Did Kissinger Tolerate Rights Abuses in Argentina?

by Diana Jean Schemo New York Times
WASHINGTON, Aug. 26 – In a 1976 meeting with officials of the newly installed military junta in Argentina, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger raised no protest against human rights violations that were the start of Argentina’s “dirty war,” according to a newly declassified document from United States government archives.

The document, obtained by the nonprofit National Security Archive under the federal Freedom of Information Act, is a 13-page memorandum on an hourlong meeting between Mr. Kissinger and Adm. César Augusto Guzzetti, the foreign Minister of Argentina, on June 10, in Santiago, Chile. The meeting, Mr. Kissinger’s first with the foreign minister, occurred less than three months after the military ousted the government of Isabel Perón.

Also at the meeting were William Rogers, then under secretary for economic affairs, and Luigi Einaudi, the current assistant secretary general of the Organization of American States, who took notes at the meeting. Both men have previously denied that Mr. Kissinger privately gave any “green light” to political repression and torture in Latin America, as has Mr. Kissinger himself.

In the meeting, Admiral Guzzetti complained that his country’s “main problem” was terrorism. “It is the first priority of the current government,” he said, adding that the government sought, first and foremost, “to ensure the internal security of the country.”

Mr. Kissinger responded: “We are aware you are in a difficult period. It is a curious time, when political, criminal and terrorist activities tend to merge without any clear separation. We understand you must establish authority.”

Later, he said, “If there are things that have to be done, you should do them quickly. But you should get back quickly to normal procedures.” full article

Old Henry sounds like Lady Macbeth, another famous butcher with a million expedient justifications for murder who just could not get the blood off her hands.

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