[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Ros-Lehtinen Unedited Tape Still A Hatchet Job (UPDATE)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Ros-Lehtinen Unedited Tape Still A Hatchet Job (UPDATE)

I didn't post initially on the Ileana Ros-Lehtinen interview for the documentary 638 Ways to Kill Castro, since it was handled very well by my cohorts and it was extremely obvious that the tape was edited.

Now, the Miami Herald reports that an "unedited" version of the tape has been released by the director, Dollan Cannell. Cannell and the Herald state unequivocally that Ileana Ros-Lehtinen's comment about "welcoming the opportunity" for castro to be assassinated was not taken out of context in the original version, contrary to what the congresswoman alleged last week. Not only that, but Cannell wants a retraction and an apology from Ros-Lehtinen.

OK folks, do yourselves a favor and go to this link and then click on the "Video | See the interview" link. See the whole interview for yourself. Pay close attention to Ros-Lehtinen's body language and cadence of speech. From the 11:04 mark to 11:09 on the tape counter is when the congresswoman makes her "welcoming assassination" comment.

At 11:06, there is a clear and obvious break in Ros-Lehtinen's body language and cadence, along with a split-second freeze-frame right before the assassination comment is made. Nowhere else in the tape is there such an awkward break.

Coincidence? Think what you will, but it only took me one time through the interview to catch the apparent edit job at precisely the right time in what's supposed to be an "unedited" tape. I may be wrong, but I never doubt my first instinct and gut feelings.

Ros-Lehtinen may actually desire that castro be eliminated by any means possible, including assassination. If so, then....so? I would agree with her, and so would many others who have suffered or seen relatives suffer at the hand of that bastard. But that's not the point.

What's wrong here is that a documentary apparently approaching a story from its own angle and perspective, and trying to discredit and paint a U.S. Congresswoman as dishonest and dishonorable, is resorting to dishonest tactics to accomplish this.

God knows we have so many politicians who could fit the bill. However, Dollan Cannell, regardless of how many Emmys won, needs to bark up another tree.

Again, take a good and honest look at the tape.

UPDATE 12/23: Ros-Lehtinen is reported to have admitted to remarking about a fidel assassination. Shame on the congresswoman for trying to be PC about a decidedly un-PC remark she made. Some tact in making the remark in the interview would have obviously helped, but some guts and conviction on her part when this issue first popped up several days ago would have served her better, not to mention made her look honest about something a lot of people feel and agree with her on.

BTW, I still think the tape isn't totally uncut.

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Blogger Mizzoubanazo said...

About that freee frame and sudden change... I watched the video many times, and I didn't catch any of that.

But it's like you said: so what? I don't see anything in there to the effect of "I am planning/arranging an assasination attempt".

She just says she won't mourn the guy and welcomes his death.

I second.

12:04 PM, December 21, 2006  
Blogger Robert said...


I guess I made it sound like it was very easy to catch. It is subtle, but it's there.

My point is more about the director's attitude of honesty and transparency in the tape, yet there's still an impression that there was some editing done. If so, then he should come clean just as he's demanding Ileana to.

2:11 PM, December 21, 2006  
Blogger theCardinal said...

Why is it that everytime one of our own does something stupid we rise up to defend them? That I want to see Fidel dead any which way it happens is ok. I am a private citizen, it really does not matter what I say. Ros-Lehtinen is the ranking Republican in the Int'l Affairs Committee. She can't go around making irresponsible comments like that. It's bad for America, it's bad for the party and it's bad for us because it makes us look like a pack of troglodytes.

As for the break - give it up. Even her office didn't respond when given the opportunity this time. You, me and everyone who reads this blog knows that she is capable of saying this and a whole lot more. She is far from being the brightest bulb in the pack. She has always been an embarassment so this is nothing new.

8:05 AM, December 22, 2006  
Blogger Robert said...

El Cardenal,

She is far from being the brightest bulb in the pack. She has always been an embarassment so this is nothing new.

At least you're honest in your feelings for her, but it does show a bias and therefore your argument should be taken in that context just like everyone else's.

