Saturday, January 11, 2014

40 Years After CIA and ITT's 1973 Coup In Chile: A Look At `Democracy Now!''s ITT-Lannan Foundation Connection--Part 6

Not all the facts about what the CIA and ITT were covertly up to in Chile between 1970 and 1973 were apparently fully disclosed by CIA officials and ITT executives who testified before U.S. Senator Frank Church’s Subcommittee on Multinational Corporations during the early 1970s. As Peter Kornbluh noted in his 2003 book, "The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier On Atrocity and Accountability":

“Senator Church’s Subcommittee on Multinational Corporations suffered…deceptions…Under the supervision of the [then-] Western Hemisphere chief, Theodore Shackley, the CIA conspired with ITT officers to deceive the Church Committee. In early May 1972, ITT senior vice president Raymond Brittenham traveled to Washington to discuss `with the Agency what ITT might say in the Senate hearings, what the Agency might say, etc.,’ according to one memorandum of conversation. Shackley, according to David Corn’s biography, `Blond Ghost', ordered his deputy Jonathan Hanke to meet with ITT operative Hal Hendrix for further discussions on withholding information…According to Hanke’s summary of the meeting, Hendrix advised him on efforts by ITT executives to keep incriminating documents on the covert transfer of funds in Chile from falling into the hands of the Senate…

“ITT officials, among them CEO Harold Geneen, senior vice president Edward Gerrity, and Southern Cone manager Robert Berrellez, all deceived the subcommittee. Geneen claimed that ITT `did not take any steps to block the election of Salvador Allende.’ Gerrity claimed the $1 million that ITT had offered to the CIA to help block Allende was for `low-cost housing…a farming program.’ And Berrellez repeatedly misled the Church subcommittee by denying any ITT contact with CIA officials in Chile…”

According to the same book, in the early 1970s ITT was “the third largest American conglomerate” in Chile and “certainly ITT was the most interventionist.” As an April 3, 1972 Intercontinental Press article noted:

“What prompted ITT to launch its scheme was fear that it would lose its highly profitable control over the Chile Telephone Company. `The telephone company, the largest in Chile with 360,000 telephones,’ wrote Juan de Onis in the March 24 [1972] `New York Times', `was one of the biggest earners in the ITT world system, regularly earning over $10-million a year.’

“The concession contract ITT signed in 1930 to operate the telephone company guaranteed it a 10 percent annual profit on its investment. ITT, however, in effect sold itself the equipment necessary for maintenance and expansion. According to a `Washington Post' dispatch from Santiago, a spokesman for the company…estimated that `these sales, largely by European plants of ITT, raised the company’s recent annual profits to about 25 percent of its investment.’”
(end of part 6)

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