ELIAN UPDATE: The Washington Post is reporting that “The head of the Immigration and Naturalization Service ordered the destruction of an e-mail that could have bolstered the request for asylum filed for Elian Gonzalez during the Cuban boy’s stay in Miami, a watchdog group said Wednesday.”
A handwritten notation at the bottom of an INS memo dated Dec. 29, 1999, said that Doris Meissner, then the INS commissioner, ordered the memo destroyed the next day.
Meissner on Wednesday said she didn’t recall ordering that a specific document be destroyed but described a standing policy that no notes be taken or memos disseminated about the boy’s case because of the sensitivity of the issue.
Err, wouldn’t we want extra documentation because it’s a sensitive issue, and one that history might look back upon with questions?
A copy of the memo survived and was made public Wednesday by the conservative legal group, Judicial Watch. It discussed the possibility that Elian’s father at one time sought a visa to move to the United States.
It also discussed allegations that the Cuban government had been coercing the father, Juan Miguel Gonzalez.
If coercion could be shown, the roughly drafted e-mail memo said, INS could “potentially accept the child’s asylum’s application and advise that there is no prohibition on age to child filing application. As such PA should proceed.”
“PA” apparently refers to “political asylum.”
Is anybody at all surprised by this?