Skip to comments.The Elian Cover-up
Posted on 04/14/2002 9:11:12 PM PDT by Pokey78
New evidence suggests that INS chief Doris Meissner knew that Elian's father was acting under duress. And that she tried to suppress it.
REPORTER ALFONSO CHARDY wrote an important but little-noticed article for last Wednesday's Miami Herald. It adds to the proofs that we never got the whole story behind the Clinton administration's case for deporting 6-year-old boat person Elian Gonzalez back to Fidel Castro's Cuba. Young Elian had fled the island on a rickety raft in November 1999, with a mother who drowned on the voyage.
On January 5, 2000, INS commissioner Doris Meissner ordered that Elian be sent back to his father and to Fidel Castro--an order that was enforced three months later when Attorney General Janet Reno sent shock troops with automatic weapons to spirit Elian from the Miami home where he had been staying with his uncles.
Meissner's main grounds were that Elian should be with his closest remaining relative, and in this she claimed to be arguing from precedent. "Family reunification," Meissner said, "has long been a cornerstone of both American immigration law and INS practice." Sure. But as we noted in The Weekly Standard at the time, unifying families has generally meant bringing them together in free societies, not repressive ones. No one ever suggested in the 1970s that we return refusenik relatives to Brezhnev's Russia, or in the 1980s that Sandinista opponents in Miami be sent to Nicaragua to be forcibly reunited with their persecuted families.
Meissner never addressed the evidence that Juan Miguel Gonzalez was acting under coercion when he requested his son be sent back to Cuba. If Chardy's story is correct, she may even have suppressed such evidence. An unrelated complaint by an INS agent brought to light a memo written by INS attorney Rebeca Sanchez-Roig on December 29, 1999--a week before Meissner made her decision to send Elian back. (The memo was unearthed by the Washington watchdog group Judicial Watch.) According to Sanchez-Roig, INS officials believed Elian's father was being monitored by the Cuban government when he made the angry calls to the United States demanding Elian's return. He also may have previously sought to immigrate to the United States.
The INS--i.e. Meissner, reporting to Reno, reporting to President Clinton--rejected out of hand Elian's standing to apply for political asylum (PA). But that was apparently not the advice Meissner received from Sanchez-Roig, who said that the U.S. government could "potentially accept the child's asylum's application and advise that there is no prohibition on age to child filing application. As such PA should proceed."
And that is far from the most infuriating revelation. According to Chardy, "Hand-scrawled notes at the bottom of the two-page memo said then-INS Commissioner Doris Meissner ordered the destruction of the memo one day after it was written when she learned of its existence. According to the notes, Meissner ordered that no more discussions related to Elian be committed to writing." Luckily for the cause of truth, someone at the INS had forwarded the e-mail out of the system by the time Meissner tried to sweep over her traces.
Reuters recently noted that Juan Miguel Gonzalez told Cuba's state-run newspaper Juventud Rebelde (Rebel Youth) that his son, when he grows up, "wants to be a policeman, a TV artist or an astronaut." The paper's censors must have thought the astronaut remark indicated that Elian is comfortable enough in Castro's Cuba to want to play a role in it someday. To our ears, it indicated a boy who would prefer to live in a country that has a space program.
He was one of over six million who applied.
Cuba has about eleven million people.
And family reunification at gunpoint has been a cornerstone of Janet Reno's administration. Meanwhile IN FLORIDA as Elian is hauled away at gunpoint by a SWAT team, Mohammad Atta and his Al Qaida buddies were taking flying lessons!!
The INS is a fiasco.
I never saw those statistics before but I certainly do believe them. Glad your friend got out.
A little more truth comes out.
. . .bump for Elian. . .bump, for sanity. . .
"People of the Lie". . .
and a bump for Elian. . .
Word that Enron execs destroyed documents prompts a huge hue and cry of outrage, Doris Meissner orders INS docs destroyed and there is nary a raised eyebrow....
I see, Reno and Clinton are the victims here, being mislead every step of the way by old Doris.
We all knew 1) Elian's father was acting under duress; 2) meissner, clinton, and reno knew it, too, and also knew what was at stake for Eliancito (loss of freedom), but coldly acted to hand him over anyway. I cannot understand such cold actions. I cannot dwell long in thought on them, either.
My sorrow for Elian remains...and for us all at what we have all lost. I wish more people would realize that, but there is only so much that we can do. May God bless our efforts as we do what we can, but especially as we look after our primary responsibilities -- for me, my precious family and relationship with God.
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