tv Alan Mc Pherson Ghosts of Sheridan Circle CSPAN November 11, 2019 5:11pm-6:01pm EST
country of chile. it's important to note also that the chilean ambassador's residence is right over there. not the embassy but the chilean ambassador's residence. on the morning of september 21st, the chilean ambassador actually heard the bombing. he was in the shower, right? gave him a stir. he came down and he was wondering what was going on. turns in he wasn't in on this assassination at all, even though it was his government that did it, but later on, of course, he trumpeted the version of events of the pinochet regime which is that there is no way his government could have done this. it must have been some leftist guerillas trying to pin it on pinochet, but it's important that the residence is there because the residence itself now has a bust of orlando letelier to try to remember him also, and so around the circle we have these two memorials to this one man and, of course, to ronni moffitt. and so sheridan circle will be
marked forever in the heart of washington, d.c. by this assassination. hello, everyone. good, we can hear everyone nicelily. welcome to busboys and poets. my name is olivia. i'm the book events coordinator here and i'm very excited to invite alan mcpherson for his book, "ghosts of sheridan circle." it's an event i was not aware of, honestly, and very excited to read about it in this book and excited for alan to speak about it. here at busboys we like to have conversations that others aren't having and i feel like this is one of nose so i'm excited for him to speak about it. i'm going to give you a little kind of overview. if you have a cell phone, please take photos but don't make the flash happen. we are filming tonight, as you probably can see. that's a little distracting. we will have the fwoobooks for .
we have them for sale currently and if you would like to, i really implore you to look through it and have alan sign it. he'll be signing afterwards as well. we have a wonderful server, aisha in the room. she will be here all night, so please take care of her as she will take care of you. i will now turn it on over to alan for the talk of "ghosts of sheridan circle." thank you all. thanks. [ applause ] >> thank you very much, olivia. thank you to busboys and poets for hosting this. i also want to thank my publisher, university of north carolina press, for putting this together. the few institutions also who, you know, made this book happen in washington. i'm so happy to be presenting this in washington, which is, you know, literally the scene of this crime. the institute for policy studies is very important in, you know, letting me interview them and keep the memory of this book alive for 40-plus years.
also, the embassy of chile was very helpful. so let me begin with the first words from this book. and these are the people talking. isabel, i have a surprise for you. have lunch with me. today will be difficult. i have work. but you will love the surprise, orlando letelier insisted. come and get me at 12:30 and leave your work for the afternoon. isabel letelier exceeded. after all her husband was a charmer. besides, there was no time to argue. it was 9:00 a.m., time for orlando to go to work at the institute for policy studies in washington, d.c.'s dupont circle. he'd been at the leftist think tank for nearly two years, using isp as a platform to undermine general authorization toe pinochet the iron-fisted dictator. he had been ambassador to the united states then his mens ter with three portfolios. now as a private citizen, he
exposed pinochet's human rights atrocities, incited boycotts and discouraged investment. two of orlando's colleagues happened to right with him that day. michael and microsoronni moffit 25 and recently married. isabel barely had time to kiss him good-bye. orlando took the wheel of his 1975 chevrolet chevelle malibu classic. out of gallantry, micheal moffitt opened the front door for ronni. in less than an hour orlando and ronni would be dead. michael would be traumatized for life. this is the actual car after the bombing on sheridan circle. i never learned what the surprise was, isabel recalled, when i interviewed her over 40 years after this event.
to this day, the killing of orlando letelier and ronni moffitt remains the only assassination of a foreign diplomat on u.s. soil. it's also the only state-sponsored assassination in washington and the most important in history. still osama bin laden assessed one historian, they constituted the most brazen act of international terrorism ever committed in the capital of the united states. it is still the only state sponsored such act and the only car bomb. the two decade long resolution of this case would hold implications for chile, the united states, terrorism, human rights, and the fate of democracy everywhere. my book notably argues that it was crucial in taking down the entire pinochet government. but today i want to explore a subtheme of the book. two opposing forces, fascism on one side and human rights on the other. the clash during these decades and that outlived the communist/capitalist ideological struggle of the cold war.
