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Date: Thu, 14 Oct 1999 22:52:15 -0500 (CDT)
From: Haiti Progres <editor@haiti-progres.com>
Subject: This Week in Haiti 17:30 10/13/99: RACIST UNDERBELLY OF US OCCUPATION
Article: 79593
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Message-ID: <bulk.87.19991016061555@chumbly.math.missouri.edu>

The racist underbelly of the U.S. occupation of Haiti

By Stan Goff, Haiti Progres, This Week in Haiti, Vol. 17, no. 30, 13-19 October 1999

In the Summer 1999 edition of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Investigative Report, Gregory A. Walker wrote an article entitled A Defector in Place. It was a story about Sergeant First Class Stephen Barry, a former Special Forces soldier who has been publishing a fascist newsletter called The Resister for several years and who was eased out of the Army as a result.

The writer treats the story of Barry as an aberration, dutifully but reluctantly corrected by the Army. There is also mention of Barry's activities in Haiti, where it is claimed he subverted the mission of the invasion task force in 1994 by ensuring the continued arming of right-wing Haitian organizations. This is an important story, and it is no aberration. Rather it offers a glimpse of the systemic racism in the Special Operations community of the military and reveals that the commanders of the invasion task force in Haiti may well have provided SFC Barry with tacit approval.

I joined the U.S. Army in January 1970, and in February 1996, I retired from 3rd Special Forces. I was in the Special Operations community from 1979 until 1996. I was the operations chief for a Special Forces A-Detachment with the invasion task force for Operation Restore Democracy in Haiti in 1994.

The article noted that Barry began by distributing his screeds in an amateurish newsletter to other Special Forces people. He has used contacts with the Soldier of Fortune magazine and racist organizations like the Council of Conservative Citizens (a favorite of several right-wing members of Congress) and the National Alliance (named by the Anti-Defamation League as the most dangerous neo-Nazi group in America) to boost his fortunes. The Resister now has very high production values and a circulation of over 2,500.

Barry received a career-ending reprimand as a result of his activities and, at one point, was a target of both federal and military criminal investigations, stated the article. The existence of the newsletter and of a corresponding group calling itself the Special Forces Underground (SFU) was exposed in a 60 Minutes program in 1995. At that time, the Army denied the SFU was real, and said The Resister was not extremist. Major General William Garrison, who was my commander in 1986, was the commandant of the Special Warfare Center in 1996. He ordered an unofficial inquiry. Commanders were concerned when it was pointed out that Timothy McVeigh had a copy of The Resister in his car when he was arrested after the 1995 bombing of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City.

The unofficial investigation was exposed by Soldier of Fortune magazine, which portrayed it as a witch hunt, and astonishingly the investigation was called off.

Soldier of Fortune is a racist, fascist publication that touts right-wing mercenary activity. It is widely sold in military Post Exchanges and Base Exchanges, along with similar publications like Gung-ho. It is remarkable that an investigation would be called off with pressure from *this kind* of publication and that taxpayer-financed federal facilities would carry this kind of literature in the first place. It should tell us something about the military culture that not a single liberal or left publication can be found on a single base or post, but fascist periodicals and misogynist pornography abound.

The Special Operations community in the military is a hotbed of right-wing ideology and always has been. I was considered suspicious for implementing rules against racial epithets in the team rooms. People openly register their fascist sympathies by posting SS lightening bolts on the walls, joining or supporting fascist organizations, and listing their race as Aryan on government forms (until told, with a wink and a nod, to change it). The Army's response only comes after embarrassment at public disclosure.

Col. Mark Boyatt, commander of 3rd Special Forces, and my commander for the Haiti invasion in 1994, had Barry reassigned to the Special Forces language school after the 60 Minutes story aired. Boyatt chided him for printing sensitive information, that is information about Special Forces operations and tactics, but Barry was not reprimanded for being a neo-Nazi.

The Army has good reason to be circumspect; it is trying to stay out of hot water. During hearings in Congress on the racially motivated murders of a black couple in Fayetteville, North Carolina, in 1995 by skinheads in the 82nd Airborne Division, congressional staffers heard allegations that The Resister boasted of Special Forces members illegally defying orders in Haiti by helping to arm anti-democratic forces. It describes how U.S. military officials sidelined Congress and allowed Barry to remain in the military despite clear evidence of his extremism.

