Defense says Taylor was Peacemaker Turned Scapegoat

Charles Taylor is not a war criminal but a peacemaker turned scapegoat by the international community. This was the message put forward by Taylor’s defense in its opening statement today.

Charles Taylor’s lawyer told a packed courtroom today that his client will declare his trial “political” and “set the historical record straight” that he was trying to bring peace, not foment war.

According to Courtenay Griffiths, lead defense counsel, Taylor was a peacemaker. He was acting at the behest of West African states and the United Nations to broker peace between the warring factions in neighboring Sierra Leone, negotiate with rebels to set free abducted UN peacekeepers, and usher one of the most prominent rebel leaders, Sam Bockarie, out of Sierra Leone to help calm the conflict. Taylor took on this peacemaking role as the leader of the “Committee of Five,” a group set up by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) designed to bring peace to Sierra Leone.

Griffiths told the court that the trial was “political” because others who should have answered a case before the Special Court–such as the then Sierra Leonean president, Ahmed Tejan Kabbah–were not indicted. Taylor’s role in the conflict was skewed to suggest he bore the “greatest responsibility” for crimes committed during the war. Griffiths also suggested that Taylor’s indictment suited western powers such as the United States and United Kingdom who wanted “regime change” in Liberia.

Griffiths—a charismatic advocate who infused his opening statement with a quote from Jamaican reggae singer Bob Marley and held up a sign to the public gallery that stated “Charles Taylor is innocent” before the judges entered the courtroom—listed a litany of problems he saw with the prosecution’s case. Griffiths complained that the prosecution’s case was like a “lucky dip” because of its failure to settle on one consistent formula of joint criminal enterprise (a form of criminal liability) in its indictment, questioned the strength of the evidence linking Taylor to the alleged crimes, and stated that he would “expose” the prosecution’s “corruption.”

“Evidence has been bought and secured through favors,” Griffiths said. “Justice cannot be polluted in this way.”

Griffiths also accused former Special Court prosecutor, David Crane, of trying to “scupper” peace talks for Liberia that Taylor attended in Ghana in 2003 by unsealing the indictment against Taylor at the same time. He said Crane later described this move as an effort to “publicly strip this warlord of his power.” Griffiths pondered “such ego and hubris” before quoting a Bob Marley lyric: Crane, he said, was “working iniquity to achieve vanity.”

The central question of the case, Griffiths went on to tell the court, was whether the prosecution could show that Taylor was responsible for the alleged crimes. As Liberian President, not only was Taylor fully occupied with attacks on his own country which would not allow him to “micromanage” a conflict in a neighboring country, but as a West African leader and member of ECOWAS, he was “placed on the frontline” to bring peace to Sierra Leone, Griffiths said.

In an unusual move, prosecutor Stephen Rapp interjected during Griffiths’ opening statement. Rapp objected because the defense was commenting on the prosecution’s case rather than setting out the evidence his team will present. At the time, Griffiths was describing the breakdown of the prosecution’s linkage and crime-based witnesses. The judges overruled the objection. Griffiths called the interjection “rude.”

In a press briefing following the defense’s opening statement, Rapp rebutted claims of corruption and described the legitimate forms of payments that could be made to witnesses to cover costs of testifying, including travel and lost wages. Rapp said the prosecution’s formulations of joint criminal enterprise were fundamentally consistent throughout the case and that Griffith’s “lucky dip” description “mischaracterizes the case from the beginning.” He also refuted the notion that the trial was political, and said that Taylor was on trial because he had a case to answer for serious crimes.

“I am here because of the victims of Sierra Leone–they are the people who suffered,” Rapp told reporters.

Meanwhile Charles Taylor, in a gray suit wearing his signature tinted glasses, sat silently throughout the opening statement, occasionally looking into the public gallery while fiddling with scraps of paper.  In highly anticipated testimony, he will take the stand tomorrow as the defense’s first witness.


  1. Sir,
    I want the International community and the so-called super power to immediately drop the charges against Charles Taylor.because there is no evident that Charles Taylor committed crime in sierra Leone.It was the sierra Leonel who killed their own people,who cut their brothers and sisters legs not Taylor.If those so-called white are looking for people to carry to the huge please let they go America and take George Bush, and Tony Blade.who killed innocent women and children in Iraq and Afghanistan and still continue to kill people because of Bush order.where America United Nation could not say anything.

    1. Thanks my brother I can’t say more the trial of Charles Taylor is misplaced and he will defend himself at the end. George Bush and his WAR criminals should rather be changed.

