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HAITI: HUMAN RIGHTS AND POLICE ISSUES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED FOURTH CONGRESS
JANUARY 4, 1996
Printed for the use of the Committee on International Relations
C COLUMBA UNiVERSiTY
MAY 2 rh
U. S. DEPOSITORY
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
WASHINGTON : 1996
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, Democratic Chief of Staff
ROGER NORIEGA, Professional Staff Member
PARKER H. BRENT, Staff Associate
I1^1 ( I
Robert S. Gelbard, Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics
and Legal Affairs, Department of State ............................................................ 8
James F. Dobbins, Special Haiti Coordinator, Department of State ................. 12
William E. Perry, Deputy Assistant Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation 15
Seth P. Waxman, Asssociate Deputy Attorney General, Department of Jus-
tice ......................................................................................................................... 17
Robert S. Gelbard ........................................................................................... 61
Jam es F. Dobbins ........................................................................................... 70
W illiam Perry .................................................................................................... 74
Congress an Dan Burton ............................................................................. 83
Letters dated January 3, 1996, to Chairman Benjamin A. Gilman from
Wendy Sherman, Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs, Depart-
m ent of State ................................................................................................. 85
Letter dated July 11, 1995, to President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Presi-
dent of the Republic of Haiti from William Lacy Swing, U.S. Ambas-
sador to H aiti ............................................................................................. 95
Letter dated March 22, 1995, to Jean Joseph Exume, Minister of Justice,
Republic of Haiti from George Fisher, Major General, U.S. Army ......... 99
Letter dated March 31, 1995, to Senator Jesse Helms from Jean Bertin ... 101
Letters dated January 15, 1996, to Administration witnesses from Chair-
m an Benjamin A. Gilm an .......................................................................... 102
Responses to questions from:
Department of State ............................................................................ 103, 109
Federal Bureau of Investigation ........................................................105, 125
Department of Justice ............................................................................ 107
Additional information provided by the Department of Justice ................ 139
HAITI: HUMAN RIGHTS AND POLICE ISSUES
THURSDAY, JANUARY 4, 1996
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS,
The committee met, pursuant to call, at 10:05 a.m., in room
2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Benjamin A. Gilman
(chairman of the committee) presiding.
Chairman GILMAN. The committee will come to order.
The first order of business today before we begin our hearing is
to welcome the newest member of our committee, Mr. Tom Camp-
bell of California. He is a distinguished former Member, recently
returned to this House to fill the seat vacated by the resignation
of our former colleague, the gentleman from California, Mr. Mineta.
Congressman Campbell has most recently served in the Califor-
nia State Senate and as a professor of law at Stanford University.
Before service in the House, he served with the Federal Trade
Commission, he was a White House fellow, a lawyer in private
practice, and as a former clerk to Supreme Court Justice Byron
Mr. Campbell holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School, for which
we will forgive him, and a B.A. and a Ph.D., all in economics, from
the University of Chicago.
We warmly welcome you to our committee, Mr. Campbell.
Mr. HAMILTON. Will the gentleman yield?
Chairman GILMAN. I will be pleased to yield to the Ranking Mi-
nority Member, Mr. Hamilton.
Mr. HAMILTON. Let me join with the chairman in welcoming
Mr. Campbell to the committee. He served in the Congress with
very great distinction previously. We are delighted to have him
back, and especially pleased to have him on this committee. That
is quite a resume he has. He is going to increase the intellectual
level of this committee quite a lot.
We are glad to have you, Tom, and welcome to the committee.
Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Roth.
Mr. ROTH. I would like to join you and the Ranking Member in
welcoming Mr. Campbell. I have known him and worked with him
on the Banking Committee, and I am pleased to see he is again
going to sit on both the Banking Committee and on this committee.
It is a great delight to have Tom back. We are looking forward to
the questions that he has for our witnesses, too.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Roth.
Are there other members seeking recognition?
Mrs. MEYERS. I would like to add my words to those of our com-
mittee members and say how pleased we are to have Tom with us
on the committee.
Mr. HAMILTON. Mr. Chairman, is it my understanding that there
will be an additional Democratic slot open?
Chairman GILMAN. We are taking that under consideration and
working on that at the present time.
Mr. CAMPBELL. Mr. Chairman.
Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Campbell.
Mr. CAMPBELL. To respond to your gracious words and those of
the Ranking Member and my colleagues, thank you. It is an honor
to be back in the Congress and particularly to serve on this com-
mittee of such distinguished leadership. I look forward to our time
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Campbell.
The hearing on human rights and police issues in Haiti will now
come to order.
Without question, the human rights situation in Haiti has sig-
nificantly improved since the U.S. intervention in September 1994.
Administration witnesses have emphasized that point repeatedly,
and it is anticipated that it will be reiterated once again this morn-
Even so, there has been a distressing pattern of violence involv-
ing an estimated 20 political killings since our nation's interven-
tion. Most of those victims have been opponents of President Jean-
The FBI has been asked to investigate the killing of attorney
Mireille Bertin, a strong opponent of Mr. Aristide, who was shot
dead in broad daylight in Port-au-Prince March 28, 1995. We have
been informed that there is evidence connecting the Bertin killing
with the murders of other Aristide opponents.
We are concerned, too, whether a conspiracy exists among some
Haitians to eliminate President Aristide's opponents and whether
they were trying to hide this from the FBI.
There is some question whether we are being negative by focus-
ing on what may appear to be a relatively small number of human
rights violations in Haiti. Others contend that the presence of 6,000
U.N. peacekeepers and a $2 billion intervention have prevented
temporarily much worse political violence.
Actually, this hearing is less about Haiti and more about the re-
sponsibility of our State Department to adequately and accurately
respond to congressional queries on the critical issues pertaining to
our relationship with Haiti. It is not enough to state that President
Aristide, whom the Administration restored to power at great ex-
pense, is doing better than the authoritarian military junta which
we threw out. The American people have a right to expect more
from this kind of a policy, and the Congress needs full, accurate,
and timely information on which to base its own actions.
This morning we are seeking answers to some of the following
Did the Haitian Government obstruct the FBI's investigation into
the murder of Mireille Bertin?
What have been the results of the FBI's investigation and the
Haitian Government's investigation?
Does our executive branch have any information implicating sen-
ior officials of the Haitian Government in any of these murders in
What steps did the State Department take to ensure that the
Haitian Government cooperated fully with the FBI investigation?
When and to what extent did the State Department inform our
committee, which has oversight responsibility over the Department
and the conduct of U.S. foreign policy, about the political murders
What steps have been taken to ensure the integrity of the U.S.-
trained Haitian National Police?
I know my colleagues have many additional questions. Let me
emphasize that while we are focusing on killings that have oc-
curred since U.S. intervention in Haiti, Haiti will never be at peace
until justice is served in the hundreds of cases of abuse that oc-
curred during the prior military rule. The Clinton administration
must continue to support, efforts by Haiti's Truth Commission to re-
solve those cases as well.
Before proceeding further, do any of my colleagues have opening
Mr. ROTH. Mr. Chairman, I want to congratulate you for holding
this hearing. I think it is time that we get some forthright answers
to what is happening in Haiti.
We have been briefed that traditionally Haiti has been a violent
society and that assassination and death squads have permeated
that country. Some officials want us to believe that all that has
changed, but I think it is important for us to find out whether it
really has changed.
Committee staff has learned from FBI briefings and from reading
over 80 State Department cables that the situation in Haiti may
not have changed. I think it is very important for this committee
to find the truth.
Is there reason to believe that political assassination is still alive
and well in Haiti? Do the death squads still operate? And possibly
even more disturbing, is there reason to believe that the State -De-
partment may have tried to cover up this truth? I can't believe
that, but that is what we have been told.
Is it true that the State Department never kept the Congress in-
formed about important FBI findings? Again, it is hard for me to
believe that the State Department would do that, but I think it is
important for us to ask these questions.
And is it true that the State Department never kept the Con-
gress informed about apparent Haitian efforts to block FBI inquir-
ies? I think it is important for the Congress to know whether that
has taken place. If so, we have a problem. How are we going to
come to a resolution of these issues?
So, Mr. Chairman, I hope that today we can get honest, forth-
right testimony from the Administration on the situation in Haiti.
After all, the judgment that Congress makes can be no better than
information that it receives. I am looking forward to this hearing
and to clearing up some of the questions that have been raised in
the briefings we have received here in Congress.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Roth.
Mr. HASTINGS. I thank you for holding this hearing, Mr. Chair-
I came here not intending to have any opening statement until
I heard your opening statement, Mr. Chairman, which deeply dis-
tresses me. I have immense respect for you, and I believe that you
are very careful in your deliberations with reference to all inter-
Let me suggest to you as one who has been on all sides of inves-
tigations that it best serves us to wait until all of the facts are in.
To use the term "political killings" and "political murders" without
any evidence that will support that, other than accusations, is a bit
distressing and leads to a lot of confusion in the realm.
Let me say this. For all intents and purposes, the Clinton admin-
istration's basic policies in Haiti have been an unqualified success,
thanks to the tremendous work of the State Department and any
number of other nonprofit and other organizations that have
worked in that arena.
I live in Florida, and I witnessed with my own eyes the bodies
of Haitians that washed up on the shores. They are no longer doing
that, and that in and of itself is a success.
There was an election, albeit with about the same numbers as
the last American election, that was a national election, and that
election went off without any problems of major consequence, in
spite of the fact that many Members of this Congress said that
there will be violence, there would not be an election, that Aristide
would run. He did not run, and no one wishes to give them the
credit for it.
My colleague, Mr. Roth, I suggest to you when you say that the
State Department is deserving of query, I do agree that they are
deserving of query but do not agree .that we should level charges
in the public realm without having had an opportunity to sit and
counsel with the State Department in private with reference to any
disagreements that we may have regarding the work that they
have done to provide security and democracy and respect for
human rights in Haiti.
I think the ultimate question has to be, how did the FBI get au-
thority to be in Haiti in the first place? I believe the Haitian Gov-
ernment invited the FBI to participate in the investigation.
What did the FBI tell Haiti and President Aristide after their in-
vestigation and after the State Department asked them to give
them the information that they had gathered? I believe you will
find that they told them that they had no firm basis in the way
of evidence that would support any conclusive determination that
there was anything connecting Aristide with any of the murders
that took place of the 20 that seemed to be of concern here.
I suggest and argue for all of us to be very careful in our delib-
erative undertakings when it comes to leveling false accusations
lest you find them rebounding and causing you to have false accu-
sations placed against you.
'Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman GILMAN. I would like to address Mr. Hastings' concern
about considering the murders as political violence.
Mr. HASTINGS. I didn't say that. If you are going to address me,
say what I said. I said you said political killings and political mur-
ders. I did not say what you just said.
Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Hastings, I refer you to a letter that has
been distributed from Wendy Sherman, Assistant Secretary of
State for Legislative Affairs, dated January 3rd, in which she
states, 'The reemergence of political violence in Haiti, and the pos-
sible implication of senior officials in the Haitian security appara-
tus has been and remains at the top of our bilateral agenda with
Haiti. The President, the Vice President, the Secretaries of State
and Defense, and National Security Advisor, and other senior
American officials have dealt directly and forcefully with this issue
in their conversations with President Aristide and we will do so
with his successor. We are confident that, as the committee reviews
the telegrams and other material requested and being made avail-
able, you will recognize the priority this issue has received."
Mr. BURTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I have a statement I
would like to insert in the record.
As chairman of the Western Hemisphere--
Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Burton, I am going to ask that the Janu-
ary 3 letter be made part of the record and be distributed fully to
[The January 3 letter appears in the appendix.]
Mr. BURTON. As chairman of the Western Hemisphere Sub-
committee, we had hearings on October 12, and we have looked
into these allegations of whether or not there were political
I would like to say to my colleague from Florida, I suggest he get
the CIA and FBI briefings in his office, because I think when you
get that information it will illuminate this issue much further.
It is my belief that there were connections between, if not
Mr. Aristide, members of the Aristide administration, in these po-
litical assassinations. One of my biggest concerns is that on Octo-
ber 12 we had Ambassador Dobbins testify before this committee
and he indicated he didn't know anything about the assassination
of Ms. Bertin, who was a leading political opponent, and that he
had not been notified of anything.
It is hard for me to believe that the FBI was down there inves-
tigating this and had information concerning this political killing
and others and did not share that information with the Ambas-
sador. That is why I am very happy today that we are going to put
everyone under oath to make sure there is no misunderstanding
about what went on, because I will tell you, if the FBI did commu-
nicate information to the Ambassador and other members of this
administration and they did not tell our committee or subcommit-
tee about it, deliberately misled us, that is something I don't think
this Congress can tolerate.
Regarding it being an unqualified success, Mr. Aristide promised
that there would be privatization down there. I will tell you, privat-
ization is not taking place. There have been one or two industries
where there have been some attempts at it, but there have been
many people who wanted to do business in Haiti who have con-
tacted me and said there has been roadblock after roadblock and
there is no real attempt to privatize as Mr. Aristide promised he
would do to Haiti.
One of the primary objectives was to bring the free market sys-
tem into Haiti so that they could control their unemployment rate,
which is totally out of control. Haiti is never going to have a long-
term stable economy or stable governmental structure when we
leave unless they get the Haitians back to work.
When you have 50 percent or more of the people unemployed,
you will have chaos. You are going to have crime, drugs, all those
things. These free market objectives have not been accomplished,
and the major impediment has been the Aristide administration.
Let's talk about the law enforcement agencies. I talked to Presi-
dent Aristide personally, and he promised me that they weren't
going to have members of the Lavalas Party or the military in-
volved in the police force. They were going to have totally new peo-
We brought an expert in from New York to train the new force,
and now we find out that a lot of people connected to Aristide are
going to be in positions of leadership in law enforcement agencies,
which I believe will lead to further chaos, further political killings,
and further corruption. That does not lead to a truly democratic
So I say that I do not believe Haiti is an unqualified success. I
believe we have been pouring millions of dollars and probably will
end up pouring billions of dollars into a situation down there that
is not going to solve the problem. I also believe once the troops
leave you are going to see the same chaotic conditions we have
seen in the past unless the new government starts living up to the
commitments the Aristide Government made previously.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Goss.
Mr. PAYNE. I will wait.
Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Goss.
Mr. Goss. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I want to thank you for having this hearing and issuing an invi-
tation for me to participate. As a member of this committee on
leave, I appreciate very much the opportunity to be back here.
Chairman GILMAN. Welcome.
Mr. Goss. It is my understanding that there is a likelihood that
we will take this subject into closed hearings at some point in con-
junction with other committees here. I know that some of the ques-
tions would be more appropriate for that day.
I wanted to comment to my friend from Florida, I am also from
Florida, and we are very concerned about the economic situation in
the country of Haiti because there has been a reemergence of the
refugees. Fortunately, the U.S. Coast Guard is doing a superior job
of intercepting at sea and returning to Haiti those people. But it
is a signal that is out there for us at this time. But it is not the
subject of these hearings.
One of the points I hope that the witnesses will speak to is some-
thing that I think is of great concern in terms of our investment
in democracy in Haiti, which is very, very sizable, and it is this:
After the unfortunate incident of the assassination of the par-
liamentarian, Mr. Feuille, in early November, President Aristide
made a speech which was widely interpreted by the press and ob-
servers as an invitation to incite mob violence (if not giving his
blessing to class warfare), which led to disorder, disturbance, and
death. The concern is that shortly after that the police force, that
we are all counting on to provide law and order and stability after
the departure of the international force, was loaded up with what
might be considered political hacks or loyalists or people who have
not gone through the vetting process that we had envisaged.
I would hope that we would have some commentary and discus-
sion on the connection between those 13 or 14 hundred members
being added to the police force at a time of great emotion and after
a bad series of events in Haiti, and the question of whether or not
that is reparable or even something that the Administration re-
gards as being of significance.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you Mr. Goss.
Any other members-Mr. Payne.
Mr. PAYNE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I will be very brief.
I would certainly like to commend you for holding this very im-
portant hearing dealing with the police issue. I am anxious to hear
I, too, have been critical of the U.S. policy preceding the return
of President Aristide. I also have questioned some of the reports of
the CIA, as you may recall, and I hope there is a person from the
CIA on the panel-but we heard these stories about the illnesses
of Mr. Aristide that were circulated widely by the CIA. He was hos-
pitalized in Canada somewhere, and as we went to send people to
where these sites were supposed to be, there were no such institu-
tions or records; doctors that were mentioned did not exist.
So it makes it very difficult to put much faith in what some of
our agencies are projecting because of the credibility or the lack of
credibility of the past.
I think that the whole question of privatization should certainly
proceed in a more rapid fashion. I think that the revolution is very
difficult. We are witnessing a revolution here in the United States,
with this big change in the government, but it is difficult to do a
revolution, especially in 4 or 5 months.
We have to recall that President Aristide has not been back for
very long. It is very difficult to create a police force and ensure that
there are no Lavallasse in the police force. That is like trying to
have a police department in Washington saying there could be no
Republicans or Democrats.
Everyone has-if they are not Lavallasse, they are probably old
Ton-Tons, or maybe the old FRAPH, or maybe the military of Haiti.
You are something even if you are not a card carrier.
When my friend Mr. Burton talked about, he can't call this an
unqualified success, that is the first time I have heard that term
used. I haven't heard anybody characterize Haiti as an unqualified
success other than my colleague. I understand that Mr. Hastings
did. But I think that unqualified success, if you look at what has
happened and as you look at the accomplishments, I think it is ex-
I would also hope that we could really get down to the bottom
of what is going on. Any kind of killing does not necessarily have
to be politically motivated. We have, as you know, many homicides
in this country, and you don't first look to see whether it is politi-
cally motivated or not. I think that perhaps there are homicides all
around the world, unfortunately, but any time there is one in Haiti
we try to find out whether this was a political situation.
So I would just look forward to hearing our witnesses and appre-
ciate you once again, Mr. Chairman, for calling this very important
hearing at this time.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you.
Mr. BALLENGER. I don't have a CIA report or an FBI report, but
surprisingly I got a Christmas card from Haiti from a long-time
friend, resident of Haiti, but a U.S. citizen. He says, in part, 'Good
to hear from you. We are all fine. Our government, however, has
made a big mess of this place, and the press and the U.S. Embassy
here just spread disinformation."
That is an unsolicited statement from a friend of mine in Haiti.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Ballenger.
If there are no further statements, our witnesses this morning
are Ambassador Robert Gelbard, Assistant Secretary of State for
International Narcotics and Legal Affairs; Ambassador James Dob-
bins, State Department Special Coordinator for Haiti; Bill Perry,
Deputy Assistant Director, Criminal Investigative Division, FBI;
and Seth Waxman, Associate Deputy Attorney General of our De-
partment of Justice.
Will the witnesses please rise to be sworn in?
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you. You are now under oath. We will
proceed. We will start with Ambassador Gelbard.
TESTIMONY OF HON. ROBERT S. GELBARD, ASSISTANT SEC-
RETARY OF STATE FOR INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS AND
LEGAL AFFAIRS, DEPARTMENT OF STATE; JAMES DOBBINS,
SPECIAL COORDINATOR FOR HAITI, DEPARTMENT OF
STATE; BILL PERRY, DEPUTY ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, CRIMI-
NAL INVESTIGATIVE DIVISION, FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVES-
TIGATION; AND SETH P. WAXMAN, ASSOCIATE DEPUTY AT-
TORNEY GENERAL, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
TESTIMONY OF HON. ROBERT S. GELBARD
Mr. GELBARD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, thank you for the
opportunity to discuss our role in the establishment of a profes-
sional civilian law enforcement authority in Haiti. Such a force is
essential to a secure environment in the country, one in which fun-
damental human rights and freedoms are fully respected.
Our assuring that the Government of Haiti has the ability to
maintain such an environment-after the departure of U.N. forces
in 2 months' time-is a fundamental element of our policy in Haiti.
I would like to begin by underscoring an achievement of which
the governments of the United States and Haiti can both be proud.
In about 1 year's time, in a nation whose institutional development
generally is very weak and where the establishment of professional
institutions independent of political influence is almost unheard of,
we-the United States and Haiti together-have built a new na-
tional police force which is in the process of becoming the capable,
apolitical, professional force required to help buttress this newly
As we will discuss today, Mr. Chairman, much still needs to be
done to accomplish this goal in full. But we would be very harsh
judges indeed not to acknowledge that the Haitian National Police
has made tremendous progress in the year since its founding.
The force that has been deployed to date is not perfect-given
the weak institutional environment that exists throughout Haiti, it
is difficult to imagine that it might ever be perfect-but it is
perfectable, in my view, and to this end, continued U.S. engage-
ment-within strictly defined requirements for HNP performance-
Mr. Chairman, I believe we can ensure the new police force
meets at least minimal operational standards within the next 2
months, a level of capability that will allow for the withdrawal of
U.N. and U.S. forces on time and in full, provided two criteria are
First, the United States must complete the basic training of the
students now enrolled at the National Police Academy in Port-au-
Prince. Second, the Government of Haiti must take action to en-
sure that the HNP remains a nonpolitical, professional force.
What I propose to do in my testimony is to give this committee
an overview of U.S. actions in support of the establishment of a
new civilian public security structure in Haiti; lay out our objec-
tives, and what we have done to meet them; describe for you some
of the obstacles that have arisen which could impact on our goals,
and how we are addressing them.
Our interest in helping the Haitian Government build a new ci-
vilian police force predates the restoration of democracy to Haiti.
For example, after the coup removed the legitimate government of
President Aristide, we worked with the Haitian Government-in-
exile .to develop a conceptual plan for a new civilian police force,
which was completed in March 1993.
ICITAP worked with exiled GOH members and with the Haitian
Parliament to draft new police legislation, which eventually was
enacted into law in December 1994 after the reestablishment of the
legitimate government in Port-au-Prince.
In the summer of 1994, we initiated a program in four phases
to get a new police force up and running:
First, before the September 1994 Multinational Force-MNF-
deployment, we helped the then-exiled Government of Haiti to
interview and select 1,000 persons from the Haitian migrant com-
munity living at Guantanamo to assist the MNF in performance of
its initial public safety duties. The Guantanamo group was given
minimal training, designed only to allow them to perform support-
ing roles for the MNF. The group has not been trained, nor is it
qualified, to carry out the full range of police work.
Second, in October 1994, we assisted the rightful Haitian Gov-
ernment in the establishment of an Interim Public Security Force
(IPSF). With a few exceptions, the IPSF was made up of the Hai-
tian Armed Forces-FAd'H-who were able to pass a basic check.
This review included vetting of names against lists supplied by
human rights organizations and U.S. law enforcement agencies to
exclude those who had committed human rights violations or other
The IPSF, of course, was meant to serve only as an interim solu-
tion to Haiti's indigenous public security needs while we worked
with the GOH to form a new police force.
Third, prior to the MNFs deployment, we led the effort to recruit
850 International Police Monitors-IPM's-to monitor and assist
the IPSF. Later, with the MNF's transition to a U.N. command, the
IPM functions were assumed by a UN-mandated Civilian Police-
CIVPOL-force, which has also recently engaged in field assistance
and training to newly deployed members of the Haitian National
Finally, in January 1995 the GOH, with our full support, began
the process of establishing a new apolitical, professional Haitian
Working with the GOH-principally through ICITAP-to design
the new Haitian National Police, we established the following ob-
All candidates would be selected solely on the basis of merit;
those selected would undergo rigorous basic training aimed at pro-
viding them with the skills to carry out community-based policing
in a democratic society while inculcating a respect for fundamental
human rights; newly graduated agents would continue to receive
some level of field training and reentering from academy instruc-
tors and CIVPOL police monitors; agents would have the basic
equipment necessary to carry out their duties; and after a period
of field service, HNP agents would selectively receive advanced and
specialized training-crowd control, VIP protection, investigations,
forensics, supervisory training, et cetera-to round out the capabili-
ties of the force as a whole.
