As Charles Taylor Ensured The Release Of UN Hostages In Sierra Leone, His Request For A Cease Fire Was Aimed At Helping Sierra Leonean Rebel Forces To Establish More Control In The Country, Prosecutors Say

When former Liberian president Charles Taylor helped secure the release of United Nations peacekeepers held hostage by Sierra Leonean rebels ten years ago, he was really trying to help the rebels gain more control over his neighboring country, prosecutors alleged today. Mr. Taylor disagreed:  the safety of the hostages was forefront on his mind, he said.

Prosecutors further questioned Mr. Taylor’s motives in calling for a ceasefire during the hostage crisis, arguing that it would have helped the rebels consolidate control over a key town, Masiaka. Such a ceasefire, prosecutors argued, would have placed the rebels closer to the capital, Freetown, and also provided a bigger buffer zone between the rebel-held diamond mining fields and government-controlled areas.   Mr. Taylor denied being motivated by the enlargement of rebel control in Sierra Leone.

“I don’t know the different positions in Sierra Leone where they (the Revolutionary United Front) were,” Mr. Taylor said during his cross-examination at the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

Lead prosecution counsel, Brenda Hollis, today focused her questioning of Mr. Taylor on the May 2000 hostage-taking by RUF rebels, who captured hundreds of UN peacekeepers in Sierra Leone — an action that provoked international outrage. Mr. Taylor, who was sitting president of Liberia at the time, negotiated with the RUF rebels and secured the release of the UN peacekeepers. Prosecutors have long alleged that Mr. Taylor was able to secure the release of the UN hostages because he had some special control over the RUF rebel commanders. Mr. Taylor has denied these suggestions, saying that his involvement in the release of the peacekeepers was done mainly because he was asked by the international community to intervene and get the rebels to release the hostages, which he did.

During today’s testimony, the court heard that when the RUF rebels released the first set of 139 UN peacekeepers, Mr. Taylor told the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General (SRSG) in Sierra Leone at the time, Ambassador Oluyemi Adeniji, that he wanted an “immediate cessation of hostilities” in Sierra Leone in order to facilitate the release of the remaining hostages.

In doing so, he was concerned that “the lives of the remaining hostages would be at risk if the pro-government forces continued pushing the rebels out of the areas that they had taken,” according to Mr. Taylor.

Ms. Hollis noted that at the time of the release of the UN hostages, the RUF rebels had occupied the town of Masiaka, a strategic position that was in proximity to both the country’s capital Freetown and the diamond mining areas.

“And also Mr. Taylor, had the RUF been left in place in Masiaka, that would have put them much closer to the capital of Freetown, wouldn’t it?” Ms. Hollis asked Mr. Taylor.

“I disagree with your proposition,” Mr. Taylor responded.

“And it would have given a larger buffer zone between the diamond areas and the government held-territories. Isn’t that correct, Mr. Taylor?” Ms. Hollis enquired further.

In his response, the former president said that “your proposition, maybe you could very well be correct, but I disagree that that was foremost on my mind. I was mostly concerned about the lives of the hostages.”

In response to Ms. Hollis’s suggestion that while requesting an immediate ceasefire he had actually mentioned the town Masiaka to the SRSG, Mr. Taylor said that “I could have based on his statements to me and the issue was we have people in captivity, there is no point attacking, you could even kill them. And if I mentioned it at that time, it was based on maybe his explanation. My answer to you is that I don’t know the geography of Sierra Leone to determine as to whether it was an important junction.”

Also in his cross-examination today, Mr. Taylor agreed with Ms. Hollis that he paid about 1.8 million United States dollars to US firms to do public relations work for his government, which aimed at improving the image of Liberia to the international community. Asked by Ms. Hollis whether that money was not too much of tax-payers’ money of a war-ravaged country to be spent on public relations work, Mr. Taylor said that “it’s subjective. For me, that was not enough because I know other governments that pay up to five million US dollars to firms in Washington DC, so that was not enough for me.”

Mr. Taylor maintained that he was justified to spend such amount of money because “most little governments, if you don’t lobby in Washington, you really get smashed.”

Mr. Taylor again today dismissed prosecution suggestions that the Liberian government under his presidency did not respect fundamental human rights. When Ms. Hollis pointed out reports of police brutality in Liberia under his presidency, Mr. Taylor maintained that he was not informed of such actions by the Liberian police force.

Proceedings in the Taylor trial will not be held tomorrow as the judges will be using the day to attend to other matters.

Mr. Taylor’s cross-examination continues on Thursday.


  1. Much as I acquiesce with CT on the relevance of lobbying in Washington, such amount, given the devastation visited on the entire socio-economic fiber of the country and the mistrust between his government and Washington, was enormous. While the intention might have been good, the amount reflected a poor decision on his part as war torn Liberia was not on the minds of donors at that time.

    I believe some of that amount could have gone to some developmental initiatives such as road construction to facilitate smooth vehicular movement around central Monrovia, or the building of few schools to educate Liberians, or a mini re-electrification project of one small sector of the capital, or even create jobs. The amount might not have contributed to a large scale developmental project but it nevertheless would have been meaningful, given the poverty level of the citizenry, to improving the lives of Liberians as opposed to improving the lives of lobbyists.

    1. cousin7
      I thought Liberia was Americas’ step child and most Liberians would be happy for America to be on our side???? You see brother, this is just an example of the hate game against Taylor. Even, if Charles had gone ahead and given a $1000,000 to every Liberian, people will still discredit him, just as the jews did to Jesus Christ. But anyway , I respect your view…

      1. NOKO 5 , Your assertion that even if charles Taylor had given each liberian $ 100,000 , he would have still been discredited is a childish assumption. What is the worth of $100,000 to a liberian desperately in need of peace during the rule of Charles Taylor. Did Charles Taylor had the conviction to ensure a peaceful Liberia before talking about giving each liberian $100,000 of his very stolen treasury.
        Linking this to even ‘The Jews and The Lord Jesus’ is an afirmation of the devils rebelion agianst God.

        1. Massaquoi,
          Lets remember that Liberia was technically destabilized before the incursion of Taylor and the NPFL. People were being beheaded overnight. There was Does’ death squad as of the 1985 coupe. So Liberia was not in peace. only if you want to tell me that peace for some meant peace for all. If you want us to reflect stolen treasury, I will ask, how come most of our ministries in monrovia before Taylors goverment and now are peoples private properties? Is it that goverment at the time and now could not errect hers? Look Mass, Lets do ourselves a favore by not blaming only Taylors regime for all atrocities in Liberia. Liberia has been the dump site for stealing, misuse of public properties, human devastation , corruption and so on from the get go….Now tell me Mass, how did the Tubmans accure all the lands they got in Monrovia and other parts of Liberia. How did the Barclays get their? Please, I am not trying to justify any wrong doing by Taylor either..

        2. my satement does not mean i welcome the actions of other wicked past rulers. But here Mr. Taylor is our specimen now under investigation. Justice awaits the others and for others,who have died, their ends justified their means…

      2. Cousin5,

        I hesitate to say but I think theologically you might have crossed the line on his one by veering into analogy but that is ok as long as you know what you are articulating when you situate your comments in such worrying theological context.

        Well, let’s back to the core of my argument as I want to formulate a question for discussion: will you put millions in the pockets of the rich boys who work the corridors of Washington lobbying to promote your image which by the way is seen by many donors as irreparably damaged or will you invest some of that million in helping your own children who live in abject poverty and who are clinging onto your leg and looking you in the eye and pleading with you that they are hungry, thirsty, and naked? Well, I think I would be a father to my children first and my fatherly or natural instinct will be to attend to some, not all, of their needs. By lining the pockets of the rich kids masquerading as professional image repairers and lobbyists, I am by default feeding, clothing, and quenching the thirst of their children not my own that are clinging to my leg and are in a more urgent need. Now, to some extent, I know how economic systems work and how the money move around to take care of the needs of other people rather than ours. But a self- acclaimed visionary, revolutionary, and politico-economic theorist as CT could have caught that one but it slipped by. Trying to re-establish his image was a herculean task as most Western governments distrusted him…so why did CT waste his money and time doing that anyway especially in a post Cold War world?

