Denial, Deception and Crimes Against Humanity:
A Rejoinder to “The Misguided Taylor’s Apologist: A Rejoinder”

By R. Wesley Harmon

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

May 5, 2004


Reference is herewith made to “The Misguided Taylor’s Apologist: A Rejoinder” by Jenkins K. Z. B. Scott, published on May 3, 2004, in your widely read media.

“O what a tangled web we weave when first we learn to deceive”. Lies, deception and denial have been a staple of Liberian society for so long that sometimes we are prone to believe our own spin of a given event or of a story that may or may not have happened. In his rejoinder, the learned Counselor Scott went on a diatribe about his association with that grandmaster of evil, Charles Taylor. In my opinion, his attempt at denial of being a legal adviser to Mr. Taylor was very disconcerting, to say the least, because there is ample evidence to the contrary.

Counselor Scott averred, “I was never appointed or employed by the Taylor Government as Legal Adviser but rather I was hired as a lawyer or legal counsel to the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs, and of course Legal Counsel to the President”. What is all this double talk about? Were you or were you not a legal adviser to Mr. Taylor? Your own statement seems to affirm the fact that you were. If you were employed or hired, (is there a difference between the two?), whatever, “… as a lawyer or legal counsel to the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs”, isn’t that the same as being a legal adviser to the president? The stated purpose for the existence of the Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs is to advise and serve the president of Liberia.

In any case your argument matters very little in the grand scheme of events overtaking Liberia right now, especially since Mr. Taylor has been unceremoniously kicked out of Liberia, and is awaiting prosecution. I would hasten to mention that he had that and more coming to him for all the mayhem he created in our beloved Liberia and in the sub-region.

What is appalling about the learned counselor’s attempt at denial is the fact that he tried to accuse other Liberians of somehow influencing the process of selection of names placed on the United Nations List of Liberians barred from international travel, which happens to include his name. I would like to point out that those whose names were placed on that list have no one to thank or blame for it but themselves. Their individual record of performance in government will, no doubt, confirm that they were not victims of a process of random selection neither were they victims of a “witch hunt” Liberian style, rather they are reaping what they sowed.

While many Liberians wish they were opportune to influence the process of selection of whose name went on the U.N.’s list, I doubt if any were given such a privilege. The United Nations had its own team of investigators, which catalogued the actions of all who were part of Taylor’s inner circle, and since all of them operated with impunity, and flaunted that fact in the faces of all Liberians, I doubt if the UN team had any difficulty identifying any one of those individuals. Little did they know that a day of reckoning would come, and come so abruptly, when each would have to give account of his/her stewardship.

Suddenly everyone wants to disclaim participation in the mayhem and carnage left behind by Charles Taylor and his gang of marauding killers. Even the copycat killers, Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy, (what a misnomer), LURD, and Movement for Democracy in Liberia, MODEL, are all trying to distance themselves from their actions - killing innocent, helpless Liberians. This is the only claim to fame for all of these would-be liberators of the people - killing the very people they purported to liberate.

Why is the learned counselor so concerned about his name being on the United Nations Sanctions List? Why are George Dweh and others so concerned about the possibility of a war crimes tribunal being set up in Liberia, to the extent that they have begun to campaign against it? Are ordinary Liberians worried about these probable phenomena? The Bible says, “Evil men flee when no man pursueth”. Why are they running from their shadows?
Because they, (warlords, and former Charles Taylor officials), are very conscious about their past actions, being fully aware that they (their actions) were perpetrated against an innocent, helpless people, a game of preemption is being instituted to thwart whatever plans may be afoot to bring them to justice.

In my opinion, it would be a gross miscarriage of justice if the perpetrators of crimes against innocent Liberians, are allowed to live happily ever after without accounting for those crimes. In my opinion, the learned Counselor Scott, and many individuals like him, could be tried as accessory before and after the fact, to some of the worst crimes ever committed against a people. When Hitler’s former generals and other high officials were prosecuted for crimes against the Jews and others, they tried to claim innocence because they were following orders. The Court ruled that each had a free will, or choice of not being a part of the process that caused the death of so many innocent people. Is this any different?