Bush got a round of applause at an Indianapolis speech on March 24, 2006, when he declared "one of the lessons learned after September the 11th is that we must hold people to account for harboring terrorists. If you harbor a terrorist, if you feed a terrorist, if you house a terrorist, you 're as equally guilty as the terrorist. "
Similarly, Vice President Dick Cheney roused an American Israeli Political Action Committee crowd on March 7, 2006, when he declared that "since the day our country was attacked, we have applied the Bush Doctrine: Any person or government that supports, protects, or harbors terrorists is complicit in the murder of the innocent, and will be held to account. "
But like much else from the post-9/11 period when frightened Americans put their faith in Bush 's tough talk this supposedly clear-cut rule applies differently when a Bush ally is implicated in terrorism and the Bushes are the ones doing the harboring.
While the anti-harboring principle is cited when invading Afghanistan and Iraq, the Bush administration continues to turn a blind eye to the presence of right-wing Cuban terrorists living in the United States.
This double standard was underscored again in early April when a Spanish-language Miami television station interviewed notorious Cuban terrorist Orlando Bosch, who offered a detailed justification for the 1976 mid-air bombing of a Cubana Airlines flight that killed 73 people, including the young members of the Cuban national fencing team.
As usual, Bosch refused to admit guilt, but his chilling defense of the bombing and the strong evidence that has swirled around his role leave little doubt of his complicity, even as he lives in Miami as a free man.
Another Cuban exile, Luis Posada Carriles, also has been tied to the bombing, but the Bush administration has so far rebuffed Venezuela 's extradition request for him, since he sneaked into the United States in 2005.
Bush Family Ties
But there 's really nothing new about these two terrorists and other violent right-wing extremists getting protection from the Bush family.
For three decades, both Bosch and Posada have been under the Bush family 's wing, starting with former President George H.W. Bush (who was CIA director when the airline bombing occurred in 1976) and including Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and President George W. Bush.
The evidence points to one conclusion: the Bushes regard terrorism defined as killing civilians for a political reason as justified in cases when their interests match those of the terrorists. Moral clarity against terrorism only applies when the Bush side disagrees with the terrorists.
This hypocrisy often has been aided and abetted by the U.S. news media, which intuitively understands the double standard and largely ignores cases in which the terrorism is connected to U.S. government officials.
The stunning TV interview with Bosch on Miami 's Channel 41 was cited in articles on the Internet by Jose Pertierra, a lawyer for the Venezuelan government. But Bosch 's comments have received almost no attention from the mainstream U.S. press. [For Pertierra 's story, see Counterpunch, April 11, 2006]
Reporter Juan Manuel Cao interviewed Bosch, who had been jailed for illegally entering the United States but was paroled in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush at the behest of his eldest son Jeb, then an aspiring Florida politician.
"Did you down that plane in 1976? " Cao asked Bosch.