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Clinton Sends Troops to Haiti

Clinton Sends Troops to Haiti


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On September 15, 1994, in an address to the nation, President Bill Clinton reviews the reasons behind his decision to launch a U.S.-led military mission to restore a democratic government to Haiti.


What The Clintons Did To Haiti

In this excerpt from Superpredator: Bill Clinton’s Use and Abuse of Black America, we examine the Clintons’ involvement in the country’s affairs during Hillary Clinton’s time at the State Department.

Bill and Hillary Clinton had long shared a personal interest in Haiti, dating back to the time of their honeymoon, part of which was spent in Port-au-Prince. In his autobiography, Bill says that his understanding of God and human nature were profoundly transformed when they witnessed a voodoo ceremony in which a woman bit the head off a live chicken. Hillary Clinton says the two of them “fell in love” with Haiti and they had developed a “deep connection” to the country. So when Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State in 2009, she consciously made the redevelopment of Haiti one of her top priorities. The country, she announced, would be a laboratory where the United States could “road-test new approaches to development,” taking advantage of what she termed “the power of proximity.” She intended to “make Haiti the proving ground for her vision of American power.” Hillary Clinton selected her own chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, to run the Haiti project.

Mills would be joined by Bill Clinton, who had been deputized by the U.N. as a “special envoy” to Haiti. Bill’s role was not well-defined, and Haitians were curious about what was in store. Mills wrote in an email to Hillary Clinton that Haitians saw Bill’s appointment as “a step toward putting Haiti in a protectorate or trusteeship status.” Soon, “joking that he must be coming back to lead a new colonial regime,” the Haitian media “dubbed him Le Gouverneur.”

The project was heavily focused on increasing Haiti’s appeal to foreign corporations. As Politico reported, Clinton’s experiment “had business at its center: Aid would be replaced by investment, the growth of which would in turn benefit the United States.”

One of the first acts in the new “business-centered” Haiti policy involved suppressing Haiti’s minimum wage. A 2009 Haitian law raised the minimum wage to 61 cents an hour, from 24 cents an hour previously. Haitian garment manufacturers, including contractors for Hanes and Levi Strauss, were furious, insisting that they were only willing to agree to a seven-cent increase. The manufacturers approached the U.S. State Department, who brought intense pressure to bear against Haitian President René Préval, working to “aggressively block” the 37-cent increase. The U.S. Deputy Mission Chief said a minimum-wage increase “did not take economic reality into account” and simply “appealed to the unemployed and underpaid masses.” But as Ryan Chittum of the Columbia Journalism Review explained, the proposed wage increase would have been only the most trivial additional expense for the American garment manufacturers:

As of last year Hanes had 3,200 Haitians making t-shirts for it. Paying each of them two bucks a day more would cost it about $1.6 million a year. Hanesbrands Incorporated made $211 million on $4.3 billion in sales last year, and presumably it would pass on at least some of its higher labor costs to consumers. Or better yet, Hanesbrands CEO Richard Noll could forego some of his rich compensation package. He could pay for the raises for those 3,200 t-shirt makers with just one-sixth of the $10 million in salary and bonus he raked in last year.

The truth of the “economic reality” was that the Haitian undergarment sector was hardly likely to become wildly less competitive as a result of the increase. The effort to suppress the minimum wage was not solely a Clinton project. It was also a “concerted effort on the part of Haitian elites, factory owners, free trade proponents, U.S. politicians, economists, and American companies.” But it was in keeping with the State Department’s priorities under Clinton, which prioritized creating a favorable business climate. It was that same familiar Clinton move “from aid to trade.” Bill Clinton’s program for Haitian development, designed by Oxford University economist Paul Collier, “had garment exports at its center.” Collier wrote that because of “propitious” factors like “poverty and [a] relatively unregulated labor market, Haiti has labor costs that are fully competitive with China.” But the Clintons’ role in Haiti would soon expand even further. In 2010, the country was struck by the worst earthquake in its history. The disaster killed 160,000 people and displaced over 1.5 million more. (The consequences of the earthquake were exacerbated by the ruined state of the Haitian food economy, plus the concentration of unemployed Haitian farmers in Port-au-Prince.) Bill Clinton was soon put in charge of the U.S.-led recovery effort. He was appointed to head the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC), which would oversee a wide range of rebuilding projects. At President Obama’s request, Clinton and George W. Bush created the “Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund,” and began aggressively fundraising around the world to support Haiti in the earthquake’s aftermath. (With Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State overseeing the efforts of USAID, the Clintons’ importance to the recovery could not be overstated Bill’s appointment meant that “at every stage of Haiti’s reconstruction—fundraising, oversight and allocation—a Clinton was now involved.”

Clinton announced that Haiti would be a laboratory where the United States could road-test new approaches to development, taking advantage of “the power of proximity.”

Despite appearances, the Clinton-Bush fund was not focused on providing traditional relief. As they wrote, “[w]hile other organizations in Haiti are using their resources to deliver immediate humanitarian aid, we are using our resources to focus on long-term development.” While the fund would advertise that “100% of donations go directly to relief efforts,” Clinton and Bush adopted an expansive definition of “relief” efforts, treating luring foreign investment and jobs as a crucial part of earthquake recovery. On their website, they spoke proudly of what the New York Daily News characterized as a program of “supporting longterm programs to develop Haiti’s business class.”

The strategy was an odd one. Port-au-Prince had been reduced to ruin, and Haitians were crowded into filthy tent cities, where many were dying of a cholera outbreak (which had itself been caused by the negligence of the United Nations). Whatever value building new garment factories may have had as a longterm economic plan, Haitians were faced with somewhat more pressing concerns like the basic provision of shelter and medicine, as well as the clearing of the thousands of tons of rubble that filled their streets.

The Clinton-led recovery was a disaster. A year after the earthquake, a stinging report from Oxfam singled out Clinton’s IHRC as creating a “quagmire of indecision and delay” that had made little progress toward successful earthquake recovery. Oxfam found that:

…less than half of the reconstruction aid promised by international donors has been disbursed. And while some of that money has been put toward temporary housing, almost none of the funds have been used for rubble removal.

Instead, the Clinton Foundation, IHRC, and State Department created what a Wall Street Journal writer called “a mishmash of low quality, poorly thought-out development experiments and half-finished projects.” A Haitian IHRC members lamented that the commission had produced “a disparate bunch of approved projects. . . [that] do not address as a whole either the emergency situation or the recovery, let alone the development, of Haiti.” A 2013 investigation by the Government Accountability Office found that most money for the recovery was not being dispersed, and that the projects that were being worked on were plagued by delays and cost overruns. Many Clinton projects were extravagant public relations affairs that quickly fizzled. For example, The Washington Post reported that:

…[a] 2011 housing expo that cost more than $2 million, including $500,000 from the Clinton Foundation, was supposed to be a model for thousands of new units but instead has resulted in little more than a few dozen abandoned model homes occupied by squatters.

