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Giving Passes in the War on Terrorism

Giving Passes in the War on Terrorism
by Jacob G. Hornberger

There is still no trial date set in the federal case of Luis Posada Carriles, the foreigner whom Venezuela accuses of having planned the terrorist downing of a Cuban civilian airliner in 1976 that killed 73 innocent people, including 24 members of Cuba’s national fencing team.

After Carriles entered the United States in 2005, Venezuela sought his extradition, pursuant to an extradition agreement between the United States and Venezuela.

U.S. officials, however, have refused to grant Venezuela’s extradition request, which would appear odd given the U.S. government’s ardent commitment to waging war on terrorism and, also, given its steadfast insistence that the Taliban government turn over accused terrorist Osama bin Laden, notwithstanding the absence of an extradition agreement between the United States and Afghanistan.

What is the reason they give for their refusal to extradite Carriles? They say that Venezuela might torture him. This is not something, U.S. officials say, they could countenance, given their steadfast opposition to torture as part of their war on terrorism.

But there could be another reason that they are vigorously fighting to protect Carriles from being extradited. He just happens to be a former CIA operative, one who allegedly was involved in the CIA’s nefarious activities in Cuba as far back as the Bay of Pigs invasion in the 1960s. The last thing the CIA would want is for Carriles to be put in a position in which he might begin singing about the things he did for his former employer, including, of course, the possible commission of terrorist acts in Cuba itself. Cuban officials allege that Carriles was, in fact, involved in a series of terrorist bombings in Cuba in 1997.

One of the interesting aspects of the federal case in which Carriles is being prosecuted is that many of the documents in the case are sealed from public view. Imagine that! I wonder why they have to be kept secret. National security, I suppose.

So, what’s the federal case against Carriles all about? No, it’s not about the terrorist bombing of that Cuban airliner that he is accused of orchestrating. Instead, they’ve indicted him for lying to U.S. officials when he entered the United States.

Continue reading: http://www.fff.org/blog/jghblog2010-04-29.asp