[News] Obama to extradite Luis Posada Carriles to Venezuela
news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Aug 25 10:51:07 EDT 2009
Lockerbie outrage moves Obama to extradite long-wanted CIA-terrorist
Luis Posada Carriles to Venezuela...
Published: Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Bylined to: <mailto:external at vheadline.com>Thomas Harrington
Anti-War (Thomas Harrington): In a dramatic announcement made
yesterday shortly after the President's arrival on Martha's Vineyard,
the administration declared its intention to hand over Luis Posada
Carriles, the widely acknowledged mastermind of the bombing of Cubana
Airlines Flight 455 that killed 73 people in 1976, to the Venezuelan
government for prosecution.
According to White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, Obama's change of
heart on the long-requested extradition of Posada, who was a citizen
of Venezuela when he allegedly planned the crime, came after watching
Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, the convicted planner of the Pan Am Flight
103 bombing in 1988, return home to a hero's welcome in Libya.
"The President was sickened to see this man who bears responsibility
for ending the lives of hundreds of completely innocent people, and
forever altering those of the many thousands that loved them, walk
free. Feeling their pain made him acutely aware of just how unfair it
was to continue to let Mr. Posada, who in addition to the Cubana
bombing has been implicated in numerous assassinations and as many as
41 other terrorist bombings throughout the Caribbean and Central
America, get up each day in Miami and sip his morning coffee in
Since the "declaration" of the "War on Terror" in late 2001, the
avowed goal of the US government has been to prosecute terrorists
wherever they might be in the world. As former President George W.
Bush put it in a speech before a joint session of Congress on
September 20 of that year, "It will not end until every terrorist
group of global reach has been found, stopped, and defeated."
Apparently, however, there was a large loophole in this policy for
Posada and the many others like him assigned to use terrorist tactics
on behalf of the US government or organizations backed by what is
often termed the "US intelligence community."
A brief examination of Posada's career demonstrates just how large
this loophole is. In addition to his role in planning the Cubana
bombing in 1976, Posada worked for the Reagan White House supplying
US-backed irregulars in Nicaragua and the armies of the Salvadoran
and Honduran dictatorships with the arms they used to kill thousands
of innocent civilians in the late 1980s. In the late 1990s, Posada
directed a series of terrorist bombings in Cuba designed to cripple
the growth of that nation's burgeoning tourist industry, attacks he
took full credit for in a wide-ranging interview with the New York Times.
Yet, despite his public admission of guilt in this and numerous other
cases of terrorism, Posada lived a relatively unfettered life in the
US. He did so, moreover, despite having been caught entering the
country illegally, under an assumed name, sometime prior to 2005.
In recent years judges have regularly deported Muslim immigrants for
the slightest procedural infractions, but Posada was freed on bail by
an immigration judge in Texas and allowed to return to Florida under
house arrest in April 2007.
A month later, US District Judge Kathleen Cardone in Miami dismissed
all seven immigration charges against Posada. Though a grand jury in
El Paso, Texas, recently issued a new set of indictments against
Posada in relationship to the Cuban bombings and his entry into the
US on a fraudulent passport, Posada remained a free man until
President Obama's stunning announcement yesterday.
Gibbs concluded his announcement with the following remarks. "In the
wake of September 11, it was frequently asked 'Why do they hate us?.' "
"Many concluded that it was because they are jealous of our freedoms.
We now know, however, that it is really because of the way we
selectively condemn in others the types of murderous activities that
we regularly license ourselves and our close allies to carry out with
"We believe that the extradition of Mr. Posada will be seen as a
valuable first step in closing our enormous credibility gap around
the issue of terror."
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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