Celebrities and the Taylor trial: Justice and false consciousness
2010-09-23, Issue 497
Many people in the Western hemisphere are only familiar with the conflicts in Sierra Leone and Liberia through popular Hollywood films such as ‘Blood Diamonds’ and ‘Lords of War’ starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Nicolas Cage respectively.
But with the prosecution of the Special Court in Sierra Leone calling in the supermodel Naomi Campbell and Hollywood actress Mia Farrow as witnesses in the trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor, there has been a renewed focus on the conflicts in West Africa.
According to the Chief prosecutor Brenda Hollis, the Hollywood actor and the supermodel possess ‘important information for the trial chamber in relation to Mr Taylor’s possession of rough diamonds at a particular point in time … [which] supports the prosecution’s allegations that Mr Taylor received rough diamonds from the rebels in Sierra Leone, and used those rough diamonds for his personal enrichment as well as to procure arms and ammunition for the rebels in Sierra Leone’. The main objective of the prosecutor was to find out if Campbell had received diamonds from Charles Taylor after a dinner hosted by Nelson Mandela in South Africa in September 1997.
However, it remains unclear how a few diamonds given to the supermodel can link Charles Taylor with ‘blood diamonds’, his support of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) in Sierra Leone and with crimes against humanity, which is fundamental for the court case.
Calling in Campbell and Farrow as witnesses reflects an enhanced form of US-led psychological operations (PSYOP), where celebrities are used as a powerful instrument to create a false consciousness of international justice. The overall aim of this propaganda seeks to gain public support and legitimise Western-led military interventions into resource-rich African countries, by using the positive notions of democracy, human rights and international justice.
A CONTROVERSIAL COURT IN A CRISIS OF LEGITIMACY
In the light of comprehensive research on the war in Liberia carried out over the past seven years, it appears that the indictment, arrest and trial of Charles Taylor are extremely controversial.
In the West the dominant media and academics present the trial of Taylor as an example of international justice being applied in Africa. In contrast, many African politicians, scholars and commentators from across the political spectrum see the case of Taylor as marking an expansion of neocolonial jurisdiction in Africa, which selectively indicts African politicians who do not comply with the wishes of London, Paris and Washington.
The trial of Taylor marks the first example where an elected president in office has been indicted by a quasi-internal court for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Special Court was established by Britain and the US through UN Security Council resolution 1315, which requested that the UN secretary-general ‘negotiate an agreement with the Government of Sierra Leone to create an independent special court’.
On 16 January 2002, the UN signed an agreement with the government of Sierra Leone which established the Special Court for Sierra Leone with the mandate ‘to prosecute persons who bear the greatest responsibility for serious violations of international humanitarian law and Sierra Leonean law committed in the territory of Sierra Leone since 30 November 1996’.
At that time, the Sierra Leonean government, under the leadership of President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah, was backed by British and American political, economic and military power. For example, in May 1997, when the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC), a breakaway group from the Sierra Leonean army, in cooperation with the RUF, succeeded in removing President Kabbah and installed Major-General Johnny Paul Koromah as head of state, Britain suspended Sierra Leone from the British Commonwealth in July, and on 8 October 1997, the UN Security Council imposed sanctions on Sierra Leone.
Dena Montague, from the Arms Trade Research Center, World Policy Institute, notes that a number of foreign mining companies, such as American Mineral Fields, directed by Jean-Raymond Boulle, wished to see the return of Kabbah’s administration. They expressed interest in financing Kabbah’s reinstallment in exchange for diamond concessions, but they did not have the military means. Therefore, as Thomas K. Adams from the US Army War College points out, the private military corporation (PMC) Sandline International (directed by Tim Spicer, a former lieutenant colonel in the British Army) informed the press in March 1998 that Sandline ‘was asked by the British High Commissioner in Sierra Leone to help train and equip a local force capable of removing the generals’. Ten month later, President Kabbah was successfully reinstalled.
