|BMGBai M. Gbala|
November 30, 2010
His Excellency Barak ObamaPresident, United States of America
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D. C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
It is my honor and privilege, most respectfully, to present sincere greetings and compliments, with wishes of good health and long life throughout the coming years.
A US-educated, pro-USA, law-abiding citizen of Grand Gedeh County of the Republic of Liberia and former Political/Economic Advisor to the government of Liberia, now a visitor in the United States of America, a Nation with which Liberia has been and is privileged to enjoy and continues to enjoy special, historic ties since its (Liberia’s) founding in 1822; a nation from which Liberia has received and continues to receive enormous socio-economic and political aid/contributions and benefits, particularly humanitarian assistance contributed during Liberia’s recent, historic tragedy of the (National Patriotic Front of Liberia) the civil war; and the kind, gracious and humanitarian action of opening your nation’s borders and doors to Liberian refugees who fled from destruction, human suffering and death, having graduated from while others are now enrolled in US schools, colleges and universities, I register and extend, hereby, profound gratitude and appreciation for this great, humanitarian assistance and relationship.
Accordingly, I beseech, request and appeal to Your Excellency, the US Departments of State and Homeland Security for your intervention in the effort to release Dr. George E. S. Boley, Sr. from detention and prosecution for a crime alleged to have been committed in Liberia.
I do not question nor am I questioning legitimate, immigration proceedings against Dr. Boley or any individual, consistent with US law; however, I am suspicious of and do question the legality of the false and politically-motivated charges against and detention/prosecution of Dr. Boley.
Although agents from the local, USCIS office where Dr. Boley is being held and prosecuted visited us here in Philadelphia because of our concerns raised, and assured us that Dr. Boley is being held only and only on immigration charges, it is now shown that this is not true; in that, the trial, Immigration Judge, recently threw out, as false, concocted, video-conference testimonies from Liberia by alleged “witnesses” to war crimes, allegedly committed by Dr. Boley.
These false allegations were and are the creation, with “doctored” photographs, of some NPFL-connected, Liberian elements residing in the USA and their friendly journalists and “human rights” groups in an attempt to resurrect the NPFL’s deadly conspiracy against the ethnic/tribal people of Grand Gedeh County by false and vicious allegations that Dr. George Boley, a prominent citizen of Grand Gedeh County, Republic of Liberia, was a “rebel, warlord and committed extra judicial killings in Liberia”.
Mr. Kirkpatrick Weah, a Liberian citizen now residing in Minnesota, USA, writes in a widely-circulated article [(email@example.com), dated February 16, 2010] that Dr. “George Boley, the man who presided over the notorious LPC (Liberia Peace Council), is behind bar. He will be there (behind bars) as long as . . . those who witnessed the atrocities committed by LPC come forward like in the case of Chuckie Taylor (Mr. Charles Taylor, Jr.), who is sentenced for . . . 75 years in prison”. In other related, internet postings, Mr. Weah takes the Liberian President, Mrs. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, to task or “blood votes, Ellen pardons George Boley” and “pleading for Boley, what will deads do?”
Closely related press reports include such headlines as “George Boley of Clarkson accused of war crimes”, dated February 7, 2010 in the newspaper, the Democrat & Chronicle, written by Gary Craig (GCRAIG@DEMOCRATAND Chronicle.com) and Jeffrey Goldberg’s “George Boley, Liberian Warlord, is finally under Arrest” (www.jeffreygoldbergtheatlantic.com). Additionally, Journalist Goldberg says “I was subpoenaed by a human right group in Minnesota . . . to testify against Boley in a defamation lawsuit that he . . . (Boley) filed against the group. I eventually provided a sworn affidavit in the case, in which I detailed what I knew of Boley’s activities in the civil war – which was a lot – . . . that his organization (the LPC), the grossly-misnamed Liberia Peace Council . . . For starters, the lawsuit, unsurprisingly, was dismissed . . .”
In 2006, USCIS agents arrested and detained Dr. Boley on immigration charges; three months later, however, the charges were dismissed and Dr. Boley was released for failure of the prosecutors to provide lawful support. Therefore, Dr. Boley filed suit against the officials for “wrongful arrest” and detention. Dr. George Boley, a former City School Administrator and temporary service employee, contended that he could get no employment due to negative, unfavorable publicity of the wrongful charges against him. That suit is now pending.
Moreover, based on false statements and accusations of “human rights violations in Liberia” by some ethnic Liberians in the USA and the dismissed, unlawful charges against Dr. Boley, the Advocates for Human Rights of Minneapolis, Minnesota, publicly accused Dr. Boley of Human violations. Thereupon, Dr. Boley, also, took the human rights organization to court for defamation of character. That case was dismissed on “sworn affidavit” evidence by Journalist Goldberg in Minnesota. Thus continues the vicious, false allegations against Dr. Boley by a media campaign which includes a “doctored” photograph (herewith attached) showing Mr. Charles Taylor (brandishing an AK-47 assault rifle) and “field Marshall” Prince Johnson with Dr. Boley under the caption, “what these three guys have in common is killing innocent people”.
