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Letters are welcome and should be addressed to the Editor at Wehaitians.com. E-mail: wehaitians@gis.net
Posted Thursday, April 8, 2004
Investigate them all
April 1, 2004
Mr. Joel Hefley, 5th C-Chairman
Committee on Standards of Official Conduct
HT-2, The Capitol
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Mr. Hefley:

As concerned citizens of these United States of America, we are asking that the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct investigate members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) for their suspicious activities as they relate to the resignation of former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

Several weeks ago, key members of the Congressional Black Caucus accused the White House and State Department officials of orchestrating the “forced” resignation of Mr. Aristide. These lawmakers are demanding conclusive evidence that Mr. Aristide was not forced out of office.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Charles Rangel (D-NY) have taken the lead in calling for a congressional investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Aristide’s departure.

Rep. Maxine Waters also accused Undersecretary of State for Latin America Roger Noriega—whom she called “a Haiti-hater”—of being behind the troubles there. “The way I see it is they came to his house, uninvited,” Waters said. She added, “They had not only the force of the embassy but the Marines with them. They made it clear that he had to go now or he would be killed.”

Other CBC members have also stated that they believe Mr. Aristide was kidnapped. Rep. Major Owens (D-NY) said that, “…. this [Aristide’s departure] was a terrorist takeover.”

White House officials called the allegations that the former Haitian leader was kidnapped “absurd” and “nonsense.” Secretary of State Colin Powell stated that, “He [Aristide] was not kidnapped,” and that the claims were “baseless” and “unfounded.”

We are seriously concerned about the inflammatory language and tone of these accusations. By misinterpreting the truth about what happened in the last hours before Aristide left office these lawmakers are inciting hatred, suspicion, and possibly violence towards the White House, State Department officials, and the new administration in Haiti.

It is especially troubling that Rep. Waters is actively lobbying for Aristide and knowingly fomenting hostility towards U.S. and Haitian officials. This is irresponsible behavior—especially post “9-11.”

Committee on Standards of Official Conduct Page 2 April 1, 2004

We find it disturbing that the Congressional Black Caucus is backing a corrupt and brutal dictator like Aristide. Over the past decade the U.S. has sent nearly $1 Billion in aid to Haiti. Yet, Haiti is still the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. About 65% of Haitians cannot read. Up until his last days in office, allegations of corruption and drug smuggling were swirling around Aristide.

We believe it is irresponsible and offensive that CBC members, under the guise of representing the American public’s interest, are doing the bidding for a man whom most Haitians despise; a man with a documented history of violence.

Therefore, we are asking that the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct investigate Rep. Maxine Waters and other members of the CBC who have had an ongoing relationship with Aristide and Haiti.

Within the past 7 weeks Rep. Waters has made several trips to Haiti. She even accompanied Mr. Aristide to Jamaica on Monday (3/15/04)—against the advice of the White House. We’d like to know by what authority does a United States Congresswoman chaperone a deposed foreign dictator?

There appears to be something terribly wrong with the actions of these officials. We would like to know the truth about why our representatives are so involved with a foreign dictator to the point of lying and turning on their own fellow U.S. officials. We would like to know the following: Why are CBC members opposed to Aristide’s resignation?

Thank you in advance for your immediate attention to this serious matter of public concern. My office will call you in the next week or so to follow up with our request. Should you have any questions for me, or need any additional information, I can be reached at (323) 782-1980.


investigate signa.gif (4977 bytes)

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson                                                                                                                                                Founder/ President

cc: U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Justice, Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, Senate Majority Leader William H. Frist, Project 21, National Center for Public Policy Research, Haiti Observateur, Congress of Racial Equality, Judicial Watch

Points of Contact: Mr. Joel Hefley, 5th C-Chairman Committee on Standards of Official Conduct HT-2, The Capitol U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515 Tel: 202-225-7103 Tel: 202-225-4422 Fax: 202-225-1942

CBC Chair, Elijah E. Cummings 1632 Longworth H.O.B. Washington, D.C. 20515 Phone: 202-225-4741 Fax: 202-225-3178

Congresswoman Maxine Waters 2344 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 202-225-2201 phone 202-225-7854 fax

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