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HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AT THE PORT-
THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED FOURTH CONGRESS
MAY 3, 1995
Printed for the use of the Committee on International Relations
[ L.AW LIBRARY
U. S. rPPOSITORY
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
91-145 CC WASHINGTON : 1995
For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office
Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, New York, Chairman
WILLIAM F. GOODLING, Pennsylvania
JAMES A. LEACH, Iowa
TOBY ROTH, Wisconsin
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois
DOUG BEREUTER, Nebraska
CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey
DAN BURTON, Indiana
JAN MEYERS, Kansas
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida
CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina
DANA ROHRABACHER, California
DONALD A. MANZULLO, Illinois
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California
PETER T. KING, New York
JAY KIM, California
SAM BROWNBACK, Kansas
DAVID FUNDERBURK, North Carolina
STEVEN J. CHABOT, Ohio
MARSHALL "MARK" SANFORD, South
MATT SALMON, Arizona
AMO HOUGHTON, New York
LEE H. HAMILTON, Indiana
SAM GEJDENSON, Connecticut
TOM LANTOS, California
ROBERT G. TORRICELLI, New Jersey
HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
GARY L. ACKERMAN, New York
HARRY JOHNSTON, Florida
ELIOT L. ENGEL, New York
ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American
MATTHEW G. MARTINEZ, California
DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey
ROBERT E. ANDREWS, New Jersey
ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey
SHERROD BROWN, Ohio
CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia
ALCEE L. HASTINGS, Florida
ALBERT RUSSELL WYNN, Maryland
MICHAEL R. McNULTY, New York
JAMES P. MORAN, Virginia
VICTOR 0. FRAZER, Virgin Islands (Ind.)
RICHARD J. GARON, Chief of Staff
MICHAEL H. VAN DUSEN, Minority Chief of Staff
SUBCOMMITrEE ON THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE
DAN BURTON, Indiana, Chairman
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida ROBERT G. TORRICELLI, New Jersey
CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey
CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey ALBERT RUSSELL WYNN, Maryland
ELTON GALLEGLY, California TOM LANTOS, California
PETER T. KING, New York MATTHEW G. MARTINEZ, California
GILEAD KAPEN, Subcommittee Staff Director
SCOTT WILSON, Democratic Professional Staff Member
SCOTT FEENEY, Professional Staff Member
ANITA WINSOR, Staff Associate
Paul J. Browne, vice president, The Investigative Group .................................. 4
Cpt. Lawrence P. Rockwood, U.S. Army .............................................................. 6
Col. Richard H. Black, U.S. Army (Ret.) ............................................................... 8
Lawrence T. Di Rita, deputy director, The Heritage Foundation ...................... 10
Paul J. Browne ............................................................................................... 19
Cpt. Lawrence P. Rockwood .......................................................................... 22
Col. Richard H Black .................................................................................... 27
Lawrence T. Di Rita ....................................................................................... 31
MATERIAL SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD
"Court-Martial: A Soldier's Story", an article in the Wall Street Journal
by Cpt. Lawrence P. Rockwood on April 4, 1995 ............................................. 35
"Protect or Obey: The United States Army versus Captain Lawrence Rock-
wood: a report by Robert 0. Weiner, The Lawyers Committee for Human
Rights, M ay 1995 ................................................................................................ 37
Excerpt from Civil Military Operations Handbook, 10th Mountain Division,
February 1, 1992 ............................................................................................... 51
Excerpts from Inspector General Activities and Procedures: Assistance, In-
spections, Investigations, and Follow-up, Department of the Army, March
15, 1994 ................................................................................................................. 57
"Court Martial With Haitian Policy Links", an article in the Washington
Times by Lawrence T. Di Rita, April 17, 1995 ................................................ 60
HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AT THE PORT-
WEDNESDAY, MAY 3, 1995
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON WESTERN HEMISPHERE,
The subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10:12 a.m. in room
2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Dan Burton (chairman
of the subcommittee) presiding.
Mr. BURTON. Can the panel take their seats? We have other
members that will be coming.
Unfortunately, this week is a short week because the Republican
majority is having a retreat down in Virginia; and as a result, what
we anticipated was going to be a workday is now what we call a
pro forma session. And so some of the members have already gone
down to the retreat, and other members have gone back to their
districts on both sides of the aisle. But we will conduct the hearing
and it will be a matter of record. It will be something that will be
conveyed to the leadership in the House and the Senate; and to the
President of the United States.
Before I make my formal opening statement, I would like to
make a couple comments about some actions that were taken yes-
terday that impinge upon the authority and the jurisdiction of this
subcommittee. Yesterday the President of the United States
changed our policy to a large degree with Cuba. This drastic shift
in U.S. policy toward Cuba announced yesterday by the Clinton ad-
ministration came as a bolt out of the blue for all those concerned
about freedom and democracy in Cuba.
The new approach, worked out in secret with the Cuban Govern-
ment and without any consultation with the Cuban-American com-
munity-in fact, the Cuban-American community believes they
have been misled or lied to by the administration, the U.S. Con-
gress, or even key State Department officials, will rightfully be con-
sidered a stab in the back by the long-suffering people of Cuba,
who want freedom, democracy and human rights.
I do welcome the decision to admit the Cuban freedom-seekers
now stuck at Guantanamo at a cost to the American taxpayer of
$1 million a day into the United States. These decent people have
remained in limbo for almost a year under very difficult conditions.
I also fully understand that Fidel Castro must not be allowed to
threaten the United States with periodic floods of refugees. Toward
that end, I have written to the President in the past asking him
to impose a blockade on Cuba when Castro tries to have a flotilla
of people leave that country to put pressure on us to change our
However, the decision to patrol the shores of Cuba, in coopera-
tion with the Communist dictatorship of Fidel Castro, is abomi-
nable and reprehensible. In January we had a hearing on the
March 13 tugboat incident, where the Cuban Navy deliberately
murdered 42 women and children on the high seas. They put their
boat beside the tugboat. Women were holding their children aloft
so they could see there were children on board. The navy kept
shooting the women with water hoses, and when the women took
the children down into the hull of the ship, the navy pulled along-
side and filled the hull with water and drowned 42 women and
These are the people that President Clinton is now going to be
working with and asking our Navy to work with. The very notion
that the United States, the world's beacon of freedom, has worked
out such a deal in secret with one of the world's most notorious vio-
lators of human rights, is nothing short of blood curdling. It is par-
ticularly despicable that this pact with the devil was negotiated be-
hind the backs of the Cuban-American community and the rep-
resentatives of the American people, the U.S. Congress.
Furthermore, these secret talks occurred despite repeated assur-
ances to the Cuban-American community that no such negotiations
were taking place. Fidel Castro should not believe that he can in-
timidate the United States of America. Despite the unilateral ac-
tions of the Clinton administration, the U.S. Congress, acting in a
bipartisan fashion, will confront Castro, the last Communist dic-
tator in the Western Hemisphere.
We intend to push with full steam ahead to pass a Cuban Lib-
erty and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1995 through the U.S. Con-
gress. I plan to call a hearing next Tuesday, May 9; and we will
go into detail on U.S. policy toward Cuba, in light of yesterday's
announcement by the Clinton administration. The Cuban people
have suffered under Communist tyranny for over 35 years. That is
far too long, and we shouldn't be negotiating with that dictator
right now. My subcommittee will continue to stand in solidarity
with the Cuban people until Cuba is free. I have now vented my
spleen on that, and we will now get on with the purpose of the
First of all, I would like to welcome all of you here today to the
Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere's hearing on human
rights conditions at the Port-au-Prince Penitentiary. In mid-Feb-
ruary, I led a congressional delegation to Haiti. During our visit,
I insisted on stopping off at the Port-au-Prince Penitentiary. I was
asked to do this by an enlisted man.
I wasn't going to go to the Port-au-Prince Penitentiary, but one
of the enlisted men I had interviewed during our visit suggested I
do so. He said it was unbelievable what was going on over there.
So I said to the commanding officer, I want to go to the Port-au-
And he said, "Oh, you don't want to go there, Congressman." I
said, "Yes, I do. I want to see the human rights conditions over
there," so reluctantly he took me.
He was a very accommodating, two-star general. I don't want to
cast aspersions on the gentleman, but he really didn't think I
should be going. I had heard the conditions were quite bad, and I
really wanted to see for myself. What I did see? In a word, it was
horrible. I will not soon forget it, and I am sure my colleagues who
were with me will say the same.
The prison's conditions were subhuman. I had to have a hand-
kerchief over my mouth to even be able to breathe in that place.
That is how bad it was. The cells were overcrowded and the kitch-
en obviously unsanitary. It was a hole in the wall. I can't imagine
anybody eating or preparing food in that hole in the wall. It was
just unbelievable. Most noticeable was the terrible stench. It was
The sewage system was broken. You could see the raw sewage
running underneath the ground through the courtyard. I also had
been told that prior to my visit, there had been 500 people in a
prison cell standing ankle deep in excrement for up to 4 to 5
months and some of their feet rotted off. They had gangrene and
they had to have amputation.
Here is the kicker. By the time we saw the prison, it had been
cleaned up. I want you to know, it was awful-and it had been
cleaned up. The U.S. Army sergeant who was there had done a su-
perb job of organizing a cleanup operation.
In particular, a huge mound of garbage, excrement and human
waste, had been removed. We were able to see the remnants. There
was a wall at the prison, about halfway up the size of this wall,
and the excrement and the garbage had been all the way to the top
of that wall at an angle of 45 degrees angling down into the court-
yard. That had been cleaned up to a degree, thanks to these en-
listed men who were overseeing the cleanup detail.
Before our heroic military men arrived, the prison was by all ac-
counts hell on earth, and I can really believe it.
I think it is obvious that anyone would feel strongly, after seeing
such a sight. I am not one of those people who believes in coddling
prisoners. I believe people that are convicted of a felony and go to
jail should be treated very harshly and pay their payment to soci-
At the same time that I say that, I think it is extremely impor-
tant that we observe decency and human rights. I want to tell you,
there could not have been even a remote possibility of decency and
human rights in that penal institution.
This brings me to the case of Captain Rockwood. We are not here
today to interfere in the military justice process. And I want to
make that clear. I know there is a court-martial pending and we
don't want to interfere. We have confidence in the military judicial
system. Nor do we intend to prejudice a matter which will soon be
before the military court, as I said.
Nonetheless, we have here today an officer of the U.S. military
who appears to be guided by the best of motivations. It is a trou-
bling case and it highlights the problems which arise for our mili-
tary in operations such as in Haiti. I think it is important that we
get to the bottom of this situation. We need to find out whether or
not proper procedure was followed, whether or not the captain was
trying to protect these people from human rights violations, and
whether or not our military should have taken a more active posi-
tion toward that prison in a much more responsible period of time.
I am anxious to hear today from our witnesses on our panel. So
without further ado, let me go to our panel. Our panel today in-
cludes Mr. Paul Browne, vice president of the Investigative Group,
who spent several months in Haiti as the Deputy to Commissioner
Ray Kelly, supervising the International Police Monitors in Haiti.
We look forward to hearing of your firsthand account of the human
rights violations at the Port-au-Prince Penitentiary.
Cpt. Lawrence P. Rockwood is a member of the 10th Mountain
Division at Fort Drum, New York. He is scheduled to be court-
martialed later this month for events which took place last year
during his position in Haiti. We look forward to hearing his com-
Col. Richard H. Black, a retired U.S. Army officer with a very
distinguished career, is an expert on military law. And we also look
forward to his testimony.
Larry Di Rita, deputy director of Foreign Policy and Defense
Studies at the Heritage Foundation, recently wrote an excellent ar-
ticle on Haiti for the Washington Times.
We welcome all of you here today and look forward to receiving
your testimony, which will provide perspective on the situation in
Haiti. We will start with Mr. Browne.
If you could try to restrict your statements to 5 minutes, it would
be very helpful to us. I want to try to get to questions as much as
possible, so we can really get to the bottom of this.
STATEMENT OF PAUL J. BROWNE, VICE PRESIDENT, THE
Mr. BROWNE. Yes, sir. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of
the committee. I served as Deputy Director of the International Po-
lice Monitors in Haiti from October 3, 1994, to March 31, 1995, a
6-month period that the police monitors were deployed in Haiti as
part of the American-led multinational force. The monitoring force
was comprised of approximately 1,200 police professionals and in-
terpreters from 20 nations around the world. The police monitors
stopped human rights abuses by the Haitian police, established
and mentored an interim police force-
Mr. BURTON. Pardon me for interrupting, but these microphones
don't pick up very well. If you could get them as close to your
mouths as possible, we can make sure we can hear everybody's tes-
Mr. BROWNE. Yes, sir. Police monitors stopped human rights
abuses by the Haitian police, established and mentored an interim
police force and paved the way for a new professionally recruited
and trained police department. Our duties were assumed by the
United Nations civilian police on March 31.
On October 13 last year, 10 days after I arrived in Port-au-
Prince, I was on patrol in the vicinity of the Penitencier National,
Haiti's national prison, when I monitored radio traffic alerting me
to the fact that a large threatening crowd had assembled outside
the prison. I responded to the scene and observed a crowd of about
1,000 people filling the sidewalks and the street in front of the
Another international police monitoring patrol had responded, as
did the U.S. military police who had assumed protective positions
in front of the prison entrance. There was some concern this crowd
was going to storm the prison. A rumor had spread through the
crowd that prisoners inside were being starved to death, and that
52 inmates had been killed. I found that interesting, but not par-
ticularly alarming, since a nearly identical rumor subsequently
proved untrue, had circulated a few days earlier in Carrefour, an
area just outside of Port-au-Prince.
The Carrefour rumor had lead to a similar demonstration in
front of the jail there. In that case, the police monitors invited a
few civilians from the crowd to inspect for themselves the jail. And
in this way, the civilians helped document that the rumors were in
fact unfounded and the tactic helped restore order.
An MP officer in front of the national prison, who was familiar
with that situation in Carrefour, asked if we could use it again to
help peacefully disperse the crowd. So I selected three individuals
at random from the crowd of demonstrators and they accompanied
me on a cell by cell, room by room inspection of the prison. No one
was found dead inside, and none of the prisoners we talked to re-
ported any killings or proactive physical abuse, but conditions in-
side the prison were medieval, nonetheless.
The prison was crowded. When I was there, there were up to 300
prisoners in one single large block that you alluded to, Congress-
man. And there was no running water or sanitary facilities in that
part of the prison, just a hole in the corner where prisoners would
urinate. There were toilets but in very poor condition, located in
the prison yard.
Most of the prisoners relied on daily visits from family members
or friends to get fed. All of them had been receiving food daily, ei-
ther by relatives or guards, according to the prisoners we talked to,
except for that day in question, October 13.
When I brought this to the attention of the prison superintend-
ent, he said that he was afraid that the crowd outside would over-
run the prison if he allowed family members, as usual, to gain
entry with food. So I asked him if he would invite the relatives in-
side if we dispersed the crowd, and he agreed. And that is eventu-
ally what transpired. Civilians who accompanied me reported to
the crowd what they saw inside.
The crowd dispersed and family members lined up in an orderly
way and were allowed to bring food to their incarcerated relatives.
However, I had also inspected the prison infirmary and found that
at least three inmates appeared emaciated and in need of imme-
diate medical attention. Although the witnesses, the civilian wit-
nesses had seen this, they didn't appear too disturbed by it.
But I felt there was a need to call in immediate medical atten-
tion and we did do that. And local ambulances arrived to evacuate
the prisoners. But when they saw the crowd, which had still not
dispersed, in front of the prison, they feared the evacuation would
spark a serious disturbance. So the ambulances left.
By about midnight this same day, after working throughout the
afternoon and evening with the U.S. Army and U.S. Embassy per-
sonnel, we tried unsuccessfully to get those ambulances to return.
Finally, we assembled a medical team from the International Com-
mittee of the Red Cross. The MP's provided military escort. We
went back to the prison. It is now probably after midnight.
