Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Sadly, No! tracks down the truth about Clark and Haitian immigrants

Yesterday, I talked about the attack from Wesley Clark's left-flank and showed that, according to his command bio, there's no way it could be true. (My own links are bloggered, so just scroll down to "Now Clark's getting it from the left.") The even more industrious Sadly, No! was intrigued, however, and checked with the Haitian Embassy.

Sadly's e-mail:

To whom it may concern:

I hope the following email can be forwarded to Ira Kurzban, or that you can let me know how to reach him.

Thank you.

Dear Mr. Kurzban:

My name is [snip] With the announcement by (ret.) Gen. Wesley Clark that he would seek the Democratic nomination for presidential candidate in 2004, a number of stories have circulated that allege that:

"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..."

I wonder if you can confirm or deny these allegations, and/or provide any additional information as to the documents you are reported to having acquired?

I thank you in advance for your kind consideration and attention.

[Sadly, No!]

The reply, from Ira Kurzban:

Dear Mr [Sadly, No!],

Here is Mr Kurzban's reaction to your missive:

"This story is inaccurate. As you know, Wesley Clark was the person at the Pentagon who worked with the Government of Haiti on the military intervention preceding the President's return. The events in regard to the spraying of Haitians at the detention camps occurred at Krome, not at Guantanamo. It also occurred in 1981 not 1991 when the Haitians were at Guantanamo. I have no knowledge as to whether or not Clark ran the Guantanamo camp in 1991-94 (Nitpicker does, and he didn't. See aforementioned post). There were an number of horrible things that happened at the Guantanamo camp, but I never met Clark in connection with the camps. My only dealings with him were related to the military preparations for Aristide's return. Although he was not particularly friendly toward me, I found him to be bright, competent, enlightened and relatively easy to deal with."

Kind regards,
John C. Kozyn, Consultant
Embassy of Haiti, Washington, D.C.

Kudos to Sadly, no! for his efforts.

And, while I'm at it, kudos also to Fantastic Planet for updating readers on this issue.

(I should mention that Sadly, no! sent me these e-mails saying that he thought Nitpicker was "really the best place to mention it." Again, I give him full credit for going the extra mile and checking with primary sources. I owe him a beer.)


Post a Comment

<< Home