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a409: Re: a402: Congressmen's letter to Powell. Arthur asks (fwd)
Charles Arthur writes:
The two US Congressmen in their letter to Colin Powell wrote:
"We are especially concerned that a number of Haitian Government officials, such as Senators Dany Toussaint and Medard Joseph, currently possess some form of U.S. immigration documents. Senators Toussaint and Joseph have been credibly linked by a number of U.S. Government agencies to narcotics trafficking in Haiti."
I wonder if the Congressmen, or even the International Republican Institute's Stanley Lucas who forwarded the letter, would be so kind as to point me in the direction of "the number of U.S. Government agencies" that have "credibly linked" the Haitian Senators to narcotics trafficking? Last year I spent some considerable time researching the NACLA Report on the Americas article about Haiti and drug-trafficking (Vol.35, No1, July/August 2001) but I could not find any reference to anything that might be regarded as a credible link.
As far as I could see the only things existing in the public domain are a series of newspaper reports stating that some U.S. Republican Congressmen allege that members of Aristide's inner circle are involved in drug trafficking.
US News & World Report, and Newsweek both reported unattributed suggestions that linked Dany Toussaint to the drug trade. An article in Time magazine claimed that in April 2000 Toussaint had forced a police inspector general to quit the force after he cited more than 1,000 police officers for drug related corruption.
The conservative Washington Times newspaper, in August 2000, reported that Toussaint's name appears on "a classified list, now circulating in the Clinton administration and on Capitol Hill, of five prominent Haitians believed involved in drug trafficking."
Others on the list supposedly include Medard Joseph and Jean-Marie Fourel Celestin (like Toussaint, both former military officers and both elected Lavalas Family Senators in May 2000), along with former police chief, Pierre Denizé, and former justice minister, Camille Leblanc, who are accused of "facilitating drug smuggling through corruption - looking the other way and taking bribes."
I concluded my article as follows, "Perhaps significantly, neither the United States nor journalists have presented any evidence to substantiate these claims. Toussaint dismisses the accusations as part of a Republican smear campaign to undermine the new Lavalas Family government, and sees them as a continuation of long-running Republican efforts to discredit Aristide."
If U.S. Government agencies are in possession of evidence that credibly links these Senators to drug-trafficking, where is it hidden? And why is it hidden?
The full NACLA article can be seen at :