Monday, May 23, 2005

Posada Update V 

Events are fast so fast paced these days that often we don't recall things that happened even just a few years ago. I think of this because today I read a letter by Kenneth Tellis at Vheadline which brought up an excellent point related to the Posada case.

When the United States was attacked on 9/11 they immediately pinned the blame on Osama Bin-Laden who at the time was believed to be in Afghanistan. So what did they do? Simple, they gave an ultimatum to the Afghan government that either it turn over Bin-Laden or the U.S. would attack it. Here are a couple of quotes from the period. From The Guardian:

President George Bush rejected as "non-negotiable" an offer by the Taliban to discuss turning over Osama bin Laden if the United States ended the bombing in Afghanistan. Returning to the White House after a weekend at Camp David, the president said the bombing would not stop, unless the ruling Taliban "turn [bin Laden] over, turn his cohorts over, turn any hostages they hold over." He added, "There's no need to discuss innocence or guilt. We know he's guilty". In Jalalabad, deputy prime minister Haji Abdul Kabir - the third most powerful figure in the ruling Taliban regime - told reporters that the Taliban would require evidence that Bin Laden was behind the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US, but added: "we would be ready to hand him over to a third country".

Note how in those days the U.S. talked about not needing to prove guilt - "we know he's guilty". I wonder how they'll feel if Venezuela says the same about Posada? Also, note how the Taliban tried to float the idea of sending Bin-Laden to a third country. That was of course a complete non-starter for the U.S. but its interesting how many pundits there are advocating the U.S. do precisely that with Posada.

And here is another quote from the press in September 2001

The White House has rejected requests from Afghanistan's ruling Taliban for proof that Osama bin Laden was responsible for last week's attacks. According to the US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, the United States has enough evidence to try bin Laden in an American court.

The US Government said there would be no negotiations. It said that President Bush had made his conditions clear in a speech before Congress last night. Their position remains that there will be no discussions and no negotiations.

President Bush warned unless his demands were met, Afghanistan would share the same fate as the terrorists, and said that the hour was coming when America would take action.

Nothing to discuss or negotiate! Isn't that kind of what Chavez was saying on Alo Presidente yesterday?

Fortunately for the U.S. their harboring of terrorists isn't likely to provoke an invasion or bombing campaign by Venezuela. But their completely hypocritical approach to international terrorism is being clearly revealed.


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