Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Law of Unintended Consequences

From the Miami Herald:

Four decades ago, thousands of Cubans took to the Escambray mountains in a CIA-backed guerrilla war against Fidel Castro. Today, U.S. law brands them as terrorists.

In a twist of fate, 320 Cubans on the island with links to that armed revolt are now having problems winning U.S. political asylum because the Patriot Act bars asylum for terrorists and people who help them.

[…]

The Patriot Act defines terrorism as “any activity which is unlawful under the laws of the place where it is committed.” The definition […] also includes any use of explosives, firearms or other weapons “with the intent to endanger individuals or cause substantial damage to property.”

Given that definition, the CIA, with their history of covert operations (the Bay of Pigs, for example), could be labeled as a terrorist organization. Oops.