        Having said that cousin5, I really do no think this is about discrediting CT as for me it is more about making a poor financial decision given the:
        • financial ebb at which the nation sunk
        • rate of poverty
        • condition of roads
        • conditions of school
        • lack of electricity, etc.
        some of that amount, I will argue cousin5, could have helped his own children. I wish I could but I will not veer into reproving CT as I acquiesced with him that some type of PR work had to be done but the amount involved did not reflect one of his best financial and political decisions.

        For me I really do no think this issue borders on hate of CT or borders on discrediting CT but poor decision. Now, I speak for myself a rational Liberian, only, not Ms. Hollis.

        1. Cousin7,
          Paying lobyists is notthing strange. This happens all over the world. Even in the Whitehouse, Obama pays Lobyist to win issues that he deems important. Come on cousin7 are you huffing and puffing because this lobying thing this time has to do with Taylor? Don’t you think Ellen is doing the same right right now, don’t you think Doe or Tolbert did it? Why are you not commenting on those? How do you think leaders push certain agendas beyond their limits???????

      3. I am not a political theorist nor have I been an ardent practitioner of politics but I am convinced this step child relationship between the US and Lib has been nothing more than a soothing myth.

        1. cousin7,
          You like trouble…I think you want Fallah Menjor, Teage and the rest of the welfare advocates to climb on your back this cold winter.. wat ! you say the step child thing is a myth??? I ‘ll rest my case yet…

      1. Cousin4,

        Thanks for agreeing…some of that money could have helped Liberians and Liberia in a small way.

        We need to get cousin5 on board with this one.

        1. Tracey, Noko5 asked me a few questions on the 4th and 5th that I need to reply to but there is no reply tread under his comments. Could you open those treads?

          My comments awaiting moderation which I am pasting below is actually a reply to noko5:
          Yes, cousin5.
          It is a big soothing mythology.

        2. Noko7,
          Tracey is away until next week Monday. I am trying to know why no reply thread appeared under Noko5’s questions. Will check what the problem is and revert soon.

          1. No Problem, Alpha.

            I am aware that time zones differentiation gives the impression that you folks are slow to respond to questions but keep up the good work.

            Best regards.

  2. Oh my God, is Ms. Hollis suggesting that the land space RUF occupied in Masiaka was better than the lives of the many Peacekeepers? Is she also suggesting that it would have been better to keep fighting the RUF as the same time keep begging the rebels to release the jailed Peacekeep? I’m sure Ms. Hollis wouldn’t have spoken like that were she among those Peacekeepers that were placed in narrow pits without food and water for many days. Ms. Hollis does not really know what a rebel war is, and so careless about people that were caught across the lines. But all she cares is to make money by telling and suggesting million of lies against a man who put his life and office on the cutting board in order to safe lives in Sierra Leone. God will surely bless Mr. Taylor out this mess.

    Harris K Johnson

    1. Harris,
      The reason why people like Hollis speak like this, is that , the only kind of wars they have experience are the ones on TV and in movie theaters…they haven’t been present for the real stuff to know how and what it really is..

    2. Harris,
      That’s one of the SILLINESS of this case…..keep fighting but please release our people we beg.

  3. Maybe I am missing somehting but can somebody help me here? what is the prosecution saying? that Mr Taylor as asked to ensure that the hostages were released by the RUF which he did but at the same time he was working for the advancement of the rebels? how can she reconcile that? i really do not think she has convinced anybody yet about the linkage between Mr Taylor and the RUF in her cross exam. by the way how much longer will the cross examination take? maybe she will use the remaining time in her cross exam to focus on SL which is the reason we are in court and show us how Mr Taylor was responsible for the crimes.

    1. Hi Sam,

      Here is my understanding of what the prosecution is arguing — it is basically two things:

      (1) The prosecution is making the point that the very fact that Mr. Taylor was able to negotiate with the rebels to release the rebels indicated that he was in a position of command and control over their actions. This goes to the heart of link between Mr. Taylor and the rebels, and the charges against him: that is. that Mr. Taylor was responsible for the rebels’ crimes because he was in a position of effective command over them, that he knew, or was in a position to know, about crimes that had been, or were about to be, committed; and therefore he was in a position to prevent or punish those crimes. His negotiations with the rebels over the peacekeepers, the prosecution is arguing, shows that he had effective command over their actions. (Mr. Taylor has denied this allegation – he argues that he negotiated with the rebels solely in his capacity as a peacemaker and at the request of the international community. The fact that he was successful in those negotiations, however, does not mean he was in charge of the rebels, just that he was doing his job as a peacemaker and negotiator well).

      (2) The prosecution also seems to be arguing that Mr. Taylor was playing a double game. At the same time he was appearing to play a peaceful role in the eyes of the international community, his actions were still geared towards benefitting the rebels. So, while calling for a ceasefire outwardly was promoting a peaceful resolution to the crisis, it also worked towards achieving a tactical victory for the rebels, as it meant that they could consolidate their positions in key towns, rather than face the risk of being driven out by pro-government forces. Mr. Taylor, however, argues that he was solely focussed on the safety of the peacekeepers and not concerned with assisting the rebels consolidate their positions.

      So in all, the prosecution are basically saying that Mr. Taylor was acting with impure motives: while he was presenting himself as a peacemaker that could release the hostages, he was also orchestrating the moves on behalf of the rebels — he was not only controlling their actions, but also working to help them by consolidating their positions in Sierra Leone. And on the other side, Mr. Taylor is denying that he was playing any double game. He was simply trying to release the hostages and act in accordance with what the international community asked of him: to be a peacemaker.

      I’m not sure how long the cross-examination will continue, but I’m guessing only a few more days based on Ms. Hollis’ estimation last week.

      Hope this helps.


      1. And I guess if he had REFUSED to be part of the PEACE program, he still would have been BLAMED for not part taking…..Poor Charlie, you cannot win regardless of which side you ended on.

        Tracey, really is that the LINK??? Was he the ONLY and SOLE person trying to get the UN personels out of harms way??? Ms. Hollis believes this court is in the US….what a shame.

      2. Tracey,
        I agree with you that the prosecution is portraying Taylor as a leader of the RUF because he negotiated with them for the release of the hostages. However this is a “Damn if you do Damn if you don’t” position they are putting Charles Taylor in. If he had refused to negotiate for the release of the hostages Ms. Hollis will now be claiming that he didn’t want to get the UN personnel released because he was infavor of the RUF holding them hostage.

        1. Aki — you make a good point. Will be interesting to see if Mr. Griffiths and his team try to make the same one as their case moves forward.

      3. thanks Tracy,
        but givent the way this cross exam has gone I doubt if they will finish in “a few days” I think it will still take about a week because their cross exam in the last few days has now started to focus on the charges and i think they will need more time to exhaust the SL issue with mr Taylor.

        However another question: Now that the prosecution has appealed the ruling of the court about the use of new evidence in cross exam, what will happen if they win in the appeal? will Mr Taylor be invited to take the stand again after completing his testimony and be cross examined on those documents?

        1. Hi Sam,

          You may well be right on the timing of the cross-examination. On the appeal, I’m not sure what will happen — we might have to see what the judges decide on that one. Will keep you posted as we hear more.


        2. Tracey,
          correct me if I am wrong, but has that appeal by the prosecution already been denied. I was reading on the SCSL site of a trial chamber decision (Decision on public with Annex A and confidential Annex B urgent application for leave to appeal oral decisions of 14 January 2010 on use of documents in cross-examination.) is this the appeal you was talking about earlier.

