This very week it is possible that Luis Posada Carriles will be freed to walk the streets of the United States. The former CIA agent, wanted for terrorism in several countries, will be released basically because the Bush administration refuses to officially classify him as a terrorist, let alone allow him to be extradited to Venezuela or to put him on trial in the U.S.

Posada is “credited” in the CIA’s own documents with conspiring to blow up a Cuban civilian airliner in 1976, an incident in which 73 innocent people (Cubans, Guyanese and Koreans) were brutally murdered. This was the biggest terrorist crime in the history of modern Latin America.

Posada has also bragged of bombings in Cuba in 1997 which killed an Italian tourist, and there are suspicions of involvement in the 1976 murder by car bomb of former Chilean Foreign Minister Orlando Letelier and his U.S. assistant Ronni Moffitt in the middle of Embassy Row, no less, on Massachusetts Ave. NW, in Washington, D.C.

Posada was arrested in Panama in 2002, when Cuban security tipped off the Panamanian authorities that he and his associates planned to blow up an auditorium at the University of Panama while Fidel Castro was speaking to students there. Hundreds of students would have been killed if the plot had gone forward.

At the time, it was a matter of wonderment that Posada was only convicted in Panamanian courts on relatively minor firearms charges. He was then pardoned by former Panamanian President Mireya Moscoso, who has close connections with the ultra-right-wing elements in Miami’s Cuban exile community.

Long before, Posada’s close associate, Dr. Orlando Bosch, who is also implicated in 1976 bombing of the Cuban airliner, was pardoned by the first President Bush and now lives in Miami.

There are numerous other such persons well connected to the Cuban exile community in Miami. The current President Bush has not had a problem in going down to South Florida and dining with such people. They are part of “his base,” no doubt.

Now we can see how things work. The following article from the Havana-based news agency Prensa Latina, dated Oct. 20, reveals a scandalous datum, namely, that the FBI managed to lose or destroy their file for Posada in 2003, precisely at the time that the Panamanian trial was set to go and thus when such information was of greatest relevance.

FBI agent Hector Pesquera, by the way, was the main hot-dog agent who went after the Cuban Five. So he arrested and prosecuted the five Cubans who were trying to stop the kind of terrorism described here, while destroying the evidence against one of the principal suspected terrorists. That is simply criminal behavior on the part of the FBI. It amounts to total collusion with terrorism.

Ann Louise Bardach, the U.S. journalist who reports on this, is no big friend of the Cuban Revolution, by the way, just an average liberal journalist.

Here’s my question: On the eve of the U.S. midterm elections, isn’t the question of the Bush administration’s collusion in covering up terrorism relevant?

FBI wiped out Posada file

HAVANA (Prensa Latina) — The Federal Bureau of Investigation in Miami destroyed hundreds of pieces of evidence against international terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, Granma daily reported Oct. 20.

The newspaper quoted U.S. journalist Ann Louise Bardach on the Democracy Now radio program as saying the original documents in Posada Carriles’ file were wiped out in 2003, while Panamanian justice was trying to gather accusatory facts against him.

“My sources within the FBI were very dismayed, because sometime after 2002, the original files in the evidence room of the Miami FBI were destroyed,” the journalist said. Original Western Union cables and faxes were among those documents, said Bardach, recalling that most courts demand original evidence, not copies or facsimiles.

“Someone made the decision to close the case in 2003, when Posada was fairly much in the news. That is the year we think it happened,” the journalist explained.

The original texts in Posada’s file, kept for years in the Miami FBI safe, were destroyed on the orders of Hector Pesquera, then the head of the FBI and an attorney in South Florida. When the evidence was wiped out in Miami, the Panamanian Attorney’s Office was readying to try Posada Carriles and his three accomplices for the failed assassination attempt against Cuban President Fidel Castro during the Ibero-American Summit in that country.

Following a bilateral agreement, Panamanian legal authorities had urged the U.S. Embassy to hand them over the file of Posada and the Cuban Americans involved. After a long wait, they only received a dossier containing obsolete, insignificant evidence, useless for the case.

Documents declassified by the U.S. intelligence service and disclosed over the last few days have corroborated the U.S. government was always well informed on Posada Carriles’ crimes. He is currently at a detention center in Texas and is only accused of having entered U.S. territory illegally, despite the extradition request by Venezuela to try him for having masterminded the explosion of a Cuban airplane in 1976.