Friday, August 25, 2006

The Family Business

That's my family Kay, it's not me. -- Michael Corleone, The Godfather

If you've been following Archpundit's hammering of Illinois Republican, Rep. Jerry Weller for "marrying into a genocidal dictator's family," this article from your Chicago Reader is mostly old news.

But if you haven't, you should definitely read it -- if only to put this in context:
Weller, who’s 49, and Sosa, who’s 38, are married and just had their first child. Weller is up for reelection in November. Sosa is still a leading member of Guatemala’s single-house, 158-member congress, and until earlier this year she sat on its foreign affairs committee, the counterpart to Weller’s committee. She’s the second most powerful person in her party, the Guatemalan Republican Front, or FRG, which was founded in 1989 by her father and is still led by him. It’s been plagued by accusations of corruption, money laundering, and helping drug traffickers, though no one’s accused her personally of any of those things.
Michael Corleone: My father is no different than any powerful man, any man with power, like a president or senator.
Kay Adams: Do you know how naive you sound, Michael? Presidents and senators don't have men killed.
Michael Corleone: Oh. Who's being naive, Kay?

Update: Also in the Reader, Hot Type's Michael Miner tells us a little about the author of the Weller article:
Frank Smyth, author of this week’s cover story, is a freelance lifer, living in a basement in Washington, D.C., with his dog when he’s not reporting the world’s wars for whoever wants his stories. In 1991 he stayed in Iraq after the gulf war ended and was captured in the north as he covered the Kurdish rebellion. Two traveling companions were executed; Smyth was taken to Abu Ghraib and spent 18 days behind bars listening to the screams of prisoners who were being tortured before he was released.

Then he went to Guatemala, to investigate the 1990 murder of anthropologist Myrna Mack. She’d been studying the living conditions of the million Guatemalans uprooted in the 80s by their government’s “scorched earth” counterinsurgency campaign. The chief homicide investigator implicated undercover military units and was gunned down himself.

Last year Smyth was working on a story about Guatemalan drug trafficking and wondered why Congressman Jerry Weller, vice chairman of the House’s western hemisphere subcommittee, wouldn’t talk to him. It turned out that Weller rarely speaks publicly to anybody about Guatemala. His Guatemalan wife, Zury Rios Sosa, sits in the national legislature; her father, Efrain Rios Montt, still powerful, was the country’s president during the bloodiest months of the scorched-earth campaign.
Who's being naive?


Philosophe Forum said...

Actually, SoapBlox/LiberIL View has been on the Weller situation for several months. Like Johnson (IL-15), he's incredibly vulnerable. The DCCC has declared the CDs safe so few people, if any, pay attention.

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