Guy Philippe Knows ‘Too Much’ and Is a ‘Danger’ to the US
By: Kim Ives
Published 16 March 2017
The paramilitary says that he has damning information about Washington’s role in the 2004 coup that he helped lead against Haitian President Aristide.
“What goes around, comes around,” says the proverb, and former Haitian “rebel” leader Guy Philippe must be pondering this karmic truth as he languishes in his Miami, FL jail cell.
EDITOR’S COMMENT: The charismatic Guy Philippe is hardly languishing in his Miami, FL jail. He has acquired a large library of personal reading material, works on his e-mail and makes friends among the staff and prisoners.
In February 2004, he played a key role in helping U.S. Special Forces kidnap then President Jean-Bertrand Aristide from Haiti and whisk him off to a seven year exile in Africa. Today, Philippe claims, through his lawyer, that U.S. government agents illegally kidnapped him from Haiti on Jan. 5, 2017 and, with “shocking and outrageous” conduct, flew him to Florida to stand trial because he has “too much information” about Washington’s overthrow of Aristide.
In November 2005 (21 months after the coup against Aristide), a U.S. grand jury issued a three count indictment against Philippe for drug trafficking and money laundering between 1997 and 2001. After his arrest in Haiti and transport to Miami, Philippe pled not guilty to the charges through his Hollywood, FL-based lawyer, Zeljka Bozanic. On Feb. 28, 2017, she filed with U.S. District Court in Miami two motions to dismiss and one motion to abate (temporarily suspend) the case against Philippe.
One motion to dismiss argues that the U.S. took too long to arrest Philippe, 49, since the 2005 indictment. “[T]here was and has been no activity whatsoever and no effort by the United States to bring Mr. Philippe to trial until the Defendant’s kidnapping on Jan. 5, 2017,” Bozanic argues.
Whether through ignorance or dishonesty, this assertion is patently untrue, since agents of Haiti’s Anti-Drug Trafficking Brigade (BLTS) and U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) made at least two highly-publicized joint raids to capture Philippe in Haiti in 2008 and 2009. Philippe, then living in the remote seaside village of Pestel, “narrowly escaped capture by fleeing on foot into the hills,” a Wikileaked 2009 U.S. Embassy cable explained.
Furthermore, prosecuting U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer released a statement on Jan. 6 saying that “the passage of time does not thwart the unwavering commitment of [my] office and our local and international law enforcement partners to identify, apprehend, and prosecute narcotics traffickers and money launderers who threaten the global community.”
The second motion to dismiss argues that men “believed to be agents of the United States” arrested Philippe in Port-au-Prince on Jan. 5 and were ready to kill him. The Haitian government and witnesses say that Haitian police made the arrest without a struggle.
“We took him like a baby,” one Haitian police officer said, according to the Miami Herald.
Nonetheless, Bozanic decries that “Philippe’s head was covered by a hood” and that he “was held in a car for approximately three to four hours… [and] forced to sit on a very hot floor of the vehicle as the engine was right underneath him [sic]… without any food or water.”
“The Defendant here asserts that the conduct of the United States was so unconscionable as to constitute a violation of substantive due process,” Bozanic wrote, and “the United States actions should shock the judicial conscience of this Court sufficiently to trigger due process sanctions, including dismissal of the […] indictment.”
Bozanic admits that she “is aware of the Ker-Frisbie Doctrine which in essence states that once the Defendant is before the Court, the Court has jurisdiction over his person.” However, she still “moves to dismiss because the conduct of the United States was so outrageous that an exception to the Ker-Frisbee [sic] Doctrine does indeed apply.”
Most significantly, in the same motion, Bozanic says that “Mr. Philippe has been a thorn in the eyes [sic] of the United States Government for many years.” She says he “helped the United States oust former Haitian President Aristide in coup d’état [sic]” and that therefore he “simply had too much information and became a danger for the government of the United States.”
