“This is War”: How the CIA Justifies Torture
By Frank Smyth, December 12, 2014, The Progressive

A Defense Department spokesman, Marine Captain Jay C. Farrar, said it is “highly doubtful” that these courses of­fered instruction in abusive interrogation techniques. But according to U.S. Army Special Forces advisers formerly stationed in the region, small courses for selected Salvadoran soldiers regularly included training in “negative-incentive” methods.

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El Salvador’s Cold War Martyrs
By Frank Smyth, November 11, 2009,

The curfew broke after dawn. But the massacre took place in the middle of the night. The high command of the Salvadoran armed forces, who were receiving a million dollars a day in U.S. aid, made their decision near midnight. They had been on the defensive over the past…

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Salvadoran Rebels Anticipated Soviet Fall, Shifted Tack
By Frank Smyth, May 6, 1992, The Christian Science Monitor

EL SALVADOR’S leftist guerrilla movement began moving away from Marxism-Leninism several years before the collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991, they and independent analysts say. Since the FMLN was already…

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Caught With Their Pants Down: Why U.S. Policy – and Intelligence – Failed in Salvador
By Frank Smyth, December 5, 1989, The Village Voice

Original story can be found here. “I DON’T THINK THEY HAVE the capability,” said a U.S. Embassy official as he sipped coffee one Saturday morning in the tropical setting of his patio. I asked him if he thought rumors of an upcoming rebel offensive were true. “We’ve heard some things,” he said. “But ESAF’s [El

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A Blood-spattered Stalemate
By Frank Smyth, December 11, 1988, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

EASTERN CHALATENANGO, El Salvador – A helicopter gunship riddled the landscape with heavy machine-gun fire as a battalion of 200 elite army soldiers trailed on the ground behind. Two miles away, a patrol of six guerrillas kept track on the oncoming battalion, communicating…

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El Salvador: People Have Reason to Be Afraid
By Frank Smyth, January 3, 1988, Z Magazine

The grandmother cupped her palm under Goyito’s chin and pressed down hard with her fingers on his upper jaw. “Look, this is how we did it,” she said, demonstrating how she kept the baby from crying when government troops passed by. “They wanted me to kill…

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Secret Warriors: U.S. Advisers Have Taken Up Arms in El Salvador
By Frank Smyth, August 11, 1987, The Village Voice

Original story found here. MR. NIELDS: Well, you put in some blanks. You said “blank” in two places. There’s nothing classified about either of these words. One of them is CIA— LT. COL. NORTH: Well— MR. NIELDS: —and the other is Southern Command. “Delicate state of transition from CIA run op to Southern Command run

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