Lead-Pipe Politics

As Noriega bloodies his opposition, the U.S. sends in more troops

The scene, no matter how often it is played back in the mind, still shocks and horrifies. At the end of a rally of opposition forces protesting the blatant exercise of electoral larceny in Panama, a band of T-shirted men suddenly appeared carrying wooden clubs and metal pipes. With grotesque inappropriateness, they styled themselves the Dignity Battalion. As troops of the Panama Defense Force nonchalantly looked on, the thugs closed in on the victorious trio who three days earlier had easily defeated the handpicked candidates of Panamanian General Manuel Antonio Noriega for the posts of President and First and Second Vice...

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