Monday, August 29, 2005

"Trust in the Lord and a good lawyer."

That was a famous quote by Marine Lt. Col. Oliver "Who's A Naughty Boy Then?" North as he was called to Congress in the Iran-Contra scandal. But it's a public utterance, so I shall not hesitate to use it.

The government of Venezuela has called on the US government to investigate whether the "Reverend" Pat Robertson had committed a crime (specifically, terrorism) when he said last week that President Hugo Chavez should be assassinated. John Dean of Watergate fame, writing for, said Yes.

Title 18 of the US Code, Section 112(b), to be precise, which makes it a Federal misdemeanor to use interstate communication or transportation to threaten people. Neat, eh? Whether or not the US decides to actually prosecute Robertson is perhaps another matter, but Crazy Pat might be well advised to keep his wrinkly melanin-deficient skin off the streets of Caracas for a long time.

Which brings up another interesting thing. Venezuela is demanding the transfer of a terrorist from US jurisdiction to theirs to stand trial for a terrorist act. Sounds pretty cut and dried - we hand the guy over, since we don't want to be seen as soft on terrorism, do we? I mean, we're not using a double standard, are we?

Maybe we are. The person is one Luis Posada-Carriles, a former CIA operative whose virulent anti-Castro leanings made him very useful to the American government. However, there is the matter of the plane that Venezuela claim Posada blew up about 30 years ago.

It will be an interesting test of our real stand vis-a-vis the War on Terror.


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