Listen, I would have been more cautious in telling (or not) a journalist something of that nature. But you know what? I don't disagree with her, not because I have to, but because that's my belief. That I believe is what bothers so many anti-hard-liners out there...the fact that independent thinking exists on both ends of the spectrum.

You want to ignore the break in the tape? Fine, it's your right to be as informed or as uninformed as you want to be. I'll defend that right for you.

9:30 AM, December 22, 2006  
Blogger theCardinal said...

We all have a bias and that is why I lay mine out. Why pretend to like someone when I don't. As for Ros-Lehtinen's comments I agree that a good Fidel is a Dead Fidel preferrably via someone's hands other than God's.

If Ros-Lehtinen would be just a neighbor or a friend I would not care. What matters is that not only does she represent a district but her and the Diaz-Balart posse, Mel and Menendez represent all of us. As it is the rest of the world thinks we are a bunch of trigger happy kooks - we don't need to reinforce that stereotype. It is possible to be stridently anti-Castro and still be dignified, intelligent and eloquent. My model in that regard is Carlos Alberto Montaner.

As for the break I really don't see it. At first I believed her but upon repeated viewing it became harder and harder for me to believe. Most tellingly we are all fighting it out in blogville but her office to the best of my knowledge has kept mum.

8:06 PM, December 22, 2006  
Blogger Robert said...

The point of the post was to illustrate my belief that the director of the DVD is still not being straight with us, despite what Ros-Lehtinen meant or didn't mean to say.

Her mistake is likely in not admitting what she said, if she indeed said it in that context. She should have chosen here words more carefully, especially when dealing with media who are looking for an angle to present their story, but then again we're not talking about taking out an innocent person here.

Yes, Montaner is someone we should all pay close attention to. I
would love to hear his reaction to this.

9:31 PM, December 22, 2006  
Blogger theCardinal said...

I think we're pretty much in agreement here. Just because I am knocking Ros does not mean that the Director is a scumbag - obviously he has an agenda. It's also true that if Ros would have just been a little more forthcoming in her comments afterwards I would not have gone off on a rant. The point however is that even if there was some sort of edit or splice she must have come pretty close to saying what she was alleged to have said. Her unwillingness to take responsibility for that is what makes Ros, Ros and the reason I don't like her. That and I do know people that have worked and interened for her and to the man (or woman) not one has pointed that out to be positive experience. As opposed to Mario Diaz-Balart from whom I've only heard glowing reports.

I doubt Montaner will delve into the details of this. He normally stays above the fray on issues such as these. I wish Montaner was more comfortable with his english because a more eloquent defender of a fight for a free Cuba will never be found.

8:37 AM, December 23, 2006  
Blogger Unknown said...

None of this would have been a problem had Lehtinen just owned up to her comments. Yes the South Florida Cuban Exile community welcomes the remarks....and so what. But if the ter "so what" where to apply then Lehtinen should have had the good sense of saying from the start, "Yes, I did say that", instead of trying to pass the blame and discredit a documentary that obviously didn't try to misrepresent her. If you said it, OWN UP TO IT. Don't be ashamed, blame other, call them liars to protect your ass. Be HONEST, ETHICAL, and Morally fit and believe in what you say. Not a liar. THere wouldnt have been a brouhaha had she just said the TRUTH. Now she looks like a person who would do and say anything to protect herself. Not a very good Congresswoman if you ask me. ANd the same goes to all politicians. About damn time you came out from under your rock of lies. But shame on you for trying to tarnish others for your personal gain and protection.

10:37 PM, December 24, 2006  
Blogger Evil Ashley said...

I'm shocked – shocked! – that people would try to vilify an outspoken advocate for freedom and try to obfuscate her statements. Her comments were indeed taken out of context insofar as they were not made as a statement of policy of the entire US government. It would be foolish to equate the statements of one member of the legislature postulating to the level of an official government policy statement. Moreover, notorious thug and wannabe Castrista Hugo Chavez constantly calls for the elimination of our president and yet there is very little clamor. It would be fair to say that Chavez is not considering assassination as a thought experiment, nor is he only a nominal member of the government as is the congresswoman.

Also, it's not really fair to castigate all politicians as liars and cheats. It's a very glib assessment and something I would expect from an 8th grade civics class. Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen is one of those few who actually believe in what they fight for and I am proud to support her.

