Fishing with Posada Carriles – the continued banality of evil

Adolf Eichmann, left...Luis Posada Carriles, right

“Eichmann’s memory…was certainly not controlled by chronological order, but it was not simply erratic.  It was like a storehouse, filled with human-interest stories of the worst type.  When he thought back to Prague, there emerged the occasion when he was admitted to the presence of the great Heydrich, who showed himself to have a “more human side.”  A few sessions later, he mentioned a trip to Bratislava, in Slovakia, where he happened to be at the time when Heydrich was assassinated.  What he remembered was that he was there as the guest of Sano Mach, Minister of the Interior in the German-established Slovakian puppet government.  (In that strongly anti-Semitic Catholic government, Mach represented the German version of anti-Semitism; he refused to allow exceptions for baptized Jews and he was one of the persons chiefly responsible for the wholesale deportation of Slovak Jewry.)  Eichmann remembered this because it was unusual for him to receive social invitations from members of governments; it was an honor.  Mach, as Eichmann recalled, was a nice easygoing fellow who invited him to bowl with him.  Did he really have no other business in Bratislava in the middle of the war than to go bowling with the Minister of the Interior?  No, absolutely no other business; he remembered it all very well, how they bowled, and how drinks were served just before the news of the attempt on Heydrich’s life arrived.”

Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem  – A Report on the Banality of Evil (1963)

And so, in 2010, we arrive at the news that Francisco Chávez Abarca, Luis Posada Carriles errand boy who was arrested in Venezuela in July, has been singing like a canary to Cuban investigators.  According to Chávez Abarca, his boss Posada, the biggest terrorist in the Western Hemisphere, checks in with the CIA before each one of his terrorist “hits” against Cuba, and also enjoyed warm relations with many former rightwing presidents of El Salvador, including Francisco Flores (1999-2004), who used to go fishing with Posada.

It’s not all that remarkable that a former rightwing Latin American president with a distance learning Masters Degree from a university in Benson, Arizona would enjoy spending his leisure time with the biggest terrorist in the Western Hemisphere.  The original civilian plane bomber.  Someone who paid people like Chávez Abarca to plant explosives in Cuban hotels.  At childrens’ chess matches.  And it’s not really that unusual that all on its own, the U.S. Justice Department would not escalate its dilatory judicial processing of Posada on trivial migration charges.  What’s remarkable is that Barack Obama, the man who ran for U.S. president, and won, as the anti-Bush, doesn’t appear to find this state of affairs in the least alarming.  That between public cocktail parties in Miami, Posada continues calmly plotting with his CIA handlers and friends from the Cuban American National Foundation, the sinking of oil tankers traveling from Venezuela to Cuba and the assassination of Venezuela’s elected president with a very specific high caliber rifle – all perfectly normal and uninteresting to our commander in chief.  Posada laughs at the FBI.

As he should.  Five Cubans proved 12 years ago that the FBI is utterly uninterested in Miami-grown terrorism.  In June, 1998, thanks to the efforts of these five Cubans, ten dossiers of highly specific information were provided to the FBI, including the locations of explosives, detailed flowcharts of the terrorist networks, contact information, aliases, m.o.’s.  The FBI reverse engineered the reports to arrest the intelligence sources, locking the Cubans up for their trouble, most in high security federal prisons, and there they remain today – denied simple privileges granted to fellow inmates: email, visits from their wives.

Quite the war on terror.

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