      Let me as the international community who are the countries selling the Arms?

    2. Obviously Mr. Landers know nothing about what was going on during the war for diamonds in Sierra Leone and comes off as one of those people wants Mr. Taylor to be found innocent to satisfy his dislike for “those so-called whites”. Well, get real Mr. Landers. The evidence will be the final arbiter.

    3. Mr. James Landers, your assertions that Sierra Leoneans killed themselves without the complicity of Liberia’s Charles Taylor are absolutely wrong, and they backed Mr. Taylor’s butchery of the Sierra Leonean people. First of all, the Liberian civil war had a direct link with the Sierra Leonean crisis.

      Notorious Sierra Leonean rebel leaders such as Foday Sankoh and Sam Bukari were also fighters for Charles Taylor’s National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL). They helped to beef up Taylor’s security in Voinjama, Liberia, in April and August 19999 when Voinjama was attacked by ULIMO fighters. The RUF rebels were sub-headquartered in and frequented in Lofa County, where I worked between 1997 and 1999 with the LOIC Voinjama Project for war-affected youth – during Taylor presidency.

      Let’s pretend that Charles Taylor was a peace-loving person. He would have used his all-powerful influence to prevent his Liberian war spilling into Sierra Leone. But his NPFL men fought in Sierra Leone years before he was elected president of Liberia in 1997.

      Mr. James Landers, today our world is fast-changing and interdependent. Unfavorable conditions in one country signal the moral responsibility of the international community – including big influential powers like the United States, Britain, France – to help stabilize conditions in that affected country.

      Charles Taylor is not a conspiratorial scapegoat in the Sierra Leonean mayhem. Mounting evidence shows his DNA involvement with the birth of the Sierra Leonean crisis that brought a signature atrocity upon the peace-loving people of Sierra Leone.

      Also, to let you know, Mr. James Landers, that the world is now “barrierless” given the fact that current information technologies have created a strategic advantage for accurate evidence. Therefore, Taylor’s involvement in the Sierra Leonean bloodbath was not orchestrated by the international community to indict for war crimes against the humanity of the Sierra Leonean people. It is Taylor’s greed for everything – women, money, power, etc. – that is responsible for his current situation.

      1. It seems that you are part of a set of the many confused people who believed totaly in whatever a white man says about CGT; It may be a complete mis structure of the usuals that actually happened in the Countries during the crisis , its true that the world is no barrier and with technology we are able to see and clearly delienate the truth of any group of persons. This will be the same technology Mr. Taylor will use to defend his case, you as an individual seem not to be understanding the acts of a white man.

        We as humans knows that this court was created to hide their many attrocities they have committed against us Africans, and must not allow this Taylor issue put a divide between both countries.
        Harry, whatever will be said by Mr. Taylor shall equally exposed their dirty deeds, and stop prejudging him before his complete trial. Everyone has greed, even you so there is no exception to Taylor and even the big powers that continuosly prolong the war to see their purpoted “COLD WAR” gain grounds in this subregion has endless greed.
        Lets hope that the truth be told and the justice we hope for be a fair one.

        1. Mr. Joe Manley,

          I am totally liberated to speak my mind about the right thing to do. I try not to invoke prejudice into my analysis. However, I can also cheer the transparency of a due process when the referees in that process are inclined impartially to do the right thing. So is the historical The Hague trial of Charles Taylor, who is responsible for the greatest commission of war crimes against the peaceful people of Sierra Leone.

          Yes. I am extremely cheerful to see my dream come true for a monstrous ruler to be tried in the annals of history. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy – called the Pygmalion effect! The Hague trial is a drama of the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would expect them to unto you.

          The white man did not instruct Charles Taylor to kill and dismember the people of Sierra Leone. Hypothetically, say that the white man did instruct him to indiscriminately exterminate Sierra Leoneans. What would have been the moral conscience of a nice and humanitarian Charles Taylor, who was socialized to do the right thing? Shouldn’t he (Charles Taylor) refuse to execute orders from the white man because it is unlawful to kill?

          Now you, Mr. Joe Manley, are blaming the white man for Taylor’s heartless murder of his Sierra Leonean neighbors for blood diamonds. It’s just a prejudice that you and many others have that the white man brought undue influence upon Charles Taylor who committed heinous atrocities against the people of Sierra Leone. Who is that white man? A British white man or an American white man? America or Great Britain is not exclusively a white man country.