Other Clinton ventures were seen as “disconnected from the realities of most people in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.” Politico reported that many Clinton projects “have primarily benefited wealthy foreigners and the island’s ruling elite, who needed little help to begin with.” For example, “the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund invested more than $2 million in the Royal Oasis Hotel, where a sleek suite with hardwood floors costs more than $200 a night and the shops sell $150 designer purses and $120 men’s dress shirts.”

Predictably, the Royal Oasis didn’t do an especially roaring trade The Washington Post reported that “[o]ne recent afternoon, the hotel appeared largely empty, and with tourism hardly booming five years after the quake, locals fear it may be failing.” In a country with a 30-cent minimum wage, investing recovery dollars in a luxury hotel was not just offensive, but economically daft. Sometimes the recovery projects were accused not only of being pointless, but of being downright harmful. For instance, Bill Clinton had proudly announced that the Clinton Foundation would be funding the “construction of emergency storm shelters in Léogâne.” But an investigation of the shelters that the Foundation had actually built found that they were “shoddy and dangerous” and full of toxic mold. The Nation discovered, among other things, that the temperature in the shelters reached over 100 degrees, causing children to experience headaches and eye irritations (which may have been compounded by the mold), and that the trailers showed high levels of carcinogenic formaldehyde, linked to asthma and other lung diseases. The Clinton Foundation had subcontracted the building of the shelters to Clayton Homes, a firm that had already been sued in the United States by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) for “having provided formaldehyde-laced trailers to Hurricane Katrina victims.” (Clayton Homes was owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, and Buffett had been a longstanding major donor to the Clinton Foundation.) The Nation’s investigation reported on children whose classes were being held in Clinton Foundation trailers. Their semester had just been cut short, and the students sent home, because the temperature in the classrooms had grown unbearable. The misery of the students in the Clinton trailers was described:

Judith Seide, a student in Lubert’s sixth-grade class [explained that] she and her classmates regularly suffer from painful headaches in their new Clinton Foundation classroom. Every day, she said, her “head hurts and I feel it spinning and have to stop moving, otherwise I’d fall.” Her vision goes dark, as is the case with her classmate Judel, who sometimes can’t open his eyes because, said Seide, “he’s allergic to the heat.” Their teacher regularly relocates the class outside into the shade of the trailer because the swelter inside is insufferable. Sitting in the sixth-grade classroom, student Mondialie Cineas, who dreams of becoming a nurse, said that three times a week the teacher gives her and her classmates painkillers so that they can make it through the school day. “At noon, the class gets so hot, kids get headaches,” the 12-year-old said, wiping beads of sweat from her brow. She is worried because “the kids feel sick, can’t work, can’t advance to succeed.”

The most notorious post-earthquake development project, however, was the Caracol industrial park. The park was pitched as a major job creator, part of the goal of helping Haiti “build back better” than it was before. The State Department touted the prospect of 100,000 new jobs for Haitians, with Hillary Clinton promising 65,000 jobs within five years. The industrial park followed the Clintons’ preexisting development model for Haiti: public/private partnerships with a heavy emphasis on the garment industry. Even though there were still hundreds of thousands of evacuees living in tents, the project was based on “the more expansive view that, in a desperately poor country where traditional foreign aid has chronically failed, fostering economic development is as important as replacing what fell down.” Much of the planning was focused on trying to lure a South Korean clothing manufacturer to set up shop there, by plying them with U.S. taxpayer funding. The Caracol project was “the centerpiece” of the U.S.’s recovery effort. A gala celebrating its opening featured the Clintons and Sean Penn, and it was treated as the emblem of the new, “better” Haiti, that would demonstrate the country’s commitment to being “open for business.” In order to build the park, hundreds of poor farmers were evicted from their land, so that millions of dollars could be spent transforming it.

But the project was a terrible disappointment. After four years, it was only operating at 10% capacity, and the jobs had failed to materialize:

Far from 100,000 jobs—or even the 60,000 promised within five years of the park’s opening— Caracol currently employs just 5,479 people full time. That comes out to roughly $55,000 in investment per job created so far or, to put it another way, about 30 times more per job than the average [Caracol] worker makes per year. The park, built on the site of a former U.S. Marine-run slave labor camp during the 1915-1934 U.S. occupation, has the best-paved roads and manicured sidewalks in the country, but most of the land remains vacant.

Most of the seized farmland went unused, then, and even for the remaining farmers, “surges of wastewater have caused floods and spoiled crops.” Huge queues of unemployed Haitians stood daily in front of the factory, awaiting jobs that did not exist. The Washington Post described the scene:

Each morning, crowds line up outside the park’s big front gate, which is guarded by four men in crisp khaki uniforms carrying shotguns. They wait in a sliver of shade next to a cinder-block wall, many holding résumés in envelopes. Most said they have been coming every day for months, waiting for jobs that pay about $5 a day. From his envelope, Jean Mito Palvetus, 27, pulled out a diploma attesting that he had completed 200 hours of training with the U.S. Agency for International Development on an industrial sewing machine. “I have three kids and a wife, and I can’t support them,” he said, sweating in the hot morning sun. “I have a diploma, but I still can’t get a job here. I still have nothing.”

For some, the Caracol project perfectly symbolized the Clinton approach: big promises, an emphasis on sweatshops, incompetent management, and little concern for the actual impact on Haitians. “Caracol is a prime example of bad help,” as one Haiti scholar put it. “The interests of the market, the interest of foreigners are prioritized over the majority of people who are impoverished in Haiti.”

But, failure as it may have been, the Caracol factory was among the more successful of the projects, insofar as it actually came into existence. A large amount of the money raised by Bill Clinton after the earthquake, and pledged by the U.S. under Hillary Clinton, simply disappeared without a trace, its whereabouts unknown. As Politico explained:

Even Bill’s U.N. Office of the Special Envoy couldn’t track where all of [it] went—and the truth is that still today no one really knows how much money was spent “rebuilding” Haiti. Many initial pledges never materialized. A whopping $465 million of the relief money went through the Pentagon, which spent it on deployment of U.S. troops—20,000 at the high water mark, many of whom never set foot on Haitian soil. That money included fuel for ships and planes, helicopter repairs and inscrutables such as an $18,000 contract for a jungle gym… Huge contracts were doled out to the usual array of major contractors, including a $16.7 million logistics contract whose partners included Agility Public Warehousing KSC, a Kuwaiti firm that was supposed to have been blacklisted from doing business with Washington after a 2009 indictment alleging a conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government during the Iraq War.

