Constantine Menges

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Constantine Menges (September 1, 1939[1] – July 11, 2004[2]) was an American scholar, author, professor, and Latin American specialist for the White House's US National Security Council and CIA.

Menges was born in Turkey on September 1, 1939, the day that Germany invaded Poland to start World War II. His parents sent him to the United States in 1943. Menges attended college in Prague.[3] He earned a bachelor's degree in physics and a doctorate in political science from Columbia University.[4] He helped German refugees escape over the Berlin Wall and organized civil resistance after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 during the Prague Spring[5]

Menges worked to ensue equal voting rights in Mississippi and marched with the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. During the Nixon and Ford administrations, he was deputy assistant for civil rights in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare.[6]

From 1981 until 1983, he worked for the director of the CIA as the national intelligence officer for Latin America. From 1983 until 1986, he served as special assistant to President Ronald Reagan.[7] He helped plan Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada and supported the Nicaraguan Contras and the Salvadoran rebels. Friends and foes gave him the nickname "Constant Menace".[8]

Notably, while in Czechoslovakia in 1968, Menges helped encourage non-violent civic resistance to the Soviet-led invasion. During his government service, Menges helped formulate and adopt key strategies aimed at countering Soviet political warfare and aggression and encouraging transitions to democracy abroad.[9]

In September 2002, Constantine Menges sent a letter to Olavo de Carvalho in which he agreed with the Brazilian philosopher’s analysis of the current political situation in Brazil.[10]

He died of cancer on July 11, 2004, in Washington, D.C., where he had been a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Constantine Menges, R.I.P.". Retrieved 2012-04-05. 
  2. ^ "Constantine Menges: A tribute". Retrieved 2012-04-05. 
  3. ^ "Constantine Menges, Freedom’s Quiet Warrior". Retrieved 2012-04-05. 
  4. ^ "Constantine Menges, 64; National Security Aide for Latin America". Los Angeles Times. 2004-07-20. Retrieved 2012-04-05. 
  5. ^ "The Week...". National Review (August 9, 2004): 15. 2004. 
  6. ^ "Constantine Menges, Freedom’s Quiet Warrior". Retrieved 2012-04-05. 
  7. ^ "Constantine Menges Resident Scholar in Foreign Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute". Retrieved 2012-04-05. 
  8. ^ "The Week...". National Review (August 9, 2004): 15. 2004. 
  9. ^ [1]. WND, July 13, 2004.
  10. ^ Constantine C. Menges’ Letter to Olavo de Carvalho. September 19, 2002.
  11. ^ "Constantine Menges, 64; National Security Aide for Latin America". Los Angeles Times. 2004-07-20. Retrieved 2012-04-05.