Remembering Kissinger’s Victims

Joe Bader recalls Charles Horman, Frank Teruggi, Ronni Moffit and Orlando Letelier — all killed by the Kissinger-Nixon backed Chilean military junta that overthrew the Allende government.

General Augusto Pinochet, left, greeting Henry Kissinger in 1976. (Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Chile, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Joe Bader
Common Dreams

Historian Greg Grandin, in his 2015 biography of Henry Kissinger, estimated that Kissinger’s policies were responsible for 3-to-4 million deaths around the world — from Vietnam to Pakistan, to Indonesia, to Chile, to southern Africa, to the Middle East.

Grandin’s damning indictment against the former U.S. national security adviser and secretary of state is powerful and overwhelming.

But large numbers like 3 to 4 million mask the very real pain, terror and tragedy suffered by those individuals and their families. Look at the cases of Charles Horman, Frank Teruggi and Ronni Moffit.

All three were Americans killed by the Chilean military junta backed by Kissinger and Nixon that overthrew the democratically-elected socialist government of Salvador Allende.

[Related: Kissinger as Nixon’s ‘Messenger Boy’]

Horman and Teruggi were journalists in Chile in 1973 when the coup happened. They were taken to the infamous National Stadium in Santiago where they were executed along with thousands of Chileans. Their story was painfully yet meaningfully represented in the 1982 film Missing with Jack Lemon and Sissy Spacek.

Ronni Moffit was a researcher at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C., who was riding in a car with her husband Michael Moffit and the former Chilean diplomat Orlando Letelier in Sheridan Circle, Washington, when their car exploded.

It was determined that a bomb was planted by agents of the Chilean secret police most likely under orders from junta leader General Augusto Pinochet.

Orlando Letelier / Ronni K Moffit memorial on Massachusetts Ave. at Sheridan Circle. (Institute for Policy Studies, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0)

The record indicates that Kissinger told Pinochet in a phone conversation in June of 1976 that his regime was a victim of leftist propaganda on human rights:

“In the United States as you know we are sympathetic with what you are trying to do here. We want to help, not undermine you. You did a great service to the West in overthrowing Allende.”

A few months later, Moffit and Letelier were murdered. Letelier’s lower torso was blown away and his legs were severed. Moffit’s larynx and carotid artery were slashed by a piece of shrapnel and she drowned in her own blood.

Most Americans today don’t know about these murders or the names of the three victims mentioned above. After all, it was almost 50 years ago and people have become inured to the many atrocities committed at home and abroad since then.

The death of Henry Kissinger allows us to remember that his 3 to 4 million victims are not just amorphous entities but individuals who had names, families, lives, hopes and dreams. They did not deserve to die miserable deaths.

My wish would be that anyone who praises Kissinger or cites his “accomplishments” must also acknowledge his victims and know some of their names. 

In particular, American media figures, politicians and prognosticators should know who Horman, Teruggi, and Moffit were, how they died, and who was responsible for their deaths. Their families, friends, and descendants certainly know and deserve to have their pain and loss acknowledged.

Kissinger never had to answer for his crimes or face his victims’ families. There is nothing we can do about this now that he is dead. But we can at least insure that his crimes and misdeeds are never forgotten.

Joe Bader is a retired union organizer and representative with over 30 years experience in the labor movement. He has a Master’s Degree in American and European history from California State University at Long Beach with an emphasis on labor and social movements.

This article is from Common Dreams.

Views expressed in this article and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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8 comments for “Remembering Kissinger’s Victims

  1. JonnyJames
    December 6, 2023 at 19:28

    Good, concise overview of some of the carnage. Yes, at least acknowledge the mass slaughter and suffering of millions.

    Dude had a Nobel Peace Prize and all. (Nobel prizes are usually just western virtue-signalling hypocrisy anyway)

    Like Bush Sr., J. McCain and other deceased amoral officials, the sycophantic stenographers of the MassMediaCartel heap praise upon the great statesman. He apparently was one of the most brilliant minds in US history. He did help generate hundreds of billions in revenue for the Military/Security/Espionage/Surveillance Complex. He did help to maintain US hegemony in most parts of the world.

    However, millions were slaughtered, maimed and tortured as a result of US policy he advocated, but I guess “the price was worth it”. I guess he can discuss this with Madeleine, George Sr., McCain, the Dulles bros. and many others while burning in the everlasting flames.

  2. Charles E. Carroll
    December 6, 2023 at 19:21

    Hopefully he is roasting in hell!

