TIME

Chile Court: US Had Role in ‘Missing’ Killings

(SANTIAGO, Chile) — A Chilean court said U.S. military intelligence services played a key role that led to the 1973 killings of two Americans in Chile in a case that inspired the Oscar-winning film “Missing.”

A court ruling released late Monday said former U.S. Navy Capt. Ray E. Davis gave information to Chilean officials about journalist Charles Horman and student Frank Teruggi that led to their arrest and execution just days after the 1973 coup that brought Gen. Augusto Pinochet to power.

“The military intelligence services of the United States had a fundamental role in the creation of the murders of the two American citizens in 1973, providing Chilean military officers with the information that led to their deaths,” the ruling by Judge Jorge Zepeda said.

Zepeda also upheld the decision to charge retired Chilean army Col. Pedro Espinoza with the murders, and Rafael Gonzalez, a former civilian counterintelligence agent, as an accomplice in Horman’s murder. The two Chileans and Davis had been indicted in 2011.

Davis commanded the U.S. Military Mission in Chile at the time of the Sept. 11, 1973, American-backed coup that ousted the democratically elected government of leftist President Salvador Allende. Davis was investigating Americans in Chile as part of a series of covert intelligence operations run out of the U.S. Embassy targeting those considered to be subversives or radicals, according to lawyer Sergio Corvalan, who represents Horman’s widow.

Courts in Chile had long sought Davis, believing he was living in Florida. Chile’s Supreme Court had approved an extradition request so he could face trial. But Davis was secretly living in Chile, and he died in a Santiago nursing home last year.

Horman, 31, a freelance journalist and filmmaker, was arrested Sept. 17, 1973, and taken to Santiago’s main soccer stadium, which had been turned into a detention camp.

A national truth commission formed after the Pinochet dictatorship ended said Horman was executed the next day while in the custody of Chilean state security agents. The commission said Teruggi, a 24-year-old university student, was executed Sept. 22.

The search for Horman by his wife and father was the topic of the 1982 movie “Missing,” directed by Costa-Gavras, starred Sissy Spacek and Jack Lemmon. The film won an Oscar for best adapted screenplay and was also nominated for best picture, actor and actress.

The film suggested U.S. complicity in Horman’s death and at the time drew strong objections from U.S. State Department officials.

The case remained practically ignored in Chile until 2000, when Horman’s widow, Joyce, came and filed a lawsuit against Pinochet.

“More than 40 years after my husband was killed, and almost 14 years since I initiated judicial proceedings in Chile, I am delighted that the cases of Charles Horman and Frank Teruggi are moving forward in the Chilean courts. At the same time, I remain outraged that, through death and delay, a key indicted U.S. official, Captain Ray Davis, has escaped this prosecutorial process,” Joyce Horman said after the judge’s ruling was released.

“Judge Zepeda’s ruling both implicates and incriminates U.S. intelligence personnel as playing a dark role in the murder of my husband,” she said. “My hope is that the record of evidence compiled by the court sheds further light on how and why Charles was targeted, who actually ordered his murder, and what kind of information on one of its own citizens the U.S. government passed to the Chilean military who committed this heinous crime.”

Chile’s government estimates 3,095 people were killed during Pinochet’s dictatorship, including about 1,200 who were forcibly disappeared.

“The judge’s ruling brings the Horman and Teruggi families one step closer to a courtroom verdict, as well as a verdict of history on the role of the U.S. government and the Chilean military in these atrocities,” said Peter Kornbluh, author of “The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability.”

TIME Barack Obama

Obama: ‘We Don’t Need a War’ With Russia

President Barack Obama walks from the Oval Office to the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 1, 2014.
President Barack Obama walks from the Oval Office to the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 1, 2014. Manuel Balce Ceneta—AP

President Obama downplayed the chance of a military conflict with Russia over the escalating tension in eastern Ukraine, in an interview that aired Thursday, saying it's not up to either country to decide what kind of relationships Ukraine has with its neighbors

President Barack Obama said in an interview that aired Thursday that “we don’t need a war” with Russia, downplaying the chance of military conflict between the U.S. and Russia over tensions in Ukraine.

“What we do need is a recognition that countries like Ukraine can have relationships with a whole range of their neighbors, and it is not up to anybody, whether it’s Russia or the United States or anybody else, to make decisions for them,” Obama said in an interview with CBS Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett on Thursday’s broadcast of CBS This Morning.

