Wednesday, May 30, 2007

No Surprise, Right Wing Lies : Documents Show Valerie Plame was Covert CIA Operative at the Time of White House Leak

The right-wing has been insisting that Valerie Plame was not a covert operative since someone in the White House leaked her name to Robert Novak almost four years ago. Of course, to knowingly identify a covert CIA operative would be a felony under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982, passed as a result of the assassination of CIA operative Richard Welch in Athens in 1975, who himself had been outed by Counterspy, a renegade magazine that called for the "neutralization" of spies by taking away their cloak of secrecy. So, of course, the last thing the right-wing in the US would want to admit is that Plame was, in fact, covert.

Guess what? Valerie Plame was, in fact, covert. A covert CIA operative. At the time of the leak. Translation: someone in the White House committed a felony. To read the three-page document for yourself, see it here, at Salon's "Primary Sources."
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In Federal Court on Tuesday, special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald filed a summary of declassified CIA information that proves that Plame was an active spy, and not, as many on the right have disparagingly remarked, a mere "desk jockey." So, all the defensive posturing, the name-calling, and the disparaging was another example of (surprise!!!) the right-wing LYING TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE!!!

Who'd have thought it???

UPDATE : 116 US Dead -- So Far -- in Iraq in May

An Update on the "Worst President in US History"TM
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With a day yet to go, US deaths in Iraq in May have reached 116, exceeding the 104 in the 30 days of April, 2007. That brings the total US Death toll to 3,467. Add to that an estimated 398 American mercenaries (or, as they're euphemistically called, "contractors"), and you've got a total of 3,865. Three months into the so-called "surge," this is the third deadliest month for US troops in the fifty-one months since the US invasion, and the first time in the four years of the war that US deaths have exceeded 100 two months in a row.

Call, write, e-mail your Congressional representatives today and

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Media Ecology Makes Its Way into Mass Consciousness Via Pop Culture

This was sent to me by someone who has seen my YouTube page and liked the media ecology-related videos. It turns out he is a McLuhan/Postman fan (by interest, not be training). He has a pretty good idea of what is wrong with post-modern culture -- as does Al Gore (see also here), and Roger Waters. I think it is worth looking at. Take a look, too, at The Spectacle's website, and drop them a note to tell them what you think. Tell 'em Dr. Fallon sent you.

By the way, Eric Goodman is the creative genius behind The Spectacle, having written the music and lyrics, and editing this video.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Commencement Round-up: Former Bush Chief-of-Staff Andrew Card Booed Off Stage at UMass; Cheney at West Point Says "Screw Geneva Conventions"

Both grads and faculty wore signs protesting Card's presence. One banner read "Criminals go home." The theme of the day was "Honor grads; Dis-Card."


Meanwhile, Vice President Dick Cheney told graduating Cadets at West Point that the Geneva conventions should not apply to the (so-called) "war on terror." This comes at a time, bizarre and surreal, that West Point instructors are having difficulty persuading cadets that US soldiers ought to be better than terrorists.

Recently, West Point instructors have complained of the difficulty of persuading Army cadets to adhere to the principles of the Geneva Conventions in the war on terrorism. A February article in the New Yorker highlighted a dialog on the problem between West Point's dean and Joel Surnow, producer of the hit Fox television program '24.'

"This past November, U.S. Army Brigadier General Patrick Finnegan, the dean of the United States Military Academy at West Point, flew to Southern California to meet with the creative team behind '24,'" wrote Jane Mayer in the magazine. "Finnegan, who is a lawyer, has for a number of years taught a course on the laws of war to West Point seniors - cadets who would soon be commanders in the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. He always tries, he said, to get his students to sort out not just what is legal but what is right. However, it had become increasingly hard to convince some cadets that America had to respect the rule of law and human rights, even when terrorists did not. One reason for the growing resistance, he suggested, was misperceptions spread by '24,' which was exceptionally popular with his students. As he told me, 'The kids see it, and say, ''If torture is wrong, what about '24?''"

