Operation Condor was a project of cooperation between various Right-wing Latin American governments. They collaborated in the sharing of intelligence and a commitment to destroy Left-wing movements. This included kidnappings, assassination, torture, terror and secret prisons. Spanning the 1970s and 1980s the Condor legacy resulted in the deaths of thousands and the traumatising of whole societies. Even US apologists will admit that Washington knew about it and yet the evidence suggests that not only was the United States in the know, it was managing the project, funding it, as well as arming and training the death squads.
Given the history of intelligence operations in Latin America we must ask, will the defeat of the new wave of Leftist governments lead to a Right-wing backlash? Will a new chapter of retribution be opened and will we see a return of or perhaps a new version of Operation Condor?
While the question is legitimate it must also be acknowledged that in some ways it never went away. It certainly has continued to function within the framework of Colombia and its ongoing civil war.
Condor was known by sectors of the US government outside of the CIA and State Department. The FBI certainly knew about it by 1976 and yet much of the data wasn't revealed to the public until the brief window that appeared in the 1990s.
The revelations are startling and continue to be relevant in understanding the nature of the Deep State, the means by which it functions and their overall strategy for containing social dissent.
Condor's Phase III as revealed in a 1976 FBI report is nothing more than Vietnam's Phoenix Program transferred to the Americas. Gladio, a similar programme was in full force by the 1970s in Europe. Sometimes obfuscated by nomenclature such as 'counter-insurgency' the truth is this is all-out full-scale terrorism and propaganda, including entrapment, torture, assassination and by the estimation of some... false flag terror operations. This is total war applied to society and especially to media. Our contemporary era of mass data collection and surveillance gives it a dimension that's hard to fully grasp.
The original Condor, while a programme focused on Latin America extended even to the USA, the1976 Orlando Letelier assassination being the most famous incident associated with it. An explosion outside the Chilean Embassy shook Washington DC and eliminated an enemy of the Pinochet government. Blamed on DINA, the Chilean intelligence agency, the assassination has CIA written all over it. It was clearly part of a larger programme of coordinated murder.
Like a figure straight out of the movies, Michael Townley was connected to US intelligence services (specifically the CIA) and yet supposedly was working independently for the Pinochet government as an assassin. Obviously somewhat reckless, this branch of Condor operations got out of control and he fell within the sights of the FBI. Sometimes it seems like the CIA's greatest foe is the FBI. This enmity goes way back to its founding and the waning days of World War II. Townley ended up doing a short stint prison and is today in Witness Protection immune from further prosecution. Some have suggested he is no longer in the programme. His status remains unclear. He may indeed just be laying low under a false name at this point.
With Townley we are reminded of the Italian Connection to Condor. Usually when thinking of Fascist connections to South America we think of German Nazis. While not incorrect, the nexus of the European-South American connection is Italy. Why? There are several reasons, namely large Italian populations and business connections in South America, but chiefly due to the cultural influence and many networks run by the Roman Catholic Church. It facilitated the transfers of personnel, money and intelligence. The Roman Catholic Church helped members of the Third Reich and Ustaše escape to South America and it was Italian mafia figures and businessmen who kept up the contacts.
It's in Italy in particular that Condor and Gladio begin to overlap.
The convictions provide some closure and affirm the reporting that's been unveiling the nature of these operations for almost forty years. And yet as usual the victory proves somewhat empty. Many have escaped judicial accountability. Others are old and infirmed beyond the point where such punishments carry much in the way of meaning. Legacies and reputations are destroyed but in many cases the truth was already known if not officially recognised.
Many others escape justice and the authorities can 'close the book' as it were. It's as if they've done their duty and there's no point in pursuing it further. Thus many chapters that need to be told in the open are now relegated to darkness once more.
What's also telling is that Washington is conveniently white-washed. The prosecutor exonerates American involvement and the State Department even had the audacity to provide some evidence to help in the convictions. Betraying old allies doesn't cost anything now. The story is old, so many are dead, there's no fear of serious consequence.
The more people make noise about it, the more they'll be pegged as conspiracy theorists.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, not only was the State Department aware of the crimes, the CIA and Pentagon were actively involved. Even considering a fraction of the available information reveals this as beyond dispute.
Here are some additional links:
The BBC story is literally a white-wash, an example of reporting that's meant to obscure the actual story.