Historico de la Policia Nacional)
3 pages

This documents records the nomination of four police officers, Hector Roderico Ramírez Ríos, Alfonso Guillermo de Leon, Hugo Rolando Gomez Osorio, and Abraham Lancerio Gómez to receive awards for their actions on February 18, 1984 at 11:00 in the morning with their encounter with “two subversives” who had subversive propaganda and fire arms at the “Mercado de Guarda” in zone 11. This was the exact date, time, and place that Fernando García and his companion Danilo Chinchilla were abducted. In her testimony, expert witness Velia Muralles used this document to demonstrate that these four former National Police officers took part in the crime of the forced disappearance of Fernando García because of the awards they received for participating in the cleansing operation the morning he was shot and disappeared.

Document 3
February 10, 1984
Oficio COC – 165 – WA, Guatemala.
Centro de Operaciones Conjuntas (Joint Operations Center)
Souce: Historical Archive of the National Police of Guatemala (Archivo Historico de la Policia Nacional)
1 page

Document 4
February 11, 1984
Oficio COC – 173 – WA, Guatemala.
Centro de Operaciones Conjuntas (Joint Operations Center)
Source: Historical Archive of the National Police of Guatemala (Archivo Historico de la Policia Nacional)
1 page

Document 5
February 12, 1984
Oficio COC/185-opp, Guatemala.
Centro de Operaciones Conjuntas (Joint Operations Center)
Historical Archive of the National Police of Guatemala (Archivo Historico de la Policia Nacional)
1 page

Document 6
February 17, 1984
Oficio COC/207-laov, Guatemala
Centro de Operaciones Conjuntas (Joint Operations Center)
Historical Archive of the National Police of Guatemala (Archivo Historico de la Policia Nacional)
1 page

These four documents (three through six) are from the “Centro de Operaciones Conjuntas” or COC, which was the “Center of Cooperative Operations” between the military and the police. These documents are from February 1984, days before Fernando García was disappeared. Expert witness Muralles explained that this document showed the coordination between the military and police in the overall national strategy of “cleansing operations” or “operación limpieza.”
Document 6, from February 17, 1984 shows detailed instructions from COC Chief, Monico Antonio Cano Perez for a member of the National Police to carry out an operation on the morning of February 18, between 9:00am and 12:00pm, the exact window during which Fernando García was abducted.

Document 7
February 17, 1984
Oficio COC/201/WA, Guatemala
Centro de Operaciones Conjuntas (Joint Operations Center)
Historical Archive of the National Police of Guatemala (Archivo Historico de la Policia Nacional)
4 pages

This is another document from Joint Operations Center giving instructions to the National Police regarding cleansing operations. This documents contains two pages that show which sectors of the city were assigned to specific corps of the National Police. The second to last page, titled “Sectores de la Ciudad Capital para Operaciones Limpieza de los Cuerpos P.N.” shows that the Fourth Corps was in charge of Zone 11 for the patrol for “operacion limpieza”. The defendents, Héctor Roderico Ramírez Ríos and Abraham Lancerio Gómez, were members of the fourth corps. The last page, titled “Croquis Demostrativo Sectores Ciudad Capital Para Operacion Limpeza de los Cuerpos P.N.” is a hand-drawn map shows a yellow-gold outline for Zone 11, where Fernando García was captured.

Document 8
February 18, 1984
Cuadro para control de operaciones, de los cuerpos, escuela y narcoticos, de la policia nacional en diferentes zonas de la ciudad capital. (Chart for orders of operations, of the corps, school and narcotics, and of the National Police in different zones of the capital city.)
Historical Archive of the National Police of Guatemala (Archivo Historico de la Policia Nacional)
1page

This document is a logbook list of which units were assigned to patrol which areas on certain days. We see that the Fourth Corps of the National Police was assigned to patrol Zones 11 and 12 during the hours of 9:00am and 12:00pm on Feburary 18, 1984. The defendents, Héctor Roderico Ramírez Ríos and Abraham Lancerio Gómez, were members of the fourth corps.

“Learn from History”, 31st Anniversary of the Assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero

Archbishop Romero minutes after he was shot celebrating mass at a small chapel located in a hospital called “La Divina Providencia” at around 6:30pm on March 24, 1980.

Washington, D.C., August 27, 2011 – Thirty one years ago tomorrow, El Salvador’s Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero was shot and killed by right-wing assassins seeking to silence his message of solidarity with the country’s poor and oppressed. The assassination shocked Salvadorans already reeling in early 1980 from attacks by security forces and government-backed death squads on a growing opposition movement. Romero’s murder further polarized the country and set the stage for the civil war that would rage for the next twelve years. In commemoration of the anniversary, the National Security Archive is posting a selection from our digital archive of 12 declassified U.S. documents that describe the months before his death, his assassination and funeral, as well as later revelations about those involved in his murder.

The documents are being posted as President Barack Obama leaves El Salvador, his final stop on a five-day trip to Latin America. Obama spent part of his time in the country with a visit to Monsignor Romero’s tomb last night. Although the United States funneled billions of dollars to the tiny country in support of the brutal army and security forces during a counterinsurgency war that left 75,000 civilians dead, the president made no reference to the U.S. role, seeking in his speeches instead to focus on immigration and security concerns. The day before his visit to Romero’s gravesite, Obama had told an audience in Chile that it was important that the United States and Latin America “learn from history, that we understand history, but that we not be trapped by history, because many challenges lie ahead.”

Just weeks before his murder, Archbishop Romero published an open letter to President Jimmy Carter in the Salvadoran press, asking the United States not to intervene in El Salvador’s fate by arming brutal security forces against a popular opposition movement. Romero warned that U.S. support would only “sharpen the injustice and repression against the organizations of the people which repeatedly have been struggling to gain respect for their fundamental human rights.” Despite his plea, President Carter moved to approve $5 million in military aid less than one year after the archbishop’s murder, as Carter was leaving office in January 1981.

Included in the posting are documents reporting on a secret, behind-the-scene effort by the United States to enlist the Vatican in pressuring Romero over his perceived support for the Salvadoran left; an account of the archbishop’s powerful March 23, 1980, homily, given the day before his assassination; a description of the murder by the U.S. defense attaché in El Salvador; and an extraordinary embassy cable describing a meeting organized by rightist leader Roberto D’Aubuisson in which participants draw lots to determine who would be the triggerman to kill Romero.

Although the declassified documents do not reveal the extent of the plot to kill Romero or the names of those who murdered him, details in them support the findings of the 1993 report by the U.N.-mandated Truth Commission for El Salvador. Released shortly after the signing of the peace accords that ended the war in El Salvador, the report identified D’Aubuisson, Captains Alvaro Rafael Saravia and Eduardo Avila, and Fernando (“El Negro”) Sagrera as among those responsible for the assassination. On March 25 of last year, Carlos Dada of El Salvador’s on-line news site El Faro published an extraordinary interview with Alvaro Saravia, one of the masterminds of Romero’s killing. In the interview, Saravia revealed chilling details of the plot to murder Romero; see a transcript of the interview, “How We Killed the Archbishop”, here and here en español.

The documents posted below are from the National Security Archive’s Digital National Security Archive’s two El Salvador collections, El Salvador: The Making of U.S. Policy, 1977–1984 and El Salvador: War, Peace, and Human Rights, 1980–1994. These two full collections, among others, are available through a subscription with the ProQuest research database.