          To this end, it’s Taylor’s uncontrolled greed for power, women, money, etc. that caused him to unleash atrocities against the Sierra Leonean people for imperial control, blood diamonds, and additional women.

      2. Manson,
        Foday Sanko and Bukari were looking for opportunities to bring astrocities in Sierra Leone. There were many people in Liberia that could offer them that opportunity particularly the leaders of ULIMO that were directly at the borders of SL and Liberia. Also note that ULIMO was an enemy of Taylor. Who knows better the people who saw Wicked S/Leonean killed their people or just someone who was informed about the incident.

        Foday Sanko and Bukari were the disgruntled S/Leoneans who plotted the War. They would have as well used Guinea to come to Sierra Leone if Guniea had any political conflict as Liberia did at the time or if the could speak french to communicate effectively. Relax, let call a spade a spade. Tell is out of this issue.

    4. It is remarkable to read from a gentlemen who deep understanding of the case is so impressive for developing nations to digest. Sometime in life, the big power look for the scapegoat. The manipulation of power, greed and criminality from the big heads in western countries have got Charles Taylor facing the court. He should be freed so the court can point fingers on the big powers trying to destroy developing nations.

  2. A little prayer for my Dear President Taylor. May the Lord guide, protect and give you the courage as you stand against powerful nations. Expose them, as they have no case against you. Sierra Leoneans should remember that the likes of Stephen Rapp will abandon them just like others have done in the past and Liberia will always be you closest neighbor.

    1. His lawyer laid it out in plain and simple language!!!!. I watched ALL of the prosecutor’s showings and still cannot find a SINGLE piece of evidence linking Mr. Taylor to any of the charges. I’ve asked these questions over and over and I hope we’ll get some answers…..WHY PRESIDENT KABA WAS NOT INDICTED AND WHAT ROLE DOES THE PEACE ACCORD PLAYS IN THIS CASE???.

      1. This case resembles the O. J. Simpson Trial. Taylor looked guilty in the beginning until
        the Trial started. This case was or still is not as easy as we thought. The court have not
        proven their case against this man. You may like or dislike Taylor but the rule of law will
        always have to be followed . 11 counts may end up being 3 counts.

  3. If Charles Taylor is meant to be Standing Trial in the ICC so should George Bush ,Antony Blair,Yoweri Mosevini,Olusegun Obasanjo,and Co why are this poeple allowed to get away with the atrocities while charles Taylor should be made a scape Goat .Its about time African leaders should stop being Western Puppets and start taking Responsibility for what happens in Africa.Thats why the African continents needs Outspoken leaders like Robert Mugabe who would tell the west where to go.There should be no way that the President of Sudan should be allowed to Stand Trial at this Kangaroo Courts.We in Africa should not let the West Brainwash us with there Stupidity

  4. All i can say now, GOD is in control. We will watch the trial and know the truth because the truth will always prevail. Rapp don’t worried Taylor will prove to you that he better educated then you.
    He will make you a laughing stood.


  5. My the Lord guide you and keep you safe Mr. president, you are our (Africa’s) hero. expose them Mr. President…..

  6. Mr Taylor is NOT guilty even the people in Sierra Leone know that.. This is a way of saying another lie and letting go the true doer of the act committed in Sierra Leone. Mr Taylor killed people in Liberia start a case about Liberia in The Hague; you will have all the evidence to nail this guy!!! But Sierra Leone, he is truly a “scapegoat”. From 18 to 11 counts? He didn’t do anything! Bush & Blair are the true “War Criminals” indict them and see!

  7. My dear Black brother and Former President, Charles Taylor,

    I want you to know that at this difficult time, you still have African brothers who see reason why we African should hold together especially when modern slavery and modern dictatorship in the shadow of democracy is at its peak by the western world.

    Also I want remind the world that David Crain’s father has one of the biggest Diamond in Sierra Leone and also Jack Clain was in Liberia with Greater Diamond.
    This is complete marlice and hatred to get back at Taylor and not the fight for the affected ones in Sierria Leone.

    Other African brothers that see reason the way I see it are in support of a transperent Justice.

    Charles Taylor my black African I am with you.

  8. Please let those who called themselves super power to Mr. Taylor alone for God sake. He did nothing wrong to the people of Sierra Leone. these are countries shearing common border speaks the same language and some dialet. Mr. Taylor was the the one who sent Liberian or Sierra Leonel to Killed Liberians or Sierra Leonel.

    Please let my president to came back home, you have no charges against him. He’s not a producer of Arm but you are the producer so take all the charges.

