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The War on Terrorism Is Crooked, Corrupt, and Hypocritical

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The so-called war on terrorism will surely go down in U.S. history as one of the most ridiculous, inane, hypocritical, crooked, corrupt, and destructive federal programs ever.

This week, federal officials have been proudly proclaiming the arrest of two New Jersey men as they were preparing to board a plane to Somalia. The federal complaint charges them with conspiracy to “kill, maim and kidnap persons outside the United States.”

Two things immediately occur on reading of the complaint.

First, the men aren’t charged with conspiracy to kill, maim, and kidnap Americans. Instead, it charges them with conspiring to do those things to foreigners.

Second, and perhaps more important, the crimes that these two men have been charged with are precisely the acts that U.S. officials have been committing against foreigners for the last 9 years as part of their war on terrorism. When a federal program gives immunity to federal officials for committing the same acts that federal officials term felonies when committed by private U.S. citizens, shouldn’t that be a fairly strong indication of the moral bankruptcy of that federal program?

Let’s not forget, after all, that foreigner in Italy whom CIA agents kidnapped and turned over to Egyptian officials for the purpose of torturing him on behalf of the CIA. Those CIA agents were charged with the same type of criminal offenses in an Italian court that the Justice Department has now charged those two New Jersey guys.

The CIA agents quickly vamoosed out of Italy in order to avoid the judicial proceedings, and then refused to return to face their accusers in court. They didn’t return to Italy because they were scared of facing justice for their criminal conduct.

Did the Justice Department arrest and charge those CIA agents with conspiracy to kidnap and maim that foreigner, as they have charged those two New Jersey guys? Did it extradite them to Italy to stand trial for what they had done? Are you kidding? The Justice Department, under both Bush and Obama, considers them heroes and immune from any type of criminal prosecution even though they did the same thing that those two New Jersey guys are charged with doing.

In other words, whenever U.S. officials kidnap, maim, or kill foreigners, they’re immune from prosecution if they commit such acts as part of the war on terrorism, especially if the malefactors happen to be CIA agents.

Do you remember the photo of that dead Iraqi prisoner at Abu Ghraib. Here it is, in case you missed it. His name was Manadel al-Jamadi. He was executed after he was taken captive by U.S. forces. Did the Justice Department ever indict the killers under that statute that they’ve charged those two New Jersey men? After all, in al-Jamadi’s case, they had a body. In the New Jersey case, all they have are conversations.

The answer is “No”— they didn’t indict anyone for al-Jamadi’s death. Why? Most likely because the killers appear to include agents of the CIA. And everyone knows that no one is going to jack with CIA killers, especially when they’re killing as part of the much-vaunted war on terrorism.

No doubt the CIA considered al-Jamadi a “bad guy” for resisting an illegal war of aggression against his country. (The U.S. was the aggressor power and Iraq the defending nation in the conflict, given that Iraq never attacked the United States or even threatened to do so.) But did that entitle the CIA to execute the man after he was taken prisoner? The answer is “yes” under the war on terror. Unlike those two New Jersey men who have never killed anyone, the CIA agents who killed al-Jamadi got a pass.

What about that guy from Canada — Maher Arar, who the CIA kidnapped and renditioned to Syria for the purpose of torture? After a year of brutal torture, he was released, having been found innocent of the CIA’s accusation that he was a terrorist.

Did the Justice Department ever charge those CIA agents for conspiracy to kidnap and maim Arar? Of course not because unlike those two New Jersey men, the CIA committed their acts as part of the war on terrorism. That immunizes them from criminal prosecution, even though what they did is no different from what those two New Jersey men are charged with doing.

What about the CIA kidnapping, torture, and incarceration of Khalid el-Masri, the German citizen whom CIA agents wrongfully accused of terrorism? Did the Justice Department file charges against those agents under the same statute that they’ve charged those New Jersey men? Nope. You see, the CIA committed its offenses against el-Masri as part of the war on terrorism. Another pass for the CIA.

What about those drone assassinations that the CIA is committing in Pakistan? Well, you see, those killings are legal because they’re being committed as part of the war on terrorism. That’s what makes them different from the killings those two New Jersey guys are accused of conspiring to commit.

Then there’s the case of those suspicious deaths (here and here) of prisoners at Guantanamo that have been labeled suicides but which have the distinct smell of murder about them. Has the Justice Department issued any grand jury subpoenas regarding those deaths? No, no doubt because the CIA was helping run a secret section of Gitmo called “Camp No” at which at least some of the deaths seemed to have occurred. Again, the war on terrorism.

This week, a federal judge in El Paso finally set a date in the trial of suspected terrorist Luis Posada Carriles. He’s the guy who Venezuela has been trying to extradite and stand trial for the terrorist bombing of a Cuban airliner that killed 73 people.

Despite an extradition treaty between the United States and Venezuela, the U.S. government refuses to grant the extradition request, apparently because it fears that Venezuelan authorities might do the same thing that the U.S. government has done to terrorist suspects — torture him. Instead, U.S. officials have indicted Posada Carriles for immigration fraud for supposedly concealing his role in terrorist attacks in Cuba on some U.S. immigration form in 2005.

As I indicated in a previous article, the prosecution is acquiring the nasty smell of a sham prosecution, one that is made to look like they’re really going after the guy simply in order to avoid the charge of harboring an accused terrorist.

At a hearing this week, the presiding judge in the case, Kathleen Cardone, set the trial date for January of next year, even while announcing that there would be no further delays in the case. Pardon me, what better way to significantly delay a case than to set its trial date for 7 months away, especially when the alleged offense took place in 2005? Why would either side, both prosecution and defense, need 7 more months to prepare for a trial whose offense supposedly took place five years ago?

And it’s not as if the Carriles case is very complicated. After all, it’s just a case of immigration fraud involving an act of terrorism that the guy supposedly failed to mention on an immigration form 5 years ago. What’s complicated about that? Why not set the trial date two weeks from now?

In fact, why didn’t the Justice Department charge Posada Carriles with conspiracy to kidnap, maim, and kill foreigners, as they have with those two New Jersey men? After all, wouldn’t it seem that the burden of proving that the man lied about having allegedly committed terrorism in Cuba would be no different than proving that he actually committed terrorism in Cuba? And surely Venezuelan authorities would be more than happy to cooperate in a federal criminal prosecution for the terrorist downing of that Cuban airliner, which by the way included members of Cuba’s fencing team.

Indeed, one has to ask why Judge Cardone has seen fit to seal portions of the proceedings, preventing the news media and the America public from viewing them? What’s that all about, given that this is supposedly just a simple case of immigration fraud? The answer might lie in the fact that Posada Carriles once worked for the CIA.

As I indicated in my previous article, my prediction is that the 83-year-old former CIA agent Carriles will die before he ever serves one day in jail for anything.

By the way, weren’t U.S. officials conspiring with Osama bin Laden in the 1980s to kidnap, maim, and kill foreigners in Afghanistan, when it was the Soviet Union, rather than the U.S. government, occupying the country? How come that statute under which those New Jersey guys have been charged doesn’t apply to those U.S. officials?

After 9 years of crookedness, corruption, hypocrisy, and destructiveness to American liberty and justice, it’s time to put the war on terrorism in mothballs.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.