Russia Today has the backgrounder; the CBC has the story:
Former military strongman Manuel Antonio Noriega was flown home to Panama on Sunday to be punished once again for crimes he committed during a career that saw him transformed from a close Cold War ally of Washington to the vilified target of a U.S. invasion.
Noriega left Orly airport, south of Paris, on a flight of Spain’s Iberia airlines, delivered directly to the aircraft by a four-car convoy and motorcycles that escorted him from the French capital’s La Sante prison. The flight, which stops in Madrid, left at 8:08 a.m. local time, about a half-hour behind schedule.
Noriega has spent more than 20 years in U.S. and French jails for drug trafficking and money laundering.
The French Justice Ministry, in a one-line statement, said France turned Noriega over to Panamanian officials on Sunday in accordance with extradition proceedings. It was the only official remark.
“Drug trafficking and money laundering”. Ain’t that a pip? Meanwhile, his worst crimes have gone not only unpunished, but untried. Now why do you suppose THAT is?
Noriega began working with U.S. intelligence when he was a student at a military academy in Peru, said Everett Ellis Briggs, the United States ambassador to Panama from 1982 to 1986.
As he rose in the Panamanian military during the 1970s and 1980s, Noriega co-operated closely with the CIA, helping the U.S. combat leftist movements in Latin America by providing information and logistical help. He also acted as a back channel for U.S. communications with unfriendly governments such as Cuba’s.
What the CBC isn’t telling us is that Pineapple Face was BFFs with Dubya’s dad during that entire time. George Bush the Elder actually referred to him as “my boy”. (No, I’m NOT kidding.) And their coke-smuggly friendship even made the nightly news at one point (as well as a cameo appearance in Donnie Darko):
If Manuel Noriega is ever tried for his real crimes, I know who will have to stand in the dock alongside him. Unfortunately, since he’s a former POTUS, VP and CIA head, his role will be permanently consigned to the memory hole.