Judge Tosses Out Charges Against Posada Carriles

On the same day that the Department of Justice was singing its own praises for busting an alleged terror ring in New Jersey, mostly unnoticed was the fact that the DOJ may have intentionally tanked the prosecution of an international terrorist in our own midst.

As a result, convicted terrorist Luis Posada Carriles is a free man today.

Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Kathleen Cardone threw out immigration charges against Posada Carriles, and ordered his electronic tracking bracelet removed. He had been free on bail, pending an immigration trial that was scheduled to begin this week.

I've been following this saga for a long time, and it's no surprise that Judge Cardone took this action. In fact, given the history of this case, it's almost crystal clear that this was the intended result of the Department of Justice's case against Posada Carriles. Since he was first detained in the U.S., the DOJ has displayed a level of case management skill that is beyond mere incompetence - in fact, to the untrained outside observer, it's easy to draw the conclusion that the prosecution of this case was intentionally botched.

According to CNN, the departments of Justice and Homeland Security are "reviewing Cardone's decision", and it is not clear at this point whether or not the judge's ruling will be appealed.

What is clear, beyond all reasonable doubt, is that Posada Carriles is an international terrorist who was trained and financed by the U.S. government. Whether he was operating as a freelancer, or at the behest of his CIA handlers when he carried out his terrorist acts is completely beside the point. Documents from the U.S. government make it clear that the man plotted the bombing of a Cuban airliner that killed 73 people, and he has admitted being involved in hotel bombings in Havana. In fact, he's quite proud of his curriculum vitae as a terrorist.

Today, the Bush administration's favorite terrorist is strolling the South Beach waterfront in Miami unencumbered, grateful that the concept of quid pro quo has stood the test of time, and proving once again that in some cases, there is indeed honor among thieves.

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