Thursday, October 19, 2006


Essential history/updated

UPDATE: The NSArchive link is here. It confirms that the top levels of the Mexican government during the 1960s-70s were in the pay of the CIA. To understand the tragedies unfolding today in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other so on, one must understand how the United States's mistaken reactions in the past led to similar disasters. One of the most important is one of the least known: the massacre at Tlatelolco. To briefly summarize, a mistaken belief by Washington that the student protests in Mexico City in 1968 were part of an international revolutionary communist conspiracy led the Mexican government to wildly overreact. They shot dozens of innocent people in cold blood, and they initiated "the dirty war," in which people were kidnapped, tortured, and murdered. All dissent stopped. Not surprisingly, so did the rapid economic development that Mexico had enjoyed. The creative energy that democracy unleashes to create new businesses was snuffed out. A generation later, Mexico is in a long-term growth recession. Debt is rising. Unemployment and poverty are at unbelievable levels. The nation is falling under the control of narcotraffickers. Afghanistan will soon be our neighbor. Documents continue to emerge explaining how Tlatelolco came to be. The National Security Archive has them: The Morley article mentioned below does not seem to be up, but should be very much worth reading. The CIA's reliance on high-level informants including the President of Mexico for "intelligence" about the student protest movement in 1968 that culminated in the infamous Tlatelolco massacre misled Washington about responsibility for the repression, according to documents obtained by journalist Jefferson Morley and posted today on the Web by the National Security Archive at George Washington University. The declassified U.S. documents reveal CIA recruitment of agents within the upper echelons of the Mexican government between 1956 and 1969. The informants used in this secret program included President Gustavo Díaz Ordaz and future President Luis Echeverría. The documents detail the relationships cultivated between senior CIA officers, such as chief of station Winston Scott, and Mexican government officials through a secret spy network code-named "LITEMPO." Operating out of the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, Scott used the LITEMPO project to provide "an unofficial channel for the exchange of selected sensitive political information which each government wanted the other to receive but not through public protocol exchanges." This posting also includes the article "The CIA's Eyes on Tlatelolco," written by Morley and published in the October 1, 2006 edition of Proceso magazine. The article uses first-hand accounts from former associates, friends and family of Winston Scott, detailing how Scott relied on his friendships with Díaz Ordaz, Echeverría and other senior Mexican officials to inform Washington about the student movement whose demands challenged the government's monopoly on power. The newly-declassified U.S. government documents and interviews shed new light on the CIA reporting on the terrible events of 1968. Winston Scott's reliance on powerful government officials for information led to one-sided reporting on the student movement of 1968, ending in the 2 October massacre in Tlatelolco. Scott relied on the government's version of the Tlatelolco killings, reporting as "intelligence information" its fictional accounts of the events. "When the Tlatelolco crisis exploded, the CIA's Mexico station could not deliver the goods," said Kate Doyle, Director of the Archive's Mexico Project. "Jefferson Morley's important research reveals that instead of independently collecting information and analyzing what happened, the agency served as stenographer for its friends and allies in the Mexican government. As a result, the CIA helped protect Mexico's ruling party from bearing responsibility for the massacre, and delivered a muddled and misleading account of it to Washington." Our intelligence services and our politicians continue to be ignorant. We continue to land in wars that weaken, not strengthen us. When the links become available, I will try to update this post accordingly.
see some people do visit your site.


Oh, we get a pretty good audience, Rose, though all too few make substantive comments.

You might be interested in my lectiodivinae site, either the blog or the main site.
Thanks again, Charles. The political amnesia we have about our next door neighbor is striking. Presumably it's because there are those people in power, both in Mexico and the US, for whom an accurate portrayal of recent Mexican history would prove most embarrassing.
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