July 11, 2005
Sticky Double-Sided Tape
SIDE ONE: CUBA
Last month, the United States was confronted with the dilemma of what do to with a convicted terrorist that had illegally entered the country. What should have been a matter of simply following established protocols (identify and apprehend, deport or imprison) became complicated because the terrorist in question was our man.
The incident involves one Luis Posada Carrile, a one time CIA operative, who faces charges of blowing up a Cuban airliner in 1976 killing 73 people. Adding to that list, he is suspected of a 1997 hotel bombing in Havana which killed an Italian tourist and more recently of plotting with three Cuban exiles to assassinate Fidel Castro during his visit to Panama in 2000 (something which the CIA itself has tried without success on different occasions). Posada is documented to have received his training from the CIA in explosives and sabotage at Fort Benning, Georgia and helped organize the doomed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961. He stopped working for the CIA in 1968 but resurfaced in the 1980's Reagan administration by helping the US-backed secret Contra supply in Central America.
Posada is currently has an outstanding warrant for his arrest in Venezuala, a nation that in recent times maintains a close relationship with Cuba and that the US has an increasing dependence on for oil. It is no suprise that the US-double standard on how it deals with "their terrorists" as opposed to "our terrorists" has triggered empassioned rhetoric from Venezualan President Hugo who has even gone as far as saying the US inteneds to assissinate him. Adding to Posada's history of violence, is the Venezuelan contention that Posada commited a series of crimes while working with the feared Disip secret police during the 1970's (in his lull between the Bay of Pigs project and this Contra project). What is one to do when one is unemployed? "We are going to collect testimonies that show he's not only a terrorist, but an assassin and torturer," said Marrero, who claims he was a victim of torture by Disip agents following order from Posada.
SIDE TWO: VIETNAM
In today's world press, reports that Vietnamese-American, Van Duc Vo, is fighting extradition to Thailand for an attempt to bomb the Vietnamese Embassy in Thailand. In similar overtones to the Luis Posada Carrile case, the United States is mulling over what ought to be, and indeed would be a matter of protocol with a country with the US has an established extradition agreeement, a no-brainer call. Vo and his legal defense team (and the lot of fanatical extremist Southern Californian Vietnamese Americans that support him and violent action) maintain that an extradition to Thailand would likely precede extradition to Vietnam where he would face execution. Shit, you can do that in Texas.
"Vo maintains he planted two bombs as a political act that was part of an uprising against Vietnam's government -- but defused the devices when he realized the U.S. Embassy was nearby. Thai authorities allege Vo placed a backpack full of explosives in front of the embassy in Bangkok and threw over the compound's fence a box that contained 11 pounds of diesel fuel and ammonium nitrate. Notes were attached to both devices, which were supposed to be activated by cell phones, prosecutors said. Calls were made to the rigged phones, but the bombs didn't go off. Vo, of Baldwin Park, was arrested after returning to the United States in October 2001. Officials later dropped U.S. charges and agreed to extradite him to Thailand. He remains in custody in a federal detention center in Los Angeles. During the hearing, the appeals panel questioned whether the political offense exception would be applicable because the bombs were planted outside of Vietnam. Mayock contended the exception did apply because the embassy is Vietnamese territory."
THE TICKER TAPE
CBA: [begin] Posada's presence in the United States has presented a problem for U.S. officials, who want to support anti-Castro Cubans but are sensitive to terrorist charges against Posada [stop] Posada said he has not renounced violence, but declared, "I am not a terrorist." source: CNN [stop]
VNA: [begin] About 200 supporters waved South Vietnamese and U.S. flags outside as a three-judge panel heard the arguments. [stop] Vo, 45, has become a hero to some Vietnamese in exile who are dedicated to overthrowing the Southeast Asian nation's communist government. He's been charged in Thailand, a strong U.S. ally, with "conspiring to use and using weapons of mass destruction during an attempted bombing" of the Vietnamese Embassy in June 2001. source: Associated Press [stop]
[begin] We have found the Weapons of Mass Destruction and they are us [stop]
THE TAPE DISPENSER
Terrorism is as real as it is a construct. The inability of the US to define and deal with terrorism as it exists will continue to plague any effort toward its eradication. The determination of terrorism and terrorists upon political association undermines any legitimacy the US might have in its "war against terrorism'. The tactics are the same. The only difference is one is state supported.
Posted by rst at July 11, 2005 12:41 PM
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