La Jornada, Mexico

Loughner and Carriles: Two Terrorists, One U.S. Double Standard


"It's 319 miles from Tucson to El Paso, a trip of four and a half hours by car. A link of dramatic tension unites the two communities - one of hate and terrorism, only now, as Tucson is in mourning, the criminal in El Paso has full confidence in the laws of the United States, knowing that they do not apply to him."


By José Pertierra*


Translated By Halszka Czarnocka


January 11, 2010


Mexico - La Jornada - Original Article (Spanish)

U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords: Gunned down while meeting constituents at a grocery store: her rate of recovery has astounded doctors.  


BBC NEWS VIDEO: Doctors report that Giffords is 'doing great' after transfer, Jan. 21, 00:02:34RealVideo

In El Paso, Texas, on the eve of the sentencing of Luis Posada Carriles, a terrorist in Tucson, Arizona, shot Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in the head. She stands between life and death. The murderer, Jared Loughner, used an automatic weapon. As I write these words, there are six known dead - among them a little girl who born on September 11, 2001 - and 12 wounded.


It's 319 miles from Tucson to El Paso, a trip of four and a half hours by car. A link of dramatic tension unites the two communities - one of hate and terrorism, only now, as Tucson is in mourning, the criminal in El Paso has full confidence in the laws of the United States, knowing that they do not apply to him. U.S. prosecutors protect him, trying him for being a simple liar while ignoring the memories of the dozens of people he has assassinated.


Terrorism is a cancer on society, threatening all of us equally. We should feel the pain of the death of the 2,752 people assassinated in the Twin Towers as we do the memories of 3,478 Cubans killed in terrorist actions organized from Miami against the island over the past five decades. However, for the United States, there are victims of the first and second categories, as well as good and bad terrorists.


But, wherever it happens, those who cultivate hatred harvest the crop of terrorism. When the father of the 40-year-old congresswoman was asked whether his daughter had enemies, Spencer Giffords said: "Yes, the entire Tea Party.” Last summer Gabrielle Gifford's opponent, an ex-marine named Jesse Kelly who ran for her seat for the Tea Party, convened a campaign event with the following message: “Shoot a Fully Automatic M16″ to “Get on Target” and “Remove Gabrielle Giffords.”


It hardly matters whether Jared Loughner - the suspect in the Arizona murders - worked for the Tea Party, or if he was recruited by Sarah Palin to try and kill Congresswoman Giffords. What matters is that with premeditation, both the Tea Party and Sarah Palin cultivated ferocious hatred toward members of Congress that supported the healthcare reform pushed by President Obama - a hatred that flourished in the perverse mind of Loughner until it made him into a killer.


For over 50 years, that same resort to hatred has been used against Cuba by the United States, which has encouraged, trained and protected the terrorists who maintained the island as a permanent target of aggression. A prodigal son of this hostility was and remains Luis Posada Carriles. Declassified documents show that the CIA taught him how to use explosives and trained him to torture and kill. According to his own attorney, everything Posada Carriles has done in Latin America was "in the name of Washington.”


Posada is the mastermind of one of the most heinous crimes in the history of international terrorism. On October 6, 1976, he detonated two bombs made with C-4 - an explosive available only to the CIA at the time - that brought down a Cuban aircraft in midflight near the coast of Barbados. There were no survivors among its 73 passengers.


Like Jared Loughner on that Saturday in Tucson, Posada assassinated a 9-year-old girl. Sabrina Paul was traveling with her family aboard the aircraft. The blast blew open Sabrina's head and chest. The evidence of who the perpetrators and masterminds were was overwhelming. Because of this, Venezuela immediately arrested Posada Carriles and charged him with first degree murder. But with the help of his American friends, Posada escaped in 1985. A few days later he resurfaced, having been given work, food and shelter. The CIA found him an employment in El Salvador as one of the principal managers of Operation Iran-Contra. His role was to facilitate the illegal transport of weapons to the Contras in Nicaragua. Later, in 1997, he directed a bombing campaign against tourist installations in Havana which cost the life of young Fabio di Celmo [an Italian entrepreneur]. He contracted mercenaries who have been apprehended on the island and have identified Posada Carriles as the man who paid them for their "services."