Our horizon for the full implementation of the program was 5
years. Our work with the HNP is about at its first anniversary,
and I believe it is a good time to take stock of our efforts.
Our record with the HNP to date:
Mr. Chairman, I believe we have made good progress on standing
up the new Haitian National Police. Our merit-based recruitment-
conducted by multinational teams composed of U.S., Canadian,
French, and Haitian Government representatives traveling the
countryside-produced over 33,000 candidates for 5,000 available
Testing, which was rigorous but fair, included written and oral
examinations as well as psychological profiling and comprehensive
medical testing. While all candidates were vetted for past criminal
activity and human rights abuses, once vetted, they were assigned
numbers to disguise their identities. In this way, candidates could
not be selected by name based on political considerations.
Less than 15 percent of the applicants passed the entrance tests.
HNP trainees today represent the most talented in Haitian society.
Further, ICITAP training at the new National Police Academy
has provided students with basic skills for community policing.
This has been accomplished in spite of an accelerated program mid-
stream to meet the GOH's revised officer deployment schedule.
We did this, Mr. Chairman, by dividing the curriculum into two
sessions, and opening an auxiliary "academy" at Fort Leonard
Wood, Missouri. For 6 months we offered 8 weeks of conceptual
training-human rights, Haitian law-at the Academy in Port-au-
Prince, and 8 weeks of practical programs-firearms, arrest proce-
dures, driving-at Fort Leonard Wood.
Throughout, international field-mentoring efforts have continued,
mostly through CIVPOL, but this support is not enough, given the
relative inexperience of the HNP recruits. We believe the GOH
may ask for a continued CIVPOL presence following the expiration
of the U.N. mandate in February, but such a request has not yet
Equipping the HNP is a continuing problem. Conditions at many
station houses are poor, office infrastructure minimal, and the force
still lacks many of the most basic items used by modem police. It
is especially important that the GOH dedicate more of its own re-
sources to standing up the police. In addition, the force will also
need more specialized training, which ICITAP would propose to
Future police professionalism:
Like this committee, Mr. Chairman, this administration is ex-
tremely concerned about the continuing apolitical and professional
profile of the HNP. While we recognize the need for greater num-
bers of police than will have been deployed by the departure of the
U.N. forces, we have strongly argued against the Haitian Govern-
ment's decision to merge significant numbers of the IPSF into the
We have not taken the position that IPSF members ought to be
excluded from the HNP but rather have argued that the decision
to include IPSF members should be made on a case-by-case basis.
Their eligibility for consideration should be based first on their pro-
fessional performance-with special emphasis on human rights
grounds-while in the IPSF.
Assuming they are able to meet the same recruitment standards
as other HNP academy graduates, we would support their inclusion
and would be willing to provide U.S.-funded academy training, if
funding for such training were available.
As an alternative, we would support the creation of specialized
corps-for traffic control, for stationary security at public facili-
ties-that would induct IPSF members at something other than the
"sworn officer" status of the HNP Academy graduates. There is a
demonstrated need for such personnel throughout Haiti.
We have expressed our concern in particular about the induction
of more than 100 ex-FAd'H officers into headquarters and field-
leadership positions in the HNP. We have continued to recommend
merit-based selection and have made our concerns clear to the
We understand that the U.N. Civilian Police had some role in se-
lecting these officers for retention, and we understand that the
United Nations has recommended their incorporation into the
HNP. While we understand that the United Nations based its rec-
ommendations on feedback from its corps of 600 police monitors
serving in the field, we nevertheless differed in our assessment and
in our advice to the GOH.
As Ambassador Dobbins mentioned, we hold our deepest concern
over the inclusion of individuals in the HNP's ranks who may have
committed criminal acts. We will not support a force which harbors
criminals in its ranks. On this, our position with the GOH has been
unswerving. We want to ensure a thoroughly apolitical, profes-
sional national police force that respects human rights and fun-
damental freedoms, and our future support is contingent upon
progress toward this basic goal.
Mr. Chairman, we are at a delicate juncture in terms of our
training of the HNP. Without the release of further funds through
AID to ICITAP, the ICITAP police training program in Haiti will
run out of funds on January 15. At that time, the expatriate train-
ing staff of the Haitian National Police Academy-some 150 police
officers, largely from the United States but including some 20 Ca-
nadian RCMP and 5 French national police instructors as well-
would be dismissed and sent home. In effect, the Academy would
That will have important consequences on our ability to stand up
a fully functional HNP capable of taking over all public security
functions from the UNMIH forces and allow their orderly depar-
ture. It would mean that the last two classes of HNP cadets-1,500
members of basic training classes 8 and 9-could not graduate and
would be unprepared for the field.
Further, certain specialized training programs could not be car-
ried out, and ICITAP technical assistance to the HNP would be ter-
minated. Departure of the ICITAP advisors now would seriously
hamper our efforts to institutionalize procedures and operations of
the new police force.
Mr. Chairman, the Administration continues to believe, and will
seek to confirm, that the GOH broadly shares the goals I have out-
lined above. With the GOH, we hope to complete the basic task of
fielding a well-trained, motivated corps of professional Haitian po-
lice, a force capable of carrying out its public security mandate
while respecting human rights. We want to finish what we started
to give Haiti; its best possible chance for lasting democracy.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you Mr. Gelbard.
Chairman GILMAN. Ambassador Dobbins, Special Coordinator for
Haiti, Department of State.
TESTIMONY OF JAMES DOBBINS
Mr. DOBBINS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairm in GILMAN. You may submit the full statement or sum-
Mr. DOBBINS. With your permission I will excerpt from a fuller
statement which will be submitted for the record.
Chairman GILMAN. The full statement will be received, without
Mr. DOBBINS. Haiti has a long, unhappy tradition of political vio-
lence. Helping Haiti's Democratic leaders break with that tradition
has been a major objective of American policy.
With the dismantlement of the Haitian Army, once known for its
violence and repressive tactics, the abolition of the rural section
chief system which occurred in late 1994 and the formation and
training of a civilian national police force, there has been a dra-
matic drop from violence and an improvement in the human rights
situation. All types of violent crime are down, and political violence
has fallen off even more sharply.
Following 3 years of brutal repression, during which rape, tor-
ture, and murder were the routine instruments of governance,
many had expected that the restoration of Haiti's legitimate gov-
ernment would be followed by a wave of retribution. Thanks to the
professionalism of American and international forces and President
Aristide's emphasis on reconciliation, this has not occurred.
But recognizing how the situation has improved is not to suggest
that further steps are not needed to eradicate political violence
from Haitian life. As I have noted to this committee on October
12th in my submitted testimony, there have been some two dozen
murders committed in Haiti since October 1994, which fall in the
category of possible political or revenge killings, the most promi-
nent of which was the murder of Mireille Bertin on March 28,
Recognizing the importance of eradicating political violence from
Haitian life, the U.S. Government has over the past year main-
tained an intense dialog with President Aristide regarding the
Bertin investigation, other potential political murders, possible con-
nection among these killings, possible involvement of individuals in
official positions with such activities.
President Clinton, Vice President Gore, Secretary of Defense
Perry, Assistant to the President for National Security Lake, Dep-
uty Assistant Secretary of State Talbott, Ambassador Albright, Am-
bassador Swing, and other representatives of State, Justice, and
Defense have all, on various occasions, reviewed these issues with
In these discussions, we have urged that acts of political violence
be investigated and prosecuted aggressively. We have urged that
anyone implicated in such activities be relieved of all official re-
sponsibilities. We have urged that a new professional police and
justice establishment be created, untainted by any association with
past acts of political violence.
President Aristide accepted our offer to have the FBI investigate
the Bertin murder. He subsequently sought to broaden the scope
of the FBI's efforts to cover other high-profile, possibly political
cases dating from the coup period. He accepted our counterproposal
that he form a new Haitian investigative unit to investigate all
such crimes, including the Bertin case. He agreed that this inves-
tigative unit should be made up of ICITAP-trained graduates from
the police academy and that it should be supported by professional
investigators from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the French
Gendarmerie, and the United States, with forensic and other tech-
nical support from the FBI.
Our dialog with the Government of Haiti on these matters is by
no means concluded. We will continue to press for aggressive inves-
tigation of the Bertin and other possibly political, possibly con-
We will continue to urge that the Haitian Government separate
individuals who may be implicated in these acts from any connec-
tion with the police or judicial establishment even before that in-
vestigation is complete.
We will continue to urge that appointments to senior positions in
the Haitian National Police be based on merit and competence, not
patronage and political loyalty.
We will continue, in other words, to urge that the Government
of Haiti sustain, preserve, and extend the reforms in Haiti's police
and justice system which it has set in train.
Assistant Secretary Gelbard has addressed the issues related to
our training of the Haitian National Police. As he has noted, we
have made clear that we will not support a force which harbors
criminals within its ranks. This includes, obviously and especially,
anyone implicated in political violence. We have over the past 15
months made major strides in ridding Haiti's security establish-
ment of such individuals. We will remain vigilant and optimistic
that our efforts can have a continued effect.
We have worked closely with the Congress in helping Haiti to
create a new police force, establish the rule of law, and deal with
the problems of political violence. Department representatives have
met with members or staff over 30 times since January 1995 and
11 times since October.
I raised the Bertin case in my October 12 testimony to this com-
mittee. On November 2, State and all other agencies concerned pro-
vided detailed and extensive information on this same subject to
the House Select Committee on Intelligence.
Mr. Chairman, I understand and am deeply distressed that you
are concerned that the State Department may not have furnished
this committee on October 12 with the same information that it
gave to the Intelligence Committee 2 weeks later.
On October 12, I informed this committee that the Government
of Haiti had just set up a special investigative unit to pursue the
Bertin and other possibly politically motivated killings. Prior to
that event, the FBI had treated this inquiry as an ongoing criminal
investigation and shared only such information as it deemed nec-
essary and advisable with the Embassy, DOD, and other agency
personnel in Port-au-Prince.
It was following the creation of the special Haitian investigative
unit and thus later in October that FBI representatives in Wash-
ington met with State and other relevant agency representatives to
share the results of their investigation as we prepared to turn this
material over to the new Haitian investigative unit and to respond
to inquiries from the House Select Committee on Intelligence.
Mr. Chairman, in 8 weeks the peacekeeping operation of the
United Nations in Haiti will be completed. Our troops will return
home. Their orderly, safe, and timely departure is, I know, a prior-
ity that all of us share. We have learned through experience that
the most difficult part of any peacekeeping operation is often its
conclusion, not its initiation.
Essential to the successful and timely conclusion of this particu-
lar operation is the deployment on schedule of Haiti's new police
force in order that something is in place to take the place of depart-
ing American and other international military forces and assume
responsibility for security in Haiti when the mandate of the U.N.
peacekeeping force terminates in 8 weeks.
Over 1,500 police cadets remain in training today. We seek your
cooperation in assuring the funding necessary to allow these cadets
to complete their training over the next 8 weeks.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Dobbins appears in the appen-
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Dobbins.
Mr. Bill Perry, Deputy Assistant Director, Criminal Investigative
Division of the FBI, you may submit your full statement or summa-
rize, whichever you see fit.
TESTIMONY OF BILL PERRY
Mr. PERRY. I will read a summary of my complete statement.
Chairman GILMAN. Your complete statement will be made part
of the record, without objection.
Mr. PERRY. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, my
name is William E. Perry, and I am a deputy assistant director of
the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrived in
Port-au-Prince, Haiti, during the early morning hours of March 29,
1995, to initiate an investigation into the murders of Mireille
Durocher Bertin and Eugene Baillergeau, Jr. As the committee
knows, Madam Bertin was a prominent, politically active Haitian
attorney and an outspoken critic of President Jean Bertrand
At approximately 3:30 p.m. in the afternoon of March 28, 1995,
both Bertin and Baillergeau were slain by 9mm and 5.56mm gun-
fire from at least two assailants as their car sat in heavy traffic
on Martin Luther King Boulevard in Port-au-Prince.
The FBI's investigative strategy was designed to ensure that a
thorough and comprehensive investigation was conducted, in spite
of the FBI's lack of compulsory process, witness protection, et
cetera, in a foreign country. The investigative plan sought to exam-
ine a variety of possible motives for the murders.
Upon arrival in Haiti, liaison was immediately established with
Haitian Government officials and with the U.S. Embassy. Since we
were conducting a law enforcement investigation in a foreign cul-
ture, with a foreign language, and with no contacts of our own, we
met regularly in Port-au-Prince with representatives of the Em-
bassy, the U.S. military, and other relevant U.S. agencies in order
to obtain assistance and advice and generally to apprise them of
the course of our investigation. Discussion included investigative
strategies, problems experienced, and certain investigative informa-
tion developed on the murders.
We did not provide this information as an intelligence gathering
or intelligence dissemination effort. We were not in Haiti to do ei-
ther, and we did not. Rather, we provided information to these
agencies in Port-au-Prince in order to obtain their cooperation and
assistance and thus to enhance our ability to achieve our investiga-
Outside of Port-au-Prince, the FBI's level of information sharing
with other agencies was much different. FBIHQ officials interacted
with DOS counterparts and DOJ officials infrequently with respect
to the Bertin investigation when necessary to support investigative
efforts in Haiti.
For example, my first interaction with Ambassador Dobbins-or
with Associate Deputy Attorney General Waxman, for that mat-
ter-was on a trip we made to Haiti together in July 1995 to meet
with President Aristide to discuss the means of removing certain
obstacles to our investigation.
In late October of this year, when we concluded that our inves-
tigation in Haiti could not productively continue and the time had
come to turn the investigation over to the newly constituted Special
Investigative Unit of the Haitian National Police, we discussed this
proposed transition and provided a substantive briefing on the
Bertin investigation to Washington representatives of the Depart-
ments of State and Defense and other agencies.
The FBI encountered difficulties and major obstacles at the in-
ception and throughout the investigation because of its unusual na-
ture and other uncontrollable circumstances. In this case, the FBI
was investigating a violation of foreign law. The investigation was
conducted in a foreign country and in a foreign language. More-
over, the investigation was commenced at a time when the criminal
justice system in Haiti had not functioned effectively for years.
There were also serious logistical problems and cultural differences
Further complicating the investigation was the fact that the FBI
has no legal status in Haiti. The FBI cannot obtain orders from ju-
dicial authorities to compel witnesses to give statements. There is
no legal obligation for persons to cooperate or provide truthful in-
formation to the FBI. Similarly, the FBI has no authority to con-
duct searches or obtain subpoenas to gather evidence. The FBI also
has no authority to offer any form of witness protection.
As a result of investigative efforts, particularly source informa-
tion of unknown reliability, the FBI expressed to the Government
of Haiti the likelihood that it would be necessary to interview gov-
ernment officials and employees, including Cabinet members.
In early June 1995, FBI agents interviewed various IPSF mem-
bers. Subsequently, the FBI experienced significant investigative
difficulties because of its inability to interview Government of Haiti
officials and employees, including some members of the IPSF and
the Palace Security Service, on terms consistent with an impartial,
Issues were raised regarding the conditions under which the FBI
could interview IPSF personnel. The FBI had extended negotia-
tions with Government of Haiti officials and the attorneys rep-
resenting the IPSF officers regarding these interviews. Ultimately
our efforts were stymied by what, in our professional judgment,
were unreasonable conditions placed upon any such interviews by
private attorneys purporting to represent these individuals. As the
FBI has no access to compulsory process of any sort in Haiti, we
felt the time had come to turn the investigation over to the Haitian
I hope my appearance today will address the Committee's ques-
tions regarding the FBI's involvement in the Bertin/Baillergeau
murder investigation in Haiti.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Perry appears in the appendix.]
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you Mr. Perry.
Mr. Waxman, Associate Deputy Attorney General, Department of
TESTIMONY OF SETH P. WAXMAN
Mr. WAXMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and members of the
I am Seth Waxman. I am an Associate Deputy Attorney General
in the U.S. Department of Justice. I appreciate the opportunity to
appear before the committee today to answer any questions the
committee may have of me.
The interests of the Justice department in Haiti are threefold.
First, our Immigration and Naturalization Service is the agency
principally responsible for dealing with illegal and of course legal
immigration from that country.
Second, our training components ICITAP and OPDAT have been
principally responsible for providing training for police, prosecu-
tors, and judges in Haiti, a country that only a little over a year
ago lacked any functional prosecutorial or judicial system.
Third, as the committee knows, upon the request of the State De-
partment and the Government of Haiti, our Federal Bureau of In-
vestigation was called in urgently to conduct an investigation into
the murders of Madam Mireille Bertin and a companion.
I understand the committee may have questions about some or
all these areas and particularly the level of information sharing be-
tween the FBI and the Department of State with respect to the
Since I have been the principal Department of Justice contact in
Washington with the other Federal agencies on all three of these
issues, I thought it might be helpful to the committee if I made my-
self available to answer any questions you may have.
I have no prepared statement other than to say that the Depart-
ment of Justice is proud of the contribution it has been able to
make over the past 15 months in the rebuilding of Haiti, and I am
grateful you have permitted me to attend the hearing.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Waxman. We thank our pan-
elists for their testimony.
I will start with questions. Ambassador Gelbard, has President
Aristide's decision on December 6 to integrate ex-soldiers and oth-
ers recruited at Guantanamo migrant camps into the Haitian Na-
tional Police compromised the integrity of the U.S.-trained police
Throughout your testimony you have indicated that we are try-
ing to keep this force apolitical and make certain it is going to be
independent. Could you comment on this?
Mr. GELBARD. Yes, Mr. Chairman. As I said in my testimony,
and as you just commented, we have been very clear in the prepa-
ration and development of our training program for the Haitian
National Police, as we are in any other police training program
elsewhere in the world, that our goal is to develop a highly profes-
sional and apolitical force.
That is why, when we undertook the recruitment process, as I
explained in my testimony earlier, we stressed the need for a pure-
ly objective selection process based on objective criteria, with the
result that a very small percentage of those who were initially
interviewed were finally selected.
We took the position from the beginning that we were prepared,
in principle, to entertain the idea of the possible inclusion of IPSF
or even Guantanamo trainees into the Haitian National Police if
they met the criteria that were established for regular HNP re-
cruits and if during the time that they served in the IPSF their
record, both professionally and in terms of human rights, proved to
We are now taking the position that, with the Haitian Govern-
ment, that we are prepared to look at these individuals on a case-
by-case basis, looking at their human rights and professional
record over the course of the last year or so. We are prepared to
look at them in terms of their academic criteria too, to see if they
meet the minimum standards that would be required.
Chairman GILMAN. Is the proposal by the Haitian Government to
integrate some 1,400 to 1,500 members from the former police
agencies into the new police force acceptable?
Mr. GELBARD. As I said, we could only accept their becoming ca-
dets, candidates, if they meet the minimum objective criteria and
if we see that they have performed-
Chairman GILMAN. Does the Aristide Government go along with
that proposal, or have they already integrated?
Mr. _GELBARD. They have not integrated yet, and we are still in
the process of discussion with the Haitian Government about this.
Chairman GILMAN. Have uniforms been distributed to these new
1,400 or 1,500 members?
Mr. GELBARD. I am not aware of that:
Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Dobbins, do you want to indicate whether
that has taken place?
Mr. DOBBINS. I think it has, almost entirely, if not entirely.
Chairman GILMAN. So it is a fait accompli that they are inte-
Mr. DOBBINS. It depends on what you mean by integrated, sir.
Let me say this. The Presidential decree set a policy and indi-
cated that the implementation of it would be turned over to some-
thing called the Police Council, which has the Minister of Justice
on it, the head of police, and several other senior officials.
To our knowledge, this policy-setting body has not yet made all
of the decisions, which would include what their pay scales are,
what their ranks are in relation to others, the degree to which they
will carry weapons and what weapons, the degree to which they
will exercise full or limited police authority.
A number of the people that are in this 1,500 are doing fairly
specialized things, and it is not clear the degree to which they will
be circumscribed so they can only do that. For instance, 200 or
some are members of the palace guard, the equivalent of the uni-
formed Secret Service. We had urged that this function be done by
the Haitian National Police. It is a police function but a very lim-
ited one. It is not clear whether these people will only continue to
do that which they have been doing and which we have been train-
ing them to do.
Another component is apparently doing nothing but traffic duty.
Again, we don't know whether they will be uniformed and equipped
in a way that makes clear that they are only traffic monitors.
Chairman GILMAN. Ambassador Dobbins, is there any informa-
tion that any member of the palace guard is implicated in any of
the killings that took place? Is there any information available to
you that indicates implication of the palace guard in any of the
Mr. DOBBINS. We have submitted a good deal of information that
relates to these questions to the House Intelligence Committee.
Chairman GILMAN. I am asking if you have received any infor-
Mr. DOBBINS. And we are making that available to the commit-
Chairman GILMAN. Idon't think you are answering the question.
I am asking, have you received any information that members, any
members of the palace guard, were implicated in any of these polit-
ical acts of violence?
Mr. DOBBINS. Yes, and also members of the police. What I am
trying to say, Mr. Chairman-
Chairman GILMAN. Did you make that information available to
our committee at any time? Could you answer that yes or no? Did
you make any of that information available to this committee?
Mr. DOBBINS. The answer is either yes or about to be yes in the
sense that we have sent you up a list-
Chairman GILMAN. I am asking up to this point, prior to this
hearing, have you made any of that information available to our
Mr. DOBBINS. The letter which I believe we gave you yesterday
said we were-I am trying to answer the question.
Chairman GILMAN. I am asking prior to this hearing and the let-
ter that we received yesterday-have you made any of that infor-
mation available to this committee?
Mr. DOBBINS. Not that I know of, sir.
Chairman GILMAN. Are you aware of any information linking
President Aristide, members of his Cabinet, or closest advisors to
the political killings or political violence?
Mr. DOBBINS. Let me say that the Bertin investigation was initi-
ated as an independent FBI investigation because of information in
our possession, which I think was publicly known at the time-
Chairman GILMAN. I submit, you are not answering the question.
Are you aware of any information linking President Aristide, mem-
bers of his Cabinet, or closest advisors to the political violence or
political killings? Could you answer that yes or no?
Mr. DOBBINS. The Minister of the Interior was, I guess, the word
would be, a suspect from the beginning of the Bertin investigation.
It was because there were allegations that the Minister of Interior
Chairman GILMAN. And any other security advisors?
Mr. DOBBINS. There is information of this nature, sir, and what
I am trying to--
Chairman GILMAN. Have you made that information available to
this committee prior to these hearings?
Mr. DOBBINS. Not that I know of, nor, Mr. Chairman, am I aware
of any requests for such information.
Chairman GILMAN. Ambassador Dobbins-
Mr. BURTON. Mr. Chairman, I hope that I have an opportunity
to go back to this line of questioning, because I was the chairman
of the subcommittee on October the 12th hearing when these ques-
tions were asked.
Chairman GILMAN. You will have an opportunity to pursue that,
Mr. Dobbins, did the Haitian Government cooperate fully with
the FBI's investigation into the Bertin killing?
We understand from the testimony given today that the FBI con-
cluded its investigation because they felt it was unproductive, that
they were meeting with certain obstacles.
Did the Haitian Government cooperate with the FBI's investiga-
tion? Can you answer that yes or no?
Mr. DOBBINS. We were disappointed with the level of cooperation
we received. Mr. Waxman took the lead in discussions on this sub-
ject with the Haitian Government. He may want to elaborate both
on what was agreed and-
Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Dobbins, did you raise this issue with the
Aristide Government, the issue of lack of cooperation?
Mr. DOBBINS. Repeatedly.
Chairman GILMAN. When did you first raise that issue with the
Mr. DOBBINS. I think that the FBI sought and received the Em-
bassy's assistance whenever it encountered an obstacle. Some of
those obstacles were overcome as a result of that, and in the end
some weren't. I would guess that those obstacles-I would guess
that those interventions on the part of the Embassy in support of
the FBI began almost immediately upon its arrival.
