Saturday, June 04, 2005

Posada Update VIII 

For the latest on the U.S.’s hypocrisy when it comes to the war on terror take a look at the contrast between what President Bush said in 2001 and what the U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela, William Brownfield said yesterday.

Here is part of a speech by U.S. President George Bush on September 20, 2001 before a joint session of Congress:
And tonight, the United States of America makes the following demands on the Taliban: Deliver to United States authorities all the leaders of al Qaeda who hide in your land. Release all foreign nationals, including American citizens, you have unjustly imprisoned. Protect foreign journalists, diplomats and aid workers in your country. Close immediately and permanently every terrorist training camp in Afghanistan, and hand over every terrorist, and every person in their support structure, to appropriate authorities. Give the United States full access to terrorist training camps, so we can make sure they are no longer operating.

These demands are not open to negotiation or discussion. The Taliban must act, and act immediately. They will hand over the terrorists, or they will share in their fate.

By way of contrast this is what the U.S. Ambassodor to Venezuela said Friday regarding the Luis Posada case in an interview with Panorama:

Q: Can the case of Luis Posada Carriles undermine any method that both sides find to resolve their differences:

A: I hope not. The case, and more concretely, the extradition of Luis Posada Carriles is a legal question.

The truth is that Venezuela and the United States have a bi-lateral extradition treaty and the treaty is very clear in terms of the rights and obligations of the two, and also the process that one has to follow to obtain an extradition. The procedure is established there.

At this time the United States accepts its international obligations outlined in the treaty, but at the same time, we insist, as we have the soviergn right to insist, that this is done in accordance with the laws, regulations, and judicial procedures of the United States.

This is not the first time that Venezuela and the United States have had an extradition case, and neither of the two goverments are going to change the rules for this one. The case of Luis Posada Carriles isn’t political, its legal.

Q: And do you think that when Venezuela complies with all the established requirements in the treaty the extradition will happen?

A: The first step, of course, is that Venezuela makes an extradition request, and when I say that I am referring to a formal request. We are not talking about public declarations, we are not talking about resolutions, we are talking about a formal request that has to be certified by this humble public servant as the U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela.

Once that requirement is met, then the legal process, in terms of establishing the identity of the person, which is this case is already well established. Second, the crimes that serve as the basis of the request; third the evidence presented along with the petitions and, finally, what defense the accused offers before a U.S. court.

That is the process and, irrespective of the number of declarations, protests, and insults, we are going to follow it.

Q: But does the United States consider Luis Posada Carriles a terrorst?

A: I will say that the government of the United States believes that Posada Carriles, like any other of its 280 million inhabitants, is presumed inoccent until the opposite is proven in a formal trial. Therefore, the U.S. government doesn’t take a position and if we recieve an extradition request we are going to process it according to our international obligations and our laws.

Not much to say about this other than the double standards of the U.S. government couldn’t be more clear.


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