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#2390: In 1982 Giuliani meets Jean-Claude (fwd)
From: Charles Arthur <email@example.com>
Keywords: Giuliani, Haitian refugees
Sorry if these articles - one from 1982, the other from 1999, have already
appeared on the list - but at least they will now be in the archive.
ARTISTpres@aol.co m Date: Tue, 17 Aug 1999
>From The New York Times, April 3, 1982, Saturday, Late City Final
Edition, Section 1; Page 5, Column 4; Foreign Desk
MIAMI (UPI) -- The third-ranking official of the Justice Department
says he is convinced that there is "no political repression" in Haiti.
Associate Attorney General Rudolph W. Giuliani, testifying Thursday at
a hearing of a class-action lawsuit seeking the release of 2,100 refugees in
Government detention camps, said that repression in Haiti "simply does not
exist now" and that refugees had nothing to fear from the Government of
Mr. Giuliani said he visited Haiti two weeks ago and met with several
officials, including President Duvalier. "Political repression is not the
major reason for leaving Haiti," Mr. Giuliani said. He said he reached that
conclusion after Mr. Duvalier personally assured him that Haitians returning
home from the United States were not persecuted.
The suit charges that the Immigration and Naturalization Service has
discriminated against the Haitians by illegally detaining them and
them access to lawyers".
Subj: [BRC-NEWS] All the Dictator's Men: Rudy Giuliani & Haitian
Immigrants Date: 08/17/1999 2:03:17 AM Pacific Daylight Time From:
firstname.lastname@example.org (Mitchel Cohen) Sender:
email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org
All the Dictator's Men: Rudy Giuliani & Haitian Immigrants
by Mitchel Cohen
Rudy Giuliani's creation of a police state in New York City is becoming
increasingly evident to those who live here. What most people do not
and what has gone largely unreported, is Giuliani's record of anti-
immigrant policing before becoming Mayor, particularly in regard to
desperate "boat people" fleeing political repression in Haiti.
In the early 1980s, the Miami-based Haitian Refugee Center filed a
action lawsuit seeking the release of 2,100 refugees fleeing
Haiti, who had been captured at sea by the U.S. military and imprisoned
horrendous conditions at U.S. "detention centers." The case came to
in April 1982. Arguing the Reagan administration's position in federal
court as well as in the media against releasing the refugees was the
Associate Attorney General of the United States at the time, Rudolph
Many of the refugees had been tortured under Duvalier and were fleeing
their lives. But Giuliani argued that they had nothing to fear from
Duvalier's "friendly" government, and urged that they be sent back --
"repatriated," he termed it -- a squeaky clean word, assiduously
so that no blood leaks. Just two weeks earlier, Giuliani noted, he had
personally met face-to-face with Baby Doc Duvalier to check out the
situation. The dictator had "personally assured" him, he said, that
political repression "simply does not exist" and that Haitians returned
the United States were not being persecuted. Giuliani cited Duvalier's
personal assurance as proof that "political repression is not the major
reason for leaving Haiti." (New York Times, April 3, 1982)
Eight years earlier James Simms, head of the Haiti desk at the
of State, had cited this same script word-for-word to justify U.S.
at that time. Giuliani had memorized his lines well.
According to attorney Arthur Helton, the Director of Immigrant Programs
the Open Society Institute in New York, Giuliani was "the key
and an ardent defender of the policy to return the refugees to Haiti."
Helton explains, "It is extremely unusual for such a high-ranking
as Giuliani, who was the top Justice Department official with a
brief on immigration issues at that time, to personally argue such a
before the 11th Circuit Court."
Giuliani -- the Number Three man at the Department of Justice --
ignorance of dozens of stories in the newspapers documenting political
repression in Haiti. Hundreds of Haitians were reporting, in explicit
detail, being tortured. Account after account told of family members
murdered before their eyes. Amnesty International, the Haitian Refugee
Center, and a number of other human rights groups issued reports
documenting hundreds of cases of political repression and torture in
In fact, Amnesty International had filed a well-publicized lawsuit on
behalf of 10 Haitian trade union leaders who had, at that point, been
locked up and tortured in Fort Dimanche -- the headquarters of the
Macoutes death squads -- without trial for three years. Hundreds of
similarly horrible tales of abuse, torture, imprisonment and murder
matters of public record. Yet as Associate U.S. Attorney, Giuliani
unethically (and perhaps illegally) refused to take their depositions
investigate their stories.
Giuliani dismissed those reports and ignored the lawsuit. In court, in
media, and in testimony before Congress Giuliani insisted that there
persecution in Haiti and all was fine and proper there.
Giuliani also failed to apprise the Department of Justice of his friend
Duvalier's pimping of Haitian slaves to sugar magnates in the Dominican
Republic -- a slave trade that Giuliani's beloved "interdiction" policy
another squeaky clean word -- had the effect of enforcing, because it
prevented slaves from escaping by sea.
After all, Duvalier had "personally assured" him that nothing was going
Clearly, Giuliani latched onto the Haitian dictator's "personal
to paper over the atrocities of the policy he was already espousing,
as he is doing today.
As Giuliani later philosophized, "Freedom is not a concept in which
can do anything they want, be anything they can be. Freedom is about
authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being
cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do."
(New York Times, March 17, 1994). In Haiti, Duvalier was that authority
upon whom Giuliani had stamped his seal of approval. For Haitians to
and to fight for their freedom -- then as well as now -- was an act
flew in the face of the authority Giuliani believed in and was paid to
The Haitians, with a strong sense of history, likened their plight to
of the Jews fleeing Nazi Germany in the late 1930s. But Giuliani would
none of that. In September 1982 and on many occasions thereafter,
trudged back to federal court to fight against Federal District Judge
Eugene Spellman's order releasing 1,800 Haitian refugees. Even after
that round in court, Giuliani continued his fanatical fight to send the
refugees back, many to their deaths, just as in 1939 the U.S.
had turned back the SS St. Louis, with 930 Jewish refugees aboard, who
fleeing Nazi Germany and attempting to enter the United States.
Giuliani's attitude against immigrants from Haiti was very much on
last year during the NYPD's torture of Haitian immigrant Abner Louima.
was again on display in the Mayor's sarcastic dismissal of Amnesty
International's recent report concerning rampant police brutality in
York City, particularly against immigrants and people of color, as well
poor and working class whites. And now, again, we see the Mayor's
and authoritarian disposition towards our communities in his defense of
police who murdered Amadou Diallo, an immigrant from Guinea.
What is the one thing Giuliani says he learned from the Diallo murder?
NY police were allowed to use hollow-point bullets, poor Amadou would
died immediately and rendered unnecessary the remaining 39 gunshots.
Fascism has long fingers. In Guiliani's case, it didn't begin when he
became Mayor. His fascism goes back a long way. Our fight is not only
around this particular instance of police brutality but against a whole
system, a whole way of thinking of which Giuliani is the current
Copyright (c) 1999 Mitchel Cohen. All rights reserved.
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