Taylor Trial Finally Gets Some Attention
Naomi Campbell is bringing it, although very reluctantly. She delayed again this time to August 5th. She has been subpoenaed to detail specifics of an alleged Taylor diamond gift in South Africa in 1997.
Here's a VOA piece I did on the attention lacking, coming, and deserved ...
July 26, 2010, VOA Report
Investigators say Taylor also gave diamonds to Pat Robertson, and Jesse Jackson. Those are other stories altogether.
WHAT WOULD WESTERN LEADERS DO?
Since the trial began in 2008, Taylor seems to be using the I didn't know anything really of the chaos that was going on defense, I was president of Liberia while the mess was in Sierra Leone. He's using disorganization, lack of records, rebels speaking on his behalf, as his tack. He's been very calm and poised.
Western leaders would use depth and apparent complexities of their government structures, "I can't recall" (which Taylor has also used), spy apparatuses, covert agencies, renegade underlings to get off the hooks of war crimes accusations, which are du jour again with Wikileaks ...
NAMES HAVE NOT BEEN NAMED
During Taylor's testimony, I was expecting more names to be named. He did elude to having been helped by the United States to escape jail in Plymouth, Massachusetts, back when former Liberian military dictator Samuel Doe was on the ropes. That's also another story.
Currently, prosecutors want to pin specifics on him, for which they have proof, or have someone like Campbell vouch to some of his activities during his time as president and his links to Sierra Leone's war.
MY OWN DIAMOND ARCHIVES
Anyway, digging into my own archives, from the old days when YouTube was not as nice in terms of video quality, here's video from my channel of a diamond deal being done in Sierra Leone, where Hezbollah also may have made huge profits during the civil war, and business was booming for many Freetown-based Lebanese diamond dealers...
and here's another video of post-war diamond diggers at work without a gun to their head, but with hungry stomachs,
Surprisingly, the second video has had lots of hits on youtube owing probably to the "Looking for Diamonds in Sierra Leone" title... When I went, I got many requests from both Africans and Westerners, asking, some facetiously, others not so much, whether I could bring back a diamond for them, or even some diamond dust.
The video has also prompted several emails asking for more information on the diamond business. As if I was in any position ...
I for one never understood why people would pay anything for a diamond.