Read the Documents

Document 1
October 11, 1979
Confidential, Cable, “The Archbishop and the Military”, 2 pp.
United States Embassy. El Salvador

In his homily, Archbishop Romero decries repression by the Salvadoran military and criticizes the army for abandoning its role as the nation’s defender to become “guardian of the interests of the oligarchy.”

Document 2
December 17, 1979
Unclassified, Cable, “Archbishop Strongly Urges Agrarian Reform”, 3 pp.
United States Embassy. El Salvador

Archbishop Oscar A. Romero speaks in support of agrarian reform, criticizing the oligarchy for arming those who seek to preserve the status quo and citing the Catholic Church’s Medellin Council recognition of “right of oppressed to exert pressure, but not through armed violence.”

Document 3
January 31, 1980
Secret, Memorandum, [Draft Letter Attached], “Letter from Dr. Brzezinski to the Pope”, 5 pp.
United States. Department of State, Office of the Secretary

Presents draft of letter to Pope John Paul II outlining areas of concern in Central America and requesting assistance in persuading Archbishop Romero not to “abandon” Revolutionary Governing Junta in favor of more radical leftists in El Salvador.

Document 4
February 19, 1980
Unclassified, Cable, “Text of Archbishop’s Letter to President Carter“, 1 pp.
United States Embassy. El Salvador

Archbishop Romero addresses President Jimmy Carter, imploring him not to provide military aid or any other form of assistance that could exacerbate state violence targeting Salvadoran citizens. “I am very worried by the news that the government of the United States is studying a form of abetting the arming of El Salvador,” Romero writes. “The contribution of your government instead of promoting greater justice and peace in El Salvador will without doubt sharpen the injustice and repression against the organizations of the people which repeatedly have been struggling to gain respect for their fundamental human rights.”

Document 5
March 1, 1980
Confidential, Cable, “Reply to Archbishop’s Letter to President Carter“,1 pp.
United States Embassy. El Salvador

Secretary of State Cyrus R. Vance responds to Archbishop Romero’s letter regarding criticisms of U.S. security assistance to El Salvador, assuring him that President Carter shares his concerns about the human rights of Salvadoran citizens. “Any equipment and training which we might provide would be designed to overcome the most serious deficiencies of the Armed Forces, enhancing their professionalism so that they can fulfill their essential role of maintaining order with a minimum of lethal force.”

Document 6
March 23, 1980
Confidential, Cable “Archbishop’s Homily, March 23”, 4 pp.
United States Embassy. El Salvador

This cable reports on Archbishop Romero’s homily, the day before he was assassinated. He speaks of the increasing tension with Salvadoran security forces and condemns rampant killings: “In the name of God, in the name of this suffering people whose cries rise to heaven more loudly each day, I implore you, I beg you, I order you in the name of God: stop the repression!”

Document 7
March 25, 1980
Confidential, Cable, “Archbishop Romero Assassinated, 2 pp.
United States Defense Intelligence Agency. Office of the Defense Attaché, El Salvador

This document reports the assassination of Archbishop Romero and includes brief description of events.

Document 8
March 26, 1980
Confidential, Cable, “Archbishop’s Assassination: Peaceful Procession”, 2 pp.
United States Embassy. El Salvador

This cable reports on the procession of thousands of people accompanying Archbishop Romero’s coffin from the basilica to the National Cathedral.

Document 9
March 26, 1980,
Unclassified, Cable, “White House Statement on Archbishop Romero’s Assassination”, 2 pp.
United States. Department of State

The United States government issues statement condemning the assassination of Archbishop Romero.

Document 10
November 19, 1980,
Secret, Cable “Conversation with National Guard Officer”, 3 pp.
United States Embassy. El Salvador

A source from the National Guard tells a U.S. embassy political officer that National Republican Alliance (Alianza Republicana Nacional—ARENA) founder Roberto D’Aubuisson organized a meeting a day or two before the assassination of Archbishop Romero in which “participants drew lots for the task of killing the archbishop.”

Document 11
February 25, 1981
Unclassified, Cable, “El Salvador: Army Officers Implicated in Romero Killing”, 1 pp.
United States. Foreign Broadcast Information Service, Panama

Radio Venceremos clandestinely broadcasts an interview with “disillusioned army officer” Lt. Col. Ricardo Bruno Navarrete implicating Roberto D’Aubuisson, and members of the Salvadoran armed forces in the assassination of Archbishop Romero.

Document 12
December 21, 1981
Secret, Cable, “Assassination of Archbishop Romero”, 2 pp.
United States Embassy. El Salvador

This document is a follow-up to the November 19 embassy cable concerning a meeting to plan the assassination of Archbishop Romero. In it, a U.S. political officer reports additional information from the same National Guard source indicating that Romero’s killer was Walter “Musa” Antonio Alvarez. [The UN Truth Commission Report on El Salvador would later identify Alvarez as involved in conveying money supplied by Roberto D’Aubuisson as payment to Romero’s assassin, see pp. 130-1.]

TOP-SECRET:Los documentos de Chiquita

Este es un fragmento de una nota manuscrita de 2000 en la que se describe que Chiquita pagó a grupos armados por seguridad y no como una extorsión. National Security Archive.Haga clic en la foto para ampliar.

Cientos de memorandos internos de la multinacional bananera Chiquita Brands, desclasificados por el National Security Archive, muestran que la empresa hizo pagos a guerrilleros, paramilitares y miembros del Ejército a cambio de seguridad.

Por Michael Evans especial para VerdadAbierta.com*

Memorandos confidenciales internos de Chiquita Brands International revelan que el gigante del banano se benefició de sus pagos a grupos paramilitares colombianos y la guerrilla, contradiciendo el acuerdo de culpabilidad (plea agreement) que firmó con fiscales de Estados Unidos de 2007, en el que alegó que nunca había recibido “ningún servicio de seguridad o equipos de seguridad a cambio de los pagos”. Chiquita había tildado estos pagos como una “extorsión”.

Chiquita entregó miles de documentos al Departamento de Justicia de Estados Unidos como parte de un acuerdo de sentencia, en el que admitió años de pagos ilegales a las Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia, Auc, grupo que el Departamento de Estado había señalado como “organización terrorista extranjera” y con el que acordó pagar una multa de 25 millones de dólares.

El National Security Archive obtuvo más de 5.500 páginas de documentos internos de Chiquita del Departamento de Justicia bajo un derecho de petición en EE.UU (Freedom of Information Act) y publica en línea varios de estos documentos que están incluídos en la colección: Colombia y los Estados Unidos: Violencia Política, Narcotráfico y Derechos Humanos, 1948-2010.

Los papeles proporcionan evidencia de “transacciones” de beneficio mutuo entre las filiales colombianas de Chiquita y varios grupos armados ilegales en Colombia y arroja claridad sobre más de una década de pagos relacionados con la seguridad a la guerrilla, los paramilitares, las fuerzas colombianas de seguridad y las cooperativas privadas Convivir, grupos armados auspiciados por el gobierno.

La colección de documentos también detalla los esfuerzos de la compañía por ocultar lo que denominaron pagos “delicados” en las cuentas de gastos de los directivos de la empresa y a través de diferentes trucos contables (Ver documento).

La investigación del Departamento de Justicia concluyó que muchos de los pagos de Chiquita a las Auc (también llamadas como “Autodefensas” en muchos de los documentos) se realizaron a través de organizaciones legales Convivir supervisadas por el ejército colombiano.

