Saturday 1 August 2009

Bhopal, America and extradition + 1,000th anniversary

Almost 25 years after the world’s worst industrial disaster, a new arrest warrant has been issued for the former boss of the company responsible. When the Union Carbide pesticide plant at Bhopal in India leaked poison gas in the early hours of December 3, 1984, 2,000 people were killed in the next few hours, followed by at least 15,000 over the next few weeks. How many more have died from its effects in the years that followed is not known, but it is thought that more than half a million have been damaged in some way.

Warren Anderson was arrested soon after the disaster, but got bail, left India and has never returned. Now a court at Bhopal has asked the Indian government to seek his extradition from the United States. In view of the Obama regime’s intransigence in demanding the extradition of the British computer hacker Gary McKinnon, it will be interesting to see how it reacts if a request comes from another government to surrender a US citizen for alleged wrongdoing abroad.

On this day…..1,000 years ago, a fearsome Danish army landed in England. Over the next two and a half years, the Danes harried the land mercilessly – ravaging fifteen counties and burning down towns such as Oxford and Northampton.

Eventually in April 1012, they accepted £48,000 – an enormous sum in those days – to leave the country in peace, but not before they had murdered the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Danes had demanded a separate ransom for him, but he bravely insisted that nothing more should be paid, so they pelted him, according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, with the “bones and heads of cattle” then split his skull open with an axe.

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