New documents link Kissinger to
two 1970s coups
Release of CIA's 'Family Jewels'
provides insight into political juggernaut and Bush Administration
by Larisa Alexandrovna and Muriel
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger
pushed for the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus and allowed arms
to be moved to Ankara for an attack on that island in reaction
to a coup sponsored by the Greek junta, according to documents
and intelligence officers with close knowledge of the event.
Nearly 700 pages of highly classified
Central Intelligence Agency reports from the 1970's, known collectively
as the "Family Jewels," are slated for public release
However, the National Security Archive
had previously obtained four related documents through the Freedom
of Information Act and made them public Friday.
"In all the world the things that
hurt us the most are the CIA business and Turkey aid," Kissinger
declares in one of those documents, a White House memorandum of
a conversation from Feb. 20, 1975. On the surface, the comment
seems innocuous, but the context as well as the time period suggests
Kissinger had abetted illegal financial aid and arms support to
Turkey for its 1974 Cyprus invasion.
In July and August of 1974, Turkey staged
a military invasion of the island nation of Cyprus, taking over
nearly a third of the island and creating a divide between the
south and north. Most historians consider that Kissinger - then
Secretary of State and National Security Advisor to President
Gerald Ford - not only knew about the planned attack on Cyprus,
but encouraged it.
Some Greek Cypriots believed then, and
still believe, that the invasion was a deliberate plot on the
part of Britain and the US to maintain their influence on the
island, which was particularly important as a listening post in
the Eastern Mediterranean in the wake of the October 1973 War
between Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Syria.
According to columnist Christopher Hitchens,
author of the book The Trial of Henry Kissinger, "At the
time, many Greeks believed that the significant thing was that
[Prime Minister Bulent] Ecevit had been a pupil of Kissinger's
Several intelligence sources, who wished
to remain anonymous to maintain the security of their identity,
confirmed to RAW STORY that Kissinger both pushed for the Turkish
invasion of Cyprus and allowed arms to be moved to Ankara.
However, a former CIA officer who was
working in Turkey at the time, suggests that Kissinger's statement
in the memorandum about Turkish aid likely means the Ford administration,
following Kissinger's advice, conducted business under the table
with right-wing ultra-nationalist General Kenan Evren, who later
dissolved Parliament and became the dictator of Turkey in a 1980
"The implication is that the US government
was dealing directly with General Evren and circumventing the
[democratically elected] Turkish government," the former
CIA officer said. "This was authorized by Kissinger, because
they were nervous about Ecevit, who was a Social Democrat."
"We technically cut off military
aid for them," the officer added, referring to an arms embargo
passed by Congress after the invasion. "Technically technically,
but this would imply that the military and/or probably CIA aid
continued even after the aid was cut off by Congress. This may
substantively be what led to the overthrow eventually of Ecevit."
According to the former CIA officer, Turkey's
democratically elected President Ecevit had good relations with
the Johnson administration, but the Nixon administration, where
Kissinger served as National Security Advisor and Secretary of
State, had issues with Ecevit.
"I don't remember now what all the
issues were," the source said. "But I remember that
the White House did not like Ecevit."
Kissinger could not be reached for comment
Kissinger, Rumsfeld, and Cheney, then
Though no longer a government official,
Kissinger remains a powerful force in Washington - particularly
within the Bush Administration. Dr. Kissinger was the first choice
by President Bush to lead a blue ribbon investigation into the
attacks of September 11, 2001. However, he resigned shortly after
the 9/11 Family Steering Committee had a private meeting with
him at his Kissinger and Associates Inc. New York office and asked
him point blank if he had any clients by the name of Bin Laden.
According to Monica Gabrielle, who lost
her husband Richard in the attacks and who was present as part
of the 12-member 9/11 Family Steering Committee during the private
meeting, the White House seems to have overlooked Dr. Kissinger's
apparent conflict of interest.
"We had the meeting with him... the
whole Steering Committee, all 12 of us. Because we are basically
doing our due diligence and asking for his client list to be released
to see if there was a conflict of interest between his client
list and potential areas of investigation," said Gabrielle
during a Tuesday morning phone conversation, recounting the events
of December 12, 2002. "We went back and forth with him, discussing
his client list... asking him who was on it, if there were conflicts
and so forth," she continued.
"Lorie [Van Auken] asked, do you
have any Saudi clients on your list? And he got a blank look.
Then Lorie asked, do you have any clients by the name of Bin Laden?
And he was stuttering and mumbling, and finally said he would
maybe, possibly consider releasing the client list to an attorney
but not for the public."
Dr. Kissinger did not reveal his client
list but withdrew his name the next day without public explanation.
In Bob Woodward's State of Denial, Kissinger
says he met regularly with Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney
to offer advice about the war in Iraq. "Victory over the
insurgency is the only meaningful exit strategy," Kissinger
Cheney, along with former Defense Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld, first came to prominence during the administration
of President Ford. Rumsfeld had served in various posts under
Nixon before being sent to Europe as the US ambassador to NATO
in 1973, a period that included the Cyprus coup. When Ford became
president on August 9, 1974, immediately preceding the second
wave of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, Rumsfeld returned to Washington
to serve as his chief of staff, while Cheney became deputy assistant
to the president.
Rumsfeld and Cheney gained increasing
influence under Ford, reaching their apex of power in November
1975 with a shakeup that saw Rumsfeld installed as Secretary of
Defense, Dick Cheney as White House chief of staff, and George
H.W. Bush replacing William Colby as CIA director.
