Pinochet ordered arrested in Chile
judge on Friday ordered the arrest of former
Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet for crimes
related to a secret detention center used in
the years following his 1973 coup.
Judge Alejandro Solis ordered the arrest of Pinochet
for 36 cases of kidnapping, one of homicide and
for 23 cases of torture at the Villa Grimaldi,
a political detention center run by Pinochet's
secret police where thousands of people were
tortured between 1974 and 1977.
I am not going to give any details until Monday,
when he will be judicially notified," he
said outside the court house.
Solis, in charge of the Villa Grimaldi investigation,
questioned Pinochet this month about what happened
at the former detention center in the Chilean
capital of Santiago.
Pinochet was forced to cancel celebrations
for his 90th birthday last November after he
placed under house arrest on charges related
to the disappearance and presumed death of
three leftists during his 17-year rule.
The house arrest, also on charges of tax fraud,
lasted for seven weeks, ending in early January
when he was granted bail.
Pinochet has been diagnosed with mild dementia
caused by frequent mini-strokes and he has
avoided trial in other human rights cases on
he was too ill to stand trial.
I don't think it has been proven that he is mentally
ill," said Solis, who last met the former
dictator on October 18, and remarked on how healthy
Pinochet was looking.
During that interview, Pinochet denied responsibility
for the torture of opponents at Villa Grimaldi,
one of the country's most infamous secret
He told Solis he was not involved in what
happened and had no knowledge of it.
Villa Grimaldi is also the prison where
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet,
first woman president, was held and
decades ago. Bachelet's case is not
among those Pinochet has been questioned
Pinochet was first arrested in 1998
in London on an international warrant
judge Baltazar Garzon.
He was released in 2000, after 16
months of house arrest, on the
was medically unfit
to be tried.
|Bush remains "eternal
optimist" despite polls
lot of Republicans look at November 7 and are
very afraid. Not President George W. Bush. Despite
polls showing his party is in for a drubbing,
the cheerleader in chief sees a good day.
Sinking under the weight of grim news from Iraq,
discontent with Bush's leadership and lawmaker
scandals, Republicans could be on the verge of
a crushing defeat in next week's congressional
elections, costing them control of the U.S. House
of Representatives and maybe the Senate.
But if he is worried, Bush going to lengths not
to show it. He remains the "eternal optimist" against
a tide of opinion polls and declaring Democrats
so cocky that they are prematurely "measuring
He insisted, "November 7th is going to be
a good day for the Republicans."
That contrasts with a gloomier mood of many other
Republicans who early this month began to express
fears -- mostly behind the scenes -- that the
Internet sex scandal involving Rep. Mark Foley
had accelerated a downward spiral that would
lead them to defeat in at least the House.
It's calculated to shore up the flagging motivation
of Republicans," said Bruce Buchanan, a
political scientist at the University of Texas.
But even out of the public eye, Bush is not
entertaining talk of a possible shift in Congress.
with Cabinet officials on plans for his final
two years in office, there is no contingency
planning for a Democratic takeover of Congress,
It's the only way to proceed," White House
spokesman Tony Fratto said.
Bush is also talking of reviving his effort
to revamp Social Security -- a nonstarter
Critics deride it as bravado or a sign of
Bush's refusal to face realities he doesn't
They compare it to his stance on Iraq.
It is certainly part of an overall pattern in
which the president seems to see the world differently
than everybody else does," said Phil Singer,
Senate Democratic campaign committee spokesman. "He
seems to view things through rose-colored glasses."
BOOSTING THE PARTY
White House political director Sara Taylor
readily admits the president is a optimist,
but she called
that a strength of his leadership style.
There are a lot of Republicans who've talked
themselves into a funk, and while certainly we
get information from lots of places and hear
lots of viewpoints, we believe strongly that
we're going to hold both houses of Congress," Taylor
Buchanan said the president's upbeat
stance also reflects his personality. "One of the reasons
he has felt confirmed in that view is he has
had a long string of personal successes."
He cited Bush's win in 1994 against the
popular Democratic Texas Gov. Ann Richards
his own mother didn't think he could win." Bush's
presidential victories in 2000 and 2004 also
ran counter to a lot of conventional wisdom.
But Bush is hamstrung in his ability
to help Republicans. Though he is raising
a lot of
money for candidates, many in the closest
reluctant to appear in public with Bush,
whose popularity is near 35 percent.
Nationwide polls consistently show Democrats
favored by voters. By some measures,
satisfaction with the U.S. Congress is
at its lowest
level since 1994, when control of the
to Republicans after 40 years of Democratic
Linda Fowler, professor of government
at Dartmouth College, said Republicans
when the Foley scandal interrupted their
efforts to tap into emotions of the September
and tie the war in Iraq to the war on
It was a chance for the president to frame how
people thought about Iraq and it cannot be reclaimed," Fowler