these forces are still with us today and letelier assassination brought them into open conflict. and so on the cover you have on top here, you've got the car on the bottom, but on top you've got orlando letelier on the right and ronni moffitt on the left. the order to assassinate letelier was not simply an overreaction by an anti-communist regime. although it was that. it was also rooted in the fascism that lurked inside post-war latin american political culture. in chile, that fascism partly came from germany. in the 19th century, southern chile attracted 30,000 settlers from the german states. a military mission from prussia. filled the ranks of far-right parties. they cheered and marched when hitler came to power. the nazis of chile boasted
60,000 members, electing three to the national legislature. in 1938 they attempted a filled -- after world war ii it became famous destinations for former nazi offices fleeing purse cushion. persecution. state control of the economy. hierarcharcical leadership. a love of all things spain, the tradition of catholicism, a rejection of empire and the championing of latin american unity made this among the most potent totalitarianisms in all of latin america. and will contreras, the man on the right here, was the head of the secret police that gave the order to kill letelier. he grew up in the germanized
south of chile. after world war ii he admired the spanish dictator franco. when pinochet and his allies overthrew the government, contreras was in on it. on september 7th, contreras looked at him and smiled, don't worry, you're not going to school tomorrow. right after the coup, pinochet made contreras the international head of the intelligence dire directorate known as d.n.a. he answered only to pinochet. d.i.n.a. dominated all other intelligence agencies. its 9,300 employees could raid homes and jail suspects without charges and its 20,000 to 30,000 informants spread fear. its logo featuring an iron kblov, d.i.n. was was responsible for about 1,200 of the 3,200 executions under
pinoche it. the associations between d.i.n.a. and fascism were legion. it was alleged that its employees engaged in the use of her addressed each other as farrows, priests and slaves, denoting their status within the hierarchy. kraers even allied with former nazi paul schaffer of colony of dignity infamy by using schaffer's enslave as a detention and torture center. the u.s. department of defense compared d.i.n.a. to hitler's gestapo. contreras took a plane full of officers along. franco supportered lined up on the avenue from the airport and gave the chileans motorcade the stiff-armed fascist salute. in my book i call contreras the himler of the andes.
on september 11th, orlando letelier served as chile's minister of defense when she showed up to his ministry after hearing rumors of a coup, plotters took him prisoner and shipped him to dawson island, a nazi-style concentration camp in the deep south of chile. someone luckily took a photo of him being arrested by his own men. there and other detention centers he he would remain for a year. never charged with a crime, phycologically tortured and emaciated before the government secured his freedom. told in no uncertain words general pinochet does not and will not tolerate activities against his government. still he ended up working for pinochet in washington. a golden age of human rights activism in the 1970s. more than 200 groups in the united states worked on human rights. over 50 lobbied congress and about 15 concentrated on latin america.
civil rights icon patricia became the first assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor under the jimmy carter administration. mark snider, her deputy worked for senator edward kennedy of massachusetts on everything u.s./latin american issues. in congress, representative dawn frazier chaired the first congressional hearings on human rights in 1973. helping him were among others top harken, michael harrington, toy moffitt, george miller in the house and kennedy and george mcgovern in the senate. these were all democrats. which cut off aid to any government that grossly violated human rights unless the president determined that such aid would directly benefit the needy. the following year, teddy kennedy directly targeted chile, marking the first time the congress ended military aid to another government because of human rights.
one chilean magazine called kennedy the most dangerous foreign adversary of the pinochet regime. letelier worked in this environment at the institute for policy studies, one of the most influential human rights organizations in the country. he met with top state department officials. he taught at american university. he lunched with senators. angela davis once came to his house. joan baez was a friend. most important, letelier became a unifying for chilean exiles numbering in the hundreds of thousands worldwide. he also convinced holland's dock workers federation to boycott the handling of chilean goods and therefore won the cancellation of a planned $62 million mining investment in chile. these two things seemed to have convinced pinochet to order letelier's assassination. roughly from 1975 to 1983, contreras and his south american allies killed several hundred people outside chile.