Estas nuevas pruebas de que Chiquita se benefició de los pagos ilícitos pueden aumentar su exposición a demandas de las víctimas de grupos armados ilegales de Colombia. La colección es el resultado de una colaboración National Security Archive con la Universidad de Georgetown, su Escuela de Leyes y Derechos Humanos y la Clínica de Abogados y Justicia Pública, y se ha utilizado en apoyo de una demanda civil contra Chiquita encabezado por Earth Rights International a nombre de cientos de víctimas colombianas de los paramilitares.

“Estos registros extraordinarios son las pruebas más detalladas hasta la fecha del verdadero costo de hacer negocios en Colombia”, dijo Michael Evans, director del proyecto de documentación de Colombia del National Security Archive. “El aparente acuerdo de Chiquita con las guerrillas y paramilitares es responsable de los incontables asesinatos, desmiente el acuerdo de culpabilidad firmado por la empresa con el Departamento de Justicia de Estados Unidos”.

El esfuerzo de la compañía para ocultar los indicios de sus nexos con grupos armados ilegales en Colombia es evidente en un par de memorandos legales de enero de 1994. El primero de ellos indica que las guerrillas le prestaban seguridad en algunas de las plantaciones de Chiquita.

El director general de operaciones de Chiquita en Turbo dijo a abogados de la compañía que los guerrilleros fueron “utilizados para suministrar el personal de seguridad en diferentes granjas”.

Una anotación manuscrita en un documento membreteado de la compañía, clasificado como confidencial, se pregunta: “¿Por qué es relevante?” y, “¿Por qué está siendo escrito?”. En el documento los abogados han tachado la palabra “transacciones” – lo que sugiere un acuerdo de canje- y lo sustituyeron por el término más neutro de “pagos”. Los contables de la empresa incluyeron los gastos como “pagos de extorsión de guerrillas”, pero los registraron en los libros como “seguridad ciudadana”, de acuerdo con estas notas.

Otro documento muestra que Chiquita también pagó a paramilitares por servicios de seguridad -incluyendo información de inteligencia sobre las operaciones de la guerrilla- después de que las Auc arrebataron el control de la región a la guerrilla, a mediados de la década de 1990.

En marzo de 2000, el abogado senior de Chiquita, Robert Thomas, escribió un memo (ver) de una conversación con los directores de la filial en Colombia de Chiquita, Banadex, en la que indican que los paramilitares de Santa Marta crearon una empresa ficticia, Inversiones Manglar, para ocultar “el verdadero propósito de garantizar la seguridad”.

Inversiones Manglar se presentaba como una empresa de exportación agrícola, pero producía “información sobre los movimientos guerrilleros”, según la nota. Según Thomas, funcionarios de Banadex le dijeron que “todas las compañías bananeras están contribuyendo en Santa Marta” y que Chiquita “debe continuar haciendo los pagos”, ya que “no se puede obtener el mismo nivel de apoyo (seguridad) de los militares”.

Los papeles de Chiquita también destacan el papel de los militares colombianos para presionar a la empresa a financiar a las Auc a través de las Convivir y para facilitar los pagos ilegales.

Un indicio de esto se encuentra en otro documento escrito por Thomas, en septiembre de 2000, que describe una reunión en 1997, con el líder de las Auc, Carlos Castaño, quien sugirió por primera vez a los directores de Banadex apoyar la creación de la Convivir llamada La Tagua del Darién.

Según la nota, los funcionarios de Banadex adujeron que “no tenían más remedio que asistir a la reunión” porque no hacerlo sería “antagonizar con los militares de Colombia, funcionarios locales y estatales, y las Autodefensas”.

Entre los funcionarios que más apoyaron las Convivir durante este tiempo se encontraba Álvaro Uribe, entonces gobernador de Antioquia, en el que tenía su centro de operaciones Chiquita en Colombia. En el memo de septiembre de 2000, Thomas señala: “Es bien conocido en el momento en que oficiales de alto rango del ejército colombiano y el Gobernador del Departamento de Antioquia estaban haciendo campaña para el establecimiento de una organización Convivir de Urabá”.

Un memorando de 1995 indica que, tanto Uribe como otro político de la región, Alfonso Núñez, recibieron donaciones de otra de las filiales en Colombia de Chiquita, la Compañía Frutera de Sevilla. Uribe fue presidente de Colombia desde 2002 hasta 2010.

Más tarde, un memo legal de agosto de 1997 escrito en papel membretado de Chiquita, dice que la empresa era “miembro de una Convivir llamada Puntepiedra, SA”, que el autor clasifica como “una persona jurídica en la que participamos con otros exportadores de banano en la región de Turbo”. La nota dice que la “única función” de las Convivir era “proporcionar información sobre los movimientos guerrilleros.”

La compañía había estado haciendo pagos sensibles de seguridad durante años – primero en forma directa a militares y grupos guerrilleros, y luego, a través de organizaciones comerciales locales y Convivir-. Para 1991, unos 15 mil dólares de “pagos delicados” para las diversas unidades del ejército colombiano se muestran junto a un desembolso de más de 31 dólares a “guerrilla” (Ver documento).

Una versión diferente del mismo documento no solo omite los nombres de los beneficiarios de pagos, sino que incluye una anotación manuscrita junto a la “guerrilla”. Una entrada dice: “Pago extorsión.” Otra anotación dice: “Sobre todo no son pagos ilegales – estos son legales – gasolina, el ejército, la policía, los políticos . El pago no ofrece nada, ni beneficios”.

Registros contables de 1997-1998 también señalan el papel de las fuerzas de seguridad colombianas en el fomento de pagos de la empresa a paramilitares.

A partir del segundo trimestre de 1997 y hasta el segundo trimestre de 1998, Banamex realizó pagos a cooperativas “Convivir”, que registraron como “donación al grupo de ciudadanos de reconocimiento a petición del Ejército.” En 2002(ver documento) y 2003(ver documento), la empresa realizó pagos similares a cooperativas Convivir junto con desembolsos a “funcionarios militares y de Policía” para “pagos de servicios de seguridad.”

Otro documento escrito a mano de 1999 revela un aparente esfuerzo por un general del Ejército de Colombia para establecerse como un intermediario en los pagos de los paramilitares. El documento describe a un “general que ha estado en la zona desde hace varios años” que había sido acusado por el alcalde de San José de Apartadó de ser parte de “[un] escuadrón de la muerte” y que había sido “suspendido del Ejército”.

El documento señala que el general “nos ha ayudado personalmente” con “seguridad” y con “información que impidió secuestros”. Las notas hacen referencia indirecta a un pago de 9 mil dólares, agregando que “otras compañías están poniendo en sus…”

“Los papeles de Chiquita refuerzan la idea de que, en 1997, las Auc crecieron en las regiones bananeras del norte de Colombia, y que los funcionarios del gobierno local, oficiales militares y líderes empresariales apoyaron a sus operaciones paramilitares”, dijo Evans.

