ETA update: The etarras' Ford was loaded with 130, not 40, kilos of explosives. The plan was to set off a series of small explosions on Christmas Eve in shopping areas of downtown Madrid, followed by a ninety-kilo (more than 200 pounds)monster bomb--only a few kilos of explosive are required to make a deadly bomb, and a ninety-kilo job would have sown total destruction within a sizeable area; hundreds would have been killed or injured if a huge bomb like that went off on a crowded street. Many Second World War aerial bombs didn't contain ninety kilos of explosives. They're saying now that the murdered Guardia Civil, Antonio Molina, managed to unloose seven of the eight shots in his pistol after he was shot and before he died. He might have been the cop who severely wounded the terrorist Aramburu. I don't care which cop shot him, but I sure wish they'd blown his goddamn worthless criminal murdering head off. When it comes down to cops vs. terrorists you know whose side we're on. Aramburu, by the way, was wanted by the cops; he'd been sentenced to five years for providing information to ETA back in 1998. They let him out on bail while his case was under appeal and of course he disappeared. The first thing they're going to do with him when he gets out of the hospital is put him in the slam for that while they're trying him for murder. Hope he enjoys the treatment given out by common criminals to etarras in Spanish jails--they're one rank above child molesters and rapists and they're widely separated so that they can't plot together. A consequence of this is that there isn't a big enough group in any prison for them to get together and defend themselves. Their allies outside the prisons keep trying to get them all placed in prisons within the Basque Country, and the government will not cede. This is one of ETA's several demands to begin negotiations, and it is not going to happen so we're not going to see anything like the way the IRA took over the Maze around here. Screw negotiations. Lock them all up and throw away the key. Their organization is in the deepest trouble it's ever been, and I vote we double the pressure until they're exterminated. I would prefer that convicted terrorists, whether actual murderers or not, be executed, but that is unfortunately not politically possible. Since the death penalty was used so unjustly under the Franco regime, it's not surprising that one of the first things they did when he died was to outlaw capital punishment.
Just a comment on the complaints I've heard from certain Europe-bashers in the States, who have gotten all upset because the Europeans will not extradite anybody to any country, even the US, no matter how obviously guilty he is or how serious his crimes were, if he could possibly be executed. This is not some anti-American whim on the Europeans' part. The law of their lands prohibits them from doing so. It's in their Constitutions. They can't do it. It's their law, and we have to respect it the way we expect them to respect our laws. Remember, within living memory, literally millions of innocent Europeans were put to death by the State. They remember that. Jean-François Revel can tell you all about his friends killed by the Nazis. So could Primo Levi and Elie Wiesel and Simon Weisenthal. And if you want to hear about Communist judicial murder, just listen to Vaclav Havel or Andrei Sakharov or Alexander Solzhenitsyn or Lech Walesa. There is therefore a certain reticence in Europe toward executing anybody save Martin Bormann if he ever turns up. This is why the French refused to turn over dirtbag American murderer Ira Einhorn for so long, as he had been tried in absentia and sentenced to death under Pennsylvania law. French law prohibits trials in absentia and the death penalty, and they can't turn over anyone wanted by any other State under those conditions. When Pennsylvania offered to waive the death sentence and retry Einhorn in person, the French extradited him.