Saturday, January 31, 2015

Tivoli COE: Clarifying the US Role

"The full extent of U.S. involvement in the operation remains unclear."
                         Mattathias Schwartz, The New Yorker , August 3, 2012

That statement comes from the leading researcher on the role of the USA in the May 2010 military operation in Tivoli Gardens, Jamaica. The Tivoli Commission of Enquiry (COE)  cannot fulfill its mandate if it fails to clarify further the role the USA played in the operation.

Clarification can come from a number of sources. Then Prime Minister & Minister of Defence, Bruce Golding, has given Schwartz a most interesting interview. However, there are certain assertions that the COE may wish to seek clarification. For example:

  • Golding requested the US authorities  to provide "aerial surveillance"that would assist the security forces in managing the operation.Golding claims that he had in mind "satellite images."
The exact nature of the aerial surveillance requested and provided;
The dates and duration of the surveillance aircraft operating in Jamaica's airspace;
The command and reporting station--its staffing, and territorial location (in Jamaica or elsewhere);

  • Golding stated that he had only heard about the video footage captured by the US surveillance when reports by Schwartz were made public.  His administration did not seek the video footage. 
  • The Government of Jamaica ought to make attempts to obtain the video footage would be of some assistance, namely "help to corroborate or challenge whatever comes out of the public defender's report."
  • Such should not be difficult for the Government; "simply send a note verbale to the US government and request that these videos be made public."
The whereabouts of the video footage captured during the surveillance;
Was the video shared with the Jamaican authorities and/ or the Minister of Defence?
Has the Government of Jamaica made any request of the US government for the videos?
  • Golding had no knowledge whether or not US personnel were on the ground in Tivoli Gardens during the operation.
What was the extent of the US personnel involvement, apart from manning the spy plane?
How many US operatives were actually involved and in what capacities?
To whom did these operatives report ?

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