Getting to Know the General: American Conceits About the Rule of Law

Kenneth Anderson


This essay reviews a book about General Manuel Noriega, the Panamanian strongman toppled by the Bush Sr. administration in 1989; Noriega was tried on drug charges in Miami and has spent many years in prison. This book examines Noriega's background and rise to power, involvement in drugs and politics in Central America, including the famous murder of Hugo Spadafora, and his trial in the United States. The book's author covered the trial for newspapers; the review's author monitored human rights in Panama in the two years prior to the US invasion and covered the invasion for human rights organizations.