“Estas revelaciones son más que académicas”, dijo el profesor Arturo Carrillo, Director de la Clínica Internacional de Derechos Humanos de la Universidad Georgetown. “Los documentos refuerzan la media docena de demandas federales pendientes en contra de Chiquita, que la empresa fue cómplice, y por lo tanto responsable de las atrocidades cometidas por las Auc en Urabá. Uno sólo puede esperar que revelando la información obtenida y publicada por el National Security Archive se dará lugar a una mayor responsabilidad por las acciones criminales de Chiquita en Colombia, ya que con el acuerdo de la empresa con el Departamento de Justicia, este se ha negado a procesar a los ejecutivos de Chiquita por su mal accionar”.

“La publicación de estos documentos es sólo el comienzo”, agregó Evans. “Las miles de páginas de registros financieros y jurídicos incluidos en esta colección son las semillas de futuros proyectos de investigación para los que estén dispuestos a reconstruir la compleja red de legales, pseudo-legales, y las entidades ilegales que participaron en operaciones de seguridad de Chiquita, incluyendo oficiales militares, la guerrilla, los paramilitares, empresarios prominentes, las asociaciones comerciales y las milicias Convivir”.

* Michael Evans es director del Proyecto Documental de Colombia del National Security Archive.

Última actualización el Viernes, 08 de Abril de 2011 06:00

TOP-SECRET: The Chiquita Papers-Banana Giant’s Paramilitary Payoffs Detailed in Trove of Declassified Legal, Financial Documents

March 2000 notes of Chiquita Senior Counsel Robert Thomas indicate awareness that payments were for security services.

Banana Giant’s Paramilitary Payoffs Detailed in Trove of Declassified Legal, Financial Documents

Evidence of Quid Pro Quo with Guerrilla, Paramilitary Groups Contradicts 2007 Plea Deal

Colombian Military Officials Encouraged, Facilitated Company’s Payments to Death Squads

More than 5,500 Pages of Chiquita Records Published Online by National Security Archive

Bogotá, Colombia, April 7, 2011 – Confidential internal memos from Chiquita Brands International reveal that the banana giant benefited from its payments to Colombian paramilitary and guerrilla groups, contradicting the company’s 2007 plea agreement with U.S. prosecutors, which claimed that the company had never received “any actual security services or actual security equipment in exchange for the payments.” Chiquita had characterized the payments as “extortion.”

These documents are among thousands that Chiquita turned over to the U.S. Justice Department as part of a sentencing deal in which the company admitted to years of illegal payments to the paramilitary United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC)–a State Department-designated foreign terrorist organization–and agreed to pay a $25 million fine. The Archive has obtained more than 5,500 pages of Chiquita’s internal documents from the Justice Department under the Freedom of Information Act and is publishing the entire set online today. Key documents from the Chiquita Papers are included in the recently-published document collection, Colombia and the United States: Political Violence, Narcotics, and Human Rights, 1948-2010, now available as part of the Digital National Security Archive from ProQuest.

The documents provide evidence of mutually-beneficial “transactions” between Chiquita’s Colombian subsidiaries and several illegal armed groups in Colombia and shed light on more than a decade of security-related payments to guerrillas, paramilitaries, Colombian security forces, and government-sponsored Convivir militia groups. The collection also details the company’s efforts to conceal the so-called “sensitive payments” in the expense accounts of company managers and through other accounting tricks. The Justice Department investigation concluded that many of Chiquita’s payments to the AUC (also referred to as “Autodefensas” in many of the documents) were made through legal Convivir organizations ostensibly overseen by the Colombian army.

New evidence indicating that Chiquita benefited from the illicit payments may increase the company’s exposure to lawsuits representing victims of Colombia’s illegal armed groups. The collection is the result of an Archive collaboration with George Washington University Law School’s International Human Rights and Public Justice Advocacy Clinics and has been used in support of a civil suit brought against Chiquita led by Earth Rights International on behalf of hundreds of Colombian victims of paramilitary violence.

“These extraordinary records are the most detailed account to date of the true cost of doing business in Colombia,” said Michael Evans, director of the National Security Archive’s Colombia documentation project. “Chiquita’s apparent quid pro quo with guerrillas and paramilitaries responsible for countless killings belies the company’s 2007 plea deal with the Justice Department. What we still don’t know is why U.S. prosecutors overlooked what appears to be clear evidence that Chiquita benefited from these transactions.”

The company’s effort to conceal indications that it benefited from the payments is evident in a pair of legal memos from January 1994. The first of these indicates that leftist guerrillas provided security at some of Chiquita’s plantations. The general manager of Chiquita operations in Turbó told company attorneys that guerrillas were “used to supply security personnel at the various farms.” A handwritten annotation on a subsequent draft of the document asks, “Why is this relevant?” and, “Why is this being written?” Throughout the document, lawyers have crossed out the word “transactions”–suggestive of a quid pro quo arrangement–and replaced it with the more neutral term “payments.” Company accountants characterized the expenditures as “guerrilla extortion payments” but recorded them in the books as “citizen security,” according to these memos. (Note 1)

Another document shows that Chiquita also paid right-wing paramilitary forces for security services–including intelligence on guerrilla operations–after the AUC wrested control of the region from guerrillas in the mid-1990s. The March 2000 memo, written by Chiquita Senior Counsel Robert Thomas and based on a convesation with managers from Chiquita’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Banadex, indicate that Santa Marta-based paramilitaries formed a front company, Inversiones Manglar, to disguise “the real purpose of providing security.” (Note 2)

Ostensibly an agricultural export business, Inversiones Manglar actually produced “info on guerrilla movements,” according to the memo. Banadex officials told Thomas that “all other banana companies are contributing in Santa Marta” and that Chiquita “should continue making the payments” as they “can’t get the same level of support from the military.”

The Chiquita Papers also highlight the role of the Colombian military in pressuring the company to finance the AUC through the Convivir groups and in facilitating the illegal payments.

One indication of this is found in another document written by Thomas in September 2000 describing the 1997 meeting where notorious AUC leader Carlos Castaño first suggested to Banadex managers that they support a newly-established Convivir called La Tagua del Darien. According to the memo, the Banadex officials said that they had “no choice but to attend the meeting” as “refusing to meet would antagonize the Colombia military, local and state govenment officials, and Autodefensas.” (Note 3)

Among the officials most supportive of the Convivir groups during this time was Álvaro Uribe, then the governor of Antioquia, the hub of Chiquita’s operations in Colombia. Thomas’ September 2000 memo notes that, “It was well-known at the time that senior officers of the Colombian military and the Governor of the Department of Antioquia were campaigning for the establishment of a Convivir organization in Uraba.” A 1995 memo indicates that both Uribe and another politician, Alfonso Nuñez, received substantial donations from another of Chiquita’s Colombian subsidiaries, Compañía Frutera de Sevilla. Uribe was president of Colombia from 2002-2010.

Later that year, an August 1997 legal memo written on Chiquita letterhead says that the company was “member[s] of an organization called CONVIVIR Puntepiedra, S.A.,” which the author characterizes as “a legal entity in which we participate with other banana exporting companies in the Turbó region.” The memo says that the “sole function” of the the Convivir was “to provide information on guerrilla movements.”

The company had been making sensitive security payments for years–first in the form of direct payoffs to military officers and guerrilla groups, then through local trade organizations and the Convivir militias. For 1991, some $15,000 worth of “sensitive payments” to various units of the Colombian military are listed alongside a more than $31,000 disbursement to “Guerrilla.” A different version of the same document omits the names of the payment recipients but includes a handwritten annotation next to the “Guerrilla” entry that says, “Extortion Payment.” Another annotation reads, “Mainly not illegal payments — these are legal — pay gasoline, army, police, politicians — payment doesn’t provide anything or benefits.” [Emphasis added.]

