While you were having that coffee and waiting out the kabuki intermezzo, the whole thing went down and is over… for now.
First, judge Luciano “Unlucky” Varela got put back on the case.
Second, he formally presented charges against Garzón.
Third, Garzón was automatically suspended from his functions as magistrate.
Meanwhile, Garzón was invited by the International Penal Court in The Hague (Holland) to spend a 7-month stint there as a legal council, including visits to Congo, Uganda and Colombia to investigate ongoing IPC cases. The IPC, by the way, is the court that has (almost) universal jurisdiction to persecute crimes against humanity and war crimes. The US is not a signatory to the IPC, but Spain is.
The Justice Court had to decide whether or not to allow Garzón to accept the offer from The Hague. Today they finally decided to let him go, and he came out on TV looking rather relieved. I personally don’t blame him one bit for wanting to leave this country for a while; the wafts of rancidness are definitely getting stronger of late.
Where does this leave the case? Well, the suspension does not mean he’s been tried and found guilty; rather it is the automatic consequence of having the charges made formal. In coming months the Supreme Court will try to figure out if there’s a way to make the charges stick, or whether they’re willing to take the heat that will come if they find him guilty. Already the national and international mobilization in his support has been loud and visible, and the political pressure will be even more intense if possible. Garzón has manifested that his conscience is clear because he was working under the precepts of international law. With this statement he puts the finger on the sore, as they say, because no matter how the Supreme Court twists and mangles the case, the fact remains that CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY DO NOT PRESCRIBE AND CANNOT BE GRANTED AMNESTY. PERIOD. Or is this precept too simple for a gaggle of Supreme Justices to understand?
All I know is that if I were those judges, I would NOT be happy with the idea of Garzón getting all chummy with the folks over at the Penal Court in The Hague. Karma loves this kind of symmetry, counterbalances and so on. Hairy mojo is particularly poetic at creating nemesis archetypes bearing divine retribution shitstorms.
But now it is time to take a break from this case, and I for one am pretty relieved, although surely not as much as Garzón. There is no doubt the blog could use some lighter, fluffier content, as a single peek at the tag cloud (left!) doth testify. There is so much that deserves comment… let’s see: crisis (biting), oil spill (crime against nature and humanity, IPC take note!), banksters (IPC!), war profiteers (IPC!!), war criminal politicians, military occupations (IPC!!)… war against Terra, against Humanity and against All that is Decent and True. Fluffy! When do we start?