Chairman GILMAN. And this became a major issue, did it not?
Mr. DOBBINS. It became an issue to the point where, as Mr.
Perry noted, Mr. Waxman and I and Mr. Perry traveled to Haiti
in July in order to seek to remove some of these obstacles.
Chairman GILMAN. And these obstacles were occurring from-al-
most from the time of inception of the FBI investigation in March;
is that correct? Between March and-
Mr. DOBBINS. As Mr. Perry said, there were a number of difficul-
ties conducting what was a unique operation in a unique environ-
ment. Difficulties emerged probably in the first day. Some were
overcome; some in the end were not.
Chairman GILMAN. I think when you appeared before this com-
mittee on a prior occasion you asserted you knew little about the
investigation until October. Is that correct?
Mr. DOBBINS. No. I raised the Bertin investigation in my testi-
mony before this committee in early October, which I think is the
Chairman GILMAN. Prior to that you had not notified us of prob-
lems the FBI was encountering. Is that correct?
Mr. DOBBINS. I don't believe I had any contact with this commit-
tee prior to October 12.
Chairman GILMAN. On October 12 you stated before Mr. Burton's
committee, 'The FBI has not briefed me or, as far as I know, any-
one else in the Administration on their findings. They are still con-
ducting their investigation and, as far as I know, have not come to
a conclusion." That is an October 12, 1995, statement.
Mr. DOBBINS. Right.
Chairman GILMAN. Do you still stand by that statement?
Mr. DOBBINS. Absolutely.
Could I add, Mr. Chairman, that I raised the Bertin investigation
in my testimony and spoke about what the State Department was
doing to facilitate and advance that investigation. So I took the ini-
As the chairman will recall, this was a compressed hearing with
about 10 or 12 witnesses, and nevertheless I felt, although the
focus was on the elections, that I needed in my opening statement
to get in the announcement about the Haitian decision to create
this investigative unit, and I asked the chairman's leave to make
that statement, because it was a new step which they had done at
our urging, and I wanted to get that on the record.
Mr. BURTON. Mr. Chairman, will you yield?
There is absolutely no doubt that in the line of questioning-you
could read the entire text of the questions and answers-that it
was very clear that I was asking Mr. Dobbins if he had any infor-
mation or had been given any information or had any consultation
with the FBI regarding the Bertin murders. And he said, as you
clearly stated, that, "The FBI has not briefed me or, as far as I
know, anyone else in the Administration on their findings," and
that is highly questionable because we now know from the FBI
statement that they met regularly with the Administration and
briefed them regularly.
Chairman GILMAN. Reclaiming my time-and you will have the
opportunity to pursue that further-there were cables released by
the State Department that reflected the following: 39 cables re-
ferred to the Bertin killing, including the foiled plot against her; 30
were sent to the embassy in Port-au-Prince to the State Depart-
ment, of which 19 were "slugged" specifically for Dobbins or his of-
fice symbol, meaning that he is listed separately as an addressee
to ensure that it reaches his desk; 9 were sent from the State De-
partment to the Embassy, at least 3 of which were cleared or ap-
proved by Mr. Dobbins. This number is probably higher, but on
some cables the clearances were crossed out. And 22 cables referred
to the FBI's investigation, of which 9 mention specific startling evi-
dence or leads.
In that same period, U.S. officials discussed the investigation of
high-profile execution-style killings with President Aristide, Prime
Minister Michel, or Justice Minister Exume 18 times, with 3 of
these meetings involving Secretary Christopher, Deputy Secretary
Talbott, or Interior Secretary Babbitt and 15 involving Ambassador
Swing or his charge.
Were you familiar with those cables and those meetings?
Mr. DOBBINS. Certainly.
Mr. PAYNE. Point of personal privilege. Are there new rules now?
Will other members have an opportunity to ask questions? We have
been here 20 minutes-
Chairman GILMAN. I have exceeded my time. I apologize.
Mr. PAYNE. I think it is unfair that other members will have to
sit here and listen to a monologue for half an hour.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Chairman, I thought your line of ques-
tioning was right on target, and we should get to the bottom of
these things rather than trying to get around the side of it.
Mr. PAYNE. I have no problem with the line of questioning. It is
just that someone else would like an opportunity to have a line of
Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Hamilton.
Mr. HAMILTON. Thank you Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Perry, do I understand from your testimony that the Govern-
ment of Haiti has been uncooperative with respect to the FBI in-
Mr. PERRY. Congressman, we have had difficulties, had delays
and difficulties, in proceeding with our investigation in terms of
interview of people within the Government of Haiti in the conduct
of our investigation, and, as I stated in my testimony, we made ef-
forts during the course of the investigation to eliminate those dif-
ficulties so we might proceed and interview individuals within the
Government of Haiti that we wanted to interview.
Mr. HAMILTON. So your impression is that the Government of
Haiti was uncooperative?
Mr. PERRY. We couldn't get done what we wanted to get done,
Mr. HAMILTON. Because the Government of Haiti did not cooper-
ate. Is that correct?
Mr. PERRY. We had difficulty overcoming the conditions that-
Mr. HAMILTON. Do you believe that the Government of Haiti was
cooperative in advancing your investigation?
Mr. PERRY. They could have been more cooperative, I believe.
Mr. HAMILTON. Did they put obstacles in your way?
On the one hand, we have had testimony this morning that
President Aristide sought the FBI, approved it coming in. Then
your testimony says, at least the way I understood it, that you had
a lot of obstacles in trying to carry out that investigation, and it
was my impression that many of those obstacles were created by
the Government of Haiti. Am I incorrect in that impression?
Mr. PERRY. No. That is correct.
Mr. HAMILTON. Ambassador Dobbins, this charge against you
and against the State Department of covering up, I want to get as
clear as I can about the sequence of events here and exactly what
happened. I don't operate from any conclusions here.
You appeared before the committee on October 12, and you said
an investigation was under way with regard to the one assassina-
tion. Is that correct?
Mr. DOBBINS. I said that, and I also noted in the prepared testi-
mony that we were very concerned about this pattern of activity
and about the 20-odd other assassinations or possible assassina-
Mr. HAMILTON. Are you aware in any of this that you withheld
information from this committee?
Mr. DOBBINS. Mr. Congressman, I was asked what the FBI had
found out. I knew from personal experience that I was not ade-
quately informed to answer that question in an authoritative way
that the Congress would expect. I was not informed.
I had asked colleagues at my level in Washington whether they
had been briefed. They told me they had not. I had been asked to
leave the room when details of this case were discussed, and I un-
derstood the reason, that this was a delicate law enforcement mat-
ter and that there was a sort of need-to-know rule.
Mr. HAMILTON. So in your own mind, Ambassador Dobbins, you
did not withhold any information with the committee?
Mr. DOBBINS. On the contrary. I volunteered information. I went
on to give at least one detail-
Mr. HAMILTON. At what point did you give this information to
the Intelligence Committee?
Mr. DOBBINS. Two weeks later.
Mr. HAMILTON. After you did that, did you come back to this
committee and give information?
Mr. DOBBINS. We weren't asked. The Intelligence Committee
asked for this. They asked for it in a classified fashion and received
Mr. HAMILTON. You are aware that the House Intelligence Com-
mittee is a very special committee around here and doesn't rou-
tinely share information with other committees; you are aware of
that, I presume?
Mr. DOBBINS. Yes.
Mr. HAMILTON. I want to ask a question about money now. I un-
derstand the chairman and perhaps others have a hold on $5 mil-
lion for the training of police. Is that correct, Ambassador Gelbard?
Mr. GELBARD. Yes, Congressman.
Mr. HAMILTON. I don't know the reasons for that, but I want to
ask you to tell me the impact of that now. Suppose the money is
held, not released; what happens?
Mr. GELBARD. As I said in my previous testimony, Congressman,
we have roughly $500,000 still available to run our police training
program. Our goal has been to graduate approximately 1,500 more
police to get up to the level of 5,000 graduates by the end of Feb-
ruary, at which time the U.N. forces are due to leave. The available
funds would cause us to be forced to shut down the academy, to
all intents and purposes, by mid-January.
Mr. HAMILTON. The unavailability of those funds?
Mr. GELBARD. Due to the unavailability of the additional funds.
Mr. HAMILTON. What are the consequences of that?
Mr. GELBARD. As I said, we worked with the Government of
Haiti from the beginning together to abolish the Haitian Army,
which of course has been notorious for its lack of professionalism,
for its long history of human rights abuses. The Haitian Govern-
ment recognized, as did we and other countries, that no army was
really necessary due to the lack of any kind of external threat.
However, there clearly has been the need for a professional law en-
Mr. HAMILTON. But you are faced in 2 months with the United
Nations pulling out, an'd the hope of maintaining security and
order there rests with this committee?
Mr. GELBARD. That is what I was getting to. The Haitian Na-
tional Police is the body which is to carry on public security.
Mr. HAMILTON. You are telling me that if the $5 million is not
released, our training program collapses-
Mr. GELBARD. And there would be inadequate public security
forces to maintain that presence.
Mr. HAMILTON. There is some suggestion in the testimony that
it might even have an impact on the orderly and safe withdrawal
of the troops?
Mr. GELBARD. Yes, sir. We would also be concerned about the po-
tential adverse effect of illegal immigration.
Mr. HAMILTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman GILMAN. I recognize Mr. Bereuter for a motion.
Mr. BEREUTER. Mr. Chairman, I move that the committee, at a
time to be determined by the chairman, after consultation with the
Ranking Democratic Member, and provided that all members then
present have had the opportunity to question the witnesses, close
this hearing to the public pursuant to the provisions of Rule 4(b)
of the committee on the grounds that the disclosure of the testi-
mony, evidence, or other matters to be considered would endanger
the national security.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Bereuter.
The Chair would like to advise members that it is his under-
standing that this procedure is acceptable to our Minority. The
Chair would like to advise the members that under rule 4(b) a ma-
jority of the committee must be present to approve this motion and
a roll call vote is required.
Is there any debate on the motion?
Mr. BURTON. Reserving the right to object, one question. I don't
think I will object, but I am very concerned. I think the public has
a right to know if this Congress has been misled.
As I understand your concern, Mr. Hamilton raised the issue
about American troop safety when they withdraw if this police
force is not continued in their training. Is that the reason for the
national security question?
Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Burton, our intention is not to go to a
closed hearing at this time until we get into any confidential mat-
ters that should not be disclosed publicly.
Mr. BURTON. All right. I will withdraw my objection.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Mr. Chairman, it seems to me that what we
are talking about is the political security of the Administration's
decisions rather than the national security of the United States. I
don't see any national security implications about this. We are
talking about a political embarrassment to the Administration.
Chairman GILMAN. It may not be necessary to close, but if that
question does arise, we want to be in a position to move in that
direction. Under the rules a roll call vote is-
Mr. KIM. What was the motion?
Mr. BEREUTER. My motion was to move that the committee, at
a time to be determined by the chairman, after consultation with
the Ranking Democratic Member, and provided that all members
then present have had the opportunity to question the witnesses,
close this hearing to the public, pursuant to provisions of rule 4(b)
of the committee, on the grounds that the disclosure of the testi-
mony, evidence, or other matters to be considered would endanger
the national security.
Chairman GILMAN. On the motion, those in favor will vote aye;
those opposed will vote no. The clerk will call the roll.
The CLERK. Mr. Gilman.
Chairman GILMAN. Aye.
The CLERK. Mr. Gilman votes yes.
Mr. GOODLING. Aye.
The CLERK. Mr. Goodling votes yes.
Mr. LEACH. Aye.
The CLERK. Mr. Leach votes yes.
Mr. ROTH. A e.
The CLERK. Mr. Roth votes yes.
The CLERK. Mr. Bereuter.
Mr. BEREUTER. Aye.
The CLERK. Mr. Bereuter votes yes.
Mr. SMITH. Aye.
The CLERK. Mr. Smith votes yes.
Mr. BURTON. I will vote aye with reservations.
The CLERK. Mr. Burton votes yes.
Mrs. MEYERS. Yes.
The CLERK. Mrs. Meyers votes yes.
The CLERK. Ms. Ros-Lehtinen.
The CLERK. Mr. Ballenger.
Mr. BALLENGER. Aye.
The CLERK. Mr. Ballenger votes yes.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Aye with reservations.
The CLERK. Mr. Rohrabacher votes yes.
Mr. MANZULLO. Aye.
The CLERK. Mr. Manzullo votes yes.
Mr. ROYCE. Aye.
The CLERK. Mr. Royce votes yes.
Mr. KING. Aye.
The CLERK. Mr. King votes yes.
Mr. KIM. Aye.
The CLERK. Mr. Kim votes yes.
Mr. BROWNBACK. Aye.
The CLERK. Mr. Brownback votes yes.
The CLERK. Mr. Chabot.
The CLERK. Mr. Sanford.
Mr. SANFORD. Aye.
The CLERK. Mr. Sanford votes yes.
Mr. SALMON. Aye.
The CLERK. Mr. Salmon votes yes.
Mr. HOUGHTON. Aye.
The CLERK. Mr. Houghton votes yes.
The CLERK. Mr. Hamilton.
Mr. HAMILTON. Aye.
The CLERK. Mr. Hamilton votes yes.
Mr. GEJDENSON. Aye.
The CLERK. Mr. Gejdenson votes yes.
The CLERK. Mr. Torricelli.
The CLERK. Mr. Berman.
The CLERK. Mr. Ackerman.
The CLERK. Mr. Johnston.
The CLERK. Mr. Engel.
Mr. ENGEL. Aye.
The CLERK. Mr. Engel votes yes.
The CLERK. Mr. Martinez.
Mr. MARTINEZ. Aye.
The CLERK. Mr. Martinez votes yes.
Mr. PAYNE. Aye.
The CLERK. Mr. Payne votes yes.
Mr. ANDREWS. Yes.
The CLERK. Mr. Andrews votes yes.
The CLERK. Mr. Brown.
The CLERK. Ms. McKinney.
The CLERK. Mr. Hastings.
Mr. HASTINGS. Aye.
The CLERK. Mr. Hastings-votes yes.
Mr. WYNN. Aye.
The CLERK. Mr. Wynn votes yes.
The CLERK. Mr. Moran.
Mr. MORAN. Yes.
The CLERK. Mr. Moran votes yes.
Mr. FRAZER. Yes.
The CLERK. Mr. Frazer votes yes.
Chairman GILMAN. The clerk will call the absentees.
The CLERK. Mr. Hyde.
The CLERK. Mr. Gallegly.
The CLERK. Ms. Ros-Lehtinen.
The CLERK. Mr. Funderburk.
The CLERK. Mr. Chabot.
The CLERK. Mr. Campbell.
The CLERK. Mr. Lantos.
The CLERK. Mr. Torricelli.
The CLERK. Mr. Berman.
The CLERK. Mr. Ackerman.
The CLERK. Mr. Johnston.
The CLERK. Mr. Faleomavaega.
The CLERK. Mr. Menendez.
The CLERK. Mr. Brown.
The CLERK. Ms. McKinney.
The CLERK. Mr. McNulty.
Chairman GILMAN. How was Mr. Menendez recorded?
The CLERK. Not recorded.
Mr. MENENDEZ. Yes.
The CLERK. Mr. Menendez votes yes.
Chairman GILMAN. The clerk will read the tally.
The CLERK. On this vote there were 29 ayes and zero noes.
Chairman GILMAN. The motion is agreed to.
I wish to stress that we will not go into closed session now, but
this will permit us to have a closed session if it is necessary to do
so at a future time.
Mr. GOODLING. Mr. Chairman, I think he has finally sat down
now, but there was a lobbyist that kept running back and forth all
excited and wanted somebody's attention and I was afraid he was
going to have a heart attack but I think he finally sat down. So
I guess things are in order.
Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Roth.
Mr. ROTH. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Dobbins, I know this is a rather murky business, but as I
interpret this, the heart of it is basically this: the FBI had evidence
that these murders were linked to Aristide's regime and the State
Department had this evidence but kept it hidden from Congress.
The question is, why?
Mr. DOBBINS. Thank you.
I think it was publicly acknowledged by, as far as I know by
State and that the FBI went down there because the murder was
potentially linked to Aristide's regime. It was because the Minister
of the Interior was potentially involved that we had information
linking him that the FBI went down there and as I recall that was
a matter of public record within 24 or 48 hours of this occurring.
So the reason the FBI was there was because they had no justice
system, they had a potentially serious crime with potential links to
the Government that was supposed to do something about it, and
the FBI was sent down there.
I really believe this was a matter of public record from March of
last year. The FBI treated this, to my understanding, as a law en-
forcement-sensitive operation. As they indicated, they were not
down there to collect intelligence or support American policy except
in the sense that they were conducting an independent investiga-
tion. They did not brief me. I sought briefings and was told it was
inappropriate at that stage, and I acquiesced in that as did other
senior officials in Washington.
Mr. ROTH. So what you are basically saying is that you did not
Mr. DOBBINS. Could I finish, because this is important, obviously.
It was sensitive information from State Department officers in
Port-au-Prince largely based on their contacts designed to facilitate
that investigation, on how they thought it was going. I knew this
information to be incomplete. I knew this information had not been
confirmed by headquarters and I thought this information was in
some respects probably inaccurate.
I did not think I as a State Department official should be briefing
the Congress based on incomplete, potentially inaccurate,
uncorroborated information on what another agency was doing
with that, which incidentally that agency believed to be sensitive,
but quite aside from that when that other agency was freely avail-
Mr. ROTH. There seems to be some misinterpretation. When Gen-
eral Raoul Cedras left Haiti, we gave him certain incentives; such
as agreeing to rent his real estate and so on. Are we still using
American taxpayers' money for that purpose?
Mr. DOBBINS. I believe the arrangement was, I can't recall, a
year or something like that and I believe it is still under lease to
us and that comes to an end.
Mr. ROTH. We gave him certain incentives to leave Haiti?
Mr. DOBBINS. In effect, yes. I think we are using it for some good
purpose. Somebody in the Embassy is living in it.
Mr. ROTH. Part of this was a payoff.
Now when Aristide said he was going to run for re-election, some
of the people in the State Department sat down with him and they
reasoned together. What I would like to know is-we can't have a
charge of information being withheld from this Congress in the fu-
ture, and you being under oath I know you will be frank with us-
what kind of incentives, what kind of reasoning did we do with
Mr. DOBBINS. First of all, Aristide did not say he was going to
run again. Aristide was somewhat ambiguous about his intentions
which led to a good deal of concern.
We had had a conversation with him. This occurred and reoc-
curred so I am not clear exactly what instance, but the biggest
flash point occurred the day after he met with Tony Lake. During
the meeting with Mr. Lake, he made absolutely clear that he was
leaving on February 7. He made it so clear that we were convinced.
The next day he gave a public statement in which he answered
Mr. ROTH. But the question I have is-
Mr. DOBBINS. And there was a flutter of speculation based on his
unwillingness to confirm that he was leaving and then 3 days later
he confirmed it. The General was-
Mr. ROTH. We paid off Cedras and the question is-so we have
no misunderstanding in the future, you being there under oath-
we didn't pay off Aristide. Is that what you are telling this Con-
Mr. DOBBINS. I know of no-
Mr. ROTH. You don't know of any, but you are not saying we
Mr. DOBBINS. Given the line of questioning, I think I ought to
confine myself to what I actually know. I know of no such thing
and I think I would know and I am the responsible official so I
think you can take that as fairly definitive.
Mr. ROTH. You were asked to leave the room during the discus-
sion of the murder. Were you asked to leave the room when any
deals were made with Aristide?
Mr. DOBBINS. I don't believe there were any.
Mr. ROTH. You are not answering the question.
Mr. DOBBINS. Well, I answered that question. There have been
meetings with President Aristide at which I have not been present.
I have no reason to believe that there was anything of the sort you
Mr. ROTH. Thank you very much.
Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Hastings.
Mr. HASTINGS. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
23-559 96 2
Mr. Dobbins, Ambassador, regarding the queries that have been
put to you with reference to previous testimony, more specifically
October 12, do you feel in any way that you gave at that time any
inaccurate or unfounded information to the committee that was
querying you at that time?
Mr. DOBBINS. No, sir, having reviewed my testimony on this
point I find nothing inaccurate. I clearly, in retrospect I would have
been better off suggesting that the FBI be directly queried on their
Mr. HASTINGS. All right. And subsequent to the queries that
were put to you on October 12 in the appropriate forum in the In-
telligence Committee, the information that is being bandied about
here today was provided to the Intelligence Committee; am I cor-
Mr. DOBBINS. There were a set of questions and answers as well
as written testimony which cover I think all of the questions that
have been asked which were provided from the State Department
as well as from Justice, FBI, CIA, and DOD.
Mr. HASTINGS. All right. I thank you.
Mr. Perry, how many similar type or analogous type investiga-
tions have you been involved in and/or your agency involved in
Mr. PERRY. Congressman, this investigation was somewhat
unique. There have been other investigations that have occurred
outside the United States.
Mr. HASTINGS. Let me make it clear, am I correct that the FBI's
involvement came, one, at the suggestion of U.S. appropriate au-
thorities; two, President Aristide, that the FBI be permitted to
come to Haiti for the purposes of conducting an investigation?
Mr. PERRY. Yes, the Department of State, President Aristide
looked for our involvement in that murder and the Attorney Gen-
eral and Director discussed it and we subsequently went down
Mr. HASTINGS. And there were obstacles you have put forward in
your prepared testimony that had zero to do with Aristide or any
of his minions, more specifically the infrastructure, the culture, the
lack of subpoena powers, the lack of an adequate judiciary, and any
number of other concerns including the long history of violence and
the unlikely possibility that witnesses who think they would be
killed would come forward. All of those things were a part of obsta-
cles; would you agree?
Mr. PERRY. Yes, Congressman.
Mr. HASTINGS. All right. That being the case, at some point you
determined that you-meaning the FBI-had done all you could do
in this investigation?
Mr. PERRY. Yes, Congressman.
Mr. HASTINGS. When you did, did you have conclusory evidence
that would withstand a judicial test, rather than suggesting, prov-
ing that Aristide had anything to do with any of the 20-plus mur-
ders that you may have investigated?
Mr. PERRY. That we could prove in court?
Mr. HASTINGS. Right.
Mr. PERRY. Congressman, I don't believe we did.
Mr. HASTINGS. All right. Did you have any such conclusory evi-
dence other than the Interior Minister that validations apparently
centered around, that anyone else, conclusory evidence that would
stand up in court, that they participated in any political killing or
Mr. PERRY. No, Congressman.
Mr. HASTINGS. I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman, I would like the right to have the unanimous con-
sent to include extraneous material and more specifically to include
materials of someone who may very well have been involved in his
own investigations of these matters and I would like the oppor-
tunity to provide that to the Chairman for his consideration.
Chairman GILMAN. Without objection.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. Reserving the right to object.
Chairman GILMAN. The gentleman reserves the right to object.
Mr. ROHRABACHER. As a matter of courtesy I will not object, but
as my colleague will know there was another situation where as a
matter of courtesy we were expecting him not to object and he did
So I will withdraw my objection.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Rohrabacher.
Mrs. MEYERS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
What is the increase in the problem with boat people that has
taken place in the last 6 months?
Mr. DOBBINS. I believe it was the month before last a fairly high
number of about a thousand people. It was, however, limited to two
boats so the increase was from one to two boats over that 2-month
period but it was also from 500 to a thousand.
You are not seeing the kind of small boat exodus that you saw
a year-and-a-half ago. You are seeing organized commercial mi-
grant smuggling. It is a serious problem. It is not as serious as the
problem with Santo Domingo I think, but it is a serious problem.
And since Bob follows this on a worldwide basis maybe he is the
one to answer it as a comparative thing.