The guard on duty wouldn't let us in. His boss was away. So
we-I reached the superintendent at home, woke him up, and he
finally agreed to bring the-allow that team to come in and work
with the prisoners the next morning.
I will try to move quickly through the rest of this.
As a result of that visit, we worked with the Red Cross to pro-
vide routine inspection of the prisons. The police monitors assem-
bled their own team of inspectors to go throughout the prisons to
monitor such things as lack of food and lack of medical treatment.
And where we could, we would provide a meal a day.
We had a discussion about providing two meals a day in one case
in some areas, but decided that that might cause prison break-ins,
people hungry, Haitians, in neighboring communities, trying to get
into the prison to be fed. So we limited it to one MRE a day.
We also found lots of prisoners in there, no records, no accounts
of why they were there, how long they were there, when they were
due to be released. As a result of our recommendations, the Haitian
Government eventually assigned a special judge to release pris-
oners whose reasons for being incarcerated couldn't be documented.
Just in conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I have been asked if the condi-
tions inside the national prisons had shocked me, and by American
standards, of course, I was shocked. But for the poorest country in
the hemisphere, whose ordinary citizens lived without potable
water, with open sewers like you saw in the prison also coursing
their way throughout cities, Soleil and other slums in Haiti, and
without electricity most of the time, I have to be honest with you
and tell you that I wasn't surprised that Haiti's prisons were just
as bad as some of the conditions the regular citizenry had to put
[The prepared statement of Mr. Browne appears in the appen-
Mr. BURTON. Well, we will pursue that in just a few moments.
Captain Rockwood, would you like to make your statements now?
Then we will get to questions. Did the gentleman, Mr. Ballenger,
have anything he would like to say in opening comment?
Mr. BALLENGER. No, thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BURTON. OK. Thank you. Captain Rockwood.
STATEMENT OF CPT. LAWRENCE P. ROCKWOOD, U.S. ARMY
Captain ROCKWOOD. Thank you, Mr. Congressman.
First of all, I would like to thank the chairman of the Sub-
committee on the Western Hemisphere, Congressman Dan Burton,
and other members, for giving me the opportunity to present my
testimony here today. I am submitting for the record a statement
with enclosures and I will summarize it briefly for you.
I will also submit a statement by Robert Weiner of the Lawyers
Committee for Human Rights to be submitted into the record.
[The information appears in the appendix.]
Captain ROCKWOOD. I am facing a court-martial for my actions
as a counterintelligence officer while I was serving in the 10th
Mountain Division in Haiti. The subject of this hearing, however,
is not my actions, but rather the extraordinary inaction on the part
of my superiors.
I will demonstrate that while in Port-au-Prince I witnessed and
attempted to stop dereliction of duty, if not criminal negligence, on
the part of my superiors who ignored the atrocious human rights
conditions in the Port-au-Prince National Penitentiary that they
were aware of.
Last September 15, the President announced that the primary
objective of Operation Uphold Democracy was to prevent brutal
atrocities against Haitians. And bearing in mind my military oath
as a soldier, I took the words of my Commander in Chief at face
value. I arrived in Port-au-Prince on September 23.
I assumed that the inspection of the prisons would be a priority
for the multinational forces. Haiti's notorious human rights record,
the regulations of the U.S. Army, and of the 10th Mountain Divi-
sion itself, and most importantly, common sense, suggested so. Lit-
tle did I know. For 1 week I consulted with every section of the
command staff serving under Major David Meade, to organize an
inspection of the National Penitentiary in Port-au-Prince.
I approached the command chaplain, our legal section, the civil
military operation center, the military police, the special operations
liaison officer, the U.N. military observers, and senior officers on
our operation staff. Incredibly, these efforts of mine coincided with
the U.S. special forces stumbling upon a modern day human rights
nightmare, the prison conditions in Les Cayes.
But even then, I encountered an inexplicable indifference toward
human rights violations, including shrugged shoulders and yawns.
It became apparent to me that there would be no imminent ac-
counting of prisoners held by the Haitian de facto government.
At that time, I filed an official complaint with the Inspector Gen-
eral of the 10th Mountain Division. That was 30 September, in the
morning. I later learned the division started monitoring this prison
as late as 3 months after arriving in Haiti. But this is not surpris-
During the preliminary hearing for my court-martial, the Divi-
sion's senior intelligence officer and my immediate superior while
I was in Haiti, decisively testified that human rights conditions
were not a priority for the multinational forces. I was told my com-
plaint to the Inspector General would not be brought to the atten-
tion of General Meade for a week when I submitted my complaint
on September 30.
I believed my military oath of office not only allowed me but com-
pelled me to place loyalty to the Constitution and the President of
the United States before obedience to my immediate superiors.
Thus last September 30, after having submitted this complaint, I
left the military compound to inspect the major prison in Port-au-
Prince on my own. I spent 2 hours there and only partially accom-
plished my task. I had already found atrocious conditions and
shockingly emaciated inmates.
A military officer from the U.S. Embassy arrived and ordered me
out. I was then taken to the military compound where my rights
were read to me. A day later, I was escorted back to the United
States. Now I am facing a court-martial. The charges appear petty
next to the life-threatening human rights violations that continued
in Port-au-Prince National Penitentiary for 2V2 months after my
There is, however, nothing petty in the charges in my official
complaint initiated on the morning of September 30. The Inspector
General of the Army, Lieutenant General Ronald Griffith, recog-
nized this fact and last April 17 opened an inquiry into the failure
of General Meade and the members of his staff in addressing the
human rights conditions and the National Penitentiary and other
confined facilities in Haiti during his command of the multinational
forces in Haiti, which ended on 15 January.
My court-martial, convened on the recommendation of General
Meade, will start Monday. However, I am convinced that as a mili-
tary officer, the actions I took under the circumstances were appro-
priate and legitimate under the Nuremberg principles. And I am
equally convinced that the inaction of my superiors under the name
Nuremberg principles, was not only derelict, but negligent, crimi-
[The prepared statement of Cpt. Rockwood appears in the appen-
Mr. BURTON. Thank you, Captain. We will get back to questions
with you in just a few minutes.
STATEMENT OF COL. RICHARD H. BLACK, U.S. ARMY (Ret.)
Colonel BLACK. Yes. Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommit-
tee, I am Col. Dick Black, and before retiring last fall I was the
Chief of the Criminal Law Division for the Army. Today I am a
partner in the law firm of Taylor, Horbaly and Black.
I want to provide some background on the issues involving Cap-
tain Rockwood's court-martial. However, my remarks are based
very strictly on public record, in order to avoid in any way com-
promising his case. Let me add that in no way do any of my com-
ments reflect the views of the Department of Defense, but they are
simply based on my previous experience as a senior legal official
of the Army.
Captain Rockwood's actions took place during a very dangerous
period, just 11 days after the multinational forces arrived in Haiti.
Port-au-Prince was in a state of violent civil unrest. On September
29, the night before Captain Rockwood's foray into Port-au-Prince,
severe violence erupted there. During a grenade attack and two
gun fights, 16 Haitians were killed and 60 others were wounded.
A misstep at that time might have set in motion a chain of events
leading to the loss of American lives, including Captain Rock-
wood's. This in turn might have led to a collapse of the entire mis-
sion in Haiti.
At that time American officials were implementing a delicate
shift of power between Haitian political factions and the multi-
national force. The political climate was explosive. This was no
time for breaches of security or for disobedience of orders.
Discipline and obedience to orders, conveyed through a well-de-
fined chain of command, are factors which distinguish a military
force from an armed mob. Our Government must remain confident
that actions of military forces will correspond to, but will not ex-
ceed, the directives of our political leadership.
If they act beyond the directives of national authorities, troops
risk embroiling America in unintended armed conflicts. Now, the
articles discussing the Rockwood case indicate that Captain Rock-
wood felt justified in violating security rules and the orders of his
superiors because of the President's public pronouncements regard-
ing Haiti. President Clinton said that our objectives in Haiti did in-
clude the restoration of human rights.
Under certain circumstances, orders from superiors can super-
sede those of immediate commanders. However, in my view, the
President's televised statements did not constitute orders under
military law, in my view. Press reports have compared the Army's
failure to immediately investigate Haitian prisons to events which
occurred at My Lai, or to the war crimes trial of General
Yamashita following the Second World War.
But Yamashita was hanged for failing to prevent vicious crimes
committed by his own troops. None of these cases suggest a legal
duty to intervene and prevent violations of human rights commit-
ted by foreign nationals. Military officers are not responsible for
rectifying violations by foreign officials who are not under their di-
rect control. And again, I point to the timeframe in which all of this
occurred, 11 days following our entry into Haiti.
Captain Rockwood's unusual undertaking could have had cata-
strophic results. He arrived at the prison unannounced and, accord-
ing to press reports, he claimed that he entered by, "literally plac-
ing my boot in the door."
Had an exchange of gunfire resulted, a prison riot or an armed
action by one of the edgy Haitian factions could have occurred.
Captain Rockwood could have been killed, but so could others, com-
pelled to come to his rescue. Troops are tightly controlled in vola-
tile situations to avoid just such needless and unintended risks.
Without going into detail, I will say that the press accounts sug-
gest the 10th Mountain Division did try to resolve this issue in a
low-key manner without a trial. Captain Rockwood, according to
the press, was offered nonjudicial punishment. However, he de-
manded a trial by court-martial, which is his right under the law.
He will be given the opportunity to fully and fairly litigate the
issues which he has raised and which I know concern him very
much, before the military courts. He has substantial appellate
rights which reach all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. I have
no doubt, based on my experience, that his views will be fairly
aired within that process.
Americans continue to question our involvement in Haiti. They
are deeply suspicious of the United Nations. They are suspicious
that it is usurping American sovereignty. They have little stomach
for peacekeeping missions under a one-world banner.
While our political leaders debate the merits of intervening in
foreign lands, our military commanders must have congressional
support for maintaining order within the ranks. These are difficult
situations, and as the Captain Rockwood case indicates, they place
American troops in situations for which they are ill-equipped. We
are not a social agency. We are a military arm of the government.
This ends my prepared statement. I would be happy to respond
[The prepared statement of Colonel Black appears in the appen-
Mr. BURTON. Thank you, Colonel Black. I am sure we will have
some questions for you and some comments in just a few moments.
Mr. Di Rita.
STATEMENT OF LAWRENCE T. DI RITA, DEPUTY DIRECTOR,
THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION
Mr. DI RITA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate the oppor-
tunity to come to speak today. I have, as the others, provided some
written testimony already, and I will just summarize those.
I do commend you for taking this issue on, and the broader issue
of the U.S. policy in Haiti. And as an aside, I commend you as well
for the comments you made at the beginning about the Cuban pol-
icy which changed yesterday. It is my belief, and we can talk about
this perhaps, that what we are having to deal with now in Guanta-
namo Bay, Cuba, is the direct result of having really botched the
Haiti-the situation of Haiti. And I think there is a direct link.
I will not make specific comments on the merits of Captain Rock-
wood's case. As Colonel Black has said, he will have his day in
I am a former naval officer and served for 17 years and believe
in the military justice system, and I believe that he will be-his
case will be heard.
Secondly, I won't discuss the individual situation at the National
Penitentiary. You have described it in a very compelling term, and
Mr. Browne has been there and seen it and it certainly sounds as
though the conditions there were indeed deplorable. What I want
to do is just zoom out a little bit--
Mr. BURTON. The mike, just pull it a little closer to you.
Mr. DI RITA. Just zoom out a little bit from what Colonel Black
started to talk about. This is the question of the use of the military
for what we are calling nontraditional operations. This is certainly
The military has been-we are seeing the military used for
things like the war on drugs. Any given day, there is any number
of Navy ships in the Caribbean chasing drug runners, aircraft
doing the same thing. We are certainly seeing the use of the mili-
tary in peacekeeping operations around the world, including in
Haiti, and of course humanitarian operations, in places like Soma-
lia and elsewhere.
There is a lot of reasons why this is happening. The military has
unique capabilities. Only the military can get places far away in
short order, with a lot of people and supplies. There is a justifiable
use of the military for some of those circumstances.
Another reason is that the public has a great deal of confidence
in the military. According to a recent poll by the council for excel-
lence in government, the military has a 60 percent approval rating,
which is double the next highest government institution, which by
the way is local government, not the Federal Government.
There's a great deal of frustration with the end of the cold war
and the turmoil around the world, and there is a sense that the
United States has to do something about it. And I would go one
step further. The Clinton administration national security strategy
has encouraged the use of the military in circumstances like this
by placing the promotion of democracy abroad as an explicit objec-
tive in the national security strategy. And in that strategy, it spe-
cifically hails the case of Haiti as an example of how we will use
military force to promote democracy abroad.
In the same document, the President raises a number of ques-
tions. Is there a clearly defined mission for the use of the military?
What is the environment of the risks that we are entering? And do
we have time lines and milestones to get us out, to lead to an exit
And I would argue that in the case of Haiti, none of those ques-
tions could be answered sufficiently to justify the use of military
force. Captain Rockwood can certainly discuss whether or not he
understood the answer to those questions that are posed by the
President's own national security strategy, but I would say that
none of those questions was answered particularly well.
What was the mission in Haiti? To restore democracy. Without
wanting to sound glib, restoring democracy in a country that has
never had democracy is a farce. It sounds an awful lot like the jus-
tification we used in 1915 to invade that country.
And after we left 20 years later the country was not much better
off for us having been there. To the administration, it was actually
Operation Restore Aristide, not Operation Restore Democracy.
There are a number of democratically elected antimilitary, anti-
Cedras Democrats in Haiti, who loath Mr. Aristide, and continue
to do so and are very concerned about the fact that the United
States has placed its full faith and confidence in him.
And I would just mention at this point, that as deplorable as the
conditions in Haiti are, as you have seen personally and in the Na-
tional Penitentiary as Mr. Browne has described, and Captain
Rockwood, those conditions were deplorable before we got there
and they will be deplorable after we leave, as unfortunate as that
is. Placing the military into the middle of a overseas political tur-
moil like this really begs the types of problems that we are seeing
in the case of the Rockwood-in the Rockwood case.
We are asking the military to make choices that they are not ca-
pable of making-individual members of the military to make
choices that they are not capable of making within the boundaries
of custom, regulation, tradition, and as Colonel Black said, good
order and discipline.
I would even say that if deplorable prison conditions are a reason
for invading other countries, then we really better get started, be-
cause there is a lot of countries around the world with deplorable
prison conditions. When we put the military in a situation like this,
the most trusted institution in America soon appears inept, and
Saw that in Somalia, where we went there to feed starving chil-
dren, and left ignominiously, having been forced out by warlords.
Our conditions for withdrawal in Haiti, which is democracy there,
is a remarkably high standard to set. And we are now-the U.S.
Government in general and the U.S. military in particular, has had
imposed upon it establishing that standard.
It is simply inappropriate for a military objective. And just going
one step further, we have now institutionalized this ambiguity of
the nontraditional missions. The Clinton administration's directive
on peacekeeping gives U.S. commanders the authority to opt out of
United Nations orders that they don't believe legal or appropriate.
This raises many questions.
Is that authority to opt out of orders delegated to subordinate
commanders? Under those circumstances, Captain Rockwood might
indeed be exonerated. How different is that from what Captain
Rockwood is alleged to have done? If the administration is placing
as policy the authority for U.S. commanders to opt out of orders
they don't like, that is clearly putting them in a very uncomfortable
I will just close quickly by referring to the classic in American
civil military relations by Professor Samuel Huntington from up at
Harvard University. The book is called "The Soldier and the State",
and it has become something of a textbook on civil military rela-
In that book, Professor Huntington says the principal profes-
sional objective of the U.S. military is as a manager of violence.
"The function of a military force is successful armed combat. The
duties of the military officer include the organization, equipping
and training of this force, the planning of its activities, and the di-
rection of its operations in and out of combat."
In Somalia first, now in Haiti, we have violated that principle
continuously. If we continue to violate that principle, it will no
longer be the principal purpose of the military profession. And at
that point, we will have a military profession incapable of perform-
ing its chief function, managing violence.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Di Rita appears in the appendix.]
