To be the first son of General Gerard Emmanuel Constant is the call to arms for Emmanuel Gerard Constant
continued to deny the allegations, the UN concluded by 1994 that Constant's organization was "the only political movement [in Haiti] whose members have been linked to assassinations and rapes.
, as usual, denied FRAPH's involvement.
later pointed out, "If I was going to really react, there would be no more Cité."
Though there were reports that he
was on the scene during the fire and at other times had participated personally in torture sessions, Constant
was careful to avoid serious implication.
But the more Constant
appeared on television to deny any connection with crimes, the more he
seemed the face of them.
"Each FRAPH man," Constant
said, "must put down one American soldier."
But faced with the might of the United States, the junta agreed to step down.
Incredibly, after thousands of U.S. soldiers seized the island, many of them countenanced FRAPH's activities as expedient for maintaining order.
When asked why, U.S. soldiers said they had been told by their superior officers that FRAPH
was a legitimate opposition party, like Republicans and Democrats.
U.S. soldiers even stood by, insisting they were not a local police force, while FRAPH members beat back civilians who had spilled onto the streets expecting liberation.
It was only after random bands of FRAPH members mowed down a crowd of Haitians and shot and wounded an American photographer, and a radio conversation was intercepted in which Constant and his men threatened to "break out weapons" and "begin an all-out war against the foreigners," that U.S. forces finally reversed their stance.
Back at his
father's mansion, Constant
listened to a police scanner, waiting for the soldiers to seize him.
wife and children had already fled.
At one point, while he
was holed up, according to the Chicago Tribune
yelled at a journalist, "Everybody who is reporting the situation bad ... by the grace of God, they will wind up in the ground!
But even as other FRAPH members were taken into custody, Constant
Not only was Constant not arrested but, to everyone's amazement, the U.S. embassy spokesman, Stanley Schrager, whose assassination Constant had called for only two days before, arranged a press conference for him outside the presidential palace.
"If I find myself in disagreement with President Aristide," Constant
pressed on, his
voice now cracking, "I pledge to work as a member of loyal opposition within the framework of a legal democracy."
As the barricade of troops gave way, U.S. soldiers rushed Constant into a car, while hundreds of jeering Haitians chased after it, spitting and beating on the windows.
On the day of the hearing people claiming to be FRAPH's victims waited for Constant
outside the courtroom.
FRAPH is me."Finally, after the Haitian government demanded that the United States do something, Secretary of State Warren Christopher wrote in a March, 1995, letter to Attorney General Janet Reno, "Nothing short of Mr. Constant's removal from the United States can protect our foreign policy interests in Haiti."
Two months later, saying that Constant
had been allowed to enter the country owing to a bureaucratic error, INS officials surrounded him in Queens as he
went to buy a pack of cigarettes.
They forced him to the ground and frisked him.
was taken to Wicomico County Detention Center
, on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
In September a judge ordered his
deportation to Haiti.
Then, in December of 1995, as the INS
inched closer to deporting him, Constant
decided to play the only card he
He threatened to divulge details of U.S. covert operations in Haiti which he said he had learned about while secretly working for the Central Intelligence Agency.
says Collins was there on the night of the coup.
Many people, Collins said, were impressed by Constant
's background and suggested that Constant might play an important role in the power vacuum left by Aristide's ouster.
was a tempting choice for recruitment by U.S. intelligence
spoke impeccable English, knew his
way around the military, and, as one of the new regime's top advisers, occupied an office right next to that of the junta's head, General Cedras.
Since the coup Constant had taught a course on the dangers of Aristide's liberation theology at the training site for the National Intelligence Service (SIN).
The service, according to The New York Times
, had been created, funded, trained, and equipped by the CIA
, starting in 1986, to combat drug trafficking, but it had quickly become an instrument of terror (and even, according to some U.S. officials, a source of drugs).
says that Collins told him in this first meeting that he
wanted him to meet someone else at Collins's home.
"I'm not going alone," Constant
remembers saying, only half joking.
says they went upstairs, into a small antechamber next to the master bedroom, where a man with dark hair was waiting.
had on a short-sleeved shirt, and Constant
"I'm Donald Terry," the man said.
says that as they sat drinking cocktails, Terry began to pepper him with questions about the stability of the current military regime, and pulled out a booklet-"a roster"-containing the names and backgrounds of officers in the Haitian
and Collins asked Constant
who were the most effective.
A few days later, Constant
says, Terry asked to meet again, this time alone at the Kinam Hotel.
It was then, Constant says, that Terry divulged that he was an agent of the CIA.
The U.S. government will not comment on any questions regarding Donald Terry; Terry himself could not be reached.
But the CIA
had been deeply involved with the Haitian military and Haitian politics for decades.
remembers that his
father served as an informal adviser to an agent who used to stop by for conferences on their porch in the 1960s.
According to press reports, the Agency, after starting SIN, had planned to finance various political candidates in the 1987 presidential elections.
The Senate Intelligence Committee
vetoed the plan.
Constant says he eventually agreed to serve as a conduit between the Haitian military regime and U.S. intelligence.
was then given the code name Gamal, after Egypt's former nationalist leader, Gamal Abdel Nasser, whom he
admired, and a two-way radio, with which he
checked in regularly.
It is impossible to confirm all the details in Constant's account.
For the record, a CIA spokesman stated that it was "not our policy" to confirm or deny relationships with any individuals; he
would not discuss Constant
But there is little doubt that Constant
was a paid informant.
What has been a mystery is the nature of the relationship:just how big an asset was Constant?
U.S. authorities have maintained that he
was nothing more than a two-bit snitch.
But interviews with several people connected to the intelligence community, together with Constant's own version of events, suggest that from the beginning he
was a generous font of information, and later, according to at least some, a full-fledged operative.
After the coup he
helped to run a little-known operation called the Bureau of Information and Coordination
, which collected various kinds of data: the number of deaths and arrests in Haiti, the number of adherents of liberation theology, and so forth.
says the data collection was for the purposes of economic development, but it clearly had another purpose: military intelligence.
According to Constant and to a non-Haitian connected to the intelligence community, Constant and another BIC member were the first to enter one of Aristide's private quarters, where they found a hoard of secret documents.
Some of these ended up in the hands of U.S. intelligence officers, who in turn provided the documentation for controversial reports claiming that Aristide was mentally unbalanced, contributing to the voices against him in the United States.
A former senior CIA official justified using an informant who was as potentially problematic as Constant
thus:"You can't help these bad guys accomplish stuff, but you got to give 'em money to find out what's happening in groups like that.
And if you're going to recruit in a terrorist group like FRAPH, you're not going to get any functional equivalent ... [of] a Western democrat ...
To find out what's going on, you rather rapidly end up in the same position as the FBI
with the Mafia-recruiting and paying money and even granting freedom to lower-level folks, even some high-level folks."
Another former high-ranking government intelligence official put it more bluntly: "Lo