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Tuesday, April 12, 2005


Terrorist sneaks across U.S. border


Despite the presence of vigilantes on the Arizona border, a major international terrorist has apparently recently snuck across the border and entered the U.S. Yet astonishingly, only a single American newspaper, the Miami Herald, has even covered the story. Why? Because, of course, it's the notorious anti-Cuban terrorist, Luis Posada Carriles, and he's busy negotiating for asylum with the "implacably anti-terrorist" American government.

Luis Posada Carriles is personally responsible for the death of 74 people. He was convicted of masterminding the bombing of a Cubana Airlines plane in 1976, which killed 73 people, and he has publicly admitted to organizing bombings of Cuban hotels in 1997 which killed one and injured another 11. In 2000, he and three others were convicted in Panama of a plot to kill Fidel Castro (although absurdly, and no doubt as a result of pressure from the U.S., they were charged with lesser crimes and not attempted murder). A few months later the four were pardoned by the Panamanian President, and three of them immediately flew to the U.S. to a heroes' welcome (all three, by the way, had earlier been convicted in connection with other murders). Posada Carriles laid low, however, until now when he has apparently surfaced in Miami, at least through his lawyer (he himself is in hiding).

It's instructive to see how the Miami Herald describes Posada Carriles:

"Posada has been accused of blowing up a Cuban airliner in 1976 and trying to kill Cuban leader Fidel Castro in 2000. He also has been linked to a string of bombings against several Havana hotels and restaurants in 1997."
Not quite. To repeat what has already been mentioned, Posada was convicted of blowing up the airliner, he was convicted of trying to kill Castro (although the charge was not attempted murder), and he has confessed to the hotel bombings (and only not been tried for them because the U.S. and its lackeys like the Panamanian government would never agree to extradite him to Cuba). Aside from the half-truths, notice anything missing? Like the 74 people who died as a result of these crimes?

The final paragraphs of the article are replete with irony:

"Venezuela has indicated an interest in seeking Posada's extradition. Posada, a naturalized Venezuelan, escaped from prison there in 1985 pending final resolution of the Cuban airliner case.

"But in a recent case, an immigration judge prohibited the U.S. government from deporting two former Venezuelan military officers accused of bombings in their home country because 'more likely than not' they would be tortured there."
Because, as we know so well, the U.S. would never deport someone to a country where they were likely to be tortured.

Cuba is naturally demanding an explanation from the U.S. as to why they are negotiating with such a well-known terrorist for asylum; none is likely to be forthcoming, given that, with the exception of the Miami Herald, the rest of the press are keeping mum. Wouldn't want to let the furor over alleged al Qaeda terrorists sneaking across the border be overshadowed by the facts of this very real terrorist doing the same.

Update: I'd been sitting on this story, which has been running in Granma and the Miami Herald for several days, waiting for clarifying details (i.e., was Posada really in the U.S. or was this just a rumor?), and finally decided to run it last night. This morning, the Washington Post (and probably others) break the story, on the news that Posada Carriles has now made an official application for asylum. Like the Miami Herald, the Post does its best to cover up Posada's background (although, unlike the Herald, they do mention the deaths of 74 people and the fact that Posada was trained by the CIA). Here's one paragraph:

"Posada's defenders deny that he is a terrorist. They point out that Venezuelan courts twice acquitted Posada before he escaped from prison while awaiting a third trial there in the bombing of the Cuban airliner."
It's true that Posada was first acquitted, but, after his escape, the third trial resulted in conviction and a 30-year sentence (see links in the main post above), a fact the Post conveniently omits. Then later they write:
"He was implicated in the Cuban hotel bombings and the plot to kill Castro in Panama."
"Implicated"? He has publicly acknowledged ("bragged" would be another word) about his role in the hotel bombings, and he wasn't "implicated" in the plot to kill Castro, he was "convicted" in that plot. As noted in one of the links above, the only reason he wasn't convicted of murder is that the Panamanian prosecuter, no doubt under pressure from the U.S., refused to press that charge because, although the men were found with 20 pounds of C-4 (!), no detonators were found (!!). Just a reminder - Jose Padilla has been sitting in a jail cell for several years now for allegedly (and I emphasize that word) talking about setting off a "dirty bomb", having done, as far as we know, precisely nothing to advance that goal. And now it appears from the Post article that serious consideration is being given to giving asylum to a man who was caught with 20 pounds of C-4 on his way to kill Fidel Castro (not to mention having been convicted and/or confessed to the murders of 74 other people).

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