  9. Our Hon.21st President Charles Taylor is not a war criminal, He was a peacemaker who was acting at the Chairperson of West African states and the United Nations to broker peace between the warring factions in neighboring Sierra Leone, negotiate with rebels to set free abducted UN peacekeepers, and usher one of the most prominent rebel leaders, Sam Bockarie, out of Sierra Leone to help calm the conflict in Sierra Leone.
    Mr. Taylor, This is my wishes to you:
    May your road be soomth…….
    May your trial be a fair one……
    May Justice speak………..
    Free at last,Free at last, One Day by the Grace Of God Almigthy
    You will be Free at last.
    Than all Liberians be a Gio,Krahn,Kpelle,Mano, Madingo and even Your so called Presecutors and our so called Supper Powers ( U S A & U K) will all gather with to celebrate your release.

    May God Bless These Words………..

  10. Sorry,sorry,sorry my beloved Africa when will they leave you alone. We have dictators such as Paul biya in cameroon,late omar bongo and many more other who are surpose to be in the hague but since those who can pilot them to the hague are reaping from their role their planes are grounded.
    Bush,Chaney and tony why are you people still breading air of freedom when we already know how many people you jiontly killed.

  11. The day of arrest of Charles G . Taylor in Nigeria, hand cuff, and brother to Liberia at RIA and later taken to Sierra Leone for charges, remins me of the colonials days, when the placks were under slavery. Is this another method of slavery set for the black through the pretent of the world crime court? I hope not.
    We want to see thrue justice with no interfering.

  12. Let it be no doubt. Charles Taylor was a criminal, and a warlord who subject not only his own black liberians to the most evile crimes, but just like in Serra leone and in the Ivory Coast, hes abherent crimes were and are still felt.
    The question is should he be tried by the hague?
    Yes he should and for the court to be credible, he should also be joined by more black dictators and bloodthirst “presidents” who for more than 60 years, have destroyed Africa.
    They worked for the West to alienate and impovrish Africa. It is for the West to try and jail them. After all they share the same secrets.
    They are so stupid that they can even understand that it is legitimate for the West to creat, protect and defend their interests.
    African politique, yhaaco
    First they “the so called african leaders” help enslaved their people by taking mirrors as gifts for boats loads of slaves, now they takes guns for diamonds, and still enable to feed their people.
    God bless Africa

  13. I might not be a big fan of Ex-President Taylor because of the things we went through here in Monrovia, Liberia, However, I am deeply concern about the proceedings at the Hague. Prejudice should be avoided by all means as the saying goes in law that “one is not guilty until proven guilty” I faintly observed that the prosecution presented a rather weak case against Mr. Taylor and that they might be depending on this wide spread banwagonist notion that Taylor is guilty or a wanton character.
    On the other hand, although I did not actually follow the play to play deliberations at the trial, I am seriously against the concept of impunity for those authentically found guilty beyond all reasonable doubt of such types of crimes.

  14. You will always be in my prayers and God is with you. You are a true leader, no matter what. With God, ALL things are possible. Love you CGT!

  15. I am a Sierra Leonean Who Participated in the Defence of my beloved Country( Sierra Leone) And Fight along side with ECOWAS to Repel the joint Security Forces of the then AFRC / RUF,But yet still am not in favor of the UN Back Special court for Sierra Leone.Because the Sierra Leoneans also play a great role in the Liberia Conflict. By Hosting &Participating with the Liberian Worrior Faction,Like ULIMO & LURD.So with that ,I dont deem it necessary to hold any Liberian resposible for our Crises.Because if so then the Liberians will also need to porsicute the past two government of Sierra Leone( APC, of J.S Momoh & SLPP of Tejan Kabbah

    1. The reciprocity for law-breaking is punishment, which precede due process. Taylor is now having the best opportunity to defend himself against the alleged breaking of national and international law by committing heinous atrocities against the Sierra Leonean people between 1990 and 2003.

      Taylor’s prosecution is out of the moral will of the Sierra Leonean people and the international community for his alleged involvement in the birth of the Sierra Leonean crisis in which dismemberment was the signature atrocity.

      1. Harry,

        You said you worked in Vonjama. In the Sierra Leone crisis you mentioned that dismemberment was the signature atrocity. My question to you is if Mr. Taylor was in control of the RUF as you claim. How come you don’t see Liberian double amputees walking around in Monrovia like in Freetown ? According to your logic Mr.Taylor would have first done that to his own people here in Liberia. My advice continue to watch Charles Taylor on the witness stand and you to will be convinced of his innocense.

