Wikileaks Dump Includes U.S. Assessment of Cuban Terrorism Threat

-

hillary Clinton wikileaks.jpg
This is a guest post by Anya Landau French, who directs the New America Foundation/U.S.-Cuba Policy Initiative. This post originally appeared at The Havana Note.
Taking a page, literally, from the Cuban Triangle, it’s worth beginning this post with this comment from Secretary Clinton:

There have been examples in history in which official conduct has been made public in the name of exposing wrongdoings or misdeeds. This is not one of those cases.

Maybe no one needs to know that our diplomats think Angela Merkel lacks creativity. But, for those of us who have repeatedly sought information about just what kind of threat the country of Cuba, one of four countries remaining on the State Department’s state sponsors of terrorism list, actually poses, we finally have a much sought-after, on-the-record answer: “Very little.”
In a cabled response to a spring 2009 questionnaire assessing the security environment in Cuba, the U.S. Interests Section assessment on Cuba’s terrorist threat includes the following:

——————–
INDIGENOUS TERRORISM
——————–
5. (U) ANTI-AMERICAN TERRORIST GROUPS
A. No
B. N/A
C. N/A
D. N/A
E. N/A
F. N/A
G. N/A
6. (U) OTHER INDIGENOUS TERRORIST GROUPS
A. No
B. N/A
C. N/A
D. N/A

Okay, well how about transnational terrorism. Afterall, those of us who bother to read the State Department’s annual terrorism report know that Cuba’s ties to other terrorism list countries and the presence of members of foreign terrorist groups like Spain’s ETA or Colombia’s FARC, make up the bulk of the justification for keeping Cuba on the list. (The presence in Cuba of several dozen fugitives of U.S. justice who were convicted of non-terrorism related crimes could and should be addressed as part of a law enforcement dialogue).

We have reliable reporting indicating the presence of ELN, FARC and ETA members here in Havana. That said, they are unlikely to conduct terrorist operations in Cuba.
The specific activities of these groups are largely unknown but Post was able to corroborate that ETA members assisting the FARC had spent time in Cuba and some even had family members in country. There is little chance of any operational activity given the need for safehaven.

Frankly, I find it of greater concern that the U.S. government largely knows nothing about the activities of these groups in Cuba, than the fact that they are there. Doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in our intelligence gathering, does it?
Well, what about Cuba’s coziness with the terrorist likes of Iran and other terrorist supporting governments? “Very little threat.”

Although the GOC maintains diplomatic ties with these states and many of these statesmaintain a diplomatic presence/embassy in Havana, we have seen no evidence that the GOC allows hostile intelligence service to plan terrorist, anti-U.S. operations in Cuba. Conventional wisdom in the diplomatic community is that the GOC is anxious to avoid giving the United States a rationale to conduct counterterrorism operations against it. Moreover, the GOC guards its own prerogatives jealously and would not want a foreign service or organization operating on its soil even if relations between the GOC and that organization or service were excellent.

That’s not to say Cuba comes out squeaky clean – what country does? But this cable puts the U.S. government on the record, finally, on what the real threat from Cuba is. And that will make next year’s terrorism list report, due out April 30th, all the more useless.
— Anya Landau French

Comments

17 comments on “Wikileaks Dump Includes U.S. Assessment of Cuban Terrorism Threat

  1. replice vertu phone says:

    Call it ‘dependency theory’ if you will.
    Many think it is only just marginally better than Russian or Chinese alternatives. Some think this marginality is narrowing rapidly.

    Reply

  2. replice cell phone says:

    In this case official conduct was made public exposing wrongdoings and misdeeds. period the end.
    now all we need to figure out is whether it is planned and by design, or just another major f-up by govt employees.
    zbignew seems to caution origin for some reason.

    Reply

  3. replice cell phone says:

    The cables are actually reassuring: In stark contrast to the
    pablum we are fed, it’s a relief to see that there are smart,
    literate and often well informed people out there.

    Reply

  4. brand bag replcias says:

    The http://www.webbestchoice.com/ Louis Vuitton Monogram Miroir collection isn

    Reply

  5. Larry Bakst says:

    The cables are actually reassuring: In stark contrast to the
    pablum we are fed, it’s a relief to see that there are smart,
    literate and often well informed people out there.

    Reply

  6. rc says:

    “We have not even had huge problems with Cuba after the 1970s,…” (Katie, Dec 04 2010, 4:27PM) — You miss the point. Bully-boy systems require a victim or three on the bottom of the hierarchy to demonstrate the ‘wisdom’ of compliance to others. Cuba has been one such case, and at a different scale, Gitmo Bay is another. It is a system of governance that goes back to the Romans and their process of public crucifixions. It works … you just cannot practice it and claim to be civilized.

    Reply

  7. Katie says:

    I have to agree with non-hater. Some of the policies the American
    government have in place are most insignificant and trivial in this
    day. We have not even had huge problems with Cuba after the
    1970s, so we should instead focus on other foreign relations that
    are in desperate need of help, like those with the Middle East. This
    only shows me the government still doesn’t know what it’s doing.

    Reply

  8. S.J.D. Schwartzstein says:

    The assessment in an official State Department cable that Cuba poses no terrorism threat only confirms what has been known for some time. Even State’s public rationale for keeping Cuba on the terrorism list is fatuous. But the list itself is meaningless, not just because it includes Cuba, but the recent offer to take Sudan off the list in exchange for various concessions with respect to the southern Sudan means that inclusion on the list is negotiable — and lacks credibility. As it obviously hardly serves US interests to take positions or make claims that lack credibility, the big question is what good does it make to maintain the current list of countries supporting terrorism?

    Reply

  9. rc says:

    “What is it that reflexively causes American government to support the 2% of population that represents 90% of wealth, …” (YY, Dec 04 2010, 4:50AM)
    The American government is run by the 1-2% who own the vast (and mostly virtual) wealth of the nation. Why do you expect different reactions from the same class of people? They share a common transnational mindset. They are the ‘winners’ — in their own minds at least.
    They are largely beyond the law (they ‘make the rules’) and simply cloth their domestic plutocracy with the ‘democracy’ label and generally support kleptocracies abroad.
    Simple 101 stuff — as with the British — divide and conquer, then leave a dependent rump in charge to pay homage and tribute. Think Kuwait, Brunei, … anywhere there was oil found or likely. Now, with the U.S., it is just anywhere that serves a purpose for the globalization of markets and the centralization of power.
    Call it ‘dependency theory’ if you will.
    Many think it is only just marginally better than Russian or Chinese alternatives. Some think this marginality is narrowing rapidly.

    Reply

  10. YY says:

    OT but I’m looking forward to more releases from/about the hemisphere. It’s particularly good to see that the field report from Honduras is completely consistent with the view rest of the world had of the nature of the coup, while spokespeople, secretary of state, “respectable media” in the US all hemmed and hawed and for all practical purposes misrepresented what had occurred in Honduras. At the time this unfolded, I’m thinking why? What is it that reflexively causes American government to support the 2% of population that represents 90% of wealth, or as if by instinct think that banana republicanism is the go?
    Now there are people cheering DOS attacks on Wikileaks and referencing the House of Saud as if it were fountain of wisdom and justice. Insane mob mentality, particularly disturbing when it is coming from the fourth estate, suddenly becoming concern trolls for government secrecy no matter what.

    Reply

  11. rc says:

    Just in case Washington wants to see ‘democracy’ at work in a free wiki-world … try http://213.251.145.96/

    Reply

  12. mushrooms says:

    “Readers of the two leading US newspapers never learned those key facts about the document. The New York Times and the Washington Post reported only that the United States believed Iran had acquired such missiles… from North Korea.
    Neither newspaper reported the detailed Russian refutation of the US view on the issue or the lack of hard evidence…
    The Times, which had obtained the diplomatic cables not from WikiLeaks but from The Guardian… did not publish the text of the cable.
    The Times story said the newspaper had made the decision not to publish ‘at the request of the Obama administration’. That meant that its readers could not compare the highly distorted account of the document in the Times story against the original document without searching the WikiLeaks website.”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2010/dec/02/the-us-embassy-cables-julian-assange

    Reply

  13. MuscularLiberal says:

    These leaks tell us more about the Leftist media that have reported
    them with such fascination and shock. They

    Reply

  14. samuelburke says:

    Hilary says “There have been examples in history in which official conduct has been made public in the name of exposing wrongdoings or misdeeds. This is not one of those cases.”
    In this case official conduct was made public exposing wrongdoings and misdeeds. period the end.
    now all we need to figure out is whether it is planned and by design, or just another major f-up by govt employees.
    zbignew seems to caution origin for some reason.

    Reply

  15. JohnH says:

    Foggy Bottom’s knee jerk reaction would usually be directed to kick starting new ways to demonize Cuba, now that the air has been let out of the terrorism charge. Fortunately, that may not happen this time around, because Foggy Bottom has too many other things to worry about. Demonizing Cuba carries all of the evocative power of crying “wolf” for the hundredth time. [Yawn]

    Reply

  16. non-hater says:

    Great. Now that the State Department has figured out the obvious, can we take Cuba off of the state sponsor list?
    Our policy towards Cuba isn’t as counterproductive as our policy towards the Middle East, but it is even more stupid because Cuba is so insignificant.

    Reply

  17. Don Bacon says:

    There are currently twenty-two (22) national emergencies that have been declared by presidential executive order. The language varies somewhat but many of them were declared because of “unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States”.
    They deal with such bogus “threats” to the US coming from Cote d’Ivoire, Zimbabwe, Iran, Syria, Burma and Iraq, to name a few. It’s all part of the campaign of terror waged by the US government on its people to keep them afraid, very afraid.
    Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622 (d)) provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date.
    Obama has annually renewed them all without fail. Some change, eh?
    One of the twenty-two “national emergencies” relates to Cuba.
    Barack Obama
    117 – Notice – Continuation of the National Emergency Relating to Cuba and of the Emergency Authority Relating to the Regulation of the Anchorage and Movement of Vessels
    On March 1, 1996, by Proclamation 6867, a national emergency was declared to address the disturbance or threatened disturbance of international relations caused by the February 24, 1996, destruction by the Cuban government of two unarmed U.S.-registered civilian aircraft in international airspace north of Cuba. On February 26, 2004, by Proclamation 7757, the national emergency was extended and its scope was expanded to deny monetary and material support to the Cuban government. The Cuban government has not demonstrated that it will refrain from the use of excessive force against U.S. vessels or aircraft that may engage in memorial activities or peaceful protest north of Cuba. And the unauthorized entry of any U.S.-registered vessel into Cuban territorial waters continues to be detrimental to the foreign policy of the United States. Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing the national emergency with respect to Cuba and the emergency authority relating to the regulation of the anchorage and movement of vessels set out in Proclamation 6867 as amended by Proclamation 7757.
    This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the Congress.
    BARACK OBAMA
    The White House,
    February 23, 2010.
    http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=87570&st=&st1=
    In 1996, after repeated incursions into Cuban territory, and ignoring a final warning by Cuba, two Brothers to the Rescue planes were shot down by the Cuban Air Force.

    Reply

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *