Regarding the Jan. 24 editorial “Vladimir Putin’s poison tea”:
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s alleged complicity in the polonium 210 murder of his critic Alexander Litvinenko in London was a carbon copy of Chilean President Augusto Pinochet’s complicity in the 1976 car-bombing assassination of his critic Orlando Letelier in Washington.
Pinochet suffered no diplomatic repercussions from the United States. According to a recently declassified secret memo, on Oct. 6, 1987, Secretary of State George Shultz reported to President Ronald Reagan that the CIA had found “convincing evidence” that Pinochet had ordered the assassination of Letelier, and that “this is a blatant example of a chief of state’s direct involvement in an act of state terrorism, one that is particularly disturbing both because it occurred in our capital and since his government is generally considered to be friendly.” Pinochet was not ostracized or treated as an outcast by the United States, as the editorial demanded for Mr. Putin. We tacitly acquiesced in his villainous terrorism.
You reap what you sow.
Bruce Fein, Washington
The writer was an associate deputy attorney general under President Reagan.