Mr. GELBARD. As Ambassador Dobbins says, there is no question
but what we are seeing now can be classified purely as alien smug-
gling. These are large shiploads of people who have paid smugglers
to try to come to the United States. We believe that through the
superb work of the Coast Guard we have been able to interdict and
so far return all those who are attempting to enter the United
This is in contrast, as you are well aware, of the efforts before
by many hundreds of small boatloads of individuals. This still rep-
resents a very small number of people, first, compared to what we
saw in Haiti before during the time when President Aristide was
in exile and people were attempting to flee Haiti at that time, and
as Ambassador Dobbins says also, very small in comparison with
the numbers who were trying to leave the Dominican Republic ille-
gally or who are being smuggled from elsewhere in the world
through Central America, through Mexico, or through other places
in the Caribbean.
Mrs. MEYERS. The population of Haiti is 6 million?
Mr. GELBARD. Approximately 7 million.
Mrs. MEYERS. Seven million. And there is very little on the is-
land that can support 7 million people; is that correct? I mean, the
level of poverty is very high?
Mr. GELBARD. The level of poverty is extremely high which ac-
counts for the attempt the international community is trying to
make working with the Haitian Government to improve the eco-
nomic development situation.
Mrs. MEYERS. Is there a high level of drug use and smuggling
Mr. GELBARD. As far as I am aware, there is an extremely low
level of drug use. We have seen over time given Haiti's geographic
situation the use of Haitian territory for drug transit. We saw that
in significant measure prior to President Aristide's return and we
have seen some continued use of Haitian territory during that time
but at very low levels compared to, say, the Dominican Republic,
Mrs. MEYERS. We are dealing, then, with a country here that es-
sentially is ungovernable at this point, really; would you say that?
Mr. GELBARD. I would say that we have a country which in its
200 years of existence as a nation has not been able to develop, has
not had the conditions to develop any institutional capabilities, any
kind of institutions which would permit economic, social, and politi-
cal development. President Aristide's election was the first demo-
cratic election which had ever really occurred. We have just now
seen the second. We in the international community are certainly
hoping to see the development of the economy, political and social
Mrs. MEYERS. What is the level of literacy in Haiti? How many
people can read?
Mr. GELBARD. I don't have a figure. I would be happy to get it
for the record. I know it is extremely low.
[The information referred to follows:]
According to the 1982 census, the last official census done in Haiti, 37 percent
of the population over 10 years of age was literate. In rural areas, only 28 percent
was literate. The census failed to note, however, the degree of literacy or the lan-
guage in which people were literate. Other estimates indicate literacy may be as low
as 15 percent. Using a population base of approximately seven million, that would
mean 1.0 to 2.5 million Haitians can read.
All Haitians use the Creole language in daily life. A small minority, primarily the
wealthy, also speak French. A reform effort to reintroduce Creole as the medium
of instruction in primary schools was hindered by a scarcity of books printed in Cre-
ole and by perception in the upper and lower classes of French language skills as
a key to material success. In some Haitian schools, children are taught in Creole
until the fifth grade. When they enter the fifth grade, French is used as the lan-
guafe of instruction. Many students find the transition from Creole to French dif-
Mrs. MEYERS. Do you think that the efforts that the United
States is making in Haiti are worthwhile? Are we making any
progress? Are we going to make any progress?
Mr. GELBARD. I was our negotiator on Haiti in the previous Ad-
ministration, as some of the Members of Congress are aware, in a
different assignment. In my current position, I have been involved
in certain aspects of Haitian policy and there is no question in my
mind it is both my personal and professional opinion that the situa-
tion in Haiti required our intervention, it required the intervention
of the international community, we did the right thing, and obvi-
ously in the situation where we have a country which has no insti-
tutional capabilities over the course of 200 years what is required
is patience and time to achieve the goals that the entire inter-
national community and the Haitian people want.
But I firmly believe, as I am sure all my colleagues do, that it
is fundamentally in the interest of the United States given the fact
that Haiti is literally a neighbor of the United States, we share a
territorial border, for us to have done what we did and for us to
continue to remain engaged in a serious and dedicated way.
Mrs. MEYERS. I think I want us to remain engaged in this area
in some dedicated way. I just think that until we take some steps
with the rest of the world community-I don't mean this as some-
thing we should mandate-but we should assist in some kind of
population efforts, really serious population efforts and really seri-
ous educational and literacy efforts there or everything that we do
is going to be wasted.
I don't mean that we should turn our backs and walk away from
people. I just think that what we are doing right now we could still
be doing in a hundred years and unless we resolve those basic
problems of overpopulation, poverty, and literacy nothing is going
Mr. GELBARD. We fully concur with everything you have said and
those are among some of the fundamental efforts on which the U.S.
Government through the Agency for International Development,
multilateral institutions, and other bilateral donors are engaged.
Mrs. MEYERS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Frazer.
Mr. FRAZER. What has the State Department done to inform the
Haitian Government of the U.S. Government's disapproval of the
incorporation of 1,400 IPSF members into the HNP?
Mr. GELBARD. We have on several occasions discussed at various
levels with the Haitian Government our feeling that, as I said in
my earlier testimony, that any additional candidates for the Hai-
tian National Police need to meet minimum requirements, the min-
imum academic and professional requirements to become cadets in
the police academy- and, second, those who have served as mem-
bers of the IPSF, whether they are former members of the Haitian
armed forces or the so-called Guantanamo trainees, need to be
checked for the quality of their professional performance and their
human rights performance during the time they have served as
members of the IPSF. Our feeling is that only if they meet those
criteria could they become candidates for the Haitian National Po-
Alternatively, though, as Ambassador Dobbins made reference to
earlier, we are prepared to consider inclusion of such individuals
if they have performed well professionally and in terms of their
human rights performance in areas that would be less than full
members of the Haitian National Police. For example, if there were
adjunct forces established as part of the overall public security en-
tity so that they could participate as traffic policemen or as static
Mr. FRAZER. Was this issue raised directly with President
Aristide and/or President-elect Preval and what were their direct
Mr. GELBARD. I would have to defer to Ambassador Dobbins on
Mr. DOBBINS. I believe the issue has been raised with Aristide
and in more detail with the Minister of Justice. The issue, as I
said, is a complex of separate issues involving different categories
of people of which the integration at the higher, more senior levels
is potentially the most important and in some ways the most trou-
blesome. The response has been that the decisions about how to in-
tegrate them have not been fully taken, that they will take our
views into account.
They do want training for most of these people and they under-
stand that the training requires that they agree on who is to be
trained. So this is an ongoing process of negotiation. I can try to
provide you more detail, but that is all I have at my disposal at
Mr. GELBARD. Congressman, if I could just add, we have a
Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Haiti re-
garding the issue of police training and the specific provisions re-
garding the rights and responsibilities of the Government of Haiti
on the one hand. The Government of the United States on the
other are as follows: The Government of Haiti, the MOU states, the
Government of Haiti retains the sovereign right to make all final
decisions with respect to the police, including organization, develop-
ment, and training, while we retain the sovereign right to deter-
mine the conditions under which we will continue to make assist-
ance available to permit that training. But of course as Ambas-
sador Dobbins says, this is a matter of discussion and we are still
working through this.
Mr. FRAZER. Thank you.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Frazer.
Mr. BURTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Perry, you said in your statement: "We met regularly in
Port-au-Prince with representatives of the Embassy, U.S. military,
and other relevant agencies to generally apprise them of the course
of our investigation."
Did you or any member of the FBI ever talk to Ambassador Dob-
bins directly about the case?
Mr. PERRY. Directly about the case, did we ever talk to them?
Mr. BURTON. Did you ever brief him or talk to him directly about
the Bertin case?
Mr. PERRY. We talked in terms of our trip down there.
Mr. BURTON. I am asking you the question about the Bertin mur-
der. Did you or any member of the FBI ever talk to the Ambas-
sador directly about that case?
Mr. PERRY. Yes.
Mr. BURTON. Ambassador Dobbins, I want to read to you what
you said before my committee when I asked you this. You said,
The FBI has not briefed me or, as far as I know, anyone else in
the Administration on their findings."
How do you square that with what we just heard from the FBI?
Mr. DOBBINS. I think it squares perfectly.
I went down with the Associate Attorney General and the FBI.
We took a plane trip down there. When I got there we met with
the FBI team to discuss the case, and I was asked to leave the
room. On the trip down there our discussions were focused either
on generalities or the specifics of our mission which were to remove
some of these obstacles.
Mr. BURTON. Ambassador, the FBI representative just said that
he talked to you and briefed you directly and you said in your
statement to me, "The FBI has not briefed me or, as far as I know,
anyone else in the Administration on their findings."
Mr. DOBBINS. Perhaps we are in a semantic difference. I was ex-
cluded from what I considered the briefing. I asked Mr. Gelbard
whether he had been briefed. He said no. I asked my colleague at
the White House whether he could arrange a briefing. He called me
back and he said, they don't believe it is appropriate.
As far as I am concerned-it wasn't complaining. My statement
to you was not a complaint. It was a statement that the FBI was
compartmentalizing this information.
Mr. BURTON. You don't believe you were misleading the sub-
committee and me as Chairman when you made that statement?
Mr. DOBBINS. I didn't intend to. That is all I can say. I had been
excluded from substantive briefings as a conscious matter of policy
and therefore I did not believe that I could in good conscience brief
the committee on what the FBI was doing.
Mr. BURTON. I would think that most Members of Congress, re-
gardless of party affiliation, would think if that statement were
made to them that it certainly was misleading the Congress of the
United States, and I hate to think that every time we have an am-
bassador or somebody appear before us that we are going to have
to have him sworn in to be sure there is no equivocation when we
are trying to get the facts about what is going on. We are pouring
hundreds of millions of dollars and risking American lives in a
place like Haiti and we ask you questions about what is going on
in a murder of a top opposition party official in the middle of down-
town Port-au-Prince at high noon and you say you don't know any-
thing about it and you have not been briefed about it, you haven't
talked to anybody about it and the FBI says they have briefed you
and talked to you not once but many times. You didn't only say
that, you said that nobody at the Embassy or anybody else in the
Administration had been briefed on the findings.
Mr. DOBBINS. I said that I didn't know of anybody else in the Ad-
ministration. I just recounted to you the people I had checked with.
I didn't say I didn't know anything about the case, sir, I raised it
in my testimony at some length.
Mr. WAXMAN. Since I was part of that trip to Haiti-
Mr. BURTON. With all due respect, there was more than one occa-
sion when the FBI talked to the Embassy. This isn't the only time.
They talked to the Embassy many times. For the Ambassador to
come before my subcommittee and say he didn't know anything
about it and hasn't been briefed is almost a blatant misrepresenta-
tion or lie.
Mr. WAXMAN. Congressman, I just wanted to-there has been
such a discussion about the trip down to Haiti that the three of us
made and the meeting which I asked Ambassador Dobbins to be ex-
cluded from, if it would be helpful to the committee I would very
much like to lay out on the record what actually-
Mr. BURTON. But we have a more important issue here and-
Mr. WAXMAN. I appreciate that.
Mr. BURTON. You knew you were going to talk about obstacles
to the investigation with Aristide. Why in your statement in Octo-
ber and today do you suggest that the Haitians were cooperating?
Mr. DOBBINS. Based on our discussions with the Haitians, we
concluded the best way to set up their own investigative unit. We
urged that on them and on that day I was able to announce that
we had successfully gotten their agreement. We urged this on them
after extensive consultations with Senator Dole's staff and the ne-
gotiation of language in, I believe, the State Department appropria-
tion which required such a unit be set up.
Mr. BURTON. That is blue smoke because you wouldn't have gone
to see him if they were cooperating. You knew they were not co-
operating. That was the purpose of the meeting.
Let me ask the FBI, Mr. Perry, a question. You were asked by
the gentleman from Florida a while ago if there was any conclusive
evidence that would hold up in court about whether or not
Mr. Aristide or his close associates were involved in this assassina-
Let me put it a different way. You can't really make that kind
of a statement because you are making a subjective judgment. You
are not on a jury; you are not on a court. Let me ask you, did you
have any evidence that Mr. Aristide or his close associates were in-
volved in that assassination or any other political assassinations
Mr. PERRY. Congressman, I just want to specify also that we
were down there to do one investigation. That essentially was the
Bertin case and-
Mr. BURTON. Did you have any other information that would lead
you to believe that any associate of Mr. Aristide or Mr. Aristide
himself was involved in that?
Mr. PERRY. One of the areas that we were looking at was the po-
litical motivation-possible political -motivation in the killing. We
had information that people within the Government of Haiti might
have information that would bear on that or possible involvement
We were trying to proceed in terms of interviewing people within
the Government of Haiti regarding those issues. We had informa-
tion that that was an area that we needed to explore, source infor-
mation of unknown reliability that would lead us in that direction.
Mr. BURTON. You did have some information that led you to be-
lieve he might be involved in it?
Mr. PERRY. President Aristide?
Mr. BURTON. Or his close associates?
Mr. PERRY. It would have been those in the Government of Haiti.
Not President Aristide. No, sir.
Mr. BURTON. Mr. Chairman, let me just end up by saying I hope
that you will continue to keep a hold on that $5 million, because
they are putting 1,400 ex-soldiers and ill-trained partisans into the
police force in Haiti. They already have uniforms. I believe they are
being paid; and they are, in effect, part of that police force. Some
of those people may have been implicated by some of the testimony
in some of these assassinations, and for us to be using taxpayers'
dollars to beef up a police force that has these kinds of thugs is
I would like to add one more thing. I hope the Administration in
the future and Mr. Dobbins in particular, when you come up here
don't try to mislead the Congress and don't equivocate. If we ask
you a question and you want to go into closed session to give us
an answer, give us the answer, but don't tell us that something
didn't happen when it did because we know damn well it was a lie.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Burton. We will take your
suggestion under advisement and will be consulting with our com-
mittee members before we undertake any further action subject to
approval by the committee.
Mr. PAYNE. Thank you very much. I am subject to the approval
of the committee?
Chairman GILMAN. Strike that from the record.
Mr. PAYNE. I didn't know why we are swearing people in here,
and I didn't know what that meant.
Let me ask you a couple questions.
We have heard a lot of talk about how much money we have
spent and how poorly this money has been used. Could you-per-
haps one of you-just describe very briefly the conditions during
the last year of the Cedras-Francois Government, what was hap-
penin what was the human rights situation and the size of the
Mr. DOBBINS. I think the observers estimated that perhaps 5,000
people were killed in government-associated repression over a 3-
year period, if I remember the figure correctly, which would be
about 1,500 people in that category a year. So this was clearly an
exceptionally difficult and exceptionally repressive period.
In addition, toward the end there was a mass exodus of people
fleeing Haiti, nearly 20,000 of whom ended up, as I recall, in Guan-
Mr. PAYNE. So we have got a situation where, in 3 years, 5,000
people are-say in the last year 1,500 people were killed. So far,
we have been talking about a death-and every death is certainly
serious. I don't think that we spent that much time at any hearing
of the Western Hemisphere Committee during the last year com-
pared to the amount of time that we spent here on this one killing
for the 1,500 killings that happened during that last year.
Second, let me ask you a question, Mr. Perry. Were you invited
to that Western Hemisphere meeting October 12-whenever it was.
Did you testify? The hearing that has been referred to so much.
Mr. PERRY. No, sir.
Mr. PAYNE. OK. I just wonder if you would have been. Being the
topic of the discussion, seems it would simplify matters if the
Chairman had invited the FBI. You were doing the investigation.
Mr. PERRY. The FBI was conducting the investigation on Bertin,
Mr. PAYNE. It might have saved a lot of time today. Maybe it is
an afterthought, but if I were chairing perhaps I would have
thought about it, about the questions involved in the investigation.
It would seem to make sense to invite the FBI, but that is'just my
Could you tell me about the section chiefs, the Chiefs 'd Section,
as the 30-day reign before, and are they still in existence, and how
did that happen if they are not?
Mr. DOBBINS. Their functions were terminated, and they have
been replaced by elected officials.
Mr. PAYNE. Also, could you tell me the size of the army at that
time? Could you, during the past year or two?
Mr. DOBBINS. It was 7,000 on paper and 6,000 present for duty
when the American forces arrived.
Mr. PAYNE. How many policemen have we trained so far?
Mr. DOBBINS. I believe 3,500 have completed training, and 1,500
are in training.
Mr. PAYNE. 3,500 and 1,500.
Now, if we withheld money, it was indicated the money would be
withheld, the academy would have to close down more or less and
it would be difficult to continue. The number initially was higher
than 5,000, that was estimated that we needed, right? I think they
talked initially about 7,000 or 8,000 policemen?
Mr. GELBARD. That is right, Congressman. But eventually the
Haitian Government decided that it could not sustain the ability to
provide salary payments for a much larger number, given the pov-
erty of the country. So, on that basis, they came back to us and
asked us to reduce the initial number of Haitian National Police to
Mr. PAYNE. And, actually, wouldn't it seem to make absolutely
no sense for us to close down a process after investing the amount
of money into it by withholding of the final funds? It is like a
bridge that is three-quarters built.
Mr. GELBARD. We agree completely.
Mr. PAYNE. All right. I see my time has expired. The red light
means your time is expired, so I guess I will have to stop.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Payne.
Mr. Goss. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I am very concerned about the relationship of the new president,
President Preval, and the new chief of the police, who is likely to
be Mr. Celestin, a man who is having trouble getting confirmed by
the Haitian parliament.
There is some very interesting commentary in the New York
Times in a recent article about that. Members of parliament,
speaking anonymously for fear of retaliation, have complained that
violence flourished under the management of the new chief, Colonel
Celestin, and so forth. That is an area I want to take up because
it is directly relevant to our investigation and our hopes.
I want to take up another issue-the reports about the com-
mando-style assassinations reported by the OAS Ambassador Colin
Granderson. I want to know what information we have on the asso-
ciation between those reports and the Bertin investigation.
But, in particular, I want to go to specifics with you now, if I
may, and ask Ambassador Dobbins some direct questions. The first
is, who has been the director of the Interim Public Security Force?
Mr. DOBBINS. Major Danny Toussaint.
Mr. Goss. Has Mr. Toussaint been appointed to be the new direc-
tor of the judicial police?
Mr. DOBBINS. So we understand.
Mr. Goss. Do the police have jurisdiction over the special inves-
Mr. DOBBINS. It is not clear the unit had a direct line to the chief
of police without going through any subordinate. That was under
the old system, and I guess we have to answer that we don't know
whether the new director would maintain that.
Mr. Goss. Do you think there is a possibility that Mr. Toussaint
will have jurisdiction or some participation in the special investiga-
Mr. DOBBINS. Yes.
Mr. Goss. Is the special investigation unit charged with the in-
vestigation of political murders that have occurred in 1994 and
Mr. DOBBINS. Yes.
Mr. Goss. Do you have any evidence that Mr. Toussaint was in-
volved in any of the political violence?
Mr. DOBBINS. Mr. Congressman, testimony about any particular
individual would be derived either from intelligence material or
from sensitive law enforcement material or from other material
which I would recommend be gone into in closed session.
Mr. Goss. If you would decline to answer I would agree, on the
degree of sensitivity. I would respect your judgment. And I would
draw the conclusion that should your answer have been yes it
would seem that we would be in a quandary about how we have
somebody who may be linked up with violence doing the investiga-
tion of himself and his friends. That is an area of some great con-
I say that and I will just signal that we will continue this con-
versation either in this committee in closed session or in other com-
mittees that will be dealing with this, because this is an area
where we have said before that we are taking steps to weed out
individuals who are suspected of violence; and it seems to me that
if we get near the top of the chain we have got to be extra diligent
in making sure that the record is very, very clear; and apparently
it is not.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Goss.
Mr. MORAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
First of all, Mr. Chairman, I seek unanimous consent to include
in the record at this point a communication from the State Depart-
ment to Mr. Hamilton dated January 3, 1995.
Chairman GILMAN. Is that the letter we previously entered?
Mr. MORAN. I would ask staff.
Chairman GILtAN. All right. The letter is received. Do we have
copies of it?
Mr. MORAN. I think you do.
Chairman GILMAN. OK.
Mr. MORAN. They were at our desk. Apparently, it was just not
formally put into the record.
Chairman GILMAN. Yes. Proceed.
Mr. MORAN. Mr. Chairman, as I have sat here there has been a
clear attempt to implicate, even directly accuse, President Aristide
of being involved or perhaps even directing these murders. The fact
is that we have been given absolutely no evidence that would cause
any prosecutor to go into a court of trial in this country or obvi-
ously in Haiti in an attempt to make such a connection. It is as
though you are charging President Nixon because Robert Kennedy
I don't see any tighter evidence than the motivation that was dis-
cussed. Obviously, you would pursue anybody that had any motiva-
tion, but under direct questioning the answer has been no, there
is no connection. And I can understand why the attempt is being
made, but I certainly think that it is wrong and irresponsible.
Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Moran, are you asking a question?
Mr. MORAN. Now I am going to get to my question. That was the
The second issue though that has disturbed me is that, in addi-
tion to accusing President Aristide, Mr. Dobbins, our lead witness,
was just accused of lying. I have the testimony that was given in
a subcommittee of this committee, and it is clear that-at least in
my mind-that Mr. Dobbins did not lie. He said that he has not
been briefed by the FBI-excuse me, I will use the exact words:
The FBI has not briefed me or, as far as I know, anybody else in
the Administration on their findings. They are still conducting
their investigation and as far as I know have not come to a conclu-
Clearly, he was briefed on the investigation itself but not on the
So, Mr. Dobbins' testimony appears to be entirely accurate and
if I were he, I would certainly take offense at any suggestion that
it was not. We have not seen any testimony to that extent.
Now, a third issue that I want to bring up-it will be in the form
of a question of the panelists-is if this $5 million is withheld for
training of the Haitian National Police who does it assist? It seems
to me that the money being used to train the police is to avoid situ-
ations such as gave cause for this hearing today. We are attempt-
ing to professionalize them, in the words of the witnesses, to make
sure that they are nonpartisan, that they are the type of police that
we use and rely upon to provide our security in this country. We
withhold the funds, we don't achieve that objective.
Now, I made two points as well as a question, and you can re-
spond to the other points if you would like to.
I would like to start with Mr. Waxman because, at one point, Mr.
Waxman was interrupted before he could give an answer that I
thought was pertinent. Mr. Waxman, would you like to address
that, representing the Department of Justice?
Mr. WAXMAN. Thank you. I would like to answer your direct
question but also make the point and illuminate for the committee
the context in which Ambassador Dobbins, Director Perry and I
went down to Haiti on the weekend of the 4th of July and the pur-
pose for meeting with President Aristide, and the incident in which
Mr. Perry and I felt that there was a portion of a session that we
had with the agents in the FBI command post that we preferred
he not attend. There have been so many references to it perhaps
it would be helpful if I explain what happened.
Mr. MORAN. Thank you. It was that answer that Mr. Burton in-
terrupted. I did want you to conclude that. Thank you.
Mr. WAXMAN. The FBI was asked to go down on an urgent basis
and went down and was on the ground in Port-au-Prince to do the
crime scene investigation within the day, by 5:30 the next morning.
They had a full contingent set up to conduct an investigation in a
country which at the time, by all accounts, had literally no means
to do crime scene investigations, had no effective police structure,
et cetera, et cetera.
By late June, 1995, the FBI had brought its investigation, which
was organized in quite a methodical way, to the point where they
felt it necessary and desirable to question certain members of the
IPSF because other information they had gotten in the investiga-
tion suggested these 12 or 13 individuals may have information
leading to conclusions about who committed these assassinations.
They conducted a few of those interviews of the IPSF, but some
of the conditions that cropped up in connection with those inves-
tigations, those examinations, agents on the ground began to ques-
tion whether or not they had the full support of the Haitian Gov-
ernment in what they were doing and also whether or not they
were going to be allowed to continue freely to continue their inves-
The Director of the FBI communicated those concerns to the At-
torney General. The Attorney General asked me if I would go
down, meet with the agents to determine what the problems were,
and then meet with President Aristide in order to determine
whether the FBI could conduct the kind of professional, nonpoliti-
cal law enforcement investigation that it believed it had been asked
to do and the only kind of investigation that the Attorney General
would support the use of her personnel in.
