Read The Condor Years: How Pinochet And His Allies Brought Terrorism To Three Continents by John Dinges Online


Throughout the 1970s, six Latin American governments led by Chile formed a military alliance called Operation Condor to carry out kidnappings, torture, and political assassinations across three continents. It was an early “war on terror” initially encouraged by the CIA which later backfired on the United States.Hailed by Foreign Affairs as “remarkable” and “a major contribThroughout the 1970s, six Latin American governments led by Chile formed a military alliance called Operation Condor to carry out kidnappings, torture, and political assassinations across three continents. It was an early “war on terror” initially encouraged by the CIA which later backfired on the United States.Hailed by Foreign Affairs as “remarkable” and “a major contribution to the historical record,” The Condor Years uncovers the unsettling facts about the secret U.S. relationship with the dictators who created this terrorist organization. Written by award-winning journalist John Dinges and newly updated to include recent developments in the prosecution of Pinochet, the book is a chilling but dispassionately told history of one of Latin America’s darkest eras. Dinges, himself interrogated in a Chilean torture camp, interviewed participants on both sides and examined thousands of previously secret documents to take the reader inside this underground world of military operatives and diplomats, right-wing spies and left-wing revolutionaries....

Title : The Condor Years: How Pinochet And His Allies Brought Terrorism To Three Continents
Author :
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ISBN : 9781565849778
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 332 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Condor Years: How Pinochet And His Allies Brought Terrorism To Three Continents Reviews

  • Christopher Saunders
    2019-02-16 08:24

    John Dinges' The Condor Wars focuses on the efforts of the CIA, Pinochet's Chile and assorted South American allies (Argentina, Paraguay, etc.) to exterminate political opponents through a multinational death squad. Dinges, a journalist who experienced many of the events firsthand (he was kidnapped and detained by Pinochet's goons several times), gives an unsparing portrait of this unholy Cold War conglomerate, which started as an anti-terror group (targeting real groups like the Tupamaros) before spiraling into worldwide assassinations of leftist and liberal critics. Dinges demonstrates the undeniable complicity of American officials in this campaign; the savage tactics practiced by Pinochet's DINA and allied agencies; their self-appointed mandate for assassinations across South America, Europe and ultimately into the United States. The program only failed, Dinges argues, due to overreach: the murder of Orlando Letelier in downtown DC, and an alleged plot against Ed Koch, torpedoed it more than any scruples about state-sponsored terrorism, proving that if you're a tinpot dictator you'd best not cross your benefactor. A disturbing book that ought to be required reading for students of the Cold War, South America and American foreign policy.

  • Frederick
    2019-02-11 12:14

    Truly exhausting and exhaustive. Yet much of the cloak and dagger remains cloaked, at least on the U.S. side. Are we to believe the CIA and U.S. military extensively trained hundreds of Argentine and Cuban-exile military men, reaped the rewards of their savage interrogations, and bent over backwards to cover up and pardon their misdeeds, while remaining innocent as lambs while these crimes against humanity were committed? The U.S. model of arming reprehensible characters continues through Guatemala, Bosnia, Iraq . . . yet the problem with unaccountability is that such power is often applied indiscriminately, beyond militants to mere political or even business rivals. Dinges strikes a balanced tone here, compared to some of the other Dirty War literature, but the "green-light, red-light" approach he describes of CIA/military/Kissinger on one hand and the pro-human rights elements of the State Department and Justice Department on the other were probably more divergent than has been documented. Still, a rare, comprehensive account and told with uncommon style and grace.

  • John
    2019-01-24 11:36

    A very grim but essential book about the cooperation between the dictatorships in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Bolivia in the '70s to track down, apprehend, torture, and murder political dissidents. Operation Condor was a centralized intelligence gathering point aimed at getting dissidents who fled their own country into neighboring ones in South America. The official reason given was to stop leftist groups like the Tupamaros, but by the time Operation Condor started their had already been mass killings of leftists in Chile, so that premise is a little thin. American complicity is documented, with an American official who observed its founding at the Villa Grimaldi actually writing in official correspondence that it's organization resembled the Gestapo.Operation Condor became well known in the U.S. through orchestrating the car bombing of Orlando Letelier, a critic of the Pinochet regime, and his assistant Ronnie Moffitt, in Washington D.C.

