The Endgame – A Memoir

Entrenchment at Universidad de Buenos Aires

The aspect of war piercing my core 
hasn’t been the loud spectacle of death.
Death is restful.
Eternal agony is found in the silent weeping 
& shared wounds in mother and child 
that open as the war machine 
rakes over and separates a mother from infant,
like wheat from chaff.

Before I had a chance to find out if my mother was alive, I was brought to another building entirely. We entered an elevator and, in that small space, I experienced the chlorine scent and sounds of a pool tucked away nearby. The elevator rose to an upper floor. As we exited it and walked down the hall, I peeked over a railing to see the floors below in the open architecture. 

We entered a series of crowded rooms that contained a palpable silence. Prisoners sat huddled on the floor, filling every available space and quietly waiting for what might be the only contractual possibility to leave their current circumstances and escape the ever-present threat of death. One of them whispered to me and handed me a book to keep me occupied and silent. 

Eventually, I was ushered into a back room where I saw a higher-ranking military officer guarding a file box containing our new government-forged documents and identities. When even the government can’t follow their own basic laws, you know the shit show has gone on for too long. Either the laws are invalid or the government is. 

He disbursed my set of falsified identity documents to the colluding foreign recruiter who had joined us from another room, the same woman who had observed me playing and then spoken with my mother. 

After collecting my new documents, she and I were sent to the offices a short way down the hall for my further processing and travel vaccines. The paperwork and conversation between the adults in those final offices took forever. I spent most of that time under a desk, recovering from the travel vaccines the bureaucrats had given me. I was ineffectively hiding in the relative darkness provided by the small space intended for a chair.  

The world outside the prison would be overwhelming for me, especially at first. It had none of the predictability or relative safety I had known when with my mother. We spent a couple of weeks or so in Buenos Aires before leaving the country. It was a whirlwind of experiences, all of which left me with an uncomfortable feeling that something wasn’t right. On one of the first days, I tried to call for help when we visited an apartment with a phone. I didn’t know how to use the phone or what number to dial. I just sat there in an empty room, tense and with the telephone in my hands. At one point someone passed through the room and asked if I knew how to use the phone. I told them yes because that was what they expected to hear. They nodded and exited. I was devastated and so deeply wished that had not been what they expected to hear from me.

I felt completely helpless, lost, scared, and alone.

There may have been a reason for those feelings, more than the state kidnapping, more than that individual war, and more than my sitting in that silent room with little hope. I would later come to discover, from the recruiter as well as some of her associates, that the woman I was now under the custody of had been involved in the 1972 bombing of a government building by the U.S. domestic terrorist organization, the Weathermen (also known as the Weather Underground Organization), widely known for their small-scale bombings of government offices within the United States. 

A mountain of evidence, including the lack of prison time for the majority of the bombers, pointed to those bombings having been government-approved to give the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation an excuse for targeting U.S. citizens outspokenly opposed to questionable policies emerging from Washington D.C. as well as the F.B.I.’s own increasingly illegal, corrupt, and unjust activities (when attempting to target the Mob in the U.S., the F.B.I. had absorbed Mob members as well as their tactics and goals). And here was one of the bombers, looming over me in Argentina, a country that also had domestic bombings of government buildings, also blamed on dissidents, and that the charred wreckage of looked eerily like the same level of damage done by the Weather Underground in the United States, as if some of the bombings were done by the same people using the same manuals and methodologies. 

First Image (Argentina – Bombing of Federal Police Building, 1976) Source: Infobae

Second Image (United States – Bombing of U.S. Pentagon, 1972) Source: American Issues Project via Wikipedia

There is a significant probability that I was standing there, vulnerable and owned by one of the snakes directly involved in the framing of Argentine citizens including my parents, with the intent to take away their lives and freedom, and to steal their children – including me. 

At one point during our time in Buenos Aires, on a street with a view of the ocean, a haggard-looking woman made a nervous attempt to pile me into her vehicle, a wood-paneled station wagon. I was internally conflicted about it and too afraid to go with her. I would see her again later in the United States, still with that same vehicle, and she would die by gunshot at the hands of my military-dictatorship-approved keeper for having come that far. I believe the haggard-looking woman was one of my family members and was attempting to rescue me. After living in a prison with so little exposure to family or safety other than that provided by my mother, I simply didn’t recognize who the older woman was quickly enough. 

