Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: War on Terror — Rick Moran @ 6:17 am

From the looks of things, the government of the United States - you know, the one that is currently fighting a very public and very noisy War on Terror - is playing legal games with the immigration case of one Luis Posada Carriles, a former CIA asset, admitted terrorist, and slimeball of the first order.

Mr. Posada Carriles, 77, entered this country illegally in April of this year and has requested asylum from the government. Both Cuba and Venuezala have different plans for the old spook. They both want to extradite Posada and try him for crimes in their countries. Given the reputation of both Castro and Chavez, my guess is those plans include plenty of truth serum and a long, painful session on the rack. And this represents a huge problem for the US government. Posada knows a lot of the dirty little secrets that the US would rather not have appear on 60 Minutes, or Dateline NBC, or even Entertainment Tonight. Posada knows where a lot of bodies are buried - literally.

He was convicted of blowing up a Cuban airliner in 1976 killing all 73 people aboard. This was at a time when he was still a working CIA asset and FBI informant as declassified files make clear. In the 1980’s, he played a role in the US government’s war against communism in Central America. He was tangentially involved in training El Salvadoran death squads. He helped run guns to the contras in Nicaragua. He assisted with putting down leftists in Guatamala and Honduras. There is also some evidence - circumstantial at best - that he has profited in running drugs. In all of these endeavors, Mr. Posada was of great assistance to the United States government. Although not a paid CIA asset at this time, he worked closely with the agency in all of these countries.

The problem of course, is that there was very little effort made to differentiate between communists and run of the mill moonbat socialists or leftist radicals. In civil war, if you’re not supporting the government, the unfortunate result is that you’re seen as being on the other side. Many innocent people went to their deaths during that bloody period - people who had no ties to communist guerillas but who opposed the repressive methods of their governments. For this, Posada has much to answer for.

Posada’s real interest lay in getting rid of Fidel Castro. A Cuban by birth, he’s made numerous attempts to kill the dictator as well as being involved in several assassination plots. He was convicted in Panama of plotting to kill the Cuban dictator in 2000 and was later pardoned. That’s when he decided to retire and snuck into the United States, hired a lawyer, and evidently now believes he should be rewarded for his service to the government by being granted political asylum.

At a bond hearing in July, the Judge pretty much threw the book at the aging terrorist:

An immigration judge on Monday rejected a request by Luis Posada Carriles to be released on bond, ruling the Cuban exile must remain in detention until his case is resolved.

Judge William L. Abbott cited allegations that Posada is a terror suspect and concerns he would flee if granted bond.

Listing a series of terror allegations against Posada over the years, Abbott said even Posada’s participation in operations against Cuba in the early 1960s could be considered terror under today’s standards.

Abbott’s statement seemed to catch by surprise Posada’s lawyer, Matthew Archambeault, who interpreted it to mean the judge would include the Bay of Pigs invasion — sponsored by the U.S. government — as an act of terror under today’s definition of terrorism.

The judge came down hard on Posada. He said he would likely consider Posada’s conviction in Panama on charges of possessing explosives as a valid prior criminal record barring him from admission to the United States — despite a Panamanian presidential pardon last year that enabled Posada and three other exiles to walk free after being arrested in connection with an alleged plot to kill Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

Under immigration law, a foreign pardon does not protect a foreign national from being denied admission into the country.

The Department of Homeland Security has apparently just recently handed Posada’s attorney a victory of sorts by dropping some subpeonas against the New York Times for notes relating to an interview with the old terrorist in which he admitted setting off a series of bombs at Havanna hotels in 1997 that resulted in the death of 1 Italian tourist and injuring serveral others:

The Department of Homeland Security has dropped subpoenas against The New York Times and one of its writers that sought tapes of an interview with Cuban exile militant Luis Posada Carriles in which Posada admitted masterminding the bombings of tourist sites in Cuba.

Withdrawal of the subpoenas amounted to a victory for the newspaper and for Ann Louise Bardach, who had refused to produce tapes, notes or transcripts related to the 1998 interview. George Freeman, the Times’ attorney, told The Herald Tuesday that Homeland Security ”just withdrew the subpoenas” and that no deal was struck between the newspaper and the government.

