Tuesday, May 19, 2009 FULL SHOW | HEADLINES | NEXT: Grammy-Winning Soul Musician John Legend at UPenn...

Bill Clinton to be Named UN Special Envoy to Haiti


Jeremy Scahill, award-winning investigative journalist and author of the bestseller Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army. His writing and reporting is available at RebelReports.com. His latest article on Haiti is titled 'Bill Clinton Named New UN Envoy to ’Stabilize' Haiti, a Country He Helped Destabilize’

This is viewer supported news

Independent journalist Jeremy Scahill examines how Clinton helped to destabilize Haiti in the 1990s. While Clinton and his advisers publicly expressed their dismay with the US-backed 1991 coup that ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, they simultaneously refused to support the swift reinstatement of the country’s democratically elected leader and would, in fact, not allow Aristide’s return until Washington received guarantees that, one, Aristide would not lay claim to the years of his presidency lost in forced exile and, two, US neoliberal economic plans were solidified as the law of the land in Haiti. [includes rush transcript]


This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Jeremy, you wrote another piece at rebelreports.com on Bill Clinton being named as — could be today — the new UN envoy to stabilize Haiti.

JEREMY SCAHILL: Right. I mean, this would be — this would be humorous for its irony, if it wasn’t so deadly serious. Bill Clinton, as President of the United States, was someone who participated in the systematic destabilization of Haiti.

In a nutshell, what happened was that Aristide was overthrown in a violent US-backed coup — you covered it — under the George H.W. Bush administration. Clinton campaigned on a pledge to stop the cruel treatment of Haitian detainees being held at Guantanamo and also to reverse the Bush administration’s cruel policy in general toward Haiti. Instead, what Clinton did is he kept Aristide in exile for years, until they could squeeze out of Aristide a commitment to uphold US neoliberal economic programs in Haiti and that Aristide would agree not to lay claim to the years he spent in exile as part of his presidency.

He was a democratically elected president. He, fair and square, beat a US candidate. The US violently overthrew him. They butchered Haiti. And then Clinton refused to put Aristide back in power, even though he could have done it with one phone call. And instead, what he did is he implemented a vicious regime of economic neoliberalism inside of Haiti. The Haitian people now are suffering under that neoliberal economic model and the aftermath of this repression force that just terrorized the people of Haiti.

To have Bill Clinton now be sent in explicitly to be the person who’s going to, quote-unquote, “stabilize” Haiti and dabble in the economics of this incredibly poor suffering nation, to me, is just a grotesque act on the part of the United Nations. And I think that anyone who’s about justice for Haiti should rise up and say that Bill Clinton has no business stepping foot in Haiti in any official capacity with the United Nations at all.

AMY GOODMAN: Jeremy Scahill, I want to thank you for being with us. Jeremy’s reports can be found at rebelreports.com. He is a correspondent for Democracy Now!, award-winning investigative journalist.

JEREMY SCAHILL: The piece is at AlterNet. The story I did is at AlterNet, yeah.

AMY GOODMAN: And the piece that you wrote was at AlterNet.org. Democracy Now!’s Jeremy Scahill is author of the award-winning book Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army.

Show Full Transcript ›
‹ Hide Full Transcript

Recent Shows More

Full News Hour


    Alison Bechdel’s "Fun Home": The Coming-Out Memoir That Became a Hit Broadway Musical
    In a Democracy Now! special, we look at the acclaimed Broadway musical "Fun Home," which swept the Tony Awards last month. Composer Jeanine Tesori and lyricist Lisa Kron made history as the first female duo to win a Tony Award for Best Original Score. "Fun Home" is also the first-ever Broadway musical to feature a lesbian protagonist. The musical is based on the 2006 best-selling graphic memoir by Alison Bechdel, "Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic." The memoir is a poignant exploration of family, memory, first love,...

Creative Commons License The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

This is viewer supported news