There are one or two important things in this life of which we
must always be aware. One is that you can kill as many Haitians
as you like, you can rape as many Haitians as you like, you can
chop off the faces of as many Haitians as satisfies your blood
lust, and you can still live like a king In Queens, New York,
as long as you remember that you mustn’t mess with Uncle
Sam’s financial system.
Not even a teensy weensy bit.
You don’t have to rob Fort Knox or deprive 50,000 people
of their pensions and life savings, or like Al Capone, avoid income
tax. All you need to get into real trouble is to work a simple
little scheme to relieve a bank of some of its surplus cash. That
will get you the attention of New York’s finest. You will
go to jail, be fingerprinted, mug-shotted and become a person
of interest to the FBI.
Cocaine trafficking? Rape, Murder? Terrorism? Crimes against humanity
? Bagatelles!!! who remembers them? But making a banker look stupid?
Now that’s really serious.
You’re gonna swing for that. That is a crime against the
Holy Greenback itself.
Emanuel Toto Constant, like Baron Savimbi of Angola, was a friend
of the CIA and various Higher Powers. He had not, as far as is
known, yet been invited to the White house like Savimbi but he
was doing very well, thank you, as long as he confined this depredations
to the Haitians, as long as his attaches with machetes, machine
guns and murder in their hearts carved their bloody way through
Haitian democracy with lavish fascism.
Toto, living the life in Queens, New York, just didn’t know
While he danced, his President was in exile 5,000 miles away,
his country’s Prime Minister languishing in jail for no
good reason, along with Haiti’s foremost folklorist, a sexagenarian
lady named Anne August, and thousands more like them are dead,
or in prison, or in exile, because of the machinations and macheteros
of Good Ol’ Toto, friend of the CIA and Mr (Deadeye) Dick
Cheney. And other friends, like Louis Jodel Chamblain and other
assassins, walk freely in Haiti, shooting and chopping up as they
please. One of them ran for President a few months ago.
They even have anniversary Massacres! They had one last week.
It all goes to show that, contrary to what some people believe,
some of us don’t have to await the Rapture; Heaven is right
here on earth as long as you don’t mess with the Feds.
In Haiti itself, God has at long last deigned to speak –through
the American Ambassador, one Ms. Sanderson. This oracle has delivered
herself of the message that perhaps Prime minister Yvon Neptun
has been in jail long enough. She thought it was because of Haiti’s
“flawed judicial system” that he was still there,
after two years without charge or trial.
Which is strange, since it was her government which elevated the
head of that same judicial system to the post of “President”
of Haiti, from which eyrie he and another American carpetbagger,
one Gerard La Tortue, dispatched Mr Neptune to jail.
Ambassador Janet Sanderson
The charade now taking place in Haiti is not a Haitian production,
it is an American production, like “The Emperor Jones.”
In this American version of Grand Guignol theatre, an important
walk-on part is played by black people who have the temerity not
only to speak French but to anticipate the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights by 144 years. The real actors are Americans –
a whole panoply of eminent fellows, steel-jawed and gimlet-eyed,
full of 'resolve' – from Thomas Jefferson to Woodrow Wilson,
to George (the least) Bush, from William Jennings Bryan, a failed
Presidential candidate, to Colin Powell, a failed Jamaican.
In their polished diplomatic phrases they all express themselves
satisfied when the Haitians, the first and only people to abolish
the servitude which chained them, are reduced to their proper
status as less-than-people, undeserving even of even as much democracy
as Iraqis or Palestinians. The Nanny-in-Chief, a failed African
American named Condoleezza Rice, was quite within her rights to
inform them last year that their vote was all-important. It was
the most important thing they could do. Because, no matter which
way they voted, they were not going to get the leader they wanted.
He would have to stay in South Africa while Uncle Dick scouted
the waters round Haiti for oil.
Jean Bertrand Aristide
There must be oil in Haiti. Just read the CV of the latest prophetess,
Ms Sanderson. Her minor qualifications seem to have been her alleged
intimate involvement in the illegal detention of two dozen Algerian
nationals at the U.S. Naval base in Guantanamo Bay in 2002.
She completed an honors thesis, "The Arab Oil Weapon,"
the year before joining the State Department as a career diplomat
in August 1977. She later served as the petroleum attaché
to Kuwait. During the first Gulf War, Sanderson was working as
economic counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Jordan
As Ambassador to Algeria she was most famous for her attitude
to the arrest of 24 Algerians working for aid organisations in
occupied Bosnia. They were accused of "planning terrorist
attacks on the American and UK embassies in Sarajevo." Two
of the men are computer programmers, while the other 22 held administrative
positions in several different NGOs.
