'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Well, Scottie Said There Was a Conspiracy Theory Going Around ... (It Must Be a Conspiracy Among the Sources) ...

Xymphora, international blogger of mystery, has posted another excellent piece about the Haitian coup d' etat in his (her?) bulleted list format, a list of all the reasons one shouldn't believe the official denials that Aristide was forced out of Haiti against his will. The post makes quite a compelling case.

The most interesting item to me (because I hadn't seen it before) was an article in the The Independent, the paper Fisk writes for, citing a two new sources with accounts of Aristide's last few hours in Haiti. An American missionary, Father Michael Graves of New Jersey, made the following statement:

I have spoken to many witnesses who said the President was kidnapped. Police officers at the Presidential Palace said that he was escorted out at gunpoint. They forced him to sign something - this evidently is the statement they have that they say is his resignation. [ ... ] I am outraged the US has stepped into a sovereign country, a fledgling democracy, and forced out a leader who was elected ... Whether he was good or bad how can we claim to be bastions of democracy...?"

and a former bodyguard of Aristide claimed

[Aristide was forced out by soldiers that were] white, I think American, but to be honest they could have been Canadian. I couldn't really tell the difference. They were in tropical civilian clothes but wearing flak jackets and carrying assault rifles

So that makes three first-person sources besides Aristide himself (by way of his spokesperson to CNN or Maxine Waters to Pacifica Radio) that I know of: the caretaker from the original AFP report, Father Graves, and the senior bodyguard.

Given the controversy surrounding the offical story, it seems pretty hard to believe that the claims that Aristide is basically being held against his will without access to a telephone are not true. If these claims are not true, why isn't some media talking head on TV grilling Aristide about the crazy conspiracy theory he's been asserting?

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