U.S. President Donald Trump met with Argentine President Mauricio Macri on Thursday, handing over 931 declassified Department of State records related to Operation Condor.
Operation Condor was a Cold War-era campaign of violence across Latin America that resulted in tens of thousands of activist deaths. Throughout the operation, the U.S. government teamed up with right-wing military dictatorships to extinguish leftist movements.
Trump’s leak falls in line with former President Barack Obama’s promise to release intelligence documents about human rights abuses committed by the Argentine military dictatorship during the 1970s and 1980s.
Entitled “Secret/Exdis,” the declassified documents provide new insight into U.S. support for human rights abuses in Argentina and neighboring countries. Here’s what the reports divulged.
They describe Operation Condor as a trans-border, multinational effort by Southern Cone secret police services to “track down” and “liquidate” regime opponents, the National Security Archive reports.
They detail the role played by the Central Intelligence Agency, CIA, Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency, DIA, and other intelligence agencies in purposefully ignoring human rights abuses committed by the military dictatorship.
They reveal that the orchestrators of Operation Condor considered establishing “field offices” in the United States and Europe.
They provide information about former President Jimmy Carter’s propping up of former dictator Rafael Videla in 1977.
It has also been confirmed that Orlando Letelier, chief economist for former Chilean President Salvador Allende, was killed by members of Chile’s intelligence service under the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship.
Moreover, they include details about the censorship of U.S. Buenos Aires embassy human rights officer Tex Harris, who tried making human rights abuses public.
The declassification of other top secret documents is expected to occur before the end of the year. Records of 14 intelligence agencies, including the CIA, FBI, and DIA, are expected to be included in the release.
German Soldier Posed as Syrian Refugee, Planned Terror Attack
German authorities have uncovered the case of a man who posed as a Syrian refugee and who was planning on carrying out a terror attack.
The man, whose identity has not yet been released, was an officer in the German Army who held deeply xenophobic views and was planning on carrying out a “false flag” terror attack that he would blame on refugees.
Although he knew no Arabic and is of German heritage, the man was successfully able to pose as a Syrian asylum-seeker. He had even lived in an official refugee shelter and was paid benefits as an asylum-seeker.
“This is quite an unusual story,” a spokesman for prosecutors in Frankfurt said, as reported by The Telegraph. “It’s more than strange. We will have to wait for the investigation to uncover his motives.”
The officers were first alerted to the man in February when he was arrested by Austrian police after being caught trying to hide a gun in a washroom at Vienna’s airport. He was released soon after, but German police and the MAD military intelligence service began investigating him and found the trail of evidence supporting their theory that he was living a double life.
The man had begun living the lie of being an asylum-seeker in December 2015, when Germany saw 1 million migrants enter the country under Chancellor Angela Merkel’s “open-door” refugee policy. Over the months, he split his time between living in refugee shelters in Germany and the military base in France where he was posted.
Another man was also arrested in connection to the terror plot, a 24-year-old student from the officer’s home town of Offenbach.
“We know from various voice recordings that both men had anti-foreigner views,” the prosecutor’s spokesman said.
Days of Failure, Days of Resistance: The ACLU Verdict on Trump’s First 100
How would you evaluate the first 100 days of President Donald Trump?
You might, no doubt, point to his unhinged and off-kilter tweets, his aggressive and reckless approach to security and international relations, his dramatic policy flip-flops, or the shambolic management style that prevails at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. All fair game.
However, for many U.S. citizens, the primary danger of Trump has been his absolute hostility to civil rights and civil liberties.
On that score, the American Civil Liberties Union has a message for you: Donald Trump will keep failing as long as the resistance keeps thriving.
“As Trump’s 100th day in office approaches, it is clear that resistance to his unconstitutional and un-American policies is everywhere,” ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero said in a statement Thursday. “It is broad, deep, and intersectional, breaking barriers across class, gender, race, and even political and party lines, as some conservatives cast their opposition to Trump.”
The group, which has seen its membership quadruple since Election Day, has released a report on the first 100 days of the Trump administration, called “100 Days of Resistance.” The report lays out how, from the “counter-inauguration” onwards, the people of the U.S. have shown their ability to address Trump’s attacks – making sure that his administration faces dismal failures at every turn.
The U.S. president has faced an “unpresidented (sic)” level of media scrutiny and grassroots opposition since assuming office. Massive demonstrations have been sprouting up across the country since Jan. 20, from the Women’s Marches to airport demonstrations against his twice-blocked discriminatory anti-Muslim travel ban and spontaneous “Day Without an Immigrant” strikes. Opponents of Trump have even occupied the town hall sessions of Republican politicians in defense of the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” which appears to be gaining popularity simply by dint of Trump’s attacks against the health care policy.
“Over Donald Trump’s first 100 days, the fight to defend core civil liberties and civil rights has occurred in three primary areas: immigration, healthcare, and transgender rights,” the report said, detailing the administration’s vicious attacks on the rights of immigrants both documented and undocumented, the gutting of Medicaid and ACA and the revoking of Obama-era protections for transgender students.
“As in all struggles, there have been successes and failures, advances and setbacks, but one thing is clear: The resistance isn’t going anywhere if President Trump continues to violate the Constitution and attack vulnerable communities,” it continues.
While the ACLU report carried an overwhelmingly optimistic message — almost bragging about the various ways Trump has faced failure upon miserable failure in his offensives against the rights of oppressed groups in the U.S. — the organization also warned that its supporters should prepare to remain in the fight for the long haul, especially since the White House remains staffed with diehard ideologues opposed to the rights of LGBTQ people, Muslims, women, immigrants and people of color.
However, the civil liberties advocates also pledged to continue defending the rights of anyone facing attacks by the Trump administration.
“Ironically the greatest threat to American democracy in recent memory has awoken the democratic and liberty-loving spirit of millions of Americans,” the report concludes. “And it’s a beautiful thing.”