The recovery under the Clintons became notorious for its mismanagement. Clinton staffers “had no idea what Haiti was like and had no sensitivity to the Haitians.” They were reportedly rude and condescending toward Haitians, even refusing to admit Haitian government ministers to meetings about recovery plans. While the Clintons called in high-profile consulting firms like McKinsey to draw up plans, they had little interest in listening to Haitians themselves. The former Haitian prime minister spoke of a “weak” American staff who were “more interested in supporting Clinton than helping Haiti.”

One of those shocked by the failure of the recovery effort was Chelsea Clinton, who wrote a detailed email to her parents in which she said that while Haitians were trying to help themselves, every part of the international aid effort, both governmental and nongovernmental, was falling short. “The incompetence is mind numbing,” she wrote. Chelsea produced a detailed memorandum recommending drastic steps that needed to be taken in order to get the recovery on track. But the memo was kept within the Clinton family, released only later under a Freedom of Information Act disclosure of Hillary’s State Department correspondence. If it had come out at the time, as Haiti journalist Jonathan Katz writes, it “would have obliterated the public narrative of helpful outsiders saving grateful earthquake survivors that her mother’s State Department was working so hard to promote.”

The Clintons’ Haiti recovery ended with a whimper. The Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund distributed the last of its funds in 2012 and disbanded, without any attempt at further fundraising. The IHRC “quietly closed their doors” in October of 2011, even though little progress had been made. As the Boston Review’s Jake Johnston explained, though hundreds of thousands remained displaced, the IHRC wiped its hands of the housing situation:

[L]ittle remained of the grand plans to build thousands of new homes. Instead, those left homeless would be given a small, one-time rental subsidy of about $500. These subsidies, funded by a number of different aid agencies, were meant to give private companies the incentive to invest in building houses. As efforts to rebuild whole neighborhoods faltered, the rental subsidies turned Haitians into consumers, and the housing problem was handed over to the private sector.

The Clintons themselves simply stopped speaking about Haiti. After the first two years, they were “nowhere to be seen” there, despite Hillary’s having promised that her commitment to Haiti would long outlast her tenure as Secretary of State. Haiti has been given little attention during Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, even though the Haiti project was ostensibly one of great pride for both Clintons.

The widespread consensus among observers is that the Haiti recovery, which TIME called the U.S.’s “compassionate invasion,” was a catastrophically mismanaged disappointment. Jonathan Katz writes that “it’s hard to find anyone these days who looks back on the U.S.-led response to the January 12, 2010, Haiti earthquake as a success.” While plenty of money was channeled into the country, it largely went to what were “little more than small pilot projects—a new set of basketball hoops and a model elementary school here, a functioning factory there.”

The widespread consensus is that the Haiti recovery was a catastrophically mismanaged disappointment.

The end result has been that little has changed for Haiti. “Haitians find themselves in a social and economic situation that is worse than before the earthquake,” reports a Belgian photojournalist who has spent 10 years in Haiti:

Everyone says that they’re living in worse conditions than before… When you look at the history of humanitarian relief, there’s never been a situation when such a small country has been the target of such a massive influx of money and assistance in such a short span of time… On paper, with that much money in a territory the size of Haiti, we should have witnessed miracles there should have been results.

“If anything, they appear worse off,” says Foreign Policy of Haiti’s farmers. “I really cannot understand how you could raise so much money, put a former U.S. president in charge, and get this outcome,” said one Haitian official. Indeed, the money donated and invested was extraordinary. But nobody seems to know where it has gone.

Haitians direct much of the blame toward the Clintons. As a former Haitian government official who worked on the recovery said, “[t]here is a lot of resentment about Clinton here. People have not seen results. . .. They say that Clinton used Haiti.” Haitians “increasingly complain that Clinton-backed projects have often helped the country’s elite and international business investors more than they have helped poor ‘Haitians.” There is a “suspicion that their motives are more to make a profit in Haiti than to help it.” And that while “striking a populist pose, in practice they were attracted to power in Haiti.”

But perhaps we should be more forgiving of the Clintons’ conduct during the Haitian recovery. After all, instead of doing true harm, the Clintons simply failed to do much good. And perhaps it’s better to have a luxury hotel than not to have one, better to have a few jobs than none at all. Thanks to Bill Clinton, there’s a gleaming new industrial park, albeit one operating at a fraction of its capacity.

Yet it’s a mistake to measure Clinton against what would have happened if the United States had done nothing at all for Haiti. The question is what would have happened if a capable, nonfamous administrator, rather than a globetrotting narcissist, had been placed in charge. Tens of millions of dollars were donated toward the Haiti recovery by people across the world it was an incredible outpouring of generosity. The squandering of that money on half-baked development schemes (mainly led by cronies), and the ignoring of Haitians’ own demands, mean that Clinton may have caused considerable harm through his failure. Plenty of people died in tent cities that would not have died if the world’s donations had been used effectively.

Democrats have bristled at recent attempts by Donald Trump to criticize Hillary Clinton over her record in Haiti. Jonathan Katz, whose in-depth reporting from Haiti was stingingly critical of the Clintons, has now changed his tune, insisting that we all bear the responsibility for the failed recovery effort. When Trump accused the Clintons of squandering millions building “a sweatshop” in Haiti in the form of the Caracol park, media fact-checkers quickly insisted he was spewing Pinocchios. The Washington Post said that while Clinton Foundation donors may have financially benefited from the factory-building project, they benefited “writ large” rather than “directly.” The Post cited the words of the factory’s spokesman as evidence that the factory was not a sweatshop, and pointed out that Caracol workers earned at least “minimum wage” (failing to mention that minimum wage in Haiti remains well under a dollar). PolitiFact also rated the sweatshop claim “mostly false,” even though Katz notes “long hours, tough conditions, and low pay” at the factory and PolitiFact acknowledges the “ongoing theft of legally-earned wages.”

Defending the Clintons’ Haiti record is an impossible endeavor, one Democrats should probably not bother attempting. As the Center for Economic and Policy Research, which has studied the recovery, noted, when it comes to the Clinton-led recovery mission, “it’s hard to say it’s been anything other than a failure.” Haitians are not delusional in their resentment of the Clintons they have good reason to feel as if they were used for publicity, and discarded by the Clintons when they became inconvenient.