Accounting records from 1997-1998 also point to the role of Colombian security forces in encouraging the company’s illegal paramilitary payments. Beginning in the second quarter of 1997 and continuing through the second quarter of 1998, sensitive payment schedules for Banadex record large payments to “Convivir” as “Donation to citizen reconaissance group made at request of Army.” Similar records from 2002 and 2003 list Convivir payments alongside disbursements to “Military and Police Officials” for “Facilitating payments for security services.”

Another handwritten document from 1999 reveals an apparent effort by a Colombian Army general to establish himself as an intermediary for the paramilitary payments. The document (transcribed here) describes a “General in the zone for several years” who had been accused of being “with [a] death squad” by the mayor of San José de Apartadó (Note 4) and had been “suspended from the Army.” The document notes that the general had “helped us personally” with “Security” and “information that prevented kidnaps.” The notes make oblique reference to a $9,000 payment, adding that “Other companies are putting in their…”

“The Chiquita Papers reinforce the idea that, by 1997, the AUC ran the show in the banana-growing regions of northern Colombia, and that local government officials, military officers, and business leaders supported their paramilitary operations,” said Evans.

“These troublesome revelations are more than academic,” said Professor Arturo Carrillo, Director of GW’s International Human Rights Clinic. “They reinforce the claim, advanced in half a dozen federal lawsuits currently pending against Chiquita, that the company was knowingly complicit in, and thus liable for, the atrocities committed by the AUC in Urabá while on the Chiquita payroll. One can only hope that the revealing information obtained and published by the National Security Archive will lead to greater accountability for Chiquita’s criminal actions in Colombia, since the company’s plea agreement with the Justice Department, which has refused to prosecute Chiquita executives for wrongdoing, amounts to little more than a slap on the corporate wrist.”

“The publication of these documents is just the beginning,” added Evans. “The thousands of pages of financial and legal records included in this collection are the seeds of future research projects for investigators prepared to deconstruct the complex web of legal, psuedo-legal, and illegal entities involved in Chiquita’s security operations, including military officers, guerrillas, paramilitary thugs, prominent businessmen, trade associations, and Convivir militias.”


The Chiquita Papers – A Selected Chronology

The following is a chronological list of some of the most interesting documents in the Chiquita Papers as selected by the National Security Archive.

1990 April 19First of many Chiquita memos on the subject of “Accounting for Sensitive Payments.”

1992 February 21 – Lists “Sensitive Payments” for Chiquita subsidiary Compañía Frutera de Sevilla in 1991, including disbursements to the Naval Station, Operative Command, the Army in Turbó, and the Guerrilla. Purpose for all: “Expedite Turbo operation.” [See annotated version.]

1992 May 8 – Chiquita legal memo on whether support for Colombian military counterinsurgency operations through a “trade association of banana exporters” known as Fundiban is a violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

1992 February 21 – Some $15,000 worth of “sensitive payments” to various units of the Colombian military are listed alongside a more than $31,000 disbursement to “Guerrilla.” A different version of the same document omits the names of the payment recipients but includes a handwritten annotation next to the “Guerrilla” entry that says, “Extortion Payment.” Another annotation reads, “Mainly not illegal payments — these are legal — pay gasoline, army, police, politicians — payment doesn’t provide anything or benefits.” [Emphasis added.]

1992 September 20 – Transcription of voicemail left for Chiquita’s general counsel from contact in Medellín, Colombia.

1993 August 10A handwritten note based on discussion with Chiquita in-house counsel notes indicates that company has begun to channel its security payments to the Colombian Army through a “banana association” in Turbó known as “Agura” at a price of three cents per box of bananas shipped.

1994 January 4Draft legal memo describes reporting of transactions in Turbó and Santa Marta for “security purposes and payments to the respective trade association.” The outlays are described as “guerrilla extortion payments” made through “our intermediary or Security Consultant, Rene Osorio,” who is said to be the company’s “contact with the various guerrilla groups in both Divisions.” The guerrilla payments are called “citizen security” and are “expensed via the Manager’s Expense Account.” The author of the memo was told by the General Manager in Turbó “that the Guerrilla Groups are used to supply security personnel at the various farms.”

1994 January 5 – Second draft of January 4, 1994, memo includes annotations asking, “Why is this relevant?” and, “Why is this being written?”

1994 June 10 – Memo from Chiquita counsel (Medellín) to Chiquita in-house counsel discusses Colombian legal standards in cases of kidnapping and exotortion; notes that Constitutional Court decision that “when a person acts under one of the justified circumstances” they act in a “State of Necessity” and “cannot be penalized.”

1995 February 20Chiquita memo describes payments to Álvaro Uribe ($5935 on Oct. 24, 1994) and Alfonso Nuñez ($2000 on Oct. 30, 1994), both candidates for governor of Antioquia.

1997 February 3 – Memo from local outside counsel (Medellín) to Chiquita in-house counsel discusses application of Colombian law in cases of extortion and finds that “when one acts in a state of necessity, no punishment will be applied.” … “In other words, a person who pays for extortion is a victim, not an accomplice to the crime, and therefore cannot be punished.”

1997 May 7 – Handwritten notes: “Spent approx $575,000 over last 4 years on security payments = Guerrilla payments”; “$222,000 in 1996 — $21,763 Convivir – Rest guerrillas”; “Budget for 1997 — $80,000 Guerrillas — $120,000 Convivir”; “[Deleted] indicates Convivirs legal”; “Not FCPA issue”

“Cost of doing business in Colombia – Maybe the question is not why are we doing this but rather we are in Colombia and do we want to ship bananas from Colombia.”
“Need to keep this very confidential – People can get killed.”

1997-1998 – Sensitive payment schedules for Banadex record large payments to “Convivir” as “Donation to citizen reconaissance group made at request of Army.”

1997 August ca. – In-house attorney handwritten notes regarding “Convivir”:
“CONVIVIR PUNTE PIEDRA, S.A.”
“(We have our own)”
“Organismo Juridico … Participamos con las otras bananeras. (We were last to participate)”
“We pay [cents]0.03/box. Wk 18/1997 – Wk 17/199[8?]”
“Under military supervision. Proporcionan información and some are armed (but they’re not paramilitary groups?). Radios, motorcycles”
Legalmente operan en Colombia
“Negotiate through a lawyer. We are not shareholders. We don’t know who the owners are. Pushed by the gov’t locally and the military.”

1997 August 29 – Memo written Chiquita in-house counsel says, “we currently are members of an organization called CONVIVIR Puntepiedra, S.A., a legal entity in which we participate with other banana exporting companies in the Turbo region. Banadex currently pays $0.03 per box to this CONVIVIR.” Memo also says that the Convivir “operate under military supervision (and have offices at the military bases)” and that “their sole function is to provide information on guerrilla movements.”

1997 September 9Memo from local outside counsel (Baker & McKenzie) regarding “Payments to guerrilla groups” in response to Chiquita query regarding legal consequences of such payments “in case of extortion or kidnapping.” Baker memo highlights Colombian Constitutional Court challenge to 1993 law that made it a crime for foreign companies to pay extortion/ransom and that “necessity” is a condition under which such payments are permitted. However, the memo also says that “he who obtains personal benefit from a state of necessity … incurs in a criminal action.”

