UPDATE: On April 17 an appeals court in
Luis Posada Carriles, 79, has been a human hot potato since he arrived on
Given his background in terrorism and related activities – the Bush Justice Department calls him an “admitted mastermind of terrorist plots and attacks” – he can’t be set free without damaging the credibility of
We recounted Posada’s history and the early part of this saga here.
So far, the Administration has managed to square the circle by bringing immigration charges against Posada and detaining him pending trial. No one abroad can say that a terrorist has been set free, and no one in
This gambit may be nearing the end of its useful life. A federal judge in
One of the most unusual aspects of this case was revealed last August when the Administration revealed in court that it had asked six countries – Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador – to take Posada in. It is not clear if this was an effort to find a comfortable refuge for Posada, or to put him in a place where he might face extradition. In the event, all six countries declined to take him. If they were confused as to whether they would be “with us” or “with the terrorists” once they accepted Posada, they could hardly be blamed.
One option is to extradite Posada to
The U.S. Ambassador to
So both sides take the position that extradition is worth discussing and the ball is in the other side’s court.
If this apparent impasse is broken and results in extradition, it means that justice might be served in a crime as horrible as the Lockerbie airliner bombing, and it would mean that the Adminstration has opted to defend its own moral standards instead of its political position among a small sector in