Sunday, March 25, 2007

Colombia: Military's Terrorist Links Leaked to LA Times

After ordering my gorgeous eggs and bacon stuffed arepa at the new Venezuelan cafe nearby, I was astonished to open my Sunday LA Times and see as the lead FRONT PAGE story a huge development in the Colombian human rights scandal that was already boiling at a boil.

A whistle blower in the US Government leaked a CIA report that said the ally's Armed Forces chief, Gen. Mario Montoya, worked extensively with the country's (terrorist) right-wing paramilitary groups. An operation in Medellin where dozens went killed and missing is at the center of these allegations.

Exactly 76 news organizations have picked up on this groundshaking report 18 hours after its release, compared to the more than 100 that are reporting on Hugo Chavez's Sunday radio show proncouncements. The Colombian Government has acted quicker and (sort of) responded to the allegations. The general in question did not deny the gist of the story, but said he never broke the law. He and the Colombian Govt. both (conveniently) urged the LA Times to give up the evidence. The Times and CIA have already said they publicly will not do, on national security grounds.

I wrote the Times a commendation letter for even printing the story, as the top Sunday story no less. I also urged them to not protect the Bush Administration, and cooperate subsequent US and Colombian investigations on the story. The Colombian and US people (who contribute billions to this military), deserves nothing less.

Some details are as follows:

The (CIA) intelligence report includes information (on the Medellin massacre) from another "allied Western intelligence service" and indicates that U.S. officials have received similar reports from other "reliable" sources, the Times said.

The Times said the CIA document was made available to the paper by a source who declined to identify himself except as a U.S. government employee. He said he was disclosing the information because he was unhappy that Uribe's government had not been held more to account by the Bush administration.

The CIA did not dispute the authenticity of the document, although agency officials declined to confirm it, the paper said.



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