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Tuesday, May 02, 2006


U.S. terrorists and U.S. "credibility"

In his speech (see below), Fidel Castro refers to the affect recent revelations on the Posada case will have on U.S. credibility, "if it still has any.”

The other case Fidel talked about (in the one-hour portion that was broadcast on C-SPAN) was the case of Robert Ferro, the subject of this article in the Los Angeles Times three days ago, which I had missed. Here are the basic facts:

Felon Robert Ferro had 1,571 firearms and some hand grenades stashed inside secret compartments and hidden rooms he built inside the sprawling foothill estate. He was arrested last week after a search of his home in connection with another case uncovered the weapons. [Ed. note: the U.S. was not looking for him; his arrest was an accident]
The arrest happened last week. But here's the recent development:
In an interview Thursday, Ferro, 61, contended that some of the high-powered weapons -- including assault rifles, silencer-equipped handguns and Uzis -- were supplied to him by the U.S. government. He said the weapons were supposed to be used in an attempt to oust Castro that would have coincided with U.S. Navy operations being conducted in the Caribbean Sea.

Ferro, who says he's a member of a Miami-based group, Alpha 66, that advocates the overthrow of Castro's regime, said Thursday that about 50 other U.S. citizens were scheduled to accompany him to Cuba, with further assistance coming from people inside Cuba.
Now it's possible that Ferro is just a "regular gun-runner" using the claim that he is part of the terrorist organization Alpha 66 as an excuse. And, trying to build up that line, we get this:
Pentagon spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Jeffrey D. Gordon said, "Clearly, these allegations [by Ferro] have no merit and have no basis in fact."
Perhaps. But here's the background:
In the 1990s, Ferro was sentenced to two years in prison for possessing 5 pounds of the putty-like explosive C-4. In a 1991 raid, police said Ferro, then a licensed gun dealer, was arrested at the Upland home, where deputies seized an illegal assault rifle and semiautomatic shotgun. About 300 legal firearms were not confiscated.

Prosecutors in the 1990s case said Ferro was an Alpha 66 member training Mexicans at a Pomona chicken ranch he owned for a Castro overthrow attempt.
So we have a man who not very long ago was caught (and convicted) with 5 pounds of C-4, and whom U.S. prosecutors claimed was an Alpha 66 member training people on his ranch. Now prosecutors aren't always right, not by a long shot, but given the subject (anti-Cuban terrorism), it is virtually impossible to believe that prosecutors just made that up on the spot without evidence to back it up. And now, despite that background, we have the U.S. military claiming that Ferro's claims "have no basis in fact."

Who ya' gonna' believe?

The U.S. has had a lot of trouble recently obtaining convictions on people they claim are terrorists, and has had no problem locking up indefinitely people like Jose Padilla who deny they are (and against whom there is no known concrete evidence). Do you suppose that Ferro can expect the same fate as Padilla, and that the U.S. will seize on the fact that here is a man who admits he is a terrorist (perhaps not using that exact word!) to throw him in jail without a trial? No, I didn't think so. It's more likely they'll release Luis Posada Carriles into his custody!


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