Matching Grant Challenge
alexPureWhen I met Alexander Cockburn, one of his first questions to me was: “Is your hate pure?” It was the question he asked most of the young writers he mentored. Cockburn’s rules on how to write political polemics: write about what you care about, write with passion, go for the throat of your enemies and never back down. His admonitions remain the guiding stylesheet for our writers at CounterPunch. Please help keep the spirit of this kind of fierce journalism alive by taking advantage of  our matching grant challenge which will DOUBLE every donation of $100 or more. Any of you out there thinking of donating $50 should know that if you donate a further $50, CounterPunch will receive an additional $100. And if you plan to send us $200 or $500 or more, he will give CounterPunch a matching $200 or $500 or more. Don’t miss the chance. Double your clout right now. Please donate. –JSC
 Day 19

Yes, these are dire political times. Many who optimistically hoped for real change have spent nearly five years under the cold downpour of political reality. Here at CounterPunch we’ve always aimed to tell it like it is, without illusions or despair. That’s why so many of you have found a refuge at CounterPunch and made us your homepage. You tell us that you love CounterPunch because the quality of the writing you find here in the original articles we offer every day and because we never flinch under fire. We appreciate the support and are prepared for the fierce battles to come.

Unlike other outfits, we don’t hit you up for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it.

CounterPunch’s website is supported almost entirely by subscribers to the print edition of our magazine. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads.

The continued existence of CounterPunch depends solely on the support and dedication of our readers. We know there are a lot of you. We get thousands of emails from you every day. Our website receives millions of hits and nearly 100,000 readers each day. And we don’t charge you a dime.

Please, use our brand new secure shopping cart to make a tax-deductible donation to CounterPunch today or purchase a subscription our monthly magazine and a gift sub for someone or one of our explosive  books, including the ground-breaking Killing Trayvons. Show a little affection for subversion: consider an automated monthly donation. (We accept checks, credit cards, PayPal and cold-hard cash….)

pp1

or
cp-store

To contribute by phone you can call Becky or Deva toll free at: 1-800-840-3683

Thank you for your support,

Jeffrey, Joshua, Becky, Deva, and Nathaniel

CounterPunch
 PO Box 228, Petrolia, CA 95558

"The Osama Bin Laden of Latin America"

Luis Posada and US Hypocrisy in War on Terror

by GREGORY WILPERT

Caracas, Venezuela.

Venezuela’s Ambassador to the U.S., Bernardo Alvarez, called Luis Posada Carriles, the anti-Castro militant who is wanted for 73 counts of murder in Venezuela, "the Osama Bin Laden of Latin America." He also said that the Bush administration is exercising "a cynical double-standard" and is "fighting an ‘a la carte’ war on terror," because of its refusal to act on the Venezuelan request for the extradition of Luis Posada Carriles.

Alvarez made the comments during a press conference today, in which he laid out in detail why Venezuela believes that the Bush administration is being hypocritical in its war on terror. "Rather than to respect the extradition treaties [the U.S.] has signed over the years, the United States chose to treat Posada Carriles’ case as a mere immigration matter and charged him only with illegal entry into the country," said Alvarez.

On Monday, a Texas judge ruled that Luis Posada Carriles, a Venezuelan citizen, could not be deported to Venezuela, despite having violated U.S. immigration law when he entered the U.S. this past March. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security decided to try Posada on the charge of illegal entry into the U.S. rather than to process a Venezuelan request for his extradition.

Luis Posada Carriles is wanted in Venezuela for the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner and murder of all 73 passengers en route from Venezuela to Cuba. Venezuelan authorities filed a preliminary detention and extradition request with the U.S. government in May of this year. Alvarez explained that Posada is one of Latin America’s most ruthless criminals, who has been involved in the assassination of the Chilean foreign minister Orlando Letelier, with terrorist activity in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Venezuela.

Alvarez said the U.S. Department of Justice tabled Venezuela’s extradition request and has yet to act on it. "The United States presents itself as a leader against terrorism, invades countries, restricts the civil rights of Americans in order to fight terrorism, but when it is about its own terrorists, it denies that they be tried," said Alvarez.

Venezuela’s attorney on the case, José Pertierra, added that the U.S. is obliged to extradite Posada not only as a consequence of its extradition treaty with the U.S., but also under the Convention on Safety in Civil Aviation, because Posada is accused of bombing an airliner. "It would be very dangerous if the United States does not comply with the Convention on Safety in Civil Aviation. This treaty should be sacrosanct, especially after September 11th, 2001," said Pertierra.

The Judge who decided that Posada could not be deported to the U.S. based his decision on the possibility that Posada might be tortured in Venezuela and, according to the Convention Against Torture, the U.S. may not extradite prisoners to such countries.

In response to this, Alvarez said, "There isn’t a shred of evidence that Posada would be tortured in Venezuela." He added that Venezuela’s foreign minister had said that Venezuela would provide Posada with a "gold cage and feed him caviar every day," if this would assure his extradition to Venezuela.

Alvarez explained that the evidence that Posada might face torture in Venezuela was based solely on testimony from an old friend of Posada’s, who is no expert and did not have to face any cross-examination in court. Rather, "if we examine our respective records on torture, a prisoner is more likely to be tortured in the custody of the U.S. government than in the custody of Venezuelan officials," concluded Alvarez, mentioning reports of torture at the U.S. prison facility in Guantanamo Bay.

Venezuela’s Vice-President, José Vicente Rangel, also weighed-in on the matter, saying, "I believe that when they refer to the existence of torture in Cuba they must be referring to their base in Guantanamo and the torture that North American troops apply in Iraq’s prison. Here in Venezuela there is no torture."

For more information, please visit us at www.handsoffvenezuela.org.

GREGORY WILPERT writes for Venezuela Analysis.




























CLARIFICATION

ALEXANDER COCKBURN, JEFFREY ST CLAIR, BECKY GRANT AND THE INSTITUTE FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF JOURNALISTIC CLARITY, COUNTERPUNCH

We published an article entitled "A Saudiless Arabia" by Wayne Madsen dated October 22, 2002 (the "Article"), on the website of the Institute for the Advancement of Journalistic Clarity, CounterPunch, www.counterpunch.org (the "Website").

Although it was not our intention, counsel for Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi has advised us the Article suggests, or could be read as suggesting, that Mr Al Amoudi has funded, supported, or is in some way associated with, the terrorist activities of Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda terrorist network.

We do not have any evidence connecting Mr Al Amoudi with terrorism.

As a result of an exchange of communications with Mr Al Amoudi’s lawyers, we have removed the Article from the Website.

We are pleased to clarify the position.

August 17, 2005