Los Angeles TimesLIKE PIRATES, terrorists are supposedly hostis humani generis — the “enemy of all mankind.” So why is the Bush administration letting one of the world’s most notorious terrorists stroll freely around the United States?
I’m talking about a man who was — until 9/11 — perhaps the most successful terrorist in the Western Hemisphere. He’s believed to have masterminded a 1976 plot to blow up a civilian airliner, killing all 73 people on board, including teenage members of Cuba’s national fencing team. He’s admitted to pulling off a series of 1997 bombings aimed at tourist hotels and nightspots. Today, he’s living illegally in the United States, but senior members of the Bush administration — the very guys who declared war on terror just a few short years ago — don’t seem terribly bothered.
I’m talking about Luis Posada Carriles. That’s not a household name for most U.S. citizens, but for many in Latin America, Posada is as reviled as Osama bin Laden is in the United States.
The Cuban-born Posada was trained by the CIA at the School of the Americas in 1961. From Venezuela, he later planned the successful 1976 bombing of a civilian Cuban jetliner (apparently with the knowledge of the CIA). He was arrested for the crime, but he escaped from a Venezuelan prison before standing trial.
Posada later aided Ollie North’s illegal efforts to get arms to the Nicaraguan Contras, tried repeatedly to assassinate Fidel Castro and was behind a 1997 string of Havana hotel bombings. Recently declassified U.S. government documents suggest that, throughout most of his career, Posada remained in close contact with the CIA.
Posada entered the U.S. illegally in 2005. Human rights groups and the Cuban and Venezuelan governments urged that he be tried or extradited for his terrorist activities, but for several months the Bush administration denied that Posada was even in the United States.
On May 17, 2005, the Miami Herald shamed the administration into action by publishing a front-page interview with Posada (who sipped his peach drink on his Florida balcony, described his leisure reading and commented cheerfully that at first he “thought the [U.S.] government was looking for me” but eventually realized that U.S. officials had no interest in finding him). Only then did the administration detain Posada — but on immigration charges, not terrorism-related charges.
Since 2005, the administration seems to have done everything in its power to botch the immigration case against Posada, mishandling it so blatantly that on Wednesday an exasperated federal judge declared herself “left with no choice” but to throw out the indictment. Although a different judge previously ordered Posada deported, Posada can’t legally be extradited to Venezuela because the court concluded that he might be tortured there. So for now, Posada’s a free man — even though the administration has sufficient evidence to arrest him for his role in either the 1976 airliner bombing or the 1997 Havana bombings. For that matter, Posada easily could be detained under Section 412 of the Patriot Act, which calls for the mandatory detention of aliens suspected of terrorism.
The administration’s approach to Posada contrasts jarringly with its approach to suspected Al Qaeda terrorists. With the latter, the administration wastes no time on legal niceties. Foreign nationals have been illegally “rendered” to countries where they faced torture, interrogated in secret CIA prisons and sent to languish at Guantanamo, sometimes on the flimsiest of evidence. Even U.S. citizens suspected of terrorist activities have been dubbed “unlawful enemy combatants” and deprived of their constitutional rights. So why is the administration dragging its feet on arresting and charging Posada?
It’s not as if the evidence against Posada is seriously in dispute. In 1998, for instance, he “proudly admitted authorship of the hotel bomb attacks” to the New York Times, “describ[ing] them as acts of war intended to cripple a totalitarian regime by depriving it of foreign tourism and investment.” He dismissed the civilian casualties as “sad” but assured the reporter that he slept “like a baby.” (When asked about these admissions in 2005 by the Miami Herald, he coyly replied, “Let’s leave it to history.”)
If all this sounds eerily familiar, it should. We’ve heard the same callous justifications for terrorism from Bin Laden and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. The administration’s failure to make serious efforts to prosecute Posada is hypocritical but politically expedient. A trial might expose past CIA misdeeds and risk alienating Florida’s hard-line Cuban exiles, a voting bloc the administration has long cherished.
