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Operation Acid Gambit Essay

1663 words - 7 pages

Introduction

On the night of April 9, 1989, Kurt Muse, the man behind La Voz de la Libertad, would finally be arrested while trying to clear immigration at Panama City’s Omar Torrijos International Airport. It would take nearly two and a half days and the cancelation of all Panamanian visas to the United States by the State Department for the Panamanian Defense Force to finally present Kurt Muse to the world; as a spy for the United States government.1 Kurt founded La Voz de la Libertad, and used it to promote the over threw of Noriega. Once news of his arrest was discovered, the other key players in La Voz de la Libertad and their families knew what had to be done. A member transmitted “shopette” and soon twenty-six Panamanians were asking for asylum at the gates of Fort Clayton.2 Kurt was the only American actively involved in La Voz de La Libertad and would not incriminate his Panamanian coconspirators. It would take nearly nine months for Operation Acid Gambit to come to fruition, and Kurt finally be liberated from his jail cell by Delta Force.

History
Why would the Panamanian Defense Force arrest someone who was not only an American citizen but also a Department of Defense dependent; then hold him for nine months in Carcel Modelo, one of Panamas most notorious prisons? Kurt Muse was born in the United States of America but spent most of his life in Panama City, Panama; where he ended up working in the family printing business. Kurt loved Panama and her people very deeply; he could not stand to see what Manuel Noriega was doing to the country. During the summer and fall of 1987 Panama was in a state of disarray, the economy was suffering, protests and strikes were rampant.
Up until October 11, 1987, Kurt and his coconspirators played tricks with Panamanian Defense soldiers. Using radios of their own, they transmitted to PDF troops on their internal radio frequencies, threatening them and berating them for being disrespectful to the neighborhood.3 However, one day they discovered that using their communication equipment they could intercept radio signals aimed at repeater stations high in the mountains surrounding Panama. Once they intercepted these signals, they could overpower them using a relatively inexpensive transmitter to broadcast their message on the most popular radio stations in Panama.4 However the frequency used had been set aside for use by fishing vessels in Costa Rica, therefore the low-band linking equipment they needed was protected by international law. This turned out to be only a minor problem for the team; Kurt used his families printing business to create a fictitious fishing company through which he could order the special equipment.5
With the new equipment in hand, on October 11thwhen General Manuel Antonio Noriega addressed the country, Kurt Muse and his coconspirators would be poised to intervene with a broadcast of their own. With this La Voz de la Libertad (Voice of Liberty) was born, and would interrupt...

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