I met Bill Perry on that flight down there with Jim Dobbins, and
on the flight down we talked about the FBI's perceptions of some
of the roadblocks that appeared to have been placed in its efforts
to interview these IPSF officers.
When we got to Port-au-Prince and before we met with President
Aristide, Bill Perry and I went to the FBI command post to talk
with the agents, get to know them-it was my first trip to meet
them in Haiti-and to learn firsthand from them whether they had
concerns about their personal safety, and specifically what concerns
they had about the extent to which their investigation was being
blocked or hampered or could be helped in any way and also to find
out from them, frankly, some fairly confidential information about
the ongoing law enforcement investigation, the quality of their
sources, the perceived safety of their sources, the absence of a wit-
ness protection program of any sort and what we could do perhaps
to get one generated.
For that discussion I felt then and I feel now-and I know Direc-
tor Perry agrees because we discussed it at the time-that it would
be inappropriate-highly inappropriate to have a senior member of
another agency of the United States that does not have law en-
forcement responsibilities to participate in that kind of a discus-
sion, and I asked Ambassador Dobbins if he wouldn't mind going
to the embassy and letting us catch up with him after Bill and I
had an opportunity to talk with the agents and the agents in
charge down there. We did that.
Following that meeting which Ambassador Dobbins did not at-
tend, the three of us and Ambassador Swing met with President
Aristide and some of his advisors in Haiti. I was the principal
spokesman at that meeting, which is the only meeting I have had
with President Aristide or anybody else in the Haitian Government
on this subject.
I laid out for him the concerns-the great desire of the Attorney
General that the FBI be allowed to continue its investigation to the
point at which it could go no further and to do so in a thorough
and impartial manner consistent with the way in which the FBI
does investigations in the United States, recognizing that we have
no compulsory process in Haiti, no witness protection program in
Haiti, no means of obtaining search warrants, et cetera, et cetera.
President Aristide was very, very supportive of that.
I explained to him that in the course of trying to conduct these
interviews of IPSF officers the agents were reporting that they had
received communications from the Haitian Government that before
the Bertin investigation could go further the FBI had to agree to
investigate 20 other political assassinations that had occurred over
the past few years and also that in contacting and interviewing
Haitian Government employees and these IPSF officers or employ-
ees, that the FBI-since we were down there to assist the Haitian
Government, the FBI should arrange these interviews through the
Haitian Government and permit Haitian Government officials to sit
in on the interviews.
We explained to President Aristide utterly unambiguously be-
cause we were concerned about not only the perception but the ac-
tuality of doing an impartial law enforcement investigation-that
while we recognize that we were there to assist the Haitian Min-
istry of Justice to do an investigation, it could not do itself, we had
to insist that when we wanted to contact Haitian Government offi-
cials we do so without prearrangement of the Haitian Government,
without even telling the Haitian Government in advance who we
were going to be interviewing and without any Haitian Govern-
ment officials present.
And, also, we respectfully declined to extend the FBI investiga-
tion to include 10, 20 or 30 or 40 other murderers. We explained
we were requested to do one, we wanted to try to do a good job on
one, and that is what we wanted to limit ourselves to.
I think it is fair to say that there was agreement by President
Aristide with the conditions that we had laid out for him on the
terms under which the FBI investigation would continue; and in
fact our agreement is memorialized in a letter that Ambassador
Swing sent to President Aristide on July 11 the following week
which, if it is not part of the record, I would offer to be part of the
record if it would be of use to the committee. That I hope lays the
groundwork for both the meeting from which Ambassador Dobbins
was excluded and the nature of the concerns we had that prompted
my visit with President Aristide and the resolution of those issues.
[The information referred to appears in the appendix.]
Mr. MORAN. It certainly doesn't sound conspiratorial. It sounds
Mr. Chairman, obviously, I will not ask any other questions, but
I wonder if we could get a quick response that was elicited from
the other members if they have anything to add. They may not
want to add anything or respond to the question.
It is with regard to the $5 million. Apparently, there is an assent
the $5 million is not going to achieve any of our mutual objectives
if it is not used; and if it was used in fact it would not be particu-
larly to the benefit of President Aristide but to the benefit of Amer-
ican policy to professionalize the police force. I assume that is con-
Mr. BURTON. Mr. Chairman, I don't want to interrupt my col-
league from Virginia, but I have more questions that I have to ask,
and I would like to have his questioning be terminated relatively
Mr. MORAN. How about now?
Mr. WAXMAN. I would just like to say, since I have the micro-
phone, from the ICITAP perspective, the Department of Justice
ICITAP must, when it goes into a foreign country training, be per-
mitted to do so in a complete and impartial manner. We are actu-
ally quite proud of the police training that has gone on at the Hai-
tian Police Academy to date. We would be very, very disappointed,
to say the least, if we were not able to continue, at a minimum,
the final 2 months of training which will get the Haitian National
Police force up to the 5,000 level. I mean, I don't see what interest
would be served-
Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Waxman, is the FBI prepared to return
to complete their investigation if the obstacles are withdrawn?
Mr. WAXMAN. Well, I will be sure to reserve to Bill Perry the FBI
answer, but if I can just explain, Mr. Chairman-
Chairman GILMAN. I am asking you, is the Attorney General pre-
pared to recommend the FBI further conduct its investigation if the
obstacles that you referred to are taken care of?
Mr. WAXMAN. The Attorney General has recommended and has
decided that, given the nature of the obstacles as they exist now-
and I hope you permit me to explain what they are, at least as we
perceive them-the best course for the continuation of the Bertin
investigation, and particularly FBI involvement, is for the FBI to
provide support to a continued investigation of the Bertin inves-
tigation that is being conducted by the special investigations unit
under the supervision of the U.N. CIVPOL.
What caused the FBI to conclude that we can't really go produc-
tively any further is that after our meeting with President Aristide
at which there was an agreement that the FBI could contact any-
body in the government it wanted without pre-notice and without
any involvement of the Haitian Government, a set of lawyers
emerged purporting to represent the 13 individuals that the FBI
wanted to interview. The lawyers indicated that they would be
pleased to have their clients interviewed by the FBI but only if
there was a transcript of the interviews, if the lawyer, the same
lawyer, was present for all of these interviews, the questions were
submitted in advance, a number of conditions which-and I will let
Mr. Perry speak to it-the FBI felt were not consistent with the
kind of professional investigation it wanted to conduct.
The lawyers all represented that they were private lawyers being
paid to represent those private individuals and that they had no
connection with and were not taking direction from the Haitian
Mr. BURTON. Would the Chairman yield? Would the gentleman
yield on that?
Chairman GILMAN. Be pleased to.
Mr. BURTON. It is my understanding that those legal fees were
being paid by the Haitian Government. If that is the case, why
would you say they were independent of the Haitian Government?
Mr. GEJDENSON. Does the gentleman have evidence to that na-
Chairman GILMAN. Regular order.
The gentleman has yielded to Mr. Burton for a question, and let's
Mr. BURTON. Mr. Dobbins, did you ever see cable transmissions
to the effect that those legal fees were paid for by the Haitian Gov-
Mr. DOBBINS. I think they were.
Mr. BURTON. I rest my case. For you to say they were independ-
ent of the Haitian Government, these 13 people are being defended
by the Haitian Government itself in these assassinations.
Mr. WAXMAN. I don't want to get into a quibble with the Con-
gressman. We drew a distinction when we met with President
Aristide because it is a distinction that we honor in this country.
In our criminal justice system, for example, the government pays
for the defense of most defendants in this country, but they owe
their fiduciary responsibility to-
Mr. BURTON. Well, if I might interrupt briefly.
Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Burton, you have an opportunity for a
Mr. BURTON. But this is relevant-at this particular time, because
he just made the point that these cases that were being tried were
independent of the government. But the government was paying
the legal fees to defend these people who were accused of murder,
Now my question is, why would the government be paying the
legal fees of these people if they were not somewhat involved?
Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Chairman, can I finish answering your ques-
Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Moran's time has expired.
And, Mr. Waxman, we are going to ask you if you will put on
the record for us, submit to the record, the names of the attorneys
who were involved at the time that you were having your discus-
sions with Mr. Aristide.
Mr. WAXMAN. We would surely do that.
Chairman GILMAN. And Mr. Bereuter is recognized.
[The information referred to appears in the appendix.]
Mr. WAXMAN. Can I just say, Mr. Chairman, I had not yet fin-
ished the answer to the question you asked me, but I would be
pleased to at an appropriate time.
Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Bereuter.
Mr. BEREUTER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I have a line of questioning, Mr. Dobbins, related to the death
of Madam Durocher Bertin. If you could answer as concisely as you
can, consistent with accuracy, I would appreciate it.
The media reported and the State Department has confirmed
that before Madam Bertin was killed, the U.S. military uncovered
a plot to kill her. As a matter of fact, the committee now has ob-
tained a letter dated March 22, 6 days before the killing, in which
Major General George Fisher informed Haiti's defense-Haiti's jus-
tice minister about a credible plot to kill Madam Bertin.
My first question: Did the Embassy consider the Interior Min-
ister Beaubrun to be seriously implicated in the plot?
Mr. DOBBINS. They thought that the allegation was a very seri-
ous one that needed to be looked into. So I think the answer is po-
Mr. BEREUTER. And it was specifically concern about the Interior
Mr. DOBBINS. At that stage, as I recall, the only government offi-
cial that was alleged to be implicated was the Minister of the Inte-
Mr. BEREUTER. Did President Aristide look into the Interior Min-
ister'-Mr. Beaubrun's-role in the foiled plot?
Mr. DOBBINS. He told us that he had looked into it and that he
believed that the charge was unsubstantiated.
Mr. BEREUTER. And in fact that is true, that on March 23, the
day after the Major General Fisher sent the letter, according to a
chronology of events, President Aristide tells Major General Fisher
and Ambassador William Swing that he has looked into Beaubrun's
involvement in the Bertin plot and concluded that the Interior Min-
istry was not involved. The Justice Minister, who was supposed to
be investigating, apparently didn't know that the Moise brothers
were being held in a police station at the time, and so that day Am-
bassador Swing cabled the State Department suggesting calls to
Aristide from senior Washington officials to press for an inquiry.
Are you aware, Ambassador Dobbins, that Madam Bertin's hus-
band has said that his murdered wife was never warned explicitly
of the murder plot against her?
Mr. DOBBINS. Yes.
Mr. BEREUTER. A fact that was recently confirmed before mem-
bers of this committee staff by a U.N. official who met with Madam
Bertin several days before she was killed.
Did the Embassy or the Multinational Force, Ambassador Dob-
bins, confirm with Mrs. Bertin directly that the Haitian officials
had warned her of a plot to kill her?
Mr. DOBBINS. I believe that the force commander, in consultation
with the Ambassador, decided that it was the Government of Hai-
ti's responsibility to convey the warning, that they asked them to
do so, were told that they would do so.
I believe they were also told that they had done so, and there's
clearly a conflict there.
Mrs. Bertin's husband and I believe another relative-there were
subsequent conversations between Bertin and the Minister of Jus-
tice. No one else was present at them. I think there were two. The
Minister of Justice maintained he conveyed the warning. Mrs.
Bertin's relatives, who were not present but who talked to her
afterward, say that he didn't.
Mr. BEREUTER. If in fact a witness suggested to the U.S. military
that in fact the Interior Minister was implicated, directly ordering
assassination of Madam Bertin, doesn't it seem strange and dere-
lict in our responsibilities that we didn't convey that warning di-
rectly to Madam Bertin rather than going through the government,
a high public official of which it was said was the assassination
Mr. DOBBINS. I think in the aftermath of the incident, instruc-
tions were sent to make sure that any-in similar situations the
warning was conveyed directly as well as through the government.
Mr. BEREUTER. I think that is an understatement. Did any U.S.
agency inquire whether the Interior Minister or the Justice Min-
ister, who failed to fully warn Madam Bertin of the impending as-
sassination, were involved in the conspiracy to murder Madam
Have we investigated whether or not the Interior Ministry or the
Justice Minister, the Justice Minister having failed to warn Mrs.
Bertin of the impending assassination, whether or not they were
implicated in the assassination plot?
Mr. PERRY. The conspiracy to assassinate, the one you talked
about, Congressman, before the Bertin investigation, was not an in-
vestigation which we conducted in the FBI. We actually conducted
the investigation of the subsequent murder.
Mr. BEREUTER. In fact, Mr. Perry, did you polygraph the people
who were implicated in the assassination attempt?
Mr. PERRY. There were polygraphs conducted, Congressman.
Mr. BEREUTER. Do you consider that a lead?
Mr. PERRY. To polygraph, yes, sir.
Mr. BEREUTER. And in fact did you polygraph the Justice Min-
Mr. PERRY. No, Congressman, we did not.
Mr. BEREUTER. Did you polygraph the Interior Minister?
Mr. PERRY. No, Congressman, we did not.
Mr. BEREUTER. Why not, when they were implicated by the letter
and information coming to Major General Fisher, the commanding
general of the multilateral force?
Mr. PERRY. We had made attempts to interview the Justice Min-
ister or the Minister of the Interior early on in the investigation,
but we did not do that because of conditions that were set up by
the government, by government officials in Haiti regarding that
We conducted interviews of the people that were incarcerated in
that conspiracy plot to see if there was any connection with the
subsequent murder of Bertin.
Mr. BEREUTER. I should correct my statement; the letter to Major
General Fisher implicated only the Interior Ministry, not the Jus-
tice Minister. But if the Interior Minister, Mr. Beaubrun's role, was
an FBI lead in March, why wasn't this explained to Mr. Burton's
subcommittee in October when he asked if there were any leads?
Mr. DOBBINS. You're asking me?
Mr. BEREUTER. Ambassador Dobbins.
Mr. DOBBINS. The fact of the plot that the minister was allegedly
involved in was a matter of public knowledge which had been com-
mented on in the open by the State Department, among others, as
I recall, and there was no subsequent information other than what
was in the public record, that I was aware of, that linked that to
the actual murder.
Mr. BEREUTER. But, Ambassador Dobbins, cables were sent to
the State Department on March 22 and then on March 23 about
the letter that Major General Fisher had sent. In addition, Ambas-
sador Swing suggested to the State Department on March 23 that
high-level calls be made to Aristide by senior Washington officials
to press for an inquiry. So you knew, it seems to me, by reading
Mr. DOBBINS. I guess, Congressman, let me say, the FBI was
sent down there because the murder had taken place in the context
of an already existing alleged plot, which potentially involved the
Minister of Interior and which, within 24 hours of the FBI's dis-
patch, was a matter of public record; in other words, that the Min-
ister of Interior had potentially been involved in a plot to murder
this woman a week before she was murdered was then public
Now, my understanding is that the FBI's investigation did not
turn up any information which linked the minister or that earlier
plot to the actual plot which killed her. So I had no new informa-
tion on that minister and his involvement at that time, and indeed
today. I didn't have any information that hadn't been put out to the
press in March.
Mr. BEREUTER. I do think that one result of-whether or not
Congress has been fully informed, it is clear that a woman is dead
in Haiti because we didn't inform the proper people, including the
lady, about the alleged assassination attempt.
Mr. DOBBINS. Mr. Congressman, that may be true, but it depends
on whether you believe the Minister of Justice or Madam Bertin's
relatives or whether Madam Bertin told her relatives. It may be
true, I'm not disputing that it may be true, and because it may be
true, it's not going to happen that way again.
Mr. BEREUTER. Of course it is not just the relatives. We have a
man who gives the details of the person who was a triggerman,
hired by the Interior Minister to make the assassination, that came
to the attention of Major General Fisher. General Fisher relayed
that properly, and Ambassador Swing seems to have properly con-
veyed that information to the State Department and made sugges-
tions about what should happen thereafter.
Mr. DOBBINS. And that happened; all of that happened.
Mr. BEREUTER. But the target for the assassination we notified
through the Government of Haiti, of all things.
I cannot pursue cable traffic any further without violating classi-
fication, Mr. Chairman, so I yield my time.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Bereuter.
Mr. GEJDENSON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Let me just say that I appreciate the work that some of my col-
leagues on the other side and this side are doing to try and make
sure that the process toward improving the democracy in Haiti
moves forward. And clearly any government or government officials
involved in political murders threatens a democracy.
But, you know, I think I am somewhat stunned at times, and I
remember what happened in the debate in Congress when the de-
mocracy in Chile was removed by a general, a number of people
died and disappeared, and that was kind of defended as the process
toward ending communism in Chile, moving toward democracy. I
wouldn't do that here.
But I do think that it is important to look at this record and un-
derstand a couple of things. I sometimes get the sense from some
of my colleagues on the other side, not Mr. Bereuter, but some of
my other colleagues on the other side, that they are frustrated that
there was actually an election in Haiti.
Am I correct, Haiti has been free from about 1800, became inde-
pendent early 1800's; is that correct?
Mr. DOBBINS. 1804, I think.
Mr. GEJDENSON. And how many times has been there a free elec-
tion where the same individual didn't just get reelected or
reappointed-has it ever happened before?
Mr. DOBBINS. 1990.
Mr. GEJDENSON. 1990. So now we have had another election, and
prior to that, from 1800, it never happened.
Mr. DOBBINS. Don't believe so.
Mr. GEJDENSON. So we had Mr. Aristide get elected in what you
consider basically a fair election?
Mr. DOBBINS. Right.
Mr. GEJDENSON. And you believe that this election was basically
a fair election?
Mr. DOBBINS. It wasn't perfect, but it was free and as fair as-
Mr. GEJDENSON. Elections here aren't perfect either. There is
now an investigation into whether the Speaker of the House used
his resources from a nonprofit to aid his political process. So no
elections are perfect.
Let me ask you this. The other question- then becomes, it seems
to me, do we ensure a greater likelihood of a better process in the
future by terminating the police training funds and ending the pro-
gram, or do we improve the likelihood of a better election in the
future by continuing the police training funds?
Mr. DOBBINS. I think we need to continue the funds, but I think
we need to continue them based on an understanding with the
Government of Haiti of what they're going to be used for, and I
think in my testimony, and Bob Gelbard's, we made clear that that
understanding has to be fairly clear and fairly carefully drawn, and
it certainly excludes harboring criminals in that police department.
Mr. GEJDENSON. And you think you can get that agreement?
Mr. DOBBINS. I hope so. I think we've made a good deal of
progress in this direction over the last year. I think we can con-
tinue to do so.
Mr. GEJDENSON. And the other thing I look for here is alter-
natives to the current path. I mean if we are going to establish de-
mocracy over the long haul here, it seems to me the most impor-
tant thing in this process, obviously, is to make sure that political
assassinations end, that there is a political process where people
who get elected and finish their term then stand down.
So this was actually a significant step this time, because the past
President could have made the argument he didn't get his whole
term because he was removed and could have tried to argue for a
longer period. He didn't do that at our request, I'm sure.
Are there other things we can do to help try to ensure the demo-
cratic institutions are built in Haiti? I understand the need to focus
on those who have been killed, whether it was in Haiti or Chile or
Cuba or any place else. We are against political assassinations. I
think that is a bipartisan desire.
What are the things we can do to make sure that democratic in-
stitutions are furthered? We took a step forward here because of
the courage of the President of the United States. That shouldn't
be diminished. What can we do more?
Mr. DOBBINS. Maybe my colleagues want to add something. I
think by this intervention and by the assistance we provided, we've
given Haiti a chance to turn a corner, make a difference and
change its society. We can't do more than that. We can continue
to do that, but that's all we can do, and it's going to be their deci-
sions which determine whether they take that opportunity.
Mr. GELBARD. If I could add to that, Congressman, as I've said
earlier on various occasions in the course of this hearing, histori-
cally there are no democratic institutions in Haiti. We are working
really from the ground up. We have only been training the police
for 1 year.
The idea of establishing an apolitical, objectively selected, care-
fully selected police force, is innovative in Haiti. There is no justice
sector, per se. I believe that the core of any democracy is really the
justice sector. Democratic, community-oriented police, judiciary,
penal institutions, and the kind of legal framework that allows for
those entities to operate in, it gives the people confidence that they
can operate in.
We are just beginning to work with the Haitian people and the
Haitian Government to try to make these things a reality. So are
other countries and other multilateral institutions. Time is obvi-
But-and this goes back to what I was hoping to answer to Con-
gressman Moran s question-Haiti is a neighbor of the United
States, literally. It borders on the U.S. territorial sea.
We need to be able to have democratic prosperous neighbors. To
do that, we need to be engaged over the long haul. We need to be
able to assure that they have the kinds of democratic, political, so-
cial, economic institutions that allow that country to prosper. It's
in our interest in every way possible, so we need to stay engaged.
Mr. GEJDENSON. Thank you.
Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Leach.
Mr. LEACH. I just want to return to one old point and raise a new
There is a distinction raised at a particular meeting that the Am-
bassador was apparently excluded from because he didn't need to
know, and it was his term of art. Frankly, in American law enforce-
ment there is a lot of confidentiality, that is always the case, and
it is a very important precept.
Now, in law enforcement in another country where you are
brought in as another party, it is a very different circumstance.
And I raise this because I am just sitting here and listening to
the testimony. It appears to me that the case that the panel, in
tandem in a sense, is making is that the U.S. Ambassador, rep-
resenting the Department of State, was excluded from certain
knowledge that I assume would be very relevant to his job perform-
ance, and in being excluded, there is a distinction between need to
know and a considered decision to refuse or to be ordered to refuse
to learn, and that distinction is a very large one.
There is an issue here, for example, that Mr. Bereuter has
raised, that is extremely profound, and that relates to a warning
that might have gone to an individual citizen that might have
saved her life.
Presumably, if the Department of State had had certain informa-
tion, A, about a particular incident, but B, about a pattern of oper-
ation within a government, they might have well gone directly to
the individual instead of to the government, and so I think it is a
direct relationship kind of circumstance.
So one of the questions is, as we are training people to do police
functions, do we need to train the Department of State about who
to warn and how to warn in particular circumstances? And that is
a very interesting question and something I think the Department
ought to think through, because there are situations like Haiti all
around the world. What are the responsibilities of the Department
of State in warning individuals from which intelligence or police in-
formation flows through?
I only raise this because now and again in foreign policy, and in
all life, there are circumstances where people choose not to know
in order not to be accountable, and I am sitting here wondering if
that is part of the case here or whether the government itself chose
for the individuals that they shouldn't learn because it would put
them in a more delicate position.
And I have to tell you, as someone who comes from the Depart-
ment of State, that I was brought up in an era where the U.S. Am-
bassador was to be the principal representative of all the U.S. Gov-
ernment, the Department of Justice abroad, as well as the Depart-
ment of State abroad. And I am really perplexed at this notion that
Ambassador Dobbins can appear to the U.S. Congress and say I
was not briefed because I was excluded from a briefing. I find that
preposterous, and I would hope both the Justice Department and
the State Department would think both of those two issues more
Mr. WAXMAN. Could I-
Mr. LEACH. Very briefly.
Mr. WAXMAN. I didn't know if you wanted a response or not. A
lot of what you've said I think is really right on target and address-
es some of the concerns and ambiguities that existed in this situa-
Let me just say first, Congressman, the incident of warning
Madam Bertin was something that occurred prior to any FBI or
Justice Department involvement, so we can't really speak to that.
The particular-I don't want the committee to infer from my state-
ment that Mr. Perry and I asked Mr. Dobbins to please not partici-
pate in our meeting when we went down there to meet with the
station people, to a broader statement that the FBI thought it was
operating in an environment in Haiti where it should not share any
information with the Ambassador, the Deputy Chief of Mission or
other relevant personnel in the Embassy. That was not at all the
It is true that-and you will certainly appreciate from your prior
experience-that the FBI does not have intelligence gathering or
dissemination functions abroad, except in extremely narrow cir-
cumstances, and they don't apply here. They were sent down to do
a law enforcement investigation and to conduct one in an environ-
ment very different than in the United States, of course, because
they didn't have the assistance of prosecutors and courts, et cetera,
and also didn't speak the language and didn't have any contacts.