The men were detained without bail for three months before the
Bosnian Supreme Court acquitted them. However, in the early morning
hours on the day they were to be released, the men were hooded,
shackled and taken away to an unknown destination. They wouldn't
be located for over a month. Eventually they were found to be
in Guantanamo Bay.
After a year in custody, all 24 Algerian aid workers were released.
Strangely, Miss Sanderson refused to life a finger to help their
families locate them, referring them to the Algerian authorities
although she must have known they were in American custody.(Thanks
to Lynn Duff for this info)
During a Senate hearing in 2000, Sanderson was gung ho about the
so-called drawdown programme, under which, favoured US allies
are allowed to receive free of cost, unused US weaponry to control
unruly trade unionists and pesky journalists, for example. "The
drawdown program, like the rest of our foreign assistance program,
underscores the importance we attach to [the country we give weapons
to] and to our ongoing political, military and security relationship."
That connection, and her little noticed expertise in petroleum
matters, suggests to me that Mr Cheney knows that there is oil
off the coast of Haiti and that he wants Halliburton to retrieve
it for its rightful owner, the USA. Sanderson’s human rights
and petroleum background would seem to fit her perfectly for this
Meanwhile, in the Middle East, the slaughter goes on. It is a
fair fight, with the Palestinians using their concrete schools,
hospitals and power stations to damage Israeli bombs and tank-shells
and employing their formidable skulls against Israeli bullets.
Children’s sleep patterns repel sonic booms at 4’oclock
in the morning, no doubt damaging the Israeli F16s.
Mr George Bush, recognising a championship fight when he sees
one, has called on both sides for restraint. He has vetoed a Security
Council resolution encouraging Israel to behave herself. Not evenhanded
As I have said, ad nauseam, the ruling classes of the world, but
especially in Jamaica, have no class and cannot rule.
Just as the Israel rockets and shells are powerless against Palestinian
civilians so are our own rulers powerless against the public they
say they serve. If this were not so we would not have people like
Mr Dennis Morrison whining about the all-powerful Jamaican NGOs,
some of them intimidating entities boasting two women and a WMD
These are dangerous adversaries indeed, which is why such powerless
bureaucracies as the Ultimate Degradation Conglomerate (UDC) and
various Ministries are forced to do good by stealth.
In the all-important race to curtain Jamaica off from its seacoast,
the poor, helpless Cyclops like JAMPRO, the Ministry of Production,
the Ministry of Transport, the UDC and various other enervated
entities must find ways round the law, ways to evade the public’s
due diligence, ways to diddle the public out of its beaches, its
national parks and its sadly neglected cultural assets.
The government entities are giving privileged positions on the
seaside to such as the RIU hotels, who, if all goes according
to form, will soon produce in Jamaica a massive scandal which
will tarnish the image of the entire jamaican hotel industry.
RIU hotels owns two hotels in Jamaica, forcing-houses in which
tourists are processed for a few days and sent back whence they
fled with nothing to show that they have been in a faraway country
of which they knew nothing before coming and about which they
remain blissfully ignorant after having been.
In the Dominican Republic RIU owns at least three hotels and since
last year, according to several firms of English lawyers, the
Financial Times and the Daily Mail, droves of English guests in
RIU hotels have come down with serious and debilitating gastric
According to Financial Times information services, quoted in the
“HUNDREDS of British holidaymakers have been struck down
by a severe vomiting bug at a luxury Caribbean resort - a year
after an identical outbreak.
More than 200 guests have fallen ill at a five-star hotel in the
Dominican Republic, which closed for five weeks in June last year
to eradicate the highly contagious virus.
Many of the sick, including dozens of children, had intravenous
drips hooked up in their rooms and one 18-month-old baby was hospitalised
for a fortnight.
Some of the guests asked to be transferred to another hotel, but
say their requests were rejected. Others were simply too ill to
But the story, judging from travelblogs, is not new: “29
year-old Nicola Piercy, from Mansfield was affected by the outbreak
of the virus at the same resort in 2005 and says "I think
it's absolutely disgraceful that this has happened again. I travelled
to the resort in March 2005 for what I hoped would be my dream
wedding and instead had to endure seeing my fiancée placed
on a drip on our wedding day and most of our family including
myself suffering from severe gastric symptoms.
