FROM OUR ARCHIVES: Charles Taylor was not acting alone

Charles Taylor

Charles Taylor

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
As former Liberian President Charles Taylor becomes the first African leader to stand trial for war crimes, it is worth remembering that the 61-year old father of 14 was not acting alone. Taylor, who headed the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), became the country’s President in 1997. He is currently being tried at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, accused of indescribable violations of human rights, which he allegedly committed during his 14-year rule. He is also accused of conspiring to foment the brutal civil war in neighboring Sierra Leone, which he allegedly funded through the Liberian diamond trade. But as I explained last February, Taylor’s diamond smuggling was facilitated by Roger D’Onofrio Ruggiero, an Italian-American 40-year veteran of the CIA, who worked with Taylor and others to channel diamonds into Europe through a number of front-companies. Taylor was also assisted by Ibrahim Bah, a Senegalese who in the 1970s and 1980s was funded by the CIA to join the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan in the war against the Soviet Red Army. It is unlikely, however, that Charles Taylor’s prosecutors at The Hague will be calling on these two witnesses during the trial. Witnesses aside, however, Charles Taylor’s trial may prove to be interesting on numerous levels. Yesterday, for instance, he told the court that his 1985 “escape” from the US maximum security Plymouth County Correctional Facility in Massachusetts, which allowed him to return to Liberia and take over the country through a military coup, took place with US government assistance.

About intelNews
Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

6 Responses to FROM OUR ARCHIVES: Charles Taylor was not acting alone

  1. AllanGreen says:

    I don’t understand. Are you suggesting Taylor was an asset?

    He also had arms from EE-crooks. He dealt with Israeli thugs. What does that mean, that he was a stooge?

    Please elaborate.

  2. intelNews says:

    I guess it depends on how you define an asset. Was Mobutu Sese Seko an asset? Was Jonas Savimbi an asset? This issue is not so much in need of elaboration, as it is in need of clarification by the very powers that Charles Taylor himself said facilitated his “escape” from the Plymouth County Correctional Facility in 1985. Perhaps we should be pressuring them to elaborate? [JF]

  3. AllanGreen says:

    Well, that’s a claim he makes. Do we ask the feds to elaborate on the basis of a claim?

    I am interested in your personal take, “claim” if you will, as to who is Ruggiero.

    A rogue agent, or not so “rogue”. What’s your estimate.

    Can’t we conclude, isn’t it easier to conclude, that since Taylor got his support from wherever he could, he assembled a motley crew of oddballs about him – which make it very easy for him to spin conspiracy theories – which he probably believes (since he would never have the intel to evaluate his beliefs accurately).

  4. intelNews says:

    Most certainly, Charles Taylor “got his support from wherever he could”, including –apparently– from the US, Libya, certain European nations, and others. This does not necessarily make him an “asset”; nor, however, does it make those former or current US government agents who assisted him “renegade”.

    But it does raise several questions that ought to be looked into, in light of Taylor’s despicable criminal behavior. Yesterday, for instance, he said he was “100 percent positive” that the CIA supplied arms to the infamous 1985 coup by Thomas Quiwonkpa (which Taylor supported). These accusations, by the way, which are currently making headlines all over Western Africa, barely make the small print in US newspapers.

    In light of the history US and Soviet covert intervention in Africa during the Cold War, such claims should not be simplistically dismissed as “conspiracies”. Rather they should direct further investigation into the matter by both independent and –especially– government agencies. [JF]

  5. AllanGreen says:

    ok. That makes sense. It also implies, we don’t need to do any investigating. It’s a cold war case. So its case shut.

    Thanks for the clarification.

  6. Liberian says:

    You cannot be serius. Is this seriously what you get from the last paragraph in the previous message??? As a Liberian living in the United States of America, I want these chargees investigated at once, so what if these things happend in the cold war?? We still live aright to know.

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