Mr. BURTON. Thank you, Mr. Di Rita, for your comments.
Let me start the questioning by asking our military law experts,
does Army Field Manual 41-10 provide any guidance about how
our troops should deal with confinement facilities such as prisons,
hospitals and other institutions?
Are U.S. troops required to obtain information such as names of
inmates or people in hospitals? Addresses, names of the wardens?
Are overall conditions of the facilities and inmates inspected in
order to ensure that U.S. troops are not later blamed for any viola-
tions of human rights or inhumane conditions that should exist?
I will start with you, Colonel Black.
Colonel BLACK. Mr. Chairman, I am not prepared to go into the
detail of that specific regulation. As you know, I was not notified
of this proceeding until Friday, and so have not gone through the
variety of field manuals, or the evidence pertaining to the specific
I would say this, though. The obligations of American forces to
intervene within the domestic affairs of the Haitian people and
government really need to be viewed in light of the very, very brief
time since they had arrived in country. The events in Captain
Rockwood's case occurred just 11 days after we had arrived, and
defensive positions were being set up, a very delicate shift was tak-
ing place among the authorities. And I think the time was not ripe
at that point.
Mr. BURTON. Colonel Black, I am an army man. I was an en-
listed man. I used to shiver when a second lieutenant walked by.
I am army to the core.
The problem here is not that I don't respect the chain of com-
mand. I do respect the chain of command. I respect the military.
I am probably one of the biggest supporters of the military and the
Pentagon in the Congress. Look at all the awards I have won for
supporting the military. I am not here to castigate the military.
However, I think it is imperative that while we support our de-
fense, support our military and support the people who lay their
lives on the line for our freedom, we must acknowledge from time
to time that a mistake or two is made. You alluded to a few mis-
takes that have been made in the past. I think in Vietnam there
were mistakes. My Lai was one. There were other mistakes, and
those mistakes led to some severe criticism of certain people in the
military, and some court-martials. In this particular case, as I un-
derstand it, it was not until December 19 that we started doing
something about the human rights conditions and violations that
were taking place in that penitentiary.
Now granted, Captain Rockwood was only there for a week or 10
days before he went in the prison, but he had been made aware
of it and felt a responsibility to do something about it. I also was
in Haiti, and I know the security situation.
We sent massive forces in there, and if we had wanted to go in
with our military to protect and clean out that prison, I am sure
that we could have done it with a minimum of risk. I would take
issue with you on that issue.
What I would like to ask any one of the panelists is why it took
90 days before our military started doing something about cleaning
up that prison and doing something about the obvious human
rights violations that were taking place there?
Mr. DI RITA. I will start, and Captain Rockwood was obviously
there, he will have a better feel for this on the ground. But it is
important to remember that when the military was being deployed
to go down there, when the President gave his emotional speech on
September 15, they were going down as an occupation force, expect-
ing to face combat. And my guess is, having served for an awful
long time in the military myself, you develop your operation orders
and your plans based on what you think the objective is. Literally,
while they were in the air, and President Clinton makes a great
deal of this point, while those forces were in the air the objective
changed rather dramatically.
President Clinton sent people down like General Powell and Sen-
ator Nunn to cut a deal with the very forces that we were being
asked to go down there and defeat militarily. So it is not at all sur-
prising to me that, a scant 2 weeks later, or 11 days later, the mili-
tary units that had been sent down for one very different objective
and were basing their mission on very different objectives, were
now being asked to do something rather differently.
Again, I have not read the op plans, they are classified and I
wasn't part of the mission. But it is not at all surprising to me that
having had this dramatic change in the nature of the operation
over a period of 48 hours between the President's speech and Gen-
eral Powell and Senator Nunn's agreement, President Carter's
agreement, that the military was in a certain fit that this is a dif-
ferent mission and we have got to react to that.
Mr. BURTON. Let me ask Captain Rockwood a question. When I
talked to you privately, you cited several procedures that you were
required to follow before you take certain steps to look into alleged
human rights violations in facilities such as hospitals and prisons.
Can you illuminate or illustrate the things that you did or should
do before you felt compelled to do what you did?
Captain ROCKWOOD. Well, before I compelled to do what I did,
I on a daily basis, for over a week, I consulted on the staff mem-
bers that I have already mentioned. Not once, but almost on a daily
basis. And before I undertook the action that I undertook, I ended,
for all practical purposes, my military career by opposing and send-
ing a complaint against my commander's conduct of that operation.
Mr. BURTON. I understand, Captain. But you indicated that there
were certain procedures that you followed and forms that were
filed with various people up the chain of command about the condi-
tions that you thought should be investigated. Can you illuminate
Captain ROCKWOOD. Right. The information I received was as an
Mr. BURTON. This was within your jurisdiction?
Captain ROCKWOOD. Within my jurisdiction. One thing I want to
make perfectly clear, that the 10th Mountain Division's mission did
not change. The armed insertion, what we called the nonpermissive
entry, that was a mission given to the 18th airborne corps under
General Sheldon. We were to be the follow-on. The armed insertion
was never our mission. The 10th Mountain Division was picked for
this mission because of our experience with operations other than
war in Somalia. So that contention that we did not have the back-
ground, we were not prepared, if we were not prepared, there is no
division in the U.S. Army that was prepared.
Mr. BURTON. Maybe I am not making myself clear. Can you tell
us how you informed your superiors of the alleged violations that
were taking place? What forms did that take before you went over
to the prison?
Captain ROCKWOOD. All right, Congressman.
My job as a counterintelligence officer on General Meade's staff
was to summarize the intelligence activities over the last 24 hours
and help plan activities for the next 24 hours. So now this informa-
tion came to my attention as I was providing these reports.
I summarized this information on Haitian violence and submit-
ted it to the various staff officers. That was corroborated by the
operational report from Les Cayes and also corroborated by intel-
ligence report we received from the Pentagon on the 30th of Sep-
tember. So this information, I was told-I was never told that I
was not to conduct the coordination for this mission. For as far as
intelligence personnel, I already had a commitment.
I had the linguist and the intelligence personnel who were going
to go to the prison, talk to the prisoners, and get an accountability,
which meant what is the population of the prison and what are the
identities of the prisoners being held. The problem is we could not
get a security escort for those intelligence personnel. And that was
why the mission was not carried out. For that, I had to coordinate
with other staff sections to get that security escort. And that is
where I ran into the indifference.
Mr. BURTON. I will get my further questions after my second
round. Did you have any question?
Mr. BALLENGER. No, Mr. Chairman. I would like to commend you
for this. This is all new to me.
I am afraid I didn't read the stories in the paper and so forth,
and it is fascinating to me. I guess, Mr. Browne, I would like to
ask you a question, to see if you think I am spinning my wheels.
A lady who is a mayor of a little town in northern Haiti came
to see me and my wife, because I have a history of trying to help
out people in Central and South America. She asked me, could you
help us out? I said sure. What can I do? She said our school system
is in terrible shape, can you help us? And I said, well, what do you
need? And she said could you get us pencils and paper?
And you know, when you get right down to the nitty-gritty and
people don't even have pencils and paper for school, you figure
things are pretty bad. So I asked pencil companies to donate the
pencils, and paper companies to donate the paper, and I am getting
ready to send them to Haiti. But do you think I am wasting my
time if the situation appears to be as bad as some of the people are
saying it is right here, right now? Am I wasting time or should I
try to help these folks?
Mr. BROWNE. No, you are not wasting time for the students who
receive those supplies. We had the same issues in training the po-
lice in Haiti. They had no radios, they had no weapons, they had
no cars. If they have those things, they will become better police-
men. If your pupils get writing utensils, some of them may have
I just wanted to also respond to the chairman's question about
waiting for 90 days. In fact, the next day, or that night, on October
13, the U.S. Army did provide military escort for the International
Red Cross to go to the prison. And I believe it was a captain or a
Major Smith from Fort Drum spent, I am guessing now, upwards
of 12 hours with me personally, long into the night, to arrange
those, to arrange for that medical treatment.
The worst conditions that I think both Captain Rockwood and I
observed were in the infirmary, where people were badly emaci-
ated. And since the hospitals in Haiti will not take prisoners, in
fact they will not take anyone who doesn't pay, and there was a
reluctance to have them evacuated there in the first place, the Red
Cross arranged to have medical treatment brought into the prison.
And things did improve by October 14, and that was done with the
assistance of the U.S. military.
Mr. BURTON. Do you have further questions?
Mr. BALLENGER. No, no, thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. BURTON. Let me just follow up then.
Captain Rockwood went into the prison on September 30. You
went into the prison on October 13 or 14. That is 31/2 to 4 weeks
after the invasion took place. Why did we wait that long to go into
the prisons, when we knew the conditions were that bad? And
number two: we didn't start regular monitoring of the prisons until
December 19, which was about 3 months after we landed there.
Mr. BROWNE. Well, in my case-we were there to monitor the po-
lice on the street. The reason I went-I wasn't waiting for 4 weeks.
Our purpose was to stop a crowd from taking the prison, basically.
That was the sort of purpose for the inspection.
Mr. BURTON. I understand.
Mr. BROWNE. When it came to our attention, the police monitors'
attention of some of the problems there, we subsequently assigned
an inspection team of police officers reporting to the police mon-
itors. And they went back to the National Penitentiary on Novem-
ber 14 and again on December 19.
We had regular meetings with the Red Cross to-and discussions
with the Haitian Government about conditions there. So, now, I be-
lieve when you are talking about December is when the 10th
Mountain moved into the National Penitentiary in a big way. But
it is not that we were aware of bad conditions and did nothing
about it. Quite to the contrary, we did what we could through the
use of the humanitarian organizations in Haiti.
Mr. BURTON. I was down there in February, 5 months after we
landed. I went into that prison and there was still, against that
wall, this excrement and garbage; and the living conditions were
absolutely deplorable. If improvements had been made, I shudder
to think of what it was like before I got there. This was 5 months
It seems to me inconceivable that it took that long when we had
that many troops on the ground and we had the cooperation of the
local people. We were paying people through AID to pick up gar-
bage down there. Why we couldn't have done something through
our military system to clean up and -make those conditions in that
prison at least livable. I simply don't understand. Nobody has an-
swered this question about Army Field Manual 41-10.
Are you familiar with that, Captain Rockwood?
Captain ROCKWOOD. Yes, I am, Congressman.
Mr. BURTON. Would you care to comment on Army Field Manual
41-10 and what that requires or gives a military officer latitude to
Captain ROCKWOOD. In that manual, it provides a checklist for
the civil military affairs section, what they are required to do in
any operational situation, whether it be an operation other than
war or armed conflict. This is doctrinal guidance, provided to mili-
tary officers in that function. They are required to maintain a
database, an information on prison conditions, to include the iden-
tity of prisoners and the number, and this is what was not done
for these 3 months.
Even General Hill of the 25th Infantry Division, who took over
the control of the MNF 5th of January, admits to this. They did
not know who was being held in that prison. As a matter of fact,
85 percent of the prisoners in there were not convicted of anything.
They did not know what they were being held for. They were held
in those conditions for 3 months.
Mr. BURTON. Well, it is worse than that, because when I was
there in February, I was told by our military people and I was told
by people in the prison that there were still people there they
didn't know what they were doing in there, why they were charged,
or if they were charged at all. I had a lady come up to me asking,
"When do I get out? What am I doing in here?"
So it seems to me that that responsibility was either ignored or
was not carried out.
I apologize once again for our committee members not being here
and for us having to go to this retreat, but let me just say this. As
a person who was in the Army myself, and I am very proud of that
fact, I think it needs to be said very clearly that we should support
the military, we should support the chain of command and we
should support the legal process in the military.
However, there are cases where there is occasionally a dereliction
of responsibility. Where, for one reason or another, military re-
quirements are not carried out properly. In those cases, it is incum-
bent upon the Congress not to try to undermine the military. We
don't want to do that, because we do have great respect and admi-
ration for the people who serve and lay their lives on the line for
But if these mistakes do take place, they need to be corrected.
President Clinton has a penchant for getting us involved in areas
where many of us in Congress don't think we should be involved.
Haiti is one of these areas. Since he has taken that kind of initia-
tive on more than one occasion, and probably will do so in the fu-
ture, we need to make sure when we go into an area that we do
the things that are required and are proper to make sure that
human rights violations do not occur, and that people do not suffer
unnecessarily when we have control of the situation.
It is clear to me that we had control of Port-au-Prince. We had
control of those prisons and we should have done something about
it. I am not going to judge Cpt. Rockwood or to get into the military
court-martial procedure, because that is not my purview, and it is
not my responsibility. But I do believe, as a person who is a mem-
ber of the Human Rights Caucus in this Congress and is chairman
of this subcommittee, and a person who is charged with respon-
sibility of working with governments all over this hemisphere, that
when we become involved militarily, our military leaders have a re-
sponsibility as quickly as possible to get into hospitals and penal
institutions and make absolutely sure that human rights are not
In this particular case, I personally saw deplorable conditions
where people who were not charged with any crime were living in
hellacious conditions 5 months after our occupation. If I had been
in the military and if I had known about these conditions and if
I had thought there was anything that I as a military man could
do to rectify the situation, I think I would have been compelled to
at least try.
As I understand it, Captain Rockwood did bring this prison to
the attention of his superiors, and he was told not to go in there.
He got direct orders not to be involved in this situation. I respect
the chain of command and respect the orders, however, in retro-
spect, we now know that when people went over there, like Captain
Rockwood, we did find deplorable conditions which should have
been corrected as quickly as possible after we took control of the
operation on the ground.
Let me just conclude by saying that I hope if this hearing doesn't
do anything else, it will at least alert the Pentagon and the future
commanders of these forces, to make one of their top priorities
when they take control of a military situation, to go into the hos-
pitals and the prisons; and to make sure that the conditions are
livable as quickly as possible. This should be done bearing in mind
that many of them are convicted criminals, some were political
prisoners; but that we should make absolutely sure as a country,
as a government and as a military, that we correct those situations
as quickly as possible so the people don't suffer unnecessarily after
we take control of the situation.
When I found out that people had been standing for months in
their own excrement in a room filled with 300 to 500 people, I
thought, my God, what kind of human beings do we have in this
world? God must look down from heaven and ask, "Why did I ever
put humans on this planet?"
Once our military takes control of a situation, those kinds of in-
tolerable conditions must be removed as quickly as possible.
And with that, I want to thank you all very much for being here.
I wish you well in your court-martial. I hope we have not impinged
upon the authority of the Department of Defense and the court-
martial trial, but at least I hope we have brought attention to the
American people and to the military our concern as a Congress
about human rights violations that take place in institutions when
we take control of a situation on the ground.
And with that, thank you very much for being here. This meeting
[Whereupon, at 11:12 a.m., the subcommittee was adjourned to
reconvene at the call of the chair.]
Testimony of Paul J. Browne
Vice President, The Investigative Group
Former Deputy Director, International Police Monitors, Haiti
Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee, my name is Paul J.
Browne, I served as Deputy Director of the International Police Monitors in Haiti from
October 3, 1994 to March 31, 1995- the six-month period that the police monitors
were deployed in Haiti as part of the American-led Multinational Force. I served
previously as Assistant Commissioner in the New York City Police Department
under former Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly. Mr. Kelly was Director of the
International Police Monitors.
The monitoring force was comprised of approximately 1,200 police
professionals and interpreters from 20 nations around the world. The police monitors
stopped human rights abuses by the Haitian police, established and mentored an
Interim force, and paved the way for a new, professionally recruited and trained
police department. Our duties were assumed by the United Nations Civilian Police
on March 31.
On October 13, last year, 10 days after I arrived In Port-au-Prince, I was on
patrol in the vicinity of the Penitencler National, Haiti's national prison, when I
monitored radio traffic alerting me to the fact that a large, threatening crowd had
assembled outside of the prison.
I responded to the scene and observed a crowd of up to a thousand people
filling the sidewalks and street in front of the prison. Another International Police
Monitor patrol had responded, as did U.S Army Military Police, who took up
protective positions in front of the prison entrance.
