DEFENDING AMERICA
David H. Hackworth
July 23,1996

AMERICA'S DIRTY WAR IN GUATEMALA

"God has no attribute that could take sides with an oppressor. I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever." - Thomas Jefferson

In 1989, Sister Dianna Ortiz, a young American nun who taught Indian children in Guatemala's hinterland, was abducted at gunpoint.

At the Guatemala City prison she was repeatedly gang-raped and tortured. She was burned scores of times by cigarettes and lowered into an open pit. She said there were "bodies of children, women and men, some decapitated, some lying face up and caked with blood, some dead, some alive, and all swarming with rats."

She says a tall American came into the torture chamber. He cursed in American-accented English, ordered her release and told her he'd take her by jeep to the U.S. Embassy. The thugs, who called the man "Alejandro," immediately obeyed his commands.

Alejandro told Ortiz that her "shameful experiences" had been videotaped, and if she told anyone about her 30 hours of horror, the tapes would be released. The longer she was with this man, the more her senses screamed she was in danger. She jumped out of the jeep at her first opportunity - at a stoplight in heavy traffic - and escaped.

Since then, Ortiz, who believes Alejandro is connected with the CIA, has been fighting for justice. She wants to know why the 'American Alejandro" is being protected by our government. She wants the world to know the full truth about the thousands of human beings who have been abducted, tortured and assassinated over the last 30 years in Guatemala.

It has been proven that our CIA has colluded with Guatemalan military and security creeps. I have personally seen CIA drunks, whores, misfits and sadists in operation, consorting with killers, torturers and rapists all over the world.

Sadly, America became so obsessed with its fights with fascism and then communism that we rationalized that it was OK to copy the evil ways of the Gestapo and KGB. Since its beginning, the CIA has run riot in Third World nations such as Guatemala with excesses that come close to rivaling the Nazis and the Reds at their worst.

In Guatemala, the CIA has employed its unique form of jackboot terror since the late 1950s. It came to that once free land at the shameful orders of Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and his brother Alan, then head of the CIA. The brothers Dulles were former attorneys of the United Fruit Company, which owned vast properties in Guatemala. When company land was turned back to the people, it soon became clear that democracy wasn't going to be as good for business as tyranny.

The CIA took the government back from the people by installing and supporting local dictators who predictably gave the land back to United Fruit. Then the killing began in what has become the longest civil war in the Americas. It's estimated that over 100,000 people have been murdered by Guatemala's death squads and over 40,000 "disappeared."

Ortiz has done everything but douse herself with gasoline and become a human torch to get the truth.

· 'She has written President Bill Clinton, as has this writer and hundreds of others, who have received only a computerized run around form-letter reply.

· 'She has talked to Hillary Clinton, who assured her "good people are working on your case and trying to come up with the truth."

· She has secured the promise of 103 members of Congress to help in her crusade.

· She conducted a five-week vigil outside the White House last April and May.

· Television, radio and the print media have broadcast her story.

Sister Ortiz was promised she would receive documents relating to her case by June 29. But she's still being stonewalled.

San Antonian Bob Guinee, a decorated, two-war veteran, wrote to Clinton: "After hearing about Dianna Ortiz, I blush with shame. How low we have sunk. The United States of America has taken sides with the oppressor.

"If our government cannot correct this," Guinee asks, "what makes our government different from the Nazi government?"

It's time America started listening to its citizens and returned to the ideals of our founding fathers.

We need to clean up our totalitarian act muy pronto.