Tuesday, June 26, 2007

No Defense for Terror (Part 3)

I took the time to find out just where this "double acquittal myth" originated from. I did a search using the NewsBank database for all articles that had "Luis Posada" and "twice acquitted" or "acquitted twice." My search lead to many articles that were written in 1997, the majority of which stemmed from one Miami Herald report by Juan O. Tamayo on November 16, 1997.

In 1997, Cuban hotels became the target of a campaign of bomb attacks dating from April to August, eight bombings in total were reported. The first to report on the bombings for the Herald was Juan O. Tamayo with a piece titled "CUBA BOMBS STIR A WILD GUESSING GAME" on August 14, 1997. This piece was also published in El Nuevo Herald. Tamayo followed the story until November 16 when he wrote his report titled "CUBAN HOTELS WERE BOMBED BY MIAMI-PAID SALVADORANS." It was the result of a two-month investigation after which the name Luis Posada Carriles reappeared in all the papers. Tamayo had fingered Posada Carriles as the "key link" between the bombings in Cuba and Cuban exiles in Miami.

But, the most important point here is that Tamayo writes:

"Posada was charged, and twice found innocent, in the 1976 terror bombing of a Cuban jetliner in which 73 people died."

The Associated Press provided the story to the majority of the papers the next day and they all reported that Luis Posada Carriles was "twice acquitted." Most of the leading papers in the US published this AP story and the rest is history.

Before 1997, Orlando Bosch had the distinction of being "twice acquitted" because he in fact was. Once in 1980 by a military court (with Luis Posada, which was later invalidated) and then again in 1986 by a civilian court. This is documented.

But, even so, Bosch was actually reported by some to have been acquitted THREE times! Its a myth that almost caught on.

On July 9, 1990, Luisa Yanez for the Sun Sentinel wrote that "Bosch was imprisoned 11 years even though Venezuelan courts acquitted him three times."[1]

On July 18, 1990, James Lemoyne of the New York Times must have read Yanez's piece and wrote that Bosch "was tried and acquitted three times in Venezuela."[2]

This "Triple Acquittal Myth" came to my attention when a blogger, Manuel A. Tellechea, once commented that Luis Posada Carriles was "thrice tried on these charges by both civil and military courts and found innocent every time."

If you keep repeating a lie, it does force itself on the truth.

[1]The Sun Sentinel (July 9, 1990) - "Judge to Decide If Bosch Will Stay, Attorney: Castro Will Shoot Activist If He Is Deported History of Violence" by Luisa Yanez.

[2]New York Times (July 18, 1990) - "Cuban Linked to Terror Bombings Is Freed by Government in Miami" by James Lemoyne.

[Part 4]

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