This is the true story of how Jesse Jackson unleashed a sadistic warlord on the suffering people of Sierra Leone.
Part One: The Long Slide Into Hell
Our former president Jimmy Carter tells us that Liberia’s former “President William Tolbert enjoyed worldwide acceptance as an enlightened Christian layman, having been the elected leader of the Baptist World Alliance, representing almost all organizations of this major Protestant faith.” (New York Times 7/13/03) On April 12th, 1980 a Liberian army sergeant assigned to a beach patrol near the Liberian president’s home directed his platoon to the presidential palace and surprised President Tolbert in his bed, where the president was promptly disemboweled. Master Sergeant Samuel K. Doe personally cut out President Tolbert’s liver and heart and ritually mutilated the organs; he left his teeth marks in the flesh; he would later nail Tolbert’s liver to a wall of the John F. Kennedy Medical Center in Monrovia. Within hours of his murder, thirteen of President Tolbert’s cabinet ministers were bound to telephone poles on a Monrovia beach and shot to death by drunken soldiers loyal to the illiterate Sergeant Doe. Thus began Liberia’s descent into ruin and depravity.
As the new self-appointed ruler of Liberia, Samuel Doe briefly indulged in a flirtation with Libya and then astutely aligned Liberia with the United States. Despite mounting evidence of increasing atrocities, Washington increased military aid to Liberia. Few questions were asked.
In 1985, Samuel Doe staged an election to legitimize his regime and then rigged the outcome. The United States assistant secretary of state for African affairs, Chester A. Crocker, announced that Liberia had enjoyed “the beginning, however imperfect, of a democratic experience.” It was all a fraud. Washington’s solid support for Samuel K. Doe sent a clear message to all Liberians that any moderate opposition to the barbaric President Doe was futile.
After the coup of April 1980, a Liberian citizen named Charles Taylor, who was then living in the United States, returned to Liberia and insinuated himself into Samuel Doe’s inner circle. Charles Taylor had entered the United States on a student visa in 1972. He had attended Chamberlayne Junior College in Newton, Mass and later attended Bentley College in Waltham, Mass. He had graduated in 1977 with a degree in economics. In 1983 Doe’s government accused Taylor of embezzling nearly a million dollars. Embezzlement was Doe’s chosen word for Taylor’s failure to make kickbacks. Taylor fled back to the United States.
Responding to a complaint from the Liberian government, American authorities arrested Taylor in Boston in 1984 and held him for extradition. Taylor was represented by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, who would later join Saddam Hussein’s defense team.
After cooling his heels in the slammer for more than a year, Taylor teamed up with four petty criminals and together they escaped from the Plymouth House of Correction by cutting his cell bars with a hacksaw blade and climbing down a bunch of knotted bed sheets. Later he would claim that God “opened the prison doors for me.”
After his jailbreak, Taylor found his way to Ghana where he hooked up with Liberian dissidents. Taylor befriended revolutionaries from Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Libya. In Libya the government intelligence apparatus put the willing Mr. Taylor through al-Mathabh al-Thauriya al-Alamiya – in English: World Revolutionary Headquarters. It was a school for leftist “revolutionary” guerrillas from every part of Africa. It was at Colonel Qaddafi’s school for thugs that Charles Taylor befriended a former Sierra Leone army corporal named Foday Sankoh.
Fortified with money and weapons supplied by Colonel Qaddafi and with the financial and political support of Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast, Charles Taylor made his move on Samuel Doe’s Liberia.
On Christmas Eve of 1989, Charles Taylor led a band of 100 guerrillas into Liberia’s northern Nimba County from neighboring Ivory Coast and sparked a civil war that would continue for fourteen years. By the time he was forced from power in 2003 the conflicts he had ignited had swept away the lives of more than 300,000 Africans and uprooted millions of others who scattered into half a dozen West African nations. Taylor carried about a map that he called the map of Greater Liberia which included parts of Guinea and the diamond fields of Sierra Leone. He was a man with a grandiose plan.
