Baby Doc going to the dock?

posted at 8:48 am on January 19, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

You’re a former dictator with hundreds of millions of dollars, stolen from your former countrymen, living a life of luxury in France.  You get a hankering to do some travel.  With all of the choices at your fingerprints, you choose to visit … the country you pillaged and then fled to keep the mobs from hanging you from the nearest light pole.  What could go wrong?

Haiti on Tuesday filed embezzlement and corruption charges against former dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier, who is accused of torturing thousands of Haitians and stealing hundreds of millions of dollars during his 15-year reign.

Haiti’s top prosecutor brought the charges against Duvalier in a day of high drama surrounding the ailing one-time despot, who stunned Haitians on Sunday when he stepped off an Air France flight at the international airport.

After a hearing that lasted more than five hours, complaints of corruption, misappropriation of public funds and criminal conspiracy were filed. The charges could be dismissed or sustained by a judge who will now investigate whether there’s sufficient evidence to go to trial. The process could take months.

Duvalier, 59, was picked up by police early Tuesday amid a flurry of activity at the posh Karibe Hotel in Pétionville, where he has been staying.

I guess Disney France must have been booked, eh?  Well, now so is Duvalier:

No one still can quite figure out what Duvalier was thinking when he returned to Haiti this week. The Miami Herald describes him as “ailing,” and perhaps Duvalier figured he had little left to lose in a final attempt to return to power. He’s more likely to see the inside of a prison. US courts have held Duvalier responsible for absconding with $500 million from Haiti, and torture charges are also likely. In fact, with Duvalier in custody, Haiti’s courts may be overwhelmed with people looking to file charges and get justice for the brutal actions of Duvalier — those still left alive, that is.

Hopefully, Haiti can bring this dictator to justice, and heal its decades-long political wounds in the process. However, it may well be that, in the end, Haitians will also wish that Duvalier had better sense in his vacation planning.

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I guess Disney France must have been booked, eh? Well, now so is Duvalier:
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That was a brilliant career move!!!

canopfor on January 19, 2011 at 8:52 AM

Oops…obviously a case of severe dementia, he thought he was going to Wal-Mart.

joe btfsplk on January 19, 2011 at 8:54 AM

No one still can quite figure out what Duvalier was thinking when he returned to Haiti this week.
=================================

Maybe,it was the new PeaceFul Hopey/Changey Paradigm Shift,
jus say’n!!

canopfor on January 19, 2011 at 8:56 AM

There really should be a safe vacation destination for former dictators. In fact, it could make for a great reality show. Despot Island.

Disturb the Universe on January 19, 2011 at 8:57 AM

A better question is why would Air France fly to Haiti? Does American fly there? Bet those flight crews want to deplane the passengers, turn around, and fly right the hell out of there.

Marcus on January 19, 2011 at 8:57 AM

If he beats the rap, as is likely, he would be free to garner support for a takeover.

OldEnglish on January 19, 2011 at 9:01 AM

Was this one of those scams that the police use to lure people with outstanding warrants to one place so they can arrest them? Did they tell him he has won Super Bowl tickets or something?

Cindy Munford on January 19, 2011 at 9:01 AM

You’re a former dictator with hundreds of millions of dollars, stolen from your former countrymen, living a life of luxury in France.
===========================
Sounds like the start of Iowahawks,Beltway,

I mean,Dictator Adventure game!

canopfor on January 19, 2011 at 9:03 AM

Was this one of those scams that the police use to lure people with outstanding warrants to one place so they can arrest them? Did they tell him he has won Super Bowl tickets or something?

Cindy Munford on January 19, 2011 at 9:01 AM

Cindy Munford:LMAO,your baaaaaaaaaaad:)

canopfor on January 19, 2011 at 9:04 AM

Was this one of those scams

Cindy Munford on January 19, 2011 at 9:01 AM

Cindy Munford:Nigerian Lottery Scam,hehe!!:)

canopfor on January 19, 2011 at 9:06 AM

Napoleon returning from Elba; that’s what he was thinking!
In the fever swamp of the despot’s dreams, the current government of Haiti looks more and more like the Caribbean equivalent of the Wiemar Republic every day. He thinks his sudden dramatic appearance will offer the benighted people of the squalid camps of Port Au Prince, an alternative to the failed regime that can’t manage a recovery.
In Baby Doc’s little world, he sees himself as riding to the rescue, and his precarious health takes away any serious downside.

Lew on January 19, 2011 at 9:08 AM

This is rather strange to try an figure out. This man and his father before him, was a brutal dictator. That he stole millions, mostly our money, was 2nd to the terror he caused to the people of Haiti. We are learning, in a much more subtle way, just how it feels to live under tyranny and most of us don’t like it one bit.

Kissmygrits on January 19, 2011 at 9:12 AM

Must have taken a wrong turn in albuquerque

cmsinaz on January 19, 2011 at 9:14 AM

canopfor on January 19, 2011 at 9:06 AM

Doesn’t it make you wonder how he become a dictator to begin with. He doesn’t seem particularly bright.