None of this means that one should vote for Donald Trump for president. His tears for Haiti are those of a highly opportunistic crocodile, and his interest in the country’s wellbeing began at the precise moment that it could be used a bludgeon with which to beat his political opponent. As we have previously noted in this publication, one does not need to be convinced that Hillary Clinton is an honorable person in order to be convinced that she is the preferable candidate. It is important, however, not to maintain any illusions, not to stifle or massage the truth in the service of short-term electoral concerns. It remains simultaneously true that a Clinton presidency is our present least-worst option and that what the Clintons did to Haiti was callous, selfish, and indefensible.

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Sir Henry Clinton

Henry Clinton was no stranger to America at the outbreak of the American Revolution. He first came to America at the age of 13 when his father was made the Royal Governor of New York. Of aristocratic blood, Clinton early on decided to undertake a career in the military. In 1745 he became a lieutenant of fusiliers in America. He decided that he did not wish to remain in a provincial regiment so he left for England in 1751.

In England, he was able to secure a spot as a captain-lieutenant in the Coldstream Guards. During the Seven Years War (known as the French and Indian War in America), Clinton served with the British forces in Germany. The war greatly increased Clinton's chances for promotion and he became a general before the war ended.

In April 1775, Clinton arrived in America and became second in command to General William Howe in September of that year. Clinton's first independent command in America was a failure for the British. He commanded the British expedition that was defeated outside Charleston, South Carolina, in 1776. He returned north and went on to fight in the battles around New York and in Rhode Island as well.

In February 1778, Howe resigned as commander-in-chief of British forces in America. Clinton was appointed to take his place. Clinton, in 1780, successful laid siege to Charleston, South Carolina, and captured practically the entire southern army of the Americans. Clinton returned to New York and left his second in command, General Cornwallis, in charge in the south.

During the Siege of Yorktown, Clinton delayed sending promised reinforcements to Cornwallis. The reinforcements left New York on October 19, the day of the surrender. Upon finding out about the surrender of Cornwallis, Clinton took the troops back to New York.

It was not Cornwallis who was given blame for the defeat at Yorktown, rather, it was Clinton. He was relieved from command by Sir Guy Carleton in May 1782. He would spend much time in his later life defending his actions during the Yorktown Campaign.


The Clintons and Haiti: What’s the Real Story?

On January 12, 2010, the Caribbean nation of Haiti experienced a devastating earthquake, which took more than 100,000 lives and left 200,000+ injured and 900,000+ homeless — about 10 percent of the country’s population.

It was one of the Western hemisphere’s greatest natural disasters, and nations like the United States rushed to the aid of Haiti — one of the world’s poorest nations — to help the country’s citizens recover and rebuild.

The Obama administration, working via Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, appointed former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush coordinators of U.S. relief efforts. Bill Clinton specifically was put in charge of billions of dollars that flowed from the U.S. and other nations to Haiti.

To date, the U.S. alone has given over $3.1 billion via its United States Agency for International Development (USAID) organization — which works out to more than $300 for each Haitian citizen.

Who benefited from all this aid? Perhaps unsurprisingly, almost no Haitians.

More than six years after the disaster, much damage and ruin from the calamity are still in evidence. Many of those made homeless are still without permanent housing.

Almost none of the money given in aid ended up going to the people who need it the most — instead, it went to foreign governments, private companies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as the Red Cross.

The Red Cross alone took in as much as $486 million for relief efforts yet ended up building a mere six homes in its relief efforts, as a recent audit of that organization’s efforts discovered. (It should be noted that the CEO of the American Red Cross, Gail McGovern, receives a salary of more than $1,000,000 per year.)

One-third of each of the USAID dollars went to reimbursing the U.S. military for its intervention actions. More than $220 million went to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about $150 million went to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and $350 million went straight back to USAID. By some estimates, only one cent of every dollar made it to the government of Haiti.

For other countries helping with relief efforts, the split was similar. After accounting for militaries, civilian entities, NGOs, private contractors and the Red Cross, as little as one percent of the money made it to the Haitian government.

In the wake of the disaster, the government of Haiti set up the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC), co-chaired by Bill Clinton and former Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive. Nearly 1500 government contracts were awarded to companies providing relief aid.

The U.S. Ambassador to Haiti at the time, Kenneth Merten, sent a cable to Hillary Clinton’s State Department entitled, “The Gold Rush Is On.” Out of the nearly 1500 contracts, just 23 were awarded to Haitian companies — nearly 40 percent of the contracts were awarded to companies in the Washington, D.C. area.

A number of members of the IHRC later wrote a letter saying that it was Clinton and Bellerive who made many of the most important monetary decisions early in the recovery process, effectively shutting them out.

A number of Haitian groups even had trouble getting into the meetings where discussions about the aid were ongoing most of the meetings were not held or translated into Creole, one of the two national languages of Haiti.

Many claimed that numerous decisions were not made in Haitians’ best interests. Many groups further claimed that the Clintons were closely connected to individuals who benefitted highly from government contracts following the earthquake.

One of those close connections was Irish billionaire Denis O’Brien, the founder of cellphone company Digicel, which set up an emergency method for Haitians to transfer money via their cellphones. Digicel received millions of dollars in money from USAID for this effort.

Clinton appointed O’Brien the chairman of the Haiti Action Network, an outreach program of the Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Global Initiative. In a cover story in Esquire magazine, Bill Clinton was quoted as saying, “Wouldn’t it be great if [Haiti] became the first [100%] wireless nation in the world? They could, I’m telling you they really could.”

While the former president’s vision did not effectively come to pass, Digicel was able to earn a tidy $50 million from their disaster-recovery efforts in just six months. By 2012, the company had managed to take over 80 percent of the country’s cellphone market and made more money in Haiti than in any of the firm’s other global divisions.

In the meantime, Bill Clinton gave a $225,000 speech at an event Digicel sponsored in Jamaica while O’Brien made multimillion-dollar donations to the Bill and Hillary’s Clinton Foundation.

In an article on the earthquake by reporter Janet Reitman of Rolling Stone, it was reported that another contractor in Haiti was New York-based consulting firm Dalberg Global Development Advisors.

Reitman’s article found that Dalberg’s staff “had never lived overseas, didn’t have any disaster experience or background in urban planning… never carried out any program activities on the ground…” and only one of the team spoke French, the other official language of Haiti. USAID looked at their work and “it became clear that these people may not have even gotten out of their SUVs.”

In Peter Schweizer’s best-selling book-turned-film Clinton Cash, it was revealed that Hillary Clinton’s brother Tony Rodham received one of only two rare gold mining permits granted by the Haitian government in the last 50 years.

Rodham’s tiny company, VCS Mining (which at the time had scant mining experience), had a heavyweight board that included — surprise — Bill Clinton and the IHRC’s Jean-Max Bellerive. VCS received a sweetheart deal from the Haitian government, to whom it would only owe royalties of 2.5 percent, a rate that’s less than half of a standard contract, according to many in the mining industry.