1999 July 6In-house counsel notes discuss former Colombian “general” forced out of military for supposed association with “death squads.” Notes indicate that the officer “helped us personally” with “security” and “information that prevented kidnaps.” Notes also say that “Turbo improved while he was there.” Note also refers obliquely to $9,000 payment.

2000 March 6Chiquita in-house counsel handwritten notes about front company set up by paramilitaries in Santa Marta to collect security payments from Banadex.
“disguised the real purpose of providing security”
“don’t know who the shareholders are”
“Same people who formed Convivir formed this new company; govt won’t permit another Convivir; too much political pressure re: para-military”
“Don’t know whether the gov’t is aware what this organization does.”
“Military in Santa Marta may know what this company does. Military won’t acknowledge formally that they know what the corporation does.”
“Note: In Turbo we issue a check to Convivir [or/of] another code name and deliver it to a variety of intermediaries for transfer to Convivir.”
“Tagua del Darien is name of cooperative formed as part of Convivir movement.”
“Santa Marta  3[cents]/box; first payment in October 1999. Money for info on guerrilla movements; info not given to gov’t military.”
“Checks made out to Inversiones Manglar SA à Asociacion Para la Paz Del Magdalena.”
“Natural persons w/ no affiliation to military formed Inversions Manglar S.A.”
“[Deleted] says we should continue making the payments; can’t get the same level of support from the military.”

2000 September ca.Draft memo details initial meetings between paramilitaries and Banadex officials.

2001 May 7 – Outside local counsel (Posse, Herrera & Ruiz) provides legal analysis of Convivir organizations: “We should underline that the legality of payments, is subject to the due observance of the requisites described above. In addition the actual use … of contributed funds should be borne in mind. If funds are used for the conduction of activities that comply with legal requirements, legality of such payments will be preserved. However, if funds are used in connection of activities beyond the scope authorized … including the conductions of activities that are contrary to law, the actual (or even constructive) knowledge of such activities by the contributing party may taint such payments as illegal and even result in criminal prosecution.”

2003 ca.PowerPoint presentation on options for how to conceal improper payments.

2004 January 28 – Chiquita turns over attorney-client privileged documents to Dept. of Justice. Memo from counsel Kirkland & Ellis describes scope and limitations of the documents provided.

2007 March 13 – The U.S. Department of Justice reaches a plea deal with Chiquita for making payments to the AUC, a designated foreign terrorist organization.


Notes

1. A 1997 legal memo drawn up by Chiquita’s U.S. counsel specifically warned that an extortion defense would not apply in situations where the company actually benefited from the payments. Another legal memo from the company’s attorneys in Colombia cautioned that payments to ostensibly legal Convivir militias could be considered illegal if there were actual or constructive knowledge that they were connected to illegal activities.

2. Although Thomas’ name does not appear in any of these records, his authorship has been confirmend by comparing the documents to the report of the Special Litigation Committee (SLC) established by Chiquita’s Board of Directors that issued its final report in 2009.

3. Although the identity of the paramilitary leader who first approached the Banadex officials is not revealed in the redacted document, both the SLC report and the sentencing agreement confirm that it was Castaño who was at the meeting and who personally requested that the company support the La Tagua group.

4. The “Peace Community” of San José de Apartadó is one of several Colombia towns that during this time had taken a neutral position in the country’s civil conflict.

TOP-SECRET: CIA SUED FOR ‘HOLDING HISTORY HOSTAGE’ ON BAY OF PIGS INVASION

The Houston, a supply ship for the CIA’s invasion force, was sunk by Cuban T-33s on the morning of April 17, 1961 (CIA photo)

Washington, D.C., April 14, 2011 – Fifty years after the failed CIA-led assault on Cuba, the National Security Archive today filed a FOIA lawsuit to compel the Agency to release its “Official History of the Bay of Pigs Invasion.” The suit charges that the CIA has “wrongfully withheld” the multi-volume study, which the Archive requested under the FOIA in 2005.  As the “official history,” the court filing noted, the document “is, by definition, the most important and substantive CIA-produced study of this episode.”

The Top Secret report, researched and written by CIA historian Jack Pfeiffer, is based on dozens of interviews with key operatives and officials and a review of hundreds of CIA documents and was compiled over the course of nine years that Pfeiffer served as the CIA’s in-house historian. Pfeiffer’s internal study is divided into five volumes: I, Air Operations; II, Participation in the Conduct of Foreign Policy; III, Evolution of CIA’s Anti-Castro Policies, 1951-January 1961; IV, The Taylor Committee Report; and V, Internal Investigation Report.  (In 1998 the CIA released Vol. III under the Kennedy Assassination Records Act.)

In 1987, Pfeiffer himself filed a FOIA lawsuit seeking the release of Vol 5; the CIA successfully convinced the court that it could not be declassified.

“The CIA is holding history hostage,” according to Peter Kornbluh, who directs the Archive’s Cuba Documentation Project. Kornbluh called on the CIA to release the report under President Obama’s Executive Order 13526 on Classified National Security Information which states that “no information may remain classified indefinitely.” He noted that “fifty years after the invasion, it is well past time for the official history to be declassified and studied for the lessons it contains for the future of U.S.-Cuban relations.”

In 1998, the Archive’s Cuba project successfully obtained the declassification of the CIA’s internal investigation into the failure of the invasion, the “Inspector General’s Survey of the Cuban Operation,” written in 1961 by the Agency’s Inspector General, Lyman Kirkpatrick. The report provided a scathing critique of the CIA misconduct and ineptitude in conducting a massive paramilitary operation that went “beyond the area of Agency responsibility as well as Agency capability.”

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the invasion, which began with a preliminary airstrike on April 15, 1961, the Archive re-posted a collection of the major reports and documents that address the Bay of Pigs, among them the Inspector General’s report, and Vol. III of the Pfeiffer report which was originally discovered and posted by Villanova professor David Barrett in 2005.

The Archive also posted the only existing interview with the two managers of the Bay of Pigs invasion, Jacob Esterline and Col. Jack Hawkins, that Peter Kornbluh conducted in 1996. The interview was published in Kornbluh’s book, Bay of Pigs Declassified: The Secret CIA Report on the Invasion of Cuba.

In March of 2001, the National Security Archive organized a 40th anniversary conference in Havana, Cuba on the Bahia de Cochinos. The conference brought together retired CIA officers, Kennedy White House officials, and members of the exile brigade with Fidel Castro and his military commanders to discuss this history. Other documents and revelations generated by the conference can be accessed here.


Read the Documents

LawsuitOn April 14, 2011, the National Security Archive filed a lawsuit against the CIA under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to secure the declassification of several volumes of an Official history of the Bay of Pigs Operation compiled between 1974 and 1983. Nearly a decade after the failed invasion, on August 8, 1973, CIA Director William Colby tasked the Agency’s History Staff to “develop accurate accounts of certain of CIA’s past activities in terms suitable for inclusion in Government-wide historical and declassification programs, while protecting intelligence sources and methods.” Historian Jack Pfeiffer assumed responsibility for this history, which was written over the course of 9 years and is divided into 5 volumes; it is based on dozens of interviews with key operatives and officials and hundreds of CIA documents. Volume III of the Pfeiffer report was declassified by the CIA in 1998, and the rest of the report is now the last major internal study that remains secret, fifty years after the Bay of Pigs.