          1. Hi Ken – yes, you are right. It has been denied. A majority in the Trials Chamber determined that test they laid down was correctly applied. The majority said that the prosecution failed to satisfy the two pronged test (demonstrating that their use was in the interests of justice and would not violate the rights of the accused) and so their application for leave to appeal was denied. If I don’t run out of time before I leave today (I will be away for the coming week and my colleagues will be taking over) I will try to do a little post explaining the arguments and the decision.

      4. Hi Tracey,
        as to your first point, if i am correct or as it appears, Mr. Taylor was asked by his colleagues to assist in the realease of the hostages, and not something he unanamously embarked on. This sought of analogy by the prosecution that CT assistance in the realease of the hostages is ambigugous or somewhat suspect is sheer nonsense.

        question: is the prosecution saying it would have been better for the prolonged detention of the hostages rather than CT securing their release; for their position is that CT was successful because he was in control of the RUF. Isn’t that so?

        Now, let’s take the 1983 incident involving Syria and the US whrein a US serviceman Robert Goodman was shot down over Syria and captured. After numerous attempts by the US and its allies to secure his release amounted to nothing, a private citizen, then presidential canidate Rev. Jesse Jackson
        went to syria and secure Pvt Goodman release. Could one say that Jessie had some influence over the Syrians so as to bolster his presidential run? Howbeit, it is unconstitutional for a private citizen to negotiate for the US government- president Regan responded, “you don’t quarrell with success”.

        In view of the above, the prosecution has yet to prove the ambiguity and/or duplicity of Taylor role as a peacemaker. Is that your take too Tracey?
        On this world stage of dispensing Justice, I think we all in our disagreement agree that the burden of proof rest on the prosecution, and in my view they have not met that treshold in establishing the role he played other than peacemaker? Have they done so in your mind? If so please enlighten me.

        Ms. Hollis, and her co -prosecutor seem to be engage in delay tatics by introducing new documents as fresh evidence contrary to the rules of the court. The judges even admonished her today that she could not pages 7 &18 and paragraph 69 from what she was reading.
        The honourable court even said that all her actions would accomplish is proliferation of objections and waste of time and resources something the court don’t have?

        Justice delayed is justice denied, I think Ms. Hollis is just being shrewd; and does not have the evidence to prove Mr. Taylor’s guilt and as such is being overly verbose to the detriment of fair and speedy trial.

        Tracey, this is just an observation.

        1. Hi Political Guru — thanks for your observations. You raise interesting points, which are valuable for this forum to think about.

          You had asked me some questions throughout your post: alas, there are some I cannot answer because of my position as a monitor. But I will answer what I can.

          My understanding was that the prosecution was not arguing the relative political merits of Mr. Taylor staying in or out of the hostage crisis. Instead, they seemed to be focused more on his actions, and trying to link them to the core of the charges (ie that he was in control of the RUF and therefore had power over their actions). The crucial element in this, as you rightly point out, is their ability to convince the judges that he was in fact playing a double role, rather than acting in the best interests of the region and at the behest of his fellow West African leaders. The judges will need to decide whether they have made a good enough argument to convince them of their version of events. Mr. Taylor has consistently denied the prosecution’s allegations. It will be fascinating to see how the judges eventually rule on this.

          Thanks again for your observation.


  4. Wow. Really interesting day again. In Liberia, there’s a parable that is common here. ‘your good will turn to bad even though you were too honest’ . That’s situation with Taylor now. Though he negotiated the release of the hostages with sincerity and honesty, the prosecution is looking at the wrong side. Why if those hostages were killed because the rebels position was under fire?

      1. So Mass, you rather the peace keepers had died? In any given situation, Taylor would’ve been questioned even if he refused or help. He choose to help and that alone, caused several children and wives to be united today with their fathers and husbands.

      2. Massaquoi,

        Where is the proof of double dealing? The prosecution hasn’t provided a shred of proof of double dealing except to construct a very controdictory scenario. I find it very elementary and to a large extent malicious to come up with such a construct in the first place without showing the evidence to the effect.

        These people are so bent on trying to show linkage that they turn a clearly good gesture in the interest of peace to a flagitious one. Their nebulous attempt at linkage is totally outlandish and pitiful.

        If we follow the logic used here we can assume that when Bill Clinton went to North Korea in August 2009 to secure the release of the two prisoners, he must have then had effecive control over and command responsibility over the North Koreans and most likely their nuclear weapons programs right? How illogical can this be?

        Look I know some people in the west think that because Liberia is a small country and a poor on made up of black people we have no system or principles; therefore cannot not do anything without an underling reason or some subterfuge being involved. This is a typical view that they hold. They think they can be magnanimous because they are the GREAT ONES while we the down trudden Africans are nothing but pure evil who will only follow an evil agenda right. That is very very sad, because there are those Africans who do and act in the interest of peace. There is not always an underlying meaning despite how they think. Very arrogant on their part.

        As to theissue of the money spent for lobbying, I need to point out that this is done by all nations. It was important to lobby because the very Washington is capable of blocking any and all investment into your country. They have a tendency as was seen in Liberia during the tenure of Taylor of sending negative signals and vibes to all other countries who have potential investors that could invest in Liberia. It was very vital that they came on board as they basically controlled the IMF, World Bank, UN and all other institutions that could in any way lend a hand to the people of Liberia. If they perceived the government in a negative they could have reign havoc and destruction at a whim. Well we did see the end result by their actions in supporting LURD and ultimately demanding that an elected President steps down from power.

        As unfortunately as it is these people can make or break a small country like Liberia. I personally saw nothing dramatically wrong in the rpinciple of spending money on lobbying with these people. If the government had succeeded, they would have provided the much needed assistance for the country and the rebel incursion would have been curbed. We all know this. Unfortunately that was not their agenda. They rather wanted regime change and got it.

        Mrs Sirleaf even today has a lobby group in the US that protrays her as being squeaky clean although that is open to debate.

        For those that say the money should have been used for electricity, they need to understand that it does not take a few millions to restore electricity in Liberia but a few hundred million. Had the lobbying worked, the World bank would have come in and provided the funding for such a project. It is like the saying “it takes money to get money”. This investment was made in a hope that it would have led to a greater reward for the entire populace. I do not see it as bad judgement at all. I see it as a gamble that went wrong because it did not achieved the desired result. I do not think it was done in bad faith; and had it worked we would all have been singing the praises of Taylor today.

        Sometimes I think we need to look beyond the obvious and see the bigger picture when passing judgement. When some decisions are made a strategic view is taken where the some things get sacrificed in the interest of the greater good of the whole.

        1. Helen,

          Whoa!! Helen, you make the rest of my day smiling and singing praises to God for your wisdom. outstanding post.

  5. The score reads Ms Hillis & Mr Koumhain 2 vs Mr. Taylor 18.

    So when will the charges be address….beating around the bush, jumping off the mountain and blowing smoke have become the evidences we’re promised???

    1. Wow!

      You got this scoreboard thing going. Don’t you.

      I just can’t watch the live field. Help me out here Tracey.

      1. Hi Noko7 — are you looking for a way to watch the trial live? If so, you can try the button on the home page of this site on the right hand side.

  6. Had Mr. Taylor stay silent after being asked by international for his intervention in the Sierra Leonean crisis at that time, today the prosecution would be saying Mr. Taylor sanctioned their action (of hostage taking) that was why he remained silent about that act. And that, he did not care about the lives of men (and women) who came help neighbors. What can we say… that the prosecution is out of words… to me, yes.

