Why I always fly to “National” Airport in Washington

A story in today’s New York Times tells the story of one of the many infants stolen from their parents by Salvadoran soldiers for sale on the international adoption market, back when the Reagan Administration was backing the ARENA against the FMLN.

Next time you hear some conservatarian raving about how wonderful Ronald Reagan was, remind him of this: in 1982, when Salvadoran soldiers were routinely stealing babies from their families to sell on the international adoption market, the Reagan Administration was supporting the Salvadoran government, under the control of Roberto D’Aubuisson’s ARENA party.

Yes, that’s the same ARENA party that arranged for the murder of an archbishop in his cathedral: the first, I believe, since Thomas Beckett in the twelfth century. And that’s the same ARENA party that still rules El Salvador, forbidding trade-union organization under penalty of law and blocking access to military records that might help trace the stolen babies.

Our President at the time was the smiling, genial Great Communicator.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com