Monday, November 2, 2009

Old Soldiers Want to Confess War Crimes

The destruction of the WTC was not the first terrorist attack to occur on 9/11 and have thousands of innocent victims.  On September 11, 1973, Augosto Pinochet, working in close concert with Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger and the GOP, murdered the democratically elected President of Chile, Salvador Allende and kicked off a reign of terror that lasted for years and claimed over 2,500 victims.  Now some of the soldiers drafted to participate in that reign of terror want to tell their stories.

chile_dirtywarsoldierstotalk Hundreds of former military draftees are making a provocative offer to Chile's government: They will reveal details of crimes committed by Gen. Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship — but only if their safety is guaranteed.The draftees fear that if they reveal where the bodies are buried, they will face prosecution by the courts or retaliation by the superiors who ordered them decades ago to torture and kill political prisoners.

The information they once promised to carry to their graves has become both a heavy psychological burden and a bargaining chip. By offering confessions, the former draftees hope to improve their chances of securing benefits from pensions to psychological treatment.

"We were executors and witnesses of many brutalities and now we're willing to talk about them for our own personal redemption," said former soldier Fernando Mellado, who is organizing a Sunday gathering of draftees outside Chile's presidential palace.

"So if there is any opportunity in which we can testify, maybe anonymously, then we'd be happy to oblige."

Mellado leads the Santiago chapter of the Former Soldiers of 1973 and has been working with similar groups across Chile to figure out whether and how to turn over the information. He is calling on draftees to tell what they know.

Of the 8,000 people drafted as teenagers from Santiago alone in the tumultuous year when Pinochet overthrew Salvador Allende's government and cemented his hold on power, Mellado believes "between 20 and 30 percent are willing to talk."…

Inserted from <Common Dreams>

Many of the officers who oversaw Pinochet’s reign of terror received their training in torture and repression at the School of the America’s at Fort Benning, GA.  Sadly, Nixon, Kissinger and the GOP leaders responsible for these atrocities were never called to account for their crimes against humanity.  But what if they had?  Consider if you will the effects of holding them accountable back then.  Because of this, Bush, Cheney and the GOP leaders responsible for the many crimes committed from 2001 – 2008 might have had second thoughts, fearing that they might not get away with it either.  Now keeping this in mind, doesn’t our failure to prosecute Bush, Cheney and the GOP leaders virtually guarantee that, if ever the GOP retakes power, we will face this sad history again?


the walking man said...

While I respect greatly the new found intellectualism of this current administration I also abhor the apparent willingness to compromise with the nutless who will claim "it doesn't matter" or "we won't because of national security."

ivan said...

All this being known now, how come it took so long for the media to finally get it that both Karzai and his bro are paid CIA informants and organizers.
And what in hell are we doing in Afghanistan? Terrorizing the populace?

Gwendolyn H. Barry said...

Points from TC and commentators are well taken. TC, did you see Keith O's commentary on how torture must be investigated, must have charges leveled and must be prosecuted? So MANY people are just fuming over how Obama has not approached this... me included.

Good Post!

TomCat said...

Mark, I could not agree more.

I think Obama is there trying to save face.

Gwen, I did and loved it. Me included too.

Jack Jodell said...

I wonder how long it will take Cheney to come clean about his war crimes? Probably never, as he has far less integrity than any of the Chilean murderers.

TRUTH 101 said...

One almost has to laugh at the hypocrisy of the right on this and other despicable things. For all the right's talk of "personal responsibilty" and law and order. None of them want to step up and say acts of torture are despicable and those responsible need to be held acountable. Of course, God forbid they hold Cheney, Nixon or Kissinger accountable. Hell. These jokers didn't hold Reagan accountable after he took responsibility for Iran/Contra. They adored him even more. Lovable, forgetful old teddy bear he was.

Honor and integrity are foreign concepts to the republican party.

Hugh Jee From Jersey said...

Not to digress too much, but did you see the HBO film "Pinochet's Last Stand", about what happened when Pinochet went to the UK for an operation, and was arrested? An attempt to deport him to Spain to face charges of crimes against humanity was set into motion, but failed....partially due to the efforts of Lady Margaret Thatcher, the former PM, who was a friend and ally of this butcher....he was anti-commie, so he was "our friend". It didn't matter that he was the orchestrator of torture and mass murder.

Here's the movie website if your interested.

Oso said...

Great post,TC.
Allende was a great man. Let's not forget the role of the Chicago Boys,disciples of the cretinous and fortunately dead but lived way too long Milton Friedman. With US impetus they were able to destroy the Chilean economy along with most of the other economies in the cone of South America.

TomCat said...

Jack, he's wierd. At the same time Cheney denies his crimes, he tries to justify them.

Truth, it was always that way, but it is now.

Hugh, I don't get HBO. I would love to see it.

Thanks Oso. I would have brought in the U of C crowd if I were focusing at all on the pluto-facist economic model imposed to control Chilean copper and make the nation a US economic colony.