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We have it on good authority that the pre-dawn, paramilitary raid to
rescue
little Elian Gonzales was necessary to “uphold the rule of law.” We’ve
heard
that said over and over again by Attorney General Janet Reno and
President
Bill Clinton.

Several hours after the violent invasion of a private residence,
Attorney General
Reno appeared on television, and gave a lengthy explanation of the legal

basis for the use of battering rams, tear gas, pepper spray and
automatic weapons
in a custody dispute. She gave a detailed review of the history of court

actions and INS decisions associated with the case. Her remarks were
obviously calculated to convince the American public that the law had
been
scrupulously followed.

It is not surprising to report that Attorney General Reno
conveniently left out two
highly significant events. She failed to report that the original
decision
of the INS concerning Elian was that a Florida family court would be the

proper format for deciding what was in his best interest. That decision
was
later abruptly overturned. The reason for the switch has never been
explained.

The second and even more glaring omission in Reno’s recitation of
the legal
course of events was the recent ruling of the 11th Circuit Court of
Appeals.
The court rebuked the INS for violating its own regulations and for
following a course of action that seemed dedicated to denying little
Elian
his “day in court.” The judges also flatly rejected a request from the
Justice Department to issue a court order requiring that Elian be
returned
to the father.

The 11th Circuit Court has a hearing scheduled in early May to
address the
issue — but the Clinton-Gore administration showed no patience in
following
a lawful and orderly process. In my judgment, the haste to return Elian
to
Cuba has nothing to do with the law or with, as Reno piously put it,
“the
sacred bond between father and son.” It has to do with Clinton’s abiding

fear that Castro will saturate Florida with tens of thousands of
refugees by
emptying his jails and mental institutions — blaming it all on
Clinton’s
hostile immigration policy. Think of it as blackmail.

The fate of Elian Gonzales was predetermined. The “law” was twisted
to
justify it. The judgments and reproofs of the 11th Circuit Court bore no

weight with this government.

The raid went forth with the sudden fury associated with an attack
on a
home housing a violent criminal. Doors were battered down, the house was

trashed, the occupants threatened with automatic weapons, and a little
child
screaming, “Help me! Help me!” was grabbed, hustled out of the house,
and
thrust into a waiting van with a masked driver.

Castro liked the pictures of the raid so much that he is showing
them all
over Cuba, as a way of letting the people know that his control extends
to
the White House, the U.S. Department of Justice, and to Little Havana.
It was a monstrous abuse of power by the American government. No one
put it
more surely and succinctly than former justice department official Roger

Pilon. He said that what we are seeing is “the emergence of the police
state
in America.”

He could be right. The docility and gullibility of so many Americans
is a
delight for government overlords. If the American people did not rise up
in
rage when children burned at Waco, but made a hero of General Reno for
her
declaration that the “buck stops with me,” what hope is there that they
would be more than mildly annoyed by a deal-with-the devil sellout of a
single child?

The disdain of most Americans for the “religious crackpots” at Waco
was so
profound that they did not mourn and do not commemorate the violent
deaths
of innocent children and babies. It is the same disdain we see for the
“hot-blooded Cuban zealots” in Little Havana. They are different from
the
rest of us. Neither they nor their causes matter.

The communist brainwashing of little Elian has begun, if you can
believe
it, on a United States military base. Reporters are not allowed. From
this
moment forward, all that we will know about what is happening to Elian
is
what Castro will allow us to know.

If little Elian wakes from tortured dreams in the dark of night,
screaming,
“Help me!” we will not hear it. If he cries and begs to see Marisleysis
Gonzalez, his surrogate mother, it will not be reported.
Our government circumvented the law, abused its power, deceived the
public,
coddled a despot, and systematically demonized fellow Americans.
When little Elian comes of age, will he hate America because he has
become a good
communist, or will he hate us because we betrayed him?

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