CIA killed Chile Army commander, says Pinochet’s spy chief

Carlos Prats

Carlos Prats

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
The convicted former chief of Chile’s intelligence services during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet has accused the CIA of murdering the deposed leader of the Chilean army and former Vice-President of Chile, in 1974. General Carlos Prats González was a close political ally of Chilean President Salvador Allende, who was toppled by a CIA-assisted military coup in 1973, led by General Augusto Pinochet. General Prats managed to escape with his family to neighboring Argentina. It was there where, in 1974, he was killed along with his wife, Sofia Cuthbert, in a massive car bomb. A Chilean court has convicted General Manuel Contreras, who headed Pinochet’s feared DINA secret police, for the murder of General Prats and his wife. But Contreras, 81, who has been in prison since 1995, servicing over 100 years for several kidnappings and murders of anti-Pinochet dissidents, now accuses the CIA of the Prats murders. Read more of this post

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CIA not surprised by Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, documents show

Alexander Dubček

Alexander Dubček

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Newly declassified CIA documents from 1968 show that the Agency had warned the Lyndon B. Johnson administration that the USSR was preparing to invade Czechoslovakia later that year. Some of the documents have been released before, but were presented for the first time in an organized, searchable format last Friday, at a symposium held at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library, on University of Texas campus. The symposium, entitled “Strategic Warning and The Role of Intelligence: Lessons Learned from the 1968 Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia”, included participants from academia, as well as from the CIA and other intelligence agencies. Among documents presented at the gathering was a May 10, 1968, CIA memo, which termed Soviet-Czechoslovak relations a “crisis” and warned that the possibility of an armed Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia could “no longer be excluded”. Read more of this post

CIA director says Congress should let go of CIA’s past actions

Leon Panetta

Leon Panetta

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
CIA director Leon Panetta has criticized Congress for its “focus on the past” that “threatens to distract the CIA from its crucial core missions”. In an editorial published last weekend in The Washington Post, Panetta says he is becoming “increasingly concerned” that “wrong judgments” made by the Bush Administration after 9/11 have damaged the broad agreement between the executive and legislative branches of the US government about the CIA’s role and activities. But the CIA director says the “sincerity or the patriotism” of Bush Administration officials should not be questioned, as they “were trying to respond as best they could” in the aftermath of 9/11. Instead, Panetta argues for learning “lessons from the past without getting stuck there”, and warns that “classified information that shapes […] conversations” between the CIA and Congress must be protected. Read more of this post