Clicking on banner ads enables JWR to constantly improve
Jewish World Review April 25, 2000 /20 Nissan, 5760

Mona Charen

Mona Charen
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Arianna Huffington
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Debbie Schlussel
Sam Schulman
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports


Castro's boy --
TWO WEEKS AGO, several television pundits, when asked about the Elian Gonzalez case, shook their heads sadly and pronounced: "There are no winners here. No winners." Of course there's a winner --- Fidel Castro.

For the first and only time in 41 years, Castro has succeeded in pulling the strings of none other than the head of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the attorney general, and the president of the United States. Surely this is a triumph beyond his wildest dreams -- the U.S. Marshals Service taking orders from Havana!

Regarding poor Elian, Reno and Clinton have utterly misrepresented the applicable law. There is no law that required them to give Juan Miguel (i.e., Castro) the sole right to speak for this child. Janet Reno chose to exercise her discretion on that matter. She could just as easily have given the Miami relatives that right, or appointed a guardian, ad litem.

As Mark Levin of the Landmark Legal Foundation reminds us, the original INS statement on Elian back in December had recommended that the question be decided by Florida's family courts. It was only after Castro made a stink that the Justice Department reversed that decision. Reno's constant invocation of THE LAW, as if to say, "My hands are tied," was misleading and dishonest. Besides, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the INS has violated its own regulations and very possibly the law by failing even to consider whether Elian has an independent right to seek asylum.

It was always a travesty to pretend that Juan Gonzalez was free to speak his mind. From the beginning, those familiar with communist tactics, such as Sen. Bob Smith, R-N.H., recommended that the entire Gonzalez clan, including all possible hostages, be offered visas to come to the United States and work for Elian's best interests. Only in those circumstances could the father possibly speak freely.

Instead, we have the creepy spectacle of the president's impeachment lawyer, Greg Craig, claiming to represent Gonzalez pere, while actually serving the interests of Fidel Castro. (He is being paid by a left-wing group.) What is most disgraceful is that Juan Miguel has been every bit as much a prisoner in the United States of America as he was in Cuba. In addition to the Cuban "diplomats" with whom the Gonzalezes reside, Castro's dirty work has been handled by the entire American government. Since his arrival, Juan Miguel has not so much as taken a walk unescorted.

The only winner in
this shameful episode
Reno and Clinton argue that Elian needed to be reunited with his father for his psychological health. They even ordered up an old fellow-traveling pediatrician, Irwin Redlener (a member of Hillary's health-care task force), to offer fatuous nonsense about "abuse" by the Miami relatives. A gun in the face must be a new kind of therapy. It took the '60s flower children reaching the White House to give us a picture of such "psychological" hygiene.

Everything about the way this administration operates is suspicious and sinister. Juan Miguel could have traveled to the Gonzalez home in Miami at any time and picked up his son. The Miami relatives had invited him repeatedly. Why then did Clinton's soldiers break in with tear gas blazing and shouted threats? Was it because Castro forbade Juan Miguel to step foot in Miami? Even though the grandmothers are held hostage in a "government facility" in Cuba, was the threat of defection too great?

It seems that to keep Juan Miguel from embarrassing Castro, this administration has obligingly kept him under lock and key. And now little Elian too will be controlled by Craig, the Cuban "psychiatrists" and others who will attempt to undo the "psychological damage" he endured at the hands of Marisleysis and the rosary praying Cuban-Americans of Miami. No doubt we will next hear that Elian, who signed his own petition for asylum, is withdrawing it. And Elian will slide back into tyranny, as his mother slipped into the Atlantic.

The Miami relatives were seeking a reunion of the Gonzalez family at a neutral site with no lawyers, press or goons present. They wanted the transfer of custody to take place over several days or weeks. That's what they were requesting when the door was broken down. We know why this scenario was anathema to Castro. But why in the world was that not acceptable to the government of the United States?

This is a shameful, shameful time.

Comment on JWR contributor Mona Charen's column by clicking here.

Mona Charen Archives



© 2000, Creators Syndicate