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06 February 2010


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We started throwing people (the foreign type) into prisons often for dubious reasons and with no judicial review. Let the Haitians follow our good example! I say let the do-gooder fools rot in Haitian Guantanamo!


I'll second Arun.
Maybe a little time in a crumbled Haitian jail would be good for them. The reason he gave does seem to apply in this instance.


Someone will spring them, e.g., Bill Clinton, Bill Richardson, Jesse Jackson, George Clooney. . . you get the idea. Though Arun's idea has merit.

William R. Cumming

Something very strange about this whole story and US reaction! IMO there is no Haitian Nation-State and activities there must be organized on that principle. So far no real US or UN leadership. Needs almost a protectorate status or administered as a UN trust territory. This particular story will also get worse and detract from the efforts at recovery. Almost 1/2 million orphans or abandoned children prior to the earthquake. Now probably much more with almost 50% of Haitian population under age 20!

Medicine Man

Regardless of their religious mores, if these people had honest intentions they don't deserve to be made example of. I'm sure the Haitian government is eager to show some authority, given they have little real juice at this point.

By the same token, I doubt the missionaries themselves would want all aid to Haiti severed on their behalf; at least if they are legitimate. I'm sure Col Lang is just venting.

Hopefully this issue gets settled via back channels after a short period of cooling off. The state department speaks in soothing tones to the authorities in Haiti; so as not to rob the Haitian government of its veneer of authority. The Haitian government, satisfied it has made its point, cuts the missionaries loose. The missionaries themselves pay closer attention in the future to how experienced aid organizations behave. Everyone gets on with more important things. That would be the ideal outcome in my mind.

The Moar You Know

Or else what?

C'mon, Colonel, Haiti isn't worth throwing a rock at in anger. It would be the waste of a perfectly good rock.

If I went down to Mexico and got popped buying some black-tar heroin, you wouldn't waste the effort to type a screed saying I ought to be released to US authorities. You'd say, and rightly so, that I deserved to come up with the bribe or rot underneath the jail.

Same with these idiots. They decided to kidnap some kids to save them from the imagined fires of hell that would surely be their fate if they were to be raised in the Haitian Voodoo God religion, or whatever that so-called society of thugs and failures believes in. They were stupid, and they made the very poor decision to be stupid in a foreign country. This pack of do-gooder fools apparently didn't read their civics, geography or history books (I suspect they're the types that don't go for any of that fancy book-larnin') or else they would have realized that Haiti isn't America, and the protections of our laws do not apply.

Hell, if they'd done some rudimentary homework, they'd have realized that in Haiti, NO laws apply, and they'd better have a fat bankroll at the ready to bribe their way out of trouble if the SHTF. They obviously didn't.

I could write a book on Americans that fail to realize that foreign countries can be dangerous places. You of all people know that score better than anyone. I'll leave you with my plea: please don't argue that folks don't deserve to suffer the consequences for their own bad decisions. That's why we've got the society of whiners, weaklings, and perpetual victims that we've got today.


People can get fair trials in poor countries, including Haiti. The United States should concern itself with insuring they do. If the US thinks it isn't possible, because of the earthquake chaos, it should try to make a deal with Haiti to prosecute them in the US, or in a neighbouring country. If they are convicted, the United States should try to ensure that their sentence is spent in the US.

Getting a free pass for kidnapping, just because you're an American, is offensive nonsense.

America can still practice diplomacy and democracy and the rule of law. But like getting on your bike after a long layoff, it may initially be hard to remember the process coming off a 7 year break.


They will be held until someone pays the bail to get them out.

That is how Haiti trafficking work$ and work$

Arun, Haiti is probably worse than Guantanamo already, hope they do not use harsh interrogations tactics...


Col. Lang, On a totally unrelated note, might you comment on the snow situation where you are?

Might you also comment on it as a Libertarian / Virginian?

I need to know, speaking as the son of a DAR Mother.


I have my doubts about whether Arun's compelling argument will sway the D.C. decision makers, considering that in the acceptance of his stance would lie an admission of fault.

From a more practical perspective it ought to be clear that a Haitian prison clearly is a hell hole. The Haitians have, if anything, proven beyond reasonable doubt that they can't run their country, and that includes the prisons.

Well meaning or culpable fools or not, they will suffer. Worse, the incident is now apparently being exploited for nationalist politics in Haiti, meaning these peoples have become mere pawns or bargaining chips. That suggests that indeed some quiet arm twisting may be in order.

The Col's reasoning as for why to piss on Haitian sovereignty is pretty reasonable.

The Westphalian Order is, despite all its shortcomings and flaws, at least a workable approach to international affairs that to abandon we should think about long and hard. Still, with view on Haiti or Somalia and other FUBAR states I am aghast that I feel a certain sympathy for some of the views of the abominable John Bolton.


I understand how folks can look at this as a well intentioned act, but it's really not something to be encouraged. Some punishment is needed, whether that's in Haiti or here doesn't matter.

Also, the history of these bozos should be taken in consideration: Idaho woman who led ‘rescue’ mission in Haiti faces court woes at home

Patrick Lang


So, your mother is both a DAR member and a subject of the British crown?

