Luis Posada Carriles
Being a political blogger during an election of the sort we are having today is a weird experience. There is no heir apparent in either party and there is a true scramble by all parties to win any way he or she can. And thus, the campaigns are reaching out to folks like me constantly with this angle or that. Usually, they want to give us their pre-packaged angles rather than the information we actually request.
But writing about the candidates during this time is like being a Hollywood actor during the voting period for the Academy Awards. I know a number of "stars" and one simply wouldn't believe the marketing gimmickry that film distributors use when sending out "screeners" to pump up support for their Oscar-hungry films. Political bloggers get a similar kind of deluge -- usually phone calls and opportunities here and there for "special moments" with candidates or their key advisors.
And it's a rush. In fact, it's more than just that -- it's a gusher of stuff. So much that it's hard to stay focused on other issues.
One of these is the fact that America is coddling wanted terrorists in the United States -- perhaps the most outrageous of which is Luis Posada Carriles who is walking around freely in Miami. Posada's case serves as as an example of the seeming arbitrariness of America's system of rule of law to Cuban nationals who witness this outrage and may appropriately wonder if our system of democracy is one more of rhetoric and veneer than substance.
There are others, like Center for Democracy in the Americas Director Sarah Stephens and National Security Archives Latin America expert Peter Kornbluh, who have written powerfully on the Posada case -- and I recommend a look at their thoughts.
Cuban nationals actually get a double whammy as they are subjected to a daily feed from their government on the abuse of justice in the US with regard to the so-called "Cuban Five" -- who clearly have received judgments against them that are unbelievably disproportionate to anything they might have done. Former State Department Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson gets into this here.
Now today, Salon has a definitive article by Tristram Korten and Kirk Nielsen on the coddled terrorists in Miami -- and here is a short bit by a local TV station in Miami reporting on some Code Pink organizers being chased and nearly attacked by Posada supporters.
Knowing any of the political candidates and what they might or might not do cannot come from asking them about the comfortable issues of the day -- it comes from seeing them under stress and when challenged to confront issues such as this Posada case.
Will John McCain, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Barack Obama admit that our justice system in Florida that protects these thugs like Posada is broken?
Or will they hug the guy in a photo op in order to curry favor with the elder, anti-Castro fanatics -- who perhaps unknowingly have helped reinforce the status quo in Cuba and have helped distort and corrupt America's democracy.
-- Steve Clemons publishes the popular political blog, The Washington Note
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