        1. Aki,

          Yes. I worked in Voinjama between 1997 and 1999 for the LOIC Voinjama Project for war-affected youth.

          I understand the correlation you are drawing between amputees of Liberia and Sierra Leone. Just to let you know that upon Taylor’s orders Liberian amputees were killed and buried in mass graves in Ganta and other parts of Nimba County.

          Nimba County is the home for Liberian civil war amputees. During my brief assignment between late 1999 and early 2000 in Ganta with LOIC Ganta Project for war-affected youth, I saw few international NGOs collaborating to fabricate prostheses for amputees.

          The number of Liberian amputees is far less than that of Sierra Leone because the Papay’s (Taylor’s) strategy was to destroy evidence before they are known or unearthed. In Taylor’s strategy package is consistent denial. He wins or defeats by consistent denial of wrongdoings.

          An example is the 1993 Harbel massacre blamed on the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) by a United Nations report. Taylor was quick to deny his NPFL involvement in the massacre. However, recent TRC testimonies in Monrovia revealed that the Harbel massacre was carried out by Taylor’s NPFL fighters, some of whom confessed before the TRC.

  16. Charles Taylor is not just a criminal but a murderer. He led a reble group that indescriminately killed, raped and molested people in Liberia. As a rebel leader, he ordered the the execution of many Liberians in Gbanga – remember, he has no right to oder the execution of any Liberian, the Liberian Constitution does. As president, he presided over an army – a ragtag army – that had Liberian children as young as 12 years old carrying AK-47s. This is crime against the child (see the Universal Declaration of the Child – UN). Under his watch, his men killed, raped and molested Liberians – remember the killings of prominent Liberians, Jackson Doe, Stephen Yekeson, Samuel Dokie, Moses Dupoe, etc. He used his Liberia as a distablizing territory – the war in Sierra Leone was launched from Liberia in March 1991 with many of his fighters crossing the border town of Koindu. The jury should charged him as a terrorist and for commiting crime against humanity. He is a menance to humanity and should be given the “Death Penalty.”

  17. have anybody been able to watch the trail live? I have window media player but stay cannot watch it live, please held with idea. charles, the sierra Leoneans, should blame theirself not you. how can a prosecutor provide living expense for witness or what he call travel expense?

    1. Frederick,
      My understanding is that people in Liberia and Sierra Leone are experiencing problems getting the trial over the internet. This is because of limited bandwith with the internet providers. This may be true for other West African countries as well. If you happen to live in Europe, Asia or North America the problem may have been that so many people were trying to access the trial thru the site that you could not get on at times or there was a break in transmission.

  18. Taylor is already guity of crime levied against him. Taylor is not a peacemaker as his supporters claim, rather he is a born criminal. The International community is indeed aware that Taylor is a threat to the entire world. Taylor should serve his life time emprisonment till death can take him away. Taylor has done much harm to many people in Liberia and Africa as well. Why should a man is criminal and terrorist be set free, to endanger the lives of people. Taylor will do more than what he has done when he was president.

    When Taylor is set free today as his lawyer is advocating, he (the lawyer will be first person for him (Taylor) to kill.

  19. With all the claims and counter-claims that Taylor is a war criminal, a terrorist, and a potential danger to Africans and the world as a whole, my opinion is that all people should carefully observe the trial of Charles Taylor before deciding whether he is guilty or not. That is, of course, why courts are established, isn’t it?

    This is important. Charles Taylor hasn’t been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and sentenced to prison for alleged atrocities he may or may not have committed. So people should desist from making statements that have been influenced by prejudice and misinformation; Or that are in favor of Charles Taylor simply because they think he is not guilty.

    As for atrocities committed by Western leaders, I think the court in the Hague should bring men like Tony Blair, George Bush, and many other westerners to stand trial for the war crimes and crimes against humanity they may have committed. Being a white man does not mean you are exempt from punishment or that you are untouchable simply because your country is a superpower that has the ability to mastermind just about everything to its liking. Remember millions of people died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki when Nixon dropped atomic bombs on those cities. He was never tried, however, since what he did was probably influenced by all westerners. So why should westerners be so bent on indicting Africans for war crimes and crimes against humanity?

  20. I think, Charles Taylor should be trial and if he’s found guilty of all the alligations then let the world crime court desides what to do.

    People should be pounished for their evil thees. Some are born to be a leader and some force their way through such people like Charles Taylor is no difference. Such people influence others to distral.