And in order to enlist the support of Embassy personnel, the U.S.
military there and other agencies that were down there, the FBI
agents did provide regular briefings to Embassy personnel and
other U.S. Government personnel on the course of the investiga-
That fact is not in any way, I suggest, inconsistent with the con-
cerns I had about Ambassador Dobbins from Washington coming
and sitting and listening to the particular questions I wanted to
Mr. LEACH. Is it inconsistent with Ambassador Dobbins' testi-
mony to the subcommittee? I mean, he has suggested that neither
he nor anyone that he knew of was briefed. You are suggesting
that the Embassy was continually briefed, which means the State
Department was continually briefed, which means that he must
Mr. WAXMAN. Well, I-on the ultimate-
Mr. LEACH. Something more than was revealed in a query before
Mr. WAXMAN. On the ultimate issue of how much information
Ambassador Dobbins personally had, I have no information to re-
late to the committee other than I've read the cables that your staff
has seen, and Mr. Dobbins and I have had a limited number of
Mr. LEACH. Fair enough.
Mr. WAXMAN. Let me-if I may just finish-it is fair to say that
there were frequent communications and exchanges of information
in Port-au-Prince which were not in any way mirrored in Washing-
ton, because there was no law enforcement need to do so. I don't
want to give the committee the misleading impression that there
was a free exchange of information, because there was and remains
certain information in the FBI's law enforcement investigation that
would be, in its view, very improper to relate, even on the ground.
Mr. LEACH. My time is really very limited.
Mr. WAXMAN. I'm sorry, I see I've taken most of it.
Mr. LEACH. Let me just return to my second question very brief-
ly, and let me say, as someone who frankly believes our policy has
been more successful than unsuccessful in Haiti, in that things
have gone better than they might well have gone and that that is
a larger issue that we have to deal with, but I think it's important
that we also ask a comment from the other side's perspective, and
I'd like to particularly ask this of Mr. Perry.
I have before me a press release from the counsel to the Govern-
ment of Haiti in which the following statements are made. The
counsel noted a long-standing vendetta and smear campaign car-
ried out against accused Haitian officials by certain State Depart-
ment and CIA personnel. The counsel also noted that much of the
old information against them which was passed on to the FBI came
from the same persons who gave the CIA false information about
The counsel also said that the FBI, in briefing Haitian investiga-
tors 2 weeks ago on their results, emphasized repeatedly that the
accusations were only that, bare allegations, that the FBI had no
supporting evidence, that the FBI did not know whether the accus-
ers had an ax to grind or were lying, that the FBI told the Haitian
Government that if these accusers might be lying, if they were,
then the accused were wholly innocent people.
My question to you is, is the counsel to the Government of Haiti
correct? For example, is all of this simply a vendetta and smear
campaign carried out against the accused Haitian officials by cer-
tain State Department and CIA personnel? Is that valid in your
judgment, Mr. Perry?
Mr. PERRY. No, sir, I believe we were pursuing an investigation
and had information and were looking to interview and conduct
further investigation toward individuals who were within the Gov-
ernment of Haiti.
Mr. LEACH. And so this characterization in total, do you think
this is a fair characterization, this press release from the counsel,
or is this characterization about what you, the FBI, told Haitian in-
vestigators 2 weeks ago, was that a valid characterization of what
the FBI told Haitian officials?
Mr. PERRY. I'm not exactly clear on-I'm not familiar with that.
But we were proceeding along, and we had not completed our in-
vestigation. We were still pursuing the investigation. There's still
work to be done. And that's what we turned over and told them
that, in terms of a law enforcement entity proceeding on the inves-
Mr. LEACH. I appreciate that.
I will just tell you, as someone who's sitting here and trying to
bring all these facts together, I mean I personally think that this
Administration has a credible case, that they had a policy that has
worked better than niany of us suspected it might.
On the other hand, it appears in this particular instance that
there is somehow a letdown of the guard that didn't work well, and
I think this Congress has every reason to be concerned. And so,
somehow, we've got to tie all of that together in a judgmental way.
And you know, I think we're all left in a little bit of a quandary.
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you, Mr. Leach.
Well proceed with the second round of questions. Mr. Perry, did
the FBI s findings link the Bertin killing to other killings?
Mr. PERRY. There was linkage between the Bertin killing and
other killings. However, the FBI just investigated the Bertin kill-
Chairman GILMAN. Was that linkage reported to the State De-
partment or to our Embassy in Haiti?
Mr. PERRY. Yes, it was.
Chairman GILmAN. When was that report made?
Mr. PERRY. I believe sometime in June. No, sometime in July, I
Chairman GILMAN. And, Mr. Dobbins, were you familiar with
that report of the linkage of the Bertin killing to other killings?
Mr. DOBBINS. I assume I've probably seen all of the reports that
came from the Embassy, and so I'm sure that the one you referred
to is among those that I've seen.
I alluded in my testimony, my own volunteered testimony, to the
fact that there had been 20 cases that fell into this category. So the
fact that this was a broader phenomenon is not something that we
sought to disguise. Quite the contrary, we sought to allude to it and
to indicate that it needed attention. We insisted that this special
investigative unit be set up not just for the Bertin case but for the
whole range of cases that fell into this category.
Now, in terms of possible evidence linking them in a physical evi-
dentiary sense, I had seen State Department reports which were
not corroborated here. I had sought briefings here. I had not gotten
it. I had not gotten the full information. The question that was
given to me is, has the FBI found anything? And my answer to
that was to say they haven't briefed me.
Chairman GILMAN. Ambassador Dobbins, did you make a specific
request to the Attorney General for such briefing?
Mr. DOBBINS. I made requests to the White House to arrange
interagency briefings so that the relevant agencies could sit down
and be updated on the case.
Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Waxman, were you-
Mr. DOBBINS. Could I finish, Mr. Chairman?
Chairman GILMAN. Let me pursue those for a minute.
Mr. Waxman, were you familiar with those requests?
Mr. WAXMAN. The only request that I am familiar with, the only
direct request for a briefing on the FBI findings was communicated
to me by either Ambassador Dobbins or Mr. Clarke of the National
Security Council staff sometime in mid-October, and which was at
a time in which we were prepared to recommend that the inves-
tigation be transferred. And pursuant to that request we arranged
a classified briefing for Mr. Dobbins and for Mr. Clarke of the NSC
staff within a few days. That occurred in mid-October. Prior to
that, I do not recall any requests being made of me for a sub-
stantive briefing of Mr. Dobbins or anybody else in Washington on
the merits of the Bertin investigation.
Mr. DOBBINS. Could I complete my answer?
Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Dobbins, when did you make your re-
quest to the White House for such a briefing?
Mr. DOBBINS. I made the requests, I believe, on several occasions
in the period from, say, April or May through September.
Chairman GILMAN. Did the White House respond to your re-
Mr. DOBBINS. Yes, I was told-I can't remember the exact words,
but the upshot of it was that they would prefer not to, that they
regard this as sensitive law enforcement information, and since the
investigation is still continuing, they would prefer not to brief it
Chairman GILMAN. And, Mr. Dobbins, do you recall whether the
Embassy regarded the Haitian Government's preconditions for
interviewing 13 Haitian officials by the FBI as legitimate or merely
designed to frustrate the FBI's investigation? I'm asking you if,you
recall the cable traffic with regard to those.
Mr. DOBBINS. I don't recall. I mean, I think that our general as-
sessment-we were told that the Haitian constitution required this.
Now, the case was a somewhat unique one. It's the only time I
know of a foreign law enforcement agency operating in Haiti. We
were never able to find any reference in the law or constitution
which required it.
The argument that since the investigation wasn't being con-
ducted under Haitian law and so, since they didn't have the protec-
tion of Haitian law, they should have some protection, was not en-
tirely invalid, but it also wasn't entirely persuasive. We reluctantly
accepted this condition as a basis for continuing, and we've given
you the correspondence which sets this out.
Chairman GILMAN. Did the Embassy report to you that this was
a major sticking point in our relationships.
Mr. DOBBINS. No. They reported it as a major obstacle to getting
the investigation continuing. That's why we went down there to
break it loose. I don't recall it being reported otherwise. But your
staff is nodding no. Maybe there's a cable; and, if so, I can-
Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Payne.
Mr. PAYNE. On the meeting that you said that was held there,
it was indicated that you were not briefed. From what I'm trying
to put this together, the investigation was ongoing? Therefore-cor-
rect me if I'm wrong. Therefore, there were no conclusions? This is
a continuing, evolving situation. Do you have the answers today?
I mean, do you know conclusively that you could have someone in-
dicted and convicted today?
Mr. PERRY. It is not conclusive with regard to an indictment and
conviction. No, sir, it's not.
Mr. PAYNE. Therefore, all this time about whether it was briefed
or not briefed on conclusions seems to be just a real waste of a lot
of time, because it's continuing, evolving. The investigation is con-
Mr. PERRY. That's correct.
Mr. PAYNE. Now, it was talked about difficulty in ascertaining in-
formation. Is there any comparable agency in Haiti that would
interface with the FBI, that could do the types of things that you
do and have the kinds of skills and the equipment and know-how
that could make for a simple, easy investigation?
Mr. PERRY. I'm not very familiar with the situation in terms of
the police force in Haiti as to their capabilities or otherwise.
Mr. PAYNE. Do they have any investigative agencies at all?
Mr. PERRY. Yes, sir.
Mr. PAYNE. They have detectives and people that try to follow up
the same way that the FBI would do here-
Mr. PERRY. Well, the special-
Mr. PAYNE.-at the same level?
Mr. PERRY. The special investigative unit was formed to do that,
Mr. PAYNE. But it wasn't there previously?
Mr. PERRY. No, it was not, and I'm not familiar enough with the
Mr. GELBARD. If I could just add, Congressman, the special in-
vestigations unit was just set up, and it was set up specifically at
the request of the U.S. Government so that they would, indeed,
have a capability to investigate crimes of this nature. Prior to that,
there was no real investigative capability.
Mr. PAYNE. I guess if you went to any other place, you would
more or less run into difficulty. If you went to part of the Soviet
Union to do an investigation on some alleged assassination, with-
out having the infrastructure, the similar situations that are there
in Haiti, you would probably find the same frustrations in trying
to put things together.
Mr. PERRY. Yes, sir, you would want such infrastructure.
Mr. PAYNE. And matter of fact, would you be surprised if it was
an easy investigation? Just the reverse.
Mr. PERRY. That's tough.
Mr. PAYNE. I mean, everyone seems so surprised-
Mr. PERRY. You never can tell, sometimes, how an investigation
Mr. PAYNE. Yes, everyone is so surprised that it is a difficult in-
vestigation. And that is what I am kind of surprised, that everyone
In your investigation have you investigated any of the activities
of the alleged victim and her family and activities that they may
have been allegedly involved with?
Mr. PERRY. Yes, Congressman, we did look at that. We looked at
motivations such as that.
Mr. PAYNE. And there has been some rumor that there may have
been in the family of this person-that in other words it didn't nec-
essarily and specifically have to be a political person. The person
just happened to be a candidate, but that you don't necessarily
have to conclude that the killing had to be politically motivated.
Mr. PERRY. You don't have to-we looked at many motivations,
and we explored those motivations.
Mr. PAYNE. Were there any truth to any of the other rumors?
Mr. PERRY. We have not established the murder of Bertin in any
Mr. PAYNE. Now, you know, just like I said, it was said that the
taxpayers' money should not be spent if someone in a government
is creating situations that are wrong, I guess we should say. And
I agree. But as indicated that unfortunately, you know, U.S. tax-
payers' dollars have been spent poorly in my opinion in a number
of places. You take Zaire, for example, where our government sup-
ported the murderous Mobutu for decades, I mean hundreds of mil-
lions of dollars and some of the atrocities that we have seen in
other places. I think it is all wrong, but I see such an inordinate
amount of interest in a place that has had 24 alleged political
killings in a year, where the previous year there were 1,500. And
everyone is talking about how bad things are going. You know, I
am just still trying to figure out what the whole purpose of this
hearing is about, but maybe we could find that out as it continues.
I don't have any further questions.
Chairman GILMAN. The gentleman's time is expired. Mr. Burton.
Mr. BURTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Listening to further testimony, it sounded to me like that went
all the way up the chain of command to the White House, and the
White House said that they didn't want a lot of this information
disseminated to the State Department or to the Embassy. And if
that is the case, you start wondering why they wanted to keep a
lid on all that information.
Mr. DOBBINS. I don't believe that was the case.
Mr. BURTON. I am not sure that squares with some of the infor-
mation we have. On July the 3rd, it is my understanding, Ambas-
sador Dobbins, Mr. Perry and Mr. Waxman went to see Mr.
Aristide to talk to him about some of the hurdles they had to get
over to get on with the investigation. It seems inconceivable to me
that the members at that meeting would not know what was going
on. I don't understand how you could be at a meeting when you are
talking about the impediments to an investigation, the ambassador
is there, the FBI is there, the Justice Department is there, and ev-
erybody doesn't know what is going on. Because you have got to be
talking about it. That is one thing that concerns me. Second, I can't
go into this, I can't go into this. Dobbins "slugged", that means it
went right to you.
Mr. DOBBINS. It went to me. You don't want to hear the reasons
why it's on there. It will take too long.
Mr. BURTON. I am not going to go into it, but the point is, there
are numerous cases where these transmissions coming from Wash-
ington, referring to the investigation, going into the details of the
investigation, went to you. There is no question about it. I am
going to go down to the safe, I am going to get them out and I am
going to read each one of them, but there is no question that you
have to have information about what was going on.
Now let's go back to the statement that you made before my com-
mittee. I am going to read to you what was said. I said: "You men-
tioned, Ambassador, that the FBI was assisting in investigating
some of these alleged political assassinations, including the killing
of Ms. Bertin." "Yes," you said. "She was gunned down in the mid-
dle of Port-au-Prince, Main Street, as I understand it." That is my
question. You said, "Right."
I said, "Because of the traffic jam, have they found anything?" I
said, "Because of the traffic jam, she was caught there. Have they
found anything about that yet? Have they found anything about
that yet? And you said, "The FBI has not briefed me or, as far as
I know anyone else in the Administration on their findings."
You had information. You chose not to give it to the subcommit-
tee and so you kind of sidestepped that question and said the FBI
hadn't briefed you.
The fact of the matter is, you were at the meeting on July the
3rd with the President, with the FBI, and with the Justice Depart-
ment. You had numerous transmissions coming to you, and you're
the ambassador in Haiti. For you not to know what was going on
questions credulity. I don't know how anybody could say you didn't
Now, the other thing that I wanted to point out was that-
Mr. DOBBINS. I'm sorry, Mr. Chairman, I really insist on an abil-
ity to answer that question.
Mr. BURTON. I will let you respond in just a second.
On March the 30th on another issue, the State Department press
release states that the U.S. Government did have information re-
garding a plot to assassinate Ms. Bertin. The information was
shared with the Government of Haiti. This is from the State De-
partment. Ms. Bertin was informed about the threat and an active
investigation with the participation of the MNF was under way.
I don't understand why she wasn't warned by the State Depart-
ment. Mr. Bereuter pursued that. It makes absolutely no sense to
me. The only person who was supposed to tell her she might be an
assassination target was the government that might want to assas-
And the last thing that stretches my understanding of this be-
yond the limits of human understanding is that after the assas-
sination took place, the people who were under investigation, many
of whom you couldn't get a polygraph from because they would t
take it, the government would t let you have it, they are rep-
resented by a government attorney who I understand helped coach
them before the FBI. We have transmissions that show that they
were actually trying to coach those people when they were being
Now I don't understand all this. Maybe somebody can explain it
to me, but it sure seems like to me-
Mr. WIDES. Excuse me-
Mr. BURTON. You are not on the panel.
Chairman GILMAN. Regular order.
Mr. BURTON. It seems 'to me that there is an attempt here to
keep a lid on this thing and there was an attempt when you ap-
peared before our subcommittee to keep a lid on it. And that is
something that we cannot tolerate in the Congress of the United
States before my subcommittee, our full committee, or any commit-
tee. And as I said before, I think it is a sorry state of affairs when
I, as a subcommittee Chairman, or the Chairman of the full com-
mittee has to start thinking about swearing in every government
official to make sure we get the straight scoop so that if there is
any attempt to cover up something, we can take positive action. I
just think it is disgraceful.
Chairman GILMAN. The gentleman's time is expired.
Mr. WIDES. Mr. Chairman, excuse me.
Chairman GILMAN. The gentleman is out of order.
Mr. WIDES. As a matter of personal privilege-
Chairman GILMAN. The gentleman is out of order and if you con-
tinue I may have to ask you to be removed from the hearing.
Mr. WIDES. I would like to testify and explain why-
Chairman GILMAN. What is the gentleman's name?
Mr. WIDES. My name is Burton Wides. I am counsel for the Gov-
ernment of Haiti. I conducted a murder investigation for them, and
I sat in-
Chairman GILMAN. If you will make a request to the committee
for a further hearing to appear as a witness, we will consider it.
Mr. WIDES. I'd be happy to do it at this time.
Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Goss.
Mr. DOBBINS. Mr. Chairman, excuse me, please, I really feel I
should be given the opportunity-
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you. The gentleman's time is expired.
Mr. Goss. Mr. Chairman, I would ask unanimous consent that
Major General Fisher's letter of March 22nd on the Bertin killing
be included in the record.
Chairman GILMAN. Without objection.
[The information referred to appears in the appendix.]
Mr. Goss. Mr. Chairman, I also have many, many questions. I
would have to say that I came to this hearing with a great number,
and more questions have been raised than have been answered.
And I know we are going to have an opportunity to pursue these.
I want to know more about White House involvement in this. I
want to know more about our investment. Our colleague from New
Jersey wants to know why we are having this hearing. I would sug-
gest that $3 billion or so of American taxpayers' dollars invested
in building democracy in a friendly neighboring country is an area
of legitimate oversight. I am very concerned that things are not
going as well as they should have been, and perhaps we have not
ad an entirely accurate scenario given to us by the Administration
in oversight. But I am more concerned right now about getting
straight answers on some things that bother me very much.
I have heard too much inconsistency here today. I have some le-
gitimate questions about whether or not we have a problem with
regard to Celestin or not. I think that is a very serious question
I think the question I asked about the SIU is very serious, par-
ticularly in light of the testimony that we have from Mr. Waxman
and Mr. Perry, that those are the people we will be cooperating
with. If we are cooperating with perpetrators, we have a problem
on our hands. And I think that we would get acknowledgment of
And finally, because our time is short, Mr. Chairman, and you
have been extremely generous, I will just tell the witnesses, those
who will be coming forward to other committees and working in
closed session, that I do have further questions. I would like to ask
Ambassador Dobbins if he could submit for the record for this com-
mittee evidence of communications that he had, either by telephone
or in writing or any other way, on requests for FBI briefings or
interagency briefings of what was going on with the Bertin inves-
tigation by the FBI, particularly with the White House and any re-
sponse he got from the White House. Because I noticed that part
of the activity that was happening with Haiti these days is lobby-
ist-driven, and I also notice that many of the dollars to support
those lobbyists are taxpayers' dollars. That bothers me as well. I
think it is an area of legitimate concern for another hearing.
Chairman GILMAN. .We will keep the record open for that re-
Chairman GILMAN. Mr. Dobbins I cut you off before. If you will
be very brief in your response, we have to go to the floor for a vote.
Mr. DOBBINS. OK, I'm sorry, Mr. Chairman. I just wanted to say
the distinction has been made, I think, between my participation
in discussions with the FBI about overcoming impediments, which
I certainly participated in heavily, and my participation in discus-
sions about findings. I was asked on October 12th about findings.
I actually volunteered information about how we were overcoming
impediments in my testimony.
On the question of findings, I did not believe based on second-
hand information I was in a position to give the committee any
useful information. So maybe I made an artificial distinction that
wasn't intended in the question but I thought he was asking about
substantive findings and I didn't believe I was in a position to
Chairman GILMAN. Thank you. We will keep the record open for
any additional questions the members may have. I will ask our
panelists if they would be kind enough tu respond to any additional
There have been a number of troublesome questions raised here
at the hearing this committee will have to pursue in the coming
weeks. And the committee stands adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 1:14 p.m., the committee was adjourned.]
ROBERT S. GELBARD
ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE
FOR INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT AFFAIRS
HOUSE INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS COMMITTEE
January 4, 1996
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee,
Thank you for the opportunity to discuss our role in the
establishment of a professional civilian law enforcement
authority in Haiti. Such a force is essential to a secure
environment in the country, one in which fundamental human
rights and freedoms are fully respected. Our assuring that the
Government of Haiti has the ability to maintain such an
environment -- after the departure of UN forces in two months'
time -- is a fundamental element of our policy in Haiti.
I would like to begin by underscoring an achievement of
which the governments of the United States and Haiti can both
be proud. In about one year's time, in a nation whose
institutional development generally is very weak, and where the
establishment of professional institutions independent of
political influence is almost unheard of, we -- the United
States and Haiti together -- have built a new national police
force which is in the process of becoming the capable,
apolitical professional force required to help buttress this
newly democratic nation.
As we will discuss today, Mr. Chairman, much still needs
to be done to accomplish this goal in full. But we would be
very harsh judges indeed not to acknowledge that the Haitian
National Police has made tremendous progress in the year since
23-559 96 3
its founding. The force that has been deployed to date is not
perfect; given the weak institutional environment that exists
throughout Haiti, it is difficult to imagine that it might ever
be perfect. But it is perfectable, in my view. And to this
end continued U.S. engagement -- within strictly defined
requirements for HNP performance -- is key.
Mr. Chairman, I believe we can ensure the new police force
meets at least minimal operational standards within the next
two months -- a level of capability that will allow for the
withdrawal of UN and U.S. forces on time and in full --
provided two criteria are met:
-- First, the U.S. must complete the basic training of the
students now enrolled at the National Police Academy in
-- Second, the Government of Haiti must take action to ensure
that the HNP remains a non-political, professional force.
What I propose to do in my testimony is to give this
Committee an overview of U.S. actions in support of the
establishment of a new civilian public security structure in
Haiti; lay out our objectives, and what we have done to meet
them; describe for you some of the obstacles that have arisen
which could impact on our goals, and how we are addressing them.
Our interest in helping the Haitian government build a new
civilian police force predates the restoration of democracy to
Haiti. For example, after the coup removed the legitimate
government of President Aristide, we worked with the Haitian
government-in-exile to develop a conceptual plan for a new
civilian police force, which was completed in March of 1993.
ICITAP worked with exiled GOH members and with the Haitian
Parliament to draft new police legislation, which eventually
was enacted into law in December 1994 after the reestablishment
of the legitimate government in Port-au-Prince.
In the summer of 1994, we initiated a program in four
phases to get a new police force up and running:
-- Before the September 1994 Multinational Force (MNF)
deployment, we helped the then-exiled Government of Haiti to
interview and select 1,000 persons from the Haitian migrant
community living at Guantanamo to assist the MNF in performance
of its initial public safety duties. The Guantanamo group was
given minimal training, designed only to allow them to perform
supporting roles for the MNF. The group has not been trained,
nor is it qualified, to carry out the full range of police work.
-- In October 1994, we assisted the rightful Haitian
Government in the establishment of an Interim Public Security
Force (IPSF). With a few exceptions, the IPSF was made up of
the Haitian Armed Forces (FAd'H) who were able to pass a basic
check. This review included vetting of names against lists
supplied by human rights organizations and U.S. law enforcement
agencies, to exclude those who had committed human rights
violations or other criminal offenses. The IPSF, of course,
was meant to serve only.as an interim solution to Haiti's
indigenous public security needs while we worked with the GOH
to form a new police force.
