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July 07, 2012

This Is So Lurid It Makes Me Yawn

There are two candidates for the best foreign policy reporter in the U.S., the famous Seymour Hersh and the non-famous Robert Parry. But Robert Parry may be superior to Hersh, because he continually revisits stories as more information is available and weaves new stuff into a larger story:

Did Reagan Know about Baby Thefts?

An Argentine court has convicted two of the nation’s former right-wing dictators, Jorge Rafael Videla and Reynaldo Bignone, in a scheme to murder leftist mothers and give their infants to military personnel often complicit in the killings, a shocking process known to the Reagan administration even as it worked closely with the bloody regime…

A human rights group, Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo, says as many as 500 babies were stolen by the military during the repression from 1976 to 1983. Some of the pregnant mothers were kept alive long enough to give birth and then were chained together with other prisoners and pushed out of the planes into the ocean to drown.

Despite U.S. government awareness of the grisly actions of the Argentine junta, which had drawn public condemnation from the Carter administration in the 1970s, these Argentine neo-Nazis were warmly supported by Ronald Reagan, both as a political commentator in the late 1970s and as President once he took office in 1981.

When President Jimmy Carter’s human rights coordinator, Patricia Derian, berated the Argentine junta for its brutality, Reagan used his newspaper column to chide her, suggesting that Derian should "walk a mile in the moccasins" of the Argentine generals before criticizing them.

My feeling is that whatever moral code you follow, you've probably gone astray if you defend people who seize pregnant doctors, steal their children and then push them naked out of a plane over the Atlantic Ocean:

One of the most notorious cases involved Silvia Quintela, a leftist doctor who attended to the sick in shanty towns around Buenos Aires. On Jan. 17, 1977, Quintela was abducted off a Buenos Aires street by military authorities because of her political leanings. At the time, Quintela and her agronomist husband Abel Madariaga were expecting their first child.

According to witnesses who later testified before a government truth commission, Quintela was held at a military base called Campo de Mayo, where she gave birth to a baby boy. As in similar cases, the infant then was separated from the mother.

What happened to the boy is still not clear, but Quintela reportedly was transferred to a nearby airfield. There, victims were stripped naked, shackled in groups and dragged aboard military planes. The planes then flew out over the Rio de la Plata or the Atlantic Ocean, where soldiers pushed the victims out of the planes and into the water to drown.

What's especially interesting about this is how incredibly lurid it is – it would obviously grab the attention of any normal human being – yet somehow, as Parry points out, the whole subject is of no interest to the current rotation of U.S. elites. If you asked them about it at a party they could barely keep their eyes open even as they told you they were flying off to Dubai tomorrow out of Reagan National Airport.

P.S. You can donate to Robert Parry's Consortium News here.

—Jon Schwarz

Posted at July 7, 2012 08:05 PM

At the risk of being redundant, again, a man named Frank Zappa mentioned ALL one need know about Ronald Reagan, long, long ago. His associates, The Mothers Of Invention, mentioned a few lines about President Reagan, also, IMHO.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at July 7, 2012 10:07 PM

"If you asked them about it at a party they could barely keep their eyes open..."

I rather suspect, on the other hand, that they would be outraged. "You're smearing a man who is no longer alive to defend himself." That would be their moral principle. If Reagan were still alive at the time, they would say "You're smearing a man who has Alzheimer's and can no longer defend himself." And so on. He would always be given the benefit of their doubt. It's all about him.

Silvia Quintela is no longer alive, either; and was as defenseless in life as in death. It will never be about her.

Posted by: antonello at July 7, 2012 10:46 PM

As for me....

"It's my party, and I'll cry if I want to
Cry if I want to, cry if I want to."

And speaking for all of us..........

We sociopaths I don't understand why you would come into our party and expection human emotions.

Posted by: David at July 7, 2012 11:14 PM

As for me....

"It's my party, and I'll cry if I want to
Cry if I want to, cry if I want to."

And speaking for all of us..........

We sociopaths I don't understand why you would come into our party and expection human emotions.

Posted by: David at July 7, 2012 11:14 PM

Posted by: Robert Payne at July 7, 2012 11:29 PM

Not to wander too far off, but can you imagine being the child of a military officer, only to discover, years later, that when you were a baby the state murdered your mother and gave you-as-a-baby to a soldier as a political reward? That'll make for some awkward Christmases, eh...

Posted by: Tangle Eye at July 8, 2012 08:30 PM

Good gets punished, (Dr. Quintela gets arrested, brutalized, and murdered) and Evil gets rewarded, (officers get the kids). What a world!
Hope more of those NAZIs end up in the hole.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at July 8, 2012 09:12 PM

maybe reagan liked omelettes

Posted by: frankenduf at July 9, 2012 02:01 PM

We have a record of what the hell they were saying when they justified it. There was our team and their team. (Ian Guest's book is searchable on Google.)

If you look it was typical triangulating. See there are "moderately repressive" blah blah blah... totally predicting Clinton and Obama/Hillary on the political scene. Although it seems the internet demons have swallowed almost all pages that seriously researched the New Age Movement and Neoconservatives, switching it with conspiracy kitsch.

Posted by: Lewis at July 9, 2012 10:19 PM

Reagan was crazy about the Contras too. Freedom fighters.

Posted by: N E at July 10, 2012 10:13 PM

i bet you also don't find this 'joke' funny

Posted by: almostinfamous at July 11, 2012 08:31 AM

It's official, we're living in a B-movie.

'If you live today, you'll get to know your son. And if you don't, I'll raise him as my own.' --- Mickey Rourke as Stavros in Double Team.

Posted by: En Ming Hee at July 15, 2012 04:16 AM