John McCain’s Relationships With Unrepentant Terrorists
Florida’s biggest Republican voting block are anti-Castro Cubans. Some are quite militant and have conducted acts of bombing. But rather than being regarded as terrorists, they’re seen as “freedom fighters” by their Republican defenders. So important are they to the Republican base, that John McCain has flip-flopped on his 2000 position when he proclaimed about Cuba, “I’d be willing to do the same thing we did with-with Vietnam.”
But now, in an attempt to capitalize on the political infrastructure offered by Florida’s anti-Castro Cubans, the McCain campaign is aligned with militants whose actions can only be defined as terrorism.
On July 20, while campaigning for McCain in Miami and just prior to speaking at a McCain event, Sen. Joe Lieberman met with the wife of convicted serial bomber Eduardo Arocena and promised to pursue a presidential pardon on his behalf. Arocena is the founder of the notorious Cuban exile militant group Omega 7, renowned for a string of bombings from 1975 to 1983. Arocena was convicted of the 1980 murder of a Cuban diplomat in Manhattan. In 1983, Arocena was arrested and charged with 42 counts pertaining to conspiracy, explosives, firearms, and destruction of foreign government property within the United States. He is currently serving a life sentence in federal prison in Indiana.
Senator Joe Lieberman, McCain’s first choice for VP, and a possible McCain cabinet member, promised Arocena’s wife Miriam that he would petition for a pardon for her husband.
“It’s my responsibility; it’s my responsibility. I will carry [the pardon request] back. I will carry it back,” Lieberman told Arocena just before addressing a group at a McCain event. “I think of you like you were my family. … I’ll bring it back. I’ll do my best.”
See Lieberman talk with Arocena at 3:45 into this video:
Arocena’s targets have included:
*Madison Square Garden (he blew up an adjacent store);
*JFK airport (Arocena’s group planted a suitcase bomb intended for a TWA flight to Los Angeles-in protest of the airline’s flights to Cuba. The plane would have exploded if not for the fact that the bomb went off on the tarmac prior to being loaded);
*Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center (causing damage to three levels of the theater and halting the performance of a music group from Cuba);
*the ticket office of the Soviet airline Aeroflot;
*and a church.
In spite of the above video, Scott Overland, a Lieberman spokesman, denies that Lieberman is an advocate for Arocena:
“Senator Lieberman does not intervene in criminal proceedings including requests for pardons,” according to Scott Overland, a Lieberman spokesman. “The correspondence was merely forwarded without any comment, endorsement or support whatsoever.”
Arocena isn’t the only terrorist with links to McCain and his campaign. Miami Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Mccain’s senior Latin America advisor, has lobbied for the release of Omega 7 members Jose Dionisio Suarez Esquivel and Virgilio Paz Romero, who were both convicted in the 1978 assassination of Chilean diplomat Orlando Letelier, which also took the life of American Ronni Karpen Moffitt (r) who was riding with him the day he was killed to her job at the Institute of Policy Studies in DC.
Diaz-Balart has also been seeking “due process” for bombers Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch, both charged in the killing of 73 civilians in the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner, the first act of airline terrorism in America.
Former Attorney General Richard Thornburgh described Bosch (r), who spent four years in federal prison for firing a bazooka into a Polish freighter bound for Havana in Miami’s harbor, as an “unreformed terrorist” and recommended immediate deportation when he showed up in Miami in 1988. But there were political considerations in Miami. [Congresswoman Ileana] Ros-Lehtinen, then running for Congress and now the Republican leader of the House foreign-affairs committee, lauded Bosch as a hero and a patriot. After she personally lobbied then-President George Bush (with her campaign manager Jeb Bush at a meeting noted in the Miami media), Bush overruled the FBI and the Justice and State departments, and Bosch was granted U.S. residency.
Bill Ayers may not be your choice for Rotary Club Man of the Year, but he is a tenured professor and nationally recognized expert on education reform, who has worked with Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, earning the mayor’s praise on his work for the Chicago school system. This all goes to show that one person’s “terrorist” is another person’s freedom fighter or education reform advocate. Or, perhaps better put in this case, one person’s education reform advocate is another person’s cheap campaign tool.Click here for reuse options!
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