The personal injury law firm of Pannone in Manchester, England,
says “Hotels in the Dominican Republic have suffered similar
problems over recent years with the Riu chain featuring in newspaper
articles last year regarding complaints of poor standards of hygiene.
Identical complaints are surfacing again this year as well as
reports of vermin in hotel bars and restaurants, tour operator
reps denying there were problems, unsupervised groups of Puerto
Rican teenagers, some of whom were seen urinating in the swimming
pool and medical staff treating patients without washing their
If anything like this were to happen in Jamaica you know that
the entire hotel industry would be shut down within a week or
two. The US press would roast us, the British Press would trot
out its favourite template about Trouble in Paradise and the dollar
would probably be devalued.
Have the Jamaican government agencies done their due diligence?
Do they really understand what is at stake?
I have my doubts.
God Speaks, Again
The founding prophetess of the Dayton Avenue Church of God has
lashed out at those people in her church who informed the press
and others about the case of the raped teenager. And, before we
go any further, a child cannot consent to sexual intercourse,
and sexual intercourse without consent is rape.
I don’t want to say too much about this strange and increasingly
noxious case, except to point out that it is an offence to conceal
knowledge of a felony, which carnal abuse is. The founder of the
church should have sought legal advice before making a fool of
herself in public. But she had legal advice available; her pastor
is a Queen’s Counsel, a former Deputy Director of Public
Prosecutions, former High Court Judge and former Justice of the
Court of Appeal.
He is a bona fide member of the ruling classes.
Copyright ©2006 John Maxwell
jankunnu [at] yahoo.com
-Should Haiti Declare War on Terrorism'
Against the US
- Haitian Terrorist Arrested in Long Island
- Cop Watch of Miami
Rather than Operational" - 7 Arrested in Miami
Terror Plot , Democracy Now! | Monday, June 26th,
SHOULD HAITI DECLARE WAR
ON TERRORISM? AGAINST THE U.S.?
by Steve Pitteli
On December 27, 1993, Emmanuel "Toto" Constant and his
(Revolutionary Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti)
began firing on the Haitian shantytown of Cite Soleil. They then
the town with gasoline and burnt several hundred homes to the
forcing some fleeing residents- children included- back into their
homes at gunpoint.
Two months before this attack, in October, 1993, the U.S. navy
USS Harlan County was dispatched to Haiti carrying 200 troops
ostensibly pave the way for previously ousted President Jean-Bertrand
Aristide's return to power. As the ship approached the Port-au-Prince
Constant and his men staged a riot and the USS Harlan was unable
dock. As a result, the populist President's scheduled return was
During Constant's three-year reign of terror, his FRAPH death
butchered several thousand Haitian civilians. So how is it that
the world's leading terrorists is free and living in a nice, two-story
home in the quiet Laurelton neighborhood of Queens, New York?
After the U.S. military entered Haiti in 1994, Constant, who by
had a criminal subpoena and a warrant for his arrest, escaped
uninspired "search" by U.S. soldiers and slipped into
the U.S. on a tourist
visa. He was eventually captured and placed in the custody of
immigration authorities forover a year. In 1995, the Haitian government
requested Constant's extradition on charges of murder, torture
however the U.S. suspended his deportation, claiming that Haitian
could not handle the extradition and instead gave Constant a green
to live and work freely in the U.S.
In truth, it appears that the government's change of heart on
extradition began after Constant revealed on the television news
"60 Minutes," in December, 1995, that he had been on
the CIA payroll
during Haiti's military rule (1991-1994). Constant then sued the
government and threatened to reveal other CIA misdeeds in Haiti
if he was
not released- a strategy that worked in Constant's favor. This
misdeeds are believed to include CIA involvement in the 1991 coup
forced democratically-elected President Aristide out of the country,
that Constant staged the Port-au-Prince riot in October 1993 at
the direction of the CIA to provide the U.S. with a reason to
President Aristide from Haiti. Currently, as cluster bombs and
daisy cutters fall on Afghanistan, the United States is a friendly
host to terrorist Emmanuel Constant,
responsible for the murders of thousands. The government refuses
him to Haiti despite substantial evidence of his involvement in
arson and torture and despite several requests from the Haitian
Constant himself states that FRAPH still operates in Haiti, and
he plans to return soon. The double standard here is interesting
and goes unreported in the mainstream press. The U.S. justifies
the Afghanistan war on much the same premise and may even expand
that war to several other alleged "terrorist-harboring"
countries such as Iraq and Syria. To date, the Haitians have no
plans to begin bombing the United States.
