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Saturday, February 20, 2010


The U.S. Government coddles terrorists

Reading them Miranda rights (Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab)? Refusing to even call them "terrorists," even when they committed precisely the same act (flying a plane into a building full of people) as the one which precipitated the "war on terror" (Joe Stark)? No, I'm talking about real coddling, the coddling provided to notorious terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, allowed to live freely in Miami, while the government not only refuses to allow him to be punished for his crimes but even to be tried for them.

Readers unfamiliar with Posada's record may want to start with this article; in the meantime, the latest news: yesterday, Judge Kathleen Cardone granted a U.S. government motion to indefinitely postpone Posada's upcoming trial, which had been scheduled to start on March 1. And that trial was a joke to begin with - a trial for perjury (lying to immigration officials) of a man who is an international fugitive, wanted in Venezuela on 73 counts of murder for the mid-air bombing of Cubana Flight 455 in 1976! Venezuela has had an extradition request outstanding with the U.S. government since June 15, 2005, an extradition request which the U.S. has yet to even respond to, much less honor.

As Cuban National Assembly President Ricardo Alarcón has pointed out on numerous occasions, there are two highly relevant international treaties: the "Montreal Convention for the Suppression of Illicit Acts Against Civil Aviation and the Protection of Passengers" and the "International Convention against Terrorist Acts Committed with the Use of Bombs." Both Conventions require that if a country does not comply with an extradition request for a person indicted on such a crime in another country, it is obligated to immediately prosecute and put on trial the alleged criminal for the same crime as if it had been committed in its own territory. That has to be done, according to both Conventions, "without any exception whatsoever." Needless to say the U.S. has failed to do so, under both the Bush and Obama administrations.

As it happens, the trial in El Paso (the "possible" trial in El Paso, I should say) has nothing to do with the airline bombing whatsoever, but with a series of hotel bombings in Havana in 1997 which Posada has admitted that he masterminded, and which killed Italian tourist Fabio di Celmo. The government charges in its indictment that Posada "had been involved in soliciting other individuals to carry out said bombings in Cuba," and lied when he told the immigration authorities that he had nothing to do with it. So, naturally, they are charging someone they themselves accuse of murder...of perjury!

But all that becomes a moot point because the government's legal strategy, as described by Venezuela's lawyer in the extradition case, José Pertierra, as "put off, defer and delay the case of Luis Posada Carriles until he dies of old age in Miami." Remember that Posada entered the U.S. illegally five years ago (an illegal immigrant!), and although his presence was known almost immediately, the government has yet to bring him to trial or extradite him.

I'll let Pertierra close this post with his justifiable outrage:

When Posada’s attorneys meet with the prosecutors next May 20 in El Paso to review the “state” of the case, will it occur to anyone to tell the judge that this international terrorist is now five years in the United States without having to answer for his crimes? Or that Giustino di Celmo has waited for 12 years to see that his son Fabio’s murderer be tried? And that the families of the victims of Cubana de Aviacion’s flight 455 have waited almost 34 years to see that justice is carried out, for the murder of their loved ones? What are they waiting for? For the assassin to die of old age in Miami?
[Incidentally, if you're on Facebook, consider becoming a "fan" of the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five to keep up to date with developments in the cases of Posada and of the Cuban Five.]

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