Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Soft On Terrorists

In August of this year, while the cable news channels breathlessly interviewed and re-interviewed the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, three convicted terrorists entered the United States.

Recently released from prison by a questionable Third World government, the three men had been tried and convicted for a plot to detonate 33 pounds of explosives at a university while a prominent world leader was speaking. It wouldn't exactly have been what you could call a surgical strike. Hundreds might have died - diplomats, students, janitors, cops - had their plan not been discovered in time.

Nor would that have been their first terrorist attack. One of them had fired a bazooka at a government building in New York. All three had been implicated in the murder or attempted murder of government officials. Their fourth compatriot in the university assassination plot, who is still at large and is known to be traveling on a false U.S. passport, escaped from prison after blowing up an airliner, killing 73 people. He also planned hotel bombings in which several tourists died.

How did these men, these convicted terrorists, these hardened criminals with no respect for life, manage to sneak into the U.S.? How did they slip the tight post-9/11 Homeland Security cordon? What wily methods did they use to evade the all-searching, tough-on-terrorism eye of George W. Bush?

They didn't.
After their release, three of the four immediately flew via private jet to Miami, where they were greeted with a cheering fiesta organized by the hard-line anti-Castro community. Federal officials briefly interviewed the pardoned men — all holders of U.S. passports — and then let them go their way. [...]

So far, not a single White House, State Department or Homeland Security official has expressed outrage at Panama's decision to put terrorists back on the world's streets. The FBI appears to have no plans to lead a search for Posada [Otter's note: the one who is still at large] so he can be returned to Venezuela, where he is a wanted fugitive. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which has rounded up and expelled hundreds of foreigners on the mere suspicion of a terrorist link, has indicated no intention to detain and deport Novo, Jimenez and Remon.
Oh yeah, I guess I left something out. These guys were anti-Castro terrorists, and most of the civilians they killed were Cubans or pinko fellow travelers visiting Cuba. And the people who would've been killed in the university bombing were tainted as well, being the kind of people who would be willing to attend a summit with a Communist. So that's all right, then.

Plus, George Bush really really needs to win Florida, or he won't be able to continue his stalwart efforts to, what was it again? Oh yeah: to "create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world."

Yeah. Maybe that's the sort of thing that ought to begin at home.

(Via Daily Kos)