The Endgame – A Memoir

Recruitment Contracts

It’s endgame. 
Not let’s-save-one-side game. 
Not let’s-go-another-round game. 
Not even let’s-keep-the-rich-alive game 
(although many were promised it was in exchange for funding).
Not even let’s-keep-the-useful-slaves-alive game.
I struggled to get people to understand that. 
I don’t think they wanted to. 
Because if they did, 
they would realize the trouble we are in. 

After meeting the foreigner who was about to drag me to her home country, the next significant thing I remember happening was my witnessing heightened security and excitement around countless boxes of files being moved through the main administrative area of the prison. 

It is very likely that those boxes were part of what would become the Archivos del Terror (Archives of Terror), a collection of roughly a million pages of military, intelligence, and police documentation on the disappearance, movement, and murder of countless citizens of Argentina and South America during Operation Condor and Argentina’s own enthusiastic version of it – the Guerra sucia (Dirty War).

To this day, they still have not allowed the public or the victims access to 98% of those pages. They’ve used many flimsy excuses over the years for why, but much of those revolve around the need to keep the depth and breadth of their crimes classified and away from the public’s view, in order to maintain simplified control. 

The crimes against the people did not end when the war did, despite the fallacy upheld by limited history books, newspapers, and front-facing political bureaucrats that proclaim war and atrocities have an official start and end date, as if they were nothing more than football matches between friendly rivals. 

Using Operation Condor’s agreements, policies, and political prisoner trafficking pipeline, Argentina spread its methodologies and seeded people (their own people as well as legitimate political prisoners) into projects, offices, and agencies in other parts of the country and world. The results of their continuing efforts have had, and will continue to have, further-reaching implications than the state terrorism that gripped much of South America in those years. 

Back in the prison, the next moment that would impact my life happened as I was standing in the cell I shared with my mother, gazing out the window at a tree that I could always see but would never get to play under. We had a visitor. My mother spoke with the woman, the same foreign officer who had observed me as I played. They spoke for ages as I pretended to have my concentration fully on the outdoor scene. 

Image: Cárcel de Devoto (Since Renamed to Complejo Penitenciario Federal de la C.A.B.A.)

Image Source: Google Maps

I may not have caught all of the conversation, but I heard enough that I would later come to understand that it had been an agreement – my mother had signed away her rights and life to that woman in exchange for my “safety and opportunity” in the United States. They spoke about how, due to injuries, my mother wasn’t eligible to be recruited for anything that a military intelligence officer could offer, except for one unpalatable option. 

As for any questions about U.S. recruitment practices from war, I will highlight one thing:

The United States’ practice of recruiting political prisoners, war criminals, and prisoners of war can be clearly identified with the example of 1940s through 1960s Operation Paperclip (foreign scientists recruited with the lure of being protected from war crimes tribunals). If it didn’t set the precedent for the 1970s through 1980s recruitments and modern wartime recruitment manuals, it’s an example of the practice. 

Once a policy is established by the U.S. military, it is utilized, regardless of the name of the war or the location of state terrorism. The only thing that keeps it in the past in the public mind is the combination of a belief that we are always more ethical in the present and modern day, plus that pesky 50-year average period before declassification that helps to keep the fallacy of ethical modern behavior perpetually alive by always hiding the bad parts at the time they occur. 

We may want to be more ethical in the present day, and that says a lot about the potential good in humanity. However, we are often quite the opposite behind closed doors and removed from the public eye, something that is permissible due to the belief that long-term deception, even domestic deception,  is still a necessity for state control and warfare.

If it’s established policy and procedure, it’s rare that the policy would be operational ten years prior and then simply cease to exist. 

Established is established.

Policy is policy. 

And if there’s anything we can trust the military to do, it’s to follow policy. 

Image of Nazi Scientists Recruited by the United States under Operation Paperclip,

Image Source: Museum of Jewish Heritage

“Between 1945 and the 1960s, the United States government brought more than 1,500 German scientists and engineers into the country through Project Paperclip to work on guided missiles, jet and rocket engines, aerodynamics, aerospace medicine, and submarine technology. The U.S. hoped these specialists could give them an advantage at the end of WWII and into the Cold War. Over time, many of the Germans disappeared into American military, industrial, and academic positions.”

