Cuba sabotages Antiterrorism Effort! sez US

Chris Brady cdbrady at
Wed Sep 18 10:25:37 MDT 2002

{this one had me chuckling thoughout.  Like, can you really believe that
after painting Commie Cuba as one of the Axes of Evil (how many axises
can there be in one globe?) the bellicose, forge-ahead imperial Yankee
hawks would parade a pose of their gullible candor so shamelessly?
"Huh-hyuck! Golly-gee-whiz, thanks Mister Castro!"
Ya gotta be kidding...  but I guess it's fully within the arrogant
condescension of the P.T. Barnum weltanschaauuungkt. --c.}

U.S. Accuses Cuba of Trying to Disrupt Antiterrorism Effort

New York Times, September 18, 2002

WASHINGTON, Sept. 17 — The State Department today accused Cuba of
deliberately subverting American efforts to fight terrorism by steadily
providing Washington with erroneous tips and other false information
about potential threats.

The tips from Cuba, which began a year ago on the day of the Sept. 11
attacks and have been arriving almost monthly, have led American
investigators on "wild goose chases" and diverted important resources,
said Dan Fisk, the deputy assistant secretary of state for the Western

President Fidel Castro and his government "are actually impeding our
efforts to defeat the threat of terrorism," Mr. Fisk said, because
prudence requires investigators to follow every lead.

"This is not harmless game-playing," Mr. Fisk said. "It is a dangerous
and unjustifiable action that damages our ability to assess real

Critics of the Bush administration's hard-line policy toward Cuba voiced
doubts about the accusations and questioned the timing of the comments.

Mr. Fisk's accusations came as hundreds of Cuban-Americans and others
seeking to ease economic sanctions against Cuba converged in Washington
for two days of meetings and lobbying, and supporters of sanctions
sought to muster a publicity counteroffensive.

Representative JoAnn Emerson, a Missouri Republican who advocates ending
sanctions on travel and trade, said she was skeptical.

She recalled that another State Department official, John R. Bolton,
stirred an outcry earlier this year by saying that Cuba was developing
biological weapons, but then provided no proof.

"Sometimes, the State Department has a way of mischaracterizing things,"
Representative Emerson said. "On the issue of biological weapons, they
did the same thing."

The Cuban Interests Section in Washington, which serves as Havana's
embassy in the absence of diplomatic relations, did not respond to
requests for comment.

Mr. Fisk, a longtime Latin America specialist who said his remarks were
cleared by "the appropriate agencies," said that Havana began a campaign
of disinformation within hours of the Sept. 11 attacks, when "Mr. Castro
sent an agent to us with the first such false lead."

Since then, Mr. Fisk said, the Cuban government has "attempted to set up
our intelligence and international law enforcement agencies with at
least one walk-in a month" in locations on three continents, not
including Cuba. In intelligence circles, a walk-in is a volunteer who
approaches American authorities without making use of formal diplomatic

Mr. Fisk said Havana had provided the United States with "nothing of
value," despite its formidable intelligence apparatus and friendly ties
with nations like Iran, Iraq and Syria.

Mr. Fisk, a former staff aide to Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina,
was an important architect of the Helms-Burton Act of 1996, which
tightened tightened sanctions against Cuba.

He made his remarks in back-to-back appearances before rival Cuba policy
groups today, which are engaged in a vigorous lobbying contest in the

The House approved measures in July to bar the enforcement of American
travel restrictions and remove the cap on the level of cash payments
that people may send to Cubans.

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