What That Probably Means

So the President and his ilk announced recently that Cuba would be “off the terror state” list. Oh, goody. But then you get to the why. Why are they now off the list. Well, it’s because Cuba has not sponsored acts of global terrorism for the last 6 months. Hmm. Why the six months figure and not, say, a year, or two, or more?

Well, it probably means they did actually as a state initiate or sponsor acts of global terror in between 6 and 12 months ago … even if you need a security clearance of some sort to figure out exactly that act that was.

Gee thanks Mr President.


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  1. Boonton says:

    So does this mean you can probably tell us what act of global terror was sponsored by Cuba 6-12 months ago?

  2. Mark says:

    As I noted, I don’t have a security clearance. However, as stated the proof that they did so, is that a longer interval was not claimed. Why? If there was no incidents in, say, the last two years, then the claim would have been for 2 years. Because the interval was 6 months implies that there were incedents sooner. As noted, I don’t have a security clearance to get data from the CIA and/or other intelligence gathering agencies. That nothing has been made public since 4 years ago when they were shipping containers of arms to North Korea doesn’t mean nothing has happened or isn’t known. What it does mean is that they don’t want to claim a longer period because incidents that they know about but which are not public may come to light later and cause political damage when they get caught in a lie.

  3. Boonton says:


    There are only 4 countries in the list (Cuba, Iran, Sudan, Syria) and 4 removed from the list (Iraq, Libya, N. Korea, and S. Yemen). Cuba seems to have gotten on the list for supporting revolutionary groups in S. America. (Why, then, is Russia not on the list for supporting rebels in the Ukraine or even the US for supporting groups in Libya, Iraq and Syria?) North Korea did sponsor an airline bombing in 1987 but since then seems to have been on and off the list to aid in negotiations.

    The list seems neither very coherent or comprehensive and in the case of Cuba seems only as a vehicle for additional sanctions. Therefore a 6 month review cannot be taken as evidence that 6.1 months ago Cuba was engaged in terrorism.

  4. Mark says:

    Then you need to demonstrate the list is reviewed every 6 months to demonstrate that it is likely that Cuba did not do something within the last 6 months.

    And I didn’t say 6.1 months. I suggested between 6 months and a year. If had been more than a year, I think the line would be “Cuba has participated in no international terrorism for a year”.

  5. Mark says:

    And seriously? You wonder why the US doesn’t put the US on the internal US “International Terrorist Nation” list? Please.

  6. Boonton says:

    It seems pretty amazing that for all the talk of terrorism a list of ‘State Sponsors of Terrorism’ can’t even break double digets. Also pretty amazing that for all we hear about Terrorism being an Islamic thing half of the state sponsors of terrorism aren’t even islamic states.

    Long story short, its pretty clear the list is a diplomatic tool rather than a serious, comprehensive terrorism fighting tool. If you think Cuba has sponsored terrorism 6.1 months ago or a year ago or even five years ago all you have to do it cite the terrorist attack you think Cuba had sponsored.

  7. Mark says:

    Well, as you point out, on inspection the list is pretty bogus. It seems too much international politics is linked to the list. States which clearly sponsor terror aren’t on it. Iran, Cube, Sudan and Syria aren’t the only states giving money and resources to terrorists.

    That then begs the question, if this is such a bogus list, why then did the White House make a thing about it? Why should anyone care?

  8. Boonton says:

    Legally a review is probably required to take a country off the list and since the list mandates sanctions, removing a country from the list would be necessary if the administration wants to lower sanctions.