Aside from apartments, a large church, and government offices, we visited the major university. In an impressively enormous building, we entered their Journalism Department. The recruiter needed to check on a few things. They already knew her there. Apparently, she was deeply entrenched, using the identity of an imprisoned journalism student from the north of the country, named Alicia Raquel Burdisso Rolotti, and influencing the campus with media she had been publishing via that department. Having now spent the majority of my life as her shadow, I can promise the rhetoric she was promoting was the same rhetoric the State was pointing to and labeling the students with when calling them the enemy. She had been setting the trap.

Image Source: Desaparecidos

There are countless reasons that I find covert domestic action by government to be non-beneficial. This type of honey-and-comradery-laced entrapment is one of them. 

Methods of manipulation of open-minded and caring individuals in academic institutions, for deceptive reasons and to the detriment of those young citizens, are highly questionable. It’s likely that this pre-thought-crime type method of entrapment captures more kind, caring, and friendly souls than it has ever caught someone with initial bad intentions. Especially when you realize that those young minds were accepted into the institutions of higher learning either by displaying continued obedience and dedication in school or by exceptional intellectual abilities. Those are the people they choose to exploit and destroy – their citizens who have consistently displayed the traits of loyalty and exceptionalism. They are the ones who will be the most hurt by being maliciously betrayed by their own nation, and they are the ones capable of doing the most damage as retaliation for the betrayal. 

The methodology harms the nation and those who would have contributed the most to its stability. 

The exploitation of students, especially for dodgy recruitment purposes, perpetuates a problem that will continue into the next cycle, making internal struggle and exploitation a constant at the domestic governance level. Not everyone who has been ripped from their life and called an enemy by the State actually appreciates the lifelong threats and arbitary punishments that come with it, nor will they necessarily appreciate those they are now coercively forced to provide their expertise to. This leads to continuing porousness in national security, and thus more international wars and a lower quality of life domestically. 

You don’t actually want a pissed-off and hurt political science major working in your Intelligence offices nor an angry and genius scientist working in their enemy’s weapons development labs. And when you have both types of situations and the people in them know each other? It doesn’t end well. You’ll just have to trust me on that for now. That recruiter Argentina saw fit to leave me in the custody of? She would be a major rage and drug-fueled connecting force between those two departments. 

Yes, the recruiter. Three generations into war recruitment heavy on deception, you won’t know which side you or anyone else started on, is standing with, or is standing on; but the pain is still there, and that pain wasn’t just my own. I was being absorbed by generations of those brought into the war machine through violence, threats, coercion, death of their families, and forcible removal from the countries they had fought and sacrificed for. They chose to soothe that pain with heroin, greed, and vengeance. I’m still standing here, holding my pain without anything to numb it. I understand why they succumb.

The memory that always surfaces the most from my post-prison time in Buenos Aires happened within the span of just a few minutes. I was standing in the middle of the university campus, the foreign woman nearby, and students were milling past in droves, seeking to get to their next classes. It was 1980 and well into the war that had taken my freedom. There I stood, small, somewhat crippled, and pale from growing up in a prison; having just appeared among them at the age of three, without ever having an infancy they had seen. 

They knew about the war. Each and every one of those hundreds of students who passed me during those moments between classes knew about the war. Not one of them stopped to save me. 

Despite the public’s abundantly clear policy of “close your eyes until it’s over,” the crimes of using intelligence channels for the international trafficking of children, trafficking in civilians, and infiltrating other governments with genocidal and marauding intentions didn’t stop when the war ended. Some of the people in those Southern Cone military departments had fantasies as far-reaching as killing off the Northern Hemisphere, according to the conversations I overheard when I was young and left waiting in their offices and halls, and later during planning and early-stage implementation attempts by their transactional allies in another land. I wish I were conflating, but I’m not. I’ll get more into the details on that one later, with documentation.  

Like many nations that have reached a point of becoming hyper-focused on a belief in their own supremacy, there were quite a few people among the Argentine ranks who wanted to entirely eradicate their enemies, final solution style. It was an unrealistic but increasingly possible goal back then, as they spoke about the advantages of neutron bombs and other options. As we progress into the modern era, there are opportunities that open up to the sickest among us, some of whom hold authority, and some of whom are the same exact people I was in those rooms with. Just because they fade from the newspapers does not mean their careers have ended. In fact, in an established era of secrecy, removal from the public spotlight is often more concerning than remaining in it.