The statement is significant because it is the first time that Guy Philippe has publicly admitted to his long-suspected collusion with Washington in Aristide’s 2004 overthrow. Philippe’s force of a few hundred ragtag “rebels” in Cap Haïtien was used by U.S. Deputy Chief of Station Luis Moreno as a threat to browbeat Aristide into agreeing to leave his Tabarre home for an airport press conference on Feb. 29, 2004 (Philippe’s birthday). Instead, at the airport, Aristide, his wife, and his private security contingent were all forced to board an unmarked U.S. aircraft, on which they were flown to the Central African Republic. From exile the next day, Aristide called it a “modern-day kidnapping.”
In 2006, author Peter Hallward asked Guy Philippe in a long interview if he had received any assistance from the U.S. and France as he organized and outfitted his anti-Aristide “rebels” in the Dominican Republic from 2001 to 2004. Philippe was evasive but said: “There are some things I cannot reveal at this point, but everything’s in [my] book which will appear in 2012, whether or not I myself am still alive.” Philippe’s book has still not been published.
Bozanic also filed a “Motion to Abate” the proceedings against Philippe because he “is entitled to immunity as a foreign state official of Haiti.” Officials of interim President Jocelerme Privert’s government said that Philippe would have had immunity under Haitian law if he had been sworn in for a six year term as Senator for the Grand-Anse department, the post to which he was elected on Nov. 16, 2016. Also, under the 2015 electoral law, official Haitian candidates are immune from arrest and prosecution. However, the police team that captured Philippe chose the period between the Nov. 16 elections and the Jan. 9 swearing-in of new parliamentarians, when the senator-elect was legally vulnerable.
On Feb. 7, Jocelerme Privert, whom Bozanic calls “a longtime political enemy of Senator Philippe,” passed the presidential sash to Jovenel Moïse, who is a close political ally of the former neo-Duvalierist “rebel” leader. Meanwhile, in Washington, DC, President Donald Trump succeeded Barack Obama on Jan. 20. Prosecutor Ferrer, an Obama appointee, resigned his post on Feb. 15 and stepped down Mar. 3. He is replaced by his assistant Ben Greenberg until Trump names his successor, pending Senate approval.
Also on Feb. 28 (the court’s deadline for motions), U.S. Attorney Ferrer filed several motions in limine to prevent certain evidence from being presented by Philippe and his attorney. Most interestingly, Ferrer moved to prevent Philippe from “raising as a defense” that the monies he allegedly laundered “were derived – directly or indirectly – from the United States government or people authorized to work on behalf of the United States.” The reason? “The defendant’s failure to provide the adequate notice.”
Ferrer’s motions also seek to block Philippe’s official immunity defense as well as Philippe’s privilege of confidential marital communications with his wife, Natalie, who is a U.S. citizen. She also should not be able to invoke “her Fifth Amendment privilege to remain silent should she testify,” Ferrer said.
Bozanic – whose motions have grammatical errors, misspellings, and are missing many words – also asserts that “Philippe went to the U.S. Embassy [in Haiti] in 2006 [after the 2005 indictment] and was not arrested.” The U.S. State Department has not yet responded to Haïti Liberté’s queries as to whether Philippe did indeed visit the U.S. Embassy in 2006, and, if so, why, and what was discussed.
However, most importantly, both defendant Philippe’s and prosecutor Ferrer’s motions suggest that the financial and political links, deduced by many analysts, between Guy Philippe and Washington in Haiti’s 2004 coup d’état may finally be revealed… if the court allows it.
The Americans claim they have done everything possible to capture Guy Philippe.
This wins them 10.5 Pinocchios.
Guy Philippe was in the American embassy during 2006. Why didn’t they arrest him then? It is American territory and they have arrested people for outstanding warrants before.
We are being treated to a line of propaganda to the effect that there was an ongoing, and concerted effort to capture Guy Philippe.
This is not true and one must understand the mechanics, and motivation behind the original indictment.