Saturday, May 26, 2007

More Than 100 US Dead -- So Far -- in Iraq in May

For the second month in a row, US deaths in Iraq have exceeded 100, with 117 in the 30 days of April, 2007, and 106 in the 26 days so far of May, 2007. That brings the total US Death toll to 3,452. Add to that an estimated 398 American mercenaries (or, as they're euphemistically called, "contractors"), and you've got a total of 3,850. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
This is the first time in the four years of the war that US deaths have exceeded 100 two months in a row. Just like the war itself, the "surge" is working nicely. Don't you think?

Senate Report : CIA Told White House Before US Invasion That Iraq War Would Go Bad, Create a Haven for Al Qa'ida, and Embolden Iran

An Update on the "So-called War on Terror"TM
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According to a report released Friday (that hole-in-the-newscycle when no one is paying any attention) by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the CIA warned the White House as early as January 2003 that a US invasion would ignite sectarian violence, give al Qa'ida an opportunity to gain a foothold in Iraq, and embolden Iran to assert its influence further in the middle east.

Are you listening, Howie?

So let me get this straight: the White House knew beforehand, according to the Pentagon, that there was no evidence of WMDs, no evidence that al Qa'ida was operating in Iraq, and that there was no evidence of Iraqi complicity in 9/11; we also knew that an invasion would break Iraq into pieces, spread terrorism, and widen Iran's influence. Do I have that correctly?

So I have two questions:

1] What are we doing there?
2] When are we going to have the courage to IMPEACH BUSH???

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Poll : Lugo Ahead in Paraguay

An update on the "New Axis of Evil"TM
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Fernando Lugo, a former Roman Catholic Bishop of a poverty-stricken Paraguayan Diocese, yet still strongly influenced by the "liberation theology" of the Latin American Catholic Church of the 1980s, maintains the lead in the race for Paraguay's 2008 Presidential election.

Lugo, "the Bishop of the poor," is leading all other candidates -- including that of the ruling Colorado party, likely to be current President Nicanor Duarte Frutos. The Colorado Party is the party of Gen. Alfredo Stroessner, the right-wing autocrat who ruled Paraguay as a dictatorship for 35 years, from 1954 through 1989.

Lugo is supported by nearly forty-one percent of the respondents in a poll taken by COIN/Ultima Hora. The candidate of the ruling "Colorado Party" (National Republican Association -- ANR), Luis Castiglioni, was preferred by 16.3%.

The View From Pakistan : US Harbors Terror

How ironic.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Venezuela : Extradite Terrorist Posada to the OAS

An update on the "New Axis of Evil"TM
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Well, as you are probably aware, a Federal Court released terror mastermind Luis Posada Carilles on bail this month pending his trial on illegally entering the country. I'm sure you've been following the story closely in the mainstream media, right? Astounding.

President Bush in a speech to the United Nations some months after the US invasion of Iraq (9/23/03), reminded nations of their responsibilities in bringing terrorists to justice. To shirk those responsibilities in a post-9/11 world, he said, was tantamount to aiding and abetting terrorism.
All governments that support terror are complicit in a war against civilization.

Well, Venezuela says they are serious about those obligations, and since the US won't extradite Posada to either Venezuela or Cuba (ironically because the Bush adminitrsation says the 79 year old may be tortured), then extradite him to the Organization of Amercan States, all of whom have made committments to cooperate with the United States to fight terror.
Fulfillment of the commitments made by the states concerning anti-terrorist efforts, including trial or, as appropriate, extradition of the masterminds of terrorist acts, is an ethical duty and a golden rule in hemispheric cooperation.
Unfortunately, Bush can ignore this suggestion and there will be no public outcry, because the "liberal" media are doing their best to ignore this entire story. But whenever he holds up a picture of some other terror mastermind, the "left-wing" media will be all over it.

