Kissinger backed dirty war against left in Argentina

Transcripts show former secretary of state urged violent crackdown on opposition

By Julian Borger and Uki Goni

Henry Kissinger gave Argentina’s military junta the green light to suppress political opposition at the start of the “dirty war” in 1976, telling the country’s foreign minister: “If there are things that have to be done, you should do them quickly,” according to newly-declassified documents published yesterday.

State department documents show the former secretary of state urged Argentina to crush the opposition just months after it seized power and before the US Congress convened to consider sanctions.

“We won’t cause you unnecessary difficulties. If you can finish before Congress gets back, the better,” Mr Kissinger told Admiral Cesar Augusto Guzzetti, the foreign minister, according to the State Department’s transcript.

Carlos Osorio, an analyst at the National Security Archive, a US pressure group which published the transcript, said it was likely to be seen by historians as “a smoking gun”.