  3. Jack Lomax
    December 6, 2023 at 16:35

    I had a friend visiting in Chile at that time and once the murderous coup had occurred I never heard from her again. She had been disappeared presumably into the infamous death stadium . Pinochet was a monster and its master was Kissinger

    • Barbara
      December 6, 2023 at 20:01

      Has anyone written a book about Kissinger’s interference in other countries politics? The truth about this person is hidden and should be made known.

  4. December 6, 2023 at 16:19

    One could also add Karen Silkwood to the list of US citizens who met suspicious ends that were likely at least partly related to foreign policy in the era of National Security Advisor and later SecState Kissinger, given her seeming uncovery of a CIA-tied smuggling ring that was pilfering plutonium from the Kerr-McGee Cimarron Plant in Crescent, Oklahoma where she worked (likely among other places), from whence it ended up being proliferated to states such as Israel, apartheid South Africa, and Iran under the Shah (Ed Lion, “CIA Intrigue Suggested in Nuke Worker’s Death,” United Press International (UPI), March 30, 1981).

    Similarly, there was also the abortive assassination plots against Jack Anderson (Michael Isikoff, “Nixon Plot Against Newspaper Columnist Detailed,” NBC News, September 13, 2010) and Elias P. Demetracopoulos (Doug Ireland, “Take Him Away,” In These Times, August 20, 2001), and that is before even getting into the deaths of domestic dissidents such as Fred Hampton (Prince Williams, “The FBI Killing of Fred Hampton: A Reminder For Young Organizers,” Harvard Political Review, October 15, 2021) and (possibly) “Los Seis de Boulder” (Jefferson Dodge and Joel Dyer, “Los Seis de Boulder,” Boulder Weekly, May 29, 2014) via COINTELPRO.

  5. December 6, 2023 at 16:02

    If the near death experiences (NDE’s) that we hear about are really for real, and really indicate what they would seem to indicate, then one has to wonder what it is like now for Henry Kissinger now that he has passed from this life.

    One feature of such experiences which has been reported is that of the life review, which focuses on the deeds a person has done throughout his or her life, the motives of the deeds, and the effects of the deeds on others. In fact it has been reported that one re-experiences one’s deeds not only from one’s own perspective but from the perspective of others whom one’s deeds have affected (both for good and for bad). (And actually not only one’s deeds but also one’s thoughts and words.)

    Here is a very interesting youtube video about this, titled The Golden Rule Dramatically Illustrated, featuring NDE researcher Dr. Kenneth Ring.

    In the video Dr. Ring gives an example of a man who was a rather big fellow and a roughneck, and who had gotten into a fight with and punched out another man. This man later had a near-death experience as a result of an accident, and in that experience he had a life review in which he had to re-experience what he did, and he had to in effect be the man whom he had punched out, and to himself feel what the other man must have felt as a result of his blows.

    Dr. Ring makes the point in his video that in the context of the near death experience the Golden Rule is “not just a precept for moral conduct but the way it works”, and one experiences this in a very forcible way in the life review.


    Dr. Ring’s roughneck friend had a very intense experience in feeling what the man he had punched out must have felt as a result of his blows. I wonder what Henry Kissinger is having to feel and deal with.

    Hearing about near death experiences and the life review gives me some hope about the possibility of justice working itself out in a next life if not in this life.

    (Disclaimers: I have (so far) never myself had any such personal experience of my own, and I very strongly believe in the possible reality of God and of life after this present life and justice working itself out, but accept uncertainty. I am at 3 on Richard Dawkins’ scale; 1 = strong belief, 7 = strong disbelief. And I also do not accept the Christian beliefs that one’s eternal destiny is solely dependent on “accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior” in this present life, and that a person’s eternal destiny is necessarily fixed at the moment of death.)

  6. Madeline K. Carter
    December 6, 2023 at 15:41

    Was not Kissinger responsible for the kidnapping and murder of Italy’s Aldo Moro ?

  7. Share
    December 6, 2023 at 15:00

    I recently borrowed the movie Missing from the library after some article reminded me of seeing a movie with Sissy Spacek that seemed familiar. I can’t believe how bad my memory is, it was like seeing it for the first time. I then borrowed the book it is based on, The Execution of Charles Horman: An American Sacrifice (1978) by Thomas Hauser, though I didn’t finish it. I don’t know why I continue to be surprised at the lack of humanity of our government officials. Funding genocide is taking it to a whole new level, or maybe my eyes are just opening a bit more.

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