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a373: Letter from Carl Dorelien to U.S.Attorney General John Ashcroft(fwd)
Dear Mr. Corbett,
By now you may be aware of the situation regarding my brother Carl Dorelien, who was
unjustly arrested by the INS on June 21, 2001. (If you are unfamiliar with the
situation, I invite you to peruse his site: <www.Dorelien.homestead.com>.) You will
help a just cause if, by his request, you would share his letter (below) to the
Attorney General John Ashcroft with the Haiti list group.
== Letter from Carl Dorelien to U.S.Attorney General John Ashcroft ==
January 3, 2002
The Honorable John Ashcroft
The Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20430-0001
Dear Mr. Attorney General:
It is very sad and painful to celebrate Christmas and to start a new year in jail.
It is more distressful to be deprived of freedom simply because some might want me
out of circulation.
My name is Carl Dorelien, Colonel of the Former Haitian Armed Forces, which the
current Haitian President, J.B. Aristide unconstitutionally dismantled upon his
return to the country as Head of State in 1994. Aristide's restoration to power was
largely the result of intense negotiations between former President Jimmy Carter, who
lead the U.S. negotiating team on behalf of President Bill Clinton, and the Haitian
Provisional President, Me. Emile Jonassaint. Despite the fact that provisions of
this historical accord were signed to preclude the potential future dictatorial
behaviors of Aristide and especially to prevent eventual retaliation against the
high-ranking members of the Haitian Armed Forces, I ended up in exile. Today, I am in
jail on U.S. soils, where I expected to see and taste Freedom and Liberty.
Why am I in jail? I strongly believe that I am incarcerated not because of my
religious education, not because of the high principles of morality that always
guided my actions, but simply because the Immigration and Naturalization Services -
in an attempt to block my request for political asylum - illegally entered a document
from the Government of Haiti, accusing the former Haitian military leaders of
masterminding a so-called massacre. As a result of these unfounded political
allegations, the INS opted to make me - out of all former army staff members living
in the U.S. - the sacrificial lamb. As an enumeration of my case, I enclosed my last
briefs sent to the Board of Immigration Appeal (BIA). Nevertheless, allow me to
briefly underline a few legal points regarding the Haitian government's far-fetched
indictment resulting from the "in absentia" trial related to the "Raboteau Massacre".
a) The Haitian army investigated the event, which occurred in 1994. Its report
stated that the armed Lavalas supporters of J.B Aristide attacked the military post
of the province, forcing the soldiers to defend themselves. The ruling Lavalas
government rejected these facts and conveniently labeled the event a civilian
massacre. A Lavalas judge was forced to support the government's biased views, and
consequently failed to submit the Assistant Chief of Staff (G2)'s report to the
Haitian court. He also failed to take into account the results of the U.S. Embassy's
investigation (led by the American Ambassador), and the results of the Haitian
parliamentary inquisition, supervised by the Vice President of the Chamber of
Deputies. Were the results of these investigations in accordance with the army's
statement? It is crucial to acknowledge that the Lavalas mob's frequent attacks on
military posts were not something of the past. It was a custom prior to the
"Raboteau incident" and it is undeniably still upheld today. Currently, Lavalas
members are chasing Haitian opposition leaders, killing journalists and reporters,
attacking and burning houses and finally, massacring innocent civilians. Is the last
event in Haiti the renewal of what Lavalas supporters did in 1994?
b) Regardless of the truth, no one should be singled out or punished by Haitian
politicians or other officials as a result of their membership to a constitutionally
bonded institution. Judges should not, and above all, can not legally sentence
anyone arbitrarily, ever. A constitutionally fair judgment must be reached on the
weight of objective, honest evidence, which largely depends on three types of
testimoniy: oral testimony, written testimony and finally the use of exhibits. In
the transcript of the peculiar Raboteau trial, no such evidence has associated my
name with any wrongdoing.
c) Freedom from imprisonment lies at the heart of liberty. It is protected by the
due process of the law. The absurd indictment used against me violates and deprives
me of this right.
Sir, I am constantly suffering as a result of my confinement, which has separated me
from my family. It becomes even harder to bear when considering that my misfortune
happened on the land of Justice and Liberty. Senator Bob Graham, Chairman of the
Select Commitee on Intelligence once said to a political science class at the
University of Central Florida: "We are a nation that prides itself for living under
the rule of law. There are reasons why people can be detained, but the detaining
authority has to state that this person committed a crime - not just because we want
them out of circulation" (Miami Herald, December 1, 2001).
Mr. Attorney General, despite all, I am confident that the great judicial system of
the United States of America can easily correct the prejudice that has occurred in my
case. I join the Pope in saying, "There is no peace without justice and no justice
without forgiveness." Allow me to assure you that I am able to forgive and forget.
My only desire is to be reuinited with my family and loving community of Port Saint
Lucie, where I have been living since 1996.
Colonel Carl Dorlien Marie-Carline Dorelien
Civil Engineer On behalf of my husband, Carl
Former Haitian Armed Forces