Letters to the Editor

Pinochet's timely death

George W. Bush, failed president, has more than two years remaining in his second term.

It could be worse for President Bush. He must have breathed a sigh of relief at the death of brutal former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, who came to power in 1973 with the help of the Nixon administration and the CIA. Pinochet's thugs murdered democratically elected socialist Salvador Allende.

New facts about the relationship between Pinochet and the Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43 administrations would almost certainly have come to light had Pinochet ever been tried.

Both Bushes have acted to prevent a trial. According to journalist Robert Parry, in 1976 CIA Director George H.W. Bush diverted investigators from Pinochet's involvement in the Washington, D.C., murder of political rival Orlando Letelier and Ronni Moffitt. President George W. Bush sidetracked an FBI investigation of the murder.

In the more than 30 years since the 1973 coup, Pinochet has been implicated in numerous crimes, including torture, murder, drug-running, money-laundering and illicit arms sales. Indeed, Pinochet was involved with many Bush-family cronies -- including the new Secretary of Defense Robert Gates -- in the Iran-Contra scandal, which involved two of Pinochet's specialties, drug-trafficking and illegal arms sales.

Charles M. Ashley