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Bangladeshi officers who were planning a coup” against Rahman, and not long thereafter, he and “forty members of his family were murdered in a military takeover. His closest former political associates were bayoneted to death in their prison cells a few months after that.” True, the evidence of Kissinger’s direct guilt in all this gore is circumstantial, but it is a believable piece that fits nicely into the overall jigsaw puzzle of his bloody rightwing diplomacy. For evidence of the same that is far stronger than circumstantial, we now move to CHILE. During the Cold War era, Hitchens tells us, Chile was “the most highly evolved pluralistic democracy in the southern hemisphere of the Americas,” with its electorate divided along these lines: one-third communist and socialist, one-third conservative, and one-third centrist. With the help of funds poured into the country by our CIA, the leftwingers were kept away from the controls. But in 1970, Surprise! Radicals put together enough alliances to elect D. Salvador Allende, a sort-of Marxist, to the presidency. That made the extreme right-wingers very unhappy, as it also did the CIA and U.S. corporations with branches in Chile, such as ITT, Pepsi-Cola, and the Chase Manhattan Bank. Kissinger would come to their rescue. By long-established tradition, Chile’s military stayed out of politics. General Rene Schneider, chief of the Chilean General Staff, was a firm believer in that tradition. Since those who wanted to overthrow President Allende \(and this military, it was decided that Schneider had to be kidnapped and, if he resisted, murdered. This was done. The details of how it was done are too complicated to go into here. As to the degree of the CIA’s involvement and whether Kissinger is guilty of “direct collusion in the murder of a democratic officer in a democratic and peaceful country,” the evidence supplied by Hitchens is convincing. In any event, Chile would not be democratic or peaceful much beyond the election of Allende. With the assistance of the CIA, a military junta headed by the fascist General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte assassinated Allende and seized power in September 1973, and for the next 15 years ruled Chile by terror. Thousands of Chilean moderates and liberals were “disappeared.” Some of Allende’s major supporters fled Chile for their lives, but “hit men” armed and subsidized by the CIA hunted them down and killed them. The most notorious example was the car-bombing assassination of the former Chilean foreign minister Orlando Letelier and his aide Ronni Moffitt as they rode through the streets of Washington, D.C. The active complicity of Kissinger in some of these crimes and acquiescent awareness of all of these crimes as they unfolded is forcefully argued by Hitchens by the use of documents, once secret, that have been released in recent years. The complicity of Kissinger can also be assumed from his power over the CIA, which was the U.S. government’s chief Christopher Hitchens Kevin Reardon In an era of monstrously long books, The Trial of Henry Kissinger is mercifully short, but it is weighty with persuasive evidence that if there were an honest-to-god world court for the trial of war criminals \(a court with far more authority than the current court be hauled before it and given the maximum punishment. 6 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 8/3/01