Declassified documents show Australia assisted CIA in coup against Chile’s Salvador Allende

Source: The Guardian

Australia’s covert overseas spy agency, the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, opened a base in Santiago to assist in the US Central Intelligence Agency’s destabilisation of the Chilean government ahead of the bloody military coup against Salvador Allende’s socialist government 48 years ago today.

Declassified Australian government documents prove that in December 1970 Liberal foreign minister and later prime minister, Billy McMahon, approved an Asis request to open the base. For 18 months from 1971, according to the US-based National Security Archive, Asis apparently conducted covert operations in Chile – including handling CIA-recruited Chilean assets in Santiago and filing intelligence reports to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

The documents disclose how McMahon’s successor, Labor’s Gough Whitlam elected in December 1972, less than a year later ordered the then Asis director, William Robertson, to disband the service’s Chilean operations.



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