Hooray! The Americans Are Coming! Beat It Driver, Beat It! Who Die Da Their Worry-Worry!

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Hooray! The Americans are coming and if the driver knows what’s good for himself he should beat it, meaning run for his life. Yes, the Americans are coming, according to media reports, to investigate the case of the missing billions. The Tuesday, October 16, 2018 edition of the Hot Pepper newspaper carried a front-page story claiming that the Americans have already concluded their work and departed the country.

In other accounts, the FrontPage Africa newspaper in its October 15, 2018 edition reports that investigators have found only small amounts of local currency in the CBL’s vault instead of the 15.5 billion Liberian dollars which the CBL maintained was in its vault. Whatever the case may be, the public desires and deserves to know the truth. In the interest of fairness and transparency, it is only proper that the Americans release preliminary findings on what has been unearthed so far.

But it should not be surprising if the Americans do not make public their findings. There are speculations from some diplomatic sources that Liberians may be in for a rude awakening when findings are disclosed to the public absolving the government of blame. Further, according to diplomatic sources, fears are that revelations of the true findings linking past and current government officials to the disappearance of the money may serve to incite and provoke mass public protest with unforeseen consequences for a government said to be strongly within the orbit of US policy influence. In effect, according to diplomatic sources, it means or suggests that the Americans will act, if needs be, to save the hide of a government which they believe would lend itself to easy manipulation.

But such premonitions, as farfetched as they may seem, cannot be dismissed with a wave of the hand. The Americans came not once but several times before. In 1990, they raised the hope of starving, desperate and besieged Liberians when the US Government dispatched a flotilla of ships, planes and troops to the shores of Liberia, raising the hopes of Liberians that their ordeal at the hands of bloodthirsty warlords was over as the Americans had now arrived to intervene. But to their greatest dismay, this was never to be.

The Americans instead idled and fiddled while the country went up in flames. But it took the courage and bold ingenuity of West African leaders to intervene and put an end to the madness which had engulfed the country. Again, the nation bore witness to similar circumstances in 2003 when the nation found itself torn apart once again by bloody fratricidal conflict. At the height of the fighting in the besieged city of Monrovia, thousands took to the streets to celebrate what had then been announced as a cease-fire and the arrival of American troops.

Again, the joy of the people was short-lived, for within a matter of minutes, euphoria had instantly turned into apprehension, fear and grief as mortar rounds fired by LURD forces began falling on hapless, unarmed civilians. Once more, the West African Community was called into action after the US government had insisted on the presence of “African Boots” on the ground as a precursor to their intervention.

Further, in 2016, the nation was shocked by news of the brutal killing of Harry Greaves, a former confidant of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Greaves had allegedly fallen out with the former President and was said to have become a virtual mockingbird singing tales of sleaze allegedly involving former President Sirleaf. Harry, according to accounts, went to the RLJ Kendeja Hotel and was never seen again until his dead body was washed ashore a local beach in Monrovia near the Executive Mansion.

With a cloud of suspicion hanging over the Government of Liberia, and in response to public pressure, President Sirleaf invited a team of US forensic experts to Liberia to investigate. The team released its final report, concurring that Harry had indeed drowned. But the key question which remained unanswered to date was, if Harry had indeed drowned, how come his arms were contracted but not instead flexed as would normally be the case when a drowning person lapses into a state of unconsciousness?  Further, had rigor mortis set in before he drowned or after? What accounted therefore for the presence of a stick in his anus can still not be reasonably explained?

But the Americans had said it — Harry died by drowning and that was it, although strong suspicions about complicity were never quite laid to rest. In the case of the missing money, this newspaper wonders why ECOWAS was not invited into the fray. The regional body has already established an institution to handle such matters involving money laundering and the like.

This institution is styled the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering (GIABA). It is a specialized institution of ECOWAS and a FATF Style Regional Body that promotes policies to protect the financial systems of member States against money laundering, terrorist financing and the financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Recommendations are recognized as the global anti-money laundering (AML) and counter terrorist financing (CTF) standard.

In the face of this, there are questions whether the outcomes of this investigation will be akin to that of the Harry Greaves investigation. There is, however, another twist to this with suggestions from certain diplomatic quarters that the Americans are alarmed by inroads the Chinese are making in Liberia with the construction or planned construction of large infrastructural projects which are without doubt leaving visible imprints that the Americans have been unable to match.

They, according to sources, strongly desire to see a “Maada Bio” in George Weah who will cancel at a stroke of a pen, planned Chinese infrastructural projects such as the proposed flyover at the Boulevard junction and the ministerial complex overpass. President Weah needs to awaken to these challenges no matter how outlandish they may appear.

For now let us all shout: Hooray, the Americans are coming; so Driver, beat it! Throw your anti-corruption “axe” Mr. President, and let it fall where it may. Who die, da their worry!

Authors

4 COMMENTS

  1. Paragraph 4: ‘farfetched?’
    The Americans have always maintained, rightfully so, that their foreign policy is designed to seek their interest. And why would any finding of malfeasance be disseminated to an already agitated general public? In the name of peace and American-shenanigan, the findings will use fine language to gloss over any inflammatory truth to be found. And as such the hoopla will fade to rest and we shall move on leaving the solution to God. We are limited by the exportation of our solution to an eternal savior. The God in us is tamed, through design, by timidity. Fine piece of writing, Admin. Next scandal, please.

  2. From the get-go, President Weah was all for getting the FBI to investigate this case in pursuit of the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

    This reads like a rather odd editorial considering it is the press that alarmed a phantom L$16 billion container fraud; frantically fanned it across the globe; and had cast doubts on impartiality of local investigators, which resulted in requesting foreign expertise. Next time, newspapers shouldn’t traffic in hearsay; the half-truth incited street protests that could’ve gone awry. Experience teaches that behind every vainglorious street protest, there exists likelihood of vandalism and violence – by either protesters or armed Security Sector responders – leading to chaos. Inciters don’t give a damn, anyway.

    Monrovia didn’t need to undergone that potential for trouble had the reporters of the so-called scoop believed their own “sources” to the extent of wanting the case solved. According to the September 9, 2018 issue of New York Times, President Trump denounced the newspaper for publishing an anonymous letter supposedly written by an aide about a plot within the White House to restrain his worst impulses. A rightfully angry Trump asked, “Does the so-called Senior Administrative Official exist, or is it just … another phony source”.

    So we should be asking whichever newspaper that gave us the L$16 billion bombshell of baloney: Do the former government informants exist, or just phony sources? Because it would seem that an adversarial press simply wanted to keep the story front and center to scare a government it hasn’t succeded “bullying” into establishing war and economic crimes court. By the way, President Bio went to China looking for new loans too, and cancellation of the airport project was APC – SLPP Party politics: Matter of prioritization.

  3. The missing money debacle speaks volumes! Lots of erudite Liberians are found on opposite sides of the debate with a variery of viewpoints that were previously unknown. The hoipolloi are not helped because the stage actors (the CBL group, past and present, the Treasury people, the lawmakers, etc) are sending out tentacles of confusion. Who’s to be believed? Where do we go from here?

    In recent pronouncements, Mr. Tweah of the Treasury Ministry informed the Liberian people that no money was missing. In defense of themselves, the CBL group came out and pointed fingers at Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Not to be left in the mud, EJS, the former president, became disgusted at Weah for reasons unknown. Okay so Speaker Chambers is a lawmaker. Chambers is third in line to assume the presidency during the event of an extreme national emergency if
    the president and his VP are incapacitated. By God’s grace, I hope not! Chambers welcomes the FBI to trace the missing money. It’s a credit to him. But whereas Chambers welcomes the FBI, Chambers stipulates that the lawmakers of Liberia should not be probed. Why? Why not? How can we get to the truth and nothing but the truth without a thorough investigation? Are the lawmakers of Liberia 100% perfect? I am a staunch supporter of Chambers. During the last legislative session, Chambers came up with excellent proposals. I defended him for having shown machismo. I will support him 100% when I can. Chambers’ latest move to shield the lawmakers of Liberia from an FBI probe is wrongheaded. I think that my native Marylander should re-consider.

    Finally the President, Mr. Weah:

    In my view, the president continues to drive intelligently in his lane. Weah is not in violation of the alloted speed limit. The speed limit is honesty and truthfulness. He promised to get to the bottom. He promised that all corrupt individuals would be prosecuted. Anyone may dislike him for any political reasons. But the truth must be told. Weah wants the FBI investigation to continue without preconditions. Weah is right!

  4. Regarding this matter of the missing billions, it seems rather unfair to be accusing the media of misinformation when it was the government’s own official spokesman, Information Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe, in concert with Justice Minister Musa Dean, who informed the whole world about the mystery of the missing container/s with 16 billion Liberian dollars.

    Of course, since both President Weah and Governor Patray of the Central Bank have refuted the Ministers’ statement, there should be nothing now for various domestic and foreign experts to investigate. Right? Well yes, unless of course the Liberian people just do not believe the money is and has been in the vault all along… A good forensic investigation could still uncover much useful evidence in this regard.

    Also needing to be investigated (audited) is that other pesky transaction having to do with that US$25M allegedly infused in the Liberian economy a few months ago to mop excess liquidity of “Liberty” dollars. People are entitled to know what really happened here and what’s going on. It is now time to “let judgment roll down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.” (Amos 5:24)

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