A rumor had spread through the crowd that the prisoners inside were being
starved to death, and that 52 Inmates had been killed. I found that Interesting, but
not particularly alarming since an nearly identical rumor, subsequently proved to be
untrue, had circulated a few days earlier in Carrefour, an area just outside of Port-
The Carrefour rumor led to a similar demonstration in front of the jail there. In
that case, the police monitors had invited a few civilians from the crowd to inspect
the jail with them. In this way, the civilians helped document that the rumors were
unfounded, and the tactic helped restore order In Carrefour.
An MP officer in front of the national prison, who was familiar with the
strategy, asked if I could use It again, to help peacefully disperse the crowd. I
selected three individuals, at random from the crowd of demonstrators, and they
accompanied me on a cell-by-cell, room-by-room Inspection of the prison.
No one was found dead, and none of the prisoners we talked to reported any
killings or other physical abuse. But conditions Inside the prison were medieval,
nonetheless. The prison was crowded,- up to 300 prisoners In one large prison block
- and there was no running water or sanitary facilities In the cell a just a hole in the
corner where prisoners would urinate. Toilets in poor condition were located in the
Most prisoners relied on daily visits by family members or friends to get fed.
All of them had been receiving food daily, either by relatives or guards, the prisoners
said, except for the day in question, October 13. When I brought this to the attention
of the prison superintendent, a Major St. Just, he said he was afraid the large crowd
outside would overrun the prison if he allowed family members with food to gain
entry. I asked him if he would invite relatives inside if we dispersed the crowd. He
And that's eventually what transpired. The civilians who accompanied me
reported to the crowd what they saw inside. The crowd dispersed, and family
members lined up in an orderly fashion, and were allowed to bring food to their
However, I also inspected the prison infirmary and found at least three
inmates who appeared emaciated and in need of Immediate medical attention.
Although this too was seen by the civilian witnesses, they did not appear to be
disturbed by it. They reported to the crowd that they saw a few people who were
sick and lying down In the infirmary. I called for local ambulances to evacuate these
prisoners to area hospitals, but when the ambulance crews saw the crowds in front
of the prison (the ambulances had arrived before the crowd dispersed), they feared
that the evacuation of the prisoners would spark a serious disturbance. So they left.
By about midnight, after a day of working with U.S. Army and U.S. Embassy
personnel to try to get the ambulances to return, we finally assembled a medical
team from the International Committee of the Red Cross and a military escort
provided by American MPs, and returned to the prison. There the officer on duty
would not open the gate. So at about 1:00 a.m. or 1:30. a.m. on April 14, I reached
the prison superintendent by telephone at his home, woke him up, and he finally
agreed to allow the Red Cross team to enter the prison later that morning, at about
Since the hospitals in Haiti routinely refused to treat prisoners, and the prison
administration appeared unable to provide appropriate medical care, the Red Cross
devised a plan to provide for treatment inside the prison by making improvements to
the infirmary and having visiting doctors and/or nurses deliver medical care.
I also arranged to meet periodically with the head of the International
Committee of the Red Cross in Port-au-Prince to report on medical or health-related
issues in jails that we came across in the course of our police monitoring duties.
Where the police monitors or military personnel encountered problems they could
remedy immediately or temporally, we did so. This included providing cots for
prisoners who were sleeping on the ground, or meals once a day.
We were concerned that two meals a day would lead to prison "break ins" by hungry
Haitians living near some of these jails.
The International Police Monitors also established a prison Inspection team,
comprised of three, senior Danish police officers whose sole responsibility was to
inspect the jails throughout Haiti. They documented the inadequate to non-existent
record keeping that made it virtually impossible to tell who was In prison, why they
were there, or for how long. These problems was subsequently addressed by the
Government of Haiti, which dispatched a special judge to the national prison to
release prisoners whose reason for continued Incarceration could not be
documented or justified.
The police monitors' report, completed In February, was shared with
Government of Haiti, the Red Cross as well as American, United Nations and non-
governmental organizations with an interest in prison Issues. I am submitting a copy
of that report for the record.
By the time we left Haiti, prison conditions had improved and were being
reviewed weekly by a multi-national working group that Included Red Cross, U.S.
Army and United Nations officials.
I've been asked, Mr., Chairman, if I was shocked at conditions inside the
national prison. By American standards, of course I was. But for the poorest country
in the hemisphere, whose ordinary citizenry lived without potable water, with open
sewers coursing through their slums, and without electricity most of the time, I was
not surprised that the prisons in Haiti were just as bad.
Thank you. Now I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have.
STATEMENT OF LAWRENCE P. ROCKWOOD. CAPTAIN. US ARMY
FORMER JOINT TASK FORCE 190 COUNTERINTELLIGENCE OFFICER
THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON WESTERN HEMISPHERE.
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS.
US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
MAY 3. 1995
First oft'all. I would like to thank the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Western
IHemisphere. Congressman Dan Burton and the other members for giving me the
opportunity to present my testimony here today. I am submitting for the record this
statement. with enclosures.
I am tacing a court martial for my actions as a counterintelligence officer with
the 10th Mountain Division while serving in Haiti. The subject of your hearing,
however, is not my actions, but rather the extraordinary INaction on the part of my
superiors. In my statement I will try to demonstrate that while in Port-au-Prince I
witnessed, and attempted to stop. dereliction of duty if not criminal negligence on
the part of my superiors.
Last September 15, the President announced that the primary objective of the
operation Uphold Democracy was "to prevent the brutal atrocities against Haitians"
and. bearing in mind my military oath to the Constitution and the Commander-in-
Chief I took his words at face value.
As I assumed my duties in Haiti on September 23 I was informed that 'force
protection' was to be the focus of our efforts. In spite of this, it became immediately
apparent to me that the main content of the reports that reached me centered on
human rights violations against Haitian slum residents rather than any threats
directed against our forces. This discrepancy was what triggered my week long
odyssey through all possible instances to awake interest of the commanders and
staff ofthe Multinational Forces in human rights violations.
On the morning of September 25 I met with the command's Chaplain to discuss
reports on deteriorating human rights situation in Port-au-Prince slums, but the
chaplain did not want to get involved in a "political" problem. Later that evening I
went to Staff Judge Advocate's (SJA) or the legal department and asked for The
Laws of War manual, the 1977 Protocol to the Geneva Convention or the report on
the UN High Commission for Human Rights Conference held in Vienna in 1993.
The only available reading material on human rights was an Army Field Manual
Next evening I went back to SIA to complain about the lack of positive action of
the US forces in support of human rights. (The log of SJA end number I says
"CPT Rockwnood seemed very concerned about alleged human rights x violations
going on in Haiti.")
After finding out that no inspection or regular monitoring of prisoners being
held by the Haitian military had taken place since the arrival of U.S. forces over
two weeks ago I tried unsuccessfully to get the Civil Militar. Operations Center
interested in surveying the penitentiaries.
In fact it is a duty of the army's Civil affairs to monitor and check out the
detention centers. The Ci1il Affairs Operations manual tFM 41-10) for the US
Armn. end number 2 Chapter IX (Public Safet ) under heading "c" contains
penal institutions such as prisons and jails and sa\,s literally. "The primary
consideration in this area is whether the existing institutions [police. fire and penal]
may be used to carry out the combat commander's primary mission and to provide
the day-to-day control and bodily protection of the local population." Was it
unreasonable to expect that a monitoring of the prisons and jails would start "to
provide the day-to-day control and bodily protection of the local population"?
Similarly. the Civil Military Operations Handbook of the 10th Mountain
Division end number 3 under "Law Enforcement Agency Checklist" entry
number 9 has "Confinement facilities" and it enumerates the information which the
10th Mountain Division staff should obtain in the confinement: "names. address,
grid coordinate, telephone number, type of facility, maximum capacityN present
capacity, number of guards (adequate Y N), capacity of kitchens, name of warden,
overall condition of facility and inmates." Under the circumstances I continued to
believe that it is not only reasonable but nearly inevitable that the civil affairs of the
10th Mountain Division would be required to obtain this information?
On the evening of September 27 I attempted to organize an intelligence team to
check out these prisons but I had to ask the military police for the escort. But the
military police was concerned only with FAD'H police functions (joint patrols and
police station monitoring) and refused.
It should be noted here that September 27 was the day when the US troops
arrived in the southwestern town of Les Caves and discovered a prison where over
30 men were crammed into a cell no larger than 15-feet square. They were so
malnourished that as with concentration camp victims of WW2 their food intake
had to be increased gradually to avoid harming them. When the American soldiers
removed one invalid from the prison, they discovered that he had lain for so long in
one position that some of his skin had fallen off
The same evening I approached a UN Military Observer to discuss my human
rights concerns. The UNMO said they couldn't do anything without the US Forces'
approval and he told me that the High Commissioner for Refugees. the UNHCRL
would not arri\c in Haiti until October 13. The next morning a liaison officer of the
Special Operations informed me that my unit was not to take action; they were not
in other words to inspect the prison or to even tind out who the prisoners were and
how many were in the prison.
Meanwhile an answer arrived from the Pentagon for a high priority request that
I made on August 10. 1994: it confirmed that there was a real danger of abuses in
At this point I thought that I had exhausted all means at my disposal to alert all
sections of the Joint Task Force to human rights abuses in Haitian penitentiaries. I
therefore turned to the Inspector General and deposited my complaint. which
alleged that the command had subverted President's primary mission intent
concerning human rights end number 4. The IG suggested that it be anonymous
but there was no point because by then everyone knew about my concern for
human rights. I also believed that what I was doing was legally and morally
correct, and had no reason to hide my position as an officer unless of course my
command was prepared to act improperly in response
The Inspector General informed me that I have done everything a staff officer
could have possible done and it was not my job to pursue this further by
addressing it to the command's Chief of Staff. I was also told that my complaint
would not be brought to the attention of General Meade for at least a week.
At this point I informed my immediate superior that I feared the command
could be found criminally negligent under international law and in dereliction of
duties in carrying out the President's intent. I reached the conclusion that the US
would bear responsibility because the human rights violations would be committed
with the knowledge of the command, in the direct proximity of its forces, and by
Haitian forces with whom the US had a signed agreement of cooperation.
I based my concern over the command's possible criminal negligence on the
historical principles recognized in the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal which
held commanders to be liable for failing to take action to "prevent" war crimes.
More particularly. I was aware of the case of the United States Vs Yamashita.
General Tomovuki Yamashita. former commander of Japanese Forces in the
Philippines was sentenced to death in 1945 by an international war crimes tribunal
for his failure to protect American prisoners. even though he neither ordered nor
knew of their execution by his soldiers. The sentence was upheld by the US
Supreme Court. He was executed for his indifferent (although completely passive)
response to human rights violations against persons protected under customary
and or conventional international law, violations of which he had no direct
knowledge (unlike the present case where general Meade and his state including
mi self. had direct and specific know lede of human rights abuses in the Haitian
I also believed that the military Oath of Office not onl,, allowed me but
compelled me to place loyalty to the Constitution and the President of the United
States before obedience to my immediate superiors who. I suspected were
indifferent to violations of the human rights of Haitian prisoners. (This suspicion
was later confirmed when. during the preliminary hearing for my court martial. the
10th Mountain Division's senior intelligence officer and m'n immediate superior.
testified decisively that human rights violations in Haitian prisons \were not a
I was aware that the action I contemplated would be considered directly
challenging to my superiors' conduct of the operation, but I could find no other way
to prevent ongoing human rights abuses. As a student of military history\ I had in
the back of my head a precedent that guided me in this decision. a precedent that
goes back to the blackest episode of the Vietnam war and of US army history: the
My Lai massacre. A helicopter pilot. Chief Warrant Officer Hugh C. Thompson.
who saw the massacre, ordered his gunner to fire on US forces who were
slaughtering unarmed civilians. While he acted clearly outside the range of what is
usually associated with "good order and discipline," the ArmN judiciously gave him
an award rather than placing him before a court martial. (Mr. Thompson has
agreed to be a defense witness at my court martial.)
Like Thompson I had before me the theoretical choice to do nothing or to take
unconventional action knowing that I was risking disciplinary measures. But in
practice I had no choice. I felt I had to act because lack of such action would have
meant an acquiescence on my part to the imminent and ongoing human rights
violations, and hypocrisy in the face of duty.
Thus. -,n September I3. 1oo-I. left the military compound to inspect the -'"jr
prison in c'ort-au-Prince on my own. Two hours later I had only partially
accomplished my task but had already found atrocious conditions and
shockingly emaciated inmates. A military officer from the US embassy then arrived
and ordered me out. I was taken to the military compound where my rights were
read to me and where I underwent a psychiatric evaluation. My actions were
determined to be not due to stress or mental disorder but an ethical dilemma. A day
later I was escorted back to the States.
Meanwhile the Inspector General complaint that I filed on the morning of
September 30 was closed in two days. This was in clear violation of the Army
Regulation 20-1 end number 5 which states that "(IGs) forward all allegations
of impropriety against general officers to U.S. Army Inspector General Agency
(USAIGA) Investigations Division by a rapid but confidential means, within 5
workinge days of receipt" (Paragraph 7-3. 1 (2) and that "if the IG determines that
the allegation would. if substantiated. ad\erselx affect the public perception of the
command's effectiveness. etficienc\, readiness. training,. morale, or other similar
factors. the IG will promptly not,'d the next higher IG of the allegation. The next
higher IG ill determine which command IG (other than the command at which
the allegation was made) should actually work the case." (Paragraph 6-4. d (5)).
Last April 17. the Inspector General responded to my defense lawyer (who had
pointed out to this violation of the IG regulation end number 6) announcing that
he is opening an inquiry\ into the mishandling of my original complaint end
Only recently did I learn that the 10th Mountain Division did not start regular
monitoring of this prison until December 19. 1994. In the three months between
the arrival of JTF and that date there were several sporadic visits of persons more
or less associated with the JTF: col. Michael Sullivan. from the 16th Military Police
Brigade who in a memorandum to the Commander of JTF 190 General Meade
"The appalling conditions render this facility [the National Penitentiary] unsuitable
for human habitation, and this must be a priority in our efforts to assist Haiti in its
return to democracy." Paul Browne the deputy head of the International Police
Monitors (IPM) went there on October 14 and some inmates he found were in such
a horrendous condition that he thought that they were in the last stage of AIDS.
The Danish monitors from IPM also visited this facilities and considered it "the
worst" of all confinement centers in Haiti.
The charges I am facing appear petty next to life-threatening human rights
violations that continued in the Port-au-Prince National Penitentiary for 2 1'2
months after my attempted intervention.
There is. however, nothing petty in the charges in my official complaint
initiated on the morning of September 30. The inquiry that the Inspector General of
the Army. Lieutenant General Ronald Grittfith opened recently will deal not only
with the mishandling of my complaint but will also look into General Meade's and
members of his staffs failure to address the human rights situation in the National
Penitentiary and other Haitian confinement facilities during his command of the
Multinational Forces in Haiti.
Meanwhile on May 8. my court martial, convened on the recommendation of
General David C. Meade. will start in Fort Drum.
COLONEL RICHARD H. BLACK (USA RET.)
TO THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
AT HEARINGS HELD 10:00 A.M., MAY 3, 1995
ROOM 2172, RAYBURN BUILDING
Chairman Burton and Members of the Subcommittee:
I am pleased to appear before the Subcommittee to examine issues raised by the court-martial
of Captain Lawrence P. Rockwood. Today, I will be addressing you in my private capacity and not
as a representative of the Department of Defense. Let me add that my analysis of the issues is based
upon press reports rather than on a personal examination of the evidence in Captain Rockwood's
case. My remarks are not meant to impact Captain Rockwood's trial in any fashion, but are simply
intended to provide background regarding military justice in the operational setting of Haiti.