”It’s a huge relief,” Bardach said in a telephone interview.

A U.S. Attorney’s Office letter, dated Monday, did not rule out issuing new subpoenas “at a future point in time.

While DHS has filed copies of the articles in court and they’re technically admissable as hearsay evidence, many observers believe that Posada’s attorneys will challenge their legality anyway.

More delays, more foot dragging.

In the meantime, Posada is reportedly suffering from skin cancer and a bad heart. It would appear that the government may be dragging the case out in hopes that the old terrorist will succumb before they have to face what could only be described as a Hobbesian choice; do we extradite him to Venezuala or hand him over to Castro?

Back in May, Castro organized a “spontaneous” demonstration demanding the US hand Posada over to the tender mercies of the Cuban secret police. And President Chavez in Venezuala must be licking his chops at the prospect of getting his hands on Posada. The pure propaganda value of a show trial in which both the United States government and Posada could be put on trial has every leftist in Latin America swooning in anticipation.

In the meantime, our credibility on the terrorism issue is taking a huge hit. Not with the strutting peacock in Caracas or the murderous thug in Havanna, but with governments and citizens in the rest of Latin America. As I said back in May when Posada was first arrested, perception is reality:

There’s no doubt this is a lose-lose situation for the American government. There quite simply can be no good outcome to their dilemma. If we hand the old terrorist over to Chavez, his secret police will go to work on him and probably extract some extraordinarily damaging information about his unholy deeds done on behalf of the American government during the last 40 years. The resulting firestorm would ignite protests from Mexico City to Havana and severely damage our already tarnished image in Latin America.

But if we grant Posada asylum or worse, send him to another country that doesn’t have an extradition treaty with Venezuela, we’ll either be guilty of harboring a terrorist or facilitating the escape of one. Either way, our credibility and ability to fight terrorism will take a huge hit. And if we send him to a third country that does have an extradition agreement with the Venezuelans, we’ll still be seen as hypocrites.

In this case, I think the Bush Administration is going to have to bite the bullet and hand Posada over to Chavez. Better the strutting peacock than the thug in Havana. Before honoring any extradition treaty with regards to Posada however, the Administration should get an assurance from Chavez that the Venezuelans will not hand him over to Castro. That would truly be a disastrous turn of events and must be prevented.

The people of Latin America are watching this case very closely. And unless we start moving the legal process of Posada’s deportation along, we will leave ourselves wide open to charges of being hypocrites in the War on Terror.

At this point, that’s something we just can’t afford.


  1. Return of Vader

    Today’s dose of NIF - News, Interesting & Funny … Another sweet, even if limited blogation, Friday

    Trackback by NIF — 8/19/2005 @ 1:26 pm

  2. Rich,

    FYI, there is no “nn” in Havana. More importantly there is no “nn” at all in Spanish. The Latin “nn”
    was replaced centuries ago with “n~”

    Comment by RiverRat — 8/19/2005 @ 3:12 pm

  3. Actually, it isn’t that big a deal and I don’t understand why the US is dragging its feet so much. Unless he knows something about the CIA that the US government doesn’t want Castro to know… You see, Venezuelan law is funny and because Posada Carriles is 77 years old he can’t go to jail. His maximum sentence is 4 years served either in a Police Station or in a place of his choosing (an apartment or a Hotel). So, the US can hand him to Venezuela and keep an eye on him, if Venezuela turns him over to Cuba it would be illegal (Venezuela can’t extradite to countries with death penalty). He wasn’t convicted, by the way, he was tried in a military court that said he was innocent, this ruling was suspiciously overturned and the case handed to a civil court which four years later hadn’t presented charges. He did escape and he is probably guilty, but the law in Venezuela is, as I said… funny.

    Comment by Alfredo Octavio — 8/19/2005 @ 3:18 pm

  4. Double Standards in the War on Terror

    Apparrently our government is playing legal games with the immigration case of Luis Posada Carriles, a career narcoterrorist and former CIA asset.
    Right Wing Nuthouse has the report:
    Mr. Posada Carriles, 77, entered this country illegally in April o…

    Trackback by Fresh Politics — 8/20/2005 @ 1:02 pm

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