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April 14, 2011

“Quiet Americans” in Argentina
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Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, President of Argentina.

Nil Nikandrov - http://www.strategic-culture.org

The person who is involved in a new scandal is Matthew Steven Hankins, an official of the US embassy in Buenos-Aires. It was like this. Argentineans followed the development of the events around the US Boeing aircraft. Then, during the custom check in the Ezeiza airport the boxes with undeclared weapons, reconnaissance equipment and drugs were detected. The US officials said that the cargo was intended for the war-on-terror training of the military students of Federal Special Operations Group (GEOF) by US instructors. Hankins was also detained with weapons but in San-Fernando, another airport of the Argentine capital.
During a routine check at the check point the guards noticed that the man at the wheel of the car with a diplomatic number RA-6837 was anxious. He did not have any documents, which could prove his diplomatic status (“was in a hurry, left them at home”). The driver said he wanted to enter the airfield because it was necessary to prepare an embassy plane for an emergency flight. The guards did not believe him and used their X-ray equipment to check the luggage boot and the compartment. When the outlines of two sniper rifles appeared on the screen it became clear why the American was so nervous. He did not have any documents, which could prove his legal possession of these weapons.

The Browning and Tikka T3 riffles as well as the ammunition were taken from the car. If something similar happened to a Latin American in the US it would go hard with him. At least he would receive several years in prison. Neither Hankins, nor the US embassy provided any convincing explanations regarding the arsenal found in the car. However Argentine reporters managed to find out that in March the American had already brought a Benelli Rafaello rifle to Argentina. Nothing is known about the reasons why Hoskins could not register the sniper rifles in the national RENAR service.

Almost all mass media reacted on the incident in the Argentine airport. The reporters and bloggers posed a rhetoric question: “Who was Hankins’ shooting target?” The identity of Hankins is also doubtful. None of the US newspapers published his photo. According to one version he is a mechanic with the embassy and is on the list of the maintenance personnel. But it is also likely that it is only his disguise. Some of the American diplomats called him a “contract soldier”. American contract soldiers are usually associated with such terrifying firms as Xe Services (former Blackwater), ArmorGroup and others, which recruit mercenaries to fight in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. According to Eva Golinger, a US reporter, who specializes in disclosures of the undermining activities of the US special services the men from Blackwater/Xe are involved in the assault on FARC’s camp in the bordering zone of Ecuador. The services of such “contractors” are widely used in Colombia and Mexico for conducting intelligence activities within security agencies in order to neutralize the US’ enemies without any “official procedures”.

In Colombia the secret operations of “contractors” have left thousands of victims and secret graves.In Mexico “contractors” are mainly fighting “left extremists” and those “independent” drug cartels, which do not fit in the strategic plans of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The contractors are acting under the leadership of the Pentagon and the CIA. Improvisations are not allowed. All operations are worked out to the smallest detail. Stirring up wars between cartels has proved to be efficient in Mexico. The stronger the firepower of the conflicting cartels the bigger the damage they cause to each other. This is the reason behind the drastic increase of weapons smuggling from the US to Mexico. The Mexican experience is being applied in other countries of Latin America.

The incidents with drugs have become a common thing in Argentina. In September 2008, the MERCOSUR news agency spread a material about the “long hands” of DEA. The article claimed that the US embassy was behind three murders”. The bodies of three Argentineans dented with bullets were found in a ditch on the sidewalk in the outskirts of Buenos Aires. The investigation showed that Sebastian Forsa and his partners in drug trafficking business were killed by the competitors from Mexico and Colombia. Forsa collaborated with DEA over the last months of his life. By doing so he hoped to settle his debt to the drug lords. He installed contacts with DEA through the assistance of his bodyguard Cesar Pose, who was the informer not only for the CIA but also for the Argentinean counter-intelligence SIDE. It looks like SIDE did not trust Pose too much and controlled his phone calls. And not in vain. Next day after the bodies were found Pose called the US embassy to speak to his supervisor from DEA. The supervisor advised him to be very careful and said that the promised loan can be given only after Pose leaves Argentina. “Yes, I need the loan (that meant another wage for working for DEA) and a shelter in Miami”, the Argentinean answered.

Pose has a long list of drug smuggling operations. According to the Critica newspaper, in 2004, he was arrested for smuggling 80 kg of cocaine. But his detention was not long. Soon DEA told the Argentine authorities that that particular smuggling was a “check experiment”, Pose was released and continued to work for DEA.

Reportedly, DEA used Pose and some other agents to compromise Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández.During the 2007 election campaign they donated significant amounts of money to her supporting fund but this scenario was not developed further. Other scenario turned to be more productive namely using an American-Venezuelan entrepreneur Antonini Wilson who was detained on the border with $800,000 aimed for Cristina Fernández’ election purposes. Pro-American mass media wrote that Cristina was the most probable receiver of the money from “Chavez’ secret funds”. But those information attacks against Cristina failed and she named the efforts of the CIA and other US services as “a garbage operation”.