Dr. Pittelli is a psychiatrist and post-September 11 convert to
political activism from San Luis Obispo, CA.
ARRESTED ON LONG ISLAND
By Bill Weinberg
07/13/2006 - 18:16
Another reason to love New York State Attorney General Elliot
But, as we've said before  regarding a similar case, getting
Emmanuel Constant for mortgage fraud is kind of like nailing Hitler
tax-evasion. From Newsday , July 7:
A Queens man and former Haitian paramilitary leader, convicted
1994 massacre of slum-dwellers loyal to former Haitian President
Jean-Bertrand Aristide, has been arrested and charged with committing
fraud from the Melville brokerage where he works, Suffolk officials
Emmanuel Constant, of 137-35 225 St. in Laurelton, was
arrested Wednesday and will be arraigned in Suffolk today before
Acting State Supreme Court Justice Michael Mullen on charges of
first-degree grand larceny,
falsifying business records and forgery, Suffolk district attorney's
office spokesman Robert Clifford said.
The case is being prosecuted by the state attorney general's office.
Clifford said details of the charges against Constant were not
late yesterday. Officials at the state attorney general's office
not be reached for comment.
Constant did not return a call to his office at New York Mortgage
LLC in Melville. When called at his home, a woman who identified
as Constant's wife said she did not know anything about the charges
that her husband was "upstairs sleeping."
Constant has lived in New York since 1995, despite a deportation
and charges that he led the Haitian paramilitary group, the Front
the Advancement and Progress of Haiti, during the mid-1990s. Human
rights groups allege the group terrorized and slaughtered supporters
After U.S. forces helped restore Aristide to power, Constant slipped
into the United States on a tourist visa. Immigration and Naturalization
Service agents captured him in Queens, but Constant appealed his
deportation on the ground he would be killed if sent back.
He was released in 1996 on the condition that he not travel outside
York City and that he report regularly to the INS, now called
Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
In 2000, a Haitian court sentenced Constant to life in prison
his conviction in absentia for the 1994 massacre.
In a 2005 federal lawsuit, three unnamed women now living in the
States said Constant's soldiers engaged in a "systematic
violence against women" under his rule, and beat and gang-raped
Constant has so far largely ignored the lawsuit, the women's lawyers
The Center for Pan-African
Development and Miami CopWatch Statement on Liberty City "Terror"
On the day of the Liberty City raids, the story of a former director
the right wing Cuban American National Foundation (CANF), a federally
recognized not-for-profit organization based in Miami, admitting
planning terrorist acts against a sovereign state, failed either
draw national attention or merit "above the fold" coverage
on the front
page of Miami's newspaper of record.
A sub-committee of the CANF board of directors moved beyond the
"discussion stage," demonstrating their capacity to
carry out terrorist plots by purchasing boats, a helicopter and
caches of weapons and ammunition for the purpose of
executing the plot. The admission only confirmed commonly held
suspicions about the CANF's violent intentions and the government's
indifference towards those intentions.
Today, the U.S. government faces intense international pressure
over their continued
refusal to extradite Luis Posada, suspected mastermind of the
of a Cuban airliner- full of human beings- in 1976. Subsequent
bombing, Posada was rewarded with a slot on the U.S. government
for advancing the execution of the dirty wars in Nicaragua and
The lack of action taken against well developed terrorist plots
against the recent aggressive action taken against seven Black
with little to no demonstrable capacity to advance their plans
the discussion stage, reveals a double standard in the war on
characterized by the selective prosecution of groups with minimal
social and political value. The double standard also raises
real questions about the role law enforcement plays in these types
investigations in general and the Liberty City raid in particular.
Local police and federal agents have a long history of inciting,
and outright entrapping Black organizations and individuals during
civil rights movement and through modern times. As such, it is
reasonable to question both the tactics and the motives of the
enforcement agencies who approached seven men, apparently poor
frustrated, with promises of cash and glory.
While the accusations are shocking to the senses, the facts presented
far fall well short of the hype. The men are charged with plotting
sophisticated attacks on complex targets, but appear too unequipped,
unsophisticated and unorganized to possibly advance beyond bragging.
For example, the group only gains in capacity due to the largess
government agent on the case. Much ado is made of the group's
"militaristic" attire of combat boots and fatigues.
