Margaret Thatcher, the friend of bloody Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet whom she praised for “bringing democracy to Chile,” all while Pinochet engaged in the murder and torture of political opponents. The Pinochet Government was responsible for the death of at least 3,197 people and the torture of about 29,000.Margaret Thatcher, whose Government continued previous Governments’ practices against political detainees (which eventually found their way to Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, and Bagram) judged by the European Commission on Human Rights (Ireland v. United Kingdom, 1976 Y.B. Eur. Conv. on Hum. Rts. 512, 748, 788-94) to constitute torture.
Margaret Thatcher, who watched without emotion as Bobby Sands, Francis Hughes, Raymond McCreesh, Patsy O’Hara, Joe McDonnell, Martin Hurson, Kevin Lynch, Kieran Doherty, Thomas McElwee, and Michael Devine died in a 1981 hunger strike, rather than granting IRA members the status of “political prisoners.”Margaret Thatcher, who provided the inspiration to a generation of political leaders holding human rights and due process of law in contempt, instituting a “shoot to kill” policy against suspected (SUSPECTED!) IRA members. Mairead Farrell, Sean Savage and Daniel McCann died, unarmed, and uncharged, in a hail of 29 bullets in Gibraltar in 1988.
Margaret Thatcher, who, in the 1980s, revived a “black propaganda” campaign of the 1970s called “Operation Clockwork Orange” (originally a smear campaign against then PM Harold Wilson) to feed misinformation to British and global journalists. Those stories about IRA drug dealers? About young Irish mothers delivering bombs in prams? About the IRA “crime godfathers”? All fabrications of British Military Intelligence, hungrily snapped up and reported by an unquestioning “liberal media.”Margaret Thatcher, who both allowed and encouraged British Army collusion with Northern Irish terrorists, the arrest and internment without due process or trial, the murders, bombings, and framing of innocent victims, black propaganda campaigns, a shoot-to-kill policy, search of private homes and seizure of private property without warrant, jury-less Courts, torture, and kidnappings (known today as “rendition”).
Margaret Thatcher is dead. That chapter in history is closed. Have we learned anything?