Charles Taylor worked with CIA during brutal reign
January 21st, 2012
NewsRescue- Proceedings from the International criminal court, reveal that former Liberian president, Charles Taylor was working for the CIA and Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) while he conducted one of the most brutal conflicts in the last two decades, this according to the Boston Globe. The CIA kept him on payroll and continued to collect intel from him till the 90’s when supposedly US president G. W. Bush terminated his contract. This information was revealed in US files presented at the criminal court.
Taylor was elected president of Liberia in 1997 after inspiring a decade of war, under guidance of the United States.
Rumours of CIA ties were fuelled in July 2009 when Mr Taylor himself told his trial, at the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone in the Hague, that US agents had helped him escape from a maximum security prison in Boston in 1985.
The CIA at the time denied such claims as “completely absurd”.
But now the Defence Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon’s spy arm, has disclosed that its agents – and those of the CIA – did later use Mr Taylor as an informant, the Globe reports.
Related: NewsRescue- Conflicts in Africa- Introduction
Jeffrey Michaels, a professor of war studies at the University of King’s College in London, said on Aljazeera:
“I think that they probably recognised there are problems in getting into bed with these dictators and other unsavory people. If you look at the most prominent cases where the US has been involved, such as Ngo Dinh Diem in South Vietnam… and [Manuel] Noriega in Panama – the CIA is there as an adjunct to foreign policy, to keep a leader who is generally aligned with US interests in power.”
Back in 1983, when the US and USSR jockeyed for influence in West Africa, Taylor was a rising political star in Liberia, serving as chief of government procurement in the government of Samuel Doe. He fled in 1983 after a corruption scandal and was jailed by US authorities in 1984, pending extradition to Liberia.
Miraculously, he escaped from the Plymouth House of Correction in 1985. Analysts believe US intelligence operatives helped with the prison break.
In 2009, during testimony at his war crimes trial, Taylor said a jail guard opened his cell door and allowed him to sneak out a window. He then claimed a “government car” drove him to New York, before he made his way to Mexico and eventually back to Liberia.
Intelligence officials were said to have been particularly interested in information Taylor could provide about then-Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
In 1991, Charles Taylor launched the invasion of Sierra Leone, and intelligence agents could only stop him by supporting another rebel group, according to Yearsley: “We saw utter chaos and devastation; the country was ruined.”
Despite Taylor’s actions, analysts do not believe the latest revelations of US-support will cause much embarrassment for intelligence agencies.
The Sierra Leone civil war lasted 11 years and resulted in over 50,000 deaths.
Taylor is jailed in The Hague facing international prosecution from the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone. The wars he waged in Liberia and Sierra Leone, claimed more than 250,000 lives.
Unfortunately, though there is a strong reaction to this official confirmation of what Liberians and Sierra Leonians had long known, nothing will come out of this. The United States will not likely soon be held accountable for the orchestration and support one of the most deadly regimes in Africa’s history and the reign of terror. The consequences of Charles Taylors actions still plague both nations.
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