The group, however, was so unorganized, that the federal government,
not group members, provided the military equipment which is now
the focus of so much attention. The terror plot only advanced
as far as taking pictures of potential targets in South Florida.
However, the group was unable to
conduct the surveillance on their own, and the government provided
surveillance vehicles as well as the cameras with which the strongest
piece of evidence was captured. In addition, no weapons of any
were discovered during the raid.
The group's lack of capacity calls to question their ability to
any mission, much less tackle the logistical challenges of attacking
federal buildings and out of state targets. Because government
are capable of evaluating threats based, at least in part, on
capacity of the individuals involved, the very strategic and national
security value of this group is in question. Conversely, the paramilitary
experience and capacity of the members of CANF and Luis Posada
are well known and yet ignored.
CopWatch does not pretend to know if the accusations against the
men are false or inaccurate. However, the veracity of an agency
with a history of targeting groups
for their political beliefs is a legitimate issue of contention
must be aggressively addressed as the only means of assuring that
accused are extended their rights to the presumption of innocence,
process and a fair opportunity to defend themselves.
Further, the prosecution of an undeveloped plot by a group seemingly
of carrying out even the most mundane mission, must not be used
advance a political agenda at the expense of either the Black
or the civil liberties of the broader society.
The Liberty City raid seems to suggest that Black "wannabes"
are more valuable targets than actual terrorists who are white.
This operation must not be the
pretext for more aggressive police presence and tactics in the
community, as invoking the notion of "terrorism" is
not a blank check
for the abuse of individuals, entire communities or the rights
either one. Further, the raids cannot be used to justify the continued
discriminatory policies directed against Haitian refugees and
In the broader context, the general public is being convinced
a marginally competent group of young Black men represents a victory
for public safety. Using minimally credible threats to scare the
will not ensure public safety, but can be used to manipulated
public into giving up their rights in the name of security.
* the disparate treatment of those in the Black community accused
of crimes;* the
criminalization of Black communities in the name of fighting crime;*
unfair media accounts which rely on innuendo instead of facts.
all people to refrain from leaping to conclusions based on unconfirmed
and general accusations, particularly given the history of the
FBI;* the public and the media to question the version of events
presented by an FBI and government clearly willing to violate
* that all accused are extended rights to due process and a fair
trial;* accountability from law enforcement agencies.
A Project of The Center for Pan-African Development
PO Box 510232
Miami, FL 33151
than Operational" - 7 Arrested in Miami
Terror Plot ,
Democracy Now! | Monday, June 26th, 2006
Seven men were arrested in Miami
last week on charges of conspiring to blow up the Sears Tower
in Chicago and FBI buildings in five cities. It appears the entire
case rests on conversations between the group's supposed ringleader
and an FBI informant posed as representative of Al-Qaida. We go
to Miami to speak with a defense attorney and a community advocate.
[includes rush transcript] On Thursday evening, government officials
raided a warehouse in the Liberty City section of Miami and arrested
seven men, charging them with conspiring to blow up the Sears
Tower in Chicago and FBI buildings in five cities. The men are
Narseal Batiste, Patrick Abraham, Stanley Phanor, Naudimar Herrera,
Burson Augustin, Lyglenson Lemorin, and Rotschild Augustine. They
range in age from 22 to 32 and were indicted by a federal grand
jury in Miami on Friday.
Five of the men are U.S. citizens, one is a legal immigrant from
Haiti and the last is an undocumented immigrant originally from
Haiti. The men are charged with two counts of conspiring to support
a foreign terrorist organization, one count of conspiring to destroy
buildings by use of explosives and one count of conspiring to
wage war against the government. Each faces a maximum sentence
of 70 years.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announced the details of the
case at a press conference on Friday.
* Alberto Gonzales, attorney general speaking June 23, 2006.
Family and community members have expressed shock at the charges
and point out that no weapons or explosives were found nor did
investigators document any links to Al-Qaida. It appears that
the entire case rests on conversations between Narseal Baptiste,
the supposed ringleader of the group and the FBI informant, who
was posing as a representative of Al-Qaida. John Pistole, the
FBI's deputy director, described the plan on Friday as "aspirational
rather than operational."
* David O. Markus, Defense Attorney and president of the Miami
Chapter of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
He is founder of David Oscar Markus law firm, which focuses on
criminal trials and appeals.
* Max Rameau, member of Miami CopWatch which is a project of the
Center for Pan-African Development.