The people in Sierra Leone were already familiar with foreign PMCs, for in 1995, Executive Outcomes, founded in South Africa in 1989 and registered in the UK in 1993, drove the opposition forces to Kabbah out of Freetown, and chased them out of the diamonds fields. Adams notes that this operation was financed by the company Branch Energy in return for ‘the concession to operate the Koidu diamond field’. Reputedly, Branch Energy was owned by ‘Strategic Resource Groups, a British company based in the Bahamas, that in turn owned Executive Outcomes’. This, however, is disputed by Michael Grunberg from Sandline International, who in 2002 informed that ‘Sierra Leone's ability to pay Executive Outcomes and its other service providers depended upon the continued support of international funding agencies, in particular the IMF [International Monetary Fund]’. The payments to Executive Outcome ‘were being underpinned by the IMF’.
When the Kabbah administration faced new problems in 2000, after the RUF had taken several hundred UN military personnel as hostages in the diamond-rich Eastern province, Britain deployed around 1,000 soldiers who were directly involved in counterinsurgency activities, and the capture of RUF leader Foday Sankoh. This intervention took place shortly after Tony Blair had introduced his ‘Doctrine of the International Community’ in relation to the bombardment of Kosovo in 1999, which seeks to justify military intervention in the name of human rights, democracy and free trade.
As in the case of Kosovo, the intervention in Sierra Leone was described as a ‘humanitarian intervention’, and the notion of ‘blood diamonds’ became a powerful instrument to denounce the atrocities committed by the opposition to Kabbah’s administration.
It is in this context that the Special Court of Sierra Leone was established, which explains why the court from the very beginning has faced a crisis of legitimacy in West Africa. The court is being criticised for being a de facto US/UK court, based on the fact that it is predominantly funded by Britain and the US and all the chief prosecutors have been of American or British nationality, starting with David Crane, who was a former employee of the US Army. The prosecution is accused of selectively indicting individuals in line with the foreign policy agenda of the UK and US, which seeks to maintain British and American neocolonial dominance in the region, in order to safeguard UK/US-based private corporate access to natural resources, such as diamonds, gold, oil and uranium. This criticism is rooted in the long history of pan-African resistance against colonialism and neocolonialism.
THE INDICTMENT OF TAYLOR IN 2003
The way in which Taylor was indicted by the Special Court on 4 June 2003 has further added to the criticism of the Special Court in Sierra Leone.
Just as the peace conference between the government of Liberia and the two rebel groups, Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) and the Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL), was about to begin in Ghana, the Chief Prosecutor of the Special Court David Crane sent out through Interpol the indictment accusing Taylor on 17 counts. This included ‘being in the heart of a joint criminal enterprise’ to commit war crimes, crimes against humanity, and serious violations of international humanitarian law within the territory of Sierra Leone.
This blocked the hopes for a peaceful solution to the war in Liberia. With the support from a number of heads of African states who participated in the peace negotiations, such as Laurent Gbagbo of Ivory Coast, John Kufuor of Ghana, Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria and Toumani Touré of Mali, the arrest order was ignored and Taylor was flown back to Liberia in the Ghanaian presidential plane, because rumours stated that American and British intelligence services had planed to hijack Taylor’s official plane.
Two days after, LURD and MODEL launched a number of military attacks on strategic cities in Liberia. This resulted in a humanitarian disaster, and as the military pressure increased on Monrovia, President Bush stated that ‘President Taylor needs to step down so that his country can be spared further bloodshed.’ Bush further noted that Colin Powell was ‘working with Kofi Annan’, who was ‘working with others on the continent to facilitate that type of move’ that would ‘make Taylor … leave Liberia’.
On 13 August 2003, Taylor went into exile in Nigeria. In his farewell speech he accused Britain and the US of having denied the government of Liberia the ability to defend itself, by imposing an arms embargo and other sanctions on the country. He further emphasised that the war in Liberia ‘is an American war. LURD is a surrogate force … [the US] caused this war’.
Subsequently, the US facilitated a comprehensive military intervention in Liberia, which became one of the largest UN military missions in the world and de facto established Liberia as a neo-trusteeship under the UN, with the US as the lead agent. When Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf became president of Liberia in 2006, she considered the Taylor issue as belonging to the past. But after a visit to Washington, she asked Nigeria to extradite Taylor to Liberia, and handed him over to the Special Court in Sierra Leone.
