Exclusive: The Clintons and Custody Cases – Do We Know All There is to Know?

by MARGARET CALHOUN HEMENWAY March 25, 2009
The Latino edition of the New York Daily News ran a story on March 5th that began,
 
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has intervened in an international custody dispute over an 8-year-old boy, saying Wednesday she is pushing Brazil to return him to his father in New Jersey. The boy, whose Brazilian mother died last year, is being raised by his stepfather, a lawyer in Rio de Janeiro.
 
Speaking to NBC's ‘Today Show’ from Jerusalem, Clinton said David Goldman has followed the rules ‘under every known law of international adoption’ and should be granted custody of his son. She applauded his efforts to get custody of the boy.”
 
This March 5th article concerning Hillary Clinton's intervention in a U.S.-Brazil custody case demands a reply. While I am pleased the Secretary of State lent her support to this particular custody matter, the comparison to Elian Gonzalez case in 2000 is misleading, and makes me question whether Mrs. Clinton was aware of critical facts about the Gonzalez ordeal.
 
Mrs. Clinton is helping, in the current dispute in Brazil, a father who seeks to bring a child back to the U.S. after his mother left for Brazil, divorced the father, and died. In Elian's case, his Cuban mother tried to bring him to America, but perished at sea. Elian was rescued from the water by a fisherman and brought to shore. Because of the Clinton Administration's "wet foot, dry foot" policy, Cubans fleeing the communist state must make it to land to be permitted to stay in the U.S.
 
A lawsuit on the Elian Gonzalez case unearthed a crucial fact never made public before the Cuban boy was abducted at gunpoint from his Miami relatives' home, and returned to Cuba. The entire basis of his return to the island gulag was predicated on the Clinton Administration's claim that his father wanted him to live in Cuba. Unbeknownst at the time, Elian's father had participated in the lottery to escape Cuba – what remains in question is how the former INS (headed then by Doris Meissner) and the Clinton gaggle in charge of the Elian abduction and deportation operation conspired to keep this information protected against public disclosure. 
 
Sen. Bob Smith (R-NH) met with Elian and his Miami relatives during a visit to Florida. After the federal abduction when Elian was detained at Andrews Air Force Base, the Senator phoned Attorney General Reno's office to let her know he was worried about the boy's well-being, and wished to have a chance to meet with him again, fearing he was traumatized after the raid and seizure by the federal SWAT team. Former Ted Kennedy staffer Greg Craig, now back in the White House serving Barack Obama, intercepted the Senator's phone call to Reno. The Senator was met at the air base by agitated U.S. Marshals with their hands on their holsters who denied him access to the military facility, even though he was serving as a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and also on the Judiciary Committee with jurisdiction over immigration matters.  The Commander on the base told the Senator that the "Marshals were in charge." To his chagrin, he was not permitted to see or speak to Elian.
 
I have learned since (from a new book, Betrayal) that a key individual on the Elian inter-agency task force in the Clinton Administration was none other than convicted spy, Ana Montes, of the Defense Intelligence Agency, now serving a long prison sentence. Ms. Montes was unrepentant during trial, a militant apologist for the Cuban dictatorship.  
 
Perhaps Secretary Clinton can revisit the "wet foot, dry foot" policy established by her husband. It is unfair and inhumane, and in the case of Elian, we now know that an espionage agent for Cuba, along with willful collaborators in Bill Clinton's Administration, helped to dictate the boy's cruel fate.  Instead of a life of freedom in a nation which has welcomed so many escaping Communism, he was returned in chains to be used as a propaganda tool by the Cuban regime. It was a shameful episode in American history.
 
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Margaret Calhoun Hemenway is a 15-year veteran of Capitol Hill and a former White House appointee, serving at both DoD and NASA.
 

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