Wednesday, May 6

The Universal Evil of Unlawful Detention

Rock Band Mr. Mister played a Chilean festival in 1988, they probably did know that speaking up for other artists who were being repressed by Dictator Augusto Pinochet might lead to being held under House Arrest, and even their Lives threatened. They did it anyway. Ten years later a Spanish Judge would issue an arrest warrant for Pinochet, that same Judge may soon indict "The Bush Six".

Besides my own long-time involvement in music, my wife was a Rock journalist at this time, friends with members of the band. as well as active with Amnesty International. She actually met them backstage in San Diego not long after this incident and could feel the tension in the aftermath.

The truth is that Richard is really underplaying what happened in this interview. They were held under house arrest and only because of the outcry from Amnesty International were they released. Their guitar tech Dallas Shue's life was threatened, the experience was so intense and terrifying that guitarist Steve Farris later talked of suffering from PTSD, and eventually left the band at least partially because of the incident. (He later joined Whitesnake). Dallas was also the Guitar Tech for Dave Evans (aka "The Edge" from U2).

When Richard made his statement from the stage, the front rows of the audience which were mostly filled with Pinochet supporters booed and made a "cut-throat" motion. Richard was handed a note later in the set which was intended to be his "apology/alibi" for making the statement - he let it fall to with a word.

Pinochet was eventually tried, convicted and died under House Arrest in England as a War Criminal, but it's interesting to not that in 1998 Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon issued a warrant for his arrest under the "Universal Jurisdiction" of War Crimes.

In 2005 Amnesty international called for the investigation and arrest of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, Gen Miller and General Sanchez for Abu Ghraib.

Today that same Spanish judge may soon decide to issue a similar warrant against the "Bush 6", including Alberto Gonzales and Donald Rumsfeld for their involvement with the unlawful detention, "disappearing" of people, and torture.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

If you don't know Mr. Mister's music besides the ballad "Broken Wings", here's a track from the movie "Stand and Deliver" (which is exactly what they did in Chile) featuring Edward James Olmos and Lou Diamond Phillips.


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