Monday, June 26th, 2006
AMY GOODMAN: This is Attorney General Alberto Gonzales announcing
the details of the case at a news conference Friday.
ALBERTO GONZALES: These individuals wish to wage a, quote, “full
ground war against the United States.” That quote is from
the investigation of these individuals, who also allegedly stated
the desire to, quote, “kill all the devils we can.”
They hoped for their attacks to be, quote, “just as good
or greater than 9/11.”
AMY GOODMAN: Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Family and community
members have expressed shock at the charges and point out no weapons
or explosives were found, nor did investigators document any links
to al-Qaeda. It appears the entire case rests on conversations
between Narseal Baptiste, the supposed ringleader of the group,
and the FBI informant, who was posing as a representative of al-Qaeda.
John Pistole, the FBI’s Deputy Director, described the plan
on Friday as, quote, “aspirational, rather than operational.”
We’re joined right now in Miami by David Markus and Max
Rameau. David Markus is defense attorney and president of the
Miami chapter of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
He’s founder of the David Oscar Markus Law Firm, which focuses
on criminal trials and appeals. Max Rameau is with Miami CopWatch,
which is a project of the Center for Pan-African Development.
We welcome you both to Democracy Now!
David Markus, let’s begin with you. Can you explain exactly
what went down on Thursday? What are the charges? What has been
DAVID MARKUS: Well, they’ve alleged in a 13-page indictment
that these seven individuals have connections to terrorists and
were funding terrorists and were going to be involved in blowing
up different places. And as you mentioned, there are no weapons,
no connection to al-Qaeda. You see a lot of scary words in the
indictment, like “jihad” and “loyalty oath”
and “Osama bin Laden,” but what we have is the traditional
informant going in and talking to a bunch of guys, and what’s
going to come out in the next couple weeks is actually what was
said, and that’s going to be the critical part to the case.
AMY GOODMAN: What is the narrative the government has laid out
about exactly what happened? Who was the informant? How did they
learn about this group of people?
DAVID MARKUS: We don’t know who the informant is yet? We
know from reading the indictment that there were a number of meetings
in warehouses and so on in Liberty City and that those meetings
were recorded. We know from reading the indictment, as well, that
there are allegations that there were talks about blowing up the
Sears Tower, about the Miami FBI office, about the downtown Justice
building. But, again, there was nothing actually done. There was
talk. And we’ve seen in a lot of these cases that talk can
sometimes lead to acquittals. So we’re going to have to
see more than just talk for the government to be able to show
AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about the phrase the government is using,
that the plans were “aspirational,” not operational?
DAVID MARKUS: Right. It’s interesting, because I think even
the government is trying to lower expectations in their case,
because they know that nothing was actually done. I think the
most that was done were these guys got some boots from the informants,
some military boots. They have to be able to prove that they were
able to carry this out, that they were going to do something.
And based on the mere words, that’s going to be difficult
to do. We have to hear what was said on the tapes, how far these
meetings got. But based on words and the government’s talk
as aspirational plans, they may have some tough hurdles to get
AMY GOODMAN: And can you talk about other cases? Have there been
similar ones like this in Miami and Florida?
DAVID MARKUS: There have been. The most recent one, of course,
was Professor Al-Arian, who in Tampa got an acquittal for—what
the defense was—just talking. Now, that case is different
in a lot of respects, but I think there are some similarities
to be drawn in the way that the professor’s defense was
this was just talk, there was nothing more than talk. You’re
allowed to talk about this kind of stuff. And at the end of the
day he was acquitted of most of the charges. I think that’s
going to be part of the defense here, in addition to the entrapment
and that this was just fantasy on the part of the seven. There
have been some other defenses floated around, like that these
guys might have just been bad conmen trying to get $50,000 and
some guns from somebody who came around. Who knows whether the
defense is going to be entrapment or that they were conned or
that this was just talk? But there are potential defenses being
talked about that have been successful in the past.
AMY GOODMAN: David Markus is a defense attorney. Max Rameau is
with Miami CopWatch, which is a project of the Center for Pan-African
Development. Max, you are from Liberty City, where the people
who have been arrested are from. Can you talk about what you understand
has happened, how this has affected the community, the community
that these men come from?
MAX RAMEAU: Well, Liberty City, I live at. It’s about 20—I
live—my home is about 20 blocks from where the raid occurred.
