April 19, 2005
Today, Adolfo Scilingo was found guilty. I mean, the verdict is validating on an official level, I suppose. Having a confession in writing gives us a small victory. But this doesn’t truly provide us with more answers. It isn’t as though this man was an important figure anyway, just some young naval official who actually had a conscience. The idea of death flights is just another scarring image in our minds. We don’t have a list of names or dates or anything. Did my mother die that way? Any of the teenaged students that left empty desks in my classroom 30 yeas ago? I’ll never know, but I do know that I will stay up at night thinking about these things until the day that I die.
The real monsters aren’t in prison. Yes, it’s helpful that someone has come forward and given real testimony about what they did. A man who had some semblance of authority back then has actually confirmed what we all know. But what about the people who had real power? They’ve all managed to slither away, and we all know that they will never actually have to take responsibility for their actions. And Scilingo does not provide a good example for others like him. Any other lower level officers who weren’t brainwashed enough to fully believe in what they were doing, which I’m sure is a small population, won’t want to come forward if they will just be convicted. What’s the point of feeling like a repentant whistleblower for five minutes, just to be thrown in prison shortly after, when you can simply walk the streets among everyone else? In my opinion, the guilt can’t be that bad if it’s taken this long for just one man to come forward and describe the death flights. Of course I think he should go to prison, as he is a criminal. But it’s almost more frustrating to be given unclear estimates of how many people were thrown from those planes, or how many people worked at those naval bases, when we are all very aware that real answers will never come.
Being this old and this bitter is a shame. I know that it isn’t healthy to harbor this much anger. I’m aware that I probably don’t have many more years left, and maybe I should just try to make the best of them. This stressing is only running down my meter even quicker. I’ve told the school that either next school year or the following one will be my last. Just getting around the building is starting to become more difficult. Minutes will go by that I realize I haven’t been paying attention to the students discussing our book in class, and i have a hard time hearing them anyways. I could go to therapy, make some new friends at one of those recreation centers, find a hobby. Take up knitting or read more books. The hard truth is that I am 70 years old, and I will die without answers about my mother. She cannot lay in peace, and neither can I. I am 70 years old and I am going to die angry.