CIA "Operation FUBELT," Kissinger Options Papers, "Chilean Executions," among Records Posted on Web

On the 25th anniversary of the military coup in Chile, the National Security Archive today released a collection of declassified U.S. government documents that chronicle the dramatic events in Chile, before and after September 11, 1973. The records cover the election of Salvador Allende in September 1970, the coup itself, and the early years of military rule, providing new details about Washington's involvement in Chile's upheaval.

The selection consists of 30 declassified U.S. government documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, and other methods of declassification. The documents -- many of which were classified SECRET/SENSITIVE, "EYES ONLY," NODIS [no distribution to other agencies] and NOFORN [no foreign distribution]--include State Department cables, CIA memoranda and summaries and National Security Council option papers. They reveal new details about "Project FUBELT," codename for U.S. covert operations to destabilize the Allende government, U.S. Embassy activities to block Allende's election, human rights abuses under General Pinochet, and the decision process of the Nixon and Ford administrations.

Among the revelations are:

** In the fall of 1970, the CIA ran a series of covert operations targeting then-President Eduardo Frei. The objective was to stimulate his "machismo" to block ratification of Salvador Allende's electoral victory.

** After Salvador Allende's election, the United States considered trying to get Chile expelled from the Organization of American States.

** U.S. officials were well aware of the military's atrocities in the aftermath of the coup, but still rushed new economic assistance to Chile, and ordered CIA covert propaganda operations aimed at "improving the Junta's image."

** In 1975, Embassy officers and the State Department Policy Planning office called for the cutting off of all economic and military assistance to General Pinochet's government on human rights grounds. They were overruled by the Ambassador and officials of the Pentagon and Treasury Department who wanted to maintain close ties with the government.

Today's release "begins to open the closet of national secrets in both Chile and the United States," according to Archive Senior Analyst Peter Kornbluh. "These documents provide a dramatic reminder of a dark history that the powers-that-be in both Santiago and Washington would prefer to forget."

The National Security Archive, a project of the Fund for Peace, is an independent research institution and library located in Washington, D.C. The Archive is the leading center of declassified U.S. foreign policy documentation.

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