Do justice a favor: write a letter to the editor of your local paper and urge them to follow this story and to report on it regularly. Don't let America remain IN THE DARK.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Al Gore : Media Ecologist

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This comes from former Vice President Al Gore's new book, The Assault on Reason, excerpted in this week's TIME magazine. I post these excerpts here for a number of reasons: 1] it is inherently newsworthy; 2] it makes use -- deliberately or not -- of principles of the field of Media Ecology (and I have reason to believe that this use was deliberate); 3] he makes many of the same points as I do here in this blog, noting that people of good will will "do the right thing" when they are in possession of good information; and 4] Gore demonstrates once again that he is, beyond question, one of the most intelligent people in the public sphere today. The man ought to be president!!!

He begins by lamenting the nature of politics in the post-modern United States (all emphases throughout these excerpts are mine):

..."Why do reason, logic and truth seem to play a sharply diminished role in the way America now makes important decisions?" The persistent and sustained reliance on falsehoods as the basis of policy, even in the face of massive and well-understood evidence to the contrary, seems to many Americans to have reached levels that were previously unimaginable....

American democracy is now in danger—not from any one set of ideas, but from unprecedented changes in the environment within which ideas either live and spread, or wither and die. I do not mean the physical environment; I mean what is called the public sphere, or the marketplace of ideas....

While American television watchers were collectively devoting 100 million hours of their lives each week to these and other similar stories (O.J. Simpson, Michael Jackson, Laci Peterson, Robert Blake, Paris Hilton, etc.), our nation was in the process of more quietly making what future historians will certainly describe as a series of catastrophically mistaken decisions on issues of war and peace, the global climate and human survival, freedom and barbarity, justice and fairness. For example, hardly anyone now disagrees that the choice to invade Iraq was a grievous mistake. Yet, incredibly, all of the evidence and arguments necessary to have made the right decision were available at the time and in hindsight are glaringly obvious....

Gore comes perilously close to writing the book I've been writing for the last several years, and it is certainly on my reading list. I look forward to its publication, even if (or, perhaps, especially if) it replicates my own ideas. His book will certainly get a far wider reading than anything I might ever write could, and his message (and mine) is too important to be left IN THE DARK.

Our Founders' faith in the viability of representative democracy rested on their trust in the wisdom of a well-informed citizenry, their ingenious design for checks and balances, and their belief that the rule of reason is the natural sovereign of a free people. The Founders took great care to protect the openness of the marketplace of ideas so that knowledge could flow freely. Thus they not only protected freedom of assembly, they made a special point—in the First Amendment—of protecting the freedom of the printing press. And yet today, almost 45 years have passed since the majority of Americans received their news and information from the printed word. Newspapers are hemorrhaging readers. Reading itself is in decline. The Republic of Letters has been invaded and occupied by the empire of television....
Gore makes it pretty clear that not only is he familiar with the works of Neil Postman, founder of the NYU's Media Ecology program, but he is also familiar with the principles regarding the operation of media and their consequences for the user:

In the world of television, the massive flows of information are largely in only one direction, which makes it virtually impossible for individuals to take part in what passes for a national conversation. Individuals receive, but they cannot send. They hear, but they do not speak. The "well-informed citizenry" is in danger of becoming the "well-amused audience." Moreover, the high capital investment required for the ownership and operation of a television station and the centralized nature of broadcast, cable and satellite networks have led to the increasing concentration of ownership by an ever smaller number of larger corporations that now effectively control the majority of television programming in America.

In practice, what television's dominance has come to mean is that the inherent value of political propositions put forward by candidates is now largely irrelevant compared with the image-based ad campaigns they use to shape the perceptions of voters....