at looking away from such brutalities, national security adviser and secretary of state henry kissinger became an expert. one month before letelier was killed, kissinger's state department prepared a memo signed by kissinger that instructed southern cone abtds to express to south american dictators washington's, quote, deep concern over their plans for the assassinations of subversives, politicians and prominent figures within the national borders of southern countries and abroad. in other words, the state department was supposed to tell south american dictators not to kill people outside of south america. but for one month none of the ambassadors who received this cable from washington did anything about it. which is very rare in diplomacy. usually when you're given an order, you do it. the ambassador to uruguay feared for his life if he wagged his finger at the generals. the enjoy to chile worried that pinochet, quote, might well take
as an insult any inference that he was connected with such assassination plots. five days before the letelier assassination, kissinger ordered, quote, that no further action be taken on this matter. back in chile in the same summer of 1976, contreras acting through his chief of operations pedro espinosa entrusted the hit on letelier on michael townley, a local chilean explosives expert. this is michael townley with his wife. townley worked with proto fascist youth shock troupes called fatherland and freedom. recruits received training in coding and code breaking, weapons handling, explodives and martial arts with nunchucks. review them with his right arm crossed against his chest. remember, these are teenagers, right? they're not soldiers. they wore black uniforms with
white armbands adorned with a swastika-like insignia that united chain links and resembled a spider. hitler's brown shirts would have approved. his followers a bunch of fascists paid by the cia. and it turns out they were correct. rodriguez their leader denied accepting cia funding, but the truth is that in fall 1970 kissinger requested and receives $38,000 for covert support of fatherland and freedom, this fascist organization. others in the group admitted receiving those funds and added that an extra $5,000 per month filtered in. so back to townley, the bomb maker, he embraced the rhetoric and the actions of fatherland and freedom and started making bombs for them. the masses are not ready to govern themselves, he said. democracy leads to only mass government ruled by the herd. power should be reserved for the qualified few, the
intellectuals, the philosopher kings. in the united states, townley connected with about five cuban americans, also protofascists. they call themselves the cuban nationalist movement headquartered in a new jersey newly cubanized since fidel castro's revolution. they were disenchanted with the u.s. government which had dropped them as assets against castro. here's a picture of a few of them in their headquarters in new jersey along with their logo, which has the island of cuba with the number 3, which means sort of a not communist and not capitalism but a third way and a lightning strike against capitalism, which essentially meant violence against cuba. like contreras, these cuban americans had decided to kill opponents throughout the world. soon bombs exploded in new york, montreal, lima, madrid, london and paris.
between 1974 and 1976, u.s. authorities tied 202 major bombings in 23 countries to cuban exiles. one every five days on average. and 113 of them in the united states. in 1974 cuban exiles accounted for 45% of all terrorist bombings on the planet. the cuban nationalist movement's motto, cuba before all, recalled nazi germany's deutschland -- centered on a capitalism akin to those of mussolini, hitler, franco and chile's fatherland and freedom. one cuban member of a more mainstream organization dismissed the cnm as right-wing extremists and fascists. one of these cubans once asked michael townley and his wife during a dinner, what do you think about the world jewish conspiracy? now, remember, they're trying to fight communism. i beg your pardon, the what,
said townley's wife. the jewish conspiracy is going to destroy the world if we don't fight it. before we do anything else, we must destroy the jews. fast row is too difficult to target so you've chosen a perennial target, the jews. naturally it's easier to fight the jews than the cubans. still they helped townley build the car bomb and install it under letelier's car. one cuban drove behind him while another pushed the button on the detonator. so for washington the challenge that the letelier assassination posed was clarifying the divisions between those such as kissinger who enabled fascism to infiltrate the chilean government. those such as teddy kennedy who championed human rights and the vast majority in the middle who needed the car bombing to prompt them to care enough. early on, mainstream u.s.
observers tended toward absolving the chilean regime. "the new york times" editors concluded, quote, it is hard to believe even as ham-handed as a regime of chile's he would order a murder of such an opponent of mr. lett lowelier in the united states. the national security council right on the day of the assassination admitted, quote, right-wing chileans are the obvious candidates, but they seem to be too obvious. thankfully investigation was not up to the nsc, it was the job of the fbi and the attorney general's office. these men led by eugene proper were anti-communists but also gifted technocrats dedicated to solving the investigation wherever it took them. for almost 18 months the fbi had no solid lead on this case. it heard of a mysterious gringo amongst chileans, turns out it was michael townley.