Not only that, but VCS received the right to renew its contract for 25 years. In court testimony published by The New York Times, Rodham was quoted as saying, “I deal through the Clinton Foundation. That gets me in touch with Haitian officials. I hound my brother-in-law [Bill Clinton] because it’s his fund that we’re going to get our money from. And he can’t do it until the Haitian government does it.”

Yet another deal the Clintons made was for a Korean manufacturer named Sae-A to set up factories in a business zone called the Caracol Industrial Park. The opening of Caracol was a splashy event, with both of the Clintons in attendance along with fashion designer Donna Karan and celebrities Ben Stiller and Sean Penn.

As it turns out, Sae-A manufactures apparel for U.S. brands (such as Donna Karan’s) who happen to be big supporters of the Clintons. At the time, the State Department said that Caracol would provide 65,000 jobs to the Haitian community to date, only 5,000 of those jobs have materialized.

As Schweizer points out, nearly all of the contracts that the Haitian government approved in the wake of the disaster touched the Clintons in some way without a relationship with the couple, a company or organization was virtually guaranteed to be shut out of being able to provide goods or services.

The Clintons’ eponymous Foundation was one of the first organizations to commit to helping to rebuild in Haiti. However, much of their multimillion-dollar relief efforts amounted to little more than assisting with (and in some cases donating money directly to) the construction of luxury hotels in the country, including at least one Marriott franchise operation owned by the aforementioned owner of Digicel, Denis O’Brien.

Very recently, the former president of the Haitian Senate, Bernard Sansaricq, issued a statement blasting the Clintons and the Clinton Foundation. It reads:

Sadly, when an earthquake rocked the nation of Haiti in 2010, corruption moved in faster than the help so desperately needed. Today, the people of Haiti are still suffering despite the billions of dollars that have flowed into the Clinton Foundation.

The Clintons exploited this terrible disaster to steal billions of dollars from the sick and starving people of Haiti. The world trusted the Clintons to help the Haitian people during their most desperate time of need and they were deceived.

The Clintons and their friends are richer today while millions still live in tents. The world deserves to know where the money went and why help was never sent.

Sansaricq further went on to say that Bill Clinton had attempted to bribe him prior to the 1994 U.S. military invasion of Haiti. Sansaricq was strongly against the planned invasion, and then-President Clinton sent former Congressman Bill Richardson of New Mexico to talk to Sansaricq.

When Sansaricq refused to back down, the American Embassy in Haiti dispatched an anonymous messenger to Sansaricq with a message that if Sansaricq were to side with Bill Clinton, he would be made “the richest man in Haiti.” When Sansaricq refused the bribe, his U.S. visa was revoked.

Sansaricq has subsequently called for an audit of the Clinton Foundations’ efforts in Haiti.

In addition to these operations, the United Nations was also involved early on in the struggle to rebuild Haiti. While much of its work was helpful, the organization’s endeavors were blamed for an outbreak of cholera in October of 2010, nine months after the earthquake.

The cholera plague lasted for years amidst relief and vaccination efforts and ultimately was one of the most horrific outbreaks of the scourge in the last 40 years, infecting more than 780,000 Haitians. To date, nearly 10,000 Haitians are estimated to have died as a direct result of the epidemic.

Initially, the UN denied responsibility, but investigators from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Doctors Without Borders and Harvard University all confirmed the septic waste of the UN mission as the original source of the disease even Bill Clinton confirmed the UN link.

For its part, the UN tried to downplay the former president’s statements, saying, “In relation to former President Clinton’s reported remarks to the press this week in Haiti, we note that he emphasized the importance of focusing on improving Haiti’s sanitation system and the fact that the United Nations and others are working hard to do this.”

Cholera epidemics such as the one that has afflicted Haiti are often multi-year incidents that do not go away they resurge and can kill dozens more people year after year without heavy-duty treatment and repairs to an area’s plumbing infrastructure.

It’s essential that this critical infrastructure be repaired or installed, but even prior to the earthquake, only one in five Haitians had access to a real toilet, and two in five did not have access to clean water. After Clinton connected the UN to the cholera outbreak, the Clinton Global Initiative committed to building a multi-billion dollar Permanent Diarrhea Training and Treatment Center for Haiti. As of February 2015, the Center remained unbuilt.

In 2016, a bipartisan committee in Congress led by Republican Representative Mia Love of Utah (who is herself of Haitian descent) wrote a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry criticizing the slow U.S. response to the cholera outbreak. More than 150 members of Congress signed the letter.

In the meantime, the UN has stated it will not pay damages, accept lawsuits or trials for its actions due to the cholera epidemic in Haiti, claiming it is protected under a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) it signed with corrupt and brutal former Haitian leader Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

An examination of the Clinton Foundation’s website today shows no updates on Haiti since July 2015 and the total amount raised for Haiti as just $30 million. Perhaps the Clintons are too busy waiting for the world’s next disaster while Hillary Clinton courts more money for her campaign to be president.


In 1994, President Clinton deployed troops to Haiti, without congressional approval, to fight against atrocities perpetrated by Haiti's former leaders and to oversee a transition to democracy. Use the scenario and your knowledge of U. S. Government and Politics to respond to parts A, B, and C. A. Describe a power of the president used in the scenario. B. Explain one way in which the War Powers Resolution might affect the scenario. C. Explain one reason why it is difficult for Congress to check the power of the president to commit troops despite the War Powers Resolution.

The correct answers to these open questions are the following.

A. Describe a power of the president used in the scenario.

The power that President Bill Clinton used in this scenario is his power as Commander-in-Chief- of the US military forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Gaurd Cost).

B. Explain one way in which the War Powers Resolution might affect the scenario.

The War Powers Resolution might affect the above-mentioned scenario in that this act forces the President to inform Congress for a declaration of war if he wants to send military forces to a specific region. This legislation requires the President to inform Congress 48 hours before sending the military abroad.

C. Explain one reason why it is difficult for Congress to check the power of the president to commit troops despite the War Powers Resolution.

It could be difficult for Congress to check the power of the President because the executive could argue that this was not a declaration of war, but just a way to help Haiti by sending some military forces to fight against atrocities perpetrated by Haiti's former leaders and to oversee a transition to democracy. So he was not taking to declare war.


Clinton Cheered in Haiti As U.S. Mission Ends / U.N. troops take over from Americans

1995-04-01 04:00:00 PDT Port-au-Prince -- Luxuriating in the cheers of thousands of Haitians, the praise of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and the crisp salutes of soldiers from a score of nations, President Clinton yesterday handed over the responsibility for the security of Haiti from U.S. troops to a U.N. peacekeeping force.

