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but the Cold War intervened. Finally, in 1998 in Rome, the nations of the world drafted
the charter of the International Criminal Court. American negotiators, however, insisted
on provisions in the charter that would, in essence, give the United States veto power
over any prosecution through its seat on the Security Council. The American request was
rejected, and primarily for this reason the US refused to join 120 other nations who
supported the charter. The ICC is an instrument Washington can't control sufficiently to
keep it from prosecuting American military and government officials. Senior US officials
have explicitly admitted that this danger is the reason for their aversion to the proposed
new court.22 But this is clearly not the case with the International Criminal Tribunal for
the Former Yugoslavia. It's Washington's kind of international court, a court for the New
World Order.

Washington journalist Sam Smith observed in 1999: "It seems that the international war
crimes tribunal has been taking selective enforcement lessons from the New Jersey State
Police. The only war criminals it indicted this week were those with hard-to-spell foreign
names. No one with a simple Anglican name”say like Clinton or Blair”was charged."

During its destructive military operations in Yugoslavia, the United States was supremely
unconcerned about the possibility that anyone would even consider filing charges against
NATO at the Hague, yet we now know that: "Midway through the war with Yugoslavia,
the Defense Department's top legal office issued guidelines warning that misuse of cyber
attacks could subject U.S. authorities to war crimes charges." This was a reference to the
fact that the Pentagon's was considering hacking into Serbian computer networks to
disrupt military operations and basic civilian services.23
CHAPTER 9 : Haven for Terrorists

I n 1998, the State Department issued its annual human-rights report, listing Cuba
amongst those nations alleged to "sponsor terrorism". Curious about this, I called up the
State Department and was connected to what they called "The Terrorism Desk", where a
gentleman named Joe Reap told me that Cuba was included because "They harbor

"So does the United States," I replied. "The Cuban exiles in Miami have committed
hundreds of terrorist acts, in the US and abroad."

Mr. Reap exploded. "Sir," he cried in a rising voice, "that is a fatuous remark and I will
not listen to such nonsense!" And he hung up.

Unrepentant trouble-maker that I am, the following year, May 4, 1999 to be exact, when
the new human-rights report was issued (does the word "self-righteous" ring a bell with
the folks at the State Department?), I again called 202-647-8682, and again 'twas Joe
Reap who answered. I doubt he knew that I was the same caller as the year before but, in
any event, we went through the same dance steps. When I repeated my comment about
the Cuban terrorists being harbored in Miami, he became instantly indignant and said that
they were not terrorists.

"But the FBI has labeled some of them just that," I said.

"Then take it up with the FBI," said Joe.

"But we're discussing a State Department report," I pointed out.

His voice rose..."I will not listen to people call this government a terrorist sponsor!"
Phone slammed down. The intervening year had not mellowed ol' Joe any more than it
had me.

It's always fascinating to observe how a True Believer reacts to a sudden, unexpected and
unanswerable threat to his fundamental ideological underpinnings.

The Cuban exiles are in fact one of the longest-lasting and most prolific terrorist groups
in the world, and they're still at it. During 1997 they carried out a spate of hotel bombings
in Havana, directed from Miami.1

Hijacking is generally regarded as a grave international crime, but although there have
been numerous air and boat hijackings over the years from Cuba to the US, at gunpoint,
knifepoint and/or with the use of physical force, including at least one murder, it's
difficult to find more than a single instance where the United States brought criminal
charges against the hijackers. In August 1996, three Cubans who hijacked a plane to
Florida at knifepoint were indicted and brought to trial. In Florida. This is like trying
someone for gambling in a Nevada court. Even though the kidnapped pilot was brought
back from Cuba to testify against the men, the defense simply told the jurors that the man
was lying, and the jury deliberated less than an hour before acquitting the defendants.2

Cubans are not the only foreign terrorists or serious human-rights violators who have
enjoyed safe haven in the United States in recent years. Like the Cubans, the others listed
below are fervent anti-communists, or in some other way are compatible with past or
present US foreign-policy objectives. (For sources not indicated, see this note.3)

There's former Guatemalan Defense Minister Hector Gramajo Morales. In 1995, a US
court ordered Gramajo to pay $47.5 million in damages to eight Guatemalans and a US
citizen for his responsibility in the torture of the American (Sister Dianna Ortiz”see
"Torture" chapter) and the massacre of family members of the Guatemalans (among
thousands of other Indians whose death he was responsible for). Gramajo had been
served a court summons in 1991 as he gradu-ated from the Kennedy School of
Government at Harvard, where he had studied on a scholarship provided by the US
government. The judge stated that "The evidence suggests that Gramajo devised and
directed the implementation of an indiscriminate campaign of terror against civilians." It
was only following the court judgment that the Defense Department withdrew Gramajo's
invitation to speak at a military seminar.4 Gramajo subsequently returned to Guatemala,
without having paid any of the court judgment. In speaking of his previous residence in
Guatemala, he said that he had carried out what he described as "a more humanitarian"
means of dealing with perceived dissenters. "We instituted civil affairs [in 1982] which
provides development for 70 percent of the population, while we kill 30 percent. Before,
the strategy was to kill 100 percent."5

Florida is the retirement home of choice for serious human-rights violators seeking to
depart from the scene of their crimes. Former general Jose Guillermo Garcia, head of El
Salvador's armed forces in the 1980s, when military-linked death squads killed thousands
of people suspected of being "subversives", has lived in Florida since the early 1990s.