Charges are lodged against CPT Rockwood for unlawfully slipping over his perimeter
compound fence the night of September 30, 1994 and entering Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to inspect the
National Penitentiary. The charges suggest that he violated orders regarding security measures to
be observed outside the compound. Additionally, he is charged with disrespect toward a superior
officer, LTC Frank Bragg, by contemptuously and belligerently yelling, I want a full accounting
from the Commanders, Joint Task Force 180 and 190, of the human rights violations and accounting
of all the prisoners." CPT Rockwood does not deny that he knowingly violated the guidance of his
Troops landed in Haiti to begin Operation Uphold Democracy on September 19, 1994. CPT
Rockwood's actions took place during the dangerous period just eleven days after Multinational
forces arrived in Haiti. Domestic support for the intervention was fragile. It was evident that
Americans felt the operation did not warrant U.S. casualties, so security concerns were paramount.
Our "permissive entry" was made with the agreement of both the de facto and the de jure
governments of Haiti. We were not in a state of belligerency, and the extent of our influence over
the affairs and personnel of the Haitian government was in a state of transition.
Port-au-Prince was in a state of civil unrest. On September 29, the day before CPT
Rockwood's surreptitious nighttime departure, the multinational force responded to a grenade attack
and two shooting incidents in that city which left 16 Haitians killed and 60 wounded. The potential
for a widespread outbreak of violence was substantial. A misstep at that moment might have set in
motion a chain of events leading to loss of American lives and collapse of the entire mission.
That the entry into Haiti has, to date, involved so little bloodshed, is a tribute to the deliberate
and orderly development of a secure base of operations and to the delicate shift of power between
the Haitian political factions and the Multinational Force. The superb discipline of Army forces
accounted in large measure for the success of this somewhat thankless venture.
Discipline and obedience to orders, conveyed through a well-defined chain of command, are
factors which distinguish a military force from an armed mob. Responsiveness to commands relayed
from the civilian leadership through the Department of Defense is essential under our constitutional
form of government. The national government must remain confident that actions taken by military
forces correspond to, and do not exceed, the directives of the political leadership. If military forces
act beyond the scope of specific directives and the rules of engagement approved by national
authority, they risk embroiling America in armed conflicts not sanctioned by our government.
No officer has a right to disregard lawful orders of superiors. (Title 10 U.S.C. sec. 890,
Article 90, Uniform Code of Military Justice). An order requiring the performance of a military duty
or act may be inferred to be lawful and it is disobeyed at the peril of the subordinate. [Manual for
Courts-Martial, United States 1984 (hereafter MCM), Part IV, para. 14c.(2)(a)(i)]. The dictates of
a person's conscience, religion, or personal philosophy cannot justify or excuse the disobedience of
an otherwise lawful order. [MCM Part IV, 14c.(2)(a)(iii)]. As long as the order is understandable,
the form of the order is immaterial, as is the method by which it is transmitted to the accused. [MCM
Part IV, para. 14c.(2)(a)(iv)(c)].
CPT Rockwood, however, argues that he acted under various higher authorities, including
the Dalai Lama--his "spiritual teacher." He points to a speech in which President Clinton said our
national objectives included "stopping brutal atrocities." He believes that the President's general
guidance superseded specific orders from his immediate superiors.
It is true that an order is not lawfully binding if it is in conflict with the lawful order of a
superior authority. [See generally U.S. v. Green, 22 M.J. 711 (A.C.M.R. 1986)]. An order or
regulation is not lawful if it is contrary to the Constitution, the laws of the United States, or lawful
superior orders. However, before a President's policy guidance can legally amount to a contrary
regulation or order, it must first meet the criteria of enforceability under Article 90 or Article 92,
To be considered a conflicting order under Article 90, UCMJ, the President's guidance must
have been a specific mandate to do, or not to do,. a specific act. [MCM Part IV, para.
14.(c)(2)(iv)(d)]. Under MCM Part IV, para. 16c.(l)(e), "Regulations which supply only general
guidelines or advice for conducting military functions may not be enforceable under Article 92(1)."
The analysis at MCM App. 21, para. 16, pg. A21-92, states: "The general order or regulation
violated must, when examined as a whole, demonstrate that it is intended to regulate the conduct of
individual servicemembers, and the direct application of sanctions for violations of the regulation must
be self-evident." [United States v. Nardell, 21 U.S.C.M.A. 327, at 329; 45 CMR 101, at 103
The President's general policy guidance did not meet the criteria for either a lawful general
regulation or an "other" lawful order. In my view, the President's policy statement provided no legal
justification for any officer to disobey orders of immediate superiors in the 10th Mountain Division.
Several newspapers have published articles based on interviews with CPT Rockwood. ("Duty
to Disobey," The Washington Post, Feb. 6, 1995; "An Order Fit to Be Disobeyed," Los Angeles
Times, Mar. 16, 1995; etc.). In them, he claims the Vietnam-era My Lai trials and the post-World
War II trial of General Tomoyuki Yamashita provide justification for intentional disobedience of
orders in situations where human rights are endangered. But we must question whether this is true
when American forces are neither engaged in armed conflict nor participating in the commission of
any suspected criminal acts. Does international law compel U.S. forces to intervene immediately in
the internal affairs of sovereign states whenever they suspect prisoners are being mistreated?
The crimes involved in the My Lai incident were committed by American soldiers--not
foreign nationals. And, When Japanese General Yamashita was hanged after World War II, he was
being punished for widespread, vicious crimes committed by soldiers under his command. He was
not punished for failing to halt abuses committed by foreign nationals. An American officer might,
under unusual instances, be held criminally responsible for violations of law committed by his
subordinates. However, officers are not responsible for rectifying violations committed by foreign
officials not subject to their direct control. We cannot allow servicemembers to act unilaterally to
correct human rights abuses in countries where they are stationed. Military officers serve as attaches
in many of the world's capitals. Unilateral attempts to force our standards of human rights on the
Peoples Republic of China, Mexico, or Saudi Arabia would obviously be counterproductive.
Overreaching during the first days following our arrival in Haiti could likewise have had unfortunate
CPT Rockwood's unusual undertaking might have had catostrophic results. Although we
can only speculate regarding potential consequences, they could have spelled disaster for the entire
operation. When he arrived unannounced at the prison, he could have provoked a shooting incident.
He was armed with an M-16 and reportedly entered, "... by literally placing my boot in the door."
Had an exchange of gunfire resulted, it might have triggered an attack by one of the edgy, armed
factions in Port-au-Prince. His actions could have triggered a prison riot. U.S. forces might have
been compelled to intervene with subsequent loss of American lives.
CPT Rockwood's superiors were responsible for anticipating threats to the successful
execution of the mission. They were required to implement measures minimizing the danger to their
troops in a manner consistent with national objectives. Troops must be tightly controlled in volitile
situations in order to avoid needless, unintended risks.
The commanders of the 10th Mountain Division were apparently sensitive to CPT
Rockwood's idealism. Although they were not required to do so, they attempted to explain their
actions to him. He was allowed to air his concerns within his chain of command, with the legal
officials of the Staff Judge Advocate, with a U.N. military observer, and with the Multinational Force
Inspector General. CPT Rockwood would have us believe that none of these individuals shared his
superior sense of compassion.
When his reckless vendetta eventually forced his command to discipline him, they did so in
a measured fashion. They reportedly offered him nonjudicial punishment under Article 15, UCMJ.
(Title 10 U.S.C. sect 815). This modest punishment might have kept his military career intact, while
reinforcing the principle that officers of the division could not arrogate power unto themselves. CPT
Rockwood refused to argue his case at this lower-level forum, instead choosing to demand trial by
court-martial. Next, the command offered to allow him to resign from the Army in order to avoid
the stigma of a court-martial conviction. He declined the offer. The command appears to have taken
carefully measured steps to balance the equities of the case with the need to maintain discipline
within the division.
Having elected trial by court-martial, CPT Rockwood will have the right to air fully his claims
before a military court. The court will be conducted under laws and regulations carefully crafted by
the U.S. Congress and various Presidents. His assertion that human rights provisions and President
Clinton's comments justified his actions will be fully litigated. If found guilty, he can appeal to the
court-martial convening authority, then through two levels of appellate courts to the U.S. Supreme
Americans continue to question our involvement in Haiti. They are deeply distrustful of the
United Nations, and have little regard for their peacekeeping missions. But they credit our
servicemen and women with making the best of a difficult situation in Haiti. They respect those who
carry out these difficult, unrewarding tasks with professionalism. While political leaders debate the
merits of intervention in foreign lands, the Department of Defense must have congressional support
to maintain order within its ranks.
I applaud the men and women who have served in Haiti. I complement their superb leaders,
who have perservered throughout this difficult endeavor. In closing, I thank the Chairman and each
of the members of this Subcommittee for allowing me to appear here today.
How Non-Traditional Operations Can
Undermine The Military Chain of Command
Lawrence T. Di Rita
Deputy Director, Foreign Policy and Defense Studies
The Heritage Foundation
Testimony before House Committee on International Relations
Sub-Committee on Western Hemisphere
May 3, 1995
The November 1994 elections reflected public dissatisfaction with the way
Washington works. Voter confidence in government has declined steadily as one federal
program after another has proven ineffective in solving a growing number of problems
from crime to falling educational standards and moral decay. With few exceptions.
government institutions are under intense public scrutiny; the pledge by some in
Congress to eliminate at least four cabinet agencies reflects as much.
One exception is the military. No other government institution commands as
much respect and admiration by the public than their armed forces. A March poll by the
Council for Excellence in Government placed public confidence in the military at 59 per
cent, nearly twice the next highest scoring government institution. Having emerged from
the Vietnam era profoundly affected by the turmoil in American society produced by that
war, the U.S. military is now seen as the most competent and professional element in all
of government. Indeed, from Grenada to Libya to Panama to the Persian Gulf, America's
armed forces have justified the high confidence citizens place in them.
Because of this modem tradition of professionalism in the military services,
elected officials have turned to them more readily to address problems that go beyond
their traditional competency. For example, the military has been increasingly involved in
the nation's war on drugs. On any given day, Navy ships patrol the Caribbean seeking
out suspicious vessels that may be transporting drugs to the United States. The Air Force
dedicates surveillance aircraft to monitor the airways into the country, while the Army
provides training and direct assistance to Latin American military forces pursuing
narcotics processors and traffickers in their own countries.
The same is true for humanitarian assistance. When famine or environmental
disaster strikes anywhere in the world, American leaders frequently turn to the U.S.
armed forces to provide an immediate response to ease the human suffering. In April
1991, a devastating cyclone and subsequent flooding in Bangladesh took 138,000 lives.
President Bush dispatched 8,000 American troops, including many returning home from
Operation Desert Storm, to deliver relief supplies and help save countless thousands of
lives. Nearly two years later, President Bush sent some 20,000 troops into Somalia to
feed the starving there after civil war and drought threatened to take hundreds of
thousands of additional lives.
Given the public confidence in the military, together with the unique skills and
capabilities the armed services can provide, it is tempting indeed to turn to them when a
difficult problem arises for which there is no ready solution. With the end of the Cold
War, this temptation has grown as international problems have become more intractable
and the desire for a quick solution intensifies. Moreover, some have argued -- wrongly,
to my mind -- that using the military in less traditional ways than warfighting is a
reasonable justification for continued large, albeit declining, defense bUtdgets. As a direct
result of these tendencies, the use of the military in so-called operations other than war
has increased dramatically since the end of the Cold War. In 1991 alone, the U.S. armed
forces provided non-traditional assistance to some eighteen countries around the globe,
more than in the previous five years combined.'
It is in this light that one must evaluate the U.S. occupation of Haiti in September,
1994. For the second time this century, an American president dispatched troops there to
impose democracy on a country that has shown little willingness or capability to sustain
its own democratic traditions. Although the mission of the forces sent to Haiti was to
"restore democracy," as the operation itself was called, it was never clear exactly how
that mission was to be carried out. Nonetheless, politics and diplomacy having failed,
this difficult political mission was turned over to U.S. forces to resolve.
Operation Restore Democracy should be seen as a logical consequence of the
Clinton Administration's foreign policy. Beyond even the non-traditional use of the
military as discussed above, the Clinton Administration has committed itself to a national
security strategy of "engagement and enlargement," in which it concludes that a central
goal of the United States is "to promote democracy abroad."2 To do so, the
administration declares that U.S. forces must be ready to "bolster new democratic
governments," such as that represented by Jean-Bertrand Aristide in Haiti. Having been
overthrown by a military coup in 1991, Aristide was carrying on the tradition of Haitian
presidents, some 75 per cent of whom were similarly deposed from office in the nearly
two hundred years of Haitian "democracy." It was Aristide, not democracy, that
President Clinton was committed to restoring, through force if necessary.
The Clinton Administration's preference for the use of military force to resolve
challenging overseas political crises such as that represented in Haiti did not begin there,
though. Within months of assuming office, the administration had expanded the mission
of U.S. forces in Somalia -- a situation administration officials rightly claim to have
inherited from their predecessors -- from one of feeding the poor to that of nation-
building, in the words of Clinton's U.N. Ambassador Madeleine Albright.3 But U.S.
forces proved manifestly incapable of building a nation where warlordism was the only
political philosophy. The deaths of 18 U.S. Rangers in a failed attempt to capture clan
leader Mohammed Farah Aideed in October 1993 led to an ignominious U.S. retreat and
Despite the failure in Somalia, the administration has set the stage for a similar
embarrassment in Haiti. The success or failure of U.S. attempts to restore democracy
there rest on the abilities of President Aristide to develop a governing consensus the likes
of which that nation has never seen. In his first installment in office from January to
September of 1991, Aristide proved incapable of doing so. Instead, his calls for direct
'Thomas P. Sheehy, "No More Somalias: Reconsidering Clinton's Doctrine of Military
Humanitarianism," Heritage Foundation Backgrounder Nr. 968, December 20, 1993.
The White House, A National Security Strategy of Engagement and Enlargement, February, 1995, p. i.
'Madeleine K. Albright, "Yes, there is a reason to be in Somalia," The New York Times, August 10, 1993,
political action by the largely destitute masses over the heads of their elected officials in
parliament led to a political polarization and incitement to violence by ;nany of Aristide's
supporters. Some charge the president himself with encouraging violent acts against
legitimate government opposition.4
Since his reinstallment at the point of U.S. guns, Aristide's performance has been
no more promising than during his first stint. He has exerted a stranglehold on Haitian
politics by packing the nominally independent electoral commission with close allies,
forcing the resignation of the Minister of Justice who opposed his heavy-handedness,
repeatedly postponing local elections, and dissolving the elected parliament.s U.S.
forces, most of which have been withdrawn, are now part of a multinational occupation
force that will remain in the country at least until the presidential elections scheduled for
Having disarmed the Haitian military and reinstalled President Aristide to power,
U.S. armed forces and, by extension, the U.S. government, are now directly responsible
for the future of Haiti. Dependent as it is on Aristide's capricious disregard for the
electoral timetable to which the occupation force is now a hostage, the Clinton
Administration can offer no reasonable assurances that it can avoid in Haiti what it
allowed to happen in Somalia. Indeed, there are indications that the tragedy of Somalia --
the misapplication of American military capabilities to non-traditional assignments --
may be repeated in Haiti.
One indication is the pending court-martial of Captain Lawrence P. Rockwood, a
military intelligence officer assigned to the 10th Mountain Division in Fort Drum, New
York and dispatched to Haiti in September 1994. Within two weeks of the American
occupation, Captain Rockwood entered the National Penitentiary in Port-au-Prince to
investigate charges of human rights abuses, one of the putative missions of the U.S.
forces. His inspection visit had not been approved by his superiors. In his own words, he
had "for one week tried in vain to organize an inspection of the National Penitentiary," 3
the well-known site of some of the worst of the brutal atrocities he thought he had been
sent to stop.6 He acknowledges having disobeyed orders not to leave his compound, but
decided that "the military oath of office not only allowed but compelled [him] to place
loyalty to the Constitution and the president of the United State before obedience
For having been placed in the position of having to choose between his
conscience and his commanders, Captain Rockwood faces a court-martial and a felony
conviction if found guilty of dereliction of duty and conduct unbecoming an officer. The
merits of his case go beyond this discussion. He is aware that his actions, as he put it,
"would be viewed outside the range of what is usually associated with 'good order and
discipline.' In any event, the military court system can be trusted to render justice in
4 For a full discussion of some of Aristide's more inflammatory comments, see Lawrence T. Di Rita.
"Aristide In His Own Words," Heritage Foundation F YI. Nr. 37, September 16, 1994.