Saying the restoration of Aristide to power after U.S. military intervention last fall represents "the triumph of freedom over fear," Clinton promised that the United States will continue to support efforts to establish democracy in Haiti. But he also made it clear that Haitians must now bear the primary burden of building a just and prosperous society.

"The tasks ahead will not be easy," he told a crowd that had begun gathering at dawn in the main square in front of the National Palace and had amused itself during a long wait under a blazing tropical sun by singing, dancing and donning free T-shirts emblazoned with images of Clinton and Aristide. "You must work hard you must have patience you must move forward together with tolerance, openness and cooperation," Clinton said.

The warm, festive atmosphere stood in sharp contrast to the violence and political tension that dominated the days preceding Clinton's arrival. On Tuesday, a prominent political foe of Aristide, Mireille Durocher Bertin, was killed by three gunmen as she drove her car in Port-au-Prince.

Shortly afterward, U.S. officials disclosed that they had warned Aristide last week both of a plot to kill Durocher Bertin and of the possible involvement of his interior minister, Mondesir Beaubrun, in the plot.

During a ceremony at the National Palace yesterday morning, however, Clinton and Aristide were full of compliments for each other. Clinton, who towered over the slight Haitian leader when they stood behind a bulletproof screen, called Aristide a man of "tremendous courage" whose "strength in the face of great challenge reflects the unbreakable will of the Haitian people."

In his remarks, Aristide, turning to the preaching style he used as a Roman Catholic priest, led the crowd in a call-and-response chant that thanked the U.S. president for sending American troops to Haiti and ending three years of a brutal military dictatorship. "Has President Clinton been good to us?" he asked the cheering multitude, which responded with a fervent "Oui!"

It was "thanks to the nonviolent resistance of the Haitian people and to you," he told Clinton, that "on September 19, Haiti moved from death to life."


O.C. Congressmen Not Moved by Clinton’s Haiti Speech

It remains to be seen whether President Clinton’s emotional speech Thursday night convinced the American people that an invasion of Haiti is justified, but it was immediately clear that Orange County’s conservative delegation would not be swayed.

“He still looks like a small man in a big office and an illegitimate President,” said Rep. Robert K. Dornan (R-Garden Grove), moments after watching Clinton make his case for an invasion.

So convinced are Orange County congressmen that Clinton’s Haiti strategy is wrong-headed that several who were asked to respond to the televised address had their remarks prepared hours before the cameras even rolled.

“The President is going to mobilize and send over 20,000 U.S. troops to Haiti . . . spill American and Haitian blood, spending over a billion dollars of taxpayers’ money in the process, just to install and, in effect, bodyguard an anti-American leader of questionable stability,” Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) said in a statement prepared early Thursday.

Clinton contends that an invasion is the only way to dislodge the military junta that overthrew President Jean-Bertrand Aristide on Sept. 30, 1991--just months after he became the first democratically elected leader in Haiti’s history.

Military dictators have since imposed “a reign of terror,” the President said, citing the execution of children, the rape of women and human rights atrocities that have sent waves of desperate Haitians fleeing to the United States for refuge.

But Dornan called the atrocities outlined by Clinton “total and absolute propaganda.” And Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) said that even if true, they were hardly just cause for military action.

“There are atrocities going on all over the world,” Rohrabacher said after hearing Clinton’s remarks. “If human rights abuses were legitimate grounds for invading another country, we would be invading half the world.”

Seldom has a cry for freedom and democracy gone unembraced by Orange County conservatives. But not this time. Although Aristide was Haiti’s first democratically elected leader, the congressmen said he proved himself a brutal thug and an anti-American who once likened the United States to Satan.

“He ordered ‘necklacing’ for the guy who finished second in the democratic election,” charged Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Newport Beach), referring to the act of burning one’s political rivals to death with a gasoline-filled tire placed around the neck. “It’s very difficult to call that democratic behavior.”

Citing indications that the regime might step aside for new elections, Cox said a wiser course would be to lift the embargo in exchange for “scheduling elections forthwith.”

Haiti, the congressmen agreed, is “not worth one drop of American blood.”

Rep. Ron Packard (R-Oceanside) quoted a letter from a constituent with a son in the armed forces: “Show me one piece of rationale that I can lay at my son’s grave or carve on his tombstone. Then and only then will I sleep at night with the comfort that a supreme sacrifice could be justified.”

Although Rohrabacher does not believe the President succeeded in convincing Americans or Congress that an invasion is right, he said Haitian dictators should heed Clinton’s message that their time is up.

“They have got to know that when a President of the United States goes on nationwide television and talks tough, he can’t weasel out of it,” he said.


Bill Clinton's Shameful Haiti Legacy

He may be playing the hero now, but the ex-president’s trip to Haiti is a reminder of the mess his administration left behind. Bob Shacochis on how Clinton wasted a good invasion.

Bob Shacochis

Win McNamee / Getty Images

Like many Haitians and not a few Americans who know the island and its history, I had mixed feelings watching the video of former President Clinton step off a plane on to the tarmac at Toussaint Loverture International Airport in Port-au-Prince on Monday afternoon. Bill Clinton, the Second Coming of Hope. The First Coming, the U.S.-led invasion in 1994 adorned with 20,000 American troops, did not turn out so well. By 1996, when the American military decamped, you’d be hard pressed to find a Haitian on the streets of Port-au-Prince who wasn’t suffering miserably from hope. By 1996, Haitians were scratching their heads in bewilderment, asking themselves Why has America come to save us? Who will save us now? Ten years later, by almost every measure, Haiti was worse off than it was before Clinton had “rescued” it from the illegitimate regime of General Raoul Cedras and his gang of terrorist enforcers, known by the acronym FRAPH.

I had heard the Haitians saying of the U.S. after the American troops went home: “Lave men ou, siye li a te. It looks like you wash your hands and dry them in dirt.”

It’s the proper time, of course, to ask what is the legacy of American foreign policy in Haiti, a beleaguered neighbor that we have invaded and occupied twice in the 20th century, the first time to preempt German influence there during and after World War I, the second time during the early years of the Clinton administration, an 18-month long intervention which I reported on for Harper’s magazine.

Looking at the images pouring out of Haiti these days, what comes immediately into focus is the near-sighted, irrational nature of what is out of focus in American foreign policy since the Marshall Plan worked its miracles on a shattered planet. I think that we can all agree that Haiti has finally found its bottom, but the descent, lubricated by man-made folly, was not inevitable.

