Michael Ratner is a New York attorney who works at the Center for Constitutional Rights. He poses this legal precedent following revelation of CIA “enhanced interrogation” tactics and US government refusal to prosecute major actors such as George Bush, Dick Chaney and Donald Rumsfeld. World opinion is not congruent or even slightly sympathetic to US government officials’ indifference over horrific treatment of captured subjects.
Having heard too much of the torture tactics (“enhanced interrogation”) in Orwellian parlance, those who know torture is a clear violation of international law recall the December 13, 1994 decision of a Chilean judge to indict dictator Augusto Pinochet on charges of kidnapping political dissidents and killing one of them during his 17-year military regime. Pinochet never faced trial and died in 2006 at age 91.
The first “9/11” occurred in 1973 when the CIA and a major US corporation decided to trigger the bloody coup in Santiago. US intervention brought down the government of Salvador Allende who was democratically elected in Chile. Nationalization of large foreign corporations made Allende an “enemy” of the multinationals. One US copper company in Chile was a strident opponent of Allende’s policies.
When the judicial system of a nation refuses to take action against one of its own citizens who has been involved in wrongdoing, other countries can enact legislation that might result in arrest of foreign citizens who dare to go abroad bearing their criminal history. Such is the drama of General Pinochet who was not prosecuted in his own country but discovered justice is international.
Henry Kissinger knows he can’t visit certain nations for fear of being arrested on sight in their airports. The Vietnam conflict is an unholy history that Kissinger will drag about for the rest of his years visiting Earth.
During the Bush years, Condoleza Rice faced pointed questions from reporters about tactics used by the CIA and FBI. In one interview, she unabashedly told the inquiring reporter: “The United States does not torture!” Thousands of pages of documentation now clearly indicate the US does torture and we have taught other nations the same methods of trying to extract information.
After George Bush finished his book about life as a US Commander-In-Chief who destroyed Iraq, British officials warned him not to travel there for fear of being harshly treated in their airports.
The Pinochet Principle is a legal precedent that deserves rapt attention by all who have been involved in post 9/11 history. Conscience can be water boarded and drowned in the United States, but not in other nations. It behooves all US citizens to view Core of Corruption.