Obama’s comments came days after a Russian fighter jet made multiple close-range passes near a U.S. Navy ship in the Black Sea. When asked if the aircraft “buzz” represented Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attempt to send a signal to Washington, Obama said Russia is “not interested in any kind of military confrontation with us, understanding that our conventional forces are significantly superior to the Russians.”

“As commander-in-chief, I don’t make decisions based on perceived signals. We make decision very deliberately, based on what’s required for our security and for the security of our allies,” Obama added. “And the Russians understand that.”

Putin has amassed Russian troops on Ukraine’s eastern border and threatened to invade amid tensions between the pro-Western government and a large ethnic Russian minority in the region, despite the threat of increased economic sanctions from the U.S. and Western European powers.

Zeke Miller contributed reporting.

TIME

U.S. Navy Rescues Sick Baby From Sailboat in Pacific

Eric and Charlotte Kaufman with their daughters, Lyra, 1, and Cora, 3.
Undated photo of Eric and Charlotte Kaufman with their daughters, Lyra, 1, and Cora, 3. Courtesy Sariah English —AP

A U.S. Navy frigate reached an ill child in a sailboat far off the Mexican coast Sunday whose parents had sought to circumnavigate the globe

A U.S. Navy warship arrived Sunday at a sailboat hundreds of miles off the coast of Mexico in order to rescue a sick 1-year-old girl whose parents were attempting to circumnavigate the globe.

On Sunday the frigate USS Vandegrift reached the 36-foot Rebel Heart, where Charlotte and Eric Kaufman had issued a distress call three days before when they found their young daughter sick with a fever and a rash, reports USA Today. A crew from the California Air National Guard parachuted into the water Thursday and stabilized the girl until the Vandegrift arrived.

The 1-year-old girl was taken aboard the Vandegrift along with her parents and 3-year-old sister for medical treatment in San Diego, the Associated Press reports.

The couple and their children were almost 1,000 miles from Cabo San Lucas after setting out from San Diego to circle the globe, and did not have steering or communication abilities. In a post on the couple’s blog eight days after setting out, they called the trip “the stupidest thing we have ever done.”

[USA Today]

 

TIME Crime

2 Dead in Virginia Navy Base Shooting

Security officers killed a male civilian suspect after a shooting Monday night aboard the guided-missile destroyer U.S.S. Mahan at Naval Station Norfolk, the world's largest navy base. Officials say the suspect was allowed on the base but aren't sure he was cleared for the ship

The world’s largest navy base was briefly on lockdown Monday night after a sailor was fatally shot and security forces killed a male civilian suspect on board a guided-missile destroyer at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia.

According to a base spokeswoman speaking to the AP, the shooting occurred around 11:20 pm on Monday night on board the U.S.S. Mahan, a guided-missile destroyer that had returned to Norfolk in September after an eight-month deployment to the Mediterranean Sea, where it had been positioned for a potential strike against Syria.

Navy officials offered few details about the shooting other than that both the sailor killed and the civilian suspect were men. Officials said the suspect was authorized access to the base; however, the spokeswoman said she could not say whether the suspect had permission to be aboard the ship.

The shooting briefly caused a lockdown on the base, which is home to more than 46,000 military members, 21,000 civilians and contractors, and is the home port for 64 ships. By Tuesday morning, operations on the base had returned to normal, and an investigation into the shooting was ongoing.

[AP]

TIME U.S. Navy

U.S. Navy to Zap Enemies With Futuristic Laser

Device launched this year will target aerial drones and swarming speedboats in Persian Gulf

+ READ ARTICLE

The future has arrived at the U.S. Navy, which will begin deploying lasers this year and an electromagnetic rail gun within two years.

The laser will be set up on the transport dock USS Ponce in the Persian Gulf. One single sailor can operate the device, which can burn through targets and fry electronics with beams that are invisible to the human eye. The laser is designed to shoot down aerial drones and disable swarming speedboats.

Besides its ability to be fired continuously, the biggest advantage of the laser is that it’s cheaper to use than missiles and smart bombs. The downside is that the laser is a lot less efficient if there’s rain, dust or turbulence in the atmosphere.

The Navy is also working on getting electromagnetic rail guns ready for deployment. The rail guns, which fires projectiles at six or seven times the speed of sound, are meant to replace or supplement traditional firearms.

[AP]

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