5 John J. Tierney, Jr., "Democracy a Casualty of Aristide's Bid for Power," Heritage Foundation
Backgrounder Nr. 241, February 28, 1995.
6 Lawrence P. Rockwood, "Court-Martial: A Soldier's Story," The Wall Street Journal, April 4, 1995.
accordance with military law, regulation, and custom. His court-martial is scheduled for
May 8, 1995.
Regardless of how the court decides the Rockwood case, though, it contains as
valuable a lesson as that learned by the deaths of American servicemen in Somalia.
Incidents like these will become more common as military forces are placed in
ambiguous situations that stray from those missions for which they are trained, namely to
win wars in the defense of the national interest. Indeed, the ambiguities attendant to the
types of situations in which Captain Rockwood and other military professionals have
found themselves of late has become official government policy. In its publicly
disseminated analysis of the classified Presidential Decision Directive (PDD)-25, which
addresses United Nations peacekeeping operations and is the product of over one year of
inter-agency analysis and consultation, the administration gives U.S. commanders
assigned to U.N. forces the authority to disregard the orders of their U.N. superiors under
a variety of circumstances.8 Such institutionalized ambiguity will only ensure more
situations such as the Rockwood incident.
In the classic American treatise on civil-military relations, Professor Samuel
Huntington concludes that the expertise ofofficership in the U.S. armed forces is best
summarized as "the management of violence." As such, Huntington determined that
"[t]he function of a military force is successful armed combat. The
duties of the military officer include: (1) the organization, equipping,
and training this force; (2) the planning of its activities; and (3) the
direction of its operation in and out of combat."'
This has not changed just because the Cold War has ended. If anything, the end of the
Cold War has given the United States a certain freedom of action to use its military even
in traditional missions that would have been unimaginable when the east-west
confrontation prevented them. With that freedom comes a responsibility to remember
Huntington's conclusions and to be disciplined in their application. By contrast, the
Clinton Administration embrace of non-traditional military missions reflects its readiness
to ignore them.
"The Clinton Administration's Policy on Reforming Multilateral Peace Operations," May 1994, p. 10.
Samuel P. Huntington, The Soldier and the State: The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations,
(Cambridge, MA., 1957), p. 11.
The Wall Street Journal
Copyright (c) 1995, Dow Jones & Co., Inc.
Tuesday, April 4, 1995
COURT-MARTIAL: A Soldier's Story
By Lawrence P. Rockwood
On Friday President Clinton, in Port-au-Prince for the transfer of our
Haitian military operations to United Nations command, lavishly praised
our troops' performance. In many ways, that praise was deserved. But not
all was well in our mission to Haiti. I ought to know -- I am facing a
COURT-MARTIAL for my actions as a counter-intelligence officer with the
10th Mountain Division. My defense will be to prove that while in
Port-au-Prince I witnessed, and tried to stop, serious -- if not
criminal -- negligence by my superiors.
In his address to the nation last Sept. 15, the president said the
primary objective of Operation Uphold Democracy was "to stop the brutal
atrocities that threaten tens of thousands of Haitians." I don't know
about the officers he was shaking hands with Friday, but I took his
words at face value.
After I was deployed to Port-au-Prince on Sept. 23, I assumed that
the inspection of prisons would be a priority for the Multinational
Forces; common sense and the regulations of the U.S. Army and of the
10th Mountain Division suggested so. Having prepared for the mission for
two months at my home base in Fort Drum, I knew about the appalling
record of'human rights violations in Haiti. (Because the relevant
intelligence material is classified, I cannot be more precise on that
For one week I tried in vain to organize an inspection of the
National Penitentiary. Time was passing, and I was concerned that abuses
might be leading to irreversible tragedies and that we, the U.S. Army,
deployed "to maintain a safe and secure environment," were letting them
happen. I encountered an inexplicable indifference toward human rights
violations in those serving under Maj. Gen. David Meade, and I was
informed that there were no plans to seek an accounting of prisoners
held by the de facto government.
Indeed, even on Feb. 22, 1995, during the preliminary hearing for my
COURT-MARTIAL, Lt. Col. Frank Bragg, the command's senior intelligence
officer, confirmed this indifference, testifying that human rights
violations in Haitian prisons were decisively not a priority for the
Multinational Forces. I later learned that the 10th Mountain Division
did not go into this prison until three months after arriving in Haiti.
Copr. (C) West 1995 No claim to orig. U.S. govt. works
I resolved to act because of my belief that the military oath of
office not only allowed but compelled me to place loyalty to the
Constitution and the president of the United States, my commander in
chief, before obedience to my immediate superiors. Thus, on Sept. 30,
1994, I left the military compound to inspect the major prison in
Port-au-Prince on my own. After I spent two hours there and had only
partially accomplished my task -- but had already found atrocious
conditions and shockingly emaciated inmates -- a military officer from
the U.S. Embassy arrived and ordered me out. I was taken to the military
compound, where my rights were read to me. A day later, I was escorted
back to the States.
I am now facing poorly crafted charges based on articles from the
Uniform Code of Military Justice that appear petty next to
life-threatening human rights violations: I am accused of failing to go
to my appointed place of duty, going from my appointed place of duty,
disrespect toward and disobeying of my superior officer, and generally
"conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman."
I was aware that my actions.would be viewed outside the range of what
is usually associated with "good order and discipline," but I could find
no other way to prevent human rights abuses. As a student of military
history, I had in the back of my head precedents that guided me.
The first is from the Vietnam War -- the My Lai massacre. A
helicopter pilot, Chief Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson, who saw the
massacre, ordered his gunner to fire on U.S. forces who were
slaughtering unarmed civilians. While he acted clearly outside the range
of what is usually associated with "good order and discipline," the Army
judiciously gave him an award, not a COURT-MARTIAL.
Another case concerning the laws of war was on my mind as well: that
of Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita, former commander of Japanese Forces in the
Philippines. He was sentenced to death in 1945 by an international war
crimes tribunal for his failure to protect American prisoners, even
though he neither ordered nor knew of their execution by his soldiers.
The sentence was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.
When I was a little boy, my father, an Air Force officer stationed in
Germany, took me to Dachau and emphasized the role that blind obedience
to authority played in the creation of the death camps. Twenty-five
years later, should I have simply driven past Haiti's most notorious
dungeon as if what was going on inside was none of our business?
Capt. Rockwood faces 10 years in prison for his actions as a
counterintelligence officer in Operation Uphold Democracy.
Lawyers Committee for Human Rights
PROTECT OR OBEY:
The United States Army versus Captain Lawrence Rockwood
A report of the Latin America and Caribbean program
of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights
New York, May 1995
For further information contact:
Robert 0. Weiner (212) 629-6170 ext. 27
330 Seventh Avenue, 10th Floor. New York, New York 10001 TEL (212) 629-6170 FAX (212) 967-0916
The Lawyers Committee for Human Rights
Since 1978, the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights has worked to protect and promote
fundamental human rights. Its work is impartial, holding each government to the standards
affirmed in the International Bill of Human Rights, including
* the right to be free from torture, summary execution, abduction and disappearance;
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The Committee conducts fact-finding missions and publishes reports which serve as a starting
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Captain Lawrence Rockwood faces court-martial on May 8 on charges arising
out of his single-handed attempt to inspect the conditions at Haiti's notorious National
Penitentiary. As a counterintelligence officer with the Army's 10th Mountain
Division, the largest component part of the U.S.-led Multinational Force (MNF) in
Haiti, Captain Rockwood analyzed information on human rights violations prior to
and during the MNF's deployment. Even as U.S. troops discovered sickening
mistreatment in another Haitian prison -- confirming years of human rights reporting -
a week after their September 19 landing, Captain Rockwood was seeking
authorization to inspect the National Penitentiary, Haiti's largest prison. He was
unsuccessful. Self-protection, but not rights protection, was the priority for the
U.S.'s overwhelming array of forces in Haiti. Concerned that the MNF had failed to
fulfill pressing responsibilities at the expense of endangered civilians and convinced
that he was following the Commander-in-Chief's intent, Captain Rockwood went
alone to inspect the prison on the evening of September 30.
Alerted by Captain Rockwood himself to these actions, his superiors sent a
U.S. military official to the prison who interrupted his inspection and escorted him
from the building. Before he left, Captain Rockwood was able to view two dozen
severely emaciated prisoners in a 20-foot square cell in the infirmary, but could not
inspect the main holding cell. Subsequent visitors, including international prison
inspectors, a U.S. congressman, a U.S. undersecretary of defense and several U.S.
military police officers attached to the 10th Mountain Division have confirmed the
Captain Rockwood's superiors remained apparently unmoved. According to
General James Hill, MNF deputy commander after General Meade's departure, the
MNF command first authorized an official inspection of the prison for December 19,
ten weeks later, a late start on President Clinton's September 15 invocation to U.S.
soldiers to "stop the brutal atrocities that threaten tens of thousands of Haitians."
In exchange for his efforts, Captain Rockwood's commanding officer has
preferred five charges against him, including failing to show up for the night shift at
the MNF compound; unauthorized leaving of the infirmary to which he was sent after
the failed inspection; disrespect (raising his voice) and disobedience (refusing to lower
his voice) to his superior officer; and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.
(The specification on the last charge, conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman,
is almost Kafkaesque. After recounting Rockwood's actions it alleges that he
"personally created] a dangerous and unstable incident [sic] between the U.S.
government and the government of Haiti during a period when the U.S. government
attempted to maintain a stable relationship with the de facto government of Haiti to
avoid unnecessary violence.') The charges carry a combined maximum sentence of
ten years in prison.
Captain Lawrence Rockwood confronted first-hand the frustration of many of
those who watched the mission unfold. Although the Lawyers Committee spoke to
other soldiers in 1994 who shared his view that in the early months of its mission the
MNF command gave insufficient attention to egregious human rights threats, Captain
Rockwood's conduct has highlighted the issue in a particularly compelling manner.
Although much of the debate and indeed much of the assistance that has been offered
by his pro bono counsel, by the Lawyers Committee, and by others has been directed
to his defense, it is Rockwood's intent that the controversy serve the future. His
principled disobedience should prompt a healthy debate over a range of issues, from
the role of human rights in multilateral peacekeeping operations to the proper balance
which should be set between military discipline and competing obligations and
Implications of the Prosecution
Every era, every nation, and probably every military action has those who
break with discipline, violating or disobeying orders. Their punishment is rarely
concern beyond the individuals and institutions involved.
United States vs. Rockwood, Lawrence P. is different. No matter how it is
resolved, the case will be a benchmark for the nation, for the military, and for current
and future soldiers. The pertinent issues are novel, arising in an era of military
peacekeeping operations which little resemble their predecessors. Yet the controversy
is a classic one, pitting obedience to superior officers against the dictates of one's
The potential legacy is worth considering. What lesson will soldiers and --
perhaps more important -- commanders draw from this experience? A conviction will
certainly discourage other soldiers from weighing questionable orders against other
compelling obligations. Undoubtedly, it will also insulate the Army from a critical
look at its own actions and omissions, unless others compel such introspection.
The Army has already signaled its desire to avoid such scrutiny, whether from
within or without. Claiming that motive is immaterial to the crimes charged, the
Army has sought to prevent Captain Rockwood from telling the court-martial the
reasons for his actions. The military judge who denied the Army's motion also
blocked its attempt to "gag" Captain Rockwood and his lawyers to prevent them from
explaining to the public that he feels what he did was right and why.
Peacekeeping and Human Rights
The Army's response is all the more disconcerting because of the need to
review traditional military assumptions in light of a changing military role.
Peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding (hereinafter, "peacekeeping")
operations confound many of the assumptions that underlie traditional military
operations. Humanitarian law, developed for armed conflict, aims to limit combat-
related harm to civilians, prisoners and wounded. Human rights law contemplates a
peacetime reality distinct from many of the extraordinary situations which call for
There is ample need for a nuanced understanding of this evolving situation.
Most peacekeeping operations are deployed as hostilities wind down, or where a
relatively demilitarized area has been carved out. Their troops are not intended to
engage in combat. At the same time, these missions often confront the lingering
hostility and other ill effects associated with recent conflict. Moreover, because they
so often deploy in situations of transition, they are part of the process of creating or
restoring the institutions of state and society. The varied mission components reflect
these broader needs and objectives. International police often accompany troops to
help ensure security, and train and monitor national police; human rights observer
teams document violations.
The international foundations of peacekeeping initiatives also distinguish them
from most military operations. Peacekeeping constitutes an insenational commitment
of resources. Regardless of the national make-up of the force (the overwhelming
majority of the MNF troops which landed were U.S.) these are never bilateral
operations. In Haiti, the United States acts as an agent of the UN exercising a grant
of UN authority. As such, the U.S. represents the UN and must reflect UN
commitments and obligations as well as adhere to its national legal duties. Military
training, like military law, must reflect an obvious reality: by virtue of their
essentially constructive purposes, their vastly reduced combat exigencies, and their
global character, peacekeeping missions undoubtedly require of their participants
more, not less, action to protect basic human rights. The mandate of the MNF, under
Security Council Resolution 940, emphasizes not military victory but the creation of a
"stable and secure environment" for the transition to democratic institutions.
U.S. Obligations Under International Law
Human rights law applies to any U.S. military mission abroad. The Haiti
effort is no exception. In addition to UN Charter obligations, the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights requires the U.S. to ensure the rights of
persons in the U.S. and/or subject to U.S. jurisdiction, even if they are beyond our
national borders. (Our federal courts have accepted this principle.) These duties
derive not from the UN Charter or from the treaties themselves, but from customary
rules, acknowledged as firmly established law, of which the treaties are a concrete
Humanitarian law is traditionally understood to require an armed conflict
before its detailed rules are, strictly speaking, applicable. However, there is growing
support for the view that even without separate warring sides, violence in a contested
political situation may trigger customary humanitarian law governing non-international
armed conflicts. Haiti's situation is an interesting case in point. It includes an
ongoing conflict over State authority in which the violence, though almost exclusively
one-sided, was sufficient for the UN to characterize it as a threat to regional peace
and security. The role of the MNF, as a UN proxy, "internationalized" the conflict
and finds its closest analogy in the Geneva Convention's "Protecting Power" who,
though not a belligerent is designated to monitor the compliance by the parties to the
conflict. Therefore, humanitarian law provides a highly relevant framework for non-
combat operations such as the MNF's in Haiti.
The U.S. has recognized this, undertaking to apply the Geneva Conventions to
all uses of force by MNF troops and to treatment of prisoners. For its part, the UN
has obligated all peacekeeping missions operating pursuant to its authority to adhere
to the requirements of Geneva law.
These bodies of law impose obligations on States for the protection of persons
subject to their jurisdiction. Customary human rights law comprises general
requirements to respect the protection against torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment and to adopt measures necessary to give effect to this protection.
Humanitarian law provides much more detailed and individualized obligations,
reflecting that prisoners and other non-combatants will essentially be dependent on the
parties to the conflict (and the Protecting Powers) who are responsible for applying
the Geneva Conventions. The Protecting Powers are thrust into an affirmative role of
verification and insistence, lobbying the parties to the conflict in order to ensure
compliance. In order to ensure respect for the Convention, Protecting Powers have
the right and the duty to inspect prisons, review the conditions of prisoners and take
remedial steps. Provisions regarding custodial authorities make clear that the
obligation to ensure proper treatment continues even after the detainee has been
turned over to the custody of another. Finally, since torture and inhuman treatment
are considered "grave breaches" of the Geneva Convention and therefore, war crimes,
specific provisions require all State Parties to take special measures to combat cases
of torture and inhuman treatment, including identifying and locating the responsible
parties, regardless of nationality, and bringing the culprits before its own courts.
