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As most readers are no doubt aware, the anti-Castro Cuban community in Miami – as well as certain ultra-reactionary elements of the American government – denounced one of the pictures taken of Elian Gonzalez on the day of his rescue as a fraud. And they are, curiously enough, quite correct in that assessment. They are incorrect, however, about which picture it is that is fraudulent.

They would have you believe that the photo of an apparently elated Elian in the arms of his father was somehow doctored. The hair is wrong, the teeth are wrong, why he’s not even wearing the same shirt he was last seen in. Either that’s not Elian, or someone had the gall to actually change his clothes and wash his hair! Possibly to remove the stench that must have been left by the time spent with the ‘Miami relatives.’

At any rate, all of this nonsensical talk of a ‘double’ being used as a stand-in for the Elian we now all know and love obscures the real issue raised by the now infamous photos taken on April 22nd – that it is the other notorious photo that is blatantly fraudulent. You know – the one with the snarling, body-armor clad goon waving the automatic weapon at ‘the fisherman’ and a terrified Elian Gonzalez.

I am not suggesting here that the photo doesn’t depict the real Elian, as well as the real ‘fisherman’ and a real goon waving a real gun. Of course it does. The photo fairly accurately portrays the event that occurred in the Gonzalez home on that Saturday morning. Except for one small detail: it should be glaringly apparent to any thinking individual that the entire scene was staged for the camera.

In fact, it is fairly safe to say that the entire sordid Elian saga was a stage-play directed by U.S. intelligence circles. It is certainly no secret that the anti-Castro Cuban community has been directed for the last four decades by the CIA. From this community they have recruited heavily, providing the funding, training, and weapons to create what many consider to be the largest and most active terrorist group in the world.

These Cuban ‘assets’ have been employed throughout the world – most notably in Latin America – where they have served as assassins, saboteurs, drug and gun traffickers, death squad leaders, propagandists, and torturers. With the possible exception of organized crime and expatriate Nazi groups, no one enjoys a closer and more symbiotic relationship with the CIA than does the Miami Cuban community.

As close as the relationship is, however, it ultimately is the CIA that calls the shots. They essentially own the rabidly anti-Castro elements of Miami, which is why it was so preposterous to watch as the U.S. government postured as though it was powerless to take action for all those months.

The notion that any group has the power to hold the U.S. federal government hostage is of course ludicrous. And the notion of a group that is in fact a fully controlled subsidiary of the CIA having this power is even more ludicrous. The CIA appears, not surprisingly, to have been firmly in control of this saga from the beginning. Because the ‘fisherman,’ you see, isn’t actually a fisherman at all.

Donato Dalrymple is, to put it bluntly, a spook. This is apparent even from the limited information that has been released about him. The Los Angeles Times has reported that Dalrymple, “known as ‘the fisherman,’ although he is actually a house cleaner,” also strangely enough “describes himself as a Pentecostal Christian who has traveled the world as a missionary.”

Traveled the world, no doubt, but not likely as a missionary. Interestingly enough, the Times has also reported that Dalrymple was described by his cousin as “a monkey and a puppet.” He has also reportedly made repeated trips to Washington to meet with lawmakers on behalf of the Miami relatives. All of which would tend to indicate that the fisherman/housecleaner/missionary was serving as a liaison between the agency and the family from day one.

So it is not surprising that it was he who was on hand at 5:00 in the morning to handle the symbolic transfer of the boy. The spook, in essence, transferred Elian to the goon. Which are actually the same thing except that one wears a uniform while the other pretends to be a fisherman. Or a missionary.

Anyway, the spook is on hand because he knows the ‘surprise’ raid is going down. And he makes sure that an Associated Press photographer is also on hand to capture the Kodak moment. Of course, the spook and the photographer (who is, incidentally, also most likely a spook, but who will continue to be identified as ‘the photographer’ so as to avoid confusion) aren’t supposed to know that the raid is coming.

So now the photographer has to make up a simply asinine story about how he got the immortal shot. He actually wrote a piece for the Associated Press, in which he claims that: “Somehow, before a team of federal agents went in, I hopped a fence and ran inside the modest home.” He further claims that he then searched one bedroom and then another before finding the child hiding in a closet of the second bedroom.

