Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Now Clark's getting it from the left

I never intended for this to be the site of the Wesley Clark Defense League, but these lies are pissing me off. I found this over at Fantastic Planet. It's from an article declaring Clark a "war criminal" by Mitchel Cohen, a green.

Gen. Wesley Clark was in charge of refugee camps in the 1980s and 1990s where Haitian refugees who were fleeing first Baby Doc Duvalier (and later the new regime installed by the US following the overthrow of the elected Aristide government in the early 1990s), were packed, under appalling conditions condemned by the Center for Constitutional Rights, among many others. In the 1980s, many Haitian male refugees incarcerated at Krome (in Miami), and Fort Allen (in Puerto Rico) reported a strange condition called gyneacomastia, a situation in which they developed full female breasts.

Ira Kurzban, attorney for the Haitian Refugee Center, managed to pry free government documents via a lawsuit on behalf of the refugees. These contained the startling information that prison officials had ordered the refugees sprayed repeatedly with highly toxic chemicals never designed for such generic use. The officer in charge of the refugee camp? None other than Gen. Wesley Clark, chief of operations at the US Navy internment camp at Guantanamo, and later head of NATO forces bombing Yugoslavia. The documents go on to say that lengthy exposure to the particular chemicals can cause hormonal changes that induce development of female breasts. Medical studies of female Haitian refugees in New York revealed that they had a much higher rate of cervical cancer than the rest of the female population.

That's terrible. But untrue.

Honestly, I have no idea whether or not people were sprayed with chemicals in Guantanamo Bay, but I do know that Clark had not a damn thing to do with it. Look at his assignment history:

  • February 1980-June 1982: Commander, 1st Battalion, 77th Armor, 4th Infantry Division

  • July 1983-July 1984: Pentagon, in staff positions

  • August 1984-January 1986: Commander Operations Group, National Training Center

  • April 1986-March 1988: Commander, 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division

  • October 1989-October 1991: Commander, National Training Center

  • October 1991-August 1992: Pentagon

  • August 1992-April 1994: Commander, 1st Cavalry Division

  • April 1994-June 1996: Pentagon

  • June 1996-July 1997: CINC, US Southern Command

  • July 1997-2000: Supreme Allied Commander, NATO

  • There are a couple of gaps, but anyone who has actually served in the military can pretty much chalk them up to school time. Otherwise, no officer leaves command time off of his biography.

    The problem here is that the only time Clark might have had any control over Guantanamo was from 1996-1997, when he was the Commander-in-Chief of SOUTHCOM, when he would have been stationed in Panama, far away from the base and its detention center. However, the Haitian refugees were long gone from Guantanamo by then, having been returned to Haiti by the end of 1994. There is no way that Clark had any effect on the alleged spraying of chemicals on refugees.

    Think I'm wrong? Let's look at the source here, too. This article was run on a site that also says that the WTC towers were rigged to fall, suggests that Bob Graham and Porter Goss were connected to terrorism and that the CIA also had something to do with it. Very trustworthy.

    A smear's a smear, people, whether it comes from the right or the left.


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