Why Damian Pachter Fled Buenos Aires: “Argentina has become a dark place led by a corrupt political system.”

Damian Pachter, Buenos Aires Herald journalist, Tel Aviv 1-25-15

Source: Ha’aretz

Yesterday, we posted on the arrival in Tel Aviv of  Buenos Aires Herald journalist Damian Pachter fleeing Argentine after his scoop of the death of Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman. A press conference was held yesterday in Tel Aviv. Ha’aretz  published Pachter’s account that was picked up on The Daily Forward blog, “Why I Fled Argentina After Alberto Nisman Scoop”.

What Pachter describes in his recounting of his experience mirrors many of the elements in Israeli-Argentinean Gustavo Perednik’s book, now in English translation, To Kill without a Trace: A Prequel to 9/11- Iranian Bombs in Buenos Aires.  Gustavo depicts  a country led by a succession of corrupt governments caving in state terrorism attacks by Iran and proxy Hezbollah. All because of Argentina’s abandonment of nuclear cooperation agreements stretching back to the era of the Shah, which ended in the early 90’s. Argentina was conveniently close to the Iran/Hezbollah terror base in the triangle frontier border separating it from neighboring Paraguay and Brazil. Former Argentine President Carlos Menem had been bribed by the Islamic Regime as early as 1986 with funds deposited in Swiss accounts. He turned turtle after the AMIA Jewish center bombing in 1994 under pressure from cabinet ministers. This despite information obtained by Judge Jouan Jose Galeano  from Manouchehr Moatamar an Iranian defector in Caracas  of Iran’s and Hezbollah’s complicity in planning and executing the 1992 Israeli Embassy, 1994 AMIA and Panamanian commuter plane blasts. Ironically Galeano late figures prominently in the 2001 trial corruption conduct.  The bombing of the Alas Chiricanas Flight 901  from Colon to Panama City that killed 12 Jewish businessmen was deemed by both Panamanian and US investigators as an act of terrorism. It occurred one day following the AMIA bombing on July 18, 1994. Menem’s cabinet urged him not to provoke the deadly Islamists. Instead, given his Syrian Muslim background before his Catholic conversion and family contacts there he opted to create an enormous cover up. A cover up  the late Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman eventually unraveled. That  followed the exposure of accusations of corruption in  the conduct of the four year trial of accused Buenos Aires police officials that ended in  2005 with their exoneration. Nisman worked with the aid of intercepted calls and transcripts, obtained from Argentinean spy chief , Antonio Horacio Stiuso of SIDE. He was able to use that information to enable the issuance of the 2007 Interpol arrest warrant for Iranian and Hezbollah leaders. They were involved in planning and executing the 1992 and 1994 terrorist attacks that killed 25 Israelis and 85 Argentineans injuring hundreds.

Nisman’s likely murder and cover up of his recent Complaint against President Cristina Kirchner and Foreign Minister Hector Timerman is in line with the trail of corruption and  cover up in response to State sponsored terrorism of the Islamic Regime in Tehran and proxy Hezbollah.  The alleged dropping of charges against the Iranian perpetrators of the 1992 and 1994 Buenos Aires bombings  in exchange for a trade deal for oil fits the revelation of the pattern of  the 20 year web  of official deceit and corruption that led to Nisman’s death in January 2015. 

Here are some  excerpts from the Ha’aretz/ Daily Forward article by Pachter:

When my source gave me the scoop on Alberto Nisman’s death, I was writing a piece on the special prosecutor’s accusations against President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, her (Jewish) Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman, two pro-Iran “social activists” and parliamentarian Andrés Larroque. I learned that Nisman had been shot dead in his home.

The vetting process wasn’t too tough because of my source’s incredible attention to detail. His name will never be revealed.

Two things stood in my mind: my source’s safety and people’s right to know what happened that day, though not necessarily in that order.

Of course, for both speed and the contagion effect, Twitter was the way to go. The information was so solid I never doubted my source, despite my one or two colleagues who doubted me because I only had 420 Twitter followers — a number now eclipsing 10,000.

As the night went on, journalists contacted me in order to get the news from me even more directly. The first to do so was Gabriel Bracesco.

Once I tweeted that Nisman had died, hundreds of people quickly retweeted the news and started following me. That was my first of many sleepless days.

“You just broke the best story in decades,” lots of people said. “You’re crazy,” was another take. Either way, nobody questioned that the situation was very grave.

The following days were marked by a government trying to create an official story. First, the head of state suggested a “suicide hypothesis,” then a mysterious murder. They of course were not to blame.

Encounter with Argentine Intelligence officer:

After several hours on the road, I arrived at the bus station, where I remained for a couple of hours. It turns out this was a big mistake: I think that was the place someone started watching me. But I didn’t realize it back then.

I didn’t want to stay too long in any one place, so I walked over to a gas-station joint nearby. My friend contacted me and said: “I’ll be there in 20 minutes.”

I was sitting around there for two hours or so when a very strange person came in. He wore jeans, a jeans jacket and Ray-Ban sunglasses. I noticed him immediately but stayed where I was. He was sitting two tables from me.

Suddenly I felt a finger on my neck and jumped like I never did my whole life.

“You’re a bit jumpy son” — it was my friend making one of his jokes. “You’re under surveillance; haven’t you noticed the intelligence guy behind you?”

“The one with the jeans and Ray-Bans?”


“What does he want?”

“Stay calm and look into my camera,” my guy said as he took my picture. Well, actually he took a picture of the intelligence officer, who left five minutes later. I have that picture here with me.

I then had to consider the best thing to do, because when an Argentine intelligence agent is on your tail, it’s never good news. He didn’t just want to have a coffee with me, that’s for sure.

Pachter’s conclusion:

After I left Argentina I found out that the government was still publishing wrong information about me on social media. The Twitter feed of Casa Rosada, the Argentine presidential palace, posted the details of the airline ticket I had bought, and claimed that I intended to return to Argentina by February 2 — in other words, I hadn’t really fled the country. In fact, my return date is in December.

Argentina has become a dark place led by a corrupt political system. I still haven’t figured out everything that has happened to me over the past 48 hours. I never imagined my return to Israel would be like this.

You may read more, here.





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