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Guatemala's Efrain Rios Montt U.S. and Guatemalan Documents Trace Dictator's Rise to Power Date: Tue, Mar 19, 2013 at 1:57 PM Two new National Security Archive posts: The Iraq War Ten Years After Declassified Documents Show Failed Intelligence, Policy Ad Hockery, Propaganda-Driven Decisionmaking National Security Archive Publishes "Essential" Primary Sources on Operation Iraqi Freedom National Security Archive Briefing Book No. 418 Posted -- March 19, 2013 Edited by Joyce Battle and Malcolm Byrne For more information contact: Joyce Battle or Malcolm Byrne -- 202/994-7000 or firstname.lastname@example.org Washington, D.C., March 19, 2013 -- The U.S. invasion of Iraq turned out to be a textbook case of flawed assumptions, wrong-headed intelligence, propaganda manipulation, and administrative ad hockery, according to the National Security Archive's briefing book of declassified documents posted today to mark the 10th anniversary of the war. The Archive's documentary primer includes the famous Downing Street memo ("intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy"), the POLO STEP PowerPoint invasion plans (assuming out of existence any possible insurgency), an FBI interview with Saddam Hussein in captivity (he said he lied about weapons of mass destruction to keep Iran guessing and deterred), and the infamous National Intelligence Estimate about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (wrong in its findings, but with every noted dissent turning out to be accurate). "These dozen documents provide essential reading for anyone trying to understand the Iraq war," remarked Joyce Battle, Archive senior analyst who is compiling a definitive reference collection of declassified documents on the Iraq War. "At a moment when the public is debating the costs and consequences of the U.S. invasion, these primary sources refresh the memory and ground the discussion with contemporary evidence." Indicted for Genocide: Guatemala's Efrain Rios Montt U.S. and Guatemalan Documents Trace Dictator's Rise to Power National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 419 Posted -- March 19, 2013 Edited by Kate Doyle For more information contact: Kate Doyle 202/994-7000 or email@example.com For ongoing trial summaries, commentary and analysis, see a new Website launched by the Open Society Justice Initiative in partnership with the National Security Archive, the International Center for Transitional Justice, CEJIL and the Guatemalan on-line news site Plaza Pública: http://www.riosmontt-trial.org/ Washington, D.C., March 19, 2013 -- The groundbreaking genocide trial of Efrain Rios Montt, retired army general and former dictator of Guatemala, opens today with the presentation of the prosecution's first witnesses. The trial will take place despite repeated efforts by defense lawyers to halt the proceedings with legal appeals and a bid for amnesty. On March 12, the Constitutional Court rejected the amnesty request once and for all, clearing the way for the trial to begin. Along with his former intelligence chief, Jose Mauricio Rodriguez Sanchez, Rios Montt stands accused of masterminding a violent counterinsurgency campaign during his 1982-83 regime that sought to destroy opposing guerrilla forces and anyone who supported them. The indictment accuses the two men of responsibility for fifteen documented massacres in the Ixil region of the country's Quiche department, resulting in the deaths of 1,771 unarmed men, women and children. Who is Efrain Rios Montt? As the trial gets underway, the National Security Archive offers this brief biographic sketch and a description of the general's first months in power to provide background for understanding the man, his role as military dictator of Guatemala, and the crimes for which he has been indicted. The information comes not only from declassified U.S. documents released under FOIA, but from secret Guatemalan military documents obtained by the Archive through years of research on behalf of the Guatemala Documentation Project. In the coming weeks, we will offer additional analysis and documents about the Guatemalan army's counterinsurgency strategy under Rios Montt and the impact he had among Mayan communities in the country's Ixil region Check out today's posting at the National Security Archive website - http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB419/ Find us on Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/NSArchive Unredacted, the Archive blog - http://nsarchive.wordpress.com/