04 October 2006

Dictator dixit

In the rarefied context of trials against Dirty War criminals, the disappearance of Jorge Julio López and the intimidation of other witnesses, activists, judges and prosecutors, this was probably to be expected. Former dictator (some prefer the euphemism "de facto president") Reynaldo Bignone wrote a letter to the young Argentine readers of the ghastly pro-dictatorship website Memoria Completa, whose name shows its pretense that it's not meant to be supportive of the horrendous criminals who ruled Argentina, but only in favour of "complete memory", as understood by modern pro-dictatorship misinformators -- that is, remembering that there were also people blown up or kidnapped, tortured and killed by the left-wing guerillas. Bignone employed the classic fight of Don Quixote against the windmills as a metaphor for the struggle of idealistic youth in search for "truth" -- that is, that the military and police did torture and kill thousands of people without due process and in many cases without any cause at all, but it was ultimately for our own good -- which the current government has tried to hide and distort, by taking the disgraceful step of repealing old amnesty laws sanctioned almost at gunpoint and presidential pardons granted without justification by the King of Toupees.

What Bignone wrote to the young was summarized in his last sentence: "Finish what we could not finish."

The letter was swiftly removed from the website, but not before it was copied and reported by mainline newspapers. At this, Bignone, again showing the cowardice of one who had no qualms stealing babies from illegally detained mothers but passed a self-amnesty law just before leaving the government to democratic rule, denied that he had meant what he obviously meant -- he says he only wanted to encourage the young at Memoria Completa. Bignone is free because of a technicality, but apology of crime is a serious offence.

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