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Welcome Tamerlan Tsarnaev—But You’re Outta here Elian Gonzalez!

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

On April 22nd, 2000 the U.S. Dept. of Justice violated the U.S. constitution at the whim and behest of a Stalinist dictator that the very U.S. Dept. of State officially condemns as a “State Sponsor of Terror.”


Naturally this delighted many liberals. “Yup, I gotta confess, that now-famous picture of a U.S. marshal in Miami pointing an automatic weapon toward Donato Dalrymple and ordering him in the name of the U.S. government to turn over Elián González warmed my heart.” (Thomas Friedman, the New York Times April 23, 2000.)

But not all liberals rejoiced. Alan Dershowitz and Harvard’s Laurence Tribe both recoiled at the Clinton justice department’s legal swindle.

Thanks to the ritual MSM-Castroite collusion most people forget (or missed) the crucial legal and ethical details of this swindle — which were mostly established during the first week after Elian’s rescue at sea, after his heroic mother’s drowning. The “son-belongs-with-his-father” crowd, for instance, “missed” (with the help of the MSM-Democratic complex) that Elian’s father was initially delighted that his motherless son was in the U.S. and in the loving arms of his uncles and cousins.

Mauricio Vicent, a reporter for Madrid newspaper El Pais, wrote that during that first week after Elian’s rescue he’d visited Elian’s home town of Cardenas and talked with Elian’s father, Juan Miguel, along with other family members and friends. All confirmed that Juan Miguel had always longed for his son Elian to flee to the United States. Shortly after Elian’s rescue, his father had even applied for a U.S. visa!


Elian’s Miami uncle, Lazaro, explained it repeatedly and best: “I always said I would turn over Elian to his father, when Juan Miguel would come here and claim him. But I (along with practically everyone with experience under communism from Cambodians to Hungarians and from Lithuanians to Cubans) knew such a thing was impossible. He couldn’t do that. I knew it wasn’t Juan Miguel requesting Elian–it was Fidel.”

The legal-eagles forgot (or missed) that--as David Limbaugh meticulously documents in his book Absolute Power--on Dec. 1, 1999 the INS asserted that Miami-based uncle Lazaro was indeed Elian’s legal custodian and Florida’s family court indeed the place to arbitrate further issues.

But by January 5 the identical INS ruled that state courts had no authority in these matters, that neither Elian, nor Lazaro on his behalf, could apply for political asylum, and that Elian had to return to Cuba by January 14.

Within months this same INS was kicking down the door to Lazaro Gonzalez’ home, pummeling camera men and elderly ladies to the ground with jackboots and wrenching a screaming Elian from his legal custodians in a blaze of pepper gas and machine guns. When asked for the legal authority for this, they brandished either a search warrant to seize evidence that didn’t exist (and would not have been hidden anyway) or an arrest warrant to seize someone who no one claimed was a criminal or even a lawbreaker.


“They never made it clear just what kind of warrant” it was. And neither would it have been legal,” patiently explained Alan Dershowitz (no less).

So what happened?

Well, on Dec. 5 of that year Fidel Castro suddenly whistled, clapped his hands -- and his U.S. media and Democratic minions snapped to attention. Then he handed them his talking points and walking orders. In his family fiefdom, Fidel Castro’s KGB-trained police also paid a visit to Juan Miguel Gonzales and apparently made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. The rest is history.

All that stomping and macing and firepower in the dawn hours of April 22, 2000 horrified and enraged many people for sure – it also amazed. Why such overkill? Why such “Shock and Awe,” many wondered?

Well, it appears that those INS agents genuinely feared that they were on a mission fraught with deadly peril from massive firepower. Fidel Castro himself, you see, had confided to his friend Bill Clinton via his lawyer friend Gregory Craig that Lazaro Gonzalez’ house was crammed with typical Cuban-American right-wing maniacs, all heavily armed, foaming at the mouth, and ready to rumble. The Gonzalez home could well start spewing the same firepower against American freedom-fighters as did the monastery atop Monte Cassino Italy in 1944.

Given that American liberals pretty much share Castro’s view of Americans citizens of Cuban heritage, the Stalinist dictator’s warning was warmly received –and scrupulously acted-upon.


But it turned out that the only blasting that morning came from mace and tear gas into the faces of ladies holding infants and rosaries.

“Excessive force” by U.S. Government agents is frightening for sure. But often it’s simply a consequence of too many federal employees with too little to do. All those Terminators and all that Rambo hardware costs money to upkeep. Can’t let it all “rust in the scabbard.” So let’s roll it all out, even to rescue a kitten caught in a tree. After all, many media cameras will be rolling! Many of us notice much the same thing locally from many overstaffed and bored police departments.

But a U.S. Justice Dept. that accepted the word of a State Sponsor of Terror whose lifelong dream is to nuke the U.S. (Fidel Castro) over that of lawful U.S. citizens (Cuban-Americans who claimed that from day one Fidel Castro was the one orchestrating Elian’s return)—such action by a federal agency should really give more U.S. citizens more pause.


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