Obviously, the duty of individual States is related to the nexus they share with
the violation. This is most explicitly noted in the Geneva Conventions which create
categories of responsibility (eg., the Protecting Powers) but the logic is reflected in
the Civil and Political Covenant which imposes duties on States regarding persons in
their territory or subject to their jurisdiction. Few would insist, for example, on
Costa Rica's affirmative duty to remedy ethnic cleansing in a Bosnian village. The
U.S. commanders of the MNF on the other hand, are the obvious focal point for the
obligation to protect Haitian civilians from egregious harms.
Moreover, the U.S. expressly assumed a responsibility for functions of state
through an accord negotiated by former President Jimmy Carter with the Haitian
military regime prior to the MNF landing. The Haitian military and police, according
to the text, agreed to "work in close cooperation with the U.S. Military Mission ...
during the transitional period required for insuring [sic] the vital institutions of the
country." A recently released Army document reveals that the U.S. forces had an
additional connection to the National Penitentiary. They used it for prisoners. On or
about October 15, U.S. military police brought 28 of their own detainees to the
Penitentiary to be held by the Haitian army. The author of the document, which
reports an assessment of the conditions there by three U.S. military police, readily
acknowledges that the conditions are deplorable and that remedial action should be
taken. Among other things it notes that prisoners are underfed and often held for
prolonged periods without charges, some of them simply "because the Chief of
Police, Michel Francois, ordered it."
That the prisoners were held in a Haitian jail overseen by Haitian soldiers does
not, therefore, limit the U.S. obligation to ensure that gross violations were not taking
place. A wide range of circumstances compel this conclusion: the U.S. leadership of
a mission to make Haiti stable and secure, and to restore democratic institutions; its
partnership with the Haitian authorities responsible for committing the violations; the
absence of a Haitian authority likely to take remedial action; and the commitment
from its Commander-in-Chief to use military action -- Operation Uphold Democracy -
- to end human rights abuses in Haiti.
Under relevant legal standards, U.S. commanders would bear responsibility --
even individual criminal responsibility -- for failing to take steps to end a pattern of
serious abuses by personnel under their authority. Given the U.S. authority in Haiti,
and the cooperation agreement with the Haitian military, it can be argued persuasively
that the U.S. bore the responsibility for intervening to stop inhuman treatment by
Haitian security forces. (Prior to his action, Captain Rockwood confirmed with his
unit's legal officer that the MNF's own rules of engagement required such
intervention when life threatening circumstances are observed by U.S. troops.)
Prisons: A Particular Focus of Concern
Prisons, particularly Haitian prisons, are of special concern for military forces
on foreign soil. Where a military operation coincides with or brings about a major
shift in power (eg., restoring democratic leadership), the danger is particularly acute
that agents of the old regime will kill political prisoners lest they later bear witness to
the crimes it perpetrated while in power. For example, the Cambodian museum
which once housed Pol Pot's most notorious prison displays chilling photos of the last
prisoners. Still chained to their beds, they had been hastily killed before their captors
fled from an advancing Vietnamese army. The Nazis left behind much evidence of
their last-ditch efforts to kill prisoners and hide evidence of atrocities as the Allied
U.S. Army operations normally reflect this sensitivity. In Panama, concern
for the lives of detained Americans and pro-democracy Panamanian nationals lent
particular urgency to the task. Operations manuals for both the Army and the 10th
Mountain Division list detention facilities as priority areas for civil-military operations
such as the MNF's Operation Uphold Democracy.
General Hill, who began his command in Port-au-Prince in early 1995, linked
the need to confront prison conditions to the MNF's UN mandate (in Security Council
resolution 940) to provide a "stable and secure environment" for the full transition to
democracy. In a lengthy interview with a Village Voice reporter on the prisons in
Haiti, he acknowledged that "you cannot continue at long term to have a stable and
secure environment unless all three parts of the judicial system are working: the
police, the courts and the prisons."
For General Hill, the National Penitentiary was "absolutely" an MNF priority
under his command. He even thought, mistakenly, that the National Penitentiary had
been important to the 10th Mountain Division under General Meade.
Haiti's Prisons: Abuse Foretold
Even if Captain Rockwood had never approached his superiors with this issue,
there exists ample documentation of Haitian prison conditions before and after his
actions; the United States was on notice.
For years prior to the MNF deployment, human rights groups, the United
Nations, and even the State Department reported that Haitian detention centers are
breeding grounds of serious abuse, there are several grounds for priority treatment by
the MNF. In the words of the State Department's annual human rights report for
1993, "prison conditions are abysmal. ... Brutal beatings with fists and clubs, torture,
and other cruel treatment of detainees were common." For 1994, the warning was
upgraded: "The de facto authorities routinely" committed the same abuses.
Soon after they arrived, U.S. forces discovered in Les Cayes an abandoned
dungeon of horribly mistreated prisoners, some of them literally rotting away.
(Incredibly, though this discovery occurred in the middle of Captain Rockwood's
bureaucratic odyssey, it had no effect on the command's determination to ignore his
The U.S. knew that there were no other authorities in a position to inspect
prison conditions in Haiti at the time the MNF was deployed. The UN/OAS human
rights team, which had limited access during its earlier deployment, had been expelled
in July and was not yet operational again, and the International Committee of the Red
Cross -- which has typically fulfilled the role envisioned for Protecting Powers under
the Geneva Conventions -- would not reach an access agreement with the Haitian
military until the end of the first week of October. The National Penitentiary lacked
any prisoner registry, so U.S. forces could not, without a physical inventory, rule out
the presence of "high risk" political prisoners, or hold the military accountable for
deaths caused by inhuman detention conditions.
The National Penitentiary: What Rockwood Would Have Found
A U.S. military police officer who conducted a weapons search within 24
hours of Captain Rockwood, was struck by "appalling conditions ... unsuitable for
human habitation." Some of the prisoners were so emaciated that they could not get
up from the floor where they lay. He reported to the 10th Mountain Division's
commander General Meade that one portion resembled "a medieval castle one
would see in a horror movie." His report urged priority action "in [the MNF's]
efforts to assist Haiti in its return to democracy.' Three Danish inspectors with the
International Police Monitors (IPM) visited most of Haiti's prisons between October
and December. Regarding the Penitentiary, they said, thishs is the worst prison we
have ever seen.'
The IPM inspectors noted over 400 prisoners in a cell approximately 400 yards
square roughly one square yard per person. Few of these prisoners had beds,
mattresses or blankets, and the only toilet facility consisted of a hole in one corner of
the cell. A food allocation of about four dollars (US) per person per month was,
according to the IPM report, often very late.
After a visit to the Penitentiary earlier this year, Congressman Dan Burton told
a House of Representatives committee that the sanitary conditions were so appalling
that gangrene developed, requiring amputations among the prisoners. One of the
hearing's witnesses, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Walter Slocombe,
concurred, based on personal observation, that the conditions were appalling.
Captain Rockwood's Duty to Act
Captain Rockwood's defense will reflect traditional principles of justification.
(It will also argue duress, which excuses illegal acts taken by the accused in the belief
that they would prevent an imminent serious harm to another.) Justification applies
where the act was in fact legal pursuant to an authority superior to the order which it
violates. Under international law recognized and binding on the U.S., Captain
Lawrence Rockwood had a right and a duty to act where no other U.S. official
Captain Rockwood repeatedly brought this information to the attention of his
superiors. He succeeded only in confirming the unfathomable: that they would not
act. If he did not, no one would. The action was justified because it fulfilled a duty
that the command would not: at a minimum, to investigate the strong possibility of
The Army's position has been that the order which Captain Rockwood
allegedly violated -- a directive about the proper procedure for leaving the MNF
compound and a duty order to be at the compound at the time he was at the
Penitentiary -- were lawful and therefore immune from second guessing. The
Lawyers Committee believes that this approach misses the point, and would validate
omissions and inaction which directly violate U.S. legal obligations. The relevant
command directive in this case was embodied in the decision not to authorize him to
inspect prison conditions. Captain Rockwood's actions fulfilled a duty which was
present at the time, urgent at the time, and highly unlikely to be filled by another.
Any command order, act, omission or disciplinary proceeding which stands in
opposition is suspect and must be carefully scrutinized.
One war crimes judgment is worth considering in this regard. In that case,
General Yamashita, a World War II commander of Japanese troops in the Philippines,
was executed for failing to take action to a pattern of serious abuses between October
1944 and September 1945. The charge did not allege that General Yamashita knew of
these acts. The U.S. Supreme Court, which heard the appeals, reasoned that General
Yamashita was liable for failure to restrain subordinates' abuses of which he knew or
should have known. The Lawyers Committee does not suggest that General Meade's
failure to act is the equivalent of General Yamashita's. However, the case is
instructive, for reasons highlighted in the dissenting opinion on appeal. Justice
Murphy noted that the acts committed by General Yamashita's troops occurred as
Allied forces were laying siege to the Japanese troops in the Philippines, effectively
destroying Japanese lines of communication, disorganizing their troops and blocking
Yamashita's ability to maintain effective control. Rather than alleging or proving that
the General committed, ordered or condoned the acts by his disintegrating forces, the
prosecution argued, and the Supreme Court accepted, that General Yamashita bore
command responsibility for the chaos that he successful U.S. attacks helped to create.
By contrast, the tragedy of the Rockwood case is that the MNF, in
unquestionable control, with overwhelming force, facing a subordinate rather than
adversarial foreign army, and serving under a mandate to rectify military abuse in
preparation for democracy, would not authorize a six-kilometer trip to a downtown
prison to investigate serious abuse. Regardless of how a military jury votes on
Captain Rockwood's actions, the Army has yet to square its conduct with its legal
obligations, and President Clinton's public call for an end to human rights abuse in
The responsibility of States devolves onto individuals who are in a position to
ensure or thwart fulfillment of these obligations. As the Nuremberg Tribunal stated
in judgment on command level officials whose subordinates committed atrocities
nearly a half century ago, "...individuals have international duties which transcend the
national obligations of obedience imposed by the individual state." The world's
most powerful nation, once a driving force at Nuremberg, should not now stand its
principles on their head.
10TH MOUNTAIN DIVISION (LI)
CIVIL MILITARY OPERATIONS HANDBOOK
1 FEBRUARY 1992
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. CMO OVERVIEW
A. OPERATIONAL CONCEPT FOR CA 1-1
B. MINIMIZING CIVILIAN INTERFERENCE
WITH MILITARY OPERATIONS 1-4
C. CA FUNCTIONAL TEAM DESCRIPTION I-11
II. CIVIL MILITARY OPERATIONS AT BRIGADE
A. CMO PROCEDURES GUIDE II-1
B. CA STAFF COORDINATION 11-4
C. CA COORDINATION CHECKLIST II-5
D. EXAMPLE CA COORDINATIONS 11-8
E. STATUS OF FORCES AGREEMENT (SOFA) 11-16
III. BRIEFINGS, ASSESSMENTS, ESTIMATES, PLANS
A. CA BRIEFING GUIDE III-1
B. CMO HASTY ESTIMATE WORKSHEET III-2
C. CA ESTIMATE III-3
D. CA ANNEX OPLAN/OPORD 111-7
E. SAMPLE DC PLAN FORMAT III-10
A. CLASSES OF SUPPLY IV-1
B. METRIC CONVERSION FACTORS IV-2
C. MAP & CA OVERLAY IV-3
D. REFERENCES IV-4
TABLE OF CONTENTS (CONT)
V. AREA ASSESSMENT CHECKLISTS
A. INTRODUCTION V-1
B. PROPERTY CONTROL V-2
C. RECOVERED WEAPONS/AMMUNITION V-3
D. STATUS PUBLIC SAFETY V-4
E. CIVIL DEFENSE V-5
F. STATUS OF RELIEF AGENCIES V-6
G. EMERGENCY FOOD SUPPLY V-7
H. PUBLIC HEALTH V-8
I. CULTURAL/RELIGIOUS V-9
J. LAW ENFORCEMENT V-10
K. POL V-14
L. STORAGE V-16
M. VEHICLE V-17
N. PUBLIC UTILITIES V-18
0. SEWAGE SYSTEM V-21
P. ELECTRIC POWER SYSTEM V-23
Q. FIRE DEPARTMENT V-25
R. LABOR V-26
LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY CHECKLIST
1. Name of facility.
a. Grid coordinate.
b. Street address.
c. Telephone number.
3. Chief of Police.
4. Other points of contact.
b. Square miles.
c. Population of area.
(2) Plain clothes.
(3) Number of admin/support.
(4) Number of auxiliary forces.
(5) Number of border guards.
(6) Number of para-military.
(7) Number and types of specially trained personnel
(8) Location of records (personnel and criminal).
(9) Covert operations in progress:
(b) Number of operations
b. POL sources.
e. Riot equipment.
g. Special equipment (PA systems, computers, helicopters,
8. Communications: Location of central police broadcast
facility and auxiliary.
d. Interagency communications.
9. Confinement facilities.
c. Grid coordinate.
d. Telephone number.
e. Type of facility.
f. Maximum capacity.
g. Present capacity.
h. Number of guards (adequate Y/N).
i. Capacity of kitchens.
j. Name of warden.
k. Overall condition of facility and inmates.
10. Private Security Organizations.
c. Grid coordinates.
d. Telephone number.
e. Number of personnel.
g. Other points of contact.
11. Mutual aid agreements with adjoining facilities.
ORGANIZATION ADDRESS TELEPHONE # AGREEMENT
12. Contingency plans:
a. What is the role of the police force in:
(1) National defense.
(2) National emergency.
(3) Disaster relief/rescue.
b. Is the police headquarters defendable?
c. Can police impress/deputize local citizens (Y/N)?
d. Obtain a map of police jurisdiction if possible.
e. Are DC evacuation routes plotted (Y/N)?
f. What support can be provided to U.S. forces?
g. How can police information be reported to U.S. intel
Army Regulation 20-1
Assistance, Inspections, Investigations, and
Department of the Army
15 March 1994
the complunt will be mvesgated at a lower level, the IG wti ex-
plan that this is the normal procedure The IG will also explain
the command, thereby reinforcing the local chan of command's
abtlity to correct problems once they ae tdentfied The complain-
aot wdl also be nfornfed that the next higher command wll review
the completed casework of referred cases to ensure the responsible
command thoroughly and impartally addressed the complanaat'a
concerns [f the complanant still objects, the IG wll notify the com-t
panant that the case wdll be invetigated at a appropriate level
other than the command against whtch the allegaton or complaint
a._l-.I. 2. .
djehodu ri -tthasend rll reai the ran a aibil -
to proerde the fonal respoe to the competfl tt
Not AlegtshiRoii otne~meang ofathipat ttr phrolItry They ray
include maDters such atdegarutons of terornreyptrnstref ner tocalay.
rtcc -d (.1h,, rorot thhageral M-er o S ortEst (So, c-hp 7)
t Other allegations oclude ars n which the local or rnatonal eredi
ray have to interest, complaits of sexual harmet by supe r
eosZ ad report s of fraud, waste anrd abet lGs should uctu
ththher rext higher Is in doubtful caesar
(6) All rcferal to HQDA wl be srent to Astasrmce Ditvaoe.
HQODA (SAIG-AC), WASH DC 203 10-1738.
(7) Wheo the IGAR cone an actity or program of other
Serve the IG should refer the IGAR to the local IG that Ser-
ic The IG itll pro de nforatoon copies of the referral to the
MACOM. If l IGAR cyoaot be reolved locally through referral
to the other Serce IG. ftowrd the IGAR to USAIGA's Ast-
tanc Dvorn, anth a drecpcon of the attempts o refer locally.
() If appropriate o the cae form the requoester of establshed
mo of redie-s Pacagraphs 6-7 aod h-S lot tome specific types of -
rdress available. IGs wil hctlt heU assitnce to these cases to I
review, after completon of action on the request for redress, of
whether due pIoce was afforded the rquester
SA rquester may volunornly withdraw a [GAR at ay taoe.
