A Chilean Chiller

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Here in the United States, we are regularly warned by the media and the pundits not to subscribe to wacky “conspiracy theories.”  (For more on this theme, see my book, Family of Secrets.)  Even a suggestion that figures tied to our intelligence services might have participated in something seriously untoward on our own shores– is pooh-poohed.  This, notwithstanding well-documented thuggery by our fellow citizens elsewhere.

Now, in the New York Times, comes a chilling story from Chile:

A judge in Santiago ruled Monday that a former Chilean president, Eduardo Frei Montalva, had been poisoned and charged three people connected with the Pinochet dictatorship with murder in the 28-year-old case. Alejandro Madrid, a judge with the Court of Appeals, said there was evidence that Mr. Frei, who was president of Chile from 1964 to 1970, was poisoned with low doses of mustard gas and thallium in the months before his death on Jan. 22, 1982. The poisoning at the Santa María Clinic in Chile’s capital compromised Mr. Frei’s immune system, the indictment said, and made him too weak to survive surgery for a stomach ailment, which the original autopsy had ruled as the cause of death. The indictment charged six people in connection with the killing. A doctor connected to Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s army, a former intelligence agent under the general and Mr. Frei’s driver were charged with murder. Two doctors who were alleged to have falsified the autopsy report were charged with covering up the killing, and a third was charged as an accomplice.”

In case people have forgotten, Pinochet was our guy—we helped remove the democratically elected person who he replaced, and our military and spy services had close relationships with Pinochet’s. Taught them quite a few tricks, in fact. Worth keeping in mind when we say that such dastardly things could never happen here at home. As for the doctors who falsified an autopsy report, it’s worth revisiting the JFK assassination if you haven’t paid the subject attention lately.

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