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9379: Re: 9336: RE: 9304: one of Ira Kurzban's notable services (fwd)

From: Mike <mlhaiti@cornernet.com>

I agree with what Julie, Kevin, Charles and Catherine said in their posts on
this question. While I lack the information necessary in order to make a
meaningful comment on dollars paid to those performing services for the
Haitian government, and that certainly is an important issue, I suspect the
figures provided to the Corbett list from the FARA reports may lack context
with respect to the money paid by the government as well as information in
the public record as to the services performed on behalf of the government
of Haiti. As a result it is difficult to evaluate the fees meaningfully.
 As someone who was until recently registered with the U.S. DOJ as
an agent of the Haitian government, I have worked a great deal with
Ira Kurzban over the past nine years or so, and I doubt that anyone on this
list would have the time to even list the countless tasks and deeds he has
performed in his tireless efforts for democracy and human rights in Haiti
(not to mention his work for human rights in the U.S. which is a separate
matter). As far as the question of what the Haitian people have been getting
for the money paid to Mr. Kurzban, I find his commitment,  energy and skills
are quite stunning. I know that
he has had a great many very detailed discussions with high level Haitian
government officials about the exact nature of the services he provides; Ira
Kurzban cares deeply about accountability and transparency. My response to
these posts is spontaneous; I haven't talked to Ira in several weeks but I
imagine he would be quite sensitive to the concerns raised in Corbettland
and would not hesitate to describe some of his accomplishments. He has been
interviewed a number of times by Haitian and U.S. media and is well known to
the decision-makers who are friends of Haiti in the U.S. And I would guess
that there are a number of  past and present U.S. government officials  who
wish they knew rather less about what Ira Kurzban has been up to; his
persistence in highlighting inadequacies or errors in U.S. policy is very
well known. The question of transparency in reporting on lobbying (and
other) issues is certainly a fair one to raise. There are probably some
lawyers and others around who can speak to the issues involved.
 Come to think of it, on a somewhat related topic one could also make the
point that there are a number of members of the Haitian government -of today
and in the past - who have done some extremely impressive work that few
people hear about. While there are no doubt good reasons to keep some
aspects of such work confidential, there are a number of people who simply
routinely set about to do good work. Those of us who are familiar with
Michelle Karshan's in-depth information and John Kozyn's work have read some
of the positive achievements of the Haitian government. As we all know, it
takes a lot to make things happen -anywhere, but especially when it comes to

Mike Levy