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Chilean accused of murder, torture taught 13 years for Pentagon

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No wonder US forces act the way they do: the US military culture has embraced torture and murder. Marisa Taylor and Kevin Hall report at McClatchy:

A member of the late Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet’s brutal secret police who’s been accused of murder taught for more than a decade at the Pentagon’s premier university, despite repeated complaints by his colleagues about his past.

Jaime Garcia Covarrubias is charged in criminal court in Santiago with being the mastermind in the execution-style slayings of seven people in 1973, according to court documents. McClatchy also interviewed an accuser who identified Garcia Covarrubias as the person who sexually tortured him.

Despite knowing of the allegations, State and Defense department officials allowed Garcia Covarrubias to retain his visa and continue working at a school affiliated with the National Defense University until last year .

Human rights groups also question the school’s selection of a second professor, Colombia’s former top military commander.

Some Latin America experts said the hirings by the William J. Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies reflected a continuing inclination by the U.S government to overlook human rights violations in Latin America, especially in countries where it funded efforts to quash leftists.

But those experts were especially troubled by Garcia Covarrubias’ long tenure at one of the nation’s most renowned defense institutions.

“His hiring undermines our moral authority on both human rights and in the war on terror,” said Chris Simmons, a former Defense Intelligence Agency and Army intelligence officer from 1982 to 2010 who specializes in Latin America. “If he is in fact guilty of what he is accused of, he is a terrorist. Then who are we to tell other countries how they should be fighting terrorism?”

To his supporters, Garcia Covarrubias is a brilliant thinker with a Ph.D. and purveyor of leadership skills. To his alleged victims, he’s a sadistic torturer with a penchant for horsewhips and perversity.

A 2008 Chilean military document reviewed by McClatchy identified Garcia Covarrubias as a member of the Dirección de Inteligencia Nacional, the feared spy agency known by its acronym DINA.

“DINA was simply the most sinister agency in Latin America,” said Peter Kornbluh, a senior analyst with the National Security Archive, which secured the release of U.S. government classified documents underscoring the complicit relationship between the U.S. and Pinochet. “Anyone associated with that agency should never have been allowed into this country, let alone given this job.”

Officials with the Pentagon, the State Department and the school refused to comment. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

13 March 2015 at 1:06 pm

Posted in Military

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