-- Prior to the MNF's deployment, we led the effort to
recruit 850 International Police Monitors (IPMs), to monitor
and assist the IPSF. Later, with the MNF's transition to a UN
command, the IPM functions were assumed by a UN-mandated
Civilian Police (CIVPOL) force, which has also recently engaged
in field assistance and training to newly-deployed members of
thp Haitian National Police.
-- Finally, in January of 1995, the GOH, with our full
support, began the process of establishing a new apolitical,
professional Haitian National Police.
Working with the GOH -- principally through ICITAP -- to
design the new Haitian National Police, we established the
-- all candidates would be selected solely on the basis of
-- those selected would undergo rigorous basic training,
aimed at providing them with the skills to carry out
community-based policing in a democratic society, while
inculcating a respect for fundamental human rights;
-- newly-graduated agents would continue to receive some
level of field training and mentoring from academy
instructors and CIVPOL police monitors;
-- agents would have the basic equipment necessary to carry
out their duties; and
-- after a period of field service, HNP agents would
selectively receive advanced and specialized training
(crowd control, VIP protection, investigations, forensics,
supervisory training, et cetera) to round out the
capabilities of the force as a whole.
Our horizon for the full implementation of the program was
five years. Our work with the HNP is about at its first
anniversary, and I believe it is a good time to take stock of
Our Record with the HNP To Date
Mr. Chairman, I believe we have made good progress on
standing up the new Haitian National Police.
Our merit-based recruitment -- conducted by multinational
teams composed of U.S., Canadian, French and Haitian government
representatives travelling the countryside -- produced over
33,000 candidates for 5,000 available slots.
Testing, which was rigorous but fair, included written and
oral examinations as well as psychological profiling and
comprehensive medical testing. While all candidates were
vetted for past criminal activity and human rights abuses, once
vetted they were assigned numbers to disguise their identities.
In this way, candidates could not be selected by name based on
political considerations. Less than 15 percent of the
applicants passed the entrance tests. HNP trainees today
represent the most talented in Haitian society.
Further, ICITAP training at the new National Police
Academy has provided students with basic skills for community
policing. This has been accomplished in spite of an
accelerated program mid-stream to meet the GOH's revised
officer deployment schedule.
We did this, Mr. Chairman, by dividing the curriculum into
two sessions, and opening an auxiliary "academy" at Fort
Leonard Wood, Missouri. For six months, we offered eight weeks
of conceptual training (human rights, Haitian law) at the
Academy in Port-au-Prince, and eight weeks of practical
programs (firearms, arrest procedures, driving) at Fort Leonard
Throughout, international field-mentoring efforts have
continued, mostly through CIVPOL, but this support is not
enough given the relative inexperience of the HNP recruits. We
believe the GOH may ask for a continued CIVPOL presence,
following the expiration of the UN mandate in February, but
such a request has not yet been made.
Equipping the HNP is a continuing problem. Conditions at
many stationhouses are poor, office infrastructure minimal and
the force still lacks many of the most basic items used by
modern police. It is especially important that the GOH
dedicate more of its own resources to standing up the police.
In addition, the force will also need more specialized
training, which ICITAP would propose to begin soon.
Future Police Professionalism
Like this Committee, Mr. Chairman, this Administration is
extremely concerned about the continuing apolitical and
professional profile of the HNP. While we recognize the need
for greater numbers of police than will have been deployed by
the departure of the UN forces, we have strongly argued against
the Haitian government's decision to merge significant numbers
of the IPSF into the HNP. We have not taken the position that
IPSF members ought to be excluded from the HNP, but rather have
argued that the decision to include IPSF members should be made
on a case-by-case basis. Their eligibility for consideration
should be based first on their professional performance -- with
special emphasis on human rights grounds -- while in the IPSF.
Assuming they are able to meet the same recruitment standards
as other HNP academy graduates, we would support their
inclusion and would be willing to provide U.S.-funded Academy
training, if funding for such training were available.
As an alternative, we would support the creation of
specialized corps -- for traffic control, for stationary
security at public facilities -- that would induct IPSF members
at something other than the "sworn officer" status of the HNP
Academy graduates. There is a demonstrated need for such
personnel throughout Haiti.
We have expressed our concern in particular about the
induction of more than 100 ex-FAd'H officers into headquarters
and field-leadership positions in the HNP. We have continued
to recommend merit-based selection and have made our concerns
clear to the GOH. We understand that the UN Civilian Police
had some role in selecting these officers for retention, and we
understand that the UN has recommended their incorporation into
the HNP. While we understand that the UN based its
recommendations on feedback from its corps of 600 police
monitors serving in the field, we nevertheless differed in our
assessment and in our advice to the GOH.
As Ambassador Dobbins mentioned, we hold our deepest
concern over the inclusion of individuals in the HNP's ranks
who may have committed criminal acts. We will not support a
force which harbors criminals in its ranks. On this, our
position with the GOH has been unswerving. We want to ensure a
thoroughly apolitical, professional national police force that
respects human rights and fundamental freedoms, and our future
support is contingent upon progress toward this basic goal.
Mr. Chairman, we are at a delicate juncture in terms of
our training of the HNP. Without the release of further funds
through AID to ICITAP, the ICITAP police training program in
Haiti will run out of funds on January 15. At that time, the
expatriate training staff of the Haitian National Police
Academy -- some 150 police officers, largely from the U.S. but
including some 20 Canadian RCMP and five French national police
instructors as well -- would be dismissed and sent home. In
effect, the Academy would close. That will have important
consequences on our ability to stand up a fully functional HNP
capable of taking over all public security functions from the
UNMIH forces and allow their orderly departure.
It would mean that the last two classes of HNP cadets --
1,500 members of basic training classes eight and nine -- could
not graduate and would be unprepared for the field. Further,
certain specialized training programs could not be carried out
and ICITAP technical assistance to the HNP would be
terminated. Departure of the ICITAP advisors now would
seriously hamper our efforts to institutionalize procedures and
operations of the new police force.
Mr. Chairman, the Administration continues to believe, and
will seek to confirm, that the GOH broadly shares the goals I
have outlined above. With the GOH, we hope to complete the
basic task of fielding a well-trained, motivated corps of
professional Haitian police -- a force capable of carrying out
its public security mandate while respecting human rights. We
want to finish what we started to give Haiti its best possible
chance for lasting democracy.
JAMES F. DOBBINS
SPECIAL HAITI COORDINATOR
DEPARTMENT OF STATE
HOUSE INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS COMMITTEE
January 4. 1996
Haiti has a long unhappy tradition of political violence.
Helping Haiti's democratic leaders break with that tradition
has been a major objective of American policy.
Haiti's historical record has been one of a widespread
practice of abuses: judicial corruption, arbitrary arrest,
prolonged detention of suspects, and excessive use of force by
the authorities, punctuated by short, dramatic periods of
extrajudicial killings and other violent attacks, often with
clear political motives and always with impunity for members of
the security forces. Haiti is breaking this pattern; such
practices have become the object of sweeping government efforts
to recreate its justice and security systems.
In the most far-reaching of these efforts, the Haitian army
has been disbanded. In its place, the Haitian National Police
will by this coming March have fielded 5,000 new police
officers, selected in an open, apolitical, rigorous and
competitive national process. They are receiving four months
of intensive professional training, in a program organized by
the US Department of Justice, and taught by professional law
enforcement officers from France, Canada and the United States.
With the dismantlement of the FAdH, once known for its
violent and repressive tactics, the abolition of the rural
section chief system (which occurred in late 1994), and the
formation and training of a civilian national police force,
there has been a dramatic drop in violence, and improvement in
the human rights situation. All types of violent crime are
down dramatically. In March of last year, there were 101
murders in Haiti, a high figure, but not out of line for a
country of Haiti's size, population, and poverty. That number
has since fallen substantially.
Political violence has fallen off even more sharply.
Following three years of brutal repression during which rape,
torture and murder were the routine instruments of governance,
many had expected the restoration of Haiti's legitimate
government to be followed by a wave of retribution. Thanks to
the professionalism of American and international forces, and
to President Aristide's campaign of reconciliation, nothing of
the sort has occurred.
Recognizing how the situation has improved is not to
suggest that further steps are not needed to eradicate
political violence from Haitian life. As I noted to this
Committee on October 12, there have been some two dozen murders
committed in Haiti since October, 1994, which may fall in the
category of political or revenge killings, the most prominent
of which was the murder of Mireille Bertin on March 28, 1995.
Recognizing the importance of eradicating political violence
from Haitian life, the U.S. Government has, over the past year,
maintained an intense dialogue with President Aristide
regarding the Bertin investigation, other potentially political
murders, possible connections among these killings, and the
possible involvement of individuals in official positions with
President Clinton, Vice President Gore, Secretary of
Defense Perry, Assistant to the President for National Security
Affairs Lake, Deputy Secretary of State Talbott, Ambassador
Albright, Ambassador Swing, and other representatives of State,
Justice, and Defense have all, on various occasions reviewed
these issues with President Aristide. In these discussions, we
have urged that acts of political violence be investigated and
prosecuted aggressively. We have urged that anyone implicated
in such activity be relieved of all official responsibilities.
We have urged that a new, professional police and justice
establishments be created, untainted by any association with
past acts of political violence.
President Aristide instantly accepted our offer to have the
FBI investigate the Bertin murder. He subsequently sought to
broaden the scope of the FBI's efforts to cover other high
profile, possibly political cases, dating from the coup
period. He accepted our counterproposal that he form a new
investigative unit to investigate all such crimes, including
the Bertin case. He agreed that this investigative unit should
be made up of ICITAP trained graduates from the Police Academy,
that it should be supported by professional investigators from
the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the French Gendarmerie, and
the United States, with forensic and other technical support
from the FBI.
President Aristide provided the principal political impetus
for a complete renovation of Haiti's police and justice
system. He joined legislators from across the political
spectrum to push the new police law through the Parliament. He
dismantled the Army. Early in 1995, he replaced his Justice
Minister with another, more ready to work cooperatively with
the international community on a thorough reform of the police
and judiciary. He worked with us to ensure that the 5,000 new
police -- by far the largest and best paid source of new
employment in a country with over 50% unemployment -- would be
recruited in a competitive and apolitical process.
Our dialogue with the Government of Haiti on these matters
is by no means concluded. We will continue to press for an
aggressive investigation of the Bertin, and other possibly
political murders. We will continue to urge that the Haitian
Government separate individuals who may be implicated in these
acts from any connection with the police or judicial
establishment, even before the investigation is complete. We
will continue to urge that appointments to senior positions in
the Haitian National Police be based upon merit, and
competence, not patronage and political loyalty. We will
continue, in other words, to urge that the Government of Haiti
sustain the reforms in Haiti's police and justice system which
it has set in train.
Assistant Secretary Gelbard will address issues related to
our training of the new Haitian National Police. As he will
note, we have made clear that we will not support a force which
harbors criminals within its ranks. This includes, obviously
and especially, anyone implicated in political violence. We
have, over the past 15 months, made major strides in ridding
Haiti's security establishment of such individuals. We will
remain vigilant, and we remain optimistic that our efforts can
have continued effect.
We have worked closely with the Congress in helping Haiti
create a new police force, establish the rule of law, and deal
with the problem of political violence. Department
representatives have met with Members or staff over 30 times
since January 1995, and 11 times since October. I raised the
Bertin case in my October 12 testimony to this Committee. On
November 2, State and all other agencies concerned provided
detailed and extensive information on this same subject to the
House Select Committee on Intelligence.
I understand that you may have some question as to why we
did not furnish this Committee on October 12 with the same
information we gave to the Intelligence Committee two weeks
later. On October 12, I informed this Committee that the
Government of Haiti had just set up a Special Investigative
Unit to pursue the Bertin and other possibly politically
motivated killings. Prior to that event, the FBI had treated
this inquiry as an ongoing criminal investigation, and shared
only such information as it deemed necessary and advisable with
Embassy, CIA, and DOD personnel in Port-au-Prince. It was
following the creation of the Special Haitian Investigators
Unit, and thus later in October, that the FBI representatives
in Washington met with State and other relevant agency
representatives to share the results of their investigation, as
we prepared to turn this material over to this new Haitian
investigative unit, and to respond to inquiries from the House
Select Committee on Intelligence.
Mr. Chairman, in eight weeks the peacekeeping operation of
the UN in Haiti will be completed. Our troops will come home.
Their orderly, safe, and timely departure is, I know, a
priority we all share.
We have learned through experience that the most difficult
part of any peacekeeping operation is often its conclusion, not
its initiation. Essential to the successful and timely
conclusion of this particular operation is the deployment, on
schedule, of Haiti's new police force, in order that something
is in place to replace departing U.S. and other international
military forces, and assume responsibility for security in
Haiti when the mandate of the UN peacekeeping force terminates
in February. Over 1,500 Police cadets remain in training
today. We seek your cooperation in assuring the funding
necessary to allow these cadets to complete their training over
the next eight weeks.
OPENING STATEMENT BY
DEPUTY ASSISTANT DIRECTOR WILLIAM E. PERRY
FOR TESTIMONY BEFORE
THE HOUSE INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS COMMITTEE
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, my name is
William E. Perry, and I am a Deputy Assistant Director of the
Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
arrived in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, during the early morning hours
of March 29, 1995, to initiate an investigation into the murders
of Mireille Durocher Bertin and Eugene Baillergeau, Jr. As the
Committee knows, Madam Bertin was a prominent, politically active
Haitian attorney, and an outspoken critic of President Jean-
Bertrand Aristide. Baillergeau was Bertin's client and had been
driving her to a meeting, called on his behalf, concerning a
claim which he had made for alleged damage to his personal
At approximately 3:30 p.m. in the afternoon of
March 28, 1995, both were slain by 9mm and 5.56mm gunfire from at
least two assailants as their car sat in heavy traffic on Martin
Luther King Blvd. in Port-Au-Prince. Members of the multi-
national peace keeping forces (MNF) and members of the Interim
Public Security Force (IPSF) responded to the site and attempted
to preserve the scene of the crime until the arrival of the FBI's
Evidence Response Team.
Upon arrival in Haiti, liaison was immediately
established with Haitian Government officials and with the U.S.
Embassy. Since we were conducting a law-enforcement
investigation in a foreign culture, with a foreign language, and
with no contacts of our own, we met regularly in Port-Au-Prince
with representatives of the Embassy, the U.S. military, and other
relevant U.S. agencies in order to obtain assistance and advice
and generally to apprise them of the course of our investigation.
Discussion included investigative strategies, problems
experienced, and certain investigative information developed on
We did not provide this information as an intelligence-
gathering or intelligence-dissemination effort: We were not in
Haiti to do either and we did not. Rather, we provided
information to these agencies in Port-Au-Prince in order to
obtain their cooperation and assistance and thus to enhance our
ability to achieve our investigative goals.
Outside of Port-Au-Prince, the FBI's level of
information sharing with other agencies was much different.
FBIHQ officials interacted with DOS counterparts and DOJ
officials infrequently with respect to the Bertin investigation,
when necessary to support investigative efforts in Haiti. For
example, my first interaction with Ambassador Dobbins or with
Associate Deputy Attorney General Waxman, for that matter was
on a trip we made to Haiti together in July 1995 to meet with
President Aristide to discuss the means of removing certain
obstacles to our investigation. In late October of this year,
when we concluded that our investigation in Haiti could not
productively continue and the time had come to turn the
investigation over to newly constituted Special Investigative
Unit of the Haitian National Police, we discussed this proposed
transition and provided a substantive briefing on the Bertin
investigation to Washington representatives of the Departments of
State and Defense and other agencies.
Initial FBI investigative efforts consisted of
collecting and preserving forensic evidence, including bullet
fragments, shell casings, latent fingerprints, and photographs.
Preliminary interviews attempted to establish specific
circumstances of the act and to identify potential witnesses and
subjects. On April 9, 1995, managers from FBI Headquarters and
Miami, flew to Port-Au-Prince to assess the matter, determine
personnel and equipment resources requirements, assist in the
development of an investigative plan, and to effect liaison with
the Ambassador, Deputy Chief of Mission, the Commanding General
of the U.S. Army segment of the Multi National Force, and
appropriate members of the Government of Haiti.
The FBI's investigative strategy was designed to ensure
that a thorough and comprehensive investigation was conducted, in
spite of the FBI's lack of compulsory process, witness
protection, etc., in a foreign country. The investigation sought
to examine all possible motives for the murders that included but
are not limited to the following:
* That the killings were random acts of violence in which Bertin
and Baillergeau were not the intended victims;
* That Bertin and Baillergeau were the targets of a robbery
* That Bertin and Baillergeau were targeted as a result of
disputes with respective spouses or associates;
+ The possibility that Bertin and Baillergeau were targeted as a
result of involvement in drug trafficking and/or association with
the drug culture;
* The possibility that the victims were targeted because of
their involvement in other criminal activity; and
* The possibility that Bertin and Baillergeau were murdered
because of their political affiliation.
Haitian Minister of Justice Jean-Joseph Exume and Prime Minister
Smarck Michel were apprised of the FBI's investigative plan
during meetings on April 10th and llth, 1995. Contact was made
with Government of Haiti officials to coordinate investigative
efforts and obtain available information. FBI Agents met with
IPSF personnel involved in the Bertin/Baillergeau murder
investigation. At these early meetings, it was agreed that the
FBI and IPSF would conduct parallel investigations and exchange
information. However, the FBI is not aware of whether, or the
extent to which, the IPSF actually conducted a separate
investigation of the murders. Once its own investigation began,
the FBI did not pursue an evidence exchange with the IPSF and
provided it no information.
The FBI encountered difficulties and major obstacles at
the inception and throughout the investigation because of the
investigation's unusual nature and other uncontrollable
circumstances. In this case, the FBI was investigating a
violation of foreign law. The investigation was conducted in a
foreign country and in a foreign language. Moreover, the
investigation was commenced at a time when the criminal justice
system in Haiti had not functioned effectively for years.
Traditional investigative resources typically relied upon by the
FBI are not readily available in Haiti, for example, public
source information and automated vehicle registration
information. The FBI had greater difficulty interviewing
witnesses than it would in the United States because 'of the
language barriers and cultural differences.
Security of FBI personnel was of paramount importance.
Although they wore no uniforms, the Agents were easily identified
as outsiders, and thus were potential targets. The only
acceptably safe and secure lodging for FBI personnel was in
facilities controlled by the U.S. Army. There were also serious
logistical problems in Port-Au-Prince. It was not unusual for a
single trip to conduct an interview or to follow-up on a lead to
require three or four hours of travel time. This was primarily
due to the density of the population, the poor road conditions,
and lack of traffic control. This problem also intensified
safety concerns in that it would have been impossible to respond
effectively to a call for emergency assistance by an Agent.
The Government of Haiti was requested to grant FBI
personnel investigating the murders some type of limited immunity
similar to that granted to Embassy personnel. The Government of
Haiti never responded formally to the request for immunity for
The language barrier has been a substantial impediment.
In order to interview or talk with most people in Haiti, the
Agents had to utilize the assistance of U.S. military linguists
as interpreters. However, notwithstanding the military
interpreters considerable skills, obtaining information from
Haitian citizens was extremely difficult. Many witnesses,
including persons at the crime scene, were reluctant to talk
apparently for fear of retribution from the Government of Haiti
and/or individuals responsible for the murders of Bertin and
Baillergeau. The citizens of Haiti have been exposed to years of
oppression, terrorism, and physical abuse at the hands of
individuals represented to be Haitian government or law-
enforcement authorities. This factor and other cultural
differences made the task of soliciting information and
cooperation from the citizens of Haiti extremely difficult. The
interviewees slowly began to provide more information, but
nonetheless continued to express a prevalent fear of reprisal or
retaliation and provided information only on the condition of
anonymity. Agents were frustrated by their lack of familiarity
with the criminal justice system and working knowledge of how the
system should perform.
Further complicating the investigation was the fact
that the FBI has no legal status in Haiti. The FBI cannot obtain
orders from judicial authorities to compel witnesses to give
statements. There is no legal obligation for persons to
cooperate or provide truthful information to the FBI. Similarly,
the FBI has no authority to conduct searches or obtain subpoenas
to gather evidence. The FBI also has no authority to offer any
form of witness protection.
All of these factors slowed the pace of the FBI's
investigation of the Bertin/Baillergeau murders and were
frustrating to the FBI Agents in Port-Au-Prince.
As a result of investigative efforts, particularly
source information of unknown reliability, tne FBI expressed to
the Government of Haiti the likelihood that it would be necessary
to interview Government officials and employees including cabinet
members. In early June 1995, FBI Agents interviewed various IPSF
members. Subsequently, the FBI experienced significant
investigative difficulties because of its inability to interview
Government of Haiti officials and employees, including some
members of the IPSF and the Palace Security Service on terms
consistent with an impartial, professional investigation.
Issues were raised regarding the conditions under which
the FBI could interview IPSF personnel. The FBI had extended
negotiations with Government of Haiti officials and the attorneys
representing the :PSF officers regarding these interviews.
Ultimately our efforts were stymied by what in our professional
judgement were unreasonable conditions placed upon any such
interviews by private attorneys purporting to represent these
individuals. As the FBI has no access to compulsory process of
any sort in Haiti, we felt the time had come to turn the
investigation over to the Haitian authorities.
I hope my appearance today will address the Committee's
questions regarding the FBI's involvement in the Bertin/
Baillergeau murder investigation in Haiti.
THE HONORABLE DAN BURTON
JANUARY 4, 1996
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
MR. CHAIRMAN, IT HAS NOW BEEN SOME 16 MONTHS SINCE PRESIDENT
CLINTON SENT 20,000 U.S. TROOPS TO HAITI. THEIR MISSION WAS, AS
THE PRESIDENT HIMSELF SAID IT, "TO RESTORE DEMOCRACY TO HAITI."
IN JUST TWO MONTHS, U.S. AND OTHER TROOPS ARE SET TO WITHDRAW FROM
HAITI. IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS LAST MONTH,
AND THE ELECTION OF RENE PREVAL AS HAITI'S NEXT PRESIDENT, WE HAVE
BEEN HEARING PREMATURE DECLARATIONS OF SUCCESS OF THE HAITI POLICY.
HOWEVER, AS IS OFTEN THE CASE, WISHING FOR SOMETHING DOESN'T MAKE
IT TRUE. ALL OF US WOULD LIKE TO SEE DEMOCRACY AND PROSPERITY IN
HAITI. UNFORTUNATELY, WE MUST BE REALISTIC AND ADMIT THAT THINGS
ARE NOT GOING WELL IN HAITI. THE SITUATION IS QUITE BLEAK AND
COULD IN FACT GET EVEN BLEAKER IF THE CURRENT TREND IS ALLOWED TO
THERE ARE A NUMBER OF ISSUES THAT CONCERN US GREATLY:
FIRST OF ALL, THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, SO STRONGLY HYPED AS A
GREAT SUCCESS, WAS IN FACT, A FARCE. THE TURNOUT WAS EXCEEDINGLY
LOW--SOME RELIABLE ESTIMATES PLACE IT AT 5-8%. THE APATHY OF THE
HAITIAN PEOPLE WAS PAINFULLY OBVIOUS.
FURTHERMORE, THERE WAS NO REAL COMPETITION IN THE ELECTION.
SEVERAL OF THE MAJOR OPPOSITION PARTIES BOYCOTTED THE VOTING.
SEVERAL CANDIDATES WERE HARASSED AND INTIMIDATED. ALL IN ALL, A
SITUATION THAT DOES NOT BODE WELL FOR DEMOCRACY.
SECONDLY, HAITI CONTINUES TO BE PLAGUED BY POLITICAL VIOLENCE.
