Monday, November 13, 2006

The Herald making sense?

An editorial from today's Herald:

Where's the evidence for detaining Posada?

U.S. District Judge Philip Martinez made a tough but fair decision in the case against terror suspect Luis Posada Carriles. He gave the government three months to make the case for indefinitely detaining Mr. Posada. Yet the judge didn't order Mr. Posada released, as his lawyers asked.

Mr. Posada has a shady past as a Cold War operative. Nevertheless, he is entitled to the due process required by U.S. law. Immigration authorities must provide substantive evidence before condemning someone to what could be life in prison. Mr. Posada has been accused of being a terrorist by some, including his avowed enemy Fidel Castro. But allegations, rumors and speculation aren't enough to make the case that Mr. Posada is a ''terrorist'' or would be an ongoing public menace while in this country.

Detained 18 months

Judge Martinez acknowledged that Mr. Posada already has been locked up ''well beyond'' the six-month limit set by the Supreme Court for releasing a foreigner who hasn't been deported. In fact, Mr. Posada has been detained by immigration authorities for nearly a year and a half. An immigration judge barred U.S. authorities from deporting Mr. Posada to Cuba or Venezuela under a treaty that prohibits sending anyone to a country were they might be tortured. Meanwhile, U.S. officials haven't been able to find any other country that will accept him. That's why a federal magistrate has already recommended that Mr. Posada be released.

Clearly Mr. Posada is no choir boy. He is a former CIA agent who has continued to work on overthrowing the Castro regime for decades. He advocates using any means necessary, including violence against civilians.

Suspect in bombings

Mr. Posada has long been suspected of masterminding the 1976 bombing of a Cuban jet, which killed 76 people. He was acquitted of that crime by a military tribunal in Venezuela. He was imprisoned for nine years while awaiting trial for the same crime in a civilian court before he escaped in 1985. He has been a suspect in 1997-98 bombings at Cuban tourist sites, one of which killed an Italian visitor. Though a federal grand jury in New Jersey is investigating Posada's alleged involvement, he hasn't been convicted of those bombings, either. He was tried in connection to an alleged Castro assassination plot. For that, he was convicted [in Panama] of endangering public safety and pardoned in 2005.

We strongly disapprove of Mr. Posada's philosophy that the ends justify the means. Our eyes would be bone dry if a judge decides that he remain detained. But such a ruling must be based on the law and hard evidence. Justice Department officials say that Mr. Posada is ''an admitted mastermind of terrorist plots and attacks.'' Fine. Let them prove it.
I will add that the castro regime came to power by using terrorist tactics, including bombings and the hijacking of a civilian airliner which crashed, killing 17. But you never hear that from the MSM.

1 comment:

Robert said...

We posted on the editorial on our respective blogs at almost the same exact time! How's that for karma?

I arrived at the same conclusion you did: makes sense. Too much sense for the Herald.