Text Source:  Museum of Jewish Heritage

Because my mother could not be recruited for military research skills or intelligence work, both areas in which the U.S. still sought the best from foreign war recruitments, the recruiter offered the only other primary option she had available for getting my injured mother and myself out of the country. Her words seemed to indicate that she was sincerely trying to help us, her voice sometimes dropping to a hushed tone as if she was sharing secrets with my mother that the guards shouldn’t hear. But the recruiter’s body language, the twitch of the muscles beneath her skin? Those didn’t entirely match the rest of her act. I trusted my mother to know what to do with the woman, but there was something uncomfortable enough about her that the memory seared itself into my brain.

My mother agreed to fulfill the only other human resource need by the group of military departments the recruiter represented. She agreed to become a human subject for Defense medical research (something the recruiter would often call cancer research when around civilians she wanted to trust her – but my mother didn’t have cancer). My mother accepted the deal in exchange for getting us both out of that prison and breaking free of the country oppressing us. It was a deal with the devil. She sacrificed everything in that moment. She thought she was doing it for me. 

She truly thought she was making the sacrifice for me. 

I will always love her, even more for her sacrifice. I wish what she agreed to had been a contract based on truth instead of lies, and that I could have known what it was back then. I would have clung to her. I would have screamed. I would have shouted and made a scene. Instead, I stood there silently like the perfect hostage, waiting to be whisked away without even a single struggle or whimper. 

Even more, I would have preferred to have died in Argentina with my mother, safe in her arms, and without either of us knowing the true horrors beyond those prison walls, rather than going through what was still ahead of both of us. 

The brutal truth is that some of the only people they could get to knowingly agree to become research subjects were political prisoners in indefinite detainment and under threat of death. Ordinary domestic prisoners, even those facing life in prison, often refused to volunteer in exchange for a reduced sentence. And ordinary people? Some of them might be horrified if they knew what their government was actually up to. 

Image Source: US Army Medical Center of Excellence

“Officials …allowed (covert and deceptive experimentation) secrets to be maintained not only because disclosure would endanger national security, but because such disclosure ‘would be prejudicial to the interests or prestige of the Nation.’ 

And… expanded the practice to encompass public relations, especially the threat of ‘embarrassment’ and ‘legal liability.’”

Text Source: US Army Medical Center of Excellence

According to the U.S. government and military, the reasons for lying to the public about the harm done to individuals and communities for warfare purposes have expanded to include preventing lawsuits, embarrassment, and damage to the nation’s reputation. 

It hasn’t been about your safety or protection since at least the 1930s.

That government and others like it deserve to be embarrassed. They sacrifice their own citizens, and the world, for an illusion. 

And the public deserves to be embarrassed for letting them. They told you they were doing it. And some of them are you. 

When face-saving is the goal of government deception, their own citizens become the enemy. Witnesses become the enemy. When their crimes get big enough and we all become witnesses, we all become something to erase. 

And before erasing us, when it comes to learning how to erase us, the required endgame researchers and strategists must not care about a political party, race, community, country, or their own families. This is true even if they appear to happily ride one or more of those groups to the finish line, wearing the full regalia and masking as their biggest leaders and supporters. The best endgame worker doesn’t even care about the ground they stand on. 

That’s why militaries have to force-recruit in countries, such as Argentina, already known for leaning in the direction of genocidal ideations. No sane, normal, or non-coerced person will willingly and consistently work towards their own demise and the demise of their people, party, nation, or globe. You have to select them from the correct environment and then steal and break them in war if you want people who will work on those particular research and strategy projects with any degree of effectiveness. 

Endgame workers are rarely born for the job. They are most often forged in war and then torn from their roots by enemy recruitment. 

The final significant moment in the prison occurred one early evening when we children were returned to the halls where our cells were. For the first time that I could recall, my mother was not there to return to. My prison cell was empty other than our two beds pressed against the walls, one on each side of the room, as if the guards had already sought to create a separation between us. A foreboding sense felt like it was pulling me down. That weight became physical as they told me that my mother had gone to see the doctor because she had a high fever. Mothers with “high fevers” did not always return. 

I was alone, wandering in anxious silence between the hall and my bed for hours before someone noticed and brought me to the small janitor’s closet to get something to drink. 

I was lost without my mother…

Next: Entrenchment at Universidad de Buenos Aires