Day in the Five: The tortured tale of a terrorist

On September 27, 2005, an American immigration court turned down alleged Cuban terrorist Luis Posada Carriles’ request for political asylum in the United States.

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Blood on the floor at the Copacabana.

The following day, however, the same judge ruled Posada couldn’t be deported because he might face “torture” in Venezuela, which had requested his extradition to face charges in connection with a deadly 1976 terrorist attack on a Cubana Airlines flight carrying 73 passengers.

Venezuela responded that the United States had a “double standard in its so-called war on terrorism.”

Posada is now scheduled to go on trial in El Paso, Texas, in January 2011—not for any of the terrorist acts he’s been accused of (including the airline bombing and the Havana hotel attacks) but for fibbing to immigration officials when he first filed for asylum.

The immigration officer asked Posada if he’d been involved in the 1997 hotel bombing campaign. Posada said no. The government says he lied. Which means it believes he was responsible for the death of Fabio Di Celmo. But it won’t charge him for that… just for telling an untruth to an immigration officer.

One more irony: this time it’s using evidence the Cubans gathered to press its case against Posada.

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