Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The Phony War On Terror

To properly fight the war on terror, it's not enough to identify the terrorists. You also have to decide whether they should be prosecuted or protected.

Confusing? Maybe. But that's the signal being sent by the Bush administration, and the signal is being sent over multiple channels simultaneously.

From the Washington Post: A Protected Friend of Terrorism
By Douglas Farah

Monday, April 25, 2005; Page A19

The Bush administration is touting the rule of law and democracy as priorities in its effort to create stability and defeat terrorism. Yet it remains curiously apathetic about the activities of one of the world's most notorious indicted war criminals, a man who is also an abettor of al Qaeda and Hezbollah. I am speaking of former Liberian president Charles Taylor, who has not only escaped answering for his crimes so far but who may be given an opportunity to repeat them if the United States does not act.

It seems to matter little here that Taylor's efforts to escape justice may well succeed because of U.S. inertia. Indicted on 17 counts of crimes against humanity, Taylor poses a clear and present danger to West Africa and U.S. interests. Yet the State Department continues to respond to congressional inquiries with bland assurances that everything is fine and Taylor is no longer a problem. It's not true.

Unless Taylor is turned over quickly to the U.N.-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone to stand trial, he will never face punishment for the crimes he committed in the region at the cost of tens of thousands of dead and hundreds of thousands of lives destroyed. The mandate of the court, largely funded by the United States, expires at the end of the year. It was established to try those "most responsible" for the atrocities in Sierra Leone. Taylor is at the top of the list.

Taylor's were brutal, vicious crimes. For more than a decade he presided over forces that murdered, raped and mutilated children; they also abducted children to use them as cannon fodder. He created "Small Boys Units" made up of specially trained children who, while high on amphetamines, were used to raze villages and murder civilians. He trained and supplied the Revolutionary United Front in neighboring Sierra Leone, whose signature atrocity was hacking off the arms, legs and ears of civilians, many of them children.

Taylor also hosted diamond buyers from al Qaeda and Hezbollah for several years, allowing the two designated terrorist groups to earn and hide their wealth in an asset that is untraceable and easily convertible to cash.
Is that disgusting? There's much more. Click here if you dare. Meanwhile, mixed reviews for the Washington Post. One thumb up for running this story; the other thumb down for putting it on page 19.

But wait! There's even more. From Robert Parry, at Consortium News, comes a story that is possibly even more disturbing: The Bush Family's Favorite Terrorist
While the Bush administration holds dozens of suspected Muslim terrorists on secret or flimsy evidence, one of the world’s most notorious terrorists slipped into the United States via Mexico and traveled to Florida without setting off any law enforcement alarms.

Though the terrorist’s presence has been an open secret in Miami, neither President George W. Bush nor Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has ordered a manhunt. The U.S. press corps has been largely silent as well.

The reason is that this terrorist, Luis Posada Carriles, was a CIA-trained Cuban whose long personal war against Fidel Castro’s government is viewed sympathetically by the two Bush brothers and their father. When it comes to the Bush family, Posada is the epitome of the old saying that “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.”

The Bush administration – which has imprisoned Jose Padilla and other alleged Muslim “enemy combatants” without trial – has taken a far more lenient approach toward the 77-year-old Posada, who is still wanted in Venezuela for the bombing of a Cubana Airlines plane in 1976 that killed 73 people. Posada also has admitted involvement in a deadly hotel bombing campaign in Cuba in 1997.
There's much more here, too, of course! Click this link to read the rest of it.

And now ... What can I tell you? If you still believe the so-called "war on terror" is legitimate, you need more than words. You need a slap across the head!