Thursday, October 05, 2006

When is a terrorist not a terrorist?

When he's an anti-Castro Cuban exile.

Luis Posada Carriles -- AKA Bambi, Comisario Basilio and Ramon Medina -- has spent a career notching up anti-Castro violence to a new art, culminating with his masterminding the in-flight bombing of Cubana Flight 455 in 1976, on which 73 people lost their lives. In 1985 he escaped from a Venezuelan prison. That nation has formally sought his extradition since he turned up in the U.S. in 2005, finding happy refuge among Miami's right-wing Cuban-American community. He was arrested for illegal entry into the U.S. in May 2005 and jailed, while the Bush administration sought ANY nearby nation save Cuba or Venezuela to take him in. At least 7 have replied, "No thanks." If the U.S. forthrightly denies Venezuela's petition for extradition, we are obligated to put Carriles on trial for the same charges by dint of the 1973 Montreal Convention. Here is yet another example of the hypocrisy that the Bushites have made policy. While faceless, nameless detainees are held in secret or not-so-secret prisons on vague suspicions of "terrorism," a man who has spent the better part of his life indulging in violence and criminality is shielded from due process. To quote the sister of a 19-year-old Guyanese medical student who was killed on that ill-fated Cubana flight, "If Luis Posada Carriles does not meet the definition of a terrorist," she wrote in a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, "it is hard to imagine who does."

As they say in Little Havana, "Viva Bush."

(With an assist from Peter Kornbluh's commentary in the October 16th Nation.)

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