  7. Tracy the reason for others not posting on this site is the persecutors really make us sick. What are they really trying to tell us here? With all these years of publicities they did, you mean no proof at all that is linking this man to the crime? What happen to the Diamond trade? What happen to the Radio communications they talked about? What happen to the trucks loaded with arms and stuff they told us about? What happen to the purchasing of the arms? What happen to the five Billion from the Blood Diamond sold? I could name more but why have they not even show us one proof that really link this man. Since they started this cross examination every question has been on Liberia and one is not on Sierra Leone: Why is it like that? I believe the special court need to say Sorry to the people of Sierra Leone for not being fair to them. If the same special court want to be a world court then fine, I am ok with that but let them get the other players of the Liberian war and the trial go on. This case is making us sick. No proof and people are saying Taylor lied what is the proof to show that he lied. If this whole trial is about Liberia please let us know. Besides Tracy how many more months left for this cross examinations of the persecutors to be over.
    Have a nice day and all the best to you guys.

    1. Hi Leoroy Dennis — I’m not sure how long the cross-examination is going to last. I would guess a few more days based on Ms. Hollis’ estimation last week.

  8. Thanks for posting responses, albeit 2 weeks after my posting and only after i exposed the fact that censorship prevails on this forum but many readers are not aware because they never see the “your post is awaiting moderation” which means it is not open to the public. this censorship takes Many forms and the readers should be aware:

    1. As desscribed above, it appears there are some of us whose IP are tagged. No matter what we post,
    it is blocked automaticatically through identification by IP address. The editors then either ignore
    until you complain, or do not respond at all when you don’t, if the content is deemed critical of
    their views. This we Term Denail of Post

    2. Delay in Post: This is a form of Censorship where they do not post the content in real time but
    delay the post for days or weeks. By the time they respond everyone has moved on . This allows
    the controllers of this site to “craft” their response. The post is never seen because most people
    never realized the post was made in the first place, and little will they piece together the trend of
    concerns that the post addressed.

    To expose some of these shenanigans listed above I will next post a complimentary comment on the Open Society.

    I will then Post a Derogatory comment on the Open Society.

    When they have post all two including the above which is the first and the next two I will demonstrate how this forum is manipulated. Here goes.

    1. Michael A — sorry to hear you are so disappointed with our moderation. It is true sometimes there is a delay in posting comments: when this happens, I usually try to explain to the makers of the comment why it happened. I hoped I did so with yours: one I wanted to check the transcript and original document that you had raised concerns about; the second I had to check by our in-house counsel for legal reasons. I also have posted every comment that you have made on this forum, as far as I am aware. You are certainly entitled to your opinion in this forum and we remain happy to post it as long as it fits with our policies, which we have stated clearly here: and also in our terms and conditions of use here:

  9. The Open Society for Justice Initiative is a CIA run organization designed to weigh and influence Public Opinion. It also serves as a means of identifying dissidents who do not conform to their thinking. The Open Society Justice Intitative censors post to this site.

    1. Michael A,
      Do you have proof of these alegations made by you concerning the Open Society of Justice Initiative ? Let us not try to make inflamatory remarks without proof.

  10. I find it difficult to believe taylor’s claims he did not know the geography of sierra Leone enough to remember major towns captured by RUF neither strategic zones especially of places of interest and diamond fields! It is disappointing for this educated man to give such flimsy excuses of not ever remebering or knowing anything that is implicating: In response to Ms. Hollis’s suggestion that while requesting an immediate ceasefire he had actually mentioned the town Masiaka to the SRSG, Mr. Taylor said that “I could have based on his statements to me and the issue was we have people in captivity, there is no point attacking, you could even kill them. And if I mentioned it at that time, it was based on maybe his explanation. My answer to you is that I don’t know the geography of Sierra Leone to determine as to whether it was an important junction.”

    1. Fallah,
      Is Mr. Taylor a Freetown Borbor??? So what makes it impossible NOT to know??? The man has told this court I believe he had been to Freetown ONCE….do you know of very village in Sierra Leone Fallah??

    2. Fallah,
      Quick question, did you travel to Sierraleone with Taylor, since you claim he should know the georaphics by all means, or ones it is Taylor means he knows????? I think that reasoning would be very deductive if you had not done the latter…. Please leave Charles alone.

  11. One thing I would like to suggest to our Moderators on this Open Society Justice is to continue your good work as you have done and are doing. There will be “whinning” accusations, and displeasure every now and then from some disgruntle individuals who always seem to see the “glass as half empty, instead of half full” and thus will forget the basic objectives of your work: “Freedom of expression” that comes with responsibility of not only decensy but civility.
    You have explained over and over but still some of us come on this site and behave like crying babies over simple things that really don’t matter as long as we are able to communicate to one another on this site. Thank you for the good work. Maybe some of us that really do not seem to appreciate your work and fairness need to start our own blogs or tweeter sites!

    1. J Fallah Menjor — thanks for your kind words. I do appreciate them. I also know that I can also always improve as a moderator here – we are never perfect, but we can strive to be! So I continue to welcome complaints and suggestions on how we can improve. I also welcome kind words, such as yours, J Fallah Menjor. Thank you.
      Very best,

      1. Tracey,
        I agree with Fallah Menjor that the vast majority of people on this site whether for or against Mr. Taylor appreciate the hard work being done by Alpha and yourself.

  12. Cousin Noko4: You asked when the charges will be address, and my answer to you is that charges against Mr. Taylor is being addressed throughout this trial. Again….the prosecutors put on several witnesses who actually worked for Taylor, and they illustrated Taylor’s support of RUF. Here are some highlights

    1. Taylor brought over 300 RUF fighters in Liberia, granted them Liberian Citizenship, armed them and sent them to Ivory Coast and Guinea to go and fight. Taylor did not deny this.
    2. Taylor brought RUF leader Sam Bockarie to Liberia, granted him Liberian citizenship…and instead of Bockarie staying in Liberia, he (Bockarie) habitually left the country with Taylor’s Chief of Protocol. The prosecutor maintains those trips were made so that Bockarie could secure arms for the RUF. Prosecutors witnesses testified to that, the proseutors presented Musa Sesay’s entry/exit visas to show that.
    3. Taylor provided satellite phone to RUF fighter…particularly their leader.
    4. Taylor had a special bank account at LBDI in which he funds from foreign country were transferred. Taylor also dealt with know arm-dealers and smugglers. This is how/where Taylor got funds to purchase arms admist sanction on Liberia. Those arms weren’t just used to ”protect” Liberia as he argued…but he admitted to sending some of those arms to destabalize Ivory Coast. Prosecutor witnesses said Taylor sent them to Sierra Leone with arms also. Those witnesses testimonies couldn’t be shaken by Taylor’s own lawyers.
    5. Taylor’s efforts at securing captured UN workers was nothing more than a front to help RUF gain a foot-hole and buffer zone.

    These are but a few of the points the prosecutors are laying out, or have laid out to convince those judges that Charles Taylor actually supported, funded, and aided RUF at a time that group was carrying out attrocities. Again, Cousin Noko4, I believe Taylor would have done good for himself had he thrown himself at the mercy of that court, and admitted to some of these charges. You have to be in total denial (in my humble opinion), to say a guy who admitted to sending arms to rebels in Ivory Coast to a guy who have just staged a coup…sending troops to Guinea, invading Liberia, working with RUF fighters and befriend their leaders, is all but innocent of all charges against him. I find that impossible, atleast based on detailed testimonies from Prosecution Witnesses.

    Again, it is not easy to completely ”write off” the actual testimony of those who were there.

    1. Ha ha ha ha ha ……didn’t I address your MURMUR on (CCL)??

      I will leave your JOKES for others to response….this again only goes to show that you just read Alpha’s summaries…

  13. Cousin Noko4: Call it a murmur or a joke all you want…but I think this case is tilting towards the prosecutors. The evidence presented so far, cannot just be swept under the rugs. Perhaps you can tell me why it is, that a sitting president of Liberia, would find it necessary to ship arms to Ivory Coast to a guy who had just staged a coup? The prosecutors have shown that the accused (ex-President Taylor) has a habit of supporting rebels…whether invading Liberia, granting citizenship to RUF fighters, sending troops to Guinea and shipping arms to Ivory Coast to rebel leader Robert Guei, etc. The prosecutor have painted a dark picture of a guy who would rather spend millions on weapons, and publicity…and have successfully (I think), painted a picture of a guy who has no problems with using real human skulls as roadblocks.