resumes from cuban americans a grand jury subpoenaed them but they kept mum. and the investigation kept getting threats. just as orlando and isabel had before the assassination. i'll give you a few examples of these threats. on october 4, an unknown male called orlando letelier's aunt maria del solar. maria, maria, maria, he said condescendingly, talking to the fbi won't help you. your legs will be spread in washington, d.c. just like orlando's. then he hung up. in early november -- standing at kennedy airport rifling through her purse for her key to an american airlines office. suddenly a man grabbed her arm and yanked her around. you until your little friend larry watt to keep his fucking noise out of chile's business or you won't be so pretty anymore, boom, boom, you know what i mean? this kind of thing happened over
and over again in the investigation. to the fbi, to the judges, to the lawyers and, of course, anybody who talked to the fbi. if they can do this and get away with it under the nose of the cia and the fbi said president-elect jimmy carter in november 1976, then no president can govern. he was talking about the letelier assassination. on one hand, carter meant that such a brazen attack on the chilean dissident on u.s. soil was unacceptable to the u.s. policy-making apparatus, whether republican or democrat. it made the united states look unable to police its own borders. it made the cold war seem out of control. on the other hand, foreign policy makers were careful of pushing too hard. we were not against the chilean government. we were not against what the military had done, which means the overthrow. we were against the abuse of it and the terrorism that had been performed its in name. so it was often up to regular
people like isabel letelier, michael moffitt and human rights organizations to pressure carter officials against the chileans. first to expel townley from chile, which proved successful, and second to extradite contreras and other chileans, which proved a failure. when pinochet once travelled to washington, carter met him in the oval office and brought up human rights, and his -- carter's determination to get to the bottom of letelier crime. pinochet nodded and promises cooperation. but my book reveals how behind the scenes the dictator orchestrated a cover-up. letelier and moffitt, therefore, meaning the widow and the widower, were aghast. moffitt asked at a press conference if carter is serious about human rights, why doesn't he welcome isabel and me just like he's welcoming pinochet? the widow and widower wrote the
president for a meeting but national security advisers denied them. didn't help at all, letelier told me. we could never get through to him, never. and she remembered this in her late 80s. in her activism, letelier focused on pinochet's likely responsibility for the assassination. college and local newspapers covered her, as did local radio and television. the right-wing media in the u.s. tried to smear orlando as a tool of fidel castro, isabel debunked their lies. the dam finally burst when in march 1978 investigators published photos of the two men whose names they ignored but whom they suspected of being involved. they had these passport photos but they didn't have the names. they just knew that these men had come to washington during the assassination, or at least before it. within days, chileans identified townley and his friend armando fernandez the two men from chile who were in the united states during the assassination.
landed in santiago the following morning. proper and his beard roused some suspicions among conservative chilean officials. was he a hippy, a jew? the americans saw no trace of a chilean manhunt for townley, just as the chileans pretended they were looking for him. they were certain instead the chileans were hiding townley. there were also consummate professionals among the diplomats. u.s. ambassador george lando, fins dance, demanded a meeting with the chilean foreign minister. there he dropped all the diplomatic politics he practiced and threatened if townley was not made to answer the u.s. government's questions, all u.s. relations with chile would be in danger. trade, loans, investment, diplomatic relations. frankly, i don't think your people are trying very hard. which is a rare thing for an ambassador to say. shortly after, on the 15th floor of the building out of which he
ruled, pinochet's political team met setting at its task keeping townley in chile. suddenly the french doors of the meeting room swung open and in walked pinochet himself. the dictator rarely descended below his 22nd floor. this meant something. please continue. don't mind me, the strongman instructed his advisers while he paced behind their chairs. then, of course, he interrupted 37 we were doing so well. so well. ready to take off. and then this, this is a banana peel, senores. if we step on it, the government will fall. we will fall. as abruptly as he entered, he left the room. pinochet's anxiety seemed to change the momentum of the meeting. talk of avoiding townley's expulsion switched to handing him over to the americans. within weeks, therefore, townley was stateside spilling all the chilean secrets on the assassination. he served about three years in