Garcia's successor, Gen. Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova, who also served as the head of
the much-feared national guard, is now a resident of the sunshine state too. According to
the UN Truth Commission for El Salvador, Vides covered up for and protected those who
raped and murdered three American nuns and a lay worker in 1980. He was physically
present on at least two occasions when Dr. Juan Romagoza Arce was tortured; in the end,
the injuries inflicted on Arce left him unable to perform surgery. (Interviewed in 1999,
Vides was moved to declare: "I ask myself over and over if there is anything I have done
wrong, and I can't find anything.")

During the time that Garcia and Vides have lived in the United States, US Immigration
has been denying asylum status to many refugees from El Salvador even though they've
claimed they were in fear of being tortured or losing their lives if sent back.
Numerous Haitian human-rights violators have resided in the United States in recent
years, unmolested by the authorities. Their hands and souls are bloody from carrying out
the repression of the Duvalier dynasty, or the overthrow of the democratically elected
Father Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 1991, or the return to repression after the coup. Among
their numbers are:

Luckner Cambronne, Haiti's minister of the interior and defense under Francois "Papa
Doc" Duvalier and adviser to his son and successor, Jean Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier.

Army Lt. Col. Paul Samuel Jeremie. After Baby Doc was forced to abdicate in 1986,
Jeremie was convicted of torturing Duvalier opponents and sentenced to 15 years in
prison. He escaped in 1988.

General Prosper Avril, another Haitian dictator, responsible for the torture of opposition
activists, whom he then displayed, bloodied, on television. Forced out by angry mobs in
1990, he was flown to Florida by the US government, where he might have lived happily
ever after except that some of his former torture victims brought suit against him. At one
point in the process, he failed to make a court appearance and thus defaulted. He fled to
several countries trying to find haven. Meanwhile, in 1994, a US federal judge awarded
$41 million to six Haitians living in the US.

During the period of Aristide's exile, 1991-94, Colonel Carl Dorelien oversaw a 7,000-
man force whose well-documented cam-paign of butchery included murder, rape,
kidnapping and torture, leading to the deaths of some 5,000 Haitian civilians. The good
colonel has found a home in Florida as well.

We also have leading Haitian death-squad leader Emmanuel Constant, former head of
FRAPH, the paramilitary group of thugs which spread deep fear amongst the Haitian
people with its regular murders, torture, public beatings, arson raids on poor
neighborhoods and mutilation by machete in the aftermath of the coup against Aristide.
He was on the CIA payroll in Haiti and now lives in New York. The State Department
refused a Haitian extradition request for Constant and stopped his deportation back to that
country. Constant apparently knows of a lot of skeletons in the American closet.

Other Haitians of this ilk residing in the United States include Major General Jean-
Claude Duperval, and Ernst Prud'homme, a former high-ranking member of the Bureau
du Information et Coordination, a notoriously violent propaganda unit.

Armando Fernandez Larios, a member of a Chilean military squad responsible for the
torture and execution of at least 72 political prisoners in the month following the 1973
coup, is now residing in the United States. Fernandez has publicly acknowledged his
service as a member of the military squad, as well as his role as an agent of Chile's
notorious secret police, the DINA, during the Pinochet regime. He struck a plea bargain
with US government prosecutors, pleading guilty to being an "accessory after the fact" in
the DINA-sponsored 1976 Washington, DC bombing murder of former Chilean dissident
official Orlando Letelier. The Chilean government report-edly would like Fernandez
extradited from the US, but his lawyer in Miami has said that the 1987 plea-agreement
between his client and the Department of Justice stipulated that Fernandez would never
be returned to Chile. Department of Justice officials have declined to comment on the
degree of Fernandez's protection under the terms of the agreement, which is under court

Michael Townley of Chile played an even more significant role in the Letelier
assassination. He served some time in a US prison and is now in the Federal Witness
Protection Program. So if you see him, you don't know him.

Argentine admiral Jorge Enrico, who was associated with the Escuela Mecanica in
Buenos Aires, the infamous torture center of the "Dirty War" period (1976-83), now
freely enjoys Hawaii when he wishes.

At least two former members of the Honduran army's Battalion 316 (see "Torture"
chapter), a CIA-trained intelligence unit that murdered hundreds of suspected leftists in
the 1980s, are also known to be living the good life in South Florida.

