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The International Writers Magazine
Extract from new novel completed by James G Skinner about the Falklands War

Chapter 39
James Skinner

CIA leaves a calling card: Argentina – 1982

ommander Alfredo Di Martino, an intelligence officer in the Argentine Navy investigates the murder of a US oil company executive in Buenos Aires supposedly committed by communist terrorists. As Di Martino pursues the clues, a more sinister plot begins to unravel that implicates the Presidency of the Argentine Republic and in particular its Director of Communications, Colonel David Jones who is of Welsh origin. The storyline traces the early background and military careers of both characters and ends in an unexpected climax at the height of the planning of the Falkland Islands’ invasion by the Argentine military in 1982.

The time period stretches from the Peron dictatorship era of 1945 through to the ‘Dirty War’ of the 70’s and early 80’s. The salient national and international historical events and real characters involved, such as US President Ronald Reagan and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, are brought to life as the characters adapt to the tumultuous era of Latin America’s struggle against communism that turned into brutal military persecution and murder of thousands of innocent human lives, indirectly backed by the CIA and the Pentagon.

The Falklands War in 1982, triggered off by a scrap merchant called Joseph Friedberg, ironically brought an end to the horrible bloodshed.

This historical novel is dedicated to all those Europeans, especially British, Italians and Spaniards who since the XIX century immigrated to Argentina and helped to build the emerging South American country. They are the real characters of the story.

Extract from Chapter 39: The Goa File by James G Skinner

The bomb went off at the crack of dawn on a Monday morning. Despite the lack of warning, there were no casualties and hardly any damage. A huge garbage container at the unguarded rear exit of the Argentine Naval Mechanical School had been blown to bits. As the ricochet effect destroyed another three, rubbish had been scattered in all directions. The timing had coincided with the weekend’s garbage accumulation hence the containers were full. The perpetrator had slipped a small envelope under the door of the school’s kitchens minutes before the explosion. The card’s inscription read in amateur verse form:
To: General Galtieri,
‘The Falklands are near,
But out of your reach,
If you send in the troops,

They’ll never make the beach.’
Compliments of the CIA.

Only nine persons knew about the details of the plan to reclaim the Falkland Islands. Captain Nestor had been ordered to report back on his first visit to South Georgia with details of Friedberg’s survey but on no account to arouse any possible suspicion. Originally planned to take advantage of Friedberg’s second trip to set up camp, a detachment of Marines led by Captain Artich would land alongside the scrap merchants. The next stage was, in similar fashion to the original repossession of Goa by the Indian government in the nineteen sixties, to prepare a proper document to be presented to the United Nations as legal proof of the claim. If there was no positive response, plan B with a full assault on Port Stanley would take place between July and October.

The Argentine military’s reaction to the bomb and its calling card went exactly as predicted. The US Ambassador was immediately summoned to the Presidency to explain the meaning of a supposed covert action against the Argentine nation by the CIA. Without waiting for the usual formalities an outraged General Galtieri waved the card at the ambassador as he walked into the president’s office.
‘What’s the meaning of this?’ Coolly, Ambassador Stephenson took the card and read it. He looked up at Galtieri and shrugged his shoulders.
‘It was found alongside a bomb blast at then Navy’s Mechanical School this morning!’
‘Mr. President, I’ll check this out immediately.’ Within minutes the ambassador was being driven back to the embassy.

At the other end of the city, another irate military office was dealing with the same incident but with a separate envelope that had been delivered by express post the same day.
‘Where was the security when this bloody bomb went off, Captain? And, what about this note?’ He repeated the wording to Captain Artich. ‘HOPE YOU LIKE BRITISH SOUTH ATLANTIC ROAST LAMB. REMEMBER TO SPICE IT WITH MINT SAUCE! WITH THE COMPLIMENTS OF THE CIA. HAVE A NICE DAY!’ The note bore the recognisable stamp of the Intelligence Agency. Admiral Anaya went on, ‘is this a joke? Do you realise that this means the yanks are aware of plan GOA!’ Captain Artich was speechless although he suspected who had been the culprit. He was not going to admit to his boss as he had already covered up the Cordoba massacre and was not going to reopen yet another chapter in the Forrester or Strickland botched affairs. But the bomb had gone off nevertheless.

The President and the Mechanical School were not the only entities to receive the CIA compliments slip. Others were sent by ordinary post to two key persons. The time delay was crucial. It gave the press time to fudge the story.

Reporters swarmed around the bombsite trying to photograph the debris whilst constantly being driven off by both military and federal police units. As per the ‘official statement from the government’ the Buenos Aires Times and the national papers coincided with the story of the garbage destruction at the military establishment. Erroneous information appeared in the headlines the following day as most newspapers blamed the assault on yet another terrorist attempt by a splinter group bent on razing alarms and disrupting Argentine society.

Two days later, Albert Petrie of the Times was handed a handwritten envelope marked confidential with the added title of ‘Old Anthonian’ after his name. It had come in the first delivery of the day. Suspecting yet another information slip from his old boy’s association he nonchalantly dropped it into the in-basket on his desk. The ‘confidential’ bit intrigued him. He picked it up again and opened it. The note simply read:
‘You crazy son of a bitch!’ he thought with a wry smile across his face.

© James Skinner Jan 2007
Now read the whole book!

The Goa File   Author: James G. Skinner
Paperback (pp: 395) ISBN: 978-81-8253-079-9
Availability: In Stock (Ships within 1 to 2 days)
Publisher:, Allahabad, India
Pub. Date: Jan 2007
James G. Skinner, as he is know to his friends in Vigo, Spain was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is a retired telecommunications expert who has travelled the world over having worked for some of the greatest of todayıs conglomerates such as Cable & Wireless, US Sprint and British Telecom. Having lived in many different and disparate countries spread across several continents, his knowledge of and experience with people from different ethnic groups and social backgrounds is second to none. He is a regular writer ­ in Spanish ­ in the local papers of Galicia and is currently the Honorary British Consul in the region. (read more)


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