The "s w tl not tuggst that a requester rthdraw n IGAR, how-
ever, d the requester des to do a. IGs Iho3uld norally require a
written request to propely document the request When ~ oIGAR
a withdrawn, the coormander, State AG, or detaded IG may drcrde
H cntoue eo process ame or al of the IGAR to addresa defior
e t Aroy procedures or systems
qeta foray sacer fom I-otractorsWrolved rc rrectactr-
bee. procu reet -actvtes or =ntrtactog. dedeerr i they are
proper for IG mqucuy Coordunation -th the euppor.ngjudge ad-
vca. geral counsel or the USAIGA's Legal Advar a rcom-i
6-5. CooducUng an Inapactor general enquaty
At IG inquiry a the ,ost ommon m s used by [Gs to
gath.e the rrorsation neeed to respond to requester tIr an s -
tlephooefcall If tattertert taken, they norally *re soI e
corded or swor. If reduced Io wnrtg, they ae normaUy uioma-
rnzedl. n IG ooqury mot be timely and thorough. It mst proved
the bas for respondig to the IGAR and for torre g undertlyg
drfcwci to Anamy procduresand system The IGAR le must
contain mforraten that supports the conclu"oI reached and a
copy of the response. to the requested
h. The IG responsible for processing the IGAR deterne the
beat way to -onduct the IG mqury. Telephone rals .sits, inter-
views and cordtaton of actions taken by ra-os agenctese ae
some ofthe more common 10 inqry actIocs.
facts and evidence, and state a conclusion The format for an ROt.
which is provided in the Assstance and Investgatons Gde. a re-
ommnode. An allegation wll be wtten w thao f substantiated. it
represent a violation of Any policy or standards, or a deficiency to
Army procedures or systems. For amplat "Sergeant Smoth ro-
properly detroyed supply records in violation of AR 7 1-2 "
d. When an IG interest a person, the IG may record pres-
sions of the persons attitude, sincenty, and truthfulness The IG
will enter these in the IGAR file and will clearly indicate they are
imprestsons Remembaer, however, that the fle s subject to FOIA
(1) If a family member alleges lack of basic needs such a food or
fa1ody are met
wander is awat of alleauctor ad rakes approprae action AR
60b-99 pres ,acins for he mtander totake for roup-
port cases AR 600-15 prescrbe croander's action for pvate
rdbItednes cases An IG becoming volved with these matters
wil deterome if the requester has fowarded the complamt to the
solder's commander if not, the IG shou offer ras stance for
muIatlg ad properly rou'mg the GomplacL If the request or has
that case, the matter should be handled o IG channels, but only to
thee iente ncre anlo ascrtaI if the ommaoder fullled obhga-
co required cby lor d or uloe n
b. Soldier o complaints The EO adtor, under pro.Itons of
AR 600-20, the IG, or vestogatIng officer appointed uder AR
15-6, tay address EO omplats made by alderrs The moaerm
wach EO omplaont ro e addressed ad who spoeficaly eddcess
the cotplait s a ommand deion, (For NG persooel. t e paos
6-14b ) However, when a EO coplant I frw ded for noqury
o gat o through IG ch =els. cy teapere -us be trn-
lotted uomg the smoe chanels When tIe requteser s.ks redress
for pst alleged dotcnratory peactce that have brooms part of
official Army records, the IG should advse the requieter to *ek re-
dress through appeals procedurs provided by law or Arry rgula-
t-on pe-rarng to the pantculo adverse aton Eaomples Jclude
OER or NCOER appeals. cournsmaruoial, ad other atuor listd m
paragraph 6-7 f+*
c. Respoes to Congreo. An IG who r. ives a request for ass-
tasce directly from an MC, or from the ntallauon or acoity Icn-
gresslona litan r-ice wl notify USAIGA's Asssta ce DtiO
espclotosly. (For NG It]a see para 6-14t ) If the rstallaton or
actvty congressional lhao office rn.eres a aa on whlch the IGtO
u c ently working, or has already -ompleted a t coqury, the local
IG must inform the taskng official that the resposa wil be for-
wa.ded through IG chanela to USAIGA'i Assstance OtDvison
These es se handled as IG case USAIGA' Asss-tan D-.
son will unact the Office of the Chief. 1Lgaslatve Liao (OCLL)
ro have he cae trasferred to the Assistae Do aton Onre the m-
query cs comply ie local IG wil toward the report of o qucry
through the MACOM IG to USAIGA's Asstanrce Droton The
Assistance DOvsion will prepare the final response to the MC and
furmsh copies to OCLL cod the tG office (or offices) that proceed
AR 20-1r 15 March 1994
(3) The Army hbe mabshed mas of reds (See pas 6-7
and 6t )
(4) The allegations novolve prnfnsonal misconduct by an Army
lawyer, military or civilian Such allegations will be referred
through the USAIGA Legal Advor to the snor counsel (for ex-
ample, The General Counsel of the Army, TJAG of the Army, the
SComnand Coual of AMC. or the Chef Counsel of the U S. Army
Corps of Engineers) having jurisdiction over the subject lawyer, for
(5) The alegaonm -nvolve mosmoagement by a member of the
Judge Advocate Legal Servce serving n spervory capacity
Such allegations wil be referred through the USAIGA Legal Adv-
sor toTJAG for dposton trtder AR 27-1.
SWhen ICGs need more Informatont ononng allegaonor ts-
ues, they may conduct an IG iqury or IG mnvestgaton to develop
... ., -.., -, .. .F ,-
qoory or IoG nnonugawon in favor of a better courne of auon (forexe
ample, investigate per AR 5I-6. or refer to CID),
d The SA ha authored TIG to investigate all Army actites.
Only the SA, USofA, CSA, VCSA and TIG may direct conduct of
DAIG nvesugatons. Heads of HQDA agenc commanders, and
State AGs may request that TIG conduct an invesgaton, but they
are not authortoed to direct TIG to do so
Commander whose staffs include a detaded IG may direct IG
nnvemgau a tn noo a itto thn the cotmw nd. Detaded IGs
Sauthonred to mvetogate ton their orgeoantons sd ao -
tle spec Med by their drectng authonty. Installaton IGs may
conduct ven t-gaoes and mquns at tnant MACOM u.ts alter
mutual agreement between the installaton IG and the tenant umnt
SSat ACGs whose States have detailed IGs may dect IG nves-
tigaons into Federally-related activmts within their States
g An IGinvtigatonof anallegaton concern a command or
ts commander normally wil be conducted by the next higher com-
mand. All allegations nvolvng general officer wlil be handled per
paragraph 7-3 i.
h. Aegatons against IGs wll be forwarded to the next high
uoos DisnIoton a on s posctable.
SInvestgaons of aega of llga of property against general of
ficers nd senor lan employees of the Ary will be conducted
Uganuon Diasion by a pidbut confidential means, within work-
ong days of rec, pt
(3) ICs who reeve aleganomf f impropnety against general of-
icers and senior c-lians may tell their commanders the general na-
ture of the allegations and the identity of the persons aga-st whsom
thehe onm plan.ant's cothe I -
detality, do not rev] th thesource or p c nture of the .a-
legations TIG will ensure commanders, MACOM Ils, and
CNGB get added formaon appropriate. (See para 1-11 ) If
the IG who recevs the allegaton works for the subject of the allJ
gaIon., or f other e e any quotsons, the IG should contact the
ChOtd, Invo_ gwo.o Diion.. USAIGA, for guidance
(4) Address question to HQDA (SAIG-IN), WASH DC
20310-1700W, or HQDA (SAIG-ZXL). WASH DC 20310-I1700
j Forward allegauons against PMs or PECs who are general of-
fice or DA c-th. eployee ofthe SES or eqvalwnt grade to In
vwemtgations Diion. USAIGA. per paragraph 7-3I If allegation
a.- -. .. r*e4 Tr .at ,I.- .
COLUMBIA LAW SCHOOL LIBRARY
3 5005 00548 184
the identity of the ndividual agat whom the allegation hu been
made At the conclusion of the investigation, the PM or PEO may
be informed of the result of the inquiry or investigaton, when fp-
propnate Ful approya luthonty for the RO)r Iem ,o theth di
L Drt-ong auth mon n may, at y tume. termnate aon IG inv.
tigatton that they dr cted. When this ocuro. the IG conducting it
will fle in the IG office n abbrevated report, usng the apphcable
parts of the ROI fomat per TIG-approved proceduo n the MAs-
tanoo ad Gnvttgatons Guide
7-4. Conduct of Inspector general Investigations
IG c vein gatons wht be nmited to the matter approved by
the directing authority, per the Asnstance and Investigatons
Guide, Eentil requirement ofo an IG nvstgation mlude the
notficaton of cowmmandenor su, oen tid subjets or aspects
included n the Invetigatton of the nature of the allegao.; ppro-
pyate nghts on gs, o d nottison of co romaded or psueoo-
sos aod subnot or stpes of the roud of the -v. .ga.on upon
its compleoton Expadong the E eope of s IG tnlemqgaton requem
tnv' tlgaunh the IG wd report theor tothe dtmng authooty so
an appnropnte investgatoon n be te 'ated
b In mont IG invon toga.ons, edenr oll bt developed through
documents ad omteeWS onf wtsnn-s, per the Adatsta -aoe d la-
vmugations Gcide IGs always see the best avolable e ndmece.
The bit e-den- Fhrom mdvduals is swomn and reorded temumony
by pe ns oth doect knowledge. Eivdeotnofa leaner quahty, such
as memooraoda of cotnveraons o nsdwrteon notes won state-
-a r on -hear, n.. or n
tion Gaide when "conductAg mter y ews
d. Perons who provide testimony in sao lt iveshgauon will
normally not be allowed to record then t estimony by tepe or any
Other mnv s Aftr the IG o estagat on d ac n bthe dtang
uthonty are omploeed wi-tnessesn, ospcto.ad subeyt my ob-
tin trusonbed m ops of their own testmonay by fo loog the pm-
eodule in panagraph 3- a(2)
a To protet confidentIahty of IG vmgatoos and the nghtsa,
pacy. and reputaons of all people oovolved n the. IGCs. dunng
Snotfioattons sad Atenews, wdil amk people wth whom they are
talkag not to reoe manen under movntgatnon or to oss thenm
atnnfoodofo o unooe o oteroewwo oeno.nahout mttn adso
7-B. DscuasslIon of rights
A Ztnome a pe on who swheard. k ows.o has something
relevant to the anum being onougated a d who o not a subject or
seoyt A Subjet os a peon against whom nonrunintal atllega-
ton(s) have been made A sopect n a person aga-tt whom ma.
nal allegations have been miade A peson may also become a son-
pMt a fo ult of nco mnatong nfomaauon that asm dong a
hnvntgaton or te'riew, or whoever the qu-enono beheves, or
rmnably should beheve, the person comoiltd cn-nalo offense
The appropate nghm watng for py s inteed dtog am
IG i nmgatson vane with theo statue Conult the Asstanon
snd nvrtigatosns Guide for the appropriate to vew g.ide sd
waang to .
o DA pesonnel who e wom or subj h y not lawdly
refuse to answer quosuons properly related to IG n.taesgaton
-f .- re -. I : I 'o
bemig qumnoned h. mmmttd a nnald offense, he mwae ed e
the sidner of his oghts under Antcle 31, UCMJ Soldoes -ho me
suseted of hang committed a ,nm al offse have he night to
AR 20-1 15 March 1994
I a tra-gic incident in October
1993, 18 U.S. Rangers were
killed when they were
ambushed trying to chase down
a Somali warlord on the mean
streets of Mogadishu. This was one
of the early samples of the Clin-
ton admuustr-pon's confused and
often ambiguous foreign policy The
mission in Somaha --naton-build-
ing, in the words of U.S. Ambas-
sador to the United Nations
Madeleine AJbright had no doubt
been a favorite topic in the salons
and lecture halls where the agdmn-m
istrations Great Thinkers had spent
their formative years spinning their
Great Theories. But on the drill
fields and firing ranges where the
young men they sent to die had
been brought up, there had been
precious little training in how to
build a nation.
WhTch brings us to Fort Drum.
NY Fbrt Drum is the home of the
0Xth Mountain Division The troops
there are trained to deploy on short
notice to defend vital American
interests. Last September, the
but decided that "the military oath
of office not only allowed but com-
pelled [hun] to place loyalty to the
Constitution and the president of
the Urnted State before obedience
to immediate superiors."
For blind obedience to a com-
mander in chief who neither under-
stands nor appreciates the training,
motives and traditions of the troops
he commands, Capt. Rockwood
faces 10 years in prison and a felony
conviction for, among other things,
dereliction of duty and conduct
unbecoming an officer To be sure,
Capt Rockwood disobeyed orders
not to leave his compound on the
night in question Every well-
trained officer knows the conse-
quences of such a decision, indeed,
Capt Rocklwood choseacourt-mar-
tial oser quiet resignation of hius
But what will be on trial in that
military courtroom will not be
Capt Rockwod' s actions last Sep-
tember, but the Clinton adminis-
tration's self-proclaimed foreign
policy victory in Haiti As in Soma-
ha. the administration invited trou-
Washington Times, April 17, 1995
Lawrence T. .Di Rita
Court martial W ith
determined it was in the vital inter-
ests of the Uruted States that there
be democracy in Haiti In an emo-
tional address to a skeptical nation,
President Clinton discussed what
would come to be known as Opera-
tion Uphold Democracy by declar-
ing that the United States must
"stop the brutal atrocities that
threaten tens of thousands of
Haitians As be spoke, the forces of
the 10th Mountain Division were
making ready to go dojust that. (Of
course, the president's cynical deci-
sion to send negotiators to cut a
last-minute deal with the authors of
those atrocities had not yet been
revealed. That may have dampened
the ardor fthe forces he was end-
ing to uphold democracy in poor
ble by placing into the middle of a
sociopolitical conflict combat troops
ill-suited for the mission on which
they were sent Capt Rockwood is
a casualty of that foolish decision,
no less than the 18 Rangers whose
deaths we mourned nearly two
We should not be surprised to
learn that American forces, the
most well-respected institution in
the nation by a large margin,
appear incapable or even incompe-
tent in the face of challenges such
as nation-building and democracy
restoration Would we trade their
ability to regain terntory from an
enemy bent on dominating the
world's oilfields for the skills need-
ed to capture petty warlords or to
serve as Third World jailers' After
all, the history of those countries
where the armed forces are more
competent in nation-building than
war-making is not a glorious one I
refer you to Argentina, whose gen-
erals had a troublesome habit of
taking over the country's political
institutions, but during the Falk-
lands War proved manifestly inca-
Within two weeks of that speech,
Capt. Lawrence P Rockwood, a U S
military intelligence officer
assigned to the 10th Mountain Divi-
sion and newly arrved in Haits,
entered the National Penitentiary
in Port-au-Prince to investigate
some of the brutal atrocities of
which his commander in chief had
spoken. His inspection visit had not
been approved by his superiors In
his own words, be had "for one
week tried in vain to organize an
inspection of the National Peniten-
tiary," the well-known site of some
of the worst of the brutal atrocities
he had been sent to stop He
acknowledges having disobeyed
orders not to leave his compound,
pable of defending an offshore
island against a military force
deployed from 4,000 miles away
This is not to exonerate Capt
Rockwood The integrity of the
American military depends on offi-
cers adhering to orders and enforc-
ing that discipline on subordinates
Capt Rockwood disobeyed his
orders, aw are that his actions, as he
puts it. "would be viewed outside
the range of what is usually associ
ated with 'good order and disci-
pline' His conduct was indeed
unbecoming of an officer, and for
that he w-ll be punished But the
integrity of the American military
depends no less on its civilian lead-
ership understanding what the
force it controls can and cannot do
First in Somalia, later in Haitim,
President Clinton may have been
guilty of conduct unbecoming a
commander in chief The trial date
is set for Nov 12, 1996
Lawrence T Di Rita is deputy
director of foreign policy and
. defense studies at the Heritage
9 780 610 472671'