From: "Pedro Martori"
Subject: Cuba hampers war on terror, U.S. says
charset = "utf-8"
Date: Wed, 18 Sep 2002 10:16:33 -0400
NNTP-Posting-Date: Wed, 18 Sep 2002 10:15:35 EDT
Organization: Bell Sympatico
De: "ricardo a gonzalez"
Asunto: Cuba hampers war on terror, U.S. says
Fecha: Wednesday, September 18, 2002 6:25 AM
Posted on Wed, Sep. 18, 2002
Cuba hampers war on terror, U.S. says
Agents blamed for `false leads'
BY FRANK DAVIES AND JUAN O. TAMAYO
WASHINGTON - The Cuban government is ''impeding our efforts to
terrorism'' by feeding U.S. officials misleading information
''fabricated by Castro's intelligence apparatus,'' a Bush
administration official charged Tuesday.
''This is not harmless game-playing -- it is a dangerous and
unjustifiable action that damages our ability to assess real
threats,'' said Dan Fisk, deputy assistant secretary of state for
Western Hemisphere. ``It could one day cost innocent people their
In speeches to two groups on opposite sides of the debate over
U.S.-Cuba issues, Fisk said that beginning on the day of the
Sept. 11, Cuban agents gave U.S. officials ``false leads seeking
misdirect the investigation.''
''This was only the beginning of a steady stream of what has
out to be wild goose chases intentionally initiated by the Castro
regime,'' Fisk said in his speeches.
In an interview later, Fisk told The Herald: ``We've seen
three continents. . . . The responsible agencies found a
pattern of information that leads us to conclude that this is
a continuing pattern of false leads.''
He declined to provide details about the persons and information
involved, saying only that the ''responsible agencies'' had
the people were ''Cuban agents.'' Fisk said his words were
carefully'' and were cleared by intelligence and law enforcement
At least once a month Cuban representatives have tried to ''set
intelligence and law enforcement'' with false tips that took time
check out, Fisk said.
The Cuban Interests Section in Washington did not respond to
calls about Fisk's allegations.
Over the years, any contacts between U.S. and Cuban officials
been fraught with intrigue and distrust.
A top Bush administration official told The Herald soon after the
Sept. 11 attacks that Cuba had provided ''no significant or new
information'' about possible terrorist activity. U.S.
officials who have dealt with the Cubans on several cases
Miami-based Cuban exile terrorism plans have complained that when
asked for evidence on alleged plots, the Cubans turned over reams
papers that amounted to little more than newspaper clippings, and
unsourced ''reports'' full of rhetoric but thin on hard facts.
But a senior U.S. intelligence official said last month that in
the Bush administration had been reluctant to accept
information from Cuba right after the Sept. 11 attacks because it
not want to be seen as cooperating too closely with the
RAISING THE BAR
Bush administration officials ''raised the bar'' on what would
constitute ''real cooperation'' from Cuba to make sure that the
government would not meet those requirements, the official added
condition of anonymity.
Miami's two Cuban-American House members said Tuesday they were
that some of the alleged disinformation, described as tips about
pending attacks, came from Cuban officials and agents overseas.
''This is much worse than a lack of cooperation,'' said Rep.
DÃaz-Balart, a Miami Republican. ''The Castro regime is
directing a campaign of disinformation to hamper the U.S. war on
terrorism.'' Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, also a Republican, said
Cuban intelligence apparatus knows what's a real lead and what's
-- they know good information from a red herring.''
After the Sept. 11 attacks, U.S. officials appealed globally for
in tracking and capturing al Qaeda terrorists.
Traditionally unfriendly governments, including Syria and Sudan,
provided helpful information, U.S. officials said.
Fisk, a former aide to Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., said Cuba
help, but instead ``actively and intentionally worked through
and electronic means to distract attention and resources from our
ongoing counter-terror efforts.''
The Senate Intelligence Committee received a preview of Fisk's
comments, a spokesman said. Chairman Bob Graham, a Florida
was briefed on Iraq and was preparing for today's initial public
hearing on the Sept. 11 probe and was not briefed on Cuba.
Fisk spoke to two gatherings that brought hundreds of advocates,
and against the U.S. embargo, to the National Press Club in
Washington. He gave a broad defense of the administration's
approach to Cuba.
He received a warm reception from Americans for a Free Cuba,
supports Bush policy, when he said ending the embargo ``would
the Castro regime at the expense of the Cuban people.''
Anti-embargo advocates, holding a ''National Summit on Cuba,''
questioned Fisk about U.S. dealings with China, Saudi Arabia and
Pakistan despite human rights abuses there, while Cuba was
Â© 2001 miamiherald and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.