America's secret war: From Latin America to Iraq

Death squads, a military tactic that began in El Salvador in the 1980’s, are now being seen in Iraq.

Michel Chossudovsky, the director of the Center for Research on Globalization in Canada argued that the death squad approach created in El Salvador to fight the liberation movement has been adopted by the US and employed in Iraq.

Chossudovsky said that John Negroponte, former US ambassador to El Salvador, played a key role in supporting this approach, and assisted in setting up similar programs supported by the US in other Latin American nations.

In 2004 Negroponte became the US ambassador to Iraq, brining this military approach, ‘the Salvadorian option’ to Iraq.

We see the practice of this Salvadorian option in Iraq; it was directed against university professors, intellectuals, professional, medical doctors, the whole basis of Iraqi society,” said Chossudovsky.

In Latin America the death squads were also known for targeting clergy members, doctors, and others, similar to what is being said about Iraq.

Chossudovsky called the operation a ‘CIA lead operation,’ more so following Negroponte’s appointment as the Director of National Intelligence under the George W. Bush Administration. He argued that the program makes it look as if the Iraqis are fighting against and targeting one another, when actually the US is merely making it appear that way.

Lawyer and author Eva Golinger said that Negroponte is still closely linked to the US government, operating as a consultant to the Obama administration and US State Department.

Golinger argued that it is a hidden policy of the US to train groups to execute operations the US government does not want to be linked to or seen as conducting.

Just a few months ago the Washington Post did a whole detailed investigation into what they called Obama’s secret war and how over the past year and a half the Obama administration has been increasing the budget for the special operations command which oversees all these types of forces and links to US private contractors that are now conducting a large portion of that shadow war, of that secret war that is taking place not just in Iraq, also in Afghanistan, Pakistan and still here in Latin America,” said Golinger.

The Obama administration has opted to continue and increase the number of private contractors that began as a policy under the Bush administration.

It’s really just a question of US state policy, it’s not an issue of which President is in power,” said Golinger.