Monday, December 03, 2007

Hell to Pay

So run, you cur... RUN! Tell all the other curs the law's comin'!
You tell 'em I'M coming... and hell's coming with me, you hear?

--Wyatt Earp,
Tombstone (1993)

Master of puppets I'm pulling your strings

Twisting your mind and smashing your dreams

--Master of Puppets
, Metallica

The legal system of Argentina is finally getting around to prosecuting "alleged" torture committed 24-31 years ago. It is news that doesn't raise much of a blip on the American radar screens, but it is instructive and hopeful.

Closing arguments were presented last week in the first trial involving torture at a notorious military prison during Argentina's Dirty War (1976-83):

"Federal prosecutor Mirna Goransky made her final presentation at the trial against former Coast Guard [Officer] Héctor Febrés, who is charged with
'crimes against humanity' committed at the ESMA Navy Mechanics School Detention Centre during Argentina’s military dictatorship (Prosecutor's Final Plea in Febres Case.)"

From an earlier New York Times mention:

The former officer, Héctor Febres, 66, is accused of kidnapping and torture in the case of four people who were seized by government agents and taken to the feared Navy Mechanics' School during the 1976-1983 military dictatorship. Mr. Febres, 66 years old, appeared in court and denied the charges.

The Navy Mechanics School was the largest clandestine torture center of the era. An estimated 4,500 prisoners passed through its cells, and many were never seen again."

George W. Bush and flunkies can play with words and parse the definition of torture to suit their needs, but eventually reality will catch up with them. Some day the American justice system may decide to follow the Argentine example and address the shame of the U.S.'s own impositions of torture.

If not the American system, then perhaps the world court.
It may become unsafe for certain government officials to travel abroad in the not-too-distant future.

Even if it takes 24 to 31 years, it will be a well-earned stain upon the Bush legacy.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

America attention span isn't long enough. Hat off to those that remeber who and what they're fighting for.

Monday, December 3, 2007 at 11:17:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...


Possibly it won't be America that does the prosecution. Witness Rumsfeld's recent rather hasty retreat from France.

If one were a churchgoer, one could take some solace in the idea that all must meet their maker.

Somewhere, there are still people and places that adhere to a sense of justice.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007 at 8:23:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

we are using a lot of our "school of the americas" grads as mercs in iraq and afghanistan. they are prime recruits, prized by blackwater (along with the gold standard mercs of algeria and south africa)

sooner or later all bills become due though. one of the most galling thoughts i have involve these corrupt and incompetent bastards getting away scott free. (historical note: scott free has to do with the mexican war and general winfield scott's blanket pardoning of many of the soldiers of the "san patricos" division of the mexican army. they were made up of mostly irish immigrants who deserted to change sides in that conflict, at the cessation of hostilities scott rescinded the death penalties of their officers, reducing it to floggings and brandings and for most of the regular troops, who had won the awe and admiration of their opposites in the field, he simply discharged them formally and told them that they were no longer welcome in the U.S. hence, "scott free" meaning to escape without consequences)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007 at 5:31:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...


Incompetence is not a crime -- as my attorney now tells me about the lying bastard architect I am now dealing with -- but corruption and torture are most definitely criminal. The butcher's bill will come due, if the American people still have integrity.

That is, if it doesn't interfere with their sports programming.

Thursday, December 6, 2007 at 11:27:00 AM GMT-5  

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