Cindy Munford on January 19, 2011 at 9:15 AM


With all of the choices at your fingerprints …

Haha I see what ya did there!

I love that HotAir covers Haiti, Tunisia, etc but what about Sudan? The arab/Islamic north has been at war with black/Christians in the south for 20 years (1,200 actually) and now they voted to break off and have their own country … and nothing about this on HotAir? Or maybe I missed it ’cause I was cruising at 40,000 feet?

Tony737 on January 19, 2011 at 9:16 AM

When death is approaching, is it not natural to want to atone for sins still hanging over your head? I think he went back to get the justice he deserved in this life, so it didn’t get compounded with interest in the next life.

It is the only rational explanation.

Mutnodjmet on January 19, 2011 at 9:16 AM

The Miami Herald describes him as “ailing,” and perhaps Duvalier figured he had little left to lose in a final attempt to return to power.

“Ailing” has got to be a preexisting condition and, if he were an exiled US dictator, then he’d be arguing that he should be able to return to the US to get free healthcare that is his new constitutional right.

I can see the future.

ted c on January 19, 2011 at 9:18 AM

Doesn’t it make you wonder how he become a dictator to begin with. He doesn’t seem particularly bright. – Cindy

Same way Kim Jong-il did it, a gift from his “Papa”.

Tony737 on January 19, 2011 at 9:19 AM

The important question is: does he still have those righteous mutton chops?

SD on January 19, 2011 at 9:22 AM

Must have taken a wrong turn in albuquerque
cmsinaz

Thread winner!

Tha-tha-tha-that’s all, folks!

Tony737 on January 19, 2011 at 9:23 AM

Mutnodjmet on January 19, 2011 at 9:16 AM

Is he sick? He’s only 59.

Cindy Munford on January 19, 2011 at 9:29 AM

Tony737 on January 19, 2011 at 9:19 AM

There are some scary families out there.

Cindy Munford on January 19, 2011 at 9:30 AM

Is he sick? He’s only 59.

Cindy Munford

The Miami Herald describes him as “ailing.”

Mutnodjmet on January 19, 2011 at 9:43 AM

Mutnodjmet on January 19, 2011 at 9:43 AM

Hmmm, had not heard that, I was thinking out of money.

Cindy Munford on January 19, 2011 at 9:45 AM

Maybe now the Haitians can get their looted funds back. But then I’m afraid the politicians there would steal the money.

Ward Cleaver on January 19, 2011 at 9:47 AM

Maybe he ran thru all the millions he stole, and was hoping to rip the Haitians off again?

capejasmine on January 19, 2011 at 9:53 AM

Baby Doc

thats one fine democrat

Sonosam on January 19, 2011 at 10:21 AM

The charges could be dismissed or sustained by a judge who will now investigate whether there’s sufficient evidence to go to trial.

I imagine this dude knows he better get it right. I doubt there is enough Baby Doc payola available to protect him from the mobs if he dismisses the charges. And, that’s a good thing.

a capella on January 19, 2011 at 10:23 AM

I know that for my opinion on this subject the cool kids on the left won’t eat lunch with me. I think the problem with the treatment of Baby Doc is excessive legalism. Former evil dictators shouldn’t face a trial. They should just be hung and their corpse left up for a day or two.

I’m not saying that this is true for every dictator. Dictators like Franco, Tito, or Bongo of Gabon are examples of dictators who should be given trials if they were caught by opponents. Also, the legalism often also works the other way. The legal trials persecute former leaders who should not be persecuted–even elected figures. Fujimori of Peru tremendously improved life the average Peruvian, yet he is in prison for doing exactly those things which improved life for the average Peruvian. Let’s also not forget how the most excellent Pinochet was hounded during his last days.

In short, the trials are not helping to make the world a better place. Perhaps the model of how to deal with a common criminal doesn’t work well for political decision makers.

thuja on January 19, 2011 at 11:12 AM

Doesn’t it make you wonder how he become a dictator to begin with. He doesn’t seem particularly bright.

Cindy Munford on January 19, 2011 at 9:15 AM

He s no genious.PapaDoc was the brains and terrified the people for many years.May they execute him and he and his father rot in hell.

katy the mean old lady on January 19, 2011 at 11:16 AM

genius

katy the mean old lady on January 19, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Maybe his credit card balance was getting too close to the red and he was hoping for some of that Bill Clinton/G-Bush 41 green to help out.

TimBuk3 on January 19, 2011 at 12:26 PM

I can’t wait for France to become indignant that one of their guests was arrested.

JavelinaBomb on January 19, 2011 at 12:46 PM

No one still can quite figure out what Duvalier was thinking when he returned to Haiti this week.

It’s easy. He thought he could take advantage of the turmoil in Haiti and come back to power. But I guess he miscalculated.

SoulGlo on January 19, 2011 at 10:50 PM

One wonders what he was thinking. Perhaps something like this: “Look around the world, even in the US and Europe. There’s a lot of brazen activity being tolerated. Why not me?”

disa on January 20, 2011 at 1:32 AM