Among Charles Taylor’s “revolutionary” innovations was the formation of his notorious Small Boys Units, contingents of intensely loyal child soldiers, some as young as five years old. These boy soldiers revered Charles Taylor as “our father;” he fed them a steady diet of marijuana and crack cocaine.
As many as 10,000 child soldiers fought in Liberia’s last three years of civil war – the final swell of carnage in fourteen years of conflict. Battlefield commanders prized these little fighters for their unquestioning obedience and their lack of comprehension of the suffering of others.
Taylor’s officers would demand that boys kill their parents and family members, thereby breaking the ultimate African taboo. Taylor’s commanders would recruit heavily from the vast pool of younger males who were frustrated by the authority of their elders and who lacked the “bride wealth” to get on with their lives. Rather than waiting years to inherit dowry wealth from their fathers and uncles, Taylor espoused a smash-and-grab take-it-now philosophy. Young recruits were plied with methamphetamines, marijuana and crack cocaine to blunt all qualms and to sharpen a killer mentality. The little soldiers were given license to rape and plunder.
All the while he was eroding the traditional African respect for elders, Charles Taylor was substituting himself as an enthralling all-powerful elder authority over the young troopers who maimed and slaughtered in his name.
Taylor’s “boys” ran amok, indulging in ritual mutilations, impromptu amputations and cannibalism. Women and children were not spared. Taylor’s boys slaughtered five American nuns.
According to the New York Times (4/2/06),
“Mr. Taylor also co-opted the secret societies that dominate life in many West African countries, like the Poro hunting society in Liberia. This gave him access to a world of unseen power and allowed him to project an aura of mystery and invincibility. Rumors that he practiced cannibalism, human sacrifice and blood atonement rituals merely added to his mystique.”
In September 1990 President Doe was captured, tortured and dismembered. By 1991 Taylor’s forces held sway over ninety percent of Liberia and were applying pressure to its weakened government. Taylor deployed his militias to seize control of the Liberian economy, of its natural abundance of timber and raw materials. He controlled hundreds of millions of dollars worth of trade as well as booty from smuggling and drug trafficking.
Making Matters Worse
In March of 1991, Charles Taylor began encouraging his fellow gangster, Foday Sankoh, to ignite a war in neighboring Sierra Leone – a nation Taylor coveted as part of his imaginary Greater Liberia. With Taylor’s support, Sankoh’s troopers went straight for Sierra Leone’s diamond mines. They called their greedy gang the Revolutionary United Front (RUF); they referred to Sierra Leone as their Kuwait because of the wealth it would provide them. In every meaningful sense, the monstrous Foday Sankoh was a creature of Charles Taylor. Without Taylor there would not have been a Revolutionary United Front.
Horrific mayhem laid both countries to waste during Bill Clinton’s budding presidency. Two hundred thousand of Liberia’s three million citizens were slaughtered. Taylor agreed to 13 peace treaties, but only did so when he needed time to rearm. He trashed all thirteen agreements: It was a methodology he had learned from Colonel Qaddafi. When Taylor felt his grip on Liberia was firm, he pushed for a “free and open” election for the presidency of Liberia. But every citizen understood that if Taylor lost the election he would unleash his AK-47-toting, machete-wielding Small Boys Units on the population.
In short, the 1997 election was conducted “in an atmosphere of intimidation,” to quote the U.S. State Department. With armed children running amok in the streets chanting “He killed my pa. He killed my ma. I’ll vote for him,” Charles Taylor garnered seventy-five percent of the vote.
As Charles Taylor tightened his grip on Liberia, Foday Sankoh’s Revolutionary United Front was suffering setbacks in Sierra Leone. The government had contracted the services of a private South African security firm named Executive Outcomes which arrived in May of 1995 and began inflicting grief on the RUF. By early 1996 Sankoh’s guerrillas had been evicted from the diamond fields that had bankrolled his homicidal ventures. The RUF had been severely weakened by Executive Outcomes.
In February of 1996 the United Nations sent election monitors to Sierra Leone and allowed a veteran UN official named Ahmad Tejan Kabbah to step outside his UN role and run for president of Sierra Leone. Mr. Kabbah won the election with far more votes than voters. President Kabbah then asked the well-armed Nigerians to become his protectors. The Nigerians were only too happy to oblige and promptly established a heroin trafficking hub at the Freetown airport.
By the end of 1996 the Revolutionary United Front appeared to be a hollow shell. It was then that President Kabbah did something nearly fatal: he made “peace” with Foday Sankoh and agreed to terminate his government’s contract with Executive Outcomes. Soon thereafter, in May of 1997, disaffected government troops stormed the Freetown prison, released hundreds of condemned criminals and RUF officers, and then seized the reins of government. President Kabbah ran off to neighboring Guinea. Then the coup bossmen invited Foday Sankoh and the RUF to join their junta. Altogether they tore up the constitution; they festooned the hills surrounding Freetown with artillery pieces and then they threatened to bombard the city if anyone complained. They massacred and mutilated civilians; they abducted girls as sex slaves; they forced villagers to toil in the diamond mines. Order would not be restored until Britain, Sierra Leone’s former colonial ruler, sent in troops in 2000.
In short order the RUF took control of the junta and established goon rule: the political opposition was punished with rape, amputations or death. Judicial due process was suspended; civic leaders were locked away.
Sankoh’s troops pounced on the diamond fields of Kono and Tongo. Soon rough uncut diamonds were being ferried away to Liberia in Charles Taylor’s military helicopters. Thereafter, Liberia became a big-time exporter of diamonds even though Liberia itself produced few diamonds.
Just when it seemed that the lives of the citizens of Liberia and Sierra Leone couldn’t get any more grim, Bill Clinton took an interest in these unhappy nations.
Part Two: Clinton’s Disastrous Special Envoy
Bill Clinton was determined to avoid any African entanglements. He had ignored Rwanda as it slid into savage chaos in 1994, when the intervention of a single American battalion would have averted that humanitarian disaster; Clinton was not about to rescue Sierra Leone in 1998. Clinton punted African affairs to his secretary of state Madeline Albright who then fobbed African policy off onto the Congressional Black Caucus – a Democrat power block in Congress. Clinton never offered an opinion about anything African without first consulting Congressman Donald Payne (D., N.J.) of the Black Caucus or Clinton’s soul mate, Jesse Jackson. Every gesture of Clinton’s administration toward Liberia was crafted to legitimize the warlord Charles Taylor.
President Taylor had achieved so much personal control of the Liberian economy that folks had taken to referring to Liberia as Charles Taylor, Inc. The tight circle of friends around Bill Clinton saw in Charles Taylor a man they could deal with. To inaugurate their relationship, a private meeting was arranged between President Taylor and Jesse Jackson whom Bill Clinton had personally designated as his “special envoy” to Liberia.
In February of 1998 Jesse Jackson touched down at the Monrovia airport. Waiting to greet him was a Liberian named Romeo Horton. Mr. Horton had gone to college in the United States and he had traveled between the two countries for two decades. In the early 1980s Horton was in one of Master Sergeant Samuel Doe’s jail cells when Jackson and others appealed for his release. Jackson later met Horton in Chicago.
Romeo Horton’s presence at Jackson’s arrival in Monrovia was stagecrafted by the warlord Charles Taylor. Taylor had summoned Horton back to Liberia to brief him about Jesse Jackson. The last thing Taylor wanted was a sermon on human rights from Clinton’s “special envoy.” His worries were baseless. Because of the helpful Mr. Horton, Jackson’s audience with the Liberian gangster on February 12th, 1998 was all smiles. These two hustlers were ready to do business. It was in the Clinton Administration’s interest to mainstream Charles Taylor. Clinton was keen to avoid any African entanglements; he saw Charles Taylor as someone with whom he could deal.
Soon after this meeting, Nigerian troops liberated Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. Foday Sankoh’s troops retreated across the border into Liberia where they were welcomed by Sankoh’s mentor and partner in mass murder, Charles Taylor.
In early March of 1998 Sierra Leone’s exiled president, Ahmad Kabbah, returned to his homeland. A mere two weeks later, Bill Clinton and an enormous entourage of “friends of Bill” entered Liberian airspace on a fun-filled taxpayer-funded African safari. (Transportation costs alone were $42.8 million.) It was then that Bill Clinton emboldened Charles Taylor with thirty minutes of encouragement during a telephone downlink from Air Force One. The airborne entourage included Jackson and lots of his business pals who were in Africa to make a financial killing.
Just before Bill Clinton’s big African adventure, Nigeria’s dictator Sani Abacha had announced his intention to run as the one-and-only unopposed candidate for president of Nigeria. People with a preference for democratic civilian rule had scoffed at the mockery of democracy that a single military candidate represented, but Bill Clinton was quick to assert that it was enough for Abacha to run for office “as a civilian.” Jesse Jackson chimed in that “No body should dictate to the Nigerian people who their leaders are,” by which he meant no one except the unopposed military-dictator-candidate-for-president Sani Abacha.
Just as the multi-million-dollar Bill-and-Jesse screw-the-taxpayer African party junket was winding down, Liberia’s homicidal bossman Charles Taylor ordered Foday Sankoh’s machete-wielding Revolutionary United Front back into long-suffering Sierra Leone where they began a slaughterfest called “Operation No Living Thing.” To hear our State Department describe it, this premeditated attack on Sierra Leone was an orgy of “brutal killings, severe mutilations, and deliberate dismemberments, in a widespread campaign of terror.” So Taylor was an acknowledged terrorist as was his sidekick, Foday Sankoh. Amnesty International enumerated thousands of murders and mutilations. All the while, Jesse Jackson was doing feel-good public relations for the terrorist Charles Taylor.
Showcasing a Terrorist
Back in Chicago, Mister Jackson hosted an extravagant media presentation designed to showcase the terrorist Charles Taylor as the savior of Liberia.
Though Mr. Jackson fraudulently billed his Taylor love-fest as a “reconciliation” conference and falsely claimed that it was an opportunity for opposition Liberians to have a dialog with Charles Taylor, opposition leaders remember that evening differently. According to Harry Greaves, who co-founded the Liberian Action Party, “This was just a PR exercise by Charles Taylor.” Taylor’s wife Jewel Howard Taylor led the Liberian government delegation and the warlord himself filled the enormous video screen of Jesse’s Chicago PUSH auditorium and rambled on at length.
S.J.K. Nyanseor, chairman of Liberian Democratic Future, would later protest to the Congressional Black Caucus that Jackson’s shindig was “nothing more than a scheme designed to promote Taylor and his repressive government.” He was offended that Jackson had not invited a single opposition leader to his so-called “reconciliation conference.” Indeed, the invitations that Jackson sent out did not mention any Liberian speaker or guest other than the warlord Charles Taylor. In fact, Mister Jackson’s aide, Yuri Tadesse, crudely informed opposition leaders that they would not be given any opportunity to say anything.
Mr. Bodioh Wisseh Siapoe, chairmen of the Coalition of Progressive Liberians, was repulsed by the participation of Jackson’s close associate Romeo Horton, whom he asserted “helped finance the carnage of our people.”
Jesse Jackson spent the evening shamelessly shilling for the barbaric Charles Taylor. Jackson demanded that Liberians stop posting details of Taylor’s atrocities on the Internet. Mr. Jackson indignantly proclaimed that “The international community frequents the Internet and takes note of whatever information is disseminated on the Information Superhighway. So, please stay off the Net,” according to people in attendance.
Mister Jackson introduced no fewer than ten of Charles Taylor’s officials who spoke for hours about the paradise Charles Taylor was creating in Liberia. When some opposition folks appealed for a tribunal to try Liberian war criminals, PUSH operatives declared that time was short and drove the dissidents from the stage.
According to Harry Greaves, “The general perception in the Liberian community was that Jackson was a paid lobbyist for Charles Taylor.” Liberians fingered Jackson’s pal Romeo Horton as Taylor’s bagman to Jackson.
Harry Greaves knew for a fact that Jackson was a money grubber: Liberian human rights advocates had appealed to Jackson to support their cause by attending a prayer service at the Washington National Cathedral in 1990. Jackson had agreed. Invitations were sent announcing Jackson’s coming appearance. Then, at the last minute, Jackson demanded an up-front payment of $50,000 to appear. The human rights group could not meet Jackson’s demand for cash, so Jackson ditched the event. Clearly, Jesse Jackson had both feet firmly planted in Charles Taylor’s camp.
Jesse’s Evil Deeds
African journalist Tom Kamara has written that “Reverend Jackson is considered a civil rights leader in America, but in Africa he is a killers’ rights leader.” Why would he say such a thing? Here’s why . . .
On July 25th, 1998, the Nigerian government sent the warlord Foday Sankoh home in chains. President Kabbah announced that Sankoh would stand trial for treason against Sierra Leone. Days later, a handcuffed Sankoh appeared on television telling his gang of thugs not to shoot at government soldiers or their Nigerian army allies. At that moment it seemed that peace was at hand: a sadistic mass murderer was in chains and his boy-soldier murder machine was about to become a leaderless rabble. These were positive developments. Any genuine follower of Jesus Christ would have welcomed this moment.
Sadly, Jesse Jackson was secretly using all of his influence to spring the homicidal Foday Sankoh from captivity. After all, Sankoh was a partner-in-genocide with Jackson’s associate Charles Taylor, and what was good for Taylor promised rewards for Jesse Jackson . . . so to hell with the people of Liberia. Jackson immediately set to work pressuring Sierra Leone’s President Ahmad Kabbah to release Foday Sankoh.
On September 18, hundreds of Taylor’s Special Security Service officers and members of his police Special Task Force, teamed up with rag-tag contingents of Taylor’s armed factions and indiscriminately used automatic weapons, rocket-propelled grenades and light artillery against Liberia’s ethnic Krahns. Hundreds of Liberians, many women and children, were slaughtered in seventeen hours of mayhem. People were shot on the spot during house-to-house searches. Taylor was hunting for rival warlord Roosevelt Johnson, an ethnic Krahn.
The following day, Roosevelt Johnson sought refuge in the American embassy. As he and his associates were entering the United States Embassy, Taylor’s goons opened fire, killing two of Johnson’s friends and wounding two United States Marine Corps embassy guards. Taylor’s thugs had trashed the Geneva Convention governing diplomatic relations. So, how did Bill Clinton’s administration respond?
Jesse Jackson called his pal Charles Taylor and urged him to call off his dogs. After that, Bill Clinton’s State Department threw a blanket of secrecy over the embassy murders, referring to the location of the Geneva violations in official reports as “a Western embassy.”
With the Clinton State Department and Jesse Jackson hard at work concealing his violations of international law, Charles Taylor was emboldened to commit even more outrageous acts of indecency. Taylor and the Revolutionary United Front began a push to recapture the diamond fields of Sierra Leone.
Meanwhile, Jesse Jackson set off on another African junket as Clinton’s “special envoy.” While in Guinea, Jackson cajoled Charles Taylor and Ahmad Kabbah into signing the Mano River non-aggression pact, which included the stipulation that neither country would allow its territory to be used as a staging area for attacks on the other. It was all for show: even as he was signing the Mano River pact Taylor was subverting its intent by rearming Sankoh’s Revolutionary United Front for guerrilla operations in Sierra Leone.
As Jesse Jackson recalls it, “Kabbah had just executed some of Sankoh’s guys and was about to execute Sankoh. So we appealed to Kabbah not to kill Sankoh.” Why would Jackson do that? Sankoh was a monster who employed drug-addled children to kill and mutilate countless Africans; Sankoh was an agent of mayhem, chaos and suffering. Why was Jesse Jackson so keen to win the release of this satanic monstrosity?
Jackson flew to Freetown and appealed to President Kabbah on Sankoh’s behalf. Jackson repeated his appeal during a stopover in Ghana. A smiling Jackson proclaimed, “We live in the morning of a new day.”
In January 1999, Sankoh’s guerrillas launched an epic attack on the capital city of Sierra Leone, driving before them a human shield of women and children. Along the way they torched homes, chopped off arms and legs, raped children and shot bystanders on a whim. Within three weeks the RUF had slaughtered six thousand citizens, most of them non-combatants. When a Nigerian army counter offensive drove the RUF from Freetown, Sankoh’s thugs torched entire city blocks and abducted thousands of children to exploit as boy soldiers or sex slaves.
Just as Sierra Leone’s President Kabbah had persuaded the Nigerian peacekeepers to strike a crushing blow against the barbaric RUF, Jesse Jackson interceded to stop this winning counter offensive. Clinton’s State Department had invited a RUF spokesman to Washington where the RUF spokesman chatted with Donald Payne who, in turn, urged President Kabbah to release Foday Sankoh and to negotiate with Sankoh’s RUF “without precondition.” Under pressure, with the Nigerian counter offensive stymied by Jesse Jackson & Company, President Kabbah reluctantly acquiesced to U.S. State Department meddling. Foday Sankoh was released on April 19th and Sankoh flew away to Lome, the capital city of Togo.
Because of Jesse Jackson and his meddlesome friends a monster was once again unleashed on the African civilian population; a golden opportunity to decapitate Sankoh’s rogue murder machine had been snatched away. After that, Jesse Jackson would personally guarantee the ruination of Sierra Leone by physically removing President Kabbah from an African summit meeting in Ghana and spiriting him away to an unannounced confrontation with the insurgent bossman Foday Sankoh in Lome, Togo.
The abduction of President Kabbah happened this way: At an African summit meeting in Accra, Ghana, Jesse Jackson urged President Kabbah to meet with Foday Sankoh. Jackson arranged to have a helicopter waiting at the Accra airport. Jackson arrived at the airport surrounded by his ample staff and by people friendly with Charles Taylor. When President Kabbah attempted to board the helicopter with his information and finance ministers, Jackson suddenly declared that there was no room for Kabbah’s aides, both of whom were known to be opposed to making concessions to the warlord Foday Sankoh. Jackson refused to make room for Kabbah’s aides by leaving any of his attendents in Accra. So, Jackson spirited President Kabbah away to Togo without a single supportive aide. It was a one-hundred-mile hop down to Accra, where Jackson refused to exit the helicopter until his image could be captured by a late-arriving CNN film crew. The president of Togo was kept waiting in the hot African sun for most of an hour because of Jackson’s swollen vanity.
The isolation of the remote meeting place and Jesse Jackson’s pressure tactics paid off for Jesse and his homicidal allies: Against his better judgment, President Kabbah agreed to a ceasefire with Sankoh’s Revolutionary United Front. This would allow the Qaddafi-trained Foday Sankoh an opportunity to replenish his weapons supply. Kabbah was also pressured to enter into power-sharing negotiations with Sankoh. Jesse Jackson then convinced the U.S. State Department to supply Sankoh’s guerrillas with updated communications equipment so that Sankoh could better coordinate his field operations in the bush.
As a direct consequence of the Jackson-brokered Lome Accord, former death row prisoner Foday Sankoh was elevated to the office of vice president of Sierra Leone. Even worse, Foday Sankoh was granted the chairmanship of Sierra Leone’s Management of Strategic Mineral Resources – translation: the diamond mines.
This was what the Charles Taylor/Foday Sankoh partnership had been seeking all along and Jesse Jackson handed it to them on a silver platter! Within days Sankoh was negotiating with the diamond gnomes of Antwerp. When the Belgian diamond merchant Michel Desaedeleer handed Foday Sankoh a bank check the warlord was nonplussed. The diamond merchant recalled, “He just looked at it and asked me, ‘What’s this?’ It was the first bank check he had ever seen.”
Foday Sankoh exploited Sierra Leone’s diamond sales to buy allies and arms. Belgian air force planes brought in weapons for the Revolutionary United Front insurgents in crates disguised as farm produce. Rebel diamonds purchased sixty-eight tons of weapons for the RUF from Ukrainian arms dealer Leonid Minim. Diamonds bought the silence of United Nations watchdogs in Freetown. Raw uncut diamonds purchased political influence in the United States.
Looking back on the mayhem that Jesse Jackson worked so hard to unleash on the people of Sierra Leone, Jackson allows that “putting Sankoh over the diamonds, that was a bit too generous.” Jackson pretends that he was not a driving force behind the ruinous Lome Accord, but what is perfectly clear is the fact that at the historical moment when the leader of a sadistic boy-soldier insurrectionist army was about to meet the hangman, it was Jesse Jackson who intruded into the internal affairs of Sierra Leone, won the release of the genocidal Foday Sankoh, and then pressured the president of Sierra Leone to negotiate with the rebel leader.
The hideous development of Foday Sankoh being elevated to the vice presidency of Sierra Leone and given control of the diamond mines so that he could finance further slaughter in Sierra Leone and Liberia is a direct consequence of meddling by Jesse Jackson acting as Bill Clinton’s “special envoy.” Jackson was “special” indeed; he had a gift for making life unbearable for the people of Sierra Leone and Liberia. Without Jackson’s enthusiastic intrusion into Sierra Leone’s internal affairs the trade in blood diamonds would have stopped. Jackson has the blood of countless slaughtered Africans on his hands.
The Jackson-brokered ceasefire fell apart in less than six months; it was just an opportunity for Sankoh’s sadistic gang to rearm and redeploy. Jackson’s legitimization of Sankoh and Taylor set the stage for the slaughter of tens of thousands of African children.
Was Jackson surpassingly stupid or just his usual self-serving self when he unleashed Foday Sankoh on a suffering Sierra Leone? Did Jackson get a clue when Sankoh’s machete-wielding savages began murdering UN peacekeepers and then took 500 peacekeepers hostage in May of 2000?
By mid-May Jackson was warned to stay out of Freetown because he had been labeled a “killers’ rights leader” by Africans. Jackson blundered into Monrovia at the height of the hostage crisis and then attempted, with no success, to cajole Charles Taylor into intervening. Jackson had unleashed the dogs of war and Taylor saw no profit in reining in his buddy Foday Sankoh.
On June 5th, 2000, U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Reeker disavowed any support for Jackson’s bumbling attempts at diplomacy. The Clinton folks gave their “special envoy” the boot.
In a revealing article in the New York Post titled “The War That Jesse Built” (7/10/03), author Kenneth R. Timmerman suggests that
“Among the first questions prosecutors should ask Taylor is whom he paid off using Foday Sankoh’s diamonds. U.S. intelligence officers reported these payoffs at the very moment that Jackson was negotiating a favorable role for Taylor and for Sankoh in Lome, former CIA officers and other sources have told me over the past two years. As a result of the payoffs, Taylor continued to enjoy support among the Congressional Black Caucus and with the Clinton State Department.”
The ever hustling Mr. Jackson, who has been cutting corners and cutting deals ever since he dropped out of the Chicago Theological Seminary after a scant six months and began calling himself “the Reverend Jackson,” definitely has the blood of slaughtered African innocents on his hands. Because he was acting as America’s “special envoy” to Africa, it’s high time Mr. Jesse answered a few tough questions about the horror he wrought in Africa. It’s time to follow the trail of the African blood diamonds.
April 16, 2007