In a later moment that would leave me staring in disbelief, a U.S. State Department worker would sound relieved when he erroneously decided one of the scientists in my cohort must have come from Argentina to work in U.S. Department of Defense weapons research willingly, as if that alone meant all bad intentions floated away on a whimsical love of America. Americans are okay for the most part, but their intentional naivety and first-world egos frequently lead them down the wrong path. They let in a lot of bad actors due to the belief that all foreigners are deeply honored to be there and only have intentions to see Disneyland and eat some good old Independence Day barbeque…this is despite intentional and coercive recruitment practices that target known U.S. enemies to bring them in, and international policies that take advantage of and pull from the ranks of violent dictatorships.

Argentina was entering late-stage failure when I was there, a stage that many other nations may still be in time to avoid. The country has since gotten worse. It’s unlikely that the psychology and methodologies of that nation can be reversed enough to save it from its own behaviors. It will finish consuming itself, while dramatically denying it down to the final bite. 

Even today, as I write this, Argentina still does a little governmental and NGO-level Munchausen by Proxy “war is over” play-act for the global community, for funding, and to avoid the international courts. Outwardly, they advertise that they are searching for the children they traded for arms and international favors, and are now offering the children help to find their original names and parents. The truth is darker than that. They commonly deny the children the right to open a case for investigation. They have now had over 45 years to find the approximately 500 stolen babies. They have located less than 150, primarily because they refuse to find the rest, even when the now-graying children are standing directly in front of them in those government and NGO offices. 

That’s a rate of assisting roughly two to three children per year, despite the government and NGOs having nearly unlimited funding for the project, much of which they funnel into their wardrobes, cars, and real estate (yes, the connected organizations are well-paid to keep up the farce…I’ll get into more on that later). The children they parade around a couple of times a year for the media spotlight and funding purposes are almost exclusively the adopted children of  media personalities, political enemies of the government and NGOs, and others who can be exploited or would be financially beneficial to control. 

This is all despite their having archives with our names, who our parents were, and where they stole us from. They know who we are, but they profit too much from our disappearance. They also still hate us and believe their own rhetoric – that we were child criminals and infant terrorists who deserved to be ripped from our families and sold because one of us might attempt to vote against them. We are the embodiment of our parents who they tried to dehumanize, diminish, rub in the dirt, and then genocide. Tell me, how often does one use the military to kill the friends, community members, schoolmates, and entire family of a criminal, simply for being related to or knowing them? That’s where the chasm between the lies they tell and their true intentions can be seen through the cracks formed by reality. 

The lies badly painting over the damage they cause make an undeniable and uncomfortable sight. You know that feeling. You’ve felt hints of it before. 

Argentina had chosen genocide as a solution to the problems they didn’t want to deal with, generally internal problems of abuses and a lack of resources caused by them stealing from, bullying, manipulating, and lying to each other and to themselves. Once a country goes down that route, it is nearly impossible to change its trajectory. 

Their responsibility-evading and self-congratulating semantics continue to lock them into the behavior and mindset, but do not hide the amount of death and self-harm they have caused. Their grotesque mentalities also do not obscure the country’s repeated and increasing history of eradicating and removing groups, one by one, over the decades of the 1900s, as if maybe the removal of the next one would finally be the solution to creating a utopian society. 

Their internal problems, left undealt with during the distractions of state terrorism, only became worse after the temporary adrenaline rush of each eradication effort ended. By the time I was born, they had run out of easily identifiable ethnicities to go after and were removing people with any great-great grandparents who weren’t genetically European (As far as I’ve gleaned, my own family was 100% culturally Argentine and I’m personally around 90% European and 10% east of that, genetically), and it still didn’t solve their self-caused problems. The country is a nightmare headache today, with its economic policies written by thieves and its academic policies written by those who hate intellect. But their semantics did give the people within and supporting that regime, and the next series of regimes, a never ending list of excuses and arguments to allow the resulting carnage and harm to continue, unabated. 

Eventually my stay in Buenos Aires ended, and I left that mess behind, in the care of a small group of Intelligence workers. I escaped Argentina, but I did not escape. I went from being an embarrassing secret of South America to being an embarrassing secret of North America. Nothing changed for me in that regard. I was still expected to cover for those who harmed me the most.   

Image Source: Central Intelligence Agency

“Many of the people involved, both Agency and non-Agency, are still alive and through their knowledge of the activity represent a possible potential threat or embarrassment to the Agency.”

Image Text: Central Intelligence Agency

 Or as the saying goes, out of the frying pan and into the fire.

Next: U.S. Intelligence Recruitment