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Presidential Accountability

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The president ran a vigorous counter-terrorism program. With super-secret clearances, he caused terrorists and their helpers to be “disappeared” and tortured for intelligence value. Several of them died in the process. His assistants succeeded in keeping all of this under wraps for years, but then, after he left office, prosecutors began a painstaking process of establishing the facts. The penalty? Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori sentenced to twenty-five years for crimes essentially identical to those committed by George W. Bush and Richard B. Cheney. Former President Bush, behold what the future may hold in store:

The former Peruvian president Alberto Fujimori was today convicted of kidnapping and murder and sentenced to 25 years in what was described as a landmark ruling for human rights cases in Latin America. A three-judge panel found the 70-year-old guilty of authorising a military death squad during the state’s “dirty war” against Maoist rebels in the 1990s. The 15-month trial, held at a special forces police base just outside the capital, Lima, was the first time a democratically elected Latin American leader had been tried on home soil for human rights abuses.

“This court declares that the four charges against him have been proven beyond all reasonable doubt,” Judge Cesar San Martin told the courtroom.

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