    Again, call it murmur, call it all a joke….those witnesses testimonies are going to haunt Mr. Taylor.

    1. Noko6,

      You love to pump your chest with helium…no wonder why you sounds funny…let’s DISECT your points and please PROVIDE facts to back your words…..

      1. 90 witnesses were brought…NOT A SINGLE ONE(Sierra Leonean) told this court that Mr. Taylor issued, gave or ordered them to do anything….I repeat, NOT A SINGLE WITNESS on the Sierra Leone front as it relates to the charges. Again, senior leaders of RUF/AFRC are sitting in jail, not one of them said Mr. Taylor gave or instructed them nor was he their leader. WHERE ARE YOUR FACTUAL FACTS please?? The last witness put on the stand for the prosecutors told this court, his limbs were chopped off by SL army and not RUF. Even Ms Hollis facial expression changed.

      2. Under direct, Mr. Taylor was asked a question in GENERAL and he answered it to his best…what happened yesterday or the day before, Mr. Koumjain went into DETAILS and he admited he was wrong…does that win the case for the prosecutors…admit he was wrong on a SINGLE QUESTION???

      3. If he did, why didn’t the witnesses say so?? He told the court why he made them citizen….the Constitution gave him the power…was that a crime?? The prosecutor tried to use it but it didn’t work. Again, which one of the witnesses said he send them to fight in the countries you listed….FACTS please.

      4. Saykon, he bought arms when Liberia was under arm sanction….he didn’t hide it, he wrote the UN and told them what he was going to do…he provided the letter as evidence and the reply from the Security Council. Was he WRONG to buy arm??? Isn’t that was what he was elected for…TO DEFEND AND PROTECT THE NATION??

      5. Again another LIE….which one of the witnesses said that?? Show us the transcript please. King Gray is here and he can back me up….NOT A SINGLE WITNESS said such.

      6. Ha ha ha ha …..Do you know why the prosecutors BEGGED the court to introduce FRESH EVIDENCES?? I will tell you, their WITNESSES were nothing but HEARSAYS and this is the same thang you’re doing.

      7. No Saykon and no….according to Mr. Taylor, Mr. Bockerie asked for a translator and he was provided one. As silly it looked and sounded, the prosecutors have not pointed out anything to the opposite.

      8. Saykon, Mr. Taylor told the court his memory was wrong and he stand corrected….

      9. Saykon, I answered that on #4.

      10. Saykon STOP going in CIRCLE I beg…This is just what the prosecutors are doing.

      11. I thought you were a lot SMARTER but you let me down…I think you need to go and RE READ the cross of Mr. Sherriff and some of Mr. Taylor’s answers under direct. Mr. Sherriff was assigned to the MOTORAGE division of SSS. He was the one Mr. Bockerie was trying to reach when Mr. Bockerie went to the Liberian Embassy in Guinea….GO READ please

      12. Did the prosecutor tell us when the picture was taken?? According to Mr. Sheriff, he was send then in the rainy season….the picture showed SUNNY time…road not mudded but DRY like clay….again, to read please.

      Now all what you have written, which one addresses the CHARGES?? 90 percent of what you wrote relates to Liberia…do you now see the difficulty the prosecutors are facing??? For the past two and half months, all we’ve heard of is the activities in Liberia….WHY?? Ms. Hollis has to this court this week maybe the end of her cross….


  14. childish, whining.?…… you hurt my feelings.:-)

    i still say this is a CIA sponsored site. Please convince me otherwise Mr Adult, Big Brained?

    Open Society — Guilty of Crimes against(Humanity) the Peoples of Sierra Leone and Liberia

    CiA – Guilty of Crimes Against(Humanity) the People of Liberia and Sierra leone. For supporting RUF, Taylor, Murder of Two Liberian presidents and conspiring against a Third.

    David Crane- Guilty of Crimes against (Humanity) the Peoples of Sierra Leone and Liberia

    JFM – Guilty fo Having the Biggest Brain on the Forum

    1. Michael A — I understand in this context that your comment is one of your own opinion and not of a statement of fact. Please note however that the distinction is important for this site.

      I also reiterate: this is not a CIA sponsored site. I sent links in my earlier email which describe what the Open Society Justice Initaitive is, and what it does. I would encourage you and other readers to check out those links if you want to know more about our organization, what we do and who we are funded by.

      Meanwhile, while we welcome comments on our site and our moderation, I would like to take this opportunity to remind all readers that the real reason we are all on this site is to discuss the issues arising from the trial. I would encourage all of us to focus on the trial to the greatest extent possible, and not on other readers.


      1. Hi Tracy,

        I don’t think you really have to respond to comments such as ‘this is a CIA sponsored site.’ I mean, you can’t fight logic like that, because the writer will never change his/her mind.
        On another point, some of the comments are degenerating into ‘slanging’ matches and aren’t really offering us anything new, or any arguments of discernible quality.
        Can we please have stricter quality control of what is being posted here? It’s becoming depressing.


        1. Hi Richard B — thanks for your thoughts.

          On the comments degenerating into a slinging match — I understand your concern. As long as comments focus on issues arising from the trial, and are not simply attacks on other readers, I will post them as they are not prohibited by our policy. However, I will also be more vigilant in reminding readers to focus on the issues arising from the trial to ensure the debate and discussion on this site remains robust and interesting for all of us. Sound okay?


  15. Noko 4, 5, 6, 7 and the rest of the supporters. Its a shame to say Liberia was bad before Taylors and his thugs came to town, come on man can Liberians be so naive that they’ve forgot what their country look like or was before 1989. Don’t get me wrong Doe and other leaders were not saints nevertheless Liberia was not the 3rd poorest nation in the world with the world’s worst GDP and literacy.

    And for these people to sit on this site and support Taylor or justified his actions is just #######, can even get the words out. Before 1989 we had running water, electricity, hospitals, schools, and a great infastructure compare to most African nations. But look at us now all we do is talk trash with nothing to show.

    INVEST, INVEST, INVEST in Liberia, please, why should I invest my hard earn money so these power hungry people can wipe it all out when UNMIL leaves.

    COME VISIT, COME VISIT, COME VISIT Liberia, where in the world will I sleep when I come visit Liberia, on the streets, cause there is no decent hotels. Pay some Lebanese man $250/night at Mamba point, please. Liberians own nothing in Liberia. All you folks who think Taylor is innocent and did nothing wrong take a look around Liberia and compare it to times before 1989. Look Liberians we need to start thinking ahead, Taylor is done, lets move on, there is no need to support a thug who distroy your country, have some pride for PEACE SAKE.

    1. John Thompson,
      Have a good life in the United States. We concerned Liberians will help to build our country back up.

    2. Thompson,
      I concur with you on some things but you are not quite accurate. True Liberia is not one of the poorest countries in the world. Correction, we do not have the worst economy we have the 5th smallest economy in Africa (still you are right, we are struggling). If you need references, let me know. I will give you some hard numbers, OK….but all in all you are right that we have damaged our nation.

      Invest, I would strongly advise that you take advantage of the investment window that you have. Visit, please do, we need Liberians to come and see what has been done and what needs to be developed. We need our intellectual and other human capital. About the lodging, you can fine hotel for less and pretty good too. Now if you insist that you want to spend that kind of money, I recommend the RLJ Kendejah Villa and Restaurant; still, its less than $250 for standard rooms.

      Don’t be discouraged or deterred, we need you to come home…and anyone who says otherwise is disingenuous to themselves and their nation. I have been back every year since this government, I encourage you to visit also….


    3. john thompson,

      You made some interesting points. However, you left out the main instigator, the appointed president (not a typo) Ellen Johnson who told Taylor to level the City of Monrovia and it will be rebuilt.

