cubana flight 455 - oct 6, 1976
and only mid-air bombing of a civilian airliner in the Western
Hemisphere, the National Security Archive today posted on the Web new
investigative records that further implicate Luis Posada Carriles in
that crime of international terrorism. Among the documents posted is an
annotated list of four volumes of still-secret records on Posada's
career with the CIA, his acts of violence, and his suspected involvement
in the bombing of Cubana flight 455 on October 6, 1976, which took the
lives of all 73 people on board, many of them teenagers.
The National Security Archive, which has sought the declassification of
the Posada files through the Freedom of Information Act, today called on
the U.S. government to release all intelligence files on Posada. "Now is
the time for the government to come clean on Posada's covert past and
his involvement in international terrorism," said Peter Kornbluh, who
directs the Archive's Cuba Documentation Project. "His victims, the
public, and the courts have a right to know."
Posada has been in detention in El Paso, Texas, for illegal entry into
the United States, but a magistrate has recommended that he be released
this week because the Bush administration has not certified that he is a
Among the documents posted today are four sworn affidavits by police
officials in Trinidad and Tobago, who were the first to interrogate the
two Venezuelans--Hernan Ricardo Lozano and Freddy Lugo--who were
arrested for placing the bomb on flight 455. (Their statements were
turned over as evidence to a special investigative commission in
Barbados after the crime.) Information derived from the interrogations
suggested that the first call the bombers placed after the attack was to
the office of Luis Posada's security company ICI, which employed
Ricardo. Ricardo claimed to have been a CIA agent (but later retracted
that claim). He said that he had been paid $16,000 to sabotage the plane
and that Lugo was paid $8,000.
The interrogations revealed that a tube of Colgate toothpaste had been
used to disguise plastic explosives that were set off with a
"pencil-type" detonator on a timer after Ricardo and Lugo got off the
plane during a stopover in Barbados. Ricardo "in his own handwriting
recorded the steps to be taken before a bomb was placed in an aircraft
and how a plastic bomb is detonated," deputy commissioner of police
Dennis Elliott Ramdwar testified in his affidavit.
These and other documents on this case can be found on the Web site of
the National Security Archive:
www.nsarchive.org" target="_blank">-> www.nsarchive.org
here is an exerpt from the ny times article:
Today, Mr. Posada, 78, is in a detention center in El Paso, held on an immigration violation while the government tries to figure out what to do with him. His case presents a quandary for the Bush administration, at least in part because Mr. Posada is a former C.I.A. operative and United States Army officer who directed his wrath at a government that Washington has long opposed.
Despite insistent calls from Cuba and Venezuela for his extradition, the administration has refused to send him to either country for trial.
Intensifying the problem is that Mr. Posada, who was arrested last year in Miami after sneaking into the country, may soon go free because the United States has been reluctant to press the terrorism charges that could keep him in jail.
That prospect has brought a hail of criticism of the Bush administration for holding a double standard when it comes to those who commit terrorist acts.
“The fight against terrorism cannot be fought à la carte,” said José Pertierra, a Washington lawyer who is representing the government of Venezuela in its effort to extradite Mr. Posada. “A terrorist is a terrorist.”
The Bush administration has stopped short of prosecuting him as a terrorist, however, even though the Justice Department called him as much this week. In papers filed in federal court in El Paso on Thursday, it described him as “an unrepentant criminal and admitted mastermind of terrorist plots and attacks on tourist sites.”
www.nytimes.com" target="_blank">-> www.nytimes.com
Will he make it out alive?
I guess then he knows something which may be damaging to US prestige. In such cases administrations often prefer not to "lift the lid" for fear of what may crawl out.
Perhaps this is wise or does absolute truth come at any price?