  21. I think Liberia needs a war crime court set up here in Liberia to try Former Government Officials of the regime of Lassana Conte of Guinea, Kaba of Sierra Leone, and Gbargbo of Cote D’voire for supporting other warring factions to disstabilize and destroyed our Country, Liberia. I also want for the former commenders of ECOMOG from Ghana, Nigeria and Guinea to be tried in this court for their support to the warring factions during the Liberia civil crisis.

  22. Harry Mason,
    If all this is true ? How come he was elected President with over 80% of the vote? With all this info you had at your disposal you should have volunteered to be a Prosecution witness. Everything you mentioned was effectively refuted by Taylor’s defense team along time ago.

  23. First, Mr. Manley and Mr. Landers, it is advisable to first learn and practice good grammar and spelling before attempting to comment on such a widely visited website.

    Secondly, It is clear that you two must be part of Charles Taylor inner circle of friends, family, or affiliates, b/c apparently its been @ the center of discussion to also bring Tony Blair and George Bush to the ICC.

    Now, I hesitate to even argue this point but for the sake of edifying my fellow African brothers and sisters, I’ll say this. George Bush & Tony Blair were meddling in another country’s business as heads of state of what are deemed “responsible nations”. Whether or not you agree with their involvement in Iraq is besides the point. The point is they had some amount of international clout and support in order to do this.

    Mr. Charles Taylor was neither a head of state nor a high serving officer of the government at the time he escaped from jail as a criminal and helped to incite the war in Liberia. When he did become president in 96 or 97, let’s be frank and say there is no way in hell those elections were fair and honest after 8 or 9 years of terrorizing people, conscripting children to fight in Liberia, etc. If you look at the statistics from that election it is clear that the elections were not fair and just. At this time can you call him a responsible enough party to bring peace to another nation, when his own country wasn’t at peace??

    Odd that he should be called upon to a leadership role in helping to abate the war in Sierra Leonne, when people were struggling and suffering in his own country, still terrorized by people that call themselves Taylor supporters. Do we call this a democratic state? When people are frightened to stand up and/or vote against a former military leader? When all they want is to stop running from war and not watch their mother, brother, father or sister get raped or killed in front of their eyes? Yes, I too might have voted for Taylor in 96 under these circumstances. People were scared for their lives and with reason! Liberian people not Sierra Leonneans….

    Futhermore, the only reason why these same Liberian people have failed in a concerted action to bring war crimes against Mr. Taylor is b/c the findings of the Truth & Reconciliation Committee have not been finalized as yet. Some of these preliminary findings suggest others who might be implicated and blamed for helping to incite the war, including but not limited to Liberia’s current president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. Much like in South Africa, these people need to step up and take the blame along with Taylor for Liberia to truly move on. Others that were guilty of this were unfortunately killed and otherwise mutilated. So those still living must face justice or Liberia will never see lasting peace.

    Finally, say that others are guilty too of inciting the Sierra Leonnean conflict they should be prosecuted as well, but to say that Charles G. Taylor is innocent would be committing a sin just as big as his own sin against the humanity of the people of Siera Leonne and Liberia.

    1. Concerned Liberian in the US,

      Your former President Jimmy Carter oversaw the elections in Liberia inwhich Taylor won with over 80% of the vote. Is that free and fairer enough for you?

      1. Concerned Liberian in the US,

        Continue to debate the facts. Forget about Mr. Manley or Landers grammar the point is their facts are correct.

  24. Futhermore, all this white man talk is irritating. Africa, AWAKE! Black people AWAKE! Stop blaming the white man for all your problems! America has a black president now, if he blamed the white man for all his problems he would be forced to be blaming his mother and grandparents wouldn’t he?

    This argument is weak. The white man isn’t orchestrating lies against Charles Taylor. Black people, African people are. The people of Sierra Leonne. The people of Liberia will follow suit shortly when the TRC has finalized its findings.

    To help us out a little bit I quote Carter G. Woodson (a black man) in his book “The Miseducation of the Negro”:

    “The Negro must now do for himself or die out as the world undergoes readjustment. If the whites are to continue for some time in doing drudgery to the exclusion of negroes, the latter must find another way out.”
    To understand how Taylor could possibly be responsible for the atrocities in Sierra Leonne understand the following passage and what helped to destablize that entire region:
    on Liberia in the same book the author says:

    “And these Negroes of a century ago stood their ground and fought the pro-slavery deportationists to a standstill, for with the exception of a few pioneers the emigrants to Libera were largely slaves manumitted on the condition that they would settle in Africa. These freedmen, then, could have no ideals but those of the slave-holding section from which they were sent. They established, therefore, a slavocracy in Liberia. If Liberia has failed, then it is no evidence of the failure of the Negro in government. It is merely evidence of the failure of slavery.”