Kebassa Negawa of Ethiopia was a defendant in an Atlanta case for torture. When he lost
the case and his wages began to be garnished, he disappeared.

Also a resident is Sintong Panjaitan, an Indonesian general responsible for the 1991 Santa
Cruz massacre in East Timor that took hundreds of lives.

At Washington's insistence, Thiounn Prasith was the Cambodian envoy to the United
Nations for Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge from 1979 to 1993, even though the Khmer Rouge
were ousted from power in 1979. Prasith was a leading apologist for Pol Pot's horrendous
crimes and played a major role in their cover up. (See "Pol Pot" chapter.) He resides in
peace and comfort in Mount Vernon, New York.7

General Mansour Moharari, an Iranian who was in charge of prisons under the Shah, and
thus is no stranger to the practice of torture, has lived in the US for many years despite a
price being put on his head by the Iranian mullahs.

Twenty former South Vietnamese officers who have admitted to committing torture and
other human-rights violations during the Vietnam War are residing legally in California.8

Throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s, numerous other Vietnamese in California
carried out a violent terrorist campaign against their countrymen who were deemed not
sufficiently anti-communist, sometimes merely for calling for resumption of contacts
with Hanoi; others were attacked simply for questioning the terrorists' actions. Under
names such as "Anti-Communist Viets Organization" and "Vietnamese Organization to
Exterminate Communists and Restore the Nation", on hundreds of occasions they
assaulted and murdered, burned down businesses and vehicles, forced Vietnamese
newspapers to cease publishing, issued death threats, engaged in extortion and many
other aspects of organized crime... all with virtual impunity, even with numerous
witnesses to some murders. In the few cases where arrests were made, suspects were
generally released or acquitted; the few who were convicted had their wrists slapped.9
This clear pattern of law-enforcement neglect suggests some kind of understanding with
higher-ups in Washington. If there was indeed a "see-no-evil" federal policy, the most
likely explanation would be the powerful, lingering antipathy toward any Vietnamese
with a presumed leaning toward Hanoi.

Additionally, a number of persons from the former Yugoslavia who have been accused of
war crimes by their fellow nationals are also living in the US, although in most cases it
appears to be due to American bureaucratic failings, rather than a knowing offering of
haven to the henchmen of former allies.

The above doesn't include all the dictators cum terrorists whom the United States was
kind enough to fly to safe havens in third countries (enabling them to be reunited with
their bank accounts), such as those from Haiti who are still alive: Gen. Raoul Cedras and
President Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier; as well as the nefarious police chief Joseph
Michel Francois.

In 1998 President Clinton went before the United Nations to speak about terrorism.
"What are our global obligations?" he asked. "To give terrorists no support, no

Extradite or prosecute

The system of international criminal prosecution covering genocide, terrorism, war
crimes and torture makes all governments responsible for the criminal prosecution of
offenders. Under this basic principle of "universal enforcement," countries where alleged
offenders are found are obligated either to extradite them for prosecution by a more
directly affected government (e.g., the country where the offenses were committed, or the
country of citizenship of the victims or the abusers), or to initiate prosecution themselves.
The Pinochet case in the UK was begun in 1998 as an example of this.

The US government strongly supports this principle of "extradite or prosecute" in theory,
and in fact invoked it a few years ago in a proceeding before the International Court of
Justice as the basis for seeking extradition from Libya of two men alleged to be
responsible for the bombing of Pan Am flight 103. The US government also strongly
supports the application of this principle to those indicted for war crimes by the
International War Crimes Tribunals for former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. One of those
indicted as a war criminal by the Rwanda tribunal was discovered in Texas, arrested, and
bound over for criminal extradition by a federal court in that state.11

Yet, when it comes to the relics of the Cold War being given haven in the US, as listed
above, Washington chooses to neither prosecute nor extradite, although Cuba, for one,
has asked for the extradition of a number of individuals.

Zero tolerance for other havens
Presidential Decision Directive 39, signed by President Clinton in 1995, states:

If we do not receive adequate cooperation from a state that harbors a terrorist whose
extradition we are seeking, we shall take appropriate measures to induce cooperation.
Return of suspects by force may be effected without the cooperation of the host

So determined was the Clinton administration to punish other states that compete with the
US in harboring terrorists, that in February 1999 it asserted the right to bomb government
facilities in such nations. "We may not just go in a strike against a terrorist facility; we
may choose to retaliate against the facilities of the host country, if that host country is a
knowing, cooperative sanctuary," Richard Clarke, President Clinton's coordinator for
counter-terrorism, declared.13

I tried to reach Mr. Clarke at his White House office to ask him what he thought of the
proposition that Cuba could justifiably designate the United States as a "knowing,
cooperative sanctuary" and bomb CIA headquarters or a Cuban exile office in Miami,
amongst other sites. However, I was told that he was "not available to the general public
to speak to". Pity. So I sent him a letter posing these questions, with little expectation of
an answer. I was not disappointed.


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