DOUBLE STANDARDS IN THE INTERNATIONAL SYSTEM
The critics of the Special Court further note that the indictment of Taylor, and the UN sanctions against Liberia which since 2000 were maintained by the accusations that the Liberian government supported the RUF in Sierra Leone, presents an example of double standards in relation to international justice and law.
They point to the fact that while the international community accused Liberia of supporting the RUF in Sierra Leone, they turned a blind eye to Guinea’s support of LURD in Liberia, which was backed by Britain and the US. Although this has been noted in a number of international reports, there has been very little international focus on the financial and logistical support of LURD’s insurgency in Liberia.
On 20 September 2002, Liberia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Monie Captan addressed this issue at the UN General Assembly, and stated that there is a ‘conspiracy of silence surrounding the prevailing war in Liberia waged by externally supported armed non-State actors’. At that time the RUF had been dissolved, which made Captan ask the assembly how it is ‘conceivable that Liberia can … continue to be punished by the Security Council on allegations of supporting a non-existent RUF in a non-existent war in Sierra Leone’, and point out that the arms embargo imposed on Liberia was ‘a flagrant violation of Liberia’s inherent right under Article 51 of the Charter to defend itself against armed attacks’.
The critique of double standards in relation to international justice in Africa is not limited to the Special Court in Sierra Leone. The International Criminal Court (ICC) is also being accused for being a neocolonial instrument. This notion gained momentum when the Chief Prosecutor of the ICC Luis Moreno-Ocampo in June 2009 stated that there is a need for the ICC to cooperate with the US military to enforce ICC arrest warrants in Africa.
Many African politicians and commentators have raised the question of why the ICC is targeting Africans, and not people such as Tony Blair, George W. Bush and former prime minister of Denmark and now secretary general of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, for war crimes in Iraq. The ICC indictment of President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan has made many African countries work against the ICC. For example, in June 2010 the African Union (AU) was close to adopting a resolution stating that AU member states would not cooperate with the ICC in the arrest and surrender of President Bashir.
USING GENOCIDE, BLOOD DIAMONDS AND CELEBRITIES TO SHAPE PUBLIC OPINION
The critique of the Special Court in Sierra Leone and the ICC echoes classical realist theory in international relations, which considers international law as rules made by the most powerful states to safeguard their interests. In reality, strong states do what they want; weak states do what they can. But since there are very few enforcement mechanisms in international law, the system relies heavily on the world public opinion.
In this relation, it must be noted that powerful states are not the slave of public opinion, but shape public opinion through propaganda or psychological warfare, by appealing to people’s intellectual convictions, moral valuations, emotional preferences, fear and guilt. Former advisor to President Clinton Josephs Nye describes this as ‘soft power’, which is about shaping the ‘preferences of others to want what you want’.
The use of celebrities in international politics has increasingly become a powerful instrument to shape public opinion and frame the debate. For example, when the US wanted a military intervention in Darfur, celebrities, perhaps unwittingly, helped shaping the world public opinion in favour of such intervention. Mia Farrow and George Clooney publicly expressed their outrage against the atrocities in Darfur, and promoted the notion of genocide. This was further aided by the unification of more than 500 civil society groups from across the political spectrum in favour of a Western-led military intervention into Darfur.
Steven Spielberg, for his part, said that he would boycott the Olympics in China because of China’s strong bilateral relations with the government of Sudan. At the end of the day, China did not use its veto power in the UN Security Council to block for the establishment of the UN military mission in Darfur.
Most scholars and commentators refrained from asking critical and fundamental questions such as: Why does Washington add the label ‘genocide’ to the conflict in Darfur? How is this connected to China’s oil concessions in Darfur and South Sudan, and most importantly, who funds the rebels?
From a realist perspective, such questions will immediately lead the attention to the role of Britain, France, the US and their allies, in relation to great power rivalry over access to the oil resources, where proxy wars and psychological warfare plays a central role. As in the case of Iraq – where former US Chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan notes that ‘it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge … [that] the Iraq war is largely about oil’ – most journalists, scholars and celebrities have refrained from linking the issue of oil in Darfur with the armed conflict.
Besides the oil resources within Darfur, the region represents a geopolitical strategic area because of pipelines. If the oil-rich South Sudan becomes an ‘independent’ state, where US AFRICOM (Africa Command) will provide the security, it is most likely that the Chinese oil companies gradually will be replaced by US-based oil companies. But the US will still need to get the oil out of South Sudan, and it is unlikely that the US will rely on the pipeline going from South Sudan to Port Sudan in the North. Instead the Chad–Cameroon oil pipeline can be extended to South Sudan through Darfur, which means that the oil from South Sudan can be pumped directly to the terminal in Cameroon. This will make the shipping route to the US cheaper and faster, but it demands US control over parts of Darfur.
Iraq and Sudan are not the only examples where the oil factor is neglected and deafened by the rhetoric of humanitarianism and Hollywood actors. ‘Operation Restore Hope’ in Somalia in 1992 was presented as a ‘humanitarian military intervention’; Hollywood produced, in cooperation with the US Department of Defense, the popular film Black Hawk Down, released in 2001. Most commentators have ignored the link between US willingness to intervene militarily in Somalia and oil resources. At the time of the intervention, nearly two-thirds of Somalia was allocated to US-based oil companies, most notably Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Phillips. Conoco’s compound in Mogadishu was transformed into a de facto American embassy and military headquarters. According to a declassified cable from the US embassy in Mogadishu to State Department headquarters, Conoco was ‘investing in oil exploration in Somalia on a scale unmatched by its rivals, building roads and airstrips … [and had] recruited a well armed force … to provide security’. But without a more stable situation Conoco would not be able to operate properly.
Ignoring the role of oil is no different to the case of Liberia. Although the first oil exploration began in Liberia more than 50 years ago, and oil resources have been publicly mapped since 1982, most journalists and scholars have marginalised, ignored or completely rejected the idea that there were links between the Liberian armed conflicts and the oil resources. While the mainstream public focus was concentrated on celebrities and ‘blood diamonds’, Chevron announced, in September 2010, their ‘entry into … the large prospective offshore areas’ in Liberia, allowing Chevron to advance their growth strategy in the region.
The naming of genocide in Darfur, the promotion of a ‘humanitarian’ military intervention in Somalia and the notion of ‘blood diamonds’ in Liberia and Sierra Leone can from a realist perspective be seen as examples of sophisticated psychological warfare and propaganda. They are all powerful concepts that seek to divert public attention away from the real underlying political and economic interests, while at the same time promoting public support for military interventions.
The popular overarching concept and slogan to support such interventions is the ‘responsibility to protect’ (R2P). This concept was developed by the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, established by the Canadian government. The basic principle of the R2P is that ‘where a population is suffering serious harm, as a result of internal war, insurgency, repression or state failure, and the state in question is unwilling or unable to halt or avert it, the principle of non-intervention yields to the international responsibility to protect’.
It is difficult not to agree with these noble words and good intentions, in a similar way that it is difficult not to agree with the idea of human rights, democracy and international justice. But it is important to note that one of the main promoters of the R2P is Australia’s former Minister of Foreign Affairs Gareth Evans, who himself has been indirectly connected to crimes against humanities in East Timor, during the process of securing oil concessions to Australian-based companies. Evans also served as the president of the International Crisis Group, which is connected to the Enough campaign, the Save Darfur Coalition and to the Centre for American Progress, which is associated with a number of influential political actors such as former US Assistant Secretary of Defense Lawrence Korb.
When taking these important factors into consideration, the notion of the responsibility to protect can be seen as a modern version of Kipling’s ‘White Man’s Burden’, where celebrities are used as powerful instruments of propaganda in the promotion of Western-led military interventions, and where the real political and economic interests are disguised by a positive humanitarian rhetoric.
