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Cuban Five, victims of National Security Justice

Even the best defenders can't buy justice in the US when the government cites "national security", such as in the case of the Cuban Five, says Progreso Weekly in an article authored by Saul Landau.

In such cases, the government will not tell the public what it is doing or why, it reeks with imperial arrogance and often with vengeance as well, says the weekly.

Since Washington had failed to punish Cuba adequately for its near half century of disobedience, the opportunity presented by the Cuban Five fell onto the vengeful ground of the national security elite, the group that wages war and regularly infringes on citizens rights in order to "protect" the public.

According to Landau, fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies, in 2004, John Negroponte, then UN ambassador en route to becoming Ambassador to Iraq and then top US spy, explained why the security elite had to reject offers from Iran or Cuba to normalize relations.

"In the last decades, Vietnam, Cuba and Iran have humiliated the United States," said Negroponte to a friend of Landau's. "I suppose we've gotten even with the Vietnamese (4 million killed and 20 plus years of sanctions), but there's no way we're having relations with Iran or Cuba before they get what's coming to them." That is why, writes Landau, the security elite will not wage war on Cuba -Cubans will fight back- instead they used the Cuban Five as surrogate punishment objects.

Irony accompanied injustice, says Landau. The five admitted they entered the United States to access US-based groups plotting terrorism against Cuba. In fact, US law actually allows people to commit crimes out of a greater necessity, one that would prevent greater harm.

Saul Landau then includes statements by Leonard Weinglass, attorney for Antonio Guerrero, one of the Five. The Five's lawyers presented the argument to trial judge Joan Lenard, but she refused to let the jury consider it.

"It is a form of self-defense, extended to acts which will protect other parties," argued Weinglass. He and the other attorneys argued their appeals this month claiming the judge had erred by not submitting the "'defense of necessity claim to the jury, because the Five came to the US to prevent additional violence, injury and harm to others." The US government knew all about the terrorist "accomplishments" of Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch, for example. Both had boasted to reporters about their roles in terrorist acts, including the 1976 bombing of a Cuban commercial airliner -- they did this jointly -- in which 73 passengers and crew members perished.

The Five came here precisely to stop such activities, says Weinglass. He used this very argument to defend Amy Carter, when the Presidents daughter occupied a building, with other students, at the University of Massachusetts, in opposition to the CIA agents who came to the campus to recruit students into the CIA.

She acknowledged that her occupation of the building was a crime but she argued that that was justified by the doctrine of necessity because the CIA was then engaged in an illegal war in Nicaragua." The jury acquitted Amy and the other defendants.

Weinglass made a similar argument before a two-judge appeals court. In August 2005, this court initially heard the case and decided that the Five had not received a fair trial.

The entire 12 judge panel of the 11th circuit, however, reversed that decision despite massive evidence to show the Miami jurors had felt intimidated.

The Five stole no secrets; unlike FBI Special Agent Robert Hansen, or the CIAs Aldrich Ames who passed tens of thousands of "top secrets" to the Soviet enemy, but two of them like the real spies, got life imprisonment, recalls Landau.

Was US justice fairer in the "national security" framing of Sacco and Vanzetti in the 1920s and the 1953 execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, even though FBI Chief J. Edgar Hoover and President Dwight Eisenhower both knew they had not passed atomic secrets to the Soviets? questions Landau.

Source: CubaSi

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