Together, Rumsfeld and Cheney created
a bubble not unlike the one that has enveloped President George
W. Bush's White House, surrounding Ford with a close knit group
of advisors who worked to head off any possibility of openness
about past misdeeds and to turn the administration sharply to
The aid to Turkey referenced in Kissinger's
cryptic remark was precisely the subject of Congressional oversight
on the Executive Branch in 1974-75. In a foreshadowing of how
Iran Contra would play out a decade later, the White House violated
both US and international law in providing arms and financing
to the Turks for the Cyprus invasion.
The CIA, through various spokespeople,
would not comment on how much additional information with regard
to Kissinger, the attack on Cyprus, and the events leading up
to the 1980 coup in Turkey with US support would be part of the
declassified documents to come out this week. The only thing the
agency would say is that "this was a different CIA at a different
time," and "people need to remember that."
The Chile Coup
Around the time of President Nixon's resignation
in August 1974, investigative reporter Seymour Hersh started hearing
accounts of illegal foreign and domestic CIA activities. On December
20, 1974, Hersh confronted CIA Director William Colby and received
confirmation of everything he had learned. Two days later, Hersh
went public with the story.
The Family Jewels were described in a
New York Times front page article titled "Huge C.I.A. Operation
Reported in U.S. Against Antiwar Forces, Other Dissidents in Nixon
Years." According to Hersh, James Schlesinger, who served
briefly as CIA director in 1973, had ordered the report in response
to the crimes collectively known as Watergate.
Hersh's article stated, "An extensive
investigation by the New York Times has established that intelligence
files on at least 10,000 American citizens were maintained by
a special unit of the C.I.A. that was reporting directly to Richard
Helms, then the Director of Central Intelligence and now the Ambassador
Then-CIA director William Colby's initial
impulse was to reveal everything in order to give the CIA a clean
slate, but President Ford and Kissinger disagreed. By January
3, 1975 when Colby was summoned to the White House for a briefing,
they had decided to keep the lid on by forming a blue ribbon commission
under Vice President Nelson Rockefeller.
The "memorandum of conversation"
document released by the National Security Archive, dated January
4, 1975, transcribes portions of a follow-up meeting between Ford
and Kissinger the next day.
Kissinger complains to President Ford
about Colby's urge to come clean, saying, "You will end up
with a CIA that does only reporting, and not operations ... He
has turned over to the FBI the whole of his operation."
Former CIA Director Helms "said all
these stories are just the tip of the iceberg," Kissinger
continues, adding "If they come out, blood will flow."
After offering a few examples, Kissinger concludes by remarking
mysteriously, "The Chilean thing -- that is not in any report.
That is sort of blackmail on me."
The meaning of this remark is far from
clear, suggesting as it does that the 693 pages of the Family
Jewels were only "the tip of the iceberg" and that among
what was left out was a "Chilean thing" that Kissinger
perceived as having the potential for blackmail on himself.
It has been known since the revelations
of the 70's that prior to Chile's 1970 presidential elections,
President Richard Nixon, Kissinger and Helms actively pursued
ways to head off the victory of leftist Salvador Allende, including
sponsoring an abortive military coup.
"I don't see why we need to stand
by and watch a country go Communist because of the irresponsibility
of its own people," Kissinger famously said at the time.
After Allende was democratically elected
and became president, the US put economic pressure on Chile and
encouraged further military plots -- a two-pronged strategy similar
to that currently being employed against Iran -- while Kissinger
a continued to press for stronger action.
The CIA's Directorate of Operations was
particularly active in Chile in 1972-73, the period leading up
to Allende's violent overthrow in September 1973 in a military
coup led by General Augusto Pinochet. Following the coup, Kissinger
strongly supported the new authoritarian government.
After Helms left the CIA in 1973 to become
ambassador to Iran, he offered a series of vague denials when
asked about CIA involvement in Chile. Among Helms' claims were
"that the CIA hadn't given money directly to Allende's opponents,
that the CIA didn't try to fix the vote in the Chilean Congress
because investigation had shown it couldn't be arranged, that
the CIA didn't try to overthrow the Chilean government because
the Agency failed to find anyone who could really do it."
In 1977, Helms was convicted of perjury
for his statements and given a two-year suspended sentence and
a fine that was paid by his friends from the CIA. As with the
more recent perjury of Vice President Cheney's former chief of
staff Scooter Libby's concerning the outing of a CIA officer,
Helms' had lies served the purpose of protecting his superiors,
However, in Prelude to Terror, historian
Joseph Trento offers a somewhat different account of Helms' actions,
suggesting a deeper Kissinger involvement.
"From Iran, Helms heard enough about
the criminal investigation to issue a threat through his old colleague
Tom Braden," Trento writes. "Braden remembered Helms
saying, 'If I am going to be charged, then I will reveal Kissinger's
role in these operations.'" Trento adds in a footnote that
"Helms himself confided to old friend and CIA colleague (from
Iran) Tom Braden that he would resort to [revealing embarrassing
state secrets] and 'bring down Henry Kissinger' in the process."
Even apart from Trento's assertions, Kissinger's
concern with "the Chilean thing -- that is not in any report"
hints at involvement in the 1973 coup. But if Trento's claims
are accurate, Kissinger might also have been referring to a threat
by Helms to bring him down, both in his remark that "Helms
said all these stories are just the tip of the iceberg. If they
come out, blood will flow," and in his cryptic description
of "the Chilean thing" as "sort of blackmail on
Global Research Articles by Larisa Alexandrovna
Henry Kissinger page