u.s. prisons and is likely now still living in the witness protection program. three cuban americans were also tried but their guilty verdicts were soon after thrown out on technicalities. contreras though demoted remained free. the chilean courts refused to extradite him, espinosa and fernandez, the three chileans who were directly involved in this. my book is the first to recount what happened over the next 15 years. after about 1980 the story shifted to chile, where fascists and human rights champions again remained in conflict. isabel letelier and her family kept the legal case technically alive against contreras, espinosa and fernandez but held out little hope of an actual trial while pinochet was in power. in the u.s., the reagan government repealed carter's already weak sanctions. crucially, however, democrats in
congress forced the executive to, quote, unquote, certify that chile was making progress on letelier/moffitt case in order to allow military-to-military relations. so it's the democrats in congress who forced reagan to be tough on pinochet. he had surveyed letelier in washington, hadn't committed a particularly serious crime. for the first time american officials heard all the details about pinochet's orchestration of the cover-up. fernandez ended up spending only 21 months in chilean hospitals and u.s. prisons. it was the first conviction of a chilean military man in u.s. correspondents. it also seems to have led the cia to conclude that not only pinochet covered up the crime
but also ordered the hit. this is a conclusion that only came to light in 2015. in 1990 another defection of sorts confirmed fernandez's story. a woman named monica lagos, a former dancer and later an escort for d.i.n.a. accompanied to washington. she disappeared from everyone's radar and spent most of the 1980 suffering from debilitating alcohol addiction, druggism and schizophrenia. on april 17th, 1990, the chileans woke to a dramatic front page headline in that morning's newspaper. i aim liliana walker, it declared, accompanied by a 1976 passport photo. at this point the reagan and bush governments had turned against pinochet. the democratic opposition led the way. the press felt free to criticize
the regime and as a result pinochet lost the referendum on his rule. in early 1990 a new democratic government was in power. because of the fernandez and g lagos confessions, it could be re-opened in court because there was no evidence. three years later they found fernandez and contreras guilty. contreras spent the rest of his life in detention until he decide in 2015. espinosa is still in prison. the letelier affair stands as one of the most consequential assassinations of the cold war. in chile, the letelier quest for justice brought about the dissolution of d.i.n.a. and eventually defanged the country's amnesty law. it forced the reagan government to put decisive diplomatic and financial pressure on the dictatorship. contreras and espinosa were the
first of pinochet's military offices to go to prison and the first cold war violators in latin america or anywhere to go to prison. the case sparked a move that has adjudicated more than 1,000 cases of human rights violations in chile alone. the story also demonstrating the transnational power of human rights. a civil case against chile, for instance, represented the first wrongful death case ever brought in the united states against a foreign nation. and it culminated in a payment of millions of dollars to the leteliers and moffitts. this is in the early 1990s. in addition, the letelier affair broke down the u.s. intelligence community's wall separating domestic from international terrorism. balancing human rights and counterterrorism advances, the case produced additional firsts, the first deal against administrati extradition when the united states had an extradition treaty with another country. the first charges filed in the u.s. legal system against cuban-american terrorists. the first conviction in courts
and the first live telecast of chilean court proceedings. in civil courts it became the first filed under the foreign sovereign immunities act that dealt with terrorism. said one u.s. diplomat, the letelier assassination in retrospect was one of the most stupid things done by any government. that certainly is true. pinochet, contreras and townley did not understand the implications of car bombing a former ambassador and a u.s. citizen in the heart of washington. it took decades but their monstrous deed backfired, contributing in no small part to ending their ideological dream, their government, and in the last two cases their personal freedom. all these as a result of a movement of human rights activists who correctly identified the fascist core of the pinochet regime. thank you very much. [ applause ]
>> we can take some questions from the audience. i have a wireless mic that i can walk around with if anyone has a question. just raise their hand. >> sorry, we do for c-span. >> i really liked your talk. could you talk about the research you did for the book and the inner -- >> i'm happy -- >> say it louder. >> could you talk a little bit about the research you did in the book and how -- maybe your biggest discovery that you made. >> right. well, i did research on three continents. essentially, right, north america, latin america and europe. when i began this it was about 2014. and i thought all the documents were out, right?
