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Emmanuel Constant: The United States Must Practice What It Preaches About Not Harboring Terrorists

October 3, 2001

The United States properly demands that other nations do not support or harbor those who commit or plan acts of terror.

We must practice what we preach.   I refer to the matter of Emmanuel Constant.

Constant was a founder and secretary general of the paramilitary Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti (FRAPH). FRAPH members were responsible for human rights atrocities under the military government that ruled Haiti from 1991 to 1994, including extrajudicial executions, torture, and rape.

Thousands were killed and injured by Constant's group.  A litany of the horrors inflicted by FRAPH makes harrowing reading. 

This is state-sponsored terrorism of a sort different than perpetrated during the World Trade Center attack.  The civilians who were killed at the Twin Towers were at the wrong place at the wrong time.

In contrast, the FRAPH atrocities were targeted by the Haitian military dictatorship at specific individuals or communities in order to terrorize them into submission.

FRAPH was reportedly founded with CIA assistance, and Constant was on the CIA payroll.

Emmanuel Constant is now in the United States, and we have repeatedly denied the Haitian government's request to deport him to Haiti.  Such refusal has been the subject of much so far unsuccessful advocacy by human rights groups.

What triggered this commentary was an Associated Press report in The New York Times this week which was, in contrast to the other news concerning terrorists around the world, buried in a small inside story:

President Jean-Bertrand Aristide has marked the 10th anniversary of the coup that forced him into exile and called on the United States to extradite a paramilitary leader accused of involvement in the violence that followed.

Speaking to a crowd of thousands in Independence Square in the western city [of] Gonaļves on Saturday... Mr. Aristide, in his third term, urged the United States to extradite Emmanuel Constant, who lives in exile in New York.

He was tried in absentia on charges that he had helped to mastermind a 1994 massacre, and was sentenced to life in prison last year...

Mr. Constant led the right-wing Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti, which has been accused of using terror to break the spirit of Mr. Aristide's supporters.

So there you have it.  The U.S. is harboring a terrorist who has presided over mass murder and torture.  Let's show we're serious about fighting terrorists.  Hand over Emmanuel Constant!

This was a selection from The Daily Diatribe

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