Washington continued to shield him during his bloody duty in Central America. He was convicted in Panama in 2000 for trying to blow up an auditorium full of students at a local university during a speech by Fidel Castro, but his friends bribed the then-president of Panama, Mireya Moscoso, and she pardoned him in 2004, albeit illegally, according to the Panamanian Supreme Court.  




Juventud Rebelde, Cuba: In Miami, It's Better to Be a Terrorist Than a Poet

Le Figaro, France: Bush Refuses to Extradite 'Friendly' Criminal to Venezuela

Granma, Cuba: Cubans Insist That Washington Shields An International Terrorist

Granma, Cuba: Castro Says U.S. Implicated in 1976 Airline Bombing

Bolvariana de Noticias, Venezuela: Obama 'Must Extradite' Carriles

Adelante, Cuba: Posada Carriles and Al Capone: How U.S. History Repeats Itself

Adelante, Cuba: America's Favorite Terrorist Goes Free

Der Standard, Austria: Can Americans Disarm in Thought and Word?

Le Figaro, France: Explaining the 'Murder and Hatred' in Arizona

Beijing Youth Daily, China: Tucson a 'Footnote in Year of Economic Crisis'

Die Zeit, Germany: Sarah Palin Is No Longer 'Reloading'

Excelsior, Mexico: Mexicans Uniquely Alarmed by Arizona Shooting Attack

El Pais, Spain: Tea Party 'Endangers Health' of American Democracy

Estadao, Brazil: The Massacre in Arizona: Will America Ever Learn?

News Switzerland: The Day Hope was Shot, in America and Europe

Der Spiegel, Germany: Blaming Sarah Palin for Tucson Attack is 'Wrong'

Rheinische Post, Germany: America's 'Intellectual Instigators' of Hatred

Berliner Morganpost: Mutual Respect: What U.S. Owes Itself, World

Polityka, Poland: America in Anger's Clutches

Salzburger Nachrichten, Austria: Massacre in Tucson: 'A Sad Day for U.S.

Guardian, U.K.: Arizona Shootings: Left, Right at Odds Over Effects of Toxic Politics

TLZ, Germany: America's Hate-Filled Rhetoric 'Unworthy of a Democratic Nation'

Telegraph, U.K.: Will Obama Stand Up to Left's Exploitation of National Tragedy?

Guardian, U.K.: Shooting of Giffords Highlights 'Man-Up' Culture in U.S. Politics


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Posada arrived in Miami in March 2005. Venezuela immediately requested his extradition, demanding that Washington return him to Caracas where he would be held to account for the deaths of 73 people in the downing of the Cuban airliner. Instead of appropriately handling the extradition request, the Bush Administration filed charges against him for lying. These are the charges that the Obama prosecutors aired today in El Paso.


The United States insists on charging Posada Carriles only with having lied to the immigration officials. They haven't filed charges of assassination or terrorism against him, and haven't begun the procedure of extraditing him to Caracas. They protect him. Why might this be?


Successive U.S. governments and certain legislators have cultivated a visceral hatred toward the Cuban revolution for more than 50 years. This hatred has been transformed into spiritual and material support of terrorism. So much so, that Senator Marco Rubio and congress people David Rivera and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen were among the donors to the legal defense fund for Luis Posada Carriles in El Paso.


But terrorism isn't fought a la carte: these, the inconvenient ones, are terrorists; others, the convenient ones, are not. Last Friday, referring to inmates that the U.S. keeps in Guantanamo, President Obama declared that "to prosecute terrorists in federal court is a powerful tool in our efforts to protect the nation, and it should remain among the options we have at our disposal.” Then why not use this tool to try Luis Posada Carriles for terrorism?


Posada knows perfectly well that if convicted in El Paso for lying alone, he will not go to prison. The judge has already told him so. He'll be credited for the year and a half he has spent behind bars while his immigration status was being resolved - and they'll let him go free. He is calm, with no sign of remorse for his crimes. In fact, he told The New York Times in 1998:  "That Italian (Fabio di Celmo) was sitting in a wrong place at a wrong time ... I sleep like a baby.” What would happen if Loughner said something similar? Would he go unpunished?


*José Pertierra is a lawyer. He has a legal practice in Washington and is representing the Venezuelan government in the extradition case of Luis Posada Carriles.



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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US January 23, 11:53pm]


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