The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Wednesday, November 23, 2005  

Chileans Are a Too-Kind People

Good news out of Santiago: “Gen. Augusto Pinochet, the former military dictator of Chile, was arrested today . . . on tax fraud and passport forgery charges arising from secret bank accounts, holding millions of dollars, that he maintained under false names in the United States and elsewhere.”

Okay, so the news could be better, improved by a few charges of crimes against humanity or something on that order, but we have to take what we can get, where we can get it, at least for now.

Meanwhile, and mysteriously, F.O.A. (“Friend of Augusto”) and former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger remains a free man, though it’s been reported his much-vaunted and highly compensated globe-trotting now entails the avoidance of certain countries for fear of imminent arrest.

Media reports say Pinochet will be held under house arrest and will not be transported, under cover of darkness, into the capital city’s national stadium.

Pity, that.

Pinochet’s bail has been set at $23,000, an amount attorneys for the “psychopath and murderer” say he cannot pay.

I heard a rumor former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher has expressed a willingness to tap her pension so her Chilean mate can meet bail. And I understand Elliott Abrams is also making calls.

[Actually, I made up that part about Thatcher and Abrams, but it has a ring of plausibility to it, no?]

[Post-publication addendum: For local coverage, see: “Pinochet es Procesado y Queda con Arresto Domiciliario,” El Mercurio; “Procesan a Pinochet por Oscuro Origen de Su Fortuna,” La Nacion; and “Pinochet, Arrestado en Su Casa por Caso Riggs,” La Segunda.]

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