To be sure, Haiti brings out the cynic in me. Perhaps I should express that sentiment with more precision: The United States’ two-faced relationship with Haiti stirs a cynicism within me that I’d rather not claim.

The U.S. Army came ashore in September 1994 locked and loaded to do battle with a military dictatorship composed of a tiny dysfunctional army and roving bands of FRAPH’s homicidal thugs, who threatened to send America’s sons and daughters back home in coffins. Essentially an absurd boast but from a genuine enemy. Colin Powell’s brinkmanship defused the potential for bloodshed on the eve of the invasion, yet the fact remained—our soldiers would be liberating villages, towns, and cities controlled by a terrorist organization that had brutalized the population.

Early on, there were shootouts between U.S. soldiers and FRAPH. Special Forces hunted down FRAPH leadership in the countryside, captured them and shipped the detainees to headquarters in Port-au-Prince, where, to general dismay, they were invariably released. One night, hunkered down with a detachment of Green Berets in the mountains south of Cap Haitien, I listened in alarm to a radio transmission from Col. Mark Boyatt, the overall commander of Special Forces in Haiti, telling his commandos to begin regarding FRAPH as Haiti’s “loyal opposition,” as if the terrorists, overnight, had become Haiti’s equivalent to the Republican Party, rehabilitated patriots eager to remake Haiti into a modern democratic nation.

Months later, when I challenged Colonel Boyatt on this highly counterproductive order to his troops, he clammed up on me. For the next two years, I tried to track down who in the chain of command had told Boyatt to whitewash the terrorist organization FRAPH. The trail finally led to the American Embassy in Port-au-Prince, and then it jumped to the mainland, Sandy Berger, and the White House.

Legacy No. 1: We left the poison in the system. The result: A Haiti rendered ungovernable by our heedless self-interest. The only Devil in Haiti is to be found in the deals we cut with the worst elements in that society. Sound familiar?

On March 31, 1996, the United States handed over Operation Restore Democracy to the United Nations and a peacekeeping force that has been there ever since. Early in the Clinton administration’s intervention in Haiti, the word came down to the boots on the ground from the White House: You have not been deployed to conduct nation-building. The mission turned out to be foolishly attenuated: Restore Haiti’s first democratically elected president, Jean Bertrand Aristide, to the National Palace. Hold elections that will remove the troublesome Aristide from the National Palace. Go home.

Ultimately, the mission ended up profoundly disillusioning not only the Haitians but the American troops as well. Back at Fort Bragg, I asked a Special Forces Master Sergeant if he was glad he went to Haiti. “Tough question,” he said. “No carpenter likes to build a house and see it crooked and leaning and ready to fall down the day he leaves. But if he builds a nice house, he’s happy about it, it’s something he’ll be proud of the rest of his life."

“You don’t think you have anything to be proud of?” I asked.

“It is,” said the Master Sergeant. “It is.”

I told him what I had heard the Haitians saying about the United States after the American troops went home. Lave men ou, siye li a te. It looks like you wash your hands and dry them in dirt.

Legacy No. 2: In Haiti, America wasted a perfectly good occupation. Call our post-earthquake presence there anything you want, but let’s hope it works out better this time around. Good luck, Bill. And remember, merry are the builders.


War Powers Debate Heating Up Again Clinton Wins Permission from U.N. to Invade Haiti, but Hasn't Asked Congress

Washington. -- Haiti has been threatened with a U.S. military invasion. The United Nations has given the United States its approval. The Marines are doing maneuvers in the Caribbean. President Clinton has discussed America's obligations in a post-invasion Haiti.

All of this has happened, and yet Mr. Clinton still hasn't asked permission of Congress, and, through it, the American people.

Recent history is rife with examples of presidents committing troops abroad without congressional approval -- or even prior knowledge. But the Constitution gives war-making powers solely Congress, and so, once again, a national debate is beginning to percolate over just who has the authority to commit U.S.

Mr. Clinton, a constitutional lawyer, knows that the Constitution grants this authority to Congress. In Article I, Section 8, which spells out "Powers of Congress," the founders wrote that "The Congress shall have power . . . to declare war."

Yet, modern presidents seem to have a problem with this.

As commander-in-chief, each wants to dispatch troops on his own instead of seeking the permission of 535 fellow politicians. "I cannot consult with 535 strong-willed individuals," President George Bush said on the eve of the Persian Gulf war. "Nor [does] the Constitution compel me to do that."

Many of the nation's most prominent constitutional scholars disagreed with Mr. Bush, but the last time a president sought a declaration of war was Dec. 8, 1941. Since that time, the United States has lost more than 100,000 soldiers in Korea and Vietnam, and has sent its troops to fight -- and die -- in dozens of lesser conflicts.

In 1973, in response to Vietnam, Congress passed the War Powers Act, which attempted to rein in a president's tendency to conduct foreign policy, even if that meant war, as though it were nobody's business outside the White House.

The law requires the president to seek congressional approval within 60 to 90 days after sending U.S. forces to situations of actual or imminent "hostilities." If the president does not, Congress has a series of remedies it is supposed to enforce, including cutting off the funding of the military mission.

Foreshadowing the conflict that was to persist for the next 21 years, President Richard M. Nixon vetoed the War Powers Act. Congress overrode the veto, but subsequent history, including the looming conflict with Haiti, suggests that it hardly seems to have mattered.

Mr. Nixon and all the presidents who succeeded him -- Bill Clinton included -- have claimed that the War Powers Act infringes on the executive branch's authority to conduct foreign policy. As it turned out, that was only the beginning, constitutional scholars say, of what was wrong with the law. Among its other problems are these:

* The law was weak to begin with.

The invasions of Grenada and Panama, for instance, had ended long before the 60-day provisions of the War Powers Act kicked in. In the age of missile attacks and lightning-quick 2 a.m. air and sea attacks against small countries, the law is of no practical consequence.

Thus, last year, when Mr. Clinton launched a series of Tomahawk cruise missiles into downtown Baghdad in retaliation for an Iraqi plot on the life of former President Bush, the U.S. attack -- an act of war under international law -- was under way before most members of Congress had heard of it.

* Congress hasn't had the will to enforce the law.

The withdrawal mechanism has never been activated, even in situations in which Congress had misgivings about the White House-ordered U.S. military mission. In 1983, a majority of Congress seemed on the verge of ordering the return of U.S. Marines sent to Lebanon, but Congress ended up extending the deadline by 18 months. The Marines were brought home only after a truck bomb killed 241 of them.

* The courts have been reluctant to intervene.

Although every president has claimed the law infringes on his prerogative, a more serious objection may come from the other end of the political spectrum.

