Monday, October 25, 2010


By: T. Q. Harris, Jr.
As international creditors contemplated forgiving Liberia’s $5 billion outstanding debt, high-ranking officials in the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf government at that very moment were secretly selling $2 billion worth of carbon credits from which they expected to profit through bribery and could have caused collapse of the country’s economy. Interestingly, President Johnson Sirleaf had full knowledge of the scam and, in a way, made possible the agreement. Now carbon crime is the latest addition to Liberia’s corruption list.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf met in person with Mr. Michael Foster, CEO, and another officer of the fraudulent Carbon Harvesting Corporation in February, 2008, according to the Special Presidential Investigative Committee on Carbon Credit Concession Agreement involving the Government of Liberia and the London-based Carbon Harvesting Company. Those facilitating the crime used the President’s meeting as a stamp of approval. This being true, President Johnson Sirleaf must accept some responsibility for the crime which only came to light because of the efforts of Global Witness.

Also, in its report, the Presidential Committee stated that Senator Jonathan Banney of Rivercess “paid to secure an appointment with the President” on behalf of the Carbon Harvesting Company. That means, at the very beginning, the President of the Republic of Liberia held face-to-face meetings with men who had no experience in carbon trading and whose company did not even have an established business office or genuine contact number. Who did Senator Banney pay to secure the appointment? Who’s calling the shots at the Executive Branch? Why was the President meeting with men whose backgrounds had not been checked?

Answer: CORRUPTION! CORRUPTION! This highly publicized carbon crime involving high-ranking government officials further demonstrates the level of corruption in the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration which she often attempts to justify by making endless excuses.

The concept of carbon credits has come about as a result of increasing awareness of the need for controlling emissions. Mechanisms were formalized in the Kyoto Protocol – an agreement signed in Kyoto, Japan, between 170 countries. For trading purposes, one Certified Emission Reduction (CER) unit is equivalent to one metric ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) emission. Carbon prices are normally quoted in Euros per ton of carbon dioxide or its equivalent. In 2007, the market estimate for managing emissions stood at 30 billion Euros. It has been predicted that “Carbon” will be the biggest commodity market, and it could become the world’s biggest market overall.

Also, under Kyoto’s Clean Development Mechanism, a developed (industrialized) nation can sponsor a greenhouse gas reduction project in a developing (non-industrialized) nation where cost of greenhouse gas reduction project activities is much lower, but effects on the atmosphere globally is equivalent. For doing this, the developed nation would be given credits for meeting its emission reduction targets, while the developing nation would receive the capital investment and clean technology.

This is how carbon euros or dollars are generated: Let’s say, for example, a manufacturing company is putting out 100,000 tons of greenhouse gas emission per year. And the government of the country where it is located, which happens to be a signatory to Kyoto, enacts a law limiting the company’s allowable annual greenhouse emissions to 80,000. The company can either reduce its emission to 80,000 tons a year, thereby impacting overall production and profit; or, it can purchase additional carbon credits on the open market and or pay another group to reduce the equivalent of 20,000 tons of carbon dioxide emission from the atmosphere for the year.

The new industry of carbon trading has created enormous revenue-generating potential for developing countries, particularly those having large untapped forests. On the other hand it also has provided a new arena for organized crime and other criminal elements.

Michael Foster and his fraudulent Carbon Harvesting Company must have targeted the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf government knowing its horrendous corruption record; evidenced by these criminals meeting face-to-face with President Johnson Sirleaf herself. This confirms, to some degree, the extent of corruption at the highest level of government and the danger this poses to the nation. For a few dollars of bribe money, officials in both the Legislative and Executive branches of government illegally entered the country into a $2 billion binding contract. Not unlike the recently cancelled $5 billion foreign debt, the actions of few corrupt individuals would have imposed upon the Liberian people a $2 billion liability from which we derived no benefit.

Efforts to downplay the rape, torture and murder of more than 300,000 of our precious friends and loved ones have contributed to rampant corruption in the Johnson Sirleaf government. In a desperate attempt to distance herself from the 15-year carnage – which is impossible - Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has pursued, without any oversight, a destructive agenda that is certain to prove costly for the Liberian people when the facts are later revealed. Had Global Witness not exposed the bogus carbon credit concession agreement involving her administration and the fraudulent London-based Carbon Harvesting Company, direct control of more than 500,000 hectares of the Liberia’s virgin rainforest would now been in the hands of criminals. It makes one wonder what’s hidden beneath the $16 billion contracts Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her inner circle have committed the nation to since taking power. And, apart from the fact these transactions have yet to produce the jobs promised, what price will we have to pay later?

To you - my Fellow Compatriots - I say take heart. The TQ Harris administration beginning 2011 will restore all that have been taken away illegally and undo every decision that is harmful to our beloved country.

The Author: T. Q. Harris, Jr. is a member of the Free Democratic Party (of Liberia) who is expected to be a Presidential candidate in the 2011 Election. Mr. Harris in 1997 was the Vice Presidential nominee of his Party. He is currently the Chairman of Liberian Contempt UPS. To get more information: ; ; ; and Phone: (562) 256-4271 Liberia: (231) 6 538827

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Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah

Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah


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