I have a lot of friends who are right in that area. The community
obviously is very shocked, because of the show of force which
was there and shocked because of the incredible and overwhelming
news coverage of this. However, as things now are starting to
calm down, as the dust is settling, we’re taking a closer
look at it, and I think a lot of concerns are being raised about
the disparate treatment that these men are receiving as compared
to what members of other communities receive who might be accused
of doing the same thing or might have been planning the same thing
or even further along in the plans. So we have a long history
of local law enforcement and the FBI, as well, attacking and targeting
the Black community and groups in that community, and we’re
concerned that this is another example of that.
AMY GOODMAN: You say “disparate treatment.” Can you
give us examples of people you’re talking about?
MAX RAMEAU: Certainly. Obviously in the war on drugs there’s
a lot more tax on the Black community, where less drugs are used
than in the White community, particular about the issue of terrorism,
in addition to Luis Posada, who is a Cuban who is widely considered
to be responsible for the 1976 bombing of an airplane, with killing
73 people. He is in jail now but was in Miami walking around freely
for many months before he was in jail. And he’s in jail
on immigration charges, not on bombing charges.
Orlando Bosch was also a Cuban who held a press conference in
April of 2006, essentially confessed on television to his role
in that same bombing, killing 73 people, blowing up an airplane.
He said that he didn’t want to get himself in trouble by
saying that he did it, but he essentially confessed to doing it.
He lives in Miami right now in a nice big house, and he’s
not being bothered by anyone.
On the day of the raids, that same Thursday, the Miami Herald,
which is the local paper, put out a front-page article, where
a former board member of the Cuban American National Foundation
by the name of Jose Antonio Llama came out on the front page and
said that the Cuban American National Foundation, which is recognized
by the government as a not-for-profit organization, had a subcommittee
from their board who was responsible and did buy weapons, bought
boats, bought helicopters, for the purpose of attacking a sovereign
country, for attacking Cuba. So these guys were actually terrorists,
real live terrorists, and they all live right now free in Miami
and not getting arrested.
I’m trying to imagine what would happen if a group of Black
people got together and came out on TV and said, “We were
responsible for blowing up an airplane.” What would happen
to them? So it looks like there’s really a big difference
in the treatment there of some amateur wannabes terrorists here,
allegedly, who are now going to get ready to get run over by this
train that is Homeland Security, and there’s some real live
terrorists who are sitting, living, and being unmolested by the
police as we speak. This is really unfair treatment.
AMY GOODMAN: Max Rameau, can you talk about the Haitian community
in Liberty City and the effect that this has had, Max?
MAX RAMEAU: Yes. Well, I was born in Haiti myself. The Haitian
community has been very upset by this. We’re really concerned
that this is going be used as a justification for the continued
discriminatory practices against Haitians. Already, Haitians have
a difficult time. Haitians refugees have a difficult time getting
into the United States.
We’re concerned that now the government is going to say,
“We told you all along that we shouldn’t have Haitians
in here, and this is proof of it. We have a bunch of Haitian terrorists
running around here.” So we’re very concerned that
this is going to be used as a justification for discriminatory
practices against the Haitian community, both those Haitians trying
to come in and it’s going to represent a pretext for cracking
down on the Haitian community and the Black community in general,
but the Haitian community in particular, who live here in South
Florida or perhaps other parts of the country.
So we really have an interest in making sure that these guys get
their due process and that we challenge the official government
version of events, because there is a history of lying, of planting
evidence, of attacks and disparate treatment on behalf of the
government against the Black community.
AMY GOODMAN: What about the evidence or lack of evidence that
MAX RAMEAU: Well, a lot of show has been made about the militaristic
boots that they had and the gear and the outfits. Well, it turns
out these guys didn’t have enough money or enough organization
to get these things for themselves. The FBI bought them the boots
that we’ve heard so much about, bought them the military
outfits that we’ve heard so much about. If you look at the
indictment, the biggest piece of evidence, it seems to me, that
they have is that the group may have taken pictures of a bunch
of targets in South Florida. But the guys couldn’t afford
their own cameras, so the federal government bought them the cameras
with which they took the pictures. They couldn’t get downtown
and all the other places by themselves.
The federal government rented them the cars that they needed to
get downtown in order to take the pictures. So it looks like they
really didn’t have too much capacity.