  • Wanda
    2019-02-18 07:26

    Excellent overview of the Pinochet years and their context. Well written and well researched. Every now and then I would get a bit overwhelmed by the level of detail and have to go back and re-read, but that was me, not anything that was Dinges' fault.Read this if you want to see why the U.S. is so hated around the world. I was completely enraged at the role that our government had in partnering with this mass murdering monster and at our meddling in the political self-determination of the people of South America.

  • Marcos Ortega
    2019-01-29 12:34

    A disingenuous view of an indeed dark episode of historyWhile we can all agree that the dictatorships that flourished on the Southern Cone of South America were brutal and their methods ran counter to human rights, the author of this book sins by being one-sided and "romantic" in his assessment. True, Allende was elected democratically by the Chilean people, but as in many cases in history, the presence in his cabinet of communist ministers as well as the increased pressure in the streets by radical elements (such as strikes and forcible takeovers of factories) did not bide well for the continuity of democracy in Chile. While we cannot speculate on this matter, Allende's weakness would have become a liability in the longer term and a communist takeover could have occurred, which would have thrown off-balance this region of South America, already threatened by the massive presence of the Montoneros in Argentina, the remnants of the pro-Castro guerrillas in Bolivia, and the Tupamaros in Uruguay. Che Guevara's doctrine of "multiple vietnams" would have been catastrophic if it had been allowed to run its course (Vid. The FARC ongoing conflict in Colombia) and would have entangled the United States in a sovietization of Latin America, with all the socioeconomic disasters this would have brought (vid. The Cuban quagmire). Therefore, the historian has to have a dispassionate view of these events and understand that the actions of Kissinger and the state department during that period have to be read and understood in the context of the Cold War and the imbalance previously mentioned. Unfortunately, the author fails in that aspect and indicts Kissinger and the US administration of complicity in this drama. I, unfortunately, cannot agree with this assessment: if Kissinger is guilty of anything, it is of being a proponent of realpolitik and being a man of his time.

  • Edwing
    2019-02-06 12:22

    la responsabilidad de la CIA y el gobierno americano, en alentar, patrocinar y hacerse de la vista gorda con la Operación Cóndor es indudable... Lo peor es que criminales como Strossner, Pinochet, Videla y Contreras, no pagaron como debieron de pagar sus crímenes de lesa humanidad... poco a poco saldrán mas datos y documentos que revelen el alcance del "Cóndor", sus atrocidades y la cantidad de asesinados... Por lo que respecta al libro, una joya periodística e investigativa de amena lectura más que recomendable a todo aquel que quiera saber que hicieron esos gobiernos derechistas militares latinoamericanos de los años 70...

  • Martha
    2019-02-03 09:35

    It's refreshing to read primary source material pertaining to the construction of that brutal system. These letters, cables, interviews, letters, pictures, and other materials are broken down and put in context of Cold War politics and North American economic interests. A web is gradually built -intricate yet stable- using different events, classified communications, military and state officials' discourse on and off the record, resistance groups' actions, assassinations, and victims' testimony along with juridical implications and terrifying outcomes.

  • Allison
    2019-02-14 10:14

    This book provides excellent insight to the Chilean coup and dictatorship, and specifically US involvement. Often with these types of subjects, histories end up being skewed or biased, and I think this book does a good job of simply laying out the facts.

  • Sergio Bernales
    2019-02-06 08:24

    excelente investigación. Un libro revelador y lleno de detalles que se lee como un thriller solo que, lastimosamente todo fue verdad. ¡Nunca Más!

  • Jared
    2019-01-28 11:35

    I just happened to run across this book while browsing Amazon for something to read. I was intrigued by the title and I wanted to learn more about Pres. Pinochet in Chile back in the 1970s. He was an unsavory type who got together with five or so other countries of the Southern Cone in South America and developed Operation CONDOR (condor is the national bird of Chile). As a part of Operation Condor, these countries (Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Bolivia, etc.) who exchange info about leftist groups that they considered terrorists. They would help one another to find such individuals on one another's countries. Eventually, Operation Condor worked its way to conducting assassination missions across South America and ultimately into Europe and the United States. One such mission resulted in the death of Orlando Letelier (sp?) and an American in Washington D.C.; they put a remote-control bomb under his car. Anyway, I don't want to go through the whole story, but it was very interesting, especially considering that the CIA knew about the mission to kill the man in D.C. This book would lead into a deep discussion on 'rendition' and other aspects of fighting against those you consider terrorists. There is a lot to be said about turning a blind eye to threats to civil liberties in the pursuit of a goal (such as fighting terrorists). The book also makes a good point and not speaking out of both sides of your mouth diplomatically. For example, Henry Kissinger would send mixed signals to the South American military leaders by telling them that they are doing a good job fighting communism while only paying lip service to civil rights violations (death squads, round-ups, torture, throwing live people into the ocean from helicopters, etc.)If you are interested in spy craft, South America during the 1970s, international courts, and counterinsurgency techniques, then this is a good book to check out.The scholarship of the book is very good and makes a compelling read.

