I learned of this movie by way of the book "Who Killed Bobby?" by Shane O'Sullivan- a book which strongly suggests that there was a conspiracy in the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. On pages 413-414 of this book, he describes the OPS (Office of Public Safety) which was run by the CIA from 1962 to 1975. It's mission was to train US ally police forces and military officers to improve their effectiveness. During these years, the OPS trained 7,500 senior officers at it's US facilities- this is shown in the film 'State of Siege'- and more than half a million foreign police overseas. One of the central aims of the OPS was to train local officials to effectively deal with "terrorist" threats from the left (and subsequently keep in power/put in power forces on the right). Techniques in torture, assassination, and all the other 'dirty tricks' the CIA (at this time, at least) was famous for, were taught to conservative, right-wing allies in a total of 47 nations. In the case of a retired police chief from Richmond, Indiana- Dan Mitrione (played by Yves Montand in State of Siege)- he took things a bit too far- granted he had his hands full with the Tupamaros. According to O'Sullivan, Mitrione "built a soundproofed room in the cellar of his house (in Montevideo, Uruguay) and demonstrated torture techniques to selected Uruguayan police officers, using beggars taken off the street, some of whom died during the sessions." pg. 414. Mitrone was kidnapped on July 31st, 1970, and 10 days later his body was found in a car. "Mr. Mitrione's devoted service to the cause of peaceful progress in an orderly world will remain as an example for free men everywhere." said a White House press release, and Frank Sinatra and Jerry Lewis visited Richmond, IN to stage a benefit show. Meanwhile, back in Montevideo, the former chief of police intelligence, Alejandro Otero, "confirmed that Mitrione had used 'violent techniques of torture....and a psychology to create despair, such as playing a tape in the next room of women and children screaming and telling prisoners that it was his family being tortured.'" (p.414) These despicable facts are not presented in State of Siege, it should be noted. Otero was a CIA agent, and he spoke only because a close friend of his was a Tupamaros sympathizer...he was demoted for speaking out. This is a fine film and it's very understandable that it's extremely hard to find in the US. It's fair to say that 99% of Americans have no idea what the CIA was up to from 1962-1975...it would be more accurate to say CIA officers were up to because, from what I can tell, there were quite a few 'loose canons' in the CIA at that time...and some of them were willing to do whatever it took to fight political forces emerging from the left (including, of course, forces within the US). See one David Morales as such an example of a CIA loose canon (although it is very hard to get information on him, O'Sullivan says that Morales later went to Montevideo and "took his own murderous revenge on the Tupamaros". It's important to view State of Siege in it's proper historical context: sure you can talk about the cold war, but it's also about an institution infused with right-wing ideology (the CIA) hellbent on getting police and military forces in as many other allies prepared to defeat any leftist challenges to the status quo (ie. in the vast majority of cases, a conservative government). If a government fell into the hands of a leftist, then it had to be taken back for fear that it might fall into the Soviet sphere of influence. But in the end, we need to look at how conservative governments aid "big business" (see 'Missing' for more on this), because in the final analysis, it all comes down to who gets what...money. This film is to radically to the left and airs Americas dirty laundry too much...no wonder it's difficult to find...It's like "Punishment Park" by Peter Watkins. Fortunately now, in this internet age, we can get both films...go ogle 'rap id share (one wo rd) title of film 'etat de siege' and sub titles 'all subs' (one wo rd).
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