60 Minutes: US, Kissinger in Chilean plot

Barry Stoller bstoller at utopia2000.org
Sun Sep 9 18:34:25 MDT 2001

AP. 9 September 2001. Report: Kissinger In Chilean Plot.

SANTIAGO, Chile -- The United States and Henry Kissinger were more
deeply involved than was previously thought in a 1970 plot to prevent a
left-wing politician from becoming Chile's president, CBS television
news reported Sunday.

The program "60 Minutes" quotes an independent researcher as saying that
the CIA sent a cable to its office in Chile instructing agents there to
continue fomenting a military takeover.

The cable came following a conversation with Kissinger, who at the time
was President Nixon's national security adviser and later became
secretary of state.

According to researcher Peter Kornbluh, the order also came a day after
Kissinger has said he cut off any attempt to undermine Chile's
democratic government.

The plot did not prevent the Marxist Salvador Allende, who had won a
September 1970 presidential election, from taking office the next month.
But the right-wing plotters killed Chilean Gen. Rene Schneider,
described as an opponent of the Chilean military's involvement in

Three years later, Allende committed suicide while his palace was being
bombed by the Chilean military, and Gen. Augusto Pinochet took over as
the country's military dictator.

Kissinger declined to appear on the "60 Minutes" program, CBS said.
Kissinger's office late Sunday returned a message from The Associated
Press but was unable to reach him immediately for comment.

However, the program aired Kissinger's testimony during a 1975 Senate
investigation saying he ordered all contacts with the coup plotters to
be cut off on Oct. 15, 1970.

Kornbluh told the program: "The very next day, the CIA sent a cable to
the station in the Chilean capital of Santiago, based on its
conversation with Kissinger, which is referred to in the very first
line. This cable was absolutely explicit: It is the continuing policy of
the U.S. government to foment a coup in Chile."

Kornbluh is a senior analyst at the National Security Archive, an
independent research institute which works at getting secret U.S.
documents declassified, according to CBS.

The 1975 Senate investigation had already determined Nixon had wanted to
incite a military takeover, but Kissinger's testimony indicated the
United States had stopped any such attempt before Schneider's slaying.

Kornbluh also said newly revealed documents show that the U.S.
intelligence community believed a coup could not be carried out in Chile
in 1970.

Edward Korry, then the U.S. ambassador to Chile, said on "60 Minutes"
that he also advised Kissinger that a coup would fail and boomerang
against Nixon just as the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba had put
the United States in a bad light a decade earlier.

Korry said he had already ordered all contacts cut off with the coup
plotters in the Chilean military, but CBS cited what it said were
minutes of an Oct. 7 meeting of a covert action committee in which
Kissinger allegedly said that Korry's orders "should be rescinded

Also appearing in the program was retired Col. Paul Wimert, a former
military attache in Chile who CBS said was assigned the task of
promoting a coup in Chile to block Allende.

Wimert told the program that he delivered weapons to the CIA to use in a
plot to kidnap Schneider and send him to neighboring Argentina. The move
was supposed to incite a military takeover of the government and prevent
Allende from taking office, he said.

However, Schneider was shot during the kidnapping attempt on Oct. 22,
1970, and died two days later.

Schneider's son, also named Rene, said on "60 Minutes" that his family
is planning to file a suit against Kissinger in the United States.

On Sunday, police in Santiago used tear gas and water cannons to scatter
demonstrators marking the 28th anniversary of the start of Pinochet's

Police said some 7,000 people joined the march organized by human rights
organizations, leftist groups and relatives of victims of repression
during Pinochet's 1973-90 rule.

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Barry Stoller

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