    4. Jonhhy Be Good,
      Why did you leave out PRECOUP years??? Those were Liberia’s greatest period!!! What was the statue and status of Liberia from ’80 thru ’89…..Liberia slowly became a TRIBAL STATE…if you were NOT a member of the Krahn tribe, you were lost and left out of the nation’s wealth.

      Speaking of ultilities, how offend were there water and electricity Johhny???. We are supporting the destruction of Liberia…..according to the prosecutors, this case is about Liberia and for some of us, all we see is Liberia…when will we address the CHARGES??

      Now please follow the case.

    5. Thompson,
      Quite frankly I liked the platform of your argument. But when I got to the part where you tried to compare some of our past presidents to saints, I mean that actually discourage me from going further with reading. The reason I got discourage is when I think of the word SAINT and think about the word DOE and tried to fit them in any category of similarity, I could not figure out any formula inorder to progress with a procedure. Please don’t try to compare with saints again..than kyou

  16. john thompson,

    Liberia was in terrible sharp before 1980 and You’re one of many that keep fooling folks born before 1980. let me tell you and other haters what Liberia was really like before 1980, If you come from a Congo decent Americo-Liberian you get a real Job, CWA was for the SO-Called Elite ( The Philips) Yarkpowolo stay out, The entire country’s roads were dusty, Barely seen street lights, The country Only major soccer field was ATS and dusty, Almost every Government Ministers were Congo (Americo Liberian), and almost all the government buildings belongs to them ( Prove me wrong), if you’re not part of the Masonic/Mason then you’re an outsider, public transportation was a burst, the National TV station only reach Monrovia and its surrounding , Only a single major public University ( LU), a fairly Okay JFK hospital. Can someone please keep this list going, it’s too much………. Taylor had nothing to do with it back then

    1. Grebo,
      Ok, let me combat your so-called misconception there, OK….
      How could you call the most stable country on the African continent prior to 1980 bad
      How could you consider Africa’s best economy, terrible?
      JFK was one of the best hospitals in Africa
      We had one of the best medical schools in Africa
      We had a private sector
      We had peace of mind
      We enjoyed prosperity
      Our intellectual capital didn’t flee and they were not killed

      I am not insinuating that the names of Americo-Liberian rule was not marred with scandles and shameful acts, but boy it was much better than what we had under Doe, and Doe was better than Taylor and Ellen is a heck of a lot better than both of them combined. Our best leader was Tolbert, not Doe and God forbid, not Taylor.

      Why would you say that those who reached higer levels of achievements were co-called Congo–Your progressive leaders Barcus Matthew, Saywer what was he before the coup? Chea Cheepo and George Boley, Nymah Saye Guanue, what were they prior? Ellen Johnson, Dr. Sawyer, Barron Tarr, James Tarpeh, Florence Chenoweth, and Jackson Doe (did you know he was Tolbert’s first pick for VP). Have your heard of General Thomas Sackie or Dr. Joseph Togba? These people are not Congo or Americo-Liberian. These are just a small number of those who were in this government; come one stop the nonsense talk. We need to stop this garbage talk. Sure, I am congo, but I don’t subcribe to ethnic politics. Some of us are above that “crap”. Prior to 1980 since you were very much around and remember, how many times did you hear anyone ask you, “you what tribe?”. Stop it, seriously. When I am asked my tribe, I tell people, I am a Liberian and that’s all to it. I posted in another tread,that ethnicity gives us no knowledge of one’s character or personality, it’s only a cultural identity–Simple. We have seen the so-called Congo and “country” man do things that animals won’t even do…kill to satisfy ego, or because of insecurities.

      So, are you saying that Doe made things better? No he didn’t. He first of all, he came to power wrongly, he then executed people who loved Liberia. He had people singing in the streets, “Congo woman born rogue, country woman born soldier”. He diluted the design of SKD Sport Complex (if you don’t know that was Tolbert’s plan, it was suppose to be an indoor facility).

      You mention the Masons, anyone could join it and many of the so-called “natives” joined. Unfortunately for Doe, they didn’t want him because he was blood soaked…and I think they should have blocked Taylor as well.

      You think Taylor made things better too, Grebo, man. I am sick at the stomach reading your tread. Taylor had his chances but he ruined it. He only increased the hatred between ethnic groups, and carried on a “Hitler-like” campaign. I can go on. So the Taylor that you support, do you really think is Gola? Please maybe you need to read more on this monster. His father was a judge and mother was Gola, not his dad.

      1. Bnker,

        You claimed you are from the elite minority of Americo-Liberian class. What were some of the major development the Congo people did for Liberia since they took power in 1847-1980? Was there anything like multi party democracy or one party rule(TWP-True whig Party) Can you compare the infrastructure development of Liberia during the 133 years of Congo rule to that of the Native son of Liberia-Samuel Doe 10 years? Not even close. Doe’s 10 years development by far surpasses the 133 years of Americo-Liberian rule. You talked about the Sports Complex the Doe adminstrastion constructed being Tolbert’s plan. I say prove it. Tolbert was president for 9 years and vice president to Tubman for about 15 years. You want to tell me, this elite group could not have built all that President Doe built? Bnker, the group you belong to mistreated the natives. And there is no other way to put it. I am a native, but you guys did not treat us right. That was one of the main reasons Doe was embraced by the people in 1980.

        Grebo, I agree with you. Your post is right on the money. Speaking about Taylor, even if he is an Americo-Liberia/Congo, we the natives feel that he is part of us. Lastly, speaking about Ellen, she is the worse president Liberia has ever had. You can bestow all the praises you want on her, she is not her own person. She is running the country from a blue printed document from the U.N. and others. She doesn’t even have her own military to protect and defend the constitution and territorial boundaries of Liberia. Heavily relying on foreign troops for security. No infracstruture development. No running water,electricity, the country is running on one bridge, the government is 3 times more corrupt than the previous. There is self imposed curfew as the result of arm robbery. As the matter of facts, the Austrilian government has given travel warning to their people about Liberia’s crimes. Of all these good will project and help from the international community, fraud waste and abuse has derail the progress of the funds. And so many more.

        1. Jose Rodriguez,
          You stated, “Doe’s 10 years development by far surpasses the 133 years of Americo-Liberian rule. You want to tell me, this elite group could not have built all that President Doe built?”

          Jose Rodriguez, you fail to mention one thing that Doe development or accomplish in his 10 years as President that far outshine the 133 years of the Americo group rule. When Doe and his PRC took power, a government structure was functional. Even someone like the PRC could have improved upon it, but they did not do that are did they Jose Rodriguez. Not all the people embraced Doe and Doe did not embrace all the people, which was why what ever any President or group of Liberian had built was destroyed. If you want proof, that President Tolbert started that sport complex and President Doe finish it check the record or better yet ask the Chinese.

          Yes, the Americo group did indeed mistreat the majority of the Liberian natives but the Liberian natives had a big role in mistreating their own people. Do you really think 3% can mistreat 97% without the help of the 97%? That like saying a couple hundred of white people took 60 million black people for Africa all by themselves.

        2. Jose,
          Ok, are you done venting….?

          I don’t disagree that there were mistreatments of other groups in Liberia…I think I acknowledged that there were some things that no one should be proud off. Look, let’s get this record straight, the argument came about someone ignoring history and interjecting some statements that were not only false but disappointing. In one of my earlier treads, I responded to your comments where eluded we were disrespected by the US or western nation. I suggested that we made ourselves floor mates, I mentioned that presidents took, took and took–meaning both Americo-Liberians and the so-called, “country man”. I have not supported suppressing anyone group. If I was so pro-Americo-Liberian, I would be pro Taylor or Kromah, since Taylor is and Kromah wife is Congo as well. But ethnic politics, I don’t subscribed to. If you believed so much in Samuel Doe, why did you want him replaced by someone who was less developmentally focused or Congo? Remember Taylor was not always Ghankay, when he was coming he used his birth name, “Charles McArthur Taylor”. Understand, CT used simple “marketing” to brainwash. You said Taylor relates more to you as an indigenous person. He simple sold a brand to a target market and convinced them that he was the real deal. Taylor don’t care about Liberia and he will never. He does not care about you and never will. So you guys need to stop worshiping and fighting for someone who cares little about your well being. Like he treated his fighters, CT dispense same our nation–as though we were all trash. So tell me, the key money posts in Liberia, Finance and Maritime who controlled them? Who are these people? Indigenous? So much for being one of you.

