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CIA Pushes to Scrap Ban On Assassinations and Work with Human Rights Abusers

StorySeptember 24, 2001
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The World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks have led to harsh Congressional criticism of alleged intelligencefailures by the FBI and CIA and calls for a rapid expansion of their budgets and powers. US intelligence officialshave responded by saying Congress should scrap legislation that prohibits the CIA from engaging in assassinations orusing human rights abusers as intelligence agents. These restrictions, they say, may have hindered their ability toinvestigate and undermine alleged terrorist organizations.

Human rights groups have responded with horror. They say its not hard to find examples of what the CIA means when itcalls for a relaxation of these laws on assassination and working with human rights abusers.

Friday was the 25th anniversary of the assassination of Orlando Letelier and Ronni Moffit by Chilean security forcesbacked by the US. On September 21, 1976, Letelier, the former ambassador to the U.S under Salvador Allende, waskilled by a car bomb in Washington, D.C., along with his assistant, U.S. citizen Ronni Moffitt. The assassinationstook place less than two weeks after the Gen. Augusto Pinochet military regime revoked Letelier’s Chileancitizenship, in the midst of a US backed campaign against Chilean activists.

We turn now to Jennifer Harbury, who has experienced first hand the consequences of the CIA working with murderersand torturers. Her husband, Efrain Bamaca Valasquez, was captured, tortured and killed by Guatemalan militaryofficials on the payroll of the CIA.

Guests:

  • Jennifer Harbury, activist and lawyer for Leonard Peltier whose husband was killed.
  • William Blum, Author, ??Killing Hope: US military and CIA interventions since WWII.

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