SEVERAL MURDERS OF POLITICAL OPPONENTS OF PRESIDENT ARISTIDE ARE
STILL UNSOLVED, DESPITE STRONG EVIDENCE INDICATING THAT ARISTIDE
LOYALISTS WERE INVOLVED. THIS IS QUITE SIMPLY, AN INTOLERABLE
THE NEXT ISSUE OF CONCERN IS THE CORRUPTION AND INCOMPETENCE OF THE
NEW POLICE FORCE. IF HAITI IS TO BE A LAW-ABIDING SOCIETY, THERE
MUST BE RESPECT FOR THE POLICE. YET, DESPITE REPEATED PLEDGES BY
PRESIDENT ARISTIDE TO RESPECT THE INTEGRITY OF THE POLICE, HIS
GOVERNMENT CONTINUES TO APPOINT UNSUITABLE INDIVIDUALS TO SERVE ON
IN FACT, PRESIDENT ARISTIDE PERSONALLY ASSURED ME, WHEN I WAS IN
HAITI LAST FEBRUARY, THAT HE WAS TOTALLY COMMITTED TO A TRULY
INDEPENDENT POLICE FORCE. HE PLEDGED THAT HE WOULD NOT LOAD THE
FORCE UP WITH HIS OWN LOYALISTS. YET THIS IS PRECISELY WHAT WE ARE
NOW WITNESSING, MUCH TO OUR EXTREME DISAPPOINTMENT.' LAVALAS
CRONIES AND BRUTAL UNQUALIFIED EX-SOLDIERS DO NOT BELONG IN THE
HAITIAN POLICE, IF IT IS TO HAVE THE RESPECT OF THE PEOPLE.
FINALLY, THERE IS THE PROBLEM OF HAITI'S ECONOMY, WHICH IS A
BASKET-CASE. WITH 80% UNEMPLOYMENT, WITH ELECTRICITY CONFINED TO
TWO OR THREE HOURS A DAY, WITH FOREIGN INVESTORS STILL
DOUBTFUL ABOUT HAITI'S PROSPECTS, THE HAITIAN GOVERNMENT MUST THE
NECESSARY STEPS TO JUMP-START THE ECONOMY. NEVERTHELESS, UNDER
PRESIDENT ARISTIDE, THERE HAS BEEN A BACK-SLIDING FROM THE
COMMITMENT TO PRIVATIZATION. THIS HAS LED TO THE RESIGNATION OF
FORMER PRIME MINISTER MICHEL, A MAN WHO WAS SINCERELY INTENT ON
UNLESS THESE ISSUES ARE ADDRESSED FORTHRIGHTLY AND AGGRESSIVELY BY
PRESIDENT PREVAL, I BELIEVE IT WILL BE IMPOSSIBLE FOR THIS CONGRESS
TO APPROVE ANY ASSISTANCE FOR HAITI. ANY SUPPORT FOR A GOVERNMENT
THAT DOES NOT WORK IN GOOD FAITH TO ANSWER THESE CONCERNS WOULD
SIMPLY BE MONEY DOWN A RAT-HOLE.
I APPLAUD YOU MR. CHAIRMAN, FOR PLACING A HOLD RECENTLY ON MONEY
INTENDED FOR HAITI'S POLICE TRAINING. I HOPE THIS MOVE WILL SEND
A STRONG MESSAGE TO THE INCOMING HAITIAN GOVERNMENT. IF THEY ARE
NOT WILLING TO PRODUCE RESULTS ON ALL OF THESE FRONTS, I AM AFRAID
THAT THE UNITED STATES CANNOT AND WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SUPPORT THEM.
THANK YOU, MR. CHAIRMAN.
s\ United States Department of State
Washington, D.C. 20520
January 3, 1996
Dear Mr. Chairman:
Shortly you will receive our response to your letters of
December 15 and December 22, regarding the training of the
Haitian National Police. We have also made arrangements to
give your Committee's staff and members access to the first
batch of documents requested by Chairman Combest (and Roger
Noriega actually reviewed those documents on December 29).
Those additional documents requested subsequently by you,
Chairman Combest, and Chairman Helms should be available
We are, needless to say, concerned that you should think
that the Department of State may have held back from the
Congress information regarding the FBI's investigation of the
murder of Mireille Bertin. We can assure you that such is not
the case. Through early October, the FBI treated this inquiry
as an ongoing criminal investigation. Accordingly, it shared
only such information as it deemed necessary and advisable with
Embassy, CIA, and DOD personnel in Port-au-Prince. Based on
contacts with the FBI and other sources, our Embassy reported
on the Bertin investigation. In Washington, the relevant
agencies cooperated in seeking to overcome obstacles which the
FBI had encountered in the course of its investigation.
In late October, after a decision had been made to
discontinue the independent FBI investigation and to turn the
material it had gathered over to the Haitian investigative team
created for the purpose of pursuing this inquiry, FBI
representatives in Washington met with State and other relevant
agency representatives to share results of their
investigation. Congress was informed in early November, when
all involved agencies provided the House Permanent Select
Benjamin A. Gilman, Chairman,
Committee on International Relations,
House of Representatives.
Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) with written testimony and a
comprehensive set of answers prepared for a closed HPSCI
hearing scheduled for November 1, but subsequently postponed.
The re-emergence of political violence in Haiti, and the
possible implication of senior officials in the Haitian
security apparatus has been and remains at the top of our
bilateral agenda with Haiti. The President, Vice President,
Secretaries of State and Defense, the National Security
Advisor, and other senior American officials have dealt
directly and forcefully with this issue in their conversations
with President Aristide and we will do so with his successor.
We are confident that, as the Committee reviews the telegrams
and other material requested and being made available, you will
recognize the priority this issue has received.
Security, democracy and respect for human rights is on the
rise in Haiti, but that society remains a deeply troubled one.
Further progress in all these fields will require time,
attention, assistance, firmness and candor on our part. We are
most anxious to work with you and your colleagues to sustain
these qualities in our relationship with Haiti.
Wendy R. Sherman
,.. United States Department of State
Washington, D.C. 20520
JAN 3 1C96
Dear Mr. Chairman:
The Secretary has asked that we reply to your and Chairman
Helms' letter of December 15 concerning recent developments in
Haiti. We are also taking this opportunity to reply to your
letter of December 22, which addressed similar security and
police training issues.
Like you, the Administration fully expects the UN
peacekeeping mission (UNMIH) mandate in Haiti to expire as
scheduled on February 29, 1996. The U.S. Government is engaged
in discussions involving the United Nations, the Government of
Haiti, and the other "Friends of the Secretary General"
concerning the transition to and the nature of the post-UNMIH
arrangements in Haiti. As we have previously discussed with
Committee staff, U.S. development projects are expected to
continue. The Government of Haiti is considering a request for
the continued presence of a small, highly qualified contingent
of UN Civilian Police (UN CIVPOL) to continue field training
for the new Haitian National Police (HNP), and perhaps also for
a small international military contingent to provide a rapid
reaction capability in the capital while the HNP develops that
capability. Bilateral deployments for training by U.S.
military engineers may also continue in Haiti, as in other
countries in the region. No peacekeeping role for U.S. forces
following the expiration of the UNMIH mandate is envisioned.
The Department of Defense is prepared to brief you on plans
for the withdrawal of U.S. forces. It is clear at this
juncture that UNMIH's existing peacekeeping mandate will end on
February 29. In keeping with normal UN practice, the UNMIH
forces' responsibilities after that date will be confined to
executing a prompt, orderly and safe withdrawal of their
equipment and personnel. Within this framework, we understand
that DoD's current planning calls for the majority of the
American component of UNMIH to have departed Haiti before the
end of March.
Benjamin A. Gilman, Chairman,
Committee on International Relations,
House of Representatives.
As pointed out in the more detailed answers to your
questions of December 15 (enclosed), and during our briefing to
Committee staff December 21, the U.S. has begun discussions with
the Haitian government regarding its decision to assimilate
1,511 individuals remaining from the former Interim Public
Security Force (IPSF) into the HNP. This group includes 829
Guantanamo-trained "public safety" personnel and 682 former
members of the Haitian Armed Forces (FAd'H). We have urged
that these individuals be vetted, as were former FAd'H a year
ago when brought into the IPSF, to ensure that no one with
links to corruption, drug trafficking or human rights
violations is integrated into the HNP.
In this connection, the U.S. Government is developing, in
consultation with UN CIVPOL and with UN/OAS International
Civilian Mission human rights monitors, our own information
base on all of these individuals. We will bring to the
attention of the Haitian Government credible negative
information on any former IPSF members, and will strongly urge
that any who do not meet the above criteria not be retained in
any police or security role whatsoever. The Haitian Government
has expressed a desire for further training for the former IPSF
members being assimilated into the HNP.
We are willing, in principle, to provide appropriate
training, but only to former IPSF members who have successfully
cleared the vetting process. We can assure you that no
individuals who fail to meet those criteria will receive any
Special Investigative Unit
The Haitian Government has, as you know, established a
Special Investigative Unit (SIU), to investigate high profile
crimes including the murders of Mireille Bertin and Jean Hubert
Feuille. The SIU is hampered, however, by a lack of
professional investigatory expertise. Accordingly, the
Government of Haiti has asked UN CIVPOL and the U.S. Government
to provide trained investigators to assist the operations of
this investigative unit. The UN has already assigned a team of
Canadian and French police officers to that task. The U.S.
Government, for its part, has recruited two experienced
American investigators to work with CIVPOL as advisors for this
unit. The U.S. Government will continue to urge the Government
of Haiti to have this unit move aggressively on these cases in
the weeks ahead.
Representatives of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
(FBI) have recently met with the prosecutor responsible for
handling the Bertin case, in order to convey results of the
FBI's investigation, and to establish arrangements for the
provision of forensic assistance. Senior U.S. executive branch
officials have repeatedly urged the Government of Haiti to
undertake a serious, thorough and professional investigation of
this and other possibly politically motivated crimes, or in
addition risk losing U.S. assistance. We will continue to
follow the SIU's efforts closely.
With respect to the documents requested in your and Chairman
Helms' letter of December 15, the information you seek as well
as many of the underlying telegrams have already been made
available, under certain conditions, to members and staff of
the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI).
Our reply of December 26 to HPSCI Chairman Combest's letter of
September 28 explained the access procedures. We will make
these documents available for review by staff of the
International and Foreign Relations Committees under similar
conditions. We will contact you regarding the remaining
documents requested by you, Chairman Helms and Chairman Combest
as soon as the Department's established document review
procedures have been completed for those documents.
We share your commitment to ensuring that the mission of
our armed forces in Haiti and of the larger UN force they
support -- to provide a secure and stable environment for a
peaceful, democratic political transition -- be completed
successfully and on schedule. The continued training and
deployment of a professional, apolitical, civilian Haitian
police force is essential to this goal.
Nearly 5,000 newly recruited and trained Haitian National
Police are due to be deployed by February, when the new Haitian
president takes office, provided funding is forthcoming and the
Department of Justice training and assistance to this new
Haitian police force continues without interruption. With this
Haitian public security capability in place, we are confident
U.S. forces will be able to complete their mission in Haiti in
February, and then return home. Your concurrence in providing
the $5 million allocated to support this Department of Justice
training through the presidential transition and UNMIH
withdrawal will greatly facilitate these efforts.
We hope this information has been useful to you. Please do
not hesitate to contact us if we can be of further assistance.
Wendy R. Sherman
Enclosure: as stated
Answers to questions Contained in December 15 Letter from
Chairmen Helms and Gilman to Secretary of State Christopher
1. Question: What individual or individuals were responsible
for recruiting the 850 Guantanamo trainees? Have these persons
received adequate training to function with the graduates of
U.S.-run (sic) police academy? Does the fact that those
persons were chosen for their political loyalty undermine
efforts to prevent politicization of the police force?
Answer: The Guantanamo police trainees were originally
destined to provide assistance to the troops of the
Multinational Force (MNF). They were interviewed and selected
at U.S. Government initiative by representatives of the
then-exiled Government of Haiti in conjunction with DOD, JCS
and State Department personnel. The U.S. and Haitian
delegations established a written and oral interview procedure
designed specifically to weed out, among other things,
individuals who had held positions of influence with any
political party or had previously been affiliated with any
paramilitary group. Moreover, U.S. personnel assigned to the
U.S. delegation worked to ensure that political orientation was
not a selection criterion. Although the Guantanamo camp
population did not represent a proportionate cross-section of
political thought in Haiti, the fact that the U.S. retained
(and often exercised) the right to veto selection of any
applicant worked to prevent selection of trainees on the basis
of political loyalty. The Department of Defense representative
who headed the U.S. team advises that each trainee was finally
approved by him and the Haitian Consul to Miami who headed the
The International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance
Program of the U.S. Department of Justice (ICITAP) was
originally directed to provide a three-day "Public Safety
Trainee" course covering minimal skills necessary to assist MNF
personnel. When deployment of the Guantanamo trainees to Haiti
was delayed, their training was expanded to approximately 21
days. The training regime was never intended nor designed to
qualify these individuals to serve as full-fledged police
(hence our adoption of the term "police trainee) and included
no training in firearms or other lethal weapons and only 4
hours of Haitian law (HNP graduates receive 160 hours). ICITAP
believes that their training was adequate at best to perform
traffic control, unarmed static security and similar
By contrast, HNP personnel were subjected to a much more
rigorous selection process that was designed to be totally
apolitical and merit-based. During testing and selection
conducted by Government of Haiti (GOH) and ICITAP joint teams,
candidates' files were designated only by number and selection
was based on anonymous test score results to eliminate any
chance of favoritism.
We are recommending to the GOH that assimilation of additional
personnel, including Guantanamo trainees, into the HNP should
be conducted in such a way as to ensure that the professional
and apolitical character of the force is not undermined. Many
of them have successfully performed static security and traffic
control functions for some time. We believe that they should
be admitted to become full-fledged sworn police officers only
if they meet objective criteria applicable to all other HNP
2. Question: Will these 1,400 [sic] new personnel be screened
(based on the educational background, psychological screening
and background checks) that were required of academy
graduates? Will these persons be required to complete the
training and evaluation regime required of other academy
Answer: The 1,511 personnel transferred from the IPSF to the
HNP consist of both former Haitian Armed Forces (FAd'H)
personnel and Guantanamo trainees.
Virtually all of the FAd'H personnel were vetted in
October 1994 prior to entering the IPSF. A few of the officers
were never vetted, or did not pass the vetting process. We
have strongly urged that any IPSF personnel transferred to the
HNP should be screened again to ensure that no one with links
to corruption, drugs or human rights violations is assimilated
into the Haitian National Police. The U.S. Government is
developing, in consultation with the UN civilian police and
with UN/OAS International Civilian Mission human rights
monitors, our own information on all of these individuals. We
will bring to the attention of the Haitian Government
information on any individuals who fail to meet the above
criteria, and strongly urge that they not be retained. In
addition, we have recommended that any personnel that will
receive full police powers as a regular member of the HNP
should meet all educational and testing standards and complete
the 16-week basic recruit training course, or the course for
supervisors which we have begun to provide to personnel being
recruited into higher level supervisory positions. In
accordance with the Haitian police law, the 16-week training
could be waived for any officers that received equivalent
police training in foreign institutions as provided for in the
Haitian Police Law.
3. Question: Are any of these individuals believed to be
guilty of violations of human rights or other crimes? Are such
violations grounds for rejecting these new members? Has a
reasonable mechanism been put in place to carry out this sort
Answer: We will provide the Committee, as soon as possible,
copies of comprehensive questions and answers on this issue
provided by the Departments of State and Justice, the Central
Intelligence Agency, and the Defense Intelligence Agency to the
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on or about
October 31, 1995.
4. Question: Are ex-army personnel or Guantanamo recruits
being assigned disproportionately to supervisorial roles within
the police force? Are supervisors being chosen by merit?
Answer: Former FAd'H officers have been assigned to senior
Headquarters leadership positions and about 100 former officers
from the IPSF have been assigned to top field management
positions. The Government of Haiti has been informed by the UN
that many of these officers are considered by the UNCIVPOL --
which has worked closely with them -- to be the best of the
IPSF, to have done a good job, and to fill an experience void
in the HNP. The U.S. Government does not fully agree with this
conclusion and has urged that objective, merit-based criteria
be established for them and other supervisors. While we
recognize that some of these ex-FAd'H officers represent the
only experienced police leadership available to Haiti, we have
nevertheless urged against too high a proportion of ex-FAd'H to
new, civilian supervisors. In this regard, for the first time,
selections made in November at the first-line and mid-level
supervisory levels were merit-based. Additionally, a
standardized examination for the position of Inspector
Sergeant, developed in conjunction with ICITAP, was recently
given to all HNP supervisors eligible for promotion to the
5. Question: Does the decision to integrate these persons
into the Haitian National Police notwithstanding U.S. strong
objections breach the Memorandum of Understanding for this
Anaswer: The MOU states that "the Government of Haiti retains
the sovereign right to make all final decisions with respect to
the police, including organization, development and training,"
while "the United States retains the sovereign right to
determine the conditions under which it will continue to make
assistance available." With respect to personnel matters,
Annex B to the MOU provides that the Government of Haiti will
"appoint qualified personnel to key management positions in the
HNP, consistent with the Constitution and Police law, [and]
assign personnel to fill professional and administrative
positions in HNPTC (i.e., Haitian National Police Training
Center] and HNP HQ."
Assimilation of some of the IPSF could be achieved consistent
with the Police Law through assignment to such specialized and
limited tasks as traffic control, building security guards and
other support duties performed by "non-sworn" personnel. This
is provided for in Article 58 of the Police law where reference
is made to "employees who are not integrated into the
hierarchy" (not officers or police agents). The Police Law
also makes explicit provision for the inclusion of ex-army
officers in the HNP. The officers would qualify if (a) they
have received police training in a foreign police program and
(b) they meet whatever objective criteria the GOH establishes
pursuant to the police law for appointment of supervisors.
6. Question: What type of weapons or material support (with
detailed descriptions of any firearms) have been provided to
the Haitian National Police or the Interim Public Security
Force under the U.S. assistance program?
Answer: The Department of Justice ICITAP program is prohibited
from providing lethal weapons to recipient police services,
including the HNP. Therefore, no U.S. assistance monies were
expended on providing weapons or material support to the
Government of Haiti under ICITAP's police development project.
Training: As part of the basic recruit training program, and
pursuant to the Haitian Police Law which mandates only issuance
of sidearms to HNP personnel, ICITAP secured 459 model 10/15
Smith and Wesson .38 caliber revolvers for firearms safety and
firing practice. Of these weapons, 170 are inoperable --
therefore non-lethal -- and used for handling and
familiarization purposes. The ICITAP training weapons were
obtained from Defense Material Reutilization Command (DMRO -
DoD surplus) and are retained as U.S. Government property and
safeguarded by ICITAP personnel at all times. In addition,
ICITAP has purchased 400 speedloaders, 200 sets of duty gear
(belts, holsters, handcuff cases, baton rings, speedloader
pouches), 3,500 dummy rounds of ammunition and 600,000 rounds
of .38 caliber ammunition between April and December. All of
this equipment is used in training, stored and secured by
ICITAP personnel. ICITAP has provided no weaponry or
ammunition to Government of Haiti personnel or representatives.
HNP Deployment: Service revolvers and ammunition for use by
HNP sworn officers, following graduation from the
U.S.-sponsored basic training, are provided by the Government
of Haiti. The Government of Haiti secured approximately 500
.38 caliber revolvers directly from Smith and Wesson and an
additional 5,400 model 15 Smith and Wesson .38 caliber
revolvers and ammunition purchased from the DMRO at Crane
Arsenal in Indiana. These weapons were sent from the Crane,
n'-3CCQ OC A
Ind., DMRO facility to the Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., HNP training
site where they were used by ICITAP to train the cadets. The
weapons were packed and shipped back to Haiti for distribution,
by the Government of Haiti, to HNP cadets upon graduation and
deployment. Inventory of these weapons is exclusively in the
hands of the Government of Haiti. As of December 26, 1995,
2,155 remained, enough to equip the remaining cadets with a few
left over. ICITAP has provided each HNP .graduate with a baton,
handcuffs, and uniform items, in addition to some vehicles
(including bicycles), office furniture and supplies for police
Regina trainees: Canadian-trained police cadets, the so-called
Regina trainees, were issued new .9 mm automatic weapons by the
Government of Haiti. ICITAP provided no training on these
IPSF: ICITAP provided a five-day training program for former
FAd'H personnel entering the IPSF. The training focused on
human rights and non-lethal police skills. No firearms
training was provided nor was any material assistance given to
the IPSF by ICITAP. Only very limited firearms instruction was
provided to the IPSF by the Philippines contingent of the
Multinational Force. It must be noted that as a result of the
Haitian government's decree disbanding the IPSF, the former
FAd'H array of automatic and semi-automatic military-type
shoulder weapons and a mix of handguns, both revolvers and
automatics, and any additional weapons and related material
purchases for the IPSF made by the GOH (including purchases
made in the United States) which were already in the possession
of the Ministry of Justice are now probably included in the HNP
7. Question: Does any U.S. agency have information
implicating any of the individuals involved in the Haitian
government's decision regarding these forces (including but not
limited to Dany Toussaint, Pierre Cherubin, or Jean-Marie
Fourel Celestin) in human rights violations or other crimes or
Answer: We will provide to the Committee, as soon as possible,
copies of comprehensive questions and answers on this issue
provided by the Departments of State and Justice, the Central
Intelligence Agency, and the Defense Intelligence Agency to the
House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on or about
October 31, 1995.
10:46 0202 847 201 HAITIESK/0
Port-au-Prince, July 11, 1995
Dear Mister President:
Attorney General Janet Reno has asked me to write
you to confirm the following points of agreement
reached In our July 3 meeting with Associate Deputy
Attorney General Seth Waxman and Deputy Assistant FBI
Director William Perry:
1. The FBI will proceed with the Bertin
investigation, pursuant to the following guidelines:
(a) While the FBI of course reports to the
Attorney General of the United States, the
Investigation ic being conducted for the benefit and
assistance of the Haitian Ministry of Justice. At the
conclusion of the investigation, a report will be
provided to the Haitian Government. In the interim,
the FBI team will continue to coordinate when and as
requested with e&a Juge d'Instruction to whom the
Bertin assassination investigation has been assigned.
(b) The FBI may solicit and conduct
interviews of any individual it believes may have
relevant information, without any requirement of
advance notice to the Haitian Government or any Haitian
Government official and without any requirement that
officials of, or attorneys for, the Haitian Government
be present during interviews.
President of the
Republic of Haiti.
10:46 0202 647 2901
- 146 22 47 201 HAITI.DESK 0004/,006
(c) The FBI will honor any request by an
individual who wishes to be accompanied during an
interview by an attorney representing the individual's
personal interest -- so long as that attorney is not
also representing the interest of the Haitian
(d) Before interviewing any Haitian
Government official, the FBI vill notify the individual
that (a) if he wishes, he may be accompanied by an
attorney representing his personal interest, and (b) it
he wishes, the Government of Haiti will provide him
with such an attorney without charge. It an individual
wishes an attorney, the interview vill be arranged at a
time and place at which the attorney can be present (so
long as the attorney is not also representing the
Government of Haiti). If the individual does not wish
an attorney, the interview will proceed at a mutually
agreeable time and place.
2. The FBI will not institute investigations into
alleged political assassinations under the Cedras
regime. Instead, the Felony Trial Project, in which
both U.S. prosecutors and FBI agents participate, is
available upon request and will assist Haitian law
enforcement authorities in investigating and
prosecuting these other assassinations.
3. The FBI Bertin investigation should proceed
fully, independent of the progress on any other
4. The Government of Haiti will promptly reply in
writing to my letter to you of April 24, 1995,
regarding the legal status of the FBI agents operating
Once again I want to assure you of my Government's
continued willingness to work with you to show that in
the new Haiti, serious crimes can and will be
investigated and prosecuted, and the guilty punished.
William Lacy Swing