As a result, our democracy is in danger of being hollowed out. In order to reclaim our birthright, we Americans must resolve to repair the systemic decay of the public forum. We must create new ways to engage in a genuine and not manipulative conversation about our future. We must stop tolerating the rejection and distortion of science. We must insist on an end to the cynical use of pseudo-studies known to be false for the purpose of intentionally clouding the public's ability to discern the truth. Americans in both parties should insist on the re-establishment of respect for the rule of reason....

Gore then invokes the name of one of the founding fathers -- certainly the best known of the founding fathers -- of the entire field of media studies:

To understand the final reason why the news marketplace of ideas dominated by television is so different from the one that emerged in the world dominated by the printing press, it is important to distinguish the quality of vividness experienced by television viewers from the "vividness" experienced by readers. Marshall McLuhan's description of television as a "cool" medium—as opposed to the "hot" medium of print—was hard for me to understand when I read it 40 years ago, because the source of "heat" in his metaphor is the mental work required in the alchemy of reading. But McLuhan was almost alone in recognizing that the passivity associated with watching television is at the expense of activity in parts of the brain associated with abstract thought, logic, and the reasoning process. Any new dominant communications medium leads to a new information ecology in society that inevitably changes the way ideas, feelings, wealth, power and influence are distributed and the way collective decisions are made....
Or, as McLuhan put it, "the medium is the message." And the consequences (the "message") of the social change brought about by television on a democratic polity have been dire:

Many young Americans now seem to feel that the jury is out on whether American democracy actually works or not. We have created a wealthy society with tens of millions of talented, resourceful individuals who play virtually no role whatsoever as citizens.
I would go a step further here and suggest that one of the consequences of the commoditization of information and the increasing commercialization of what is actually and ought to be seen as the uniquely human activity -- communication -- is that we have ceased to even see ourselves as citizens. We are now nothing more than consumers -- consumers not in a marketplace of ideas, but of impressions.

Bringing these people in—with their networks of influence, their knowledge, and their resources—is the key to creating the capacity for shared intelligence that we need to solve our problems....

Fortunately, the Internet has the potential to revitalize the role played by the people in our constitutional framework. It has extremely low entry barriers for individuals. It is the most interactive medium in history and the one with the greatest potential for connecting individuals to one another and to a universe of knowledge. It's a platform for pursuing the truth, and the decentralized creation and distribution of ideas, in the same way that markets are a decentralized mechanism for the creation and distribution of goods and services. It's a platform, in other words, for reason....

The democratization of knowledge by the print medium brought the Enlightenment. Now, broadband interconnection is supporting decentralized processes that reinvigorate democracy. We can see it happening before our eyes: As a society, we are getting smarter. Networked democracy is taking hold. You can feel it. We the people—as Lincoln put it, "even we here"—are collectively still the key to the survival of America's democracy.

Why isn't this man President?

The next time you hear someone taking a shot at Gore because he is "wooden," or "stiff," or "boring," the next time you hear them parroting claims that are just not true, but have been repeated so many times -- on television -- that lazy-minded people believe them, rest assured in the knowledge that you are dealing with one of those very same lazy-minded people -- TV people. And then learn about your world, and vote for candidates that will make it better.

Democracy pointless? Only if you believe it to be.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

A Clearer View of Iraq

An Update on the "So-called War on Terror"TM
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Our mainstream mass media are serving us poorly, and it doesn't really matter if your politics makes you see them as "corporate media" or as "liberal media" (an idea, I must admit, that I've found laughable and unsupported for a quarter of a century, during which time I spent nearly two decades working at NBC News -- vapid, shallow, obnoxiously self-righteous, yes. Liberal, no). What everyone seems to agree upon, however, is just what a terrible job our mainstream mass media are doing informing us about the world.

That's a start. I hope we can accelerate this process a bit, because people are dying, and we need to know about it so we can do something about it.

To that end I will tell you about a new report, Accepting Realities in Iraq by Gareth Stansfield of Britain's Chatham House (one of the world's leading organizations for the analysis of international issues) and the University of Exeter.

