4. CIA AND THE DEATH SQUADS: 20 YEARS OF IMMORALITY
-- 10 YEARS
Even while President Ronald Reagan publicly condemns the Salvadoran
Death Squads, a paramilitary apparatus responsible for the deaths of
thousands of Salvadoran leftists and peasants, the Central Intelligence
Agency (CIA) continues to train, support, and provide intelligence to
forces directly involved in Death Squad activity.
We now know that this involvement began over twenty years ago. Since
the Kennedy administration, U.S. officials from the CIA, the Armed Forces,
and the State Department have been responsible for:
-- the formation of ORDEN, a paramilitary and intelligence network
that grew into the Death Squads;
-- the formation of ANSESAL, the elite presidential intelligence
service that relied on Death Squads as "the operative arm of
intelligence gathering" (according to a U.S. official);
-- the enlistment of Jose Alberto Medrano, founder of both ORDEN
and ANSESAL, into the CIA;
-- supplying detailed surveillance information on Salvadoran individuals
later murdered by Death Squads;
-- training of ORDEN leaders in use of automatic weapons and surveillance
techniques, and carrying some leaders on the CIA payroll.
Due to public outcry, President Reagan has denounced the Death Squads,
yet CIA support, in the form of personnel training and intelligence
This is in violation of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1974, which prohibits
spending U.S. funds "to provide training or ... financial support
for ... law enforcement forces for any foreign government, or any program
of internal intelligence or surveillance on behalf of any foreign government."
Thus, not only are the CIA's ties with Salvadoran Death Squads immoral,
they violate the letter of the law. If this information were widely
disseminated, public outcry could force a reassessment of CIA policy
in El Salvador, and help restore honesty in our government, beyond the
rhetoric of freedom.
THE PROGRESSIVE, May 1984, "An Exclusive Report on the U.S. Role
in El Salvador's Official Terror: BEHIND THE DEATH SQUADS," by
Allan Nairn, pp 20-29.