WHAT ARE THE FACTS?
Firstly, that the Charles Taylor/Prince Johnson-led NPFL organization was an illegal, armed insurgency, that invaded Liberia, a legitimate, sovereign state, with the objective to seize political power by force of arms (targeting and victimizing, particularly, the ethnic/tribal people of Grand Gedeh county), was and is so self-evident that it needed and still needs no proof. In that, on December 24, 1989, the day of the invasion, Mr. Charles Taylor, as leader of the NPFL, proclaimed on BBC Radio Focus on Africa that the NPFL commenced and was engaged in an armed struggle designed to “remove a dictator (by illegal means), President Samuel Kanyon Doe, a prominent, ethnic/tribesman of Grand Gedeh County.
Not only that this announcement and subsequent activities of the NPFL provided the convenient, political foundation for and gave unique, tragic expression of the “assaults” upon the ethnic/tribal people of Grand Gedeh County, but also that the insurgency rapidly developed into a willful, vicious and systematic manipulation and exploitation of indigenous, inter-ethnic/tribal, political differences, a condition that inflamed inter-ethnic/tribal passions that gave rise to the nation’s historic explosion of the fifteen-year, ethnically-driven, deeply-divisive and deadly-armed conflict that severely victimized the ethnic/tribal people of Grand Gedeh County, simply because the first indigenous citizen who became the nation’s president happened to be an ethnic/tribal, Grand Gedean.
Comparing or associating Dr. Boley with Mr. Charles Taylor by a “doctored” photograph with the argument that “what these three guys have in common is killing innocent people” is a blatant, deceitful, vicious falsehood without validated, evidential support; in that, Mr. Charles Taylor has been indicted by the UN-backed Court in the Republic of Sierra Leone for War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity; he has also been indicted and is presently being prosecuted for War Crimes, Crimes aganst Humanity and Violation of the Geneva Conventions on Military Rules of Engagement. On the contrary, there are NO such charges or indictments against Dr. Boley, as leader of the LPC, a Resistance Movement, in Liberia or anywhere in the entire world.
Secondly, and most importantly, Mr. Jucontee Thomas Woewiyu, an NPFL ideologue, was not only Defense Spokesperson (Defense Minister) and head of the NPFL fighting forces, but also the No.2 person (Taylor being No.1) in the NPFL hierarchy – planning, policy, organization, management, operations, etc. – command & control, military orthodoxy. Moreover, not only that the name “Tom Woewiyu” was, in fact, “NPFL”, but also that it was a national/international household-word during the heyday of the conflict. In this very important, powerful position, Mr. Woewiyu declared publicly that “the best Krahn man (ethnic/tribal citizens of Grand Gedeh County) is a dead Krahn man”.
Thus, when “Taylor’s Bloody War” (Mr. Taylor’s own words) finally reached the city of Monrovia and the gates of the Executive Mansion (Residence & Office of the President of Liberia), the NPFL gained unparallel momentum with new (non-Grand Gedean (Krahn), non-Mandingo) “converts” who, with NPFL “freedom fighters”, marched the streets of Monrovia and the corridors of state power to the cadence of the infamous refrain:
“Charlie (Mr. Charles Taylor, NPFL) come, Charlie come
To remove the Krahn/Mandingo People
From the Face of the Liberian Nation”
Accordingly, upon capture and occupation of Grand Gedeh County by force of arms, the NPFL announced a policy decision to annex the southeastern county, ancestral land and home of the Krahn Tribal People, to Nimba County, the county’s northeastern neighbor. This announcement was intended to give effect to planned policy as expressed by the marching chorus above. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that had “Taylor’s Bloody War” succeeded as planned, Grand Gedeh County would have been wiped off the map of the Liberian nation and ceased to exist as a political subdivision with its status as socio-cultural, political entity, as we know it today.
Thirdly, because of the forced, armed occupation of Grand Gedeh County with threat of annexation to Nimba County, including gruesome atrocities viciously committed against the citizens of the county, thousands of men, women and children fled in February and March, 1990 to and took refuge in the neighboring republics of Sierra Leone and Guinea. The NPFL, however, swiftly pursued the fleeing, Liberian refugees into Eastern Sierra Leone and inflicted wanton destruction, human suffering and death upon them.
This development – the ferocious, vicious and rapid pursuit of the fleeing, Liberian refugees into a foreign country and, there, inflict atrocious human suffering and death upon them – created one of the most crucial, important turning points in the history of the Liberian, civil tragedy.