    The book was written and first printed in 1933, in many ways the author sees into the future and predicts this current predicament.

    Let’s do better black people. Let’s do better!

  25. dear mr. concern Liberian or who ever you called your self,

    Where are the evidence of nuclear weapons that America was suppose to find in Saddam’s possession?

    You know that was the reason why they went in. Are you saying that the innocent Iraqis that were killed were supposed to die because some responsible nation had to get Saddam.

    Besides, let the case go through before start calling Chalres Taylor a criminal. Plus this is not a grammatical forum and people, regardless of their level of educational want to express how they feel and their thoughts. So leave them be…please. I and others are able to read and comprehend their comments and you are not the most educated man on earth.

    Charles Taylor is not guilty until proven so by the persecution. So all you can write here is your own view and what you have gathered and so are the other people that write in his favour. I you have tangible evidencese against him that you can prove, please present it to to the court.

    Dont Isolate Charles taylor and pin him out like the only Devil here just as the RUF entered Sierraleon from Liberia so were other factions there entering Liberia from there so Kabah should be indicted too as should Momo and officials in the Ivory Coast who let charles Taylor in and supported him with arms during the earlier part of his revolution.

  26. Mister Concern Liberian In America, Let me just say that base on this comment by you, ‘’let’s be frank and say there is no way in hell those elections were fair and honest after 8 or 9 years of terrorizing people, conscripting children to fight in Liberia, etc. If you look at the statistics from that election it is clear that the elections were not fair and just.’’ You are as guilty as the other two For Taking Sides,
    it also proves you Lacks Objectivity, because those elections were generally fair by International standards.

    I agree with Mr. Landers comment that the ”International community and the so-called super power to immediately drop the charges against Charles Taylor,” Because the actual case is now Politically Motivated, and that changes its value and meaning.

    I would also agree with Mr. Darku comment when he said ”I can’t say more the trial of Charles Taylor is misplaced.” And this is also because Charles Taylor should be on Trial for what he did to the Liberian people, and not for what appened in Sierralone.

  27. I don’t understand why some people just don’t get it. It is a shame that a Liberian person would be proud of a monster like Charles Taylor. This is very unfortunate and believe me or not, this is one of the reasons why Liberians have lost their dignity and respect around the world. After the world cried out so badly about human rights situations and how Charles Taylor had made the life of the Liberian people miserable, but to only hear the Liberian people endorse Taylor and his brutality. It’s a shame! Justice will be done. This is nothing about Bush, Tony or black and white. It’s about teaching monsters like Taylor and himself that our world can’t afford people like him anymore.

  28. I agree with some of your points Mr Parker, but I don’t think that justice will be served in this situation, at least not to the people of Liberia, and let me tell you why:
    A) First the Court Mandate; The Special Court for Sierra Leone was set up jointly by the Government of Sierra Leone and the United Nations. It is mandated to try those who bear the greatest responsibility for serious violations of international humanitarian law and Sierra Leonean law committed in the territory of Sierra Leone since 30 November 1996.
    It’s not about what happened in Liberia.
    B) Standards and Statutes: It deals with UN and Sierra Leone laws not Liberia
    C) Lastly Territory: It only deals with violations within Sierra Leone and not Liberia
    So when a person kills another person and steals his car, but gets arrested and receives the minimum sentence for car theft and not murder, can we then say that justice is served? I don’t think so.

    Look my people. As much as I alone with thousands of others would like to see Taylor tried, I would like to also see all the others involved, and not just from Liberia and Sierra Leone but those other countries around us that allowed the borders to be used to support wars in West Africa.

    The fact that only Taylor and not all the other leaders that should be on trial, makes this whole case a symbolic one, and as we know symbols are meant to send a message or serve as reminders, but the question is whose message and reminders are they, Africans ( in this case Liberians) or Westerns?

    Look, I think as Liberian we need to start caring about our own issues, respecting our dignity (washing our dirty clothes inside), and start dealing with issues based on our laws and statutes, because this is what other countries do.