It was/is purely political and – we believe, based on some very good information –that it involved perjury, and false evidence, generated at the highest level, but this would be impossible to prove since agencies have “codes of silence” and many of those involved have retired or passed on to other duties.
The trail has become impossibly blurred.
Here are the facts, the real facts.
The DEA requested permission, from President Preval, for an operation to grab the Mayor of Miragoane who was heavily involved in the cocaine business. Preval agreed, but insisted that Guy Philippe’s name be added to the operation. This was done, perhaps without anyone in Washington knowing.
Guy Philippe, with American support, or the Americans, with Guy’s support moved to remove Aristide from power during the spring of 2004. This effectively bloodless action – since depicted by media outlets – like the MIAMI HERALD and ASSOCIATED PRESS – have promoted it as a bloody coup – which it wasn’t.
The Nation was frightened by Aristide murderous government and wanted him gone. There was no mechanism to do this, so Guy Philippe and a few others filled this vacuum, coordinated by an American Major General who flew with Guy, to Panama, for delivery of equipment required.
With Aristide gone, Guy Philippe would have become President had an election been held, as required by Article 149 of the Haitian 1987 Constitution – within 90 days of Aristide’s departure. The American embassy did not like this concept and moved to create the incompetent Interim Government of Gerard Latortue.
But, in recognition of Guy Philippe’s actions, in support of his people, in the removal of the murdeer Aristide, American President George Bush personally authorized the award of America’s Distinguished Service Mdal to Guy Philippe. This is America’s highest, non-combat award, and is reserved for those who do something very special at a very high level. Most recipients are 4 star generals!!
That is now past history, but this past history has left indelible footprints across the Haitian scene, after Aristide/Preval recognized the danger Guy Philippe presented.
Preval and Aristide moved to remove their Nemesis – Guy Philippe – from the equation by having him indicted for cocaine trafficking. As the Government of Haiti, with ties directly to the Clinton Conspiracy, this was not difficult.
But many, within the American system, not aligned to the Aristide/Preval Axis, knew the facts and did their best to derail moves against Guy Philippe.
The indictment existed but was left sitting in the files, with a few, unfocused actions to make it appear that something was being done.
Immediately after Aristide’s departure, a detailed letter was sent to the American ambassador, by someone knowing the facts, who was in day-to-day contact with Guy’s forces, and those of Danny Toussaint, detailing the Guy Philippe situation. A search of embassy files will reveal this 4 page item which resulted in meetings between the writer, the Defense Intelligence Attaché and DEA control.
MIAMI HERALD QUOTE: “Just months after a U.S. grand jury indicted ex-Haitian rebel leader Guy Philippe on drug-trafficking charges, federal authorities attempted to trick him into accepting travel documents that would bring him to South Florida — and into the arms of the law.
But Philippe, a roguish former Haiti National Police commander who two years earlier had led the insurgency against then-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, didn’t take the bait.”
This is really a case of misdirection.
During 2006, after the indictment had been generated, Guy Philippe visited the American embassy, in Port-au-Prince on a number of occasions and was in telephone communication with key members of the team that is now claimed to have been seeking his arrest.
NO VISA WAS REQUIRED, TO LURE GUY TO MIAMI. HE COULD HAVE BEEN ARRESTED ANY MOMENT HE SET FOOT IN THE AMERICAN EMBASSY. IT IS AMERICAN TERRITORY. THEY HAVE ARRESTED/HELD PEOPLE IN THE AMERICAN EMBASSY BEFORE.
The MIAMI HERALD article paints Guy as something of a Haitian “Scarlet Pimpernel” and this is true in people’s minds
The Preval-generated helicopter attack was so crude an obvious that it warned everyone about what was underway and a “blind, crippled deaf-mute” would have sensed the attack and moved to safer places.
I mean, give me a break guys!!
Two Blackhawk helicopters, with no registration, full of heavily armed black outfitted attackers, backed by a convoy of vehicles, full of armed dudes, operating into an area where a stray dog from an outside community is recognized for what it is – an outsider!
This strike force was sent by the American government to grab a drug-dealer in Miragoane who was mayor, owned a hotel and a lot of other things.
Sort of like Cholzer Chancy our Chamber President, but they aren’t bothering him, even though someone recently did an investigation and found he owned something like $30,000,000 in real estate, acquired on a 600 Haitian Dollars per month salary, before he managed to be elected to Parliament where he rakes in something like $400,000 USD per year.
Like Aristide’s explanation of his $1,500,000,000 nest egg, Cholzer could claim to have written a book and generated royalties.
The DEA could have put a couple of agents in a car, and driven to Miragoane for the man’s arrest. Local PNH offices would have assisted.
But no, the Americans wanted a show of force to send a message to other drug dealers, when the only show of force each would understand is their personal arrest. Someone else does not count. otherwise many of our leading citizens would be living in the States, at the American government’s expense.
Helicopters, guys in totally black outfits, lots of armor, machine guns, hoods and rappelling down ropes – creating a waterfall of noise.
Missed the point.
The natives of Pestel stood and watched the show, which added a little excitement to what would have been an otherwise dull day. Guy stood close by, among the villagers, watching the stage play unfold. Another black face, among a wall of black faces, unnoticed by the American invaders. Sounds racists but, the scenario was predictable as a swarm of white Americans descended from the clouds upon a somewhat primitive setting like Pestel.
Guy Philippe has lived his life, since Aristide’s removal in 2004, working to help his community in Pestel. He has created a hospital, school, and works constantly to better the life of his people. When Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti, washing away much of the infrastructure, and almost all of the season’s crops, the south was badly hit.
There was no shelter.
Privert personally blocked movement of aid into Guy Philippe’s district, because of his Lavalas orientation, close ties to Aristide/Preval and personal animosity towards Guy. People starved to death, because of this, and continue to die, even though Privert has stepped down, after stealing a final $8,000,000 Taiwan paid him for Haiti’s UN votes of some subject focused upon Taiwan.
The American government, and the people of Haiti, owe Guy Philippe, and his small “Band of Brothers,” an eternal debt for their small action that removed the Aristide dictatorship.
Instead, they have been forgotten – “Yesterday’s Heroes,” as the greedy move on with their lives, generating profits, smuggling cocaine, stealing funds from our Haitian childrens’ education.
Preval was toasted as a hero, during his funeral, people forgetting his leading roles in thefts of $198,000,000 from Petro Caribe, the murders of Mireille Durocher-Bertin, Jacques Dominique, and Robert Marcello, the French Consul, two murdered by Preval hit-man Amaral Duclona, and a host of other personality flaws. He was involved with the cocaine business and the flow passed into Haiti under the vigilance of his office, but nothing has ever been done about this, or Aristide total control of the cocaine trade, during his Presidencies.
The “Cocaine Kingpin” Jean Bertrand Aristide lives in opulent splendor at Tabarre, on a 50 acre estate, 40 acres of which were acquired by the his murder of previous tenant Gonzales, head of Air Haiti.
And now the might of the American Monolith focuses upon their ex-ally Guy Philippe, who did a service for them that should see them eternally grateful.
For Americans Eternity is short-lived, as in the case of Guy Philippe.
His trial, along with many embarrassing revelations, detailing American lack of loyalty, or Word, will be a lesson to those who may be asked for assistance in the future.
The American prosecution should act, as they did in the case of a truly guilty guy, America’s informer PNH officer Evens Brilliantz, and make a weak presentation of their case, allowing an easy acquittal.
Face would be saved and Justice served.
Guy Philippe could return to his family, and his people, and his Nation who need him. Guy has much to do for all of them, as he continues to follow his conscience and dedication to doing the right thing.
A forgotten concept, but one that should be revisited.
Guy Philippe stands for what he believes in, against the ever-changing chameleon of American values and morality.
We salute him.