Tuesday, March 31

Live Through This

Kiang Kek lew, better known by his nom de guerre "Dutch," plead guilty yesterday to directly overseeing the torture and murder of 14,000 people at the Khmer Rouge's Security Prison S-21 (Tuol Sleng), offering the Nuremburg defense that he was following orders and anything else would have resulted in his own death.  Assuming that's probably true, it seeems the crime he is ultimately guilty of is performing well enough to get promoted to a place where those were his choices.  I suspect the career track is rife with enough crimes against humanity to justify what modest punishment Dutch will receive.  It was pointed out in trial that he carried out his order with a particular zeal.

He is the first Khmer Rouge official to confess.  I think he may also have confessed to more murders than anyone anywhere ever has, except maybe in show trials, assuming the prosecution of a geriatric is something other than a show trial.

I've visited Toul Sleng.  Few places have disturbed me more. To the right are the camp rules roughly translated into English and below is one of the many converted classrooms used as a torture chamber.

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