Sunday, January 25, 2009


After 9/11 President Bush demanded the extradition of the terrorists who orchestrated the attacks saying "America has a message for the nations of the world: If you harbor terrorists, you are terrorists," certainly a legitimate claim. No matter what warped ideology they serve those who kill civilians for political purposes deserve to be brought to justice as do those who willfully obstruct that process. However if the U.S expects other nations to adhere to this standard then it must do the same.

Although the U.S government has declined to condemn the activities of former CIA agent Luis Possada Carriles the FBI has implicated him in dozens of attacks and the founding of a "terrorist umbrella organization" . He has acknowledged orchestrating a 1997 hotel bombing that killed an Italian tourist and injured 11 other people saying "it is sad that someone is dead, but we can't stop," and both Cuban and Venezuela have demanded his extradition in connection with an attack on a Cuban airliner that left 73 people dead. Posada has found refuge in the U.S where he currently lives in freedom.

A Federal judge denied the extradition request on the grounds that he would face torture and not receive a fair trial, of course he would probably face better treatment than the U.S accords to suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay. Possada's flight from justice has led him to the U.S, a country he knows has a double standard when it comes to prosecuting crimes committed by pro-American militants. The government needs to either step up its efforts to extradite this man or try him in the U.S. At a time when the U.S claims to be at war with terrorism Possada's presence in this country is a disgrace, though it is hardly surprising.

"In 1985, when I was the Deputy Director of the Reagan White House Task Force on Terrorism. . .they asked us to come up with a definition of terrorism. . .[w]e produced about six, and each and every case, they were rejected, because careful reading would indicate that our own country had been involved in. . .those activities. . .certainly, you can think of a number of countries that have been involved in such activities. Ours is one of them. Israel is another."

-Former U.S diplomat Edward Peck

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