          Let’s get back to the basis of this, Grebo said that the “natives” didn’t enjoy the Americo-Liberian rule and I simply called some people….I ask you too Jose, who were these people. Just in case, Joseph Togba was the first black president of the WHO and Gen. Thomas Sackie was a well respected general prior to the coup and resigned after Doe takeover. Guess what happened to him, NPFL allegedly killed him on GSA road in 1990—I used the word allegedly to avoid legal issues.

          As Ken wrote, so do you think the 97% who were at times maltreated didn’t contribute to this as well? They did and you know. It’s almost saying that the whites came to Africa and just captured Africans and put them on the ship for the New World. You know most slaves were POWs. Africans would not have been enslaved if we had not captured and sold our own. The indigenous of Liberia would not have been wrongly treated if they themselves didn’t mistreat their own….I am not supportive of any inhumane behavior at any group.

      2. Bnkr,

        With all due respect while I enjoy the analytical thinking and objective reasoning of most of your threads, I have to strongly disagree with this one. For starters, I too detest ethnic politics. It hasn’t helped Liberia before and it won’t help Liberians now. Infact I happen to live in the United States and when I see a Liberian, I’m just happy to see one and I don’t care which tribe you come from.

        In addition, I’m of mixed tribal lineage and so I see both sides of the argument. In my opinions some folks try to play the native card too much and would rather come across as bitter victims bent on holding everything against so called Americo Liberians and not forgiving. On the otherhand, You cannot divorce the reality of where Liberia is now from the past. Who and where we are today is in large part due to the shaky foundation of the nation. Some so called Americo Liberians are in denial of this past. To name a few names who made it as if to suggest that Liberia was a utopia pre 1980 is disengenious at best. There was relative peace and growth but without development. While Life was relatively good by today’s standards for a few, bnkr the masses were marginalized and that is just the truth.

        In summary I’m not one to assign blame to one group of Liberians. I believe we all; both so called native and so called congo are responsible for where Liberia is today. In fact it’s in human nature to want to marginalize what they don’t know or understand. Had it been the other way around, the natives would have done the same thing. As evidenced by the rule of Samuel Doe, the natives didn’t do any better when they got their turn. But this cannot negate the fact that a semi-aparthied type state was forced on Liberia form 1847 onwards not by all so called Americo-Liberians, but by a small elitist clique of “Americo Liberians” against most other “lower class” Americo Liberians and natives.

        In closing, unless we all; both so called natives and congo’s face the truth and stop playing the blame game, Liberia will go nowhere. I’m confident we can pull through this as nowadays there is no such thing as a pure native Liberian or a pure Americo Liberian. Besides what do we call children of both “native” and “congo” born in the United States and Europe? In closing, the destruction of our country boils down to an elitist mindset practised by both “native” and “congo” at different points in our history. It has zero to do with actual so called lineage. We need to come to terms with our history, emphathize, forgive and move forward in Union Strong.

        1. Mas,
          Finally, someone who makes total sense! Where the heck have you been? I totally agree with you. I don’t support elite views or suppression of any group. While I named some people who made it through what some might call the “ceiling”, it is not “disingenuous”. I wish to differ, disingenuous, means I am lying. In my original tread, I also mentioned that the Americo-Liberian rule was marred by some things that are darn right embarrassing. No one should be proud of our past, neither does it serve us well to continue the blame game. It’s is true its within human nature to frown on what is not understood, the culture divide was not fully understood by many of our leaders. They lived in glass houses (I mean all leaders, only Tolbert try to break the establishment). Some would say Tolbert was VP for many years and didn’t make any change, Tolbert was also the VP of one of our most oppressive leaders (Tubman spied on everyone). Our leaders failed us for many years, this is true of both the so-called “Congo” and “Country” rule. Our foundation was weak, but the solution was definitely not a military takeover that ushered in the the PRC government and the that further songs that sowed seeds of discourse and hatred. Hence, the war to remove Doe was not the answer either (even though, I thought it was the right thing at the time). While some of us have a personal dislike or love for a president, they all have failed our nation. I am a fan of Tolbert, I think his was the only leader who saw a problem and sought inclusion. While there is no pure Americo-Liberian today, the culture of elitism still exist. However, it’s no longer in the Congo-Country rivalry, but those like you and me who are outside the country who want to live home, and people who have suffered the pains of war. I personally have seen that. The problem to some degree comes from the lack of understanding. Those from the US sometimes think that they are better than those who are in Liberia (failing to acknowledge, that they were blessed and that is to be channeled to others). On the other hand, some people who are in Liberia think that some of us, want to take control and suppress them; this is truly a sad reality. Understanding and dialog needs to be foster and encouraged.

          But, overall Mas, I totally agree with you…..

          Is this the same Mas who lived in Chicago and now in FL? You don’t have to answer this….

        2. Bnker,

          You make so much sense in this identical piece. This is the very first post of yours that deserves at least a maximum high mark. Outstanding. However, the overthrowing of Tolbert was not necessary. I agree with you. It was very hard on Tolbert. This Baptist Preacher was caught between a pair of scissors. He was primarily concerned about the total integration of all the peoples. While on the other hand, his people (TWP) did not want that kind of reforms. Nontheless, he promised multi party democracy and he was not going to contest the pending 1983 presidential election. And I believed him. Secondly, I also agreed with you that the 1989 incursion was not the best way to have gotten President Doe out. But again, thank you for graciously conceding that you thought it was a good thing (Taylor rebel war). Now you know, war was not the solution. You went on to say, if we are to blame anybody, we all should be blamed. But this is not time to blame. AWESOME. SINCE YOU DIDN’T TALK ABOUT THE TRIAL, I WILL ALSO NOT MENTION ABOUT THE TRIAL.

          Edward Massaquoi, I also agreed with you. Your post is phenomenally awesome. Good job guys. Now we all cooking with grease.

  17. Fallah
    Stop this death wish mentality of a sufffering people. The blanket and deceitful trial of Charles Taylor has got nothing to do with human rights. Otherwise, the diamonds and arms dealers in Europe and America would be held acountable for crimes against the people of Africa and poor people around the world.

    This trial is based on corporate greed and the same master-slave mentality that saw Africans sold into slavery by weak and brainwash African chiefs. The same greed that led Liberian president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to sell Charles Taylor for world bank aid was the same reason that caused the slave trade.

    When will Africans come to appreciate that those mighty corporations have never been in our self interest? When will we be pride of our own continent despite the natural resources that is in abandance? Charles Taylor is no criminal but a true African hero who will be remember like Kwame Nkrumah, Steve Biko and the other African greats. Remember Kwame Nkrumah was also overthrown by the British, Steve Biko was murdered by the same people, and today it is the same British that have already built a prison to jail Taylor. TOTAL TOTAL NONSENSE!!!

      1. Thanks for the dialogue Bnkr, Jose and the rest. Great Insights from all and Jose I’m not Edward Massaquoi.

        1. Thanks to you as well for your critical analysis and observation.

          Yea, I am a big fan of Tolbert. He was the first president to have the constitution amended to serve only one term. A writer (David Lamb) described him as a “descent man”. I wish he would have been given the chance…..

