terror cases expose double standard

terror cases expose double standardfrom usa today: While the flimsiest of evidence caused U.S. officials to hustle Arar off to Syria, a mountain of suspicion about Luis Posada Carriles' involvement in a long list of terrorist acts has not been enough to wrench him out of this country's grip.

Posada is on the lam from Venezuela, where he was awaiting a retrial of charges that he had a hand in the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner that killed 73 people. The Cuban exile denies involvement in that heinous crime, but former counterterrorism specialist Carter Cornick said Posada was "up to his eyeballs" in the bombing, The New York Times reported last year.

The newspaper also reported that Posada once bragged of masterminding a series of bombings of tourist hotels in Cuba in the 1990s, an admission he later recanted. An Italian tourist died in one of those blasts.

But instead of spiriting Posada off to Venezuela, the Bush administration is holding him in an immigration detention center. Rather than accuse him of being a terrorist, it simply has charged him with entering this country illegally.

Last year, an immigration judge ruled that Posada couldn't be deported to Venezuela or Cuba - countries the Bush administration considers rogue states - because he might be tortured. During an appearance on Telemundo, a Spanish-language TV station, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was asked whether this decision might affect the world's perception of the Bush administration's worldwide war on terrorism. "We try and intend to apply our standards uniformly, consistently," she said, "but these are issues that have to be decided in the right channels."

In fact, the Bush administration has contradictory standards - one for people who are thought to be enemies of this country, such as Arar, and another for Posada, an accused terrorist, who is the enemy of its enemies.