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6618: Re 6560: Driver again to Morse (fwd)

From: "Tom F. Driver" <tfd3@columbia.edu>

To Richard Morse, in response to these words in his Jan. 6 post:

> We still haven't addressed my original point which is: two branches of the > American government fighting each other, CIA sabotaging the Executive 
> over foreign policy in Haiti. It seems treasonous to me. A sign of things to > come.  

There are two possible explanations of the apparent split within the US 
Government over Haiti policy at the time of the Harlan County incident.  One 
is that the split was real, as you assume, and that the Executive branch was 
unable to control the CIA (and perhaps other governmental elements as well). 
 However, it is also possible that the split was not real but instead was a 
strategy -- something along the lines of a good-cop/bad-cop scenario.  That 
is, while pretending to support democracy and defend human rights in Haiti, 
the U.S. may have actually been working to oppose them.  If this sounds 
cynical, it is no more so than has been the case for a long time with U.S. 
policy toward the rest of Latin America.  If the U.S. has not had a policy of 
supporting anti-democratic strongmen throughout the region, it has certainly 
had the habit of doing so.

To my mind, a strong reason for thinking that the White House, as well as 
the CIA, did not want Aristide returned in 1993 was its behavior at the time of 
the Governors Island agreement in July of that year.  Aristide did not want to 
sign that agreement, which called for his return at the end of October, 
because he did not trust Cedras and the other military men to live up to their 
part of the bargain.  Nor did he trust the U.S. to force them to do so.  He 
signed only after immense pressure from the U.S.  He and Cedras refused to 
speak face to face at that conference.  For his part, Cedras, having given his 
signature, returned post haste to Haiti and began within days to escalate the 
violence in the streets of Port-au-Prince.  To which the U.S. response was -- 
nothing.  It had strong-armed both men to sign, but when Cedras promptly 
began to undermine the agreement with the use of ever-greater violence, the 
U.S. sat on its hands.  It did not agree to act against the Generals until more 
than a year later, by which time it had obtained from Aristide an agreement 
to its own economic plans for Haiti.  It is not at all clear that during this 
period the CIA was acting contrary to the true intent of the National Security 
Council in the White House.

Tom Driver

P.S.  Patrick Slavin's recent comment to the Corbett list is germane:  
namely that the memorial Mass on September 11, 1993, where Antoine 
Izmery was slain, was organized "to show the absurdity of the Governors 
Island 'reconciliation' process."

Tom F. Driver
New York City