        2. Bnkr,

          I have to agree with you regarding Tolbert. He was the right man at the wrong time. Although I was born after 1980. From all of the research I’ve done although he wasn’t perfect, I sense that he more than all of our leaders did his best for the country.

          Unfortunately he was caught between the winds of change from the so called “progressives” and the old guard who didn’t want any change at all. I think this put him between a rock and a hard place. Couple of questions for you and the forum;

          1) Where do you think the Country would’ve been today were he alive?
          2) In hindsight what could he have done to appease the in my opinion too overzealous and unprepared so called “change agents” while keeping the old guard happy at the same?

          The third question is a little sensitive but do you feel that these barely literate orderlies and their progressive puppet masters could’ve have solely been responsible for this assasination or were there hidden hands?


  19. Aki,

    yes and if the moderator will confirm, he will inform you that i made post that was not posted until two weeks later. . This, only after i saw a comment from Big B referencing the absence on the forum of a post he made, that i felt it an opportune time to ask about my post. there was nothing derogatory, or abusive in the content. why it would take two weeks, i do not know. the gist of what i said was the editor who commented on the case was using word play to surreptitiously influence reading audience against my Taylor. ( He assumes i am a Taylor supporter.) FYI, if you need to know- I suport the Sierra Leonean and Liberian people.

    over time it has become apparent the leanings of the moderators for this forum. this revelation about their complicity may sound outrageous to you at first, bu then it was designed to do so. with dialetics like ” Open Society” who wouldn’t be taken in by tthe wholesomeness of the egalatarian gesture, especially with our African mentality.

    most people have failed to realize that the rag tag group that led the war in Liberia: Taylor and Sanko were poor individuals who did not have two nickles to rub together. where they got the funding for their escapade is who we should be looking at for the atrocities that occured in the two countries. this focus on the dealer on the street-Taylor, as the poster boy, blinds all to the people pulling the strings. Taylor has already admitted to who his sponsors were. that is fact.

    for the sake of history we shouldn’t loose sight of the hand in the body of the puppets.

    regaridng censorship: every message i post here is not posted immediately. the fact that it has to go through a clearing house is a kind of censorship. delaying for 2 weeks or 48 hours is a kind of censorship. it is only since i mentioned this that my post are be posted the same day., albeit several hours later.

    1. Hi Michael A,

      You are correct in that two of your posts were delayed before I published them: One you posted on January 28 questioning the bias in our reporting. I posted it with my response and an apology for the delay on February 1 (two working days later, as there was a weekend in between) as I took your comments seriously and wanted to double check both the transcript and the original document to which you referred to see whether our reporting was accurate. Your second comment was posted by you on February 1 and I published it on February 2, again with an apology for the delay as your comment had raised a legal issue which I needed to check by our in-house counsel. If there is another post to which you are referring that took two weeks to post, would you please let me know which one you are referring to?

      In terms of our moderation: it is very common for blogs to have a moderator that has to make decisions on publishing comments by third parties. Newspapers such as the New York Times and the Guardian in the UK, for example, also have moderators for readers’ comments. We are not applying a standard to this blog that is not commonly used by other websites reporting daily on issues and allowing for reader comments. We also moderate in order to ensure that we comply with the law and do not publish anything that is defamatory, discriminatory etc — all the issues set out in our terms of use of the site — so that we are abiding by the law ourselves with this site.

      There will inevitably be delays with the posting. I check the comments as often as possible, but I also have other commitments and work duties which means I cannot always publish comments instantaneously. So this will not change — it is simply a reality for the functioning of this site that I do not work on it full time, seven days a week, 24 hours a day. There must necessarily be some delay in posting.

      However, we have tried to make our policy on posting very transparent, we have checked the relevant laws to ensure it accords with our legal responsibilities, and we do the best that we can. I am sorry this feels like censorship to you, and I am happy for you to continue to raise concerns, but I’m not sure how much more I can say on this topic. I think I have said everything I can from this end.

      I do encourage you, however, to continue to raise issues related to the trial that can contribute to the broader discussion and debate on the site.

      Will look forward to hearing your thoughts on the trial, Michael A,

    2. Mike,
      I’ve had problems in the past, but I don’t think it’s Tracey or Alpha’s intend to screen anyone. There have been some nasty things said and they have been posted…I hope whatever your discontent is, it is resolved.

    1. Michael A.,

      We all see this. The time will come and I will open up. If you can remember, Eagle-eye asked a general question as to when the prosecution made such a statement of President Taylor having 5 billion dollars in foreign banks. I however, referred the question to Tracey. Her respond was, she will revert. Trust me, I knew the answer and date and time the prosecution made that ststement. I can and could have provided it in a nano second. But I decided on purpose to refer it to Tracey. There are so many issues and concerns that need a ferocious urgency for this forum. But after my exam, I will be back in full and those issues and concerns will be discussed.

    2. Micheal A,
      I was jokingly asking wether we who are advocating that justice be done to Taylor and the people of Sierraleone may be in trouble with the CIA.

  20. hey forks, im a liberian in canada…….i really do wanna see this trial live but im confused with the time…my local time is the eastern standard time. Can anyone plz tell me when i can tune in? thanks

    1. Hi Kelvin,

      You are in the same time zone as New York, right? If so, afraid it is bad news! I think it should be 4am for you when the trial streaming starts at 10am Hague time. HOwever, please do check the court calendar here: The times change each week for the next few months, and some weeks it is only in court in the afternoon, or else only in the morning in The Hague. It might help you avoid getting up at 3:30am when you don’t have to.

      Hope this helps — let me know if there is a problem and we’ll try to see if we can help.


    1. John Sayee,
      Last we heard Benjamin Yeaten was in Togo being protected by the Togolese government. I understand the prosecution team did try to kidnap him from Lome but it was thwarted by the Togolese security services. Why Togo has such interest in keeping Benjamin is anyones guess.

    2. That guy is running from the law. I think there is an inter-pool warrant for him. It’s believed he is in Burkina Fasco.

    3. John Sayee,
      What has his whereabouts got to do with the trial? the prosecutors have had ample time in the world to bring him to the court but they chose not to. If with the intelligence capabilities of the west, they claim no to know his whereabouts, I think that is unbelievable. I think they know where he is or they have decided not to look for him. because he would have been a very inmportant prosecution witness if indeed all they have accused him of doing for Mr Taylor is true. He would have been a true insider that would have greatly helped the prosecution case.

  21. Thanks Tracy….its bad news for real because I do have the same time zone as new york.but thanks for the information anyways

  22. Dear Fuad — hi. I received a comment from you last night at 9:13pm. Alas I cannot post it as it does not fit with our policy (to focus on the trial and not other readers). I would be happy to publish it, however, if you are able to rephrase your post to fit with our policy and resubmit it. I would also be happy to send you the text if you need it. THanks in advance for your understanding.
    Best, and hope to hear from you soon,

  23. Ken, I have never commented before. But I think Jose is correct 100%. President Doe did more infrastructural development than the 133 years of Americo-Liberian rule, and it is a fact. You however said, we should ask the Chinese. Ken, for what? We see the complex. We did not see any foundation built by Tolbert. We didn’t see any incomplete building. However, we see and know, Doe started from scratch. You talked about Doe improving on what the Americo-Liberian did. Of course, he did. Instead of renting from the Americo-Liberian owned buildings , the Liberian government owns newly constructed building like the complex, police station, and etc. Ken, I have been following the trial from the get go. I, However, agree with you on almost every issue about this trial. I think Taylor was falsely accused just like how you see it also, and there is no proof enough to convict this innocent man. The prosecution has failed to show that this man bears the greatest responsibility of the carnage in Sierra Leone. They lied on this man. They destroyed our country for nothing. They created more animousity amongst our people for nothing. But Ken, stick to the trial where you make more sense than the Americo-Liberian argument.

    1. Jerrry Smith,

      I couldn’t agreed with you more. Thanks for breaking it down. Awesome post Smith.

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