Document 1 – CIA, “Official History of the Bay of Pigs Operation, Volume III: Evolution of CIA’s Anti-Castro Policies, 1951- January 1961”

Jack Pfeiffer, the chief historian at the CIA, researched and wrote a comprehensive history of the Bay of Pigs operation between 1974 and 1983.  The CIA declassified only Volume III of the five-volume history in 1998, under the Kennedy Assassination Records Act. This three-hundred page report was discovered in the National Archives by Villanova professor of political science David Barrett in 2005, and first posted on his university’s website. Volume III focuses on the last two years of the Eisenhower administration and the transition to the Kennedy presidency. It is newsworthy for clarifying the role of Vice-President Richard Nixon, who, the report reveals, intervened in the planning of the invasion on behalf of a wealthy donor.

This volume also contains the extraordinary revelation that CIA task force in charge of the invasion did not believe it could succeed. On page 149, Pfeiffer quotes minutes of the Task Force meeting held on November 15, 1960, to prepare a briefing for the new President-elect, John F. Kennedy: “Our original concept is now seen to be unachievable in the face of the controls Castro has instituted,” the document states. “Our second concept (1,500-3000 man force to secure a beach with airstrip) is also now seen to be unachievable, except as a joint Agency/DOD action.”

This candid assessment was not shared with the President-elect then, nor later after the inauguration. As Pfeiffer points out, “what was being denied in confidence in mid-November 1960 became the fact of the Zapata Plan and the Bay of Pigs Operation in March 1961”—run only by the CIA, and with a force of 1,200 men.

Document 2 – CIA, October 1961, “Inspector General’s Survey of the Cuban Operation and Associated Documents”

This internal analysis of the CIA’s Bay of Pigs operation, written by CIA Inspector General Lyman Kirkpatrick after a six month investigation, is highly critical of the top CIA officials who conceived and ran the operation, and places blame for the embarrassing failure squarely on the CIA itself. The report cites bad planning, inadequate intelligence, poor staffing, and misleading of White House officials including the President, as key reasons for the failure of the operation.  “Plausible denial was a pathetic illusion,” the report concluded. “The Agency failed to recognize that when the project advanced beyond the stage of plausible denial it was going beyond the area of Agency responsibility as well as Agency capability.” The declassified report also contains a rebuttal to Kirkpatrick from the office of deputy director Richard Bissell, challenging those conclusions.  Volume V of the Pfeiffer report, titled “Internal Investigation Report,” which remains classified, also critiques Kirkpatrick’s conclusions.

Document 3 – DOD,  5/5/1961, “Record of Paramilitary Action Against the Castro Government of Cuba, 17 March 1960- May 1961”

This May 5, 1961 report was written by Colonel Jack Hawkins, the paramilitary chief of the Bay of Pigs operation. His 48-page report cites poor CIA organization, and “political considerations” imposed by the Kennedy administration, such as the decision to cancel D-day airstrikes which “doomed the operation,” as key elements of its failure. “Paramilitary operations cannot be effectively conducted on a ration-card basis,” the report concludes. “The Government and the people of the United States are not yet psychologically conditioned to participate in the cold war with resort to the harsh, rigorous, and often dangerous and painful measures which must be taken in order to win.” Hawkins also recommended that further covert operations to depose Castro, unless accompanied by a military invasion, “should not be made.” Castro, according to the report, could “not be overthrown by means short of overt application” of U.S. force.

Document 4 – CIA, 3/9/1960, “First Meeting of Branch 4 Task Force, 9 March 1960”

This is a memorandum of conversation of the first CIA Task Force meeting to plan what became the Bay of Pigs, a covert operation to recruit, train, and infiltrate paramilitary units into Cuba to overthrow Fidel Castro. The meeting is noteworthy because the chief of the Western Hemisphere division, J.C. King states that “unless Fidel and Raul Castro and Che Guevara could be eliminated in one package—which is highly unlikely—this operation can be a long, drawn out affair and the present government will only be overthrown by the use of force.”

Document 5 – CIA, 3/16/1960, “A Program of Covert Action Against the Castro Regime”

This memorandum outlines the original plans for what became the Bay of Pigs. It was presented to and authorized by President Eisenhower on March 17, 1960. Components of the plan include the creation of a unified Cuban opposition, development of broadcasting facilities, and the training of paramilitary forces.  The purpose of the operations, according to the proposal, is to “bring about the replacement of the Castro regime with one more devoted to the true interests of the Cuban people and more acceptable to the U.S. in such a manner as to avoid any appearance of U.S. intervention.” The original proposed budget is $4.4 million; by the time of the invasion the budget has risen to $45 million.

Document 6 – NSC, 3/11/1961, “Memorandum of Discussion on Cuba, March 11, 1961”

This top secret memorandum of conversation from a meeting of the National Security Council describes continued planning of paramilitary operations in Cuba. President Kennedy says he plans to authorize an operation in which “patriotic Cubans return to their homeland.”

Document 7 – White House, 3/2/1963, [Audio conversation between President John F. Kennedy and Attorney General Robert Kennedy]

[Part 1 – mp3] [Part 2 – mp3]

In this telephone conversation between President Kennedy and his brother Attorney General Robert Kennedy, they discuss concerns that a Senate investigating committee might reveal that the President had authorized jets from the US aircraft carrier Essex to provide one hour of air coverage, to create a no-fly zone for Bay of Pigs B-26 bombers the morning of April 19. Due to a timing mistake, the jets never met up with the bombers; 2 bombers were shot down, leading to the deaths of 4 Americans.

Document 8 – White House, “Memorandum for the President: Conversation with Commandante Ernesto Guevara of Cuba,” August 22, 1961.

In this memorandum of conversation, aide Richard Goodwin recounts for President Kennedy his conversation with Ernesto “Che” Guevara, who seeks to establish a “modus vivendi” with the U.S. government. This document is noteworth for the Bay of Pigs because Guevara “wanted to thank us very much for the invasion- that it had been a great political victory for them- enabled them to consolidate- and transformed them from an aggrieved little country to an equal.”

InterviewIn October 1996, the National Security Archive’s Cuba Documentation project arranged for the two chief managers of the Bay of Pigs operation, Jacob Esterline and Colonel Jack Hawkins, to meet in a Washington DC hotel for a lengthy filmed interview on the invasion. The meeting marked the first time they had seen each other since the weekend of April 17-19, 1961, and the first time they had together recalled the events surrounding the failed invasion. This interview was conducted by the Archive’s Peter Kornbluh and is excerpted in his book, Bay of Pigs Declassified (New York: The New Press, 1998).

