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Context of 'March 9, 2004: Congresswoman Introduces Bill to Find Out Truth about Ouster of Aristide'

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US Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) writes a letter to US Secretary of State Colin Powell accusing the State Department of intentionally subverting democracy in Haiti. “It has been clear to me for some time that the state department has been trying to undermine President Aristide… I am convinced that this effort to force President Aristide out of office by any means is a power-grab by the same forces that staged a coup d’etat and forced him out of office in 1991. The opposition that claims to be peaceful is not peaceful and they are responsible for the violence in Gonaives and other parts of Haiti. Should these actions by Andre Apaid and his Committee of 184, thugs and violent protestors receive support or encouragement from the United States, thereby increasing the risk of a coup d’etat, there may well be a bloodbath on the streets of Haiti.” [Office of Representative Barbara Lee, 2/11/2004; Office of Representative Barbara Lee, 2/13/2004; Alternet, 3/1/2004]

Entity Tags: Colin Powell, Barbara Lee

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) of the Congressional Black Caucus Haiti Task Force Co-Chair introduces the TRUTH (The Responsibility to Uncover the Truth about Haiti) Act, calling for an independent bipartisan commission to investigate the circumstances of the toppling of Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s government. The bill, H.R. 3919, is co-sponsored by CBC Haiti Task Force Co-Chair John Conyers (D-MI) and 23 other members of the House. “The Bush administration’s efforts in the overthrow of a democratically-elected government must be investigated,” says Lee. “All of the evidence brought forward thus far suggests that the Administration has, in essence, carried out a form of ‘regime change,’ a different variation than it took in Iraq, but still regime change. The American people and the international community deserve to know the truth, and this bill will offer the opportunity to investigate the long term origins of the overthrow of the Haitian government and the impact of our failure to protect democracy.” The bill seeks to answer 6 specific questions. [Office of Representative Barbara Lee, 3/9/2004; US Congress, 3/9/2004 pdf file]
bullet “Did the US Government impede democracy and contribute to the overthrow of the Aristide government?” [Office of Representative Barbara Lee, 3/9/2004]
bullet “Under what circumstances did President Jean-Bertrand Aristide resign, and what was the role of the United States Government in bringing about his departure?” [Office of Representative Barbara Lee, 3/9/2004]
bullet “To what extent did the US impede efforts by the international community, particularly the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries, to prevent the overthrow of the democratically-elected Government of Haiti?” [Office of Representative Barbara Lee, 3/9/2004]
bullet “What was the role of the United States in influencing decisions regarding Haiti at the United Nations Security Council and in discussions between Haiti and other countries that were willing to assist in the preservation of the democratically-elected Government of Haiti by sending security forces to Haiti?” [Office of Representative Barbara Lee, 3/9/2004]
bullet “Was US assistance provided or were US personnel involved in supporting, directly or indirectly, the forces opposed to the government of President Aristide?” [Office of Representative Barbara Lee, 3/9/2004]
bullet “Was US bilateral assistance channeled through nongovernmental organizations that were directly or indirectly associated with political groups actively involved in fomenting hostilities or violence toward the government of President Aristide?” [Office of Representative Barbara Lee, 3/9/2004]

Entity Tags: Barbara Lee, John Conyers

Timeline Tags: Haiti Coup

Representative John Conyers (D-MI), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, writes a letter to President Bush asking him to allow his top White House officials to explain why he commuted convicted felon Lewis Libby’s prison sentence (see July 2, 2007). Conyers says Bush should “waive executive privilege and provide relevant documents and testimony” about the decision. [CBS News, 1/25/2007] As far as is known, Conyers receives no reply from the White House.

Entity Tags: John Conyers, George W. Bush, House Judiciary Committee, Lewis (“Scooter”) Libby

Timeline Tags: Niger Uranium and Plame Outing

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