i figured i just needed to sort of go and find them. then i realized while i was at this amazing archive called the national security archive here in washington. while i was doing research there, i realized shortly after that we weren't done declassifying materials, so new declassifications came in 2015 and 2016. among those, as i mentioned in my talk, were the cia documents that basically concluded that pinochet not only covered up the crime but also ordered the hit. up to that point this had only been sort of a -- somebody that -- something that everybody knew was true but nobody had any evidence, right, that pinochet ordered it. the kpcia said we are concludin this so it has essentially become a finding of the letelier assassination. i found great documents at the institute of policy studies.
not in d.c. but their archive in wisconsin of all places. s wisconsin historical society has all the archives of not only letelier who worked there but his colleagues and his widow. so once he was killed, she essentially took over his job. did a lot of human rights work. there were several sort of psychological followthroughs on how this had traumatized her, traumatized michael moffitt, who also worked at isp. traumatized their children. she and orlando had four teenage sons when this happened. those are really amazing documents that really allow you to follow the story in a humane way and sort of in a human way, you know, how these people were traumatized for decades after this. in chile, i found the documents of the letelier family itself. they haven't been in archives for very long, maybe five, ten years, and not sure a lot of people have worked on them, but they are amazing letters. notably, letters that letelier and his wife wrote to each other when he was in that
concentration camp, essentially in patagonia and almost freezing to death and losing 30, 50 pounds. and they were sending love letters to each other. i mean, they're beautiful. and his kids are sending letters. you got to realize these are teenage boys and they're sending letters to their father who is in a concentration camp, you know, he could die at any time and there is nothing they can do about it. i interviewed her in santiago. i interviewed two of her kids who are now right in their late 50s living in the united states. and interviewed a bunch of other people who were, you know, connected to the case in some way. so it's been a fascinating sort of research adventure. >> any more questions? just speak loudly and if you could reiterate the question. >> sure. >> can you expand a little bit on the reaction of the u.s. government the first few days after the car bombing?
you talked about it briefly, but -- >> sure. right. i'm glad to. the question was about the reaction of the u.s. government in the first few days after the car bombing. i mean, remember, this happens during the ford administration, so henry kissinger is still the secretary of state. carter will be elected about a month and a half in the future. right? so there's an election going on. so the response, i mean, we have no real response from ford that have been recorded, but we have internal documents from, right, the department of defense, department of state, and the general sense is that, well, pinochet, you know, d.i.n.a. probably did this but it seems too obvious, right? this is what i'm quoting. they're looking at sort of the all the options and the options include not just d.i.n.a. but it could be a rogue force within the government or a paramilitary force. it could also be, and this is
something many people are trying to spread this idea that it could be the extreme left. it could be these leftist guerillas who are organizing violently against pinochet. so the pinochet government gloms on to this explanation. they say of course this must be what it is, right? because it can't possibly be d.i.n.a. it can't possibly be, right, this righteous anti-communist government. it's got to be these extreme anti-communists -- these extreme communists, excuse me. they want to pin it on us. they want to make it look like it's us. and so inside the u.s. government you immediately have, you know, a bit of a tug-of-war. you've got people saying this, but you've also got people going it might be the extreme left but it's probably pinochet, right? pinochet really has the means and the motivation to do this sort of thing. also there is a tug-of-war between the fbi and the cia. they don't particularly get along at this point. the cia's done a lot of dirty work in south america. it's been allied with most of
these governments and it's essentially given a green light that these governments can do pretty much what they want in terms of human rights and it's not going to stop them. now, the fbi doesn't really work abroad. i mean, partly it has some folks abroad, but it mostly takes care of crimes in the united states. one thing it does is it immediately takes this crime away from the washington, d.c. police. they say we can't trust the d.c. police. plus, thee are clearly federal crimes, right, even though they happen in washington. we're going to control them. and we're a little bit of afraid of what the cia's going to do about this because if we ask them to let's say contact their chilean operatives, not only could they burn bridges but they will give them some of our information. and so we don't want to waste our information or lose our information through the cia. right? because they don't really trust the motivations of the cia. the cia wants to win the cold war, right? where as the fbi wants to solve this crime, right? one crime at a time. so the cia is much more ideological, much more in line.
there is immediately a tug-of-war, but clearly the prerogative is of the fbi and of the department of justice. >> alan, early in your talk you mentioned the fund of money from the cia that went through henry kissinger. can you expand on what happened with those funds at all? >> sure. yes. you're asking about the $38,000 plus the $5,000 a month that went to fatherland and freedom. i'm not sure exactly what happened to it. it wasn't a lot of money, right? we're talking about tens of thousands of dollars. about tens of thousands of dollars. and i'm sure it's not the only money that this organization had. but these guys were not only fascist in their ideology, they were essentially terrorists they were mostly college students, high school
students, and they are organizing during the three years of -- you have a communist or marxist presents trying to run the country. and some of these groups who are marching in the streets but also set out bombs here and there and they are trying to prepare a coup, so they are hoping that this will occur and they are trying to make it happen by creating chaos in the streets. they will bomb electric power stations. to turn off all the power in santiago. and they will blame it on the marxist government. who knows exactly where the money went, publications, radio programs, he did go to this real subversive activity. so
that's revealing that our government would do that. it's more or less what the cia did they didn't do it themselves but they gave money to people. >> did pinochet later in his life ultimately ever have to face or answer for his crimes? >> that's a good question. and it's dealt with mostly in the end along epilogue of the book. when they were found guilty and go to jail in 2018. the quick answer is no, pinochet never has to answer for this crime. in 1998 he does have to start answering for other crimes. when the spanish essentially
tried to expedite him yesterday. this whole process he was essentially sent back to chile. some have turned around they put him on the docket he dies before he was ever found guilty of any of that. but it is interesting late in the early 1990s well he is being accused of these things it is seen all the time on cnn chilly. he starts accusing pinochet of being the guy who put the. he never says it in so many words. but he says things like, everything i did i did because half he told me to do it. he doesn't really follow on the logic but at some point he
has a shouting match. seeing no i just gave you general directions. now deal with sub versus. so it's not absolutely clear from those conversations are shouting matches what he really meant. but his explanation for this was always the same until he died. he said the cia did it and he was an agent of the cia. that is a lie that anyone in south america would believe. either on the left or the right. and of course he is able to do it. it seems to make sense. but it doesn't make sense. >> i have one question. i just wanted to know what you are personal connection to the
story is and wanting to explain more from 1985 to the last year. >> i have no personal connection to the story although chilly as one of the first countries that i was exploring. so i spent a few months in that country travel to the north and south and loved it. so the first years of the chilean democracy came back. so pinochet was gone but i remember hearing about the call to dignity which is this call a concentration camp in the south of chile. there is a movie about this the came out a few years ago. in fact, several movies that come out about this. so i have this connected generally speaking to chile. i've had friends come from there and when i started
research on the next project about five years ago i was looking at the 1980s and latin america and i read a book about reagan and pinochet. it's a great book. and partly it made me realize that this story did not disappear off the larger by the administration i thought once it captured the remainder really government engine so intellectually are interested. why and how could it completely changed the dynamics of these two allies to fracture those relations so it's this assassination. once you start reading about their lives which is explained in this book, you get a sense of who these people are. you get attached to, them
these crowds mostly young people have been here all night celebrating the fall of the wall. thousands of german coming across the west. good evening these are truly privileged tonight we are eye witnesses to this event, who on either side of the berlin wall would have believed that this morning and with a very vision
of europe and that of the free world it was not disappearing. the announcement that east germans may now leave their countries traveling into west germany even through the berlin wall itself. tonight germans on both sides of the berlin wall could not wait to test these were sites unthinkable only a few years ago. they are reaching out to the east germans climbing them up the wall. jubilant's for once there was only despair. for 28 years the wall was a given something that was just there tonight you will see the lives of something else the german government will
resist the weight chain rolling on and the sound of new freedom taking away at the wall itself. the generals profiled in three recently published books are george paton edward almond and george shalikashvili. >> thank you very much for being here. this is our annual book program we put out every year and we have our talented