Coddling Terrorists in America

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carriles.jpg
Luis Posada Carriles
Being a political blogger during an election of the sort we are having today is a weird experience. There is no heir apparent in either party and there is a true scramble by all parties to win any way he or she can. And thus, the campaigns are reaching out to folks like me constantly with this angle or that. Usually, they want to give us their pre-packaged angles rather than the information we actually request.
But writing about the candidates during this time is like being a Hollywood actor during the voting period for the Academy Awards. I know a number of “stars” and one simply wouldn’t believe the marketing gimmickry that film distributors use when sending out “screeners” to pump up support for their Oscar-hungry films. Political bloggers get a similar kind of deluge — usually phone calls and opportunities here and there for “special moments” with candidates or their key advisors.
And it’s a rush. In fact, it’s more than just that — it’s a gusher of stuff. So much that it’s hard to stay focused on other issues.
One of these is the fact that America is coddling wanted terrorists in the United States — perhaps the most outrageous of which is Luis Posada Carriles who is walking around freely in Miami. Posada’s case serves as as an example of the seeming arbitrariness of America’s system of rule of law to Cuban nationals who witness this outrage and may appropriately wonder if our system of democracy is one more of rhetoric and veneer than substance.
There are others, like Center for Democracy in the Americas Director Sarah Stephens and National Security Archives Latin America expert Peter Kornbluh, who have written powerfully on the Posada case — and I recommend a look at their thoughts.
Cuban nationals actually get a double whammy as they are subjected to a daily feed from their government on the abuse of justice in the US with regard to the so-called “Cuban Five” — who clearly have received judgments against them that are unbelievably disproportionate to anything they might have done. Former State Department Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson gets into this here.
Now today, Salon has a definitive article by Tristram Korten and Kirk Nielsen on the coddled terrorists in Miami — and here is a short bit by a local TV station in Miami reporting on some Code Pink organizers being chased and nearly attacked by Posada supporters.
Knowing any of the political candidates and what they might or might not do cannot come from asking them about the comfortable issues of the day — it comes from seeing them under stress and when challenged to confront issues such as this Posada case.
Will John McCain, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Barack Obama admit that our justice system in Florida that protects these thugs like Posada is broken?
Or will they hug the guy in a photo op in order to curry favor with the elder, anti-Castro fanatics — who perhaps unknowingly have helped reinforce the status quo in Cuba and have helped distort and corrupt America’s democracy.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

12 comments on “Coddling Terrorists in America

  1. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Although I am sure that Steve will not appreciate the tone of Burke’s comment, Burke does raise a valid point. What about Israel’s actions here, that constitute espionage, crimes against our nation, and very possibly terrorist acts that are ignored and shoved under the rug?
    One could easily posit that the continued tolerance for AIPAC operating freely on our soil, not required to register as a foreign agent, is just as egregious of an affront to justice as Posada’s presence here is.

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  2. samuel burke says:

    steve you great american hero you.
    So, as the israeli lobby (aipac) rapes your precious constitution and suborns your politicians and the political process, and lets not mention the larry franklin, rosen and weizmann case in which the members of aipac were either direct conduits or the control officers for a foreign nation on u.s soil, or the pollard spying case, maybe you can advocate for his freedom to curry some favor from your masters. Or maybe you might want to get to the bottom of the israeli students who were stopped and questioned after the trade center towers incident ( all three towers including tower seven) mr cameron at fox filed a report but that story was deep sixed, will you steve clemons, great american crusader against terrorism stand up and ask for an inquiry of that incident also? Hell no, you prefer to focus your laser like attention on the decrepit and aging cuban lobby and a bunch of anti communist tools for the cia in miami florida, thirty years ago that group of men in miami who lost their nation to an internationalist communist movement would have been more formidable, not so today.
    great job steve you are a real american zero.
    if you had half the gonads you think you have youd speak up against a more formidable foe…israel and the aipac lobby.
    but you need to work, and those washington parties are very important to you
    the u.s dollar is toast, buy silver and gold and hope that your government doesnt declare martial law to protect you from some bullshit threat entirely created to strip you of what little freedom you will be allowed to keep.
    you already know how to toe the line so you wont miss your freedom, lets make sure you give us all a valid reasons for a real national i.d card which will be required when the police state you so seem to love require it of its citizens on demand.
    achtung!

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  3. Chuck Dupree says:

    I heartily agree that the problems with the justice system are not
    confined to Florida (where, as it happens, Lincoln Diaz-Balart and I
    simultaneously attended New College). Florida, after all, is not the
    Ultimate Decider when it comes to legal actions that could affect
    foreign relations. And no matter what you think happened on Nov. 22,
    1963, relations with Cuba have been affected by a variety of events around the country,
    and seats of power from the White House on down have let Florida know
    what it should do in certain situations. Not that Floridian
    government would disagree, or at least not often; an intense
    hostility toward Cuba has been shared by the state and federal
    governments since the Cuban revolution took away the sex, drugs, and
    gambling playground for the rich, set up by the Mafia during Batista’s
    provenance.
    So I too would claim in this case, where my evaluation and prescription
    are quite similar to Steve’s, that change should begin at the national
    level. Possibly state-level changes are necessary, too, as
    corollaries. But Americans need to grok that if one ignores our
    proclamations and looks only at the actions of the US government, one
    might easily believe that the United States is not against terroism,
    it’s against having its demands resisted. I’m reminded of H.G. Wells:
    “We may suggest that a nation is in effect any assembly, mixture or
    confusion of peoples, which is either afflicted by, or wishes to be
    afflicted by, a Foreign Office of its own, in order that it should
    behave collectively as if its needs, desires and vanities were beyond
    comparison more important than the general welfare of humanity.”
    I’m afraid that’s how the good ole USA is perceived by the majority of
    people around the world at this point in time. Sure, we get some
    slack for the government not being completely representative of the
    people; but that very slack kinda undercuts our whole argument about
    how superior our system is. And we still get some cred for the basic
    magnificence of the ideals our country was founded on. But we’re a
    long ways from realizing those ideals, and as the empire falls we act
    on them less and less frequently. We not only invade others for no
    good reason, we deprive ourselves of our most basic rights; and by not
    prosecuting those who intentionally and egregiously violated the
    Constitution, we set the precedent that such actions have no
    consequences for who’ve enriched themselves by destroying the nation.
    This is a tragedy in the sense that it’s an outcome we don’t want.
    But the several tragedies of the Bush/Cheney administration could be
    put to use, if they can help us collectively to realize that this sort
    of behavior didn’t start with Bush.

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  4. Matt Connolly says:

    It is not the “justice system in Florida” that is to blame it is the U.S. Justice Department and our Republican party who do not understand that it is not in our long term interest to coddle terrorists because they are “our terrorists” and to proclaim that we are in a war against terrorists because one thing that most can see through and that is hypocrisy.

    Reply

  5. PissedOffAmerican says:

    After watching the Gonzales attorney firing fiasco, key members of the Bush Administration ignore Congressional subpoenas, and a myriad of other abuses of the law that no one has been held accountable for on a federal level, you want to know if these God damned cowards will admit that the justice system is broken in FLORIDA????
    Gads, Steve. Its gotta be bad acid. Change your dealer.

    Reply

  6. Sue says:

    Steve,
    It will be the hug thing, with an ‘air-kiss’ or two for good measure. C’mon Steve, Posada is no terrrrrrrist – he’s a Freedom Fighter!(or is that Freedom Fry? I have so much trouble keeping up these days…)
    “Usually, they want to give us their pre-packaged angles rather than the information we actually request.”
    Any good swag with that?
    Cheers,
    Grey

    Reply

  7. Carroll says:

    I suggest everyone read the Salon article and then if they still think it is a good idea for ethnics to be elected to represent their “kind’s” personal desires and point of view in this country do one thing:
    Insert the following names of hypen- cuban politicans into google, add, + Cuba and take a look at what they have done to pevert US policy and direct US taxpayers money against our own US interest.
    Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
    Lincoln Diaz-Balart
    Mario Diaz-Balart, a brother of Lincoln.
    Albio Sires, a New Jersey Democrat.
    Mel Martinez, a Republican of Florida.
    Robert Menendez, a Democrat of New Jersey.
    Let’s do away with the “we are all immigrants” platitudes shall we?..not all immigrants came here to “be” Americans and a lot of the immigrants in congress aren’t there to serve to America or Americans. And spare me the politicaly correct excuses for letting this country be turned into a dysfunctional honey pot for every foreign homeland exile cause.

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  8. Cee says:

    Some people who staged the coup in Venezuela are here too.

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  9. Carroll says:

    No they won’t do anything about this injustice. Any more than they are going to anything about the immoral US involvement in supporting Israel or practicing torture or lying the US into war.
    Who is going to make them?
    No one.
    We long ago let self serving “politicians” turn a democracy into a political criminal enterprise to serve their own ambitions. The reason I repeat Revolution and Burn Washington to the Ground over and over is because you can’t “appeal to” a criminal organization who is immune from the law to go against it’s own greedy interest. Anyone who thinks otherwise is asleep and dreaming.
    Only when the politicians fear the public more than they fear the special interest will anything change.
    Meanwhile everyone is trying to decide which one of the more of the same they are going to vote for.
    Change my a**.

    Reply

  10. daniel says:

    “Fascists need a demonized enemy against which to mobilize followers” Robert O. Paxton
    OBL and his minions are that enemy, given more power and terror by a group that wanted to create a “Unitary Executive”. The evidence is there….
    The Cubans do not terrify Americans in the same way.

    Reply

  11. JohnH says:

    Bravo, Steve. The whole US government attitude of telling others, “Do what we say, not what we do” is central to America’s declining moral standing in the world. Nothing illustrates the hypocrisy of the “War on Terror” more than the Posada case.

    Reply

  12. erichwwk says:

    Cuba is indeed a sad case, but it is a small subset of a much larger issue.
    “Will John McCain, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Barack Obama admit that our justice system in Florida that protects these thugs like Posada is broken?”
    Change Florida to the USA, and Posada, to Cheney et al, and you ask a much more important question.

    Reply

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