It's hard to believe that it's been that long.
It's five years since Janet Reno used armed government employees to kidnap Elian Gonzales from his dead mother's family.
Kidnap is what it was. The proper way for a US Attorney General to act is legally, through the courts. If you don't prevail, that's the chance you take. The child was in no danger there. His relatives were, admittedly, over-the-top in their emotional playing to the media. But, that isn't a crime.
But, they were treated like criminals. And Elian never had a chance.
His father said that he wanted Elian to return to Castro's Cuba. Hard to accept, since his wife and other child were held on the island. Captives, you might say. Hostages, some others might say.
And he took him back there with him. Now 60 Minutes has interviewed Elian, and he is filled with praise for Fidel (his "father") and the dictatorship that holds the island in semi-slavery. You work for the state. Or you are a criminal. Not a lot of choices.
I'm reminded of the Russian media spokesman for the old CCCP, Vladimir Posner. Remember him? He was slick, media-genic, spoke Enlish like a native (he was born in America, and moved to the Soviet Union with his father as a teen). All the American media fawned on him as he presented a "we're just like you Americans" public relations campaign in America. And most of the media bought it. It was understandable. He negated the necessity of learning Russian - after all, here was this charming man who would explain the Soviet position so compellingly, and, get this, in English! What could be better!
After the Soviet government fell, he fell over himself to explain that he hadn't been free to tell the truth. Not unlike Elian's dad.
Funny, that's a story that the American media hasn't jumped all over. That foreign sources mightn't be telling the truth, or at least, not the full story. For fear. Of dying. Or, if allowed to live, fear of a government that has no problem making its citizen's lives a living hell.
Tags = News and politics