Editorial: Hypocrisy on terrorism

While the Bush administration talks tough on terrorism, it went to court to keep admitted terrorist murderer Luis Posada Carriles from being brought to justice. Posada Carriles, among other things, masterminded the 1976 bombing of a Cuban passenger jet that killed over 70 people.

Terrorist Posada Carriles, a rabid anti-Castro Cuban exile, is a citizen of Venezuela and the bomb plot was carried out in Venezuela. He has longstanding ties to the CIA. The Venezuelan government and people want to try him on 73 murder counts for the jetliner bombing. After Posada Carriles waltzed into the U.S. recently, Venezuela asked the U.S. to extradite him.

Now, a federal immigration judge has blocked the extradition. The reason the judge gave? He accepted the Bush administration argument — presented by a lawyer for the Department of Homeland Security — that Posada Carriles might be “tortured” in Venezuela.

What hypocrisy from an administration that has sought to both justify and cover up systematic torture and other violations of human rights and international law, hiding under the banner of a “war on terror.”

When Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was ousted in a violent U.S.-backed coup and then restored to office by a people’s uprising, one of the first acts of the newly reinstated Chavez government was to inform the coup plotters that, “as citizens of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, your rights are guaranteed by law.”

Venezuela says its sole concern is that Posada Carriles be locked up, unable to do more harm. “We are willing to put him in a house made of gold and feed him caviar, as long as he is tried in Venezuela,” Foreign Minister Ali Rodríguez Araque said recently.

In fact, it is the Bush administration that has been revealed as a torturer of prisoners, many of whom were later freed after it was determined they had nothing to do with any crime.

This administration is defending a proven terrorist mass killer. It is more evidence that Bush’s “war on terror” is a sham — just like the sham he perpetrated on the American people when he said that Iraq was full of weapons of mass destruction.