  • Marlene Rosa
    2019-01-27 12:32

    The Condor Years: How Pinochet and His Allies Brought Terrorism to Three Continents is written by John Dinges, an investigative journalist. Dinges writes about the history of the Dirty wars in the southern cone in the 1970s. The history is still prevalent and it is still unraveling today. The Dirty War is still part of recent history, not many are inform on what exactly happened in the southern cone during this time. Dinges uncovers what he calls “underground history” to inform readers about the military dictatorships that ruled most of South America, that occurred between 1973 up until 1980s. The Condor Years focuses on what is considered the first War on Terrorism. One of the implications of the Condor Years was the evidence of US support. Henry Kissinger, former US Secretary of State, is one of the primary characters that showed how the US supported, he was aware and involved in Operation Condor. Dinges in his books explains the importance of Kissinger, as he was a representation of the US government, and his role in Operation Condor. The most controversial action from the US involvement in Operation Condor, was Kissinger failing to inform some the countries involved in Operation Condor, including Chile, to halt plans of the deadly operations.

  • Sam
    2019-02-03 08:09

    A detailed report on the coordinated effort by 1970s South American military dictatorships to wipe out leftist opposition, this book has a clear message about the devastating results that follow when governments justify human rights abuses by citing the greater good of counter-terrorism. In an effort to be as thorough as possible, the author retells portions of the narrative from a variety of angles. The thoroughness makes it difficult to keep up with all of the names, dates, and other details, but these details provide a much deeper understanding of what actually happened. The same can be said particularly in terms of U.S. involvement. The author's explanations of specific action and inaction of U.S. officials provides more depth to the general idea that many people have about U.S. support for military dictatorships in the name of anti-communism.

  • Christina Maria
    2019-02-12 11:36

    The story of Pinochet and the coup of Salvador Allende has been lingering in my head for years, since my parents have always been interested in the historical and personal context behind Isabel Allende's first three books, and instilled that interest in me. This was one of the books that influenced them the most, and it was interesting reading through it and finding the specific parts they referenced.It's a fairly good history imo, giving a lot of background and context for the events it portrays, and evidence for the claims it makes.I was surprised to find out that Peru officially joined as Condor 8, but it seems Velasco didn't participate that much.

  • Andrés Bermúdez Liévano
    2019-02-05 10:18

    An extraordinary piece of journalism. Dinges meticulously unearths and connects the Plan Condor documents stowed away in a Paraguayan rural police precinct to reconstruct the systematicity and the wel-planned horror that swept through half of South America's countries in the 1970s and 80s. Writing good journalism based on archive documents is a very difficult task and Dinges's book is truly masterful.

  • John
    2019-02-05 05:06

    A thorough and sometimes gripping book which documents, often in detail, the horrendous details of the international operation set up by Pinochet and his cronies in the 1970s. Here we see an earlier war on 'terrorism' in which the US was at least complicit if not ever expressing public approval. Dinges has done a thorough and what at times must have been a dangerous job. It is a monument to the thousands of tortured and disappeared.

  • Alice De Dominicis
    2019-02-05 09:12

    After reading this book, I feel very naive about the Dirty War in the southern cone countries and the US involvement and its consent to genocide. John Dinges a journalist for the Washington Post and Times uses declassified documents to reveal what was truly happening behind the scenes.

  • Rosbel
    2019-01-28 12:27

    Excellent research and narrative. It portrays some of the fears, power abuses and decisions during a difficult time in South America and how it affected a lot of people and how it was handled in other countries. It gets you reflecting a lot during and after reading it.

  • Rocco Calo
    2019-02-06 06:16

    All I can say is how great journalist John Dinges must be!!!

  • Tyler Hilton
    2019-02-12 06:26

    A little heavy on detail, but very important for understanding modern Chile.

  • Alfredo De villa
    2019-01-27 06:25

    A concise overview of the Condor years in five Latin American countries under the supervision of Henry Kissinger.