CONFIDENTIAL: EXTENDED NATIONAL JURISDICTIONS OVER HIGH SEAS

P R 281848Z DEC 66
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY
INFO USCINCSO
CINCLANT
AMEMBASSY RIO DE JANEIRO
AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO
AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO
AMEMBASSY QUITO
AMEMBASSY LIMA
AMEMBASSY MEXICO
AMEMBASSY OTTAWA
AMEMBASSY LONDON
STATE GRNC
UNCLASSIFIED BUENOS AIRES 2481 

Original Telegram was Confidential but has since been
de-classified 

--------------------------------------------- ----
Copy from the National Archives
RG 59: General Records of the Department of state
1964-66 Central Foreign Policy File
File: POL 33-4 ARG
--------------------------------------------- ---- 

E.O. 12958: DECL: DECLASSIFIED BY NARA 09/02/2009
TAGS: EFIS PBTS AR
SUBJECT:  EXTENDED NATIONAL JURISDICTIONS OVER HIGH SEAS 

REF: STATE 106206 CIRCULAR; STATE CA-3400 NOV 2, 1966 

1.  PRESS REPORTS AND VARIETY EMBASSY SOURCES CONFIRM
NEW ARGENTINE LEGISLATION UNILATERALLY CHANGING SEAS JURIS-
DICTION NOW UNDER ADVANCED REVIEW.  REPORTEDLY LAW WOULD
ESTABLISH SIX MILE TERRITORIAL SEA, PLUS ANOTHER SIX MILES
OF EXCLUSIVE FISHING JURISDICTION, PLUS ANOTHER EXTENDED ZONE
OF "PREFERENTIAL JURISDICTION" FOR FISHING PURPOSES.  DRAFT-
LAW UNDER CONSIDERATION IN ARGENTINE SENATE BEFORE JUNE 28
COUP WOULD HAVE DEFINED ZONE OF PREFERENTIAL JURISDICTION
AS "EPICONTINENTAL SEA OUT TO 200 METER ISOBAR".  IN SOUTHERN
ARGENTINA THIS ZONE SEVERAL HUNDRED MILES WIDE AND BLANKETS
FALKLAND ISLANDS. 

2.  NAVATT STATES ARGENTINE NAVY THINKING OF PREFERENTIAL
JURISDICTION OUT TO 200 MILES (AS IN PERU, ECUADOR, CHILE)
RATHER THAN EPICONTINENTAL SEA.  200 MILE LIMIT DOES NOT
RPT NOT REACH FALKLANDS.  ARGENTINE NAVY OFF TOLD NAVATT
"200 MILE LIMIT SOON WILL BE STANDARD THROUGH HEMISPHERE". 

3.  FONOFF OFFICIALS REFERRING TO RECENT BRAZILIAN AND US
LEGISLATION HAVE INFORMALLY INDICATED DECISION ALREADY
FINAL RE SIX MILE TERRITORIAL SEA PLUS SIX MILE EXCLUSIVE
FISHING JURISDICTION, BUT THAT "PREFERENTIAL JURISDICTION"
STILL UNDER STUDY.  TWO FONOFF MEN VOLUNTARILY AND INFORMALLY
SOUGHT EMBASSY REACTION TO POSSIBLE EXTENDED PREFERENTIAL
JURISDICTION BY SUGGESTING THAT US IN FACT HAS ACCEPTED
UNILATERALLY CREATED ECUADORIAN, PERUVIAN AND CHILEAN 200 MILE
LIMITS.  EMBOFF REJECTED IDEA US ACCEPTS THESE LIMITS IN ANY
WAY AND POINTED OUT 1965 AMENDMENTS TO AID LEGISLATION AIMED
AT FURTHER PROTECTING US FISHING RIGHTS. 

4.  FONOFF LEGAL ADVISOR CONCEDES DISTINCTION BETWEEN
"EXCLUSIVE" AND "PREFERENTIAL" FISHING JURISDICTION A SEMANTIC
NICETY.  HE UNDERSTANDS THAT IN ZONE OF "PREFERENTIAL" JURIS-
DICTION ARGENTINA WOULD CLAIM RIGHT TO TAX, LICENSE AND OTHER-
WISE CONTROL ALL ACTIVITIES RELATED TO EXPLOITATION OF
RESOURCES OF SEA. 

5.  DRAFT LEGISLATION ON SEAS JURISDICTION LAY DORMANT UNTIL
SUDDEN AND SUBSTANTIAL IN FISHIN ARGENTINE EPICONTINENTAL SEAS
BY CUBAN AND EAST EUROPEAN (ESPECIALLY SOVIET) VESSELS PAST
SIX MONTHS ALARMED ARGENTINE ARMED FORCES.  (SEE NAVATT IR
5-804-0-140-66 OF NOV 18) NOT RPT NOT ALL SOVIET VESSELS WERE
FISHING OR FACTORY TYPES.  FONOFF SOURCES INFORMALLY STATE
ARMED FORCES PRESSURE MAKES EMISSION NEW LAW IMPERATIVE, QUITE
POSSIBLY APPEARING WITHIN NEXT FEW WEEKS.  WHEN ASKED BY FONOFF
MEN ABOUT "SECURITY PROBLEMS CREATED BY SOVIET TRAWLERS OFF US
COAST", EMBASSY OFF REPLIED US DID NOT RPT NOT SEE THAT
UNILATERAL ATTEMPT TO EXTEND SEAS JURISDICTION OFFERED ANY
REALISTIC SOLUTION FOR POSSIBLE SECURITY PROBLEMS, WHILE SUCH
ACTION COULD CREATE NEW SOURCES POSSIBLE MISUNDERSTANDING AND
CONFLICT. 

6.  RE PAR 3 STATE 106206 BELIEVE OUTLINED PROPOSAL MIGHT
FORESTALL UNILATERAL ARGENTINE ATTEMPT TO SUBSTANTIALLY EXTEND
"PREFERENTIAL" FISHING JURISDICTION ONLY IF EMBASSY CAN BE
AUTHORIZED DISCUSS IDEA WITH ARGENTINES IMMEDIATELY. EVEN THEN
CHANCES SUCCESS LIMITED BY (A) ADVANCED STAGE PROPOSED ARGENTINE
LAW AND (B) PRIMACY SECURITY CONSIDERATIONS ARGENTINE THINKING.
WE WOULD BENEFIT SOME FROM FONOFF LEGAL ADVISORS' QUALMS ABOUT
UNILATERAL ACTION, AND FROM RESTRAINT OF RECENT BRAZILIAN
LEGISLATION WHICH DID NOT RPT NOT GO BEYOND 12-MILE LIMIT. 

7.  FOR DISCUSSION WITH ARGENTINES WOULD MODIFY TEXT IN STATE
10942 CIRCULAR TO:  (A) MAKE ALL REFERENCES TO ARGENTINA, VICE
CANADA; (B) REFER TO PROPOSED ARGENTINE CLAIMS OF PREFERENTIAL
JURISDICTION OVER WATERS WE REGARD AS HIGH SEAS; (C) ELIMINATE
REFERENCES TO "TRADITIONAL DISTANT WATER FISHERIES", SINCE
ARGENTINE COAST NOT RPT NOT TRADITIONAL FISHING ZONE (WHEREAS
NO. 3);  (D) ADD NOTATION THERE NO TRADITIONAL FISHING AND
CONFINE OPERATIVE AGREEMENT TO PROVISIONS FOR NON-TRADITIONAL
FISHING; (E) ELIMINATE LAST THREE PARS OF AIDE-MEMOIRE HANDED
TO CANADIAN AMB. 

8.  IF AUTHORIZED, ENVISAGE TWO-STEP APPROACH TO FONOFF.
FIRST, INFORMAL AND ORAL, STRESSING OUR INTEREST IN FREEDOM OF
HIGH SEAS, NOTING EARLIER FONOFF CONFIRMATION NEW LAW UNDER
STUDY, OUTLINING OUR PROPOSAL IN GENERAL TERMS.  ON BASIS
FONOFF REACTION, WE WOULD THEN COUCH AIDE-MEMOIRE IN TERMS
WHICH WOULD APPEAR MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED. 

GP-3
SACCIO