1981

The Secret History of the United States

1981


A November 1981 Pentagon report signed by then-Brig. Gen. Fred F. Woerner, whose team of American military advisers had attempted to design a winning strategy for the Salvadoran military.
"The Armed Force, as an institution, has demonstrated a remarkable capacity for tolerating unprofessional and improper conduct which does not threaten the institution...The Team was unable to persuade the Armed Force General Staff to identify specifically, extreme rightist terrorism as a threat...Unabated terror from the right and continued tolerance of institutional violence could dangerously erode popular support to the point wherein the Armed Force would be viewed not as the protector of society, but as an army of occupation.
Woerner Report on El Salvador from National Security Archives

And yet, from 1981 to 1985, despite the supposedly "stringent" guidelines, the FBI spied on individuals and groups that opposed U.S. policy in Central America. The Bureau compiled a file of nearly four thousand pages on the activities of CISPES, the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador. The Center for Constitutional Rights sued the FBI to obtain the CISPES documents, and in 1989 the Bureau agreed to purge its files of the names of the Americans involved in this illegal investigation.
Alien Ink - Natalie Robins p. 371

FBI vs. CISPES

more on civil rights1984


[1981]That happened to have been the year Ronald Reagan fired - on a single day - every qualified air-traffic controller in the country for participating in a strike. Five years later, the corps of controllers still wasn't up to strength and little more than half of those working were fully qualified.
Smoke and Mirrors - Dan Baum p.238

Israel bombs nuclear reactor in Baghdad, Iraq

[Inman] He checked and found that, under the intelligence-sharing arrangement set up with Casey's approval, Israel had almost unlimited access to U.S. satellite photography and had used it in planning their raid [on Iraq].
Veil - Bob Woodward p.169

more on Iraq1982


[El Salvador]In some cases, as we saw later, in late 1981 of course there was, what is now fairly well known, the massacre in El Mazote. And this was a case where the first American trained battalion was sent out over Christmas time in 1981 into rebel controlled territory and it swept through this territory and killed everybody, everyone they could find - including the children. When two American reporters, Ray Bonner and Alma Jimapareta (?), went to the scene of this atrocity in January of 1982, they were able to see some of what was left behind and they interviewed witnesses who had survived, and came out with stories describing what they had found. This was of course extremely upsetting to the Reagan administration, which at that time was about to certify that the Salvadoran military was showing respect for human rights, and that was necessary to get further funding and weapons for the Salvadoran military.
Fooling America: A talk by Robert Parry

The Reagan administration even flew its friend General Leopoldo Galtieri, an Argentine criminal "who seems to have had no compunctions about ordering the arrest and torture of suspects during the Dirty War," to Washington in November 1981 "to devise a secret agreement under which Argentine military officers trained Nicaraguan rebels, according to an administration official familiar with the agreement."
The Culture of Terrorism - Noam Chomsky p.174

more on Argentina1996


The Pakistani government received enormous benefits as a result of serving as a conduit for U.S. arms to the [Afghan] rebels. In addition to selling advanced weapons to the Pakistanis the Reagan administration turned a blind eye to Pakistan's ultimately successful attempt to develop an atomic bomb.
.A Century of Spies - Jeffrey T. Richelson p.414

more on nuclear1984

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