  29. To everyone’s responses to my statement…

    It is unfortunate that we cannot open our eyes a little bit more and see that we are STILL NOT handling our own business in the right way as a country. Like one person said Liberians need to start washing their dirty clothes inside. To further elaborate on this point, calling an election process fair according to some Western standard “The Carter Center” is still ascribing yourself to a Western Standard. We as Africans should not need a Western power to come in and tell us whether or not our elections were fair or not to begin with.
    Having moral education and ethical enterprise should be reason enough for Africans to draw their own conclusions on the fairness and unfairness of an election. We should be smart enough to devise our own rubric. To allow Western interpretation of a system they are not even well-versed in themselves to set the standard for what we as Africans aspire to is poor mentally and morally on our part. We need to face that ugly fact.
    Nobody is talking about the validity of Bush and Blair’s involvement in Iraq. I was simply saying that at the time they chose to get involved in so called “killing of innocent lives” in Iraq they had enough international clout to do so. They too were invited by the few Iraqi visionaries and revolutionaries who hated Saddam. Keyword being they were INVITED by a small few who wanted to change the status quo. Not to mention, the imperialist goals in monopolizing on Iraqi oil interests. We are not calling their actions fair either. We are not even calling them just. I am just saying that Bush and Blair both were international giants and superpowers enough to understand why THEY in particular would be CALLED UPON to fight the Iraqis war. In the case of both Liberia and Sierra Leone who was Mr. Taylor to say that he should even be CALLED UPON to represent ANYBODY. What kind of nation was he leading and what kind of success rates were documented to show that he was good enough of a leader to be CALLED UPON to mitigate a situation?? NONE Bush and Blair were presidents and heads of state of America! Upset Iraqi citizens CALLED UPON them.

    Taylor’s track record at the time at which he was quote on quote “CALLED UPON” to represent righteousness was unrighteous. 14 years of civil war, a son who embezzled tons of funds overseas and known as the most torturous of all during the war is currently serving his time…Name one major contribution Taylor brought to Liberia and the West African Region and then we can debate the validity of this persona he is trying to create and perpetuate on the witness stand. Wake up Africans, we do not need America or even the Hague to tell us when something is not right. We can do that ourselves. If you tell me that people being terrorized for 15 years are in the right mind to vote against a cruel power mongrel like Taylor?; you are lying to yourself or perhaps you haven’t been traumatized ever in life. What should have happened before those elections was a complete divulgence similar to what the TRC is doing of all things done wrong during the war. People’s testimonies. Individuals should have been heard out. These were a tortured people, running away from war isnt easy. Most just wanted it to stop. Yet you are attacking me for calling this election unfair in the same breath that you are justifying its fairness by some Western Standard. Quite honestly, you must rethink your own ideology. Then you must judge Africa by an African ideology that doesn’t somehow include strong men but strong institutions. Then and only then will you see how Taylor truly failed at his attempt to build a strong institution. If indeed that was his true intent, considering the millions of money he siphoned off to international accounts before stepping down as “21st president, it doesn’t seem he was trying to make Liberia prosperous but instead make himself and those who supported him wealthy. This is NOT how you lead a nation. This makes you a poor poor leader with rich rich pockets, something way too many African leaders have gotten away with for far too long.

  30. also Mr. Solomon King, nobody is proclaiming to be the most educated man on earth. This makes me laugh. I am actually an educated African woman and proud ( I know it is sometimes difficult for men to accept this truth). It is not about the forum being grammatically focused or not and of course everyone’s comments are welcome regardless of educational background. I am glad that you and others could read past those grammatical mistakes. Unfortunately my comprehension of things is severely injured if things are spelled incorrectly and/or written in incorrect grammar.

    What I said was not meant to be insultive but rather educative. I think practicing things the right way everyday you do it only makes you better. If you practice incorrect grammar and nobody tells you, well you are going to write with incorrect grammar. I would hope for all my African brothers and sisters to seek this perfection for themselves as well. If it is not your ultimate goal to spell,write and speak correct grammar; that is your prerogative. If I see wrong I will point it out and correct it b/c it only makes that person better. I’m not doing it to flaunt my educational status. That is irrelevant.

    Finally I am not accusing Charles Taylor of being a criminal that is what the court is for. I am however accusing him of posessing evil thoughts and intentions as far as Liberia and Sierra Leone are concerned. His actions do not prove otherwise. Again if you can name one (JUST ONE) positive contribution Charles Taylor had in Liberia & the West African region as a whole (including Sierra Leone), then we can debate the nature of his intentions. As for now we only have his actions…GOD will be the ultimate judge of him, Blair, Bush, Mobutu, Saddam, Osama bin Laden, Hitler, etc. and all the other alleged evil minds of our world!

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