The report argues that US policy in Iraq must change to face a number of realities to which the Bush administration has been blind up until now. Among these realities, the report claims that(emphases mine):
• There is not ‘a’ civil war in Iraq, but many civil wars and insurgencies involving a number of communities and organizations struggling for power. The surge is not curbing the high level of violence, and improvements in security cannot happen in a matter of months.
• The conflicts have become internalized between Iraqis as the polarization of sectarian and ethnic identities reaches ever deeper into Iraqi society and causes the breakdown of social cohesion.
• Critical destabilizing issues will come to the fore in 2007–8. Federalism, the control of oil and control of disputed territories need to be resolved.
• Each of Iraq’s three major neighbouring states, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, has different reasons for seeing the instability there continue, and each uses different methods to influence developments.
• These current harsh realities need to be accepted if new strategies are to have any chance of preventing the failure and collapse of Iraq. A political solution will require engagement with organizations possessing popular legitimacy and needs to be an Iraqi accommodation, rather than a regional or US-imposed approach.
This all jibes pretty closely with a recent Speigel interview with Stephen Biddle, Senior Fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations, former Professor of National Security Studies at the U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute, and respected military historian.

Biddle told der Speigel that the war we're fighting in Iraq is not an insurgency at all:

...the classical strategy for waging counter insurgency is oriented around winning hearts and minds. You engage in a process of political reform in which you introduce democracy to make the government's ideas legitimate. You engage in a campaign of economic development assistance. And you try and train an indigenous military to wage the war. All those strategies are what the Bush Administration's approach to Iraq has been. They make some sense, if the problem you are trying to solve is a classical ideological insurgency. Except, Iraq is not.

SPIEGEL ONLINE: What is then?

Biddle: It's a communal civil war in which the war is not fought over a set of ideas. Rather, it is about the survival and self interest of communal groups within the nominal state. Sunnis are not fighting for an idea of what's best for all Iraqis; they are not trying to persuade Shiites that a Sunni government would be good for them. They are fighting for the self interest of Sunnis against the self interest of Shiites -- and vice versa. Because it is not a war of ideas you cannot expect to win it by changing people's minds. It's a war of identity. Identities can't change in the way minds can.

You know, you have to fight the war you've got, not the war you wish you had. And we should be fighting a real war on terror, not doing our part to further Al Qa'ida's goals. To wit: Michael Jacobson of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy points out that while the Bush administration's "Iraq policy" (if it can be called that) in the past has conformed to the classic insurgency approach, resulting in a 25% increase in casualties between 2005 and 2006, a new approach might be presenting itself> Citing the State Department's annual report on global terrorism developments, Country Reports on Terrorism 2006, Jacobson observes that (my emphases):
While the United States still must eliminate the leadership of terrorist organizations, the report notes that "incarcerating or killing terrorists will not achieve an end to terrorism." According to the report, one of the most important and challenging aspects of combating terrorism is "addressing the underlying conditions that terrorists exploit," which include "geo-political issues, lack of economic opportunity and political participation, ethnic conflict, ungoverned space, or political injustice."
Sounds like a good idea to me. It ought to, since those of you who read this blog know I've been saying this for years. Those of you who know me even longer than I've been blogging know that this is something I've been saying since the late 1990s.

As for that "ungoverned space" mention in the State Department's report, has anyone been looking at Pakistan lately? As I've mentioned to Howie, when we are hit again by terrorists, the attack is more likely to come from Pakistan than anywhere else.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Fight Against Terrorism by Fighting Poverty

