from the book
The CIAs Greatest Hits
by Mark Zepezauer
The fourteen families who rule El Salvador
have never been squeamish about taking the life of anyone who
gets in their way. Among the many people who commonly get in their
way are the Catholic clergy, due to the concern they often show
for the poor. As a result, a popular slogan among Salvadoran rightists
is, "be patriotic-kill a priest."
In 1980, El Salvador's archbishop, Oscar
Romero, made the mistake of taking President Carter's human rights
rhetoric seriously. He wrote Carter, begging him to stop military
support for El Salvador's murderous rulers. Carter ignored Romero,
but the people who ran El Salvador didn't. Shortly after he sent
the letter, Romero was shot through the heart while saying mass.
Romero's assassination was ordered by
Roberto D'Aubuisson (daw-bwee-SAWN), nicknamed Blowtorch Bob for
his favorite instrument of torture. A big admirer of Adolf Hitler,
D'Aubuisson once said, "You Germans were very intelligent.
You realized that the Jews were responsible for the spread of
Communism and you began to kill them." D'Aubuisson has passed
on, but his ARENA party, supported by the US, still rules El Salvador.
D'Aubuisson was a big wheel in the World
Anti-Communist League. Organized in 1961, WACL serves as a worldwide
umbrella organization for extreme-right militants. Among its members
are expatriate Nazis, Italian terrorists, Japanese fascists, racist
Afrikaners, Latin American death squad leaders and a number of
US congressmen and "former" CIA agents.
Even aside from its participation in WACL,
the CIA has done much to encourage bloodshed in El Salvador. With
billions of dollars in US military aid at its disposal, it's flown
air raids, waded into combat and trained the military units that
formed the death squads.
The agency's spin doctors have also worked
to improve the government's image. This often consisted of denying
that atrocities like the 1982 massacre at El Mozote ever happened.
Agency sycophants in the media parroted this line shamelessly
until, in 1993, the UN Truth Commission investigated El Mozote
and determined that 733 peasants had been murdered there. All
in all, the Truth Commission concluded, 63,000 Salvadorans were
killed between 1979 and 1992.
In 1982, after he was out of office, Jimmy
Carter called El Salvador's government the "blood-thirstiest
in the hemisphere." It's too bad he didn't come to that realization
back when he-like his predecessors and successors-was funding