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26704: Mitchel Cohen: (reply) The infamous "Sprague fiasco" on Haiti (fwd)
I want to add my own views to Daniel Simidor's on-target critique of the Jeb Sprague fiasco concerning Haiti, below.
Student Jeb Sprague gave a talk, based on research he is doing for his Ph.D. thesis, at the Haiti War Crimes Tribunal in Washington D.C. that promised to elaborate on charges he'd made earlier against Batay Ouvriye, which were widely published within the Left in the U.S. With the help of a number of groups including, sadly, Haiti Progres, Jeb Sprague smeared this small, hard-working group as having been paid-off by various U.S. government agencies. When activists in the Haiti freedom movement challenged him to document his charges which, as Daniel Simidor points out, endanger the lives of activists in Haiti, Sprague swore he had the documentation and would present it.
Now it turns out that Sprague's "documentation" was a complete lie. But instead of apologizing, Sprague and those who have glommed onto his dissertation research (shades of the Downing Street memos!) to pursue their own political agendas are pushing it still, even though there is no truth to it. This is a shameful way for a "researcher" to conduct himself (and note should be taken by his Ph.D. committee about this), let alone for other leftist groups to recklessly continue the deception and smear tactics.
One does not have to agree with Batiye Ouvriye's entire program to understand what Sprague et al.'s unscrupulous behavior is really about: That there are those who have vested themselves in Pres. Aristide's politics and organizational formations inside Haiti, and cannot tolerate activists who criticize Aristide's pro-IMF policies FROM THE LEFT and demand an end to the U.N. occupation there.
My only disagreement with Daniel Simidor is that I would not describe Ben Dupuy as LaRouche-like; I think that clouds the issue politically, even though I understand that Daniel is referring to the "Big Lie" technique that LaRouche and Dupuy both use ....
Jeb Sprague, Haiti Progres, and other organizations and individuals who are spreading this lie need to retract it immediately and apologize for their reckless, sectarian behavior.
Brooklyn Greens / Green Party