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Thursday, December 13, 2007


Suck on this, Justice Department

The latest on a case we've been following here:
A homegrown terrorism case that allegedly sprouted in one of Miami's poorest neighborhoods wilted on Thursday when a judge declared a mistrial in the prosecution of six of seven defendants.

Federal jurors acquitted one defendant in the so-called Liberty City 7 trial.
Of course, they're not free or out of jail; as with many such defendants (e.g., Sami al Arian), the government will just keep trying until they can get a conviction or a plea bargain.

Here's one interesting aspect of this case - the men in this case, accused of plotting to blow up the Sears Tower ("conspiracy to commit terrorism"), had a maximum penalty of 70 years in prison. Three of the Cuban Five, who were convicted of "conspiracy to commit espionage," never had a single classified document in their possession nor was there any testimony of any attempts to obtain any, yet they were sentenced to life in prison (and once again, a reminder that there is no parole in the Federal prison system; life is life).

So allegedly thinking about stealing classified documents is worse than blowing up the Sears Tower? Only if you're defending Cuba. For others, not so much. Ricardo Alarcon, President of Cuba's National Assembly, reminds us of the case of Leandro Aragoncillo, born in the Phillipines. Aragoncillo was an FBI officer assigned to the offices of Vice President Dick Cheney. He worked in the White House, and was also tied to the executive mansion back when Al Gore was the vice president. Aragoncillo wasn't thinking about stealing classified documents, he was doing it - 733 of them, to be exact, which he turned over to a foreign government in an attempt to topple the government of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. His sentence? Ten years.

How much does the U.S. government hate and fear (yes fear, the example, not the military) Cuba (and want to protect its gang anti-Cuban terrorists)? Enough to put innocent men in jail for life. Or even more.

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