Skip to comments.Hillary, Bill, Jesse Jackson and Liberian President Taylor - Cleaning Up Clinton Mess Again
Posted on 07/10/2003 3:49:39 PM PDT by tallhappy
Some background on the current Liberian situation.
Jesse Jackson as Clinton's Special Envoy to Africa majorly supported Taylor. He arranged meetings and conferences and along with Lester Hyman arranged for first lady Hillay to meet Liberian first lady Jewel Howard Taylor back in 1998. That was the same time period al Qaeda began trading diamonds from Liberia.
From AllAfrica, Inc. Africa News, Liberian Daily News Bulletin
BYLINE: Star Radio (Monrovia)
April 24, 1998
Liberia's First Lady Jewel Howard-Taylor has met with Mrs. Hilary Clinton, wife of U.S. President Bill Clinton in Washington. The meeting focused on the plight of Liberian children and ways to seek assistance for their welfare. The meeting was the first between the two first ladies. Mrs. Taylor led the Liberian delegation to the just-ended reunion conference in Chicago, U.S.A. It was organized by President Clinton's special envoy to Africa, Rev. Jesse Jackson. Mrs. Taylor held similar meetings with prominent individuals and groups including the mayor of Chicago, Richard Daley.
How nice. I couldn;t find a picture of the two first ladies together. That'd be so lovely.
The New Republic ran a long article on Taylor's apologists including Jesse jackson (and Pat Robertson) back in 2001 called, " Double Take; Can Charles Taylor's apologists explain his ties to Al Qaeda?" by Ryan Lizza, TNR November 19, 2001
On september 19, 1998, the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia, Liberia, was attacked by the forces of Liberian dictator Charles Taylor. According to an internal State Department report on the incident obtained by The New Republic, Taylor's police, pursuing a local warlord seeking protection at the embassy gates, laid siege to the building using AK-47s and at least one rocket-propelled grenade. In the ensuing firefight, one American embassy official was shot in the lower back. Although the warlord and 23 of his men reached safety in the embassy compound, Taylor, who had ordered the attack, apparently thought they were dead and issued a statement of regret over the incident. When a Liberian government official learned they were alive and about to be evacuated by air, however, he informed the United States that Taylor would order his forces to shoot down the helicopters. Taylor eventually relented, and the men were flown to a third country.
Following the attack, some on the Hill called for closing the embassy. But the Clinton administration didn't let the incident interfere with its efforts to coddle Taylor, the man responsible for more than a decade of bloody warfare in Liberia and its neighbors, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Here's one choice excerpt from the State Department's official response to the attack: "The United States would like to sincerely thank the Government of Liberia, and especially President Charles Taylor, for the enormous cooperation and assistance we received in amicably resolving the situation at the US embassy in Monrovia... We look forward to continuing our close cooperation with the Government."
Why does this matter today? Because we now know, thanks to a detailed report last week by Douglas Farah in The Washington Post, that something else of great importance happened in Liberia in September 1998: Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network opened shop there. According to Farah, one of bin Laden's top aides, Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, arrived in Monrovia and met with one of Taylor's longtime lieutenants, Ibrahim Bah. Together they flew in a government helicopter to meet with a senior commander of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), the vicious rebel army controlled by Taylor that has controlled the diamond mines of Sierra Leone for the last four years. A few weeks later two Al Qaeda terrorists wanted for the American Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania arrived with $100,000 in cash to buy the first pouch of diamonds from the RUF. Since then, Farah reports, bin Laden has raised millions--perhaps tens of millions--of dollars buying cut-rate RUF diamonds and selling them in Europe. A European investigator told Farah that the Liberian diamond connection has become so important to bin Laden, "that to cut off al Qaeda funds and laundering activities you have to cut off the diamond pipeline."
But of all the American VIPs who have supported Taylor over the years, perhaps none is as intimately connected to the dictator as Lester Hyman, a discreet Washington lawyer renowned in Democratic Party circles. A self-described "protege of John F. Kennedy" who once chaired the Massachusetts Democratic Party, Hyman has been an adviser to eight presidential candidates and helped Clinton vet nominees for his Cabinet and the Supreme Court. Hillary Clinton personally asked her husband to appoint Hyman to the commission that oversaw the design of the FDR memorial. And, on and off for the last decade, Hyman has been Charles Taylor's representative in Washington.
In early 1993 Hyman stopped representing Taylor (apparently because of financial differences), but when Taylor took power in 1997, Hyman was one of the first Americans he called. Taylor had just presided over a war of incredible barbarity that left 85 percent of the Liberian population dead, injured, or displaced. Yet, in August of that year, Hyman wrote to him: "With your high intelligence, charismatic leadership qualities and strength of purpose, I know that you are capable of achieving great deeds on behalf of your country." In Washington, Hyman worked tirelessly on Taylor's behalf. He had dozens of conversations with senior Clinton officials and members of Congress with influence over Africa policy. He arranged a meeting between Hillary Clinton and Charles Taylor's wife, Jewel. In a major coup, the former Massachusetts politico helped convince a Plymouth, Massachusetts, district attorney to drop outstanding charges against Taylor stemming from his escape from jail there in 1985. And, of course, Hyman urged the administration to engage Taylor, which meant downplaying his government's human rights abuses, and overlooking Liberia's transformation into a gangster state.
And from the Times-Picayune, October 30, 2000 we get a clear picture;
Copyright 2000 The Times-Picayune Publishing Company
Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA)
October 30, 2000 Monday
SECTION: METRO; Pg. 4
LENGTH: 298 words
HEADLINE: Blame Clinton, Jesse Jackson for civil war
Recently, President Clinton made a quick weekend visit to Nigeria and Tanzania. Two years ago Clinton had proclaimed an "African Renaissance" which seems in danger of never materializing, as a laundry list of socio-economic problems threaten to greatly increase the divide between Africa and the rest of the developed world.
The Clinton administration has helped to exacerbate conditions in Africa, specifically in Sierra Leone, thanks to the inept diplomacy of Jesse Jackson.
Instead of appointing a professional career diplomat to negotiate a cease-fire agreement with the Sierra Leonian rebels, Clinton chose Jackson, who has ties with Charles Taylor, president of neighboring Liberia, who has funneled drugs and arms to the rebels in an attempt to seize control of Sierra Leone's rich diamond reserves.
Foday Sankoh, the rebel leader of the Revolutionary United Front, conscripted children into the military with drugs, supplied by President Taylor.
Through a so-called cease-fire agreement Jackson attempted to exonerate Sankoh by placing him as the chairman of the commission that manages the diamond mines of Sierra Leone. It was this control that allowed Sankoh to buy arms, supplies and drugs from President Taylor.
International Reports states that Taylor took control over the RUF's fight against government troops and international peacekeeping efforts.
The Clinton administration and Jackson have to accept responsibility for prolonging this civil war.
Chairmen Helms and Gilman should investigate Jackson's Rainbow Push Coalition to track payments from President Taylor.
Jackson should "Keep Hope Alive" and concentrate on his own domestic problems.
Former U.S. representative,
African Development Bank and Fund
The Clintons are the gift that just keeps giving, sad to say.
All too true. Unfortunately, the worst is yet to come.
As a father, it breaks my heart. As an American, it is a call to arms.