Two and half years after the renowned violent Cuban exile and former CIA operative Luis Posada Carriles returned to the United States, and six months after he was freed from immigration detention, Congress took up the case.
U.S. Rep. William Delahunt told a congressional subcommittee that national security laws are being unfairly applied to favor Luis Posada Carriles, who is wanted in Cuba and Venezuela for the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner.
Among the witnesses who appeared were Peter Kornbluh, principal analyst at the National Security Archive at the George Washington University, who presented to the panel a large collection of declassified documents concerning Posada’s links with criminal acts. Kornbluh stated bluntly, "I dare say that had this crime been committed more recently and if Posada's first name was Mohammed rather than Luis, this evidence would have been more than sufficient to get him rendered to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba."
Other testimony showed that in September 2005, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security deliberately rejected the use of a recorded confession by Luis Posada Carriles, obtained in Caracas in 1977 by U.S. journalist Blake Fleetwood, in the presence of Orlando Bosch.
Fleetwood testified, "In 1977 I interviewed two of the most deadly terrorists of the 20th century."
According to Fleetwood, Posada told him textually: "I was on a CIA draw of $300 plus all expenses. "The CIA helped me set up my detective agency from which we planned actions."
As reported in Cuba's Granma, Fleetwood told how the two prisoners "spoke about the murder of two Cuban diplomats in Argentina, the bombing of the Mexican embassy in Buenos Aires, the bombings of the Air Panama office in Bogotá, the Cubana Airlines Office in Panama and, finally, the Cubana Aviation sabotage which killed 73 civilians."
Posada and Bosch also confirmed how "everything" had been planned in a meeting in Bonao in the Dominican Republic, where it was believed that CORU would then mount attacks throughout the continent.
Fleetwood explained that on returning to his hotel, the Anauco Hilton, he immediately communicated with Eugene Propper, the U.S. Assistant Attorney in Washington, who was investigating the Orlando Letelier murder in Washington, D.C.
Propper called him back nine minutes later: "The CIA told the secret police everything. They are out to get you. You are in great danger."
The reporter discovered later on that Venezuelan President Carlos Andres Pérez had personally ordered his capture by the DISIP (secret police).
"In September of 2005 I offered this information, notes and tapes, to the Department of Homeland Security. I was contacted by Jo Ellen Ardinger, an attorney with DHS. She seemed excited by my information and phoned and emailed me," recalled Fleetwood.
Ardinger told him that this information was "exactly" what they needed to prevent Posada from entering the United States, by clearly demonstrating that he was a terrorist.
"She asked me if I was willing to testify. I said that I was."
A few months later, the immigration trial in El Paso began before Judge Kathleen Cardone.
"I waited for the Department of Homeland Security to get back to me to ask for my notes and tapes. They never did."
Rep. Delahunt said there was ''compelling evidence'' implicating Posada in the airplane bombing and that he was ''bewildered'' by the administration's reluctance to invoke the Patriot Act and arrest Posada as a terrorist.
The following is from NarcoSphere.
Panel Told Evidence 'Sufficient' to Detain Posada Carriles
By Stephen Peacock,
Evidence linking Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles to the 1976 bombing of a Cuban civilian airliner was "more than sufficient" grounds to have detained the suspected terrorist under the Patriot Act, National Security Archive Senior Analyst Peter Kornbluh testified before a House subcommittee yesterday (11/15). “The United States now finds itself in the frankly inexplicable position of having not one but both men who our own intelligence agencies identified as responsible for bringing down a civilian airliner living free and unfettered lives in Florida,” Kornbluh told the panel.
Kornbluh's testimony -- as well as five declassified documents that include a CIA intelligence report on Posada Carriles and alleged co-conspirator Orlando Bosch -- are now available for download via the National Security Archive website.