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#3505: FRAPH/FADH stolen documents: Chamberlain comments (fwd)

From: Greg Chamberlain <GregChamberlain@compuserve.com>

The stolen documents now appear to have been _accepted_ by the Haitian
government and are being stored in the Archives Nationales in
Port-au-Prince, according to a news item of AHP (Agence Haitienne de
Presse) on March 21:

"Une partie de ces archives a ete mise a la disposition du gouvernement
haitien sans les noms de citoyens americains impliques dans le putsch
militaire de septembre 91.
        Ces documents sont jusqu'a date entreposees aux archives nationales
dans des conditions qui laissent a desirer, selon Mme Florence Elie,
l'actuel protecteur adjoint du citoyen.
        Mme Elie avait effectue au debut de fevrier une visite aux archives
nationales en vue de verifier les conditions de stockage des documents."

AHP 21 mars 2000 12:00 PM

I believe the censored versions of the documents have been available to the
government right from the start, in the PauP embassy (despite the
contradictory remarks of  some US officials not close to the matter).

Now the government appears to have quietly swallowed its pride and accepted
the censored version.  

Perhaps Brian Concannon or Michelle Karshan could tell us what "une partie
de ces archives" means, or does "une partie" simply mean all the documents
but with some names blacked out?

Despite the tricky issue of loss of face over not having the uncensored
version, I think this is a positive development, which will enable Haiti to
finally move forward and examine the documents and use them to start
pursuing some of the coup-period criminals.  Some people will of course
claim that it is _impossible_ to do this because _without question_ all the
censored parts have a _direct and crucial_ bearing on _every_ case which
would be assembled.  I think this is a smokescreen and an excuse not to
take any action at all.  How much more complaining and blaming others is
there to be before the authorities get down to doing something concrete?

Again, none of this alters the fact that the documents shouldn't've been
stolen in the first place and should be returned intact since, as Concannon
pointed out, there is no US law which requires them to be censored.

BTW, I must correct Concannon, in one of his thorough and interesting posts
on the documents a couple of months ago where he said that the documents
stolen in the US invasions of Grenada and Panama were never seen again. 
The Grenada material was published a few months later (1984) in a document
several hundred pages long (of which I have a copy) and are not forged or
tampered with, according to former members of the overthrown revolutionary
government who I asked.  Of course, these documents were, unlike the
Haitian ones, a record of "the enemy," so the State Dept was eager to
publish them.  They make fascinating reading -- a portrait of how good old
bureacracy and Stalinist idiocy sank a well-meaning bunch or
reformers/revolutionaries, with little outside interference.  

        Greg Chamberlain