THE FLAWS OF THE KIMBERLEY PROCESS
Blood diamonds are associated with slave labour, murder, rape, the amputation of body parts and terrorism. An example of the latter is well captured in an article in the Washington Post, shortly after 9/11, when staff writer Douglas Farah published an extensive article that connected Charles Taylor and blood diamonds to al Qaeda. According to Farah, the Washington Post had obtained a copy of a military intelligence summary, which offered ‘the clearest picture yet of al Qaeda’s secretive business operations in West Africa’. According to the Washington Post, ‘preparations for al Qaeda’s diamond operation began in September 1998, six weeks after the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania’, and after the 9/11 attack two senior al Qaeda operatives were ‘hiding in an elite military camp in Liberia’.
It can be assumed that linking West African diamonds to crimes against humanity and terrorism should affect consumer confidence in the market. But in 2000, the UN Security Council encouraged the International Diamond Manufacturers Association, the World Federation of Diamond Bourses, the Diamond High Council and ‘all other representatives of the diamond industry to work with the Government of Sierra Leone’ to develop methods that could distinguish between blood/conflict diamonds and non-blood/conflict diamonds, with the aim of implementing a ‘Certificate of Origin regime’.
These institutions and companies established the World Diamond Council (WDC) with the ‘ultimate mandate’ to facilitate ‘the development, implementation and oversight of a tracking system for the export and import of rough diamonds to prevent the exploitation of diamonds for illicit purposes such as war and inhumane acts’. This resulted in the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), which subsequently was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 6 February 2002.
But the problem with the Kimberley Process is, as was pointed out in a UN Report of the Panel of Experts to UN Security Council, that the ‘experiences of Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire show how difficult it actually is to separate out conflict diamonds from other alluvials’.
This view corresponds with a number of former and current Liberian government officials, who note that diamonds from Liberia can easily be transported and sold in Conakry and obtain a certificate of Guinean origin. In reality the Kimberley Process has very little impact on the diamonds trade in the region, and many people in the Taylor administration saw the notion of ‘blood diamonds’ as British and American instigated war propaganda, disseminated through funding of NGOs such as Global Witness and the International Crisis Group. The notion of blood diamonds became central in the mainstream denunciation of the Liberian government under the leadership of Charles Taylor, while the promotion of the Kimberley Process ensured consumer confidence in the international diamond market. But in reality it is not possible to distinguish between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ diamonds.
GETTING PUBLIC ATTENTION ON THE TRIAL OF TAYLOR
The Kimberley Certificate provides no guarantee, and if Mia Farrow owns a diamond, she cannot be sure of its origin, just as the diamonds that Campbell received from Taylor cannot per se be classified as ‘blood diamonds’, as is often presented in the dominant media. It is very easy to buy raw diamonds in the streets of Monrovia, but impossible to find out where the diamonds come from.
It is not that significant that a president from a country with a lot of diamonds is using diamonds in public representation to buy sympathy from other states or individuals. The fact that Taylor gave some raw diamonds to a supermodel has little to do with the actual court case, and it is very difficult to see how it can establish the connection between Taylor and the RUF in Sierra Leone, which is the foundation for the case.
Involving celebrities in the trial of Taylor attracts and shapes world public opinion in support of a positive notion of international justice, at a time where international courts increasingly are being associated with Western neocolonial jurisdiction in Africa. But this is a false notion of international justice, and the propaganda diverts focus away from the reality, which is being replaced by surreal Hollywood shows, with supermodels and popular actors.
A genuine interest in promoting international justice in Africa must include critical analyses of the root causes of the conflicts, in order to identify, indict and bring to court all key actors suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity. This will, in particular, include external state powers such as France, the UK and the US, as well as the private business corporations involved in the conflicts.
The final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia (TRC) finding number 19 states that:
‘External State Actors in Africa, North America and Europe, participated, supported aided, abetted, conspired and instigated violence, war and regime change against constituted authorities in Liberia and against the people of Liberia for political, economic and foreign policy advantages or gains.’