The real war on terror isn't going very well yet, but there is some progress being made.
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Recently, Terry Davis, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, wrote an article in the Romanian newspaper Jurnalul National cautioning that the current anti-terror tack of the Western developed nations (led by the US and UK) is, at best, imcomplete if it ignores the root causes of terrorism. Now, US Ambassador to Turkey Ross L. Wilson has said the same thing, joining a growing chorus of world leaders and opinion makers, including Philippine Chief Justice Reynato Puno, Peter Munya, the US Conference of Catholilc Bishops, John Edwards, Hugo Chavez, Fernando Lugo, Desmond Tutu, Charles Dickens, Muhammed Yunus, myself, and even Pakistan dictator Gen. Pervez Musharraf . For the record, the late Holy Father Pope John Paul II believed this too. That sounds like a pretty good bunch of people to stack up against the likes of Feith, Wolfowitz, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Kristol, and the rest of the PNAC cabal that persists in Washington. I'll take John Paul II over George W. Bush any day.

Wilson told a conference conducted by the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies and the Center of Excellence-Defense Against Terrorism in cooperation with the NATO-Russia Council that
Most people would find it hard to argue against the idea that terrorist violence arises, sociologically speaking, out of poverty, despair, hopelessness and resentment.
It's amazing how many people don't find it all hard to argue this point. To some, terrorism has nothing to do with poverty, it has to do with an evil ideology that seeks nothing but political hegemony. This thinking links up comfortably with the Bush administration's "good vs evil" approach to foreign policy. Besides, they often point out, so many of these terrorists went to school and had jobs...
It is true that terrorist leaders seem more often than not to come from middle-class backgrounds. But terrorists do not just spring forth from Medusa's head, and effective government policy will seldom just involve cutting off terrorism's tentacles. The causes must be considered, and constructive policies must be devised to draw people away from the dead ends of violence and despair.
Yes. Are you listening?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day 2007

Did you know that Julia Ward Howe, the abolitionist and social activist so well known for The Battle Hymn of the Republic, began a move to create a "Mother's Day for Peace" in 1870, 34 years before Woodrow Wilson declared Mother's Day a national holiday? After the carnage of the Civil War, Howe dedicated her life to pacifism and reconciliation, and believed that women were uniquely suited to pursue these goals.
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In 1870 she started a movement to create an international day of solidarity among women in the cause of peace -- Mother's Day. She issued the following proclamation which we would do well to heed today, even if we have ignored it for the last 137 years. The emphases are mine.

Mother's Day Proclamation - 1870
Julia Ward Howe

Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!

Say firmly:"We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.

Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.
"From the voice of a devastated
Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: "Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."

Blood does not wipe our dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough
and the anvil At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home

For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace...
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of
Caesar, But of God -In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.



(And thanks to S. Melissa Waters, O.P., for sharing this story with me)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Terrorism in Iraq Rises 91% from 2005 to 2006

Of the 14,338 reported terrorist attacks worldwide last year, 45 percent took place in Iraq, and 65 percent of the global fatalities stemming from terrorism occurred in Iraq. In 2005, Iraq accounted for 30 percent of the worldwide terrorist attacks.
Heckuva job, Bushie. Let's give you a medal. And what will 2007 bring?

US Wants to Bar Posada Testifying About CIA Resume in His Upcoming Trial

An Update on "America's Terrorist"TM
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The US Government doesn't want the upcoming trial of terrorist Luis Posada Carriles to draw a lot of attention to the fact that he worked for many years for the CIA.

In a nine-page motion filed with a federal tribunal in El Paso, Texas, state prosecutors claimed Posada Carriles's relationship with the Central Intelligence Agency ended more than 30 years ago and that as testimony or questioning about those ties were not relevant to his trial on immigration charges.
Not relevant? Not relevant? Recently declassified CIA documents (viewable here and here) show that the man planned the mid-air bombing of an airliner, killing 76 people, many of them students. How in the world is this not relevant to his trial on immigration charges? And why is he charged only with illegal entry into the United States?

And his tenure as either a CIA operative or associate did not necessarily end in 1976. Even though he was employed as a CIA agent in 1965, he was trained in 1961 (at the School of the Americas) in sabotage and explosives and took part in the CIA-planned and sponsored Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. While still a CIA agent, Posada bacame the Chief of Operations of the Venezuelan Intelligences Services. The CIA believed at this time that Posada was trafficking in cocaine, but he remained on the payroll until 1976.

