Declassified U.S. Records Highlight Argentine Military Abuses, Internal Carter White House Debate over Human Rights Policy

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tags: Argentina, Jimmy Carter, Kissinger



The National Security Archive today posted a selection of eight key White House and State Department records from the Obama administration’s release of previously secret documents on Argentina during the period of its “dirty war.”  President Barack Obama promised that several additional releases would be made in the coming months.

The groundbreaking declassification of 1,078 pages of previously secret documents this week features White House records of bilateral meetings with Argentine leaders, intelligence reports from the CIA and Defense Department, and internal memoranda recording President Carter’s challenges in according human rights a top priority in U.S. foreign policy.  Among the records are memoranda of conversation between Carter and Argentine junta leader General Jorge Videla, as well as materials revealing Carter’s personal intervention in obtaining the release of renowned newspaper publisher Jacobo Timerman.

The documents also include new evidence about the consternation of U.S. officials at former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s efforts to challenge Carter’s human rights policy which, in essence, sought to repudiate Kissinger’s previous embrace of military dictatorships in Latin America and elsewhere.




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