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Wikileaks releases the secret relations between the junta and the United States of America

10 April 2013 / 22:04:16  GRReporter
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Wikileaks’ successive revelations have shed new light on the relations of the Greek junta with the US during the dictatorship in the 1960s and the 1970s. According to the revelations published by Ta Nea, Henry Tasca, Ambassador in Athens at the time, defined dictator George Papadopoulos as indecisive and a man, who postponed the implementation of urgent actions. In a letter to Wayne Hays, representative of the congress, the US Ambassador explained that he had been requesting to contact Papadopoulos for months before meeting him on 15 May 1973.

A few years ago, the US Secret Service had revealed only part of its correspondence with the Greek dictatorship regime as reported by the Greek media. They said the situation had been presented partially and in a biased manner in order to give rise to the necessary attitude of the masses. Now, the Greek media, with the help of the special application of Wikileaks, which detects documents filed as classified, have published part of the telegrams with classified titles. They state: "Ambassador’s oral message to Ioannidis" in March 1974 (1974ATHENS048076) and "A new leader may appear, Dimitrios Ioannidis - some fears" dated 26 November 1973 (1973ATHENS08297).
Several months after the Ambassador had shared his opinion of Papadopoulos with Wayne Hayes (telegram 1973STATE093117), Tasca commented on the situation again. Papadopoulos had already fallen from power after Ioannidis’ coup. A telegram (1973STATE234048), which Kissinger had received from the Embassy in Athens, stated that Papadopoulos’ biggest weakness was his "indecisiveness". "He avoids confrontation at all costs. He was hesitant even when he knew that General Ioannidis was a threat to his future. He refused to take action to confront him and get him out of the scene in Athens," reads the telegram quoted by Ta Nea.

The US Ambassador defined Dimitris Ioannidis as "extreme" and a person who was associated with "the pictures of torture and atrocities committed during Papadopoulos' dictatorship". Tasca recognized that the most important interest of the US had remained the option of all self-appointed leaders in Greece maintaining the American line while the US was trying at the same time to push the idea that democratic elections should take place.

The United States’ diplomatic body was closely following the comments on the developments in Greece in the international press. On 1 July 1973, British journalist Charles Foley revealed in the newspaper The Observer that George Papadopoulos had been a member of the Greek battalions (Τάγματα Ασφαλείας), which were controlled by the Nazis during World War II. These battalions consisted only of Greek citizens who were supporters of the German occupiers. Their members were following the orders of the German troops and they remained in the history of Greece because of the expression of cruelty to their fellow citizens.

The US Ambassador in London immediately reacted to Foley’s writings. In a telegram to the headquarters, he described the journalist as brainless and the data on Papadopoulos - as a mixture of gossip and fantasy.

It is mentioned in another telegram (1974STATE189755), which refers to an interview of Henry Tasca for Newsweek magazine, that the Ambassador had ordered the journalist to ask him the question of whether the Central Intelligence Agency had control over Ioannidis. The diplomat replied, "If the US had the opportunity to choose a leader - which they don’t - do you think that they would choose Ioannidis? Let's be a little more serious ". In his telegram on the interview, the diplomat said he hoped that this publication would help overcome some notions about US policy in Greece. The following year, the US Ambassador in Athens determined Ioannidis’ facing the court as useful. He warned the US Foreign Ministry to be careful because scenarios were spreading in Greece according to which the US was at the core of the junta takeover and the coup in Cyprus.

Tags: PoliticsJuntaGreeceCIACoup
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