#2 Most Powerful Man In North Korea Was Executed. Dick Cheney… Still Off The Table
I'm a big fan of accountability-- especially for people who society rewards with positions of trust, honor and generous livings. Cheney, for example, committed treason against the U.S. Constitution, but his crimes were taken "off the table" and there was never a trial or justice. That encourages others to repeat his behavior. Not so in North Korea, an odd place to hold up as a paragon of… anything.
Jang Song Thaek was the Cheney of North Korea. He was the top advisor to the relatively young North Korean hereditary ruler. (They don't call it a king or a monarch there but that's what Kim Jong Un is. Jang Song Thaek was also his uncle.) Last weekend, he was dragged out of the equivalent of a North Korean cabinet meeting, tried for treason by a military tribunal, found guilty, and summarily executed. His "confession" was classic: “I was going to stage the coup by using army officers who had close ties with me. It was my intention to… become premier when the economy goes totally bankrupt and the state is on the verge of collapse.” He was accused not just of planning a coup, but also of being corrupt, being a drug addict, being a womanizer and… wait for it, being "a trickster." The official text from the Korean Central News Agency is pretty mind boggling. Excerpts:
• "Every sentence of the decision served as sledgehammer blow brought down by our angry service personnel and people on the head of Jang, an anti-party, counter-revolutionary factional element and despicable political careerist and trickster.'I'm not advocating that kind of treatment for Cheney-- just a fair trial.
• "The accused is a traitor to the nation for all ages who perpetrated anti-party, counter-revolutionary factional acts in a bid to overthrow the leadership of our party and state and the socialist system."
• "Despicable human scum Jang, who was worse than a dog, perpetrated thrice-cursed acts of treachery in betrayal of such profound trust and warmest paternal love shown by the party and the leader for him."
• "From long ago, Jang had a dirty political ambition. He dared not raise his head when Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il were alive … He began revealing his true colours, thinking that it was just the time for him to realise his wild ambition in the period of historic turn when the generation of the revolution was replaced."
• "When … the decision that Kim Jong-un was elected vice chairman of the central military commission of the Workers' party of Korea at the third conference of the WPK in reflection of the unanimous will of all party members, service personnel and people was proclaimed, making all participants break into enthusiastic cheers that shook the conference hall, he behaved so arrogantly and insolently as unwillingly standing up from his seat and half-heartedly clapping, touching off towering resentment of our service personnel and people."
• "When Kim Jongil passed away so suddenly and untimely to our sorrow, he began working in real earnest to realise his long-cherished greed for power."
• "The revolutionary army will never pardon all those who disobey the order of the supreme commander and there will be no place for them to be buried even after their death."
• "He instructed his stooges to sell coal and other precious underground resources at random. Consequently, his confidants were saddled with huge debts, deceived by brokers."
• "He let the decadent capitalist lifestyle find its way to our society by distributing all sorts of pornographic pictures among his confidants since 2009. He led a dissolute, depraved life, squandering money wherever he went. He took at least €4.6m from his secret coffers and squandered it in 2009 alone and enjoyed himself in casino in a foreign country. These facts alone clearly show how corrupt and degenerate he was."
• "The era and history will eternally record and never forget the shuddering crimes committed by Jang Song-thaek, the enemy of the party, revolution and people and heinous traitor to the nation.
"The decision was immediately executed."