Imprisoned in Venezuela in 1977 for the 1976 bombing of Cubana Flight 455, Posada escaped to Chile, where he was again jailed. With help from the Reagan administration-funded -- and ultra right-wing -- Cuban American National Foundation, Posada again escaped and settled in El Salvador. Here he worked on regional programs during the 1980s sponsored by the Reagan administration, including selling arms to Iran in exchange for US hostages, the money going to fund (illegally) the Contra war in Nicaragua.

In 1997, Posada was implicated in a number of bombings of tourist hotels in Havana, and indicated that even though he no longer worked directly for the CIA, benefitted from a "tolerant attitude" on the part of US law enforcement.

Why are we fighting a so-called "war on terror" but refusing to extradite a man who we know to be a terrorist? Why are we rushing to deport immigrants who do essential work in the United States, but refusing to extradite that same man who we know to be a terrorist?

On September 23, 2003, President George W. Bush addressed the UN General Assembly and spoke about the so-called "war on terror." Among other things, he said:
“All governments that support terror are complicit in a war against civilization.” – President Bush's UN speech, 9/23/03
In training people sabotage and explosice techniques, we are supporting terror. In supporting right-wing death squads, or supporting governments that support right-wing death squads, we are supporting terror. In selling arms to Iran in order to illegally fund a revolutionary army, we are supporting terror. In allowing Luis Posada Carriles to walk the streets free, we are supporting terror. In trying him for illegal entry into the United States, we are supporting terror. In refusing to extradite him to Venezuela to stand trial for variouos crimes he committed there, we are supporting terror.

The Bush administration's so-called "war on terror" is a sham.


Colombia Prosecutor : US Firms Fund Terror Death Squads

An Update on "The Good Guys"TM, America's Latin American Allies in the (so-called) "War on Terror"
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Mario Iguaran, Colombia's chief prosecutor (equivalent to US Attorney General), is in Washington this week, trying to bring financial supporters of right-wing death squads to justice. The Chiquita Corporation and Alabama coal mining firm Drummond Corporation are just two US firms suspected of funding death right-wing Colombian squads who assassinateleftist rebel supporters, labor officials and organizers, and innocent civilians.

Thousands of Colombians disappeared in the past decade, most victims of right-wing militias that emerged in the 1980s to fight leftist rebel groups.

The paramilitaries quickly evolved into mafias, enriching themselves through cocaine trafficking, theft and extortion in large chunks of the country, particularly the Caribbean coast. Large landowners, politicians and corporations bankrolled the militias to expand their holdings, while police and military officers turned a blind eye.

Recently, there have been allegations that death squads have expanded their mission to include the assassination of labor organizers.
Human rights groups have criticized the killings of trade union officials and violations by Colombia’s armed forces, creating another obstacle to securing Congressional approval of new military aid and the trade agreement, which has already been signed by Mr. Bush and Mr. Uribe. Fifty-eight trade unionists were killed in 2006, up from 40 the previous year, though labor groups say government estimates of the homicides are too low.
Senator Gustavo Petro, a lawmaker and former guerilla fighter who has pushed for investigations of paramilitary groups, says that President Alberto Uribe has aided and abetted right-wing terrorists, that terrorists met on Uribe's ranches to plan murders, and that he has uncovered plans by the Alabama-based Drummond Corporation to assassinate him.
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Meanwhile George W. Bush's good friend Uribe is himself in Washington this week, trying to wrest money from Congress amid all the growing allegations of his government's connections to right-wing death squads.

This is our closest ally in Latin America, folks. Colombia is the biggest producer and exporter of Cocaine (including crack cocaine) in the world, and the home to a terrorist army as savage as al Qa'ida.

God help us.