Now the “quiet Americans” are facing a difficult task in Argentina. How to prevent Cristina’s reelection in October 2011? According to all recent polls, she is head and shoulders above other potential candidates from the opposition. Washington knows that Cristina won’t forgive the insulting statements the US diplomats made about her and which became known from a WikiLeaks publication.“Double consciousness, inadequacy, unbalance” - these characteristics were often used in the letters of the State Department and cipher messages of the CIA regarding Cristina. A standard approach – for all independent political leaders in Latin America - Fidel and Raul Castro, Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega and others the US officials deliberately choose humiliating words and expressions from the textbooks on mental diseases.

Cristina is even more irreconcilable to those “quiet Americans”, who are trying to slander the memory of her husband Nestor Kirchner. The main reason of such an explicit hatred of American diplomats to Nestor is obvious: during the summit of Americas in Mar del Plata in 2005, Kirchner together with other South American presidents including Lulu and Chavez finally rejected the neo-colonial integration project ALCA, which was forced by the US to the countries of Latin America. Then, George Bush Junior left Argentina earlier than it was expected suffering one of the most overwhelming defeats over his presidency.The Empire does not forgive such things. Even after Kirchner’s death the US agents do not leave Cristina alone. Now they should cast a shadow over Cristina representing her as dangerous politician for Argentina as her husband was.

Essayist Manuel Freitas wrote about the all-around activities of the US embassy in Argentina. According to him they are “ever present” and “invisible”. When a young reporter starts working for a website of a printed media he is warned that he should never mention “the Embassy” in his stories. There is a kind of an unspoken code to leave “the Embassy” beyond any analysis and public knowledge. They should not take the name of this mighty fortress of the Empire in vain. Freitas distinguishes the main tasks the US ambassadors in Latin American countries receive: to lobby the interests of transnational companies; to control local authorities (from the government to the armed forces); to neutralize social processes, which are undesirable for the global hegemony of the US. These tasks are first of all being solved using the possibilities of the CIA which spreads its network in across all decision making centers.

In December 2010 the Noticias magazine published an article about the CIA’s activities in Argentina. According to the author, the resident agency, which comprised 10 agents, was headed by a 50-year old George Kenny. It was Kenny, who prepared an answer about “Cristina’s health condition” following the order from Washington. The publication in the magazine drew indignation in the US embassy. The embassy’s spokeswoman Shannon Farrell (on discussing her answer with Alexis Ludwig, the head of the political section and the best informed man in the embassy) said that this was a lie and Kenny does not exist. Farrell accused the Perfil publishing house of trying to complicate the relations between the government and the embassy. In response the publishing house published a story saying the US embassy was slamming Noticias following the publication about Cristina Fernandez. They quoted Farrell’s statement in full but no apologize from the publishing house followed. An eloquent silence with an implication “Both you and we know who is standing behind the pseudonym George Kenny don’t we”.

Six months ahead the presidential elections the US embassy in Argentina is trying to change the development of the events in the country to its advantage. “Quiet Americans” are building up their undermining activities. Local experts draw attention to the emergence of different security agencies created by former CIA and SIDE agents. Non-governmental organizations are also aimed at the aggravation of the situation. Mass-media have returned to speculation on Cristina’s “suspicious indifference” to the fighting drug trafficking. The rumors are being spread that she and her associates are involved in money laundering. Fantasy-like corruption scandals are being blown out of proportion using the incriminating evidence from the “most reliable sources”. The CIA finances dozens of internet portals, which take part in the information war against Cristina (not only in Argentina) One of the portals – SERPIN - private information service – is especially active. Its creator Ector Alderete is in state of a permanent war against “kirshnerism”, “populism” and “Chavizm”. Cristina’s supporters claim that Alderte is obsessed with plans to overthrow the government.

The case of mechanic Hankins has drawn attention of the Argentine society to the backstage maneuvers of quiet Americans. Hankins is a simple mechanic, who accommodated, according to his own words, in the Alvear Palace Hotel, the most fashionable hotel in Buenos Aires. May be Hankins is also a pseudonym just like Kenny? Spokeswoman Shannon Farrell interrupted her golf party to make a statement assuring that the US authorities will handle the incident and provide explanations.

Days go by but Hankins’ riddle is still a riddle. It is quiet likely that he has already left Argentina and is choosing new targets in other countries. The number of Empire’s enemies is growing.

  Related news:
April 6, 2015: The CIA is on the attack in Argentina. Who will be its next victim?
February 20, 2015: Argentina’s Reconnaissance Work against US and Israeli Spy Networks
February 3, 2015: Argentine Prosecutor Mysteriously Dies as CIA Steps up Efforts to Topple President Kirchner
December 9, 2014: US Intelligence Agencies and the Argentine Season of Provocations

January 22, 2015: The CIA in Latin America: From Coups to Torture and Preemptive Killings
May 29, 2014: CIA Faces Purges as Situation Remains Tense in Ukraine
October 1, 2013: Individual Terror as Pattern of Washington’s Foreign Policy
February 12, 2013: Would-Be Head of CIA Ready for War on All Fronts
November 26, 2012: CIA agents attack «Soviet facilities». From the history of the Cold War
March 12, 2009: CIA to face “Big Cleaning”

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