Okay, I don't believe that they kidnapped him. I can't believe that anybody listens to Jesse Jackson, but he's claiming that the CIA and SF soldiers kidnapped President Aristide.
Thanks, Jesse. Thanks a bunch. We just saved your (can't fight his way out of a wet paper bag) friend's ass and now it's labeled a kidnapping? How about labeling it what it really was...
U.S. denies forcing out AristideFirst off, why does skin color matter when someone comes to tell you that, in a matter of hours, your city will fall and your palace will be under Rebel control? And that means someone will probably come to execute you. Does anyone really think that the SF soldier delivering the message cared about race? I doubt it. If I were him, the only thing I would care about is getting the hell out of Dodge.
BY DEB RIECHMANN
WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration insisted Monday that Haiti's exiled president was not kidnapped or strong-armed into fleeing, despite Jean-Bertrand Aristide's claims that the U.S. military forced him to leave.
White House officials said Aristide left willingly and that the United States aided his safe departure.
But in a telephone interview, Aristide said: ''No. I was forced to leave.''
The interview was arranged by the Rev. Jesse Jackson after a news conference where the Chicago activist called on Congress to investigate Aristide's ouster.
Aristide's wife, Mildred, initiated the phone call, said Shelley Davis, a special assistant to Jackson. She said the minister and the president's family have been close for about a decade.
Jackson said Congress should investigate whether the United States, specifically the CIA, had a role in the rebellion that led to Aristide's exile.
Jackson encouraged reporters to question where the rebels in Haiti got their guns and uniforms.
''Why would we immediately support an armed overthrow and not support a constitutionally elected government?'' Jackson said.
Aristide insisted his exit was not of his own choosing.
''Agents were telling me that if I don't leave they would start shooting and killing in a matter of time,'' Aristide said during the interview, which was interrupted at times by static. Asked to identify the ''agents,'' Aristide said: ''White American, white military.''
''They came at night. ... There were too many. I couldn't count them,'' he added.
A White House official responded, ''He resigned and left on his own accord.''
Aristide's supporters said the one-time U.S. ally told them he was being held against his will in the Central African Republic. That country's foreign affairs minister said Aristide was there of his own accord.
The administration did make clear to Aristide in the tumultuous hours before he left that he could not count on U.S. protection from rebels threatening to storm the presidential palace and kill him.
Secretary of State Colin Powell relayed that message Saturday night to Aristide's Washington lobbyist, said an administration official speaking on condition of anonymity.
''He was not kidnapped. We did not force him on to the airplane. He went onto the airplane willingly, and that's the truth,'' Powell said.
So what is this all about?
Jesse stirring the pot, that's what. He says to look into who sold the Rebels guns and uniforms. Those of us from Chicago know to also ask, "What's in it for Jesse?".
Remember that Jesse declared that Budweiser was a racist company? Jesse poured Bud-Lite in the streets of Chicago in front of TV cameras declaring that Budweiser was discriminatory and racist. He went on with his valiant campaign against Budweiser...well, he went on until Budweiser awarded the largest Bud distributorship in the state of Illinois to one of Jesse's sons. The Jacksons own the Budweiser distributorship rights to Wrigley Field.
That's why I drink Miller beer at Cub's games.