In 1990, Rep. Ronald V. Dellums, a former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus and the future chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, led a group of liberal members of Congress in suing Mr. Bush, saying that War Powers Act or no War Powers Act, the president does not have the constitutional authority to unilaterally commit U.S. troops to battle.

"If the president takes it upon himself . . . to initiate such a war without the unequivocal consent of Congress, the victim of Iraqi aggression will be not just Kuwait, but the Constitution of the United States," the liberal House members argued in their lawsuit.

A debate -- and a vote -- did take place subsequently, but it was not ordered by the federal courts. Over the years, the Supreme Court has been chary about mediating disputes between the executive and legislative branches -- even over such important questions -- if the debate is essentially political in nature.

The court has been criticized in some quarters for this approach, but the way in which some congressional Republicans have changed their reading of the Constitution since a Democrat got in the White House has tended to vindicate the high court's reluctance.

There is, however, a committed core of House members who opposed Mr. Bush in 1990 and who are urging Mr. Clinton to seek congressional approval as well.

Mr. Dellums has been quieter about his opposition this time around, perhaps because the Black Caucus is urging the president to act in Haiti, but he was one of 103 members who signed a letter urging Mr. Clinton to get congressional approval before launching an invasion.

"Even though there's a Democrat in the White House, to some of us, the issues are the same," said Rep. Don Edwards, a California Democrat. "We want 50 percent of the [invading] force to be United Nations, we want to debate the issue on the floor, and we want a vote before the president does anything. Otherwise, it's just the old gunboat diplomacy."

So far, the president's response has been a vague promise to "consult" with Congress.

"That doesn't mean much of anything," Mr. Edwards said.

It was apparent before Mr. Clinton arrived in Washington that Congress had not succeeded in putting the brake on the willingness of the executive branch to make war on its own.

President Ronald Reagan invaded Grenada in 1983 with only the barest consultation with some selected congressional leaders --and those consultations were done in secret.

Likewise, Mr. Bush didn't get congressional approval before invading Panama in 1989. And even though he ended up getting congressional approval before attacking Saddam Hussein's Iraqi forces, Mr. Bush already had committed 500,000 U.S. troops to the region, secured U.N. backing for an invasion, assembled a multinational military force and given Mr. Hussein a deadline for getting out of Kuwait.

In other words, he had made it all but impossible for Congress to stop his plans. Moreover, he had said publicly that he wasn't bound by the vote anyway.

Little wonder, then, that Sen. Dale L. Bumpers, an Arkansas Democrat, once labeled the War Powers Act a "eunuch." Or that former Sen. Lowell P. Weicker Jr. of Connecticut called it "de facto dead."

The pressing question is why Congress hasn't done more to re-assert its authority over one of the most important questions with which a democracy must come to grips.

At the time the United States was formed, the war-making power in almost every nation in the world rested with the executive -- usually a king or a monarch.

In 1787, at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, delegate Pierce Butler of South Carolina proposed that the president have similar powers, although he called in vague language for the president to make war only "when the nation will support it."

Delegate Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts objected vehemently, replying that he "never expected to hear in a Republic a motion to empower the executive alone to declare war."

The prominent Virginia delegation agreed. George Mason, a prime mover behind the Bill of Rights, told the convention that his motivation was "for clogging, rather than facilitating war." He explained that he was opposed to "giving the power of war to the executive because he is not safely to be trusted with it."

This is the view that ultimately prevailed. In an exchange of letters in 1789 between two close friends and future presidents, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison expressed confidence that the young nation had made the right choice.

"We have already given . . . one effectual check to the dog of war," Jefferson wrote.

"The Constitution supposed what the history of all governments demonstrates -- that the executive is the branch of power most interested in war and most prone to it," Madison agreed. "It has accordingly, with studied care, vested the question of war in the legislature."

As it turned out, this was the beginning, not the end, of a 200-year debate.

In 1801, Jefferson forbade the U.S. Navy to retaliate against Tripoli pirates because Congress had not declared war on them.

Alexander Hamilton, who had opposed having Congress vested with war-making responsibility, mocked the president for this decision.

Hamilton had predicted during the original debate that such a provision would put the new democracy at a great disadvantage against a British king should it ever be required to fight with England again.

He turned out to be prophetic. In 1812, Congress approved President Madison's request for a declaration of war but became so utterly bogged down in questions revolving around raising an army and giving it sufficient authorization to fight, that U.S. soldiers were slaughtered on various battlefields and the nation itself nearly conquered.

Except for during the Spanish-American War of 1898 (forced on the White House by a belligerent Congress), however, Jefferson and Madison's judgment about human nature seemed to have been borne out.

Time after time in this century, Congress has tended to be much more reluctant than the executive branch to commit U.S. troops to battle. But at the same time, Congress has been strangely content to let presidents grab the war-making authority conferred on it by the founders.

Scholars who have studied this issue have concluded that Congress doesn't really want the power.

Stanford Law Professor John Hart Ely, author of a 1993 book about war-making responsibility, has written that the modern approach began in 1950, when Congress let President Harry S. Truman wage war, saying hardly "a peep" until the war turned sour.

And he characterizes the history of Congress' actions since the advent of the War Powers Act to be a study in "spinelessness."

"The Congress itself, when it comes right down to it, doesn't want the responsibility," said Catherine Kelleher of the Brookings Institution. "There's a dread that they will get into a situation in public opinion where support will evaporate when the body bags start coming home."


Operation Unified Response

Operation Unified Response was the United States military's response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake. [1] It was conducted by Joint Task Force Haiti and commanded by United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) Military Deputy Commander Lieutenant General Ken Keen, although the overall U.S. government response was headed by Rajiv Shah, administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). [2]

The response included personnel from all branches of the military. [3] The U.S. Navy listed its resources in the area on 19 January as "17 ships, 48 helicopters and 12 fixed-wing aircraft" in addition to 10,000 sailors and Marines. [4] By 26 January, the U.S. military had 17,000 personnel in and around Haiti. [5] Between the beginning of relief efforts and 18 February the US Air Force had delivered nearly 6,000 support members and 19 million pounds of cargo while evacuating 15,000 American citizens and conducted aeromedical evacuations for 223 critical Haitian patients. [6]

Elements of the mission included flying in relief supplies, flying out evacuees, including medical evacuees, loading helicopters with supplies at the PAP airport, and then dropping supplies at various points around Port-au-Prince, airdropping supplies from fixed-wing aircraft, establishing a field hospital near the Port international de Port-au-Prince, repairing a pier at the port, providing imagery from satellite, Global Hawk, and U-2 assets.


Watch the video: : H κατάρρευση της Χίλαρι Κλίντον μπροστά στην κάμερα (May 2022).