Friday, May 27, 2011

Be thankful for lawyers

Isabel Allende long ago accepted that her father, former President Salvador Allende, took his own life with an assault rifle just minutes before troops stormed the presidential palace in a coup on Sept. 11, 1973.

Even as leftist supporters like Fidel Castro declared that Mr. Allende had died in a gun battle, his suicide became a source of pride, rather than shame, for the surviving family members, she said.

“It was an extremely courageous act for someone who loved life as he did,” Ms. Allende said.

But doubts have lingered, and while witnesses from that day have long supported the suicide conclusion, after nearly 38 years Mr. Allende’s death remains, for some, Chile’s greatest unsolved mystery.

Early Monday, at the behest of the Allende family and a judge investigating 726 unresolved human rights cases related to Chile’s 17-year dictatorship, Mr. Allende’s remains were exhumed. Forensic experts will perform a second autopsy to try to determine once and for all how the Socialist leader died.

We have talk radio and protests and marches, followed by lawsuits.

Other countries have juntas and revolutions and dead people in the streets.

The next time you're annoyed about all the lawyers in government, remember that lawyers don't carry guns, and our battles are settled by a judge.

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