He then readied himself with his camera – and apparently lit the scene as well (if you’re going to take a Pulitzer photo, it really should be properly lit) – before waiting some thirty seconds (by his estimate) for the agents to come bursting in. Nice story, but lets get real here for a minute, shall we?

The fact is that the pre-dawn ‘surprise’ raid was over in just three minutes, according to all media reports. That’s three minutes from when the vans pulled up to the house until Elian was inside one of them heading off to the airport. The agents were out of the vans and heading for the door within seconds. They then proceeded to gain entry into the home by means of a battering ram.

Meanwhile, the photographer was jumping the fence and running into the home through, I don’t know, the wall maybe. Or perhaps he sprinted unseen past the agents and quickly locked and barricaded the front door. At any rate, while the goons smoked a few butts in the front yard and discussed whether or not they should just blow it off and come back another day, the photographer proceeded to locate young Elian and compose his shot.

And of course this wasn’t just any photographer who happened to get the shot of a lifetime. No, this was, by his own accounting, “a 43-year-old freelance photographer of Cuban descent [who] had developed an unusual relationship with the Gonzalez family and the 6-year-old child.”

It could just be a coincidence that the photographer with the “unusual relationship” to the family and the ‘fisherman’ with the unusual relationship to the family both happened to be on hand and in position in the Gonzalez home at 5:15 on the morning of the ‘surprise’ raid.

A more likely explanation though is that the ‘surprise’ raid was actually no surprise at all. The Gonzalez family was fully aware that the raid was coming and the raiders were fully aware that the family knew they were coming. But why, you may ask, if the parties were acting in collaboration, did the family not just turn Elian over peacefully?

There are at least two answers to that question. The more obvious answer is that the family and it’s supporters had far too much invested in the cause to simply turn the boy over without the appearance of a fight. They would have been pilloried by the Miami community for doing otherwise.

Beyond this reason, however, there lurks a far more sinister motive for staging the dramatic Gestapo raid. For this raid was, make no mistake about it, a thoroughly appalling display of police-state tactics. There should be no applauding the actions taken at the Gonzalez home on the morning of the raid.

Of course it’s good that young Elian is back with his father where he belongs, albeit not yet back to his homeland. But the fact of the matter is that he belonged there from the moment he was pulled from the ocean, and federal authorities have had it within their power all along to get him there.

And yet, rather than do so, they allowed the situation to fester and become increasingly inflamed. They allowed the passions and the sensibilities of the American people to be crassly manipulated. And the people, as is so often the case, took the bait. Frustrated and angry at the unending saga, we wanted Elian rescued by whatever means necessary.

The problem is that the means taken were not necessary and should be denounced as an extreme abuse of police power. This raid was not, it should be noted, entirely different from lower profile ‘no-knock’ raids that occur around the country on a regular basis.

Of course, this one was cleaned up a little for the camera. Sort of a sanitized, Hollywood version of a modern police raid. There were no flash or stun grenades tossed around. No tear gas and pepper spray. And of course none of the officers opened fire and no suspects were beaten unmercifully.

Nonetheless, the essence of modern policing was there: an overwhelming force of anonymous, armor-clad goons brandishing automatic weapons burst into a private home in the dead of night where it is known there are children present. And for this we cheer?

Indeed, polls showed an overwhelming majority of Americans approved of the action taken to reunite Elian with his father. Which means, essentially, that a majority of Americans have now given their approval to this type of police tactic.

And what a benign image we now have of the Gestapo in our midst. They are near heroes, come to save the victimized child with a quick, clean, surgical strike. In and out in three minutes and no one gets hurt. Of course, these things go much more smoothly when all the parties know their roles and no one is in any real danger.

But in the real world, just as ‘smart bombs’ don’t really make pinpoint strikes on ‘military’ targets like they do in those cool videos, police raids aren’t over in three minutes with a happy ending. In the real world, things tend to get a little messy.

But no matter. We now know that pre-dawn raids on private homes are nothing to be afraid of (Actually, in this case, it wasn’t exactly a private home at the time. It was more of a temporary CIA station. But the point is that we were supposed to think that it was a private home).

So lets get serious with this ‘law and order’ business. Bring on the police state. We have seen its face, and we kind of like it. It is the face of a smiling six-year-old child. For the government and the media have told us that it is so.