After 9/11, the phrase “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter” went out of fashion. But though no one will openly admit it, the idea still seems to hold some currency within the Bush administration.
American policy being the exception to American rhetoric is nothing at all new. That's not news. This issue in particular has quite an interesting history. This man is "Latin America's Osama bin Laden," and for good reason. Why won't the government extradite him to Cuba or Venezuela to be tried for international crimes against humanity? Because he was on the CIA payroll while he committed these atrocities? Or, because as the White House warned, "he might be tortured." :rolleyes:
So, should this man be sent away for trial for war crimes, or should our government do it... or not?
"If the same laws were applied to U.S. Presidents as those were applied to the Nazi's during WWII, then every single one of 'em, every last rich white one of 'em, from Truman on would have been hung to death, and shot. And this current administration is no exception. They should be hung, and tried, and shot. As any war criminal should be."
I have to say that I find it funny that this remembered me of this quote from Zack de la Rocha. Sadly, the world is not like it should be. Polliticians have always said white in front of us while perpratating black behind our backs.
I didn't make it!
Can't say I even knew the guys name. It is pretty appalling that they would just let him sit here in the U.S. Hopefully the bastard eventually gets what he deserves and gets strung up.
I don't really see what is to be gained by not kicking him our of the country at least. How could kicking him out put the CIA's past misdeeds on display? As far as I am aware there doesn't even need to be a trial for him to be thrown out, so it would appear to serve no purpose other then maybe laziness.
AfterburnerHow could kicking him out put the CIA's past misdeeds on display?
I'm not really sure either. I mean, the information of America's skull drudgery in that region two decades ago (and there are still remnants of it today) is hardly news today. :uhm:
I'd just like to hear at least one mention of this issue in American media. It's been on BBC quite a bit lately, what with his immigration issue etc. Has anyone here seen it on major news media here? I don't watch major news anymore. :uhm:
We started going down hill when we stopped shooting spies and traitors.
Mu guess is hes a silent host of the US because kicking him out of hte country would make him more available for recruitment or kidnapping to reveal info that Washington and the CIA probably doesnt want to become common knowledge about its past and probably current operations in Central and South America. Better to keep him close. Wasnt it Machivelli who said to keep friends close and enemies closer?
Its very possible the guy has cashed in on some contacts in CIA to buy him some breathing room. Its also possible the CIA wants to keep tabs on him for contacts he probably had/has in Cuba to be able to pull off some of the operations he did in Cuba.
Comming from the LA Times, I give them no merit, they just have an axe to grind, not news.
Anlushac11;3677230Mu guess is hes a silent host of the US because kicking him out of hte country would make him more available for recruitment or kidnapping to reveal info that Washington and the CIA probably doesnt want to become common knowledge about its past and probably current operations in Central and South America. Better to keep him close. Wasnt it Machivelli who said to keep friends close and enemies closer? Its very possible the guy has cashed in on some contacts in CIA to buy him some breathing room. Its also possible the CIA wants to keep tabs on him for contacts he probably had/has in Cuba to be able to pull off some of the operations he did in Cuba.
The whole of the Cuban Terrorist groups are operating straight from Tampa, FLA. It has always been like this and those groups are supported by the US of A. Who do you think did the Bay of Pigs and the attempted poison assassination on Castro? Cubans appearing out of the nether? They were based in Florida and were trained by CIA. Good times of J Edgard Hoover, innit?
To conduct bombings on Cuban airliners and hotels or to get close enough to Castro to atempt a assasination there has to be some kind of network in place in Cuba to pull those operations off.
That could be one of the reasons the CIA would want this guy free, to protect that network or to protect CIA agents on that network.
Of course there's a network around Cuba, but that is not the point of the article. You've got a governement screaming and threatening with White and acting Black. They are litterally giving shelter and means of organisation to those groups. You should see where I'm heading