This libertarian Virginian pays city taxes and wants the streets plowed in return. We have 23 inches of snow here. The city showed up in the night and cut a big tree loose that had fallen across the street. Then they plowed the street. That pretty much fulfilled this part of the social contract for me. pl


I, a progressive athiest, have made several trips to the DR (Dominican Republic) to work in an mission-run orphanage near the Haitian border. Even before the earth quake, the roads in the western DR had military check-points approximately every 15 minutes of driving -- monitoring for Haitians crossing the border. They could be recognized by their darker skin-color. There is a not-too subtle racism between the countries. Planning to bring 33 or 100 Haitians into the DR was naive.
Many of the 'orphans' where I went had one or more parents; parents who could not provide the food, safety and education Gringo missionaries could buy. Government inspectors forced the return of these orphans back to their homes, partly in the belief that being with the parents is best (an inherent Christian belief) and also to minimize the state education-subsidy. What would these inspectors do when they found 100 smuggled urchins.
While not addressing this post's points directly, the missionaries' actions were, at best, poorly thought through. Why does one think the DR Government has pledged up to 10% of its budget to Haiti this year.

Patrick Lang


It sounds as though a lot of you have an especially vindictive attitude toward the God squad BECAUSE they are evangelical Christians. Every one of you knows that these people were not abducting these children to sell their organs, enslave them as prostitutes or make cheap household help out of them in some other rat hole similat to Haiti.

What they are guilty of is incredible ignorance in thinking that Haiti's government had no teeth and that their good intentions would protect them.

Whichever one of you compared these people to someone "scoring heroin" in Mexico ought to be ashamed.

Some of you are so hostile to the United States and to Americans that any chance to see pain and misery inflicted is welcome.

A Haitian prison? Are you mad? pl


I think people who kidnap children and pervert the Gospels to justify it deserve, at the very least our contempt - probably a trial, too. But as others have noted, if Haiti follows the example of the US, they could simply expedite matters by declaring such people enemies, and imprisoning them for life.

Patrick Lang


You have it right Send some pretty person with a taste for publicity down there to make a deal with the Haitian government crooks. pl

Patrick Lang


What self righteous nonsense! Perverting the gospels? Who made you the ultimate authority on what the gospels mean? pl


Practical proposal: Iirc US law applies to US citizens even for acts they commit abroad. They ought to face trial in a US court under US law to serve time in a US jail if found guilty.

The Haitians could agree, save face, and continue receiving money.

I agree with your assessment that the missionaries are guilty of ignorance while having good intentions. I find that very plausible.


I hate gratuitousness complications in a crisis. Complications I understand. I understand some will say, and have said, on this list, that this situation is not gratuitousness.

But it is to me, when compared with the need down there. You want to complicated the relief effort down there? Turn this into a high profile situation. Look, in the end they are gonna cut these people loose. Cutem loose now and be done with it.

My two cents....

Nancy K

My feeling is that the missionaries were very stupid and probably a little self rightous, However the children were not hurt, it doesn't appear that they were going to be sold as slaves or sex toys, which unfortunatly does happen too often to children in Haiti. So the missionaries should be given a steep fine, the money going to orpahanages in Haiti, and they should be shipped back to the US.
Probably they will be fined and the money will go into the pocket of some Haitian official and they will be shipped back to the US.
There are many children in the US who need help, most cities have too many children in foster care and too few adults who will care for them. If they really wanted to help children then they wouldn't have to leave their own country.


Col. Lang,

"So, your mother is both a DAR member and a subject of the British crown?"

Not a subject of the British crown. She still fills in her IRS stuff every year. Traces her ancestry all the way back to the Mayflower. 60+ American cousins, nieces and nephews and counting. We send money back to the U.S. to help some of them sometimes.

Glad "Mr. Plow" was there for you.

On the subject of Haitian missionaries, I'm reminded of the phrase "No good deed goes unpunished."

I'm also reminded that Third world former colonial countries, for example Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore often view an opportunity to prosecute and incarcerate or execute a Westerner as "Nation building".



I agree - there doesn't seem to be much reason to keep holding this people. The point has been made to any similar group of idiots who might want to take shortcuts trying to save children. Now is a good time to make a deal.


Here's a personal anecdote:
My wife and I couldn't' have kids. We decided to adopt. My wife is from Brazil, so we decided Brazil would be the best option. She went down there and adopted a boy and she has been legally declared his mother by a Brazilian court. She is also a U.S. citizen.

Guess what though... State Dept won't let him into the U.S. Something about the Hague Convention. So instead, my wife has to remain in Brazil with him for two years before we can apply to bring him here.

It's a tough pill to swallow.


This is probably a sincere and well-intentioned group of folks who were being exploited. Their sincerity and wish to “do good” has been mis-directed and they attempted a head line grabbing mission that has gone badly wrong.
I know nothing about the group, but I imagine that they have drawn inspiration from the folks who have successfully prevented prior administrations from directing aid money to promote family planning classes, abortions and condom use. They have been so successful that the island is in serious population overshoot and this catastrophe just amplified that.

Those folks could do more good by simply adopting one of the many orphans here in the US and by supporting sensible use of our foreign aid.

Patrick Lang


My only revolutionary war ancestor (that I know of)fought for the king.

He was a Brunswicker (Wilhelm Prell) from the Hanoverian lands in Germany (not a Hessian) Captured at Saratoge, he never went home. pl

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