Cheney and justice for torture victimsSubmitted by Bob-45 on Mon, 09/26/2011 - 08:14
Editor's note: Ariel Dorfman is the Chilean-American author of "Death and the Maiden" along with a wide variety of other plays, fiction, poetry and essays. Dorfman is the Walter Hines Page Professor of Literature and Latin American Studies at Duke University. His new memoir is "Feeding on Dreams: Confessions of an Unrepentant Exile" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt ).
(CNN) -- Dick Cheney, it has been said, fears that "somebody will Pinochet him."
This extraordinary grammatical twist of the word Pinochet cannot be found in Cheney's recently published memoirs. It was used in several television interviews by Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, the former chief of staff to Colin Powell, to suggest that George W. Bush's vice president dreads the possibility that he, like Gen. Augusto Pinochet, Chile's late dictator, will be put on trial for crimes against humanity in a foreign land.
In effect, ever since Pinochet was arrested in London in 1998 and spent the next year and a half fighting extradition to Spain to face charges of having ordered and condoned torture during his regime, ever since the British House of Lords (equivalent to the U.S. Supreme Court) judged that it was valid to indict a head of state for human rights abuses in a country other than the one where those abuses had been committed, the specter of that decision and that fate has haunted rulers and former rulers everywhere.