Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Spies are just murderous scum

From 1975 to 1989, the spy agencies of South America's right-wing military dictatorships cooperated in Operation Condor, a joint campaign of extermination against the continent's left. Roughly 400,000 people were imprisoned, 30,000 disappeared, and 60,000 murdered - kidnapped, tortured, executed, assassinated, or thrown out of flying aircraft. The scheme was a massive human rights violation,and many of its surviving architects are now in prison for their crimes. So its a little shocking to learn that in the late 1970's, the spy agencies of supposedly human-rights-respecting European nations were trying to learn from their South American counterparts so they could plan similar murders:

British, West German and French intelligence agencies sought advice from South America’s bloody 1970s dictatorships on how to combat leftwing “subversion”, according to a newly declassified CIA document.

The European intelligence services wanted to learn about “Operation Condor”, a secret programme in which the dictatorships of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador conspired to kidnap and assassinate members of leftwing guerrilla groups in each other’s territories.


“Representatives of West German, French and British intelligence services had visited the Condor organization secretariat in Buenos Aires during the month of September 1977 in order to discuss methods for establishment of an anti-subversion organization similar to Condor,” states the document.

“The terrorist/subversive threat had reached such dangerous levels in Europe that they believed it best if they pooled their intelligence resources in a cooperative organization such as Condor,” the Europeans told the Condor secretariat in Buenos Aires, according to the CIA document.

Which immediately raises questions about whether they moved forward on this. But even if they didn't, the fact that they were even asking is deeply troubling. European nations are bound by the European Convention on Human Rights, which forbids torture, arbitrary detention, and execution. These spies basicly planned to violate it in the most egregious way possible. Which tells us that intelligence agencies are both fundamentally lawless, and deeply institutionally opposed to basic human rights. And this is why their existence is incompatible with democratic society.

Meanwhile, now I'm curious as to whether there was ever any contact between the SIS and these murderous regimes. But they'll never tell us, because of "national security".