US court frees terrorist Posada Carriles

On 4 May, US District Judge Kathleen Cordone declared that the ‘shocking and outrageous’ tactics of the US government in ‘manipulating the legal system’ in the case of Luis Posada Carriles left her with no choice but to dismiss the indictment against him for immigration fraud. Mass murderer Posada, already on bail since 19 April, was free and the US government, in essence, off the hook.

Cordone made it clear that, while aware that Posada was a ‘political hot potato’, she could not indict him on terrorist charges if the government refused to bring them. ‘The realm of this case is not terrorism. It is fraud’.

Posada is known to be guilty of:
• a significant role in the assassination of Chilean Foreign Minister Orlando Letelier and his assistant Ronni Moffat in the US in the 1970s;
• blowing up a civilian Cubana aircraft in 1976, killing all 73 people on board, with the documented knowledge and support of the CIA and FBI;
• playing a leading role in the US Iran-Contra debacle, aimed at destabilising the Nicaraguan government in the early 1980s;
• implementing the CIA-run Operation Condor throughout Latin America in the 1980s, involving the torture, repression and assassination of progressive political activists;
• orchestrating a campaign of sabotage and bombings against Cuban tourist facilities in 1997, resulting in the death of an Italian tourist;
• an attempt to assassinate Fidel Castro in Panama in 2000.

The US administration ignored Posada’s illicit arrival in the US in 2005 until, in his arrogance, Posada gave an interview to the New York Times, unrepentantly claiming responsibility for the 1997 bombings as ‘an act of war’. Forced to act, their sole concern was to prevent at all costs a public trial where Posada could expose the extent to which his every crime had been sanctioned by the CIA. To the same end, the US has consistently refused to extradite Posada to Venezuela to face trial, in breach of existing treaties, using the lie that he will be tortured there. In February, a court ordered that Posada should be deported to a third country, but none will take this notorious terrorist.

Ironically for a government that, in its post 9/11 clampdown, swept up hundreds of Muslims and Asians on suspected immigration irregularities, only to accuse them of cooked-up ‘terrorist’ offences, the charge brought against Posada was nothing other than a cynical manoeuvre to protect their own. Indeed, in April, US lawyers had sought a court order to gag Posada and prevent him saying anything about his connection with the CIA. On the contrary, argued Posada’s lawyers, his 25-year service with the CIA, as its agent and master saboteur, would form the core of his defence should he come to trial.

For the moment, both Posada and his political masters appear to have got away with it. But mass protests have taken place across Latin America, particularly in Cuba. Even within the United States outrage is growing at the US’s hypocrisy in its ‘war on terror’ – while hundreds of alleged ‘terrorists’ are held incommunicado in Guantanamo for years, subject to torture and inhumane treatment, for want of evidence to charge them, this self-confessed terrorist walks free. The campaign is growing to see a man referred to as ‘the Bin Laden of the Western world’ brought to justice.
Cat Wiener

FRFI 197 June / July 2007


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