2:18 PM, December 26, 2006  
Blogger theCardinal said...

I think we are beating a dead horse but Ros is not just another member of Congress she is one of three Cuban-Americans in the House. She also was in line to be chair of Int't Relations Comm. until the debacle of November. Her comments will always carry more weight. They were better suited for talk radio than a congressional office.

While the context is vague let us make it clear she utilized the word "we" without any qualifier as to what she meant. Did she mean Cuban-Americans, Cubans, Americans, Women, short people, the Congress...who exactly? She was dumb to say what she said and even dumber trying to cover it up. As for fighting for freedom it is better served in ways other than trying to off a guy who is going to kick the bucket any day now.

5:12 PM, December 26, 2006  
Blogger Evil Ashley said...

[Her comments]were better suited for talk radio than a congressional office.
That is your opinion and you are entitled to it. But please do not forget that a great number of people, not just on this thread, but in her constituency as well, share her view on this issue. Consequently, you may feel that her comments belong sandwiched between traffic and weather reports, but I believe they hold more weight than that.

…she utilized the word "we" without any qualifier as to what she meant. Did she mean Cuban-Americans, Cubans, Americans, Women, short people, the Congress...who exactly?
Why does she need to make such a distinction, anyway? While some may feel that this issue does not affect them, I shall admonish you to remember the words of Martin Niemoller. Would we make a distinction between Manhattanite New Yorkers and Brooklynites when the Towers fell? After all, we are currently trying kill Osama and his fellow terrorist soldiers, therefore we may conclude that indeed some people deserve to be killed.
I think pretty much everyone on this thread will agree that Castro and his kind are not the "good guys." He has consistently made his distaste for America, freedom, and democracy everywhere evident. It is logical to draw certain conclusions about this tyrant without having to be someone who has directly suffered under his arbitrary ministrations.

She was dumb to say what she said
It is the hallmark of a poor argument when the speaker has to resort to an ad hominem fallacy. Just because you disagree with someone you shouldn't call them dumb. "I disagree" is a far more civil manner to elucidate your contention than criticizing the speaker's intelligence.

As for fighting for freedom it is better served in ways other than trying to off a guy who is going to kick the bucket any day now.
That'd be like telling Regan not to worry about the Berlin Wall, because the very shoddiness of the structure will impel its collapse. It is the responsibility of this nation, what with our historic and unique commitment to freedom, to ensure that we push those walls down when and where we can.
It is important to note that the entire apparatus of repression installed by Castro will not expire with him. Indeed, this is an excellent opportunity for us to actually redouble our efforts to hold accountable this illegitimate regime and the corrupt power mongers who operated the machinery of repression so mercilessly. Justice has to stand for something; especially if we want to eliminate the awful spectre of totalitarianism from this new age.

12:43 PM, December 27, 2006  
Blogger theCardinal said...

They do, which is why she should be more careful with what she says.

Was she speaking on behalf of her district, Cuban-Americans or for the US Congress? She should make a distinction because she is not Ninoska she is a member of the US (stressing the part on US) Congress.

I made it clear in a previous comment that I agree with what she said. What I disagree with is her, a member of Congress, saying it. It is not constructive in any way. It does not offer a vision for a free Cuba only a vision of a dead Castro. I say that it was dumb to say what she said because it was. What was smart about it? It made her look like an idiot to anyone living outside of Miami-Dade (and parts of Broward). It also made us look like a bunch of pistol toting guajiros eager for blood.

By the way I'm pretty sure Regan was out of the White House by the time Reagan made his speech at the Wall but that is for another day and time. First of all lousy analogy the wall was pretty strong. I never said we should stop fighting for freedom, just to look beyond Castro. The bearded assasin is going to die soon so let's focus on the future...let's focus on something constructive not on putting a bullet in his brain. If someone does it - great! I'll go to Calle Ocho and get tanked but if it should not be our focal point. All that Ros and Castro's nephews care about is Fidel. There is a new Cuba, a new regime that we will need to prepare for let's try to knock that system down before they get comfy. Castro will be old news soon enough.

4:29 PM, December 28, 2006  

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