One of the best websites for obtaining information on the inner workings of government especially where it concerns foreign policy is the National Security Archive at George Washington University. They file Freedom of Information Act Requests to get documents released and this latest document release may be the most convincing bit of evidence yet that Henry Kissinger, while Secretary of State, gave not merely tacit but explicit permission for the Argentine Junta to commit human rights abuses:
At the height of the Argentine military junta's bloody ''dirty war'' against leftists in the 1970s, then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger told the Argentine foreign minister that ''we would like you to succeed,'' a newly declassified U.S. document reveals.
The transcript of the meeting between Kissinger and Navy Adm. César Augusto Guzzetti in New York on Oct. 7, 1976, is the first documentary evidence that the Gerald Ford administration approved of the junta's harsh tactics, which led to the deaths or ''disappearance'' of some 30,000 people from 1975 to 1983.
According to the memcon's verbatim transcript, Secretary of State Kissinger interrupted the Foreign Minister's report on the situation in Argentina and said "Look, our basic attitude is that we would like you to succeed. I have an old-fashioned view that friends ought to be supported. What is not understood in the United States is that you have a civil war. We read about human rights problems but not the context. The quicker you succeed the better… The human rights problem is a growing one. Your Ambassador can apprise you. We want a stable situation. We won't cause you unnecessary difficulties. If you can finish before Congress gets back, the better. Whatever freedoms you could restore would help." [my emphasis]
I strongly urge you to read the accompanying documents from the National Security Archive. They can be accessed here (Adobe Acrobat Reader required). I especially encourage you to pay attention to documents 6 through 10. They portray the situation as follows:
Document 6: The memorandum of Kissinger's conversation with Argentine Foreign Minister Cesar Augusto Guzzetti from which the above quote was taken.
Document 7: A telegram from US Ambassador to Argentina, Robert Hill about his meeting with Guzzetti and his comments that "Guzzetti's remarks both to me and to the Argentine press are not those of a man who has been impressed by the gravity of the human rights problem as seen from the US."
Document 8: A SECRET note to Henry Kissinger, from Assistant Secretary Shlaudeman reporting that Ambassador Hill "has registered for the record his concern for human rights in a bitter complaint about our purported failure to impress on Foreign Minister Guzzetti how seriously we view the rightist violence in Argentina" and Shlaudeman's proposal to "respond for the record" with Kissinger's approval.
Document 9: Shlaudeman's response to Hill:
As in other circumstances you have undoubtedly encountered in your diplomatic career, Guz;etti [sic] heard only what he wanted to hear. He was told in detail how strongly opinion in this country has reacted against reports of abuses by the security forces in Argentina and the nature of the threat this poses to argentine interests.
Finally, with respect to Guzzetti's "jubilation" and its effect, we doubt that the GOA has such illusions. It was obvious in our contacts that Guzzetti knew his country has a problem--one that requires a speedy solution. And we will continue to impress on argentine representatives here, as we expect you to do there, that the USG regards most seriously Argentina's international commitments to protect and promote fundamental human rights.
Document 10: Ambassador Hill's response thanking Shlaudeman and Kissinger for the "clarification."
Kissinger lied to his own ambassador. Meanwhile, people continued to be tortured, disappeared, imprisoned, thrown alive, but drugged out of airplanes, babies were sold or given away, and families were torn apart while Kissinger looked away or chose to ignore these acts of state-sponsored terrorism. What a morally obtuse monster he is.