I didn’t blog on Charles Taylor’s capture when it happened, but thankfully, the event was decently covered in the media — a healthy change from the treatment Liberia usually gets.
So anyway — Yay! He’s in the hands of the Sierra Leone Special Court. Might be tried there, or in the Hague — that’s the current source of debate. That Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf called for his extradition at all came as a welcome surprise. After all, she had visited the U.S. just prior, and had been decidedly noncommital on the issue. Other than a few members of Congress who have been on the Taylor issue (sometimes “a tad overzealously”:http://www.polytropos.org/archives/2003/11/boba_fett_repor.html), the U.S. government hasn’t been particularly enthusiastic about stirring up Taylor trouble by reeling him in. The State Department seems to have been happy with him boxed up in exile, not causing (as much) trouble. The White House, predisposed against the International Criminal Court, was disinclined to support any action that might lend it credence. And if the conventional wisdom, that Taylor has CIA connections from back when he was the alternative to President Doe, holds any weight, then there’s another bunch of folks with no desire to see him on the witness stand.
But Johnson-Sirleaf asked for him anyway. Good for her. When I first heard that he had flown the coop in Calabar, I would have bet real money that that was the end of it — that he’d turn up again in one shady country or another, someplace harder to extract him from, and that he’d live out his days there, Idi Amin-style. Turns out he even made it to the border, but no further.
Now the long, long wait for the trial process to turn up anything worth writing home about. In the meantime, here’s my main question: why isn’t “Douglas Farah”:http://www.douglasfarah.com/ being interviewed, quoted, or otherwise turned-to every single day on this issue? Am I just in on the wrong news outlets? You’d think someone with some things to say about “the possible connections between Taylor and Al Qaeda”:http://www.polytropos.org/archives/2004/06/the_charles_tay.html would attract a little more attention.
Oh well. They got the bastard. That’s something.