Fourthly, the refugees, – old and young men; old and young women, and children that included almost all of the tribal elements of Liberia – after a spirited debate and analysis of the conflict and its devastating impact on them, decided that “. . . we have had enough And that we will run NO more . . .”. Thereupon, in their hideout in a small town in eastern Sierra Leone, the United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy (ULIMO) and later, the Liberia Peace Council (LPC) were formed and established to “resist the rebellious, illegal, armed insurgency into our country, Liberia, and, thereby, victimize the citizens. These refugees, as indicated, were a mosaic of or an ethnic/tribal diversity of Liberian, tribal elements – Kissi, Krahn, Kru, Kpelle, Bassa, Grebo, Gola, Vai, Mendi, Loma, etc.; the founding chairman of ULIMO was a Kru tribesman, although the majority of the movements’ partisans were Krahn/Mandingo, because they were particularly targeted and victimized.
The notion or concept of Resistance Movements is not new; for, it characterized the political activities of men and women in their abiding quest for freedom, justice and equality of treatment throughout human history. The Liberian Resistance Movements (ULIMO, LPC, etc.) were organized in the tradition of and for achievement of the objectives similar to the Resistance Movements that rose up against Nazi Germany during World War Two. Notable among the WWII Resistance Movements were the following:
The Yugoslav Partisans
The Polish Home Army
The Soviet Partisans
The French Forces of the Interior
The Greek Resistance
The Dutch Resistance
These groups played critical roles in defeating Nazi Germany. They were not defined as rebels, warlords or prosecuted at Nuremburg for resisting an illegal, armed insurgency desirous of political power-grab and dictatorship.
This is not to argue that Resistance Movements or their members, were or are exempt from obedience to the Geneva Conventions on Military Rules of Engagements. On the contrary, Resistance Movements are required to abide by the Geneva Conventions. However, trials/prosecutions for such crimes should and must be and are lawfully held in a court of law and in the territorial jurisdiction of the nation/country in which such violations are alleged to be committed or the International Court of Justice, based on objective evidence subjected to rigorous cross examinations in the courts thereof, not just in any foreign country and based upon second-, third-, fourth- or fifth-party hear-say testimonies by video conferences and exaggerations, based on ethnic/tribal bigotry and politically-motivated “evidence”.
And Fifthly, it was or is the direct result of the brave men and women (of the Resistance Movements, ULIMO & LPC) whose sacrificial action drove the NPFL forces from southwestern Liberia – Grand Cape Mount, Bomi and Lower Lofa Counties. Moreover, the LPC drove the NPFL forces out of southeaster Liberia and re-captured Grand Gedeh County.
It is very important and significant to note here for posterity, Mr. President, that if the ethnic/tribal people of Grand Gedeh County, in collaboration with other ethnic/tribal peoples of Lofa, Bomi, Grand Cape Mount, Montserrado and Nimba Counties, as partisans of the ULIMO and LPC Resistance Movements, had not spoken loudly, eloquently and acted bravely and decisively in resisting and “standing tall” against the illegal and murderous insurgency by the NPFL, the course of recent developments and history of Liberia would be different than it is today; in that, the relative peace, law & order, individual/collective security now prevailing in the country would not have been possible.
For, Mr. Charles Taylor and his band of “freedom fighters” were forced, by the Resistance, to restrict their activities to the so-called “Greater Liberia” consisting mainly of Bong and Nimba Counties and conceded to peaceful, political dialogue and negotiation for resolution of our political differences. This approach led, in turn, to the several peace conferences and accords, with the final end of armed hostilities and general elections in 1997.
IN THE LIGHT OF THE FOREGOING, I SUMBIT THAT:
1. The charges against Dr. George Boley, Sr. are, in fact, NOT concerned with violation of US Immigration Law, but allegations that Dr. Boley was a rebel, warlord who committed war crimes of extra-judicial killings during the civil war in Liberia and that they are patently false, distortions, misinformation, vicious, ethnically-driven and politically-motivated.
2. The crimes with which Dr. Boley is alleged to have committed and for which he has been arrested, being held in detention and prosecuted were NOT committed in territorial United States as required by law; nor is Dr. Boley a charged fugitive from law in any country – not even in Liberia where the crimes are alleged to have been committed.
3. And finally that the arrest, detention and prosecutorial action, against Dr. George Boley by the local USCIS and its prosecutors, is NOT only an attempt to establish “justification” for the pending “wrongful arrest” suit filed against them by Dr. Boley, but also that the action is politically-motivated and in connivance with US, local elements/organizations seeking economic gain and Liberian, tribal, political groups having NPFL connections, by seeking to silence Dr. Boley through these false and illegal arrests, detentions and prosecutions.
Now therefore, we respectfully pray, request and pray for your kind intervention, that of the US Departments of State and Homeland Security, for the discharge and release of Dr. George E. S. Boley to rejoin his family – American wife and US-citizen children, without further detention.
Bai M. Gbala
ENCLOSURE: Current: Liberian Diplomatic Passport with US Visa
Documents: Position as Former Political/Economic & International Affairs Advisor to three, Liberian Government Administrations