Washington, D.C., November 29, 2023 - Henry Kissinger’s death today brings new global attention to the long paper trail of secret documents recording his policy deliberations, conversations, and directives on many initiatives for which he became famous—détente with the USSR, the opening to China, and Middle East shuttle diplomacy, among them.
Chile – Coup d’État, 1973
Washington D.C., November 22, 2023 - “[I]f there has been sufficient reason to open this envelope, I accuse the government of Chile of my death,” wrote DINA agent Michael Townley in March 1978, as FBI agents pursued him for the September 1976 car bomb assassination of Orlando Letelier and Ronni Karpen Moffitt in Washington, D.C.
Washington D.C., October 3, 2023 – As a diplomatic gesture to mark the 35th anniversary of the October 5, 1988, Chilean plebiscite that forced General Augusto Pinochet from power, the U.S. State Department today designated the Ambassador’s residency in Santiago as “the Barnes House”—honoring the former Ambassador Harry G. Barnes who served as U.S. chief of mission in Santiago during the last years of the Pinochet dictatorship. “The Chief of Mission’s residence will be named ‘The Barnes House,’” according to a U.S.
September 8, 2023, Washington D.C. - “In the Eisenhower period, we would be heroes,” Henry Kissinger told President Richard Nixon several days after the overthrow of Salvador Allende in Chile, lamenting that they would not receive credit in the press for this Cold War accomplishment. Fifty years later, as Chileans and the world commemorate the anniversary of the U.S.-backed military takeover that brought General Augusto Pinochet to power, a fierce debate over the extent of the U.S. contribution to the coup continues.
Washington, D.C., August, 25, 2023 - On the morning of the U.S.-backed military coup in Chile, the CIA briefed President Nixon that Chilean military officers were “determined to restore political and economic order” but “may still lack an effectively coordinated plan that would capitalize on the widespread civilian opposition,” according to the President’s Daily Brief (PDB) dated September 11, 1973, declassified today almost 50 years after it was written.
Washington, D.C., August 8, 2023 - As the commander in chief of the Chilean army, Gen. René Schneider, lay dying in a hospital after being shot in a CIA-backed coup plot in October 1970, President Nixon placed a phone call to his national security advisor, Henry Kissinger, to ask “What is happening in Chile?” according to a transcript of their conversation posted today by the National Security Archive.
Washington D.C., May 25, 2023 - As Henry Alfred Kissinger (HAK) reaches 100 years of age, his centennial is generating global coverage of his legacy as a leading statesman, master diplomat, and realpolitik foreign policy strategist. “Nobody alive has more experience of international affairs,” as The Economist recently put it in a predictably laudatory tribute to Kissinger.
Washington D.C., September 12, 2022 - One day after the violent, U.S.-backed, coup d’état in Chile, the overthrow of Salvador Allende was the very first item in President Richard Nixon’s September 12, 1973, CIA intelligence report—known as the President's Daily Brief (PDB). “Chile’s President Allende is dead and the armed forces, together with the carabineros, are working to consolidate their successful coup,” stated a short summary of principal developments around the world.
Washington D.C., September 10, 2021 – At the behest of the CIA, the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) established a “station” in Santiago in 1971 and conducted clandestine spy operations to directly support U.S. intervention in Chile, according to declassified Australian records made public for the first time today by the National Security Archive.
Washington D.C., November 3, 2020 - Several days after Salvador Allende’s history-changing November 3, 1970, inauguration, Richard Nixon convened his National Security Council for a formal meeting on what policy the U.S. should adopt toward Chile’s new Popular Unity government. Only a few officials who gathered in the White House Cabinet Room knew that, under Nixon’s orders, the CIA had covertly tried, and failed, to foment a preemptive military coup to prevent Allende from ever being inaugurated.