When researching the role of the United States in West African conflicts, and in particular in Liberia, it becomes clear that the US is one of the main key actors. Therefore, in order to ensure real international justice for the crimes committed in Liberia, scholars, journalists, governments, and civil society groups, should take the TRC’s finding number 19 seriously, and demand the establishment of an ‘Independent International Special Commission for the Investigation of the Role of External State Actors in the Liberian Conflict from 1979 till 2003’, with the mandate to look into the possibility of taking those state actors that bear the greatest responsibility for the wars in the West African region, to be tried by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Experience can be drawn from the case of Nicaragua against the United States in the mid-1980s, where the United States was convicted for state terrorism in the form of the unlawful use of force against Nicaragua. Although the case did not stop the United States from continuing to destabilise Nicaragua, it became more difficult because people became more aware of the external manipulation of civil society groups and American propaganda.
In a similar way, a social movement demanding an independent investigation into the West African conflicts will bring attention to the role played by powerful external actors. This will increase the general public consciousness about the real root causes of the conflicts, which can further help academics, journalists, and celebrities to promote real international justice across the world.
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* Niels Hahn is a PhD researcher at the Department of Development Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).
* Please send comments to email@example.com or comment online at Pambazuka News.
 Brenda Hollis (2010). In an interview with the BBC, broadcasted August 4, 2010 (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-10864688)
 Psychological Operations can in practice be difficult to distinguish from Psychological Warfare (PSYWAR). For more information on these concepts of warfare, see US Department of Defence (1993), Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff,. Memorandum of Policy no 30 (issued- 17 July, 1990. Command and Control Warfare. (http://www.dod.gov/pubs/foi/reading_room/732.pdf)
 The research has been carried out in relation to a PhD thesis at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, which focuses on neoliberalism and contemporary modalities of neocolonialism. Data has been collected over several years of field research in Liberia, which includes more than 150 interviews with key people who were involved in the armed conflicts in the West African region. This includes a number of former and present Ministers and Heads of State, Army Officers from most fractions of the conflicts, academics, Civil Society Organisations, etc.
 UN Security Council Resolution 1315, article 1. S/RES1315 (2000)
 Agreement Between the United Nations and the Government of Sierra Leone on the Establishment of a Special Court for Sierra Leone (2002), Article 1.
 BBC (2000). What can the Commonwealth do? (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/749078.stm)
 Montague, D. (2002), page 235. ‘The Business of War and the Prospects for Peace in Sierra Leone.’ The Brown Journal of World Affairs IX(1): 229 - 237.
 Adams, T. K. (1999). ‘The new mercenaries and the privatization of conflict.’ US Army War College 29(2).
 Adams (ibid)
 Grunberg, M. (2002). ‘Comment by Sandline International.’ from http://www.sandline.com/comment/list/comment43.html
 BBC (2003) (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/africa/2000/sierra_leone/default.stm)
 Blair, T. (1999). Doctrine of the International Community. (http://www.globalpolicy.org/globaliz/politics/blair.htm)
 See David Crane’s profile at Syracuse University. (http://www.law.syr.edu/faculty/facultymember.aspx?fac=152)
 Hahn, N. S. C. (2008). ‘Neoliberal Imperialism and Pan-African Resistance.’ Journal of World Systems Research XIII(2): 142 - 178. (http://jwsr.ucr.edu/archive/vol13/Hahn-vol13n2.pdf)
 The Special Court for Sierra Leone (2003). The Indictment was issued on March 3, 2003, but sealed and kept secret till it was unsealed on June 4, 2003. (http://www.sc-sl.org/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=5glkIHnmPYM=&tabid=159)
 Paasewe, S. V. (2006) page 190-191. Neocolonialism in Africa - Liberia: the Last Target. Calabar, Uptriko Press.
 Bush (2003). New York Times, June 26, 2003. (http://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/26/international/africa/26CND-LIBE.html)
 Taylor (2003). BCC 10 August, 2003. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3140211.stm)
 Confidential source from high positioned Liberian government official. Interviewed by Niels Hahn, February 5, 2009.
 See for example International-Crisis-Group (2002), page 4. Liberia: The Key To Ending Regional Instability. London, International Crisis Group. Report No. 43, 24 April.
 Captan (2002). Address by His Excellency Prof. Monie R. Captan, Minister of Foreign Affairs to the 57th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, New York, 20 September 2002. (http://www.un.org/webcast/ga/57/statements/020920liberