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

american_nazi_party_monograph_pt01

american_nazi_party_monograph_pt02

DOWNLOAD THE FBI FILEY BY MOUSECLICK ABOVE

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