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One of “our” international terrorists has come back home. Luis Posada Carriles has announced he has covertly entered the United States and is now officially seeking political asylum from the Bush administration.
For those of you who do not closely follow Latin American politics Posada Carriles is a long-time anti-Castro militant who has been involved several acts of terror and linked closely to the CIA.
Originally trained by the CIA as part of the force that invaded the Bay of Pigs, he went on to work for Venezuelan security forces in hunting down leftists. In the mid-70’s he was part of a plot that exploded a bomb on a Cuban civilian airliner killing 73 people. Posada has also had a hand in the bombing of Cuban tourist hotels that killed and Italian citizen and injured 11 other people.
After escaping from a Venezuelan prison while awaiting trial on the airliner bombing, Posada showed up in Central America in the late 80's as an operative in Lt. Col. Oliver North’s contra resupply network (North and presumably Bill Casey’s CIA has no qualms about giving work to a guy who blew up airlines in mid-air). He also did some time in a Panamanian jail for plotting to assassinate Fidel Castro but was released by that country’s notoriously corrupt government.
"If he is in the United States, he should be arrested and deported under the norms of international law," said Rep. William D. Delahunt (D-Mass.), who wrote a letter Monday to leaders of the House International Relations Committee calling for an investigation into how Posada entered the country.
Delahunt has the right attitude. Not really that surprising that a confessed terrorist like Posada made it secretly into U.S. territory, given his long list of supporters and enablers in high government places.
His “cause” is now being championed by a wealthy right-wing exile Cuban developer. The fear among some is that Posada will boldly and publicly surface in Miami making himself into a cause celebre. We can all remember the rather cranked-up (shall we say hysterical) reaction of the Miami Cuban community over Elian Gonzalez. It’s not hard to imagine Posada trying to make himself a popular hero who openly dares the U.S. government to deny him the asylum he's requesting.
Just how the Department of Homeland Security will respond to Posada’s asylum request will be telling. Anything short of summarily deporting a man who blows up civilian airliners and hotels will make a mockery of the administration’s vow to fight terror.
Posted by Marc Cooper on Wedne