In addition, right now the running joke in Liberty City is, you
know, in the indictments—if you read the indictments, the
men provided the FBI informant with a list of things they needed
in order to blow up these buildings, but in the list they didn’t
include any explosives or any materials which could be used to
make explosives. So now everyone in Liberty City is joking that
the guys were going to kick down the FBI building with their new
boots, because they didn’t have any devices which could
have been used to explode, so this really, really looks pretty
And in addition, we have concerned—anyone who is an activist
and been to community meetings knows that there’s a few
people who come into a meeting and make these statements which
are a little bit beyond what their capacity is. You know, you
go in, you talk about a zoning issue, and some guy comes in and
says, “Oh, we’ll just take over the City Hall,”
when they’re talking about a little small zoning issue,
and you know they have no capacity do that. So we’re concerned
that these guys had no capacity to do anything that they seemed
to be talking about, that they were led by the hand by this FBI
I been living in Liberty City. I’m not sure, you know, just
judging by Liberty City, in general—not just Liberty City,
but most people there—I’m not sure these guys knew
where the Sears Tower was, much less that it would represent a
So I really wonder who suggested the Sears Tower in the first
place, who suggested taking the pictures. It’s just not
all that clear that these guys could have come up with these plots
and have carried them out, and it really raises questions again
about the other real live terrorists who are living here who are
not being arrested.
AMY GOODMAN: Max, finally, the issue of when it was first announced,
the government said that these were Muslim men. CAIR has been
quite vocal over the weekend, the Council on Arab-Islamic Relations
saying that they are not from their community.
MAX RAMEAU: Well, first of all, I don’t see that as being
a major issue, whether they’re Muslim or not. I still think
that they have a right to a fair trial and they have a right to
the presumption of innocence and they have a right not to be arrested
for thinking things.
But with that said, it really raises a lot more questions, that
the federal government will go out and make these statements that,
you know, apparently leaking information that these were a bunch
of Muslim men, when apparently they were not Muslim men. It raises
several questions. For example, did the government even know if
they were Muslim or not? And if they didn’t know that these
guys were not Muslim, then what else did they not know that they’re
including in here.
And it raises questions that they would come out and outright
lie. We’ve been very concerned about the media coverage
also, which has emphasized very, very minute or seemingly insignificant
information, like these guys like to keep to themselves. These
guys wore turbans. Well, what does—you know, I don’t
understand what the big deal is with some of that, except to the
extent that that plays into xenophobic fears and fears about the
war on terrorism as framed by the government.
AMY GOODMAN: This story came at just the same time as a huge embarrassment
to the government, and that is the story in the New York Times
about the monitoring of financial records internationally.
MAX RAMEAU: Yeah. I really think this could be a case of weapons
of mass distraction, where you have a big embarrassing issue coming
out, and right now people are not talking about that, and they’re
talking about this. And this is not even seemingly all that significant
of an arrest. So it really raises questions, when they didn’t
have any weapons at the place. It seems to me that if the feds
would have even thought this out a little bit, they would have
at least planted weapons there, but they didn’t even go
through the trouble of doing that.
So it seems that this was thrown out there, thrust out there as
a way of distracting people or drawing attention away from another
really embarrassing situation, which means that these guys are
just props, and I am really offended by that, because I know then
that if these guys really are just props, that means that there
are—the government is spending all kinds of time and resources
on people who don’t represent any danger whatsoever to the
general society, and there’s other people who represent
a significant danger to people in the society who are not being
tracked, who are not being followed, who are not being arrested.
So this is a real, real concern, not only because these guys have
rights, but because this is a misappropriation of government money—my
money and everyone else’s money, as well.
AMY GOODMAN: Max Rameau, I want to thank you for being with us
with Miami CopWatch, project of the Center for Pan-African Development
in Miami; and David Markus, head of the Florida Association of
Criminal Defense Lawyers.
For full Democracy
Now! transcript, go to:http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/06/26/1349235
August 18, 2006
Haitian Death Squad Leader Found Liable For Abuses
A former Haitian death squad leader living in the United States
has been found liable in a civil case brought by several of his
victims. On Wednesday, a judge ruled against Emmanuel "Toto"
Constant because he failed to meet a deadline to respond to the
The suit was launched in December 2004 by a group of women who
suffered gang rape and other abuses from Constant's forces. Constant
led the paramilitary group
the Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti, or FRAPH,
which killed thousands of supporters of former Haitian President
Jean Bertrand Aristide. He
has been allowed to live freely in the US after threatening to
reveal the full extent of his ties to the CIA. The US government
has ignored several requests for his extradition. Constant was
arrested in a separate case last month -- not for human rights
abuses but for committing mortgage fraud.