On the Use of State
By TOM CRUMPACKER
State terrorism is the use of state violence
against innocent civilians to create fear in pursuit of a political
objective. It has been called the ugly side of imperialism (now
correctly called "globalization"). It sometimes promotes submission
of nations to the domination by occupation or otherwise of the terrorist
state. There are two varieties, overt and covert. Prior to the 1930s,
the overt variety was frowned on in Western societies as supposedly
repulsive to the civilized mind.
However with the advent of aerial bombing and missiles and their
fearsome payload possibilities, these scruples were overcome. Early
examples of successful overt state terrorism were the 1937 bombing
of Guernica and the 1945 atomic snuffing out of hundreds of thousands
of innocent Japanese lives in a matter of minutes, which caused the
Japanese empire to dissolve and it's rulers and people to submit to
foreign occupation. However, non-atomic overt state terrorism has
frequently been unsuccessful, since it sometimes produces a reaction
of liberatory retaliation as well as fear and submission. Examples
are the 1940 Luftwaffe bombing of London, the 1965-72 napalming of
large areas of Vietnam, and the 2003 "shock and awe" bombing of Bagdad.
A key factor in the failure or success of overt state terrorism seems
to be the liberation-domination dichotomy.
Hence the continuing use of covert state terrorism as the preferred
method of promoting the neo-liberal global project. However covert
state terrorism also has its difficulties and problems and there are
many examples of these to be found by reading the Covert Action Quarterly.
Supposedly the American people by their so-called representatives
have authorized the US Central "Intelligence" Agency to use violence
covertly to create fear and submission in the pursuit of our rulers'
objectives. Although our representatives supposedly have "oversight"
over CIA conduct, they seem to be constantly ignorant or surprised
by what eventually sneaks into the public realm by conscience stricken
agents or eventual forced publication of their undestroyed reports.
Civilian airplanes carry people, and their destruction in air is one
way to create fear and submission by others. But the problem with
covert terrorism, in addition to the liberation-domination question,
is keeping it secret. A distance must be created between the CIA projects
and their intended consequences (the fear necessary for submission).
Like all US governmental projects, covert state terrorism has become
primarily a marketing or "public relations" issue, but this also has
its limits in reason and rationality. A case in point is that of the
CIA bombing of a Cubana airliner on October 6, 1976, killing 73 innocent
civilians in an unsuccessful effort to create fear and submission
by the Cuban nation.
CIA agent Luis Posada Carriles had been trained by CIA in explosives
in the early 1960s. He was ostensibly in the US military, February
1963 to March 1964, which was the cover CIA gave its training agents
then. There's evidence he was in Dealy Plaza in Dallas Texas on November
22, 1963. He's had close connections with the US Mafia as well as
the Miami Cuban-American Mafia. During the 1960s as a salaried agent
he ran a school in Florida training others in his trade, financed
by CIA. He also did forays to other countries to do covert bombings
and attempted bombings and assassinations. CIA now says it was in
contact with him up until about four months before the Cubana bombing.
In 1972 he listed his permanent residence as Miami. When in 1974 he
left Florida for Caracas to work for the Venezuelan intelligence agency
DISIP, he had with him a substantial supply of CIA bomb making materials
and explosion devices. In the fall of 1976 he had supposedly left
DISIP and was operating a private detective agency in Caracas.
Recently released (partially blacked out) CIA reports (see National
Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 153, Peter Kornbluh),
suggest that CIA was involved in the planning of the October 6 Cubana
airliner bombing. Some reports are of the planning meetings in Caracas
and Santo Domingo involving Posada and his partner Orlando Bosch and
other CIA and DISIP agents, which concerned the Cubana flight as well
as the Letelier car bombing murders which occurred in Washington,
DC in mid-September. In late September Posada reported to CIA: "We're
going to hit the Cubana airliner." On October 1, the State Department
at Posada's request issued under special procedure one of the bombers
(his employee) a US visa for the week after the bombing. These reports
and information (and whatever other CIA reports and information still
existed) were not made available to the Venezuelan officials who were
prosecuting Bosch and Posada in the 1980s.
George Bush Sr. was the CIA Director at the time of the bombing.