The Army can't stand too much light being shed on the Haiti issue, not because of Barry's racist proclivities, but because the task force commanders encouraged precisely the kind of activity in which Barry claims to have been involved.

Investigative Report continues: As to the [Washington] Post story about alleged Special Forces subversion in Haiti, Withers [the investigating congressional staffer] reported that the officer told him, 'We looked into that, and found it be untrue.' Withers asked for details of the investigation that backed the officer's assertions. But for six months, Withers wrote, the Army dragged its feet. Finally, after several requests, the Army sent the committee's staff a letter reiterating that the Haiti report was 'unfounded,' but offering no further details. 'When pressed,' Withers wrote, '... [Army officials] said that they had asked the soldiers themselves if they were involved in such activities and the soldiers had said no, so they decided they did not need to investigate further.' The officials also said The Resister was unconnected to the Special Forces although one soldier had been reprimanded for distributing it. Barry's name was not mentioned. But even as both the Army and Special Forces were officially denying the allegations of the Aristide government [that Special Forces members were rearming the pro-coup death-squad network FRAPH and others], The Resister was saying otherwise. In January, four months before the Army's memo to Withers, Barry boasted in print about the SFU's anti-Aristide activities in Haiti, where he had been briefly assigned in support of Operation Restore Democracy. More recently, in a 1999 issue of The Resister, he wrote of his own role in subverting the U.S. mission: 'Instead of posturing and blustering and whining about [the gun confiscation program], I kept my mouth shut and acted. So, despite the best efforts of our Communist administration, there are still hundreds of anti-Communist Haitians who still possess militarily useful arms.'... Not satisfied with the Army's response to its questions, [Congressman] Dellums' committee informed the Special Forces Command that its staffers would again visit Ft. Bragg seeking answers. On Sept. 18, 1996, in preparation for this visit, the Special Forces Command under Major General Kenneth R. Bowra [with whom I served in 1979-80 at 2nd Ranger Battalion] authorized an official administrative investigation 'into the possible illegal activities of active duty soldiers associated with ... The Resister.'

One of the reasons for the foot-dragging is that an investigation into something as simple as the content of each and every U.S. Army intelligence summary before, during, and after the 1994 Haiti invasion would reveal similar venom directed against Haitians and their democratically elected government. I was privy to the lion's share of those intelligence summaries, and they invariably regurgitated CIA fabrications and propaganda about Aristide (none positive), and were shot through with racist and xenophobic stereotypes about Haitians. We were being told, in effect, by Military Intelligence (and between the lines by our command structure) that we had to maintain the *appearance* of supporting the return of democracy to Haiti, but that we should work hard to break down the power of democratic organizations around the country.

I was relieved of my command and removed from Haiti in December 1994. My troubles began after I had arrested soldiers, FRAPH members, Macoutes, and the former ambassador under Francois Duvalier, Neal Calixte (who was reputed to have financed FRAPH activity). Virtually all of these detainees were freed and returned to my sector, even though a massive number of witnesses wanted to testify against them for a range of atrocities. I was told to regard the FRAPH death-squad network as the legitimate political opposition. I was *refused permission* to sweep my sector for weapons, which I intended to confiscate. Soldiers whom we thoroughly vetted and energetically recommended be barred from the interim police force were all given amnesty and admitted for training.

I was asked repeatedly during the investigation that relieved me of my command if I hadn't become too pro-Haitian.

The fact of the matter was that the U. S. couldn't militarily invade Haiti without a massive, negative response from the Haitian people. The U.S. needed Aristide on its arm, and when they were done with him, they pushed him off the stage. Even as this is written, the U. S. is attempting to manipulate another Haitian election on behalf of the international financial oligarchies represented by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

The United States foreign policy establishment has always been about profit. Since capitalism is as inextricably linked as a Gordian knot with racism and neocolonialism, it should surprise no one that the special operations community, designed to do special operations in politically sensitive areas, is immersed in a culture of racism, domination and exploitation.