Wednesday, December 1, 2010

US Liberia Envoy Slams 'Disturbing Leaks' in Classifed Report; 'Watching Closely'

Source: FrontPage Africa 

- Nat Nyuan Bayjay

Monrovia -

On the day that her immediate boss US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was being asked by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to resign from the State Department in the aftermath of the US-WikiLeaks’ increased tension, the United States’ Envoy accredited near Monrovia has told FrontPageAfrica that there is nothing ‘thus far’ in the US’ classified report from Liberia.

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, responding to an FPA inquiry about her country’s alleged enlisting of Liberia as one of several coastal West African nations in the US ‘Littoral directive’, said Wednesday afternoon: “This is something that is very disturbing. We’re watching it very closely but we have nothing in there that we have put in thus far in any way from Liberia.”

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

The US Envoy’s response comes on the heels of the controversial web hacker’s request that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton resign her position as head of the US’ State Department when he was asked by Time Magazine if he would like to see the Secretary of State resign or be fired by President Barack Obama.

Besides a secret order being reportedly signed by Clinton, according to a recent WikiLeaks revelation, which "directed American diplomats to act as spies around the world against friends and enemies alike”, the revelation said the ‘directive’ covered the coastal countries of West Africa which includes Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Togo and Benin.

Though the directive on Liberia does not yet appear to have been published by WikiLeaks which has not allowed any much detailed revelation about the nature of the information the U.S. may be seeking, the purported Secretary of State Clinton’s directive however instructs reporting officers to look for information relating to persons linked to the West Africa Sahel region. It reportedly seeks information such as office and organizational titles; names, position titles and other information on business cards; numbers of telephones, cell phones, pagers and faxes; compendia of contact information, such as telephone directories (in compact disc or electronic format if available) and e-mail listings; internet and intranet "handles", internet e-mail addresses, web site identification-URLs; credit card account numbers; frequent flyer account numbers; work schedules, and other relevant biographical information.

The US To Cooperate Over ‘Disturbed’ Report

The WikiLeaks’ continual leakage of US’ classified reporting in the media in the face of calls for the website to abort its operations seems to be paying off. The US, in its position, according to Ambassador Greenfield, will be going to cooperate to make the classified document available to the public.

“Our position is that we are going to cooperate to make this document (available) to the public”, the US Envoy told FPA.

UNDER FIRE: U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton

Describing the report as disturbing, Greenfield noted, “We had a lot in the press on the US Government’s position on it. We are very disturbed on this, how classified reporting back to Washington has been leaked to the press.”

Clinton apparently sought personal details about Liberia, according to the document, described by the controversial whistleblower website. The revelations by the controversial investigative online journal have unraveled what some are describing as a new window on US diplomacy in Africa.

The documents were first released on November 28, when WikiLeaks published previously secret diplomatic cables.

WikiLeaks, led by the obscure Australian hacker Assange, said it obtained 250,000 US cables in which US diplomats relay conversations and observations that are usually withheld from public view for decades.

A Time Magazine article Wednesday told of Assange’s request for Obama to sack Clinton “if it can be shown that she was responsible for ordering U.S. diplomatic figures to engage in espionage in the United Nations, in violation of the international covenants to which the U.S. has signed up.”

“Yes, she should resign over that,” he told the American based magazine from an undisclosed location via Skype with Richard Stengel, Time’s Managing Editor.

A Victorious 4-Year History

“We had a lot in the press on the US Government’s position on it. We are very disturbed on this, how classified reporting back to Washington has been leaked to the press.”

Linda Thomas-Greendfield, U.S. Ambassador accredited to Liberia, responding to a FrontPageAfrica inquiry on the Wikileaks controversy Wednesday.

The Australian hacker doesn’t think his WikiLeaks project is breaking any U.S. law: “We have now in our 4-year history and over one hundred legal attacks of various kinds and have been victorious in all of those matters.”

Assange continued: "It's very important to remember the law is not what, not simply what powerful people would want others to believe it is. The law is not what a general says it is. The law is not what Hillary Clinton says it is.”

The 39 years-old has in recent times come under intense pressure from several other governments with Swedish prosecutors, mid last month seeking an international arrest warrant for him in a rape investigation.

The announcement came after a Stockholm court approved their request to detain Assange for questioning in the case, which stems from his encounters with two Swedish women in August.

Assange is suspected of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion.

Recent Encounter Reveals Assange’s Anti-US Sentiment

A recent FPA encounter with the controversial Assange in Geneva, Switzerland spoke of how determined Assange is in his defiance of the US.

A November 4, 2010 press conference held at the Geneva Press Club in the diplomatic vicinity of ‘Nations’ in the Swiss city saw the scarce Assange announcing that new revelations were expected, despite threats from the US and other great powers.

He said that despite threats of the Pentagon and multiple attacks on the technical infrastructure of his site, he gave his assurance that he will ensure to continually hunt for critics of human rights worldwide: "These attacks are a form of tax on a powerful journalism. We therefore continue our mission. Our next target country? Russia, among others. Not that we wanted to attack the Russian government, but this is where our job."

The heavily guarded hacker who was flanked by two huge bodyguards despite being in the vicinity of the United Nations told the highly secured venue of the tight Geneva Press Club that his organization’s expert witnesses are also victims: "With my organization, we are here not only expert witnesses on crimes in the field of human rights committed by Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also victims. "

During the conference, Assange’s statements were enough to arouse the anger of the American administration: “In fact, six months ago, our news site has revealed more than 90,000 confidential reports on the Afghan conflict. Two weeks ago, more than 400,000 others, this time on Iraq, were released. In essence, the message is: the U.S. has committed numerous serious abuses in these countries for many years and wanted to hide.”

The expected release of the US’ reported "West Africa Littoral directive" puts Liberian authority at the edge of its seat at it could test the revamped relations that Liberia-a nation coming out of war and dubbed as the US’ traditional friend and African stepchild- has fought to regain with her most respected traditional godfather.

In any case, Liberia is not alone in this as it is only joining the rest of the world in trying to decode the contents of the WikiLeaks controversial unreleased revelations which has successfully drawn the world’s most powerful nation into what is an off-the-battlefront battle by a website’s work only determined to probably send the message that it can keep the US and the rest of its allies busy.

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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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