Archive for September, 2010

Federal criminal court in Texas is the place to define “Terrorism”

The strange and fascinating case of Luis Posada Carriles, former CIA operative who worked for the agency from the Bay of Pigs (1961) through illegally supplying  the Nicaraguan Contras with arms for Oliver North (1986) might come to sparks and a clash in Texas.  USA v. Carriles, 07-087 West Dist Texas.

Carriles is charged with false statements made when applying for asylum to the DHS a few years back.  He is in custody awaiting trial. His crime is that he allegedly did not tell the truth about how he came in to the country on or about 2005; he told DHS he used a coyote from Mexico into Texas.  DHS had an informant on a boat from Cancun to Miami where they say Carriles came in back in 05.

Undisputed is Carriles past as a CIA talent and how that comes into play in the present case.  Cuban born, he was trained for the Bay of Pigs.  When that plan didn’t work, he went about and blew up the Soviet Library in Mexico City in 1965, and then he blew up a Cuban commercial passenger airline in 1976 that killed 73 civilians, along with co defendant Orlando Bosch.  He also planted bombs throughout Cuba, in hotels primarily,  killing others, in the same time period.

Venezuela caught and imprisoned  Carriles in 1977, as the plan was hatched and carried out there for the plane bombing;  his ties to the CIA didn’t get him out of the charges.  But, he escaped the prison in 1985.  Went to El Salvador, and Oliver North used him there.  Panama also arrested and charged him in 2000 for an attempt on Castro’s life with C4 explosives.  That plan started and took place in Panama.  As with his mysterious “escape” in 85 from Venezuela, Panama pardoned” him in 2004 and refused Venezuela’s extradition.  He came to the USA in 05 and the USA has refused his extradition so far to Venezuela.

In his criminal case, everything is under seal in USA v. Carriles, 07-087 West Dist Texas.   The Classified Information Protection Act or “CIPA” as it is called, has been used by the U.S. Attorney’s Office to seal almost all document sin the case.  Carriles defense is obvious: he was allowed to make these false statements to get into the country because he was working for the US government–they were okay with the “lying” part.

Interesting to see how this case plays out in connection with Mark Reichel’s criminal case in Sacramento federal court, USA v. Lo Cha Thao, Cr-s-07-266 FCD Eastern District of California.   Lo Cha Thao is accused of attempting to overthrow the extremely marxist totalitarian government of Laos, the government that is exterminating the Hmong in the mountains of Laos because these Hmong helped the CIA and fought for the lives of the CIA members in Laos in the Vietnam War.   Lo Cha Thao claims that he was led to believe the CIA was behind the plot, because the “plot” was to help the CIA Agents in the mountains who were being killed.

The New York Times correctly opined that this Carriles case will be a very interesting affair as  it test the definition of “terrorist.”  Carriles is not being extradited to Venezuela, and is a murderer.

We’ll see.  Follow Mark Reichel in his interesting terrorism and other federal criminal defense cases in Sacramento at his web site with law partner Steven Plesser at

September 7, 2010 Posted Under: Federal Criminal Cases   Read More