No one in US warned Cuba or potential passengers of their impending
doom. Bush Sr. was Vice President at the time when Posada was allowed
to escape during his trial in Venezuela and report to Col. Oliver
North in El Salvador on the Nicaraguan Contra supply operation being
run out of the White House. CIA had bribed his guards. Bush Sr. was
President when he pardoned Bosch against the recommendation of his
Justice Department, thereby harboring him in Miami.
CIA was aware in 1976 that the Bush family had important connections
in the oil business and were dealing with key politicians in Venezuela.
Young Jeb Bush (now governor of Florida) was establishing himself
in Caracas with the Commerce Bank of Texas, owned by Bush family friend
(later Secretary of State) James Baker. When Bosch arrived in Caracas
on September 8 (after a visit with Pinochet officials in Chile), then
Venezuelan President Perez allowed Bosch and Posada to conduct fundraising
and otherwise operate freely in Venezuela, even contributing personal
funds to their project. At the time, Bosch was representing CORU,
an umbrella organization of anti-Castro groups in US which CIA had
urged them to form. Two top DISIP officials were involved in the planning
sessions with Bosch and Posada in Caracas, so that the Cubana bombing,
the explosion at the Guyana Embassy in Port-of-Spain, and the attempted
murder of a Cuban diplomat in Mexico, all of which occurred in September-October,
appear to have been joint CIA-DISIP projects. On the other hand, the
Letelier bombing (planned in Santo Domingo without DISIP participation)
appears to have been a joint CIA-"Condor" project. One CIA report
indicates Posada after the Cubana bombing threatened that if he were
forced to talk the Venezuelan government would go down the tube and
US would have another Watergate.
Indeed, there are signs that another Watergate type cover-up is
beginning. Homeland has charged Posada only with not reporting immediately
to them, a simple matter which could be determined by a small fine.
However, it's been set for hearing on June 13 and Posada's Miami lawyers
are talking about filing motions to move the case to Miami, filing
asylum petitions and other such delaying tactics. From Secretary Rice's
May 21 statement, one would think that the Homeland immigration cases
will go on for many months and she has no extradition obligation until
it's over. Reportedly Posada is ill.
There's no valid reason why Posada should not be extradited to Venezuela
now. This Administration, more than anyone else, knows who is responsible
for bombing the Cubana flight. It doesn't need to wait for Venezuela
to produce or translate the evidence, much of which is in still classified
CIA files. Nor is there any valid reason to wait while lawyers mess
around with Homeland's insignificant illegal entry claim or any asylum
claim Posada might make.
On May 27 Assistant Secretary of State Roger Noriega said that Venezuela's
extradition request for Posada had been rejected as inadequate because
unsupported by evidence. But the US Embassy in Venezuela had told
Venezuela to translate the 700 pages of evidence (without any time
limit) and on May 27 said it was still ready to receive the request.
It's also now put a time limit on the submission of the translated
evidence, which Venezuela has said it will comply with.
Washington had previously denied Venezuela's request to keep Posada
in custody pending extradition. As things stand now, according to
Washington there is no Venezuelan extradition request, which if true
would allow them to justify harboring Posada in a country like El
Salvador where he presumably could be kept from talking, or even disappearing
him under the Witness Protection Program or otherwise. These solutions
however would not be risk free.
It appears the Administration is trying to use the immigration case,
with Posada's cooperation, to delay or avoid decision on the extradition
request in hope of preventing evidence of CIA's involvement in the
bombing (and perhaps other ugly deeds in the past) from becoming public
in a Venezuelan proceeding. It's also still promoting through unnamed
officials the ideas that US has some policy preventing extradition,
and that Venezuela's extradition request was rejected as procedurally
inadequate because the evidence was not timely submitted. Neither
of which is so.
This case demonstrates the kind of cover-up problems that can arise
from unwise use of covert state terrorism. It can backfire in the
public relations area. So far the harm in this case is primarily in
the international arena, where the media's are not so controlled by
the commercial oligarchies. But more and more American reporters and
people are demanding that Posada be tried in Venezuela where the crime
was committed and that CIA open its files on the matter.
is a lawyer who works with the Miami Coalition to End the US Embargo
He can be reached at: Crump8@aol.com