CIA Admits Involvement in Chile

The agency now carefully reviews all contacts for potential involvement with human rights abuses, the report said. It “makes a deliberate decision balancing the nature and severity of the human rights abuse against the potential intelligence value of continuing the relationship.”

Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y., who sponsored the law that required the report, said he takes the CIA at its word on today’s standards. But he pushed for full disclosure of past acts to prevent U.S. support for such injustices in the future.

“I think the environment has changed, and I’m prepared to believe the agency has changed,” Hinchey said in an interview. “I think that in today’s atmosphere, this would not happen. That does not mean it would not happen in tomorrow’s atmosphere.”

Nixon Worried About Allende

The CIA report points to the worries of Nixon and other top U.S. officials about Allende’s leftist ties and their fears of rising Soviet influence in Latin America.

“This very sordid chapter in American history needs to be held up to the bright light so that everyone can see what went on under orders from the president of the United States, the secretary of state and the attorney general,” Hinchey said.

CIA spokeswoman Anya Guilsher said the report addresses key questions Congress has had concerning CIA activities in Chile in both the 1970 coup planning and the 1973 coup.

“We were aware of coup plotting in 1973, but we did not instigate it,” she said.

More CIA files and other documents on Chile are to be released in a few weeks.

White House spokesman Joe Lockhart said last week that release of the documents on human rights abuse and terrorism during the regime of Allende successor Gen. Augusto Pinochet was delayed by Sandy Berger, president Clinton’s national security adviser, to review more documents.

“Basically, we want to make sure we get this done right, and we are as responsive as we are able to, as far as the fullest-possible disclosure of documents,” Lockhart said.

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