The only surprise in the news
that "Britain's biggest arms firm, BAE Systems, has been identified on US banking records as secretly paying more than £1m to General Augusto Pinochet
, the former Chilean dictator" is that it was only £1m.
After all, BAE paid Suharto's daughter
, Tutut, a lot more ~ £16.5m. They are also accused of running a £60m slush fund to pay members of the ruling family in Saudi Arabia, friends of the Bush/Cheney oligarchy.
That these payments were authorised by the British government is well documented
so I can't be too sanctimonious about the endemic corruption here, (there and everywhere).
Of course, all this is connected to the lucrative arms trade. Fellow Londoners
should be aware that there is an International Arms Fair
currently being held in the Docklands. Amonst the items advertised for sale are "leg irons, stun guns, and stun batons - banned for export under British law" (but OK for Indonesia
The leg irons are of "all-steel construction", with a "rust-resistant nickel finish" and "sturdy, loadable, foot chain".
Isn't it nice that both ex-dictators can feel the benefits?
Pinochet in leg irons