[News] What Bush Did To Haiti

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Jan 19 11:29:32 EST 2010

What Bush Did To Haiti

January 19, 2010 By David Swanson

If a group of dedicated scholars, attorneys, journalists, and 
activists had tried to generate a comprehensive list of impeachable 
offenses committed by George W. Bush as president, and only 35 of 
them had been introduced into Congress, one of the many discarded 
ones, in rough and overly detailed form, might have read something like this:

In his conduct while President of the United States, George W. Bush, 
in violation of his constitutional oath to faithfully execute the 
office of President of the United States and, to the best of his 
ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United 
States, and in violation of his constitutional duty under Article II, 
Section 3 of the Constitution  "to take care that the laws be 
faithfully executed", has both personally and acting through his 
agents and subordinates, caused the United States of America to 
kidnap, imprison, intimidate, coerce, threaten, confine, abduct, and 
carry away the elected, constitutional President of Haiti, and his 
wife, a U.S citizen, in violation of United States statutes, to wit:

a. The President, both personally and acting through his agents and 
subordinates, prevented the security contractors working for Haiti's 
elected, constitutional government led by President Jean-Bertrand 
Aristide from receiving reinforcements at a time when Haiti's 
constitutional government was under attack. The removal of the 
security contractors facilitated the kidnapping of President Aristide:

b. On February 17, 2004, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell 
defended President Aristide as the "free and fairly elected President 
of Haiti."  Referring to insurgents who brutally attacked police 
stations and other government building over the previous weeks, 
Secretary Powell further stated that the United States "cannot buy 
into a proposition that says the elected President must be forced out 
of office by thugs and those who do not respect law and are bringing 
terrible violence to the Haitian people."

c. On the afternoon of Saturday, February 28, 2004, the Steele 
Foundation, a U.S. company that had been providing private security 
services to the Haitian government, informed President Aristide that 
the U.S. government had asked it to withdraw all of its personnel 
from Haiti.  The Steele Foundation also told President Aristide that 
the U.S. government was blocking the Steele Foundation's efforts to 
bring to Haiti additional personnel needed to protect the President. 
Later that day, the Steele Foundation informed President Aristide 
that without the additional personnel, the Foundation would not be 
able to protect the President or his wife.

d. The President, both personally and acting through his agents and 
subordinates, misrepresented the immediacy of the threat against 
President Aristide, and informed him that U.S. forces in the country 
would not help either the President or his constitutional government:

e. On February 28, members of the U.S. Foreign Service informed 
President Aristide that rebel forces under the command of Guy 
Philippe, a U.S.-trained former army and police officer, were less 
than 50 miles outside Haiti's capital, Port-au-Prince. The diplomats 
informed President Aristide that Mr. Philippe's forces would attack 
the next day. At the time, Mr. Philippe and his soldiers were in 
Cap-Haitian, at the far northern end of Haiti, and could not have 
reached Port-au-Prince for several days.

f. Members of the U.S. Foreign service told President Aristide that 
if he remained in Port-au-Prince, the United States would not provide 
any assistance when the expected attack by the insurgents occurred, 
and that they expected that the insurgents would kill him, his wife 
and many of his supporters.

g. That night, the U.S. Deputy Charge de Mission (DCM) in Haiti, Luis 
Moreno, accompanied by a contingent of U.S. troops, met with 
President Aristide. Moreno reiterated the expectation that an attack 
by the insurgents was imminent and the promise that the U.S. would 
not intervene to protect President Aristide or his supporters. He 
then informed President Aristide that if he left at that moment, the 
United States would provide aircraft for him to leave, but only if he 
provided the United States with a letter of resignation.

h. On February 28, Secretary Powell called former Representative Ron 
Dellums, who had been engaged as a lobbyist in Washington by the 
Haitian government. Secretary Powell informed Mr. Dellums that the 
insurgents were going to attack Port-au-Prince the next day (February 
29), and that the United States would do nothing to interfere with their plans.

i. The President, acting through his agents and subordinates, forced 
President Aristide onto an unmarked U.S. plane that filed a false 
flight plan, and flew him against his will to the Central African Republic.

j. On February 25, Secretary Powell issued a threat to President 
Aristide, telling the press: "whether or not Aristide is able to 
effectively continue as President is something he will have to 
examine carefully in the interests of the Haitian people."  On 
February 28, a senior State Department official told CNN  that the 
"international community" is "putting pressure on Aristide to live up 
to his responsibilities and to think hard about his future," which 
implied more pressure for President Aristide to step down. The CNN 
article also reported that "privately the United States continues to 
distance itself from Aristide and suggests it might be time for him 
to step down."  Timothy Carney, who was appointed by President Bush 
to run Iraq's Ministry of Minerals and Mines in 2003 and coordinator 
of Iraq reconstruction in January 2007, announced to the press that 
"Aristide is toast. He's gone. The only question is whether he goes 
out in a pine box or on an airplane." These statements contradicted 
the earlier statements of the Secretary of State, which recognized 
Aristide as the democratically elected President of Haiti and blamed 
the rebel groups for the violence gripping the country.

k. On February 28, White House spokesman Scott McClellan stated, 
"Aristide's own actions have called into question his fitness to 
govern Haiti. We urge him to examine his position carefully...."

l. President Aristide, at all times, publicly and privately, insisted 
that he would remain in office to serve out his constitutional term.

m. On February 28, President Aristide conferred with U.S. Ambassador 
to Haiti James Foley and DCM Luis Moreno about ways of avoiding 
further violence in Port-au-Prince. Early in the morning of February 
29, at Mr. Moreno's request, President Aristide agreed to go with a 
U.S. escort to a location where he could appear on television to 
appeal for calm.   The escort that arrived at President Aristide's 
house consisted of heavily armed, uniformed members of the U.S. Armed 
Forces traveling in a convoy. The escorts took President Aristide and 
his wife from his house, and instead of taking him to a television 
studio, took him to the Port-au-Prince airport.

n. The Steele Foundation security contractors protecting President 
Aristide were told to plan for a move to the U.S. Embassy where 
President Aristide would make a TV broadcast. Then minutes before 
they left President Aristide's residence, they were told they were 
going to the airport and that they would be leaving with him on the plane.

o. An unmarked white aircraft, with a U.S. flag, had been flown in by 
the U.S. government, and sat on the airport runway According to a 
customs declaration at a refueling stop, the aircraft was owned or 
operated by Technilink, and was registered in the U.S.A, registration 
number N145CA. Haiti's national airport was secured by U.S. soldiers. 
President Aristide reported that DCM Moreno forced him to sign a 
letter and board the plane.

p. President Aristide claims that the statement that he signed was 
not a resignation letter, that he did not intend to resign - that it 
included a conditional statement, "[i]f I am obliged to leave in 
order to avoid bloodshed . . . ."  The United States Government 
reported this letter as a resignation, to the United States public, 
to the United Nations and to the Organization of American States even 
though the Creole expert the government asked to translate it, 
Professor Bryant Freeman of the University of Kansas, concluded that 
the statement was not a resignation letter.

q. Uniformed and heavily-armed members of the U.S. armed forces 
boarded the plane along with President Aristide. They changed into 
civilian clothes after boarding. Nineteen members of the Steele 
Foundation security detail also boarded the plane, although they were 
taking direction not from President Aristide, but from officials of 
the United States.  Also on board were President Aristide's wife, 
Mildred Trouillot Aristide, a U.S. citizen, and two Haitian security officials.

r. The plane left Port-au-Prince at about 6 AM on February 29. Once 
placed on the aircraft, President Aristide and his wife were kept 
incommunicado by United States military personnel, even though the 
plane was equipped with faxes, satellite telephones, and other means 
of communication. The passengers were forced to keep the shutters on 
the aircraft closed at all times. They were denied the right to leave 
the aircraft when it landed in Antigua and thereafter when it refueled.

s. The operators of the aircraft provided the Antiguan government a 
fraudulent customs declaration that stated there were no passengers 
on board, that the flight had originated in "Guantanamo Bay," and 
that there had been no intermediate stops. No destination was listed.

t. Neither the President nor his wife, who is a United States 
citizen, was told by the United States military personnel where the 
aircraft was going or when they would land. They were kept as 
prisoners on the aircraft and were only told a short time before the 
aircraft landed that the Central African Republic was their country 
of destination.

u. When the unmarked plane landed at the airport in Bangui, Central 
Africa Republic, it was met by French soldiers, who were based in the 
Republic. Officials of the Central African Republic informed 
President Aristide's lawyer that they were in consultation with both 
French and United States officials about keeping President Aristide 
in the country, and that they were doing it as a "favor" for those countries.

v. President Aristide was kept against his will in the Central 
African Republic. He was not allowed to leave his lodging on the 
grounds of the Presidential Palace without government permission and 
an escort, and he was not allowed to speak on the telephone after he 
made a few calls explaining what had happened to him, which Central 
African Republic officials called "regrettable statements. President 
Aristide was kept there for two weeks, until a mission led by U.S. 
Representative Maxine Waters flew to the country and negotiated his 
release with the President of the Central African Republic, Francis Bozize.

w. President Bush's kidnapping of President Aristide and his wife 
violated U.S. law:

x. Under 18 U.S.C. section 112, it is a criminal offense to imprison, 
intimidate, coerce, or threaten an "Internationally Protected 
Person." The statute's definition of "Internationally Protected 
Person" includes both President Aristide and his wife, Mildred 
Trouillot Aristide. The actions by President Bush and his agents and 
subordinates, including Secretary Powell, Ambassador Foley and DCM 
Moreno, included imprisonment, intimidation, coercion and threats 
within the statute. The statute penalizes such illegal conduct with 
prison sentences up to ten years. The statute confers jurisdiction 
for these crimes to U.S. courts, because the offenders were nationals 
of the United States, and were afterward found within the United States.

y. Under 18 U.S.C. section 1201, it is a criminal offense to 
unlawfully confine, kidnap, abduct, or carry away an "Internationally 
Protected Person." The statute's definition of "Internationally 
Protected Person" includes both President Aristide and his wife, 
Mildred Trouillot Aristide. The actions by President Bush and his 
agents and subordinates, including Secretary Powell, Ambassador Foley 
and DCM Moreno, included seizing, confining, kidnapping, abducting, 
and carrying away of both President Aristide and his wife. The 
statute penalizes such illegal conduct with prison sentences of up to 
life in prison. The statute confers jurisdiction for these crimes to 
U.S. courts, because the offenders were nationals of the United 
States, and were afterward found within the United States.

In all of these actions and decisions, President George W. Bush has 
acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and Commander in 
Chief, and subversive of constitutional government, to the prejudice 
of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the 
people of the United States. Wherefore, President George W. Bush, by 
such conduct, is guilty of an impeachable offense warranting removal 
from office.


David Swanson is the author of the new book "Daybreak: Undoing the 
Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union" by Seven 
Stories Press.  You can order it and find out when tour will be in 
your town: <http://davidswanson.org/book>http://davidswanson.org/book.

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