Friday, March 20, 2015

It’s official tyrant using child soldiers had CIA connection

WASHINGTON - When Charles G. Taylor tied bed sheets together to escape from a second-floor window at the Plymouth House of Correction on Sept. 15, 1985, he was more than a fugitive trying to avoid extradition. He was a sought-after source for American intelligence….
Taylor, 63, pleaded innocent in 2009 to multiple counts of murder, rape, attacking civilians, and deploying child soldiers during a civil war in neighboring Sierra Leone while he was president of Liberia from 1997 to 2003. Mass. Escapee turned Liberian dictator had US spy agency ties

The US government now admits that they provided at least some support to Charles Taylor who became a tyrant notorious for many atrocities in Liberia including the use of child soldiers many of whom were almost certainly forced into fighting for the tyrant. This isn’t news to many but the corporate media hasn’t paid much attention to it so when they do provide some news they continue to put it out in bits and pieces so that many people may not realize the full extent of what is going on.

The article doesn’t go into details about the fact that he used child soldiers, they only mention it briefly in one sentence, or explain many of the other details about his atrocities; if the public wants to know about things like that they’re going to have to get in the habit of doing some of their own research instead of relying on what the corporate media tells them. I suspect that this article isn’t widely discussed in the corporate media outside of the Boston area; I haven’t heard them mention it in the national press or the propaganda stations that they refer to as 24 hour news stations.

Nor does the Mass Media make much if any effort to explain the typical recruiting efforts of the CIA to the majority of the public; once again if you want to know more about that you’ll have to check with other sources. One of the oldest sources that reports on this is Victor Marchetti Author of “Cult of Intelligence;” he claims that the CIA routinely uses college professors that work with them to help recruit people from foreign countries. This has since been confirmed by many other researchers. I’m reasonably sure that William Colby, former CIA director, even admitted to this in his memoirs. People that understood this would be better able to recognize the importance of the history that Charles Taylor had in the US starting in 1972 as indicated in these further excerpts from the article.

Taylor’s ties to Boston reach back four decades.

He arrived in 1972 and attended Chamberlayne Junior College in Newton and studied economics at Bentley College in Waltham. While in Boston, he emerged as a political force as national chairman of the Union of Liberian Associations. In 1977 he returned to Liberia and joined Samuel Doe’s government after a coup in 1980.

Taylor served as chief of government procurement in the Doe regime but fled Liberia for Boston in 1983 after being accused of embezzling $1 million from the government. He was arrested in Somerville in 1984 and jailed in Plymouth pending extradition.

The acknowledgment now that Taylor worked with US intelligence agencies at the time raises new questions about whether elements within the government orchestrated the Plymouth prison break in 1985 - as Taylor claimed during his trial - or at least helped him flee the United States.
Four other inmates who also escaped that night were soon recaptured.

“Why would someone walk out of a prison that’s never been breached in a 100 years?’’ said David M. Crane, who was the chief prosecutor for the Sierra Leone war crimes court from 2002 to 2005 and now teaches at Syracuse University College of Law. “It begs the question: How do you walk out of a prison? It seems someone looked the other way.’’

Taylor recounted the episode during his trial testimony, insisting that a guard opened his cell for him.
“I am calling it my release because I didn’t break out,’’ Taylor testified. “I did not pay any money. I did not know the guys who picked me up. I was not hiding [afterwards].’’

He said two men - he assumed they were American agents - were waiting for him outside the prison and drove him to New York to meet his wife. Using his own passport, he said, he traveled to Mexico before returning to Africa.

The corporate media puts much less emphasis on these type of news stories which are routinely printed briefly and forgotten; while propaganda that glorifies the US military and the CIA is repeated over and over again. This leads many people to come to the conclusion that the US is the “leader of the free world,” as many politicians including Mitt Romney keep repeating over an over again. If the Mass Media put more emphasis on stories like this the claim that we’re defending democracy all around the world would be a much tougher sell. It would also be much tougher to justify all the military action that we continue to carry out around the world.

For one reason or another they omitted the picture shown above from the article on the web which appears in the print copy. I retrieved this photo from The New Dispensation at World Press which also provides additional information about Liberia.

For additional information see the following sites:

Girl soldiers: Charles Taylor's legacy (video)

…..Taylor added an innovation to modern civil warfare, Kahaner writes:

With Taylor, the world saw a different kind of warfare emerge. It consisted of paramilitary combatants, armed with light, cheap weapons, whose long term goal was not only to topple a government but to attack civilians en-masse along the way. These soldiers were permitted, even encouraged, to engage in any atrocity, including rape and ethnic slaughter, to terrorize the population and gain control.

Taylor recruited combatants by giving anyone who would swear allegiance to him a cheap automatic rifle and then allow them to use that new form of violence to plunder whatever they could from whomever they killed. This was not limited to enemy soldiers, it included civilians who would be terrorized, looted, pillaged, raped, mutilated, tortured; whatever took the thugs and gang's fancy. It is one of the repugnant areas of African geopolitics that the sheer inhumanity of man as an animal is so fervently on display.

Taylor's other innovation was to put cheap arms in the hands of children, often war orphans, who he dubbed his Small Boy Units. These children often manned checkpoints or would raid villages on the assumption they would receive cars, computers, and toys in return. Kahaner writes:

In a perverted context, child soldiers fit Taylor's needs perfectly. They were easy to recruit, naive enough to stay within the fold, and armed with an AK47, they were as lethal as an adult. ... Psychologically, child soldiers held other advantages. Youth made them feel invulnerable. Coupled with natural teen bravado and an undeveloped conscience, children offered a deadly combination in a guerilla fighter.

Western soldiers initially would refuse to shoot at children even though they were armed, until a group of Irish soldiers from a UN detachment were captured and held. From that point on Western soldiers have been indoctrinated to shoot at armed children during combat situations…… Charles Taylor and Child Soldiers in Africa
Articles About Child Soldiers at
(For more information on Blog see Blog description and table of context for most older posts.)

The following are the original replies when this was first posted on Open Salon.

So many get angry when I try to point out things like this horrid legency of child soldiers. Sierra Leone is one of many places they are usedd, and quite effectively. They are easy victums. easy to find. easy to recruit. easy to kill once they are hundreds of miles away from their families.

You write well about them here.

The war drums beat on. beaten by beaten children.

Sad world we live in.

Mission January 24, 2012 11:07 AM

Charles Taylor was among the worst when it comes to child soldiers; but he doesn't use them as much as Joseph Kony. The use of child soldier dramatically extends the length and horrors of war. At least the US isn't backing Joseph Kony and they've even sent troops to stop him recently. Ironically Rush started criticizing Obama without knowing what he was talking about claiming that Kony was a Christian and one of the good guys. I don't know if Obama's plan with Kony is the best but I do know that Rush is clueless. Kony is part Christian although his version of Christianity is mixed with other superstitions and he picks the worst of Christianity to champion. Actually that might be in line with Rush since he often also picks the worst of Christianity to champion.

The US could still do a lot to stop the use of child soldiers even when it isn't supporting them by changing the primary focus of globalization to pay more attention to people than they do to business.

Thanks for commenting, even though I strayed from your comments.

zacherydtaylor January 24, 2012 11:37 AM

I got off the topic much Zach.

I just read much on child soldiers and have for a long time. Years.

Don't think America does not have their collective fingers in the pie. They do.

And I apologize for my broken keyboard. I hope my comment was readable, typos and all.

I read sometimes over on a site called

And then want to hurl.

and people ask me why I don't sound so gung ho as a true patriot.

Mission January 24, 2012 11:47 AM I'm not the greatest typist either. Without spell check I would be unreadable.

I haven't looked at One World. Org in the past but at a quick glance it looks like it is worthwhile. I'll have to read it more; thanks for pointing it out.

zacherydtaylor January 24, 2012 12:06 PM

But Doe was hideous too. Liberia... is a difficult issue, because its our responsibility, and we didn't do that very well for a long time. Every other European Power in Africa complained about our lack of acting for a long, long time, to be fair, and, you have to work with what you have, which sometimes... is morally ... troubling, like with Mobutu. Then again, look how many people die in civil wars too. That doesn't make what we may or may have done right, but, there is a context of what the options really were too that matters, in which in some parts of the world, if we aren't willing to deploy troops and nation-build, then our leverage is sanctions, which however, hurt the poor the most. If, its all of course pretty Heart of Darkness territory, unless, you really want to make AFRICOM more ambitious in its tasks, but, look how that went in Somalia, as to always being careful what you ask for.

Don Rich January 24, 2012 01:18 PM

Charles G. Taylor was nothing else if not an innovator in twenty first century Civil War. To paraphrase ‘Apocalypse Now’ condemning him for using child soldiers is like handing out speeding tickets at the Indianapolis 500. War, especially Civil War, is a total thing. Expect his methods to be used as a template in the coming tribulations. In spite of what you see on TV every professional knows the best soldiers in the world are found in Africa. Stalking through the jungles with their trusty Belgium assault rifles. They make the Taliban look like the boy scouts Zachary. Why do you think the empire has never tried to go and get Laurent Nikunda?

Jack Heart January 24, 2012 07:18 PM

Outstanding post. You make an excellent point about the failure of the mainstream media to put important new events like this in context.

Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall January 25, 2012 12:12 AM

Don, Jack, no doubt the existent tyrants in Africa are mostly about as bad; but part of the reason for that is the history behind it and the fact that our foreign relations decisions are made primarily based on the needs of the business people with little or no regard to how it affects the majority of the public including the people that are being exploited to support the causes of the businesses. If not for this many of these tyrants wouldn’t have had the support they need\ed top gain power in the first place or to maintain it. This actually goes back centuries if you look at enough details; the current tyrants evolved from what happened when Colonial European powers took power and then withdrew leaving abused people without an education system that had to rely on the tyrants for protection and they cut deals with corporations.

It may seem futile to condemn the use of child soldiers and try to figure out how to solve the problem but the alternative is to give up and allow it to escalate. I’m sure a search of the internet will turn up plenty of evidence of people that have had some success in reversing this, which could set the example to solve the rest.

Stuart, thanks, unfortunately it isn’t hard to do a better job than the mainstream media every one who tries is virtually guaranteed to succeed; however more is necessary to replace them with a real free press that actually does it’s job.

zacherydtaylor January 26, 2012 09:50 AM

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