Dokodemo Door!

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Square Wheels of Justice

A little bit of background is required for this one, although I don't really have the whole story.

From 1993 until 1994 in Haiti, Emmanuel "Toto" Constant was the head of FRAPH, a paramilitary death squad which used violence and terror to target supprorters of the then-president-in-exile Jean-Bertrand Aristide who had been kicked-out in a coup d'etat. About the same time he was organizing massacres and mass-rapes, Constant was also on the CIA payroll because he was in a position to provide useful information.

The fact that the CIA cultivated the head of a Third World death-squad as an intelligence asset shouldn't surprise too many folks, but it was nonetheless a source of embarrassment when the news went public. If I remember correctly, it was a factor leading to the resignation of the CIA director James Woolsey towards the end of 1994.

Anyway, Emmanuel Constant made his way to the U.S. before Aristide was reinstalled by U.S. forces in Operation Uphold Democracy. He'd been living in the New York City area despite a number of requests by Haitian authorities to extradite him.

It turns out that he's going to be behind bars very soon. He was found guilty today in a New York courtroom... of mortgage fraud.

There's a sobering moral lesson in there somewhere. You can order the murder of hundreds of people, but don't mess with real estate.