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29146: Hermantin(News)Kurzban column gets it wrong (fwd)

From: leonie hermantin <lhermantin@hotmail.com>

Posted on Sat, Sep. 09, 2006

Kurzban column gets it wrong

I was dismayed and surprised by Ira Kurzban's Sept. 7 Other Views piece, Latortue's disturbing legacy, and comments on my tenure as Haiti's interim prime minister during the last two years.

The basis for Kurzban's allegations is a now-discredited study published in The Lancet and purporting to reflect on the brutality of my government.

A quick search would have revealed that The Lancet, a prestigious British medical journal, already is investigating complaints about potential conflicts of interest involving the article's author, Athena Kolbe. She is a student at Wayne State University's School of Social Work.

Kolbe also has been an employee of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide at one of his centers where street children were alleged to have been trained to terrorize Haitians during his regime, often in view of Aristide's police.

Their despicable practices continued under the leadership of Aristide, Kurzban's employer.

For obvious reasons, Kolbe used the pseudonym Lyn Duff to sign her article.

Kurzban's piece is simply part of a well-funded pro-Aristide campaign to distort news and repair Aristide's reputation. Aristide has the funds to do it. Over the years, he has collected more than $10 million from the Haitian treasury, which he left empty.

This is why the lawsuit to look into Aristide's tenure was withdrawn. It has never been dismissed by the trial court, as Kurzban alleges.

The $250,000 a month referred to never was paid to the law firm. However, Kurzban has already collected.

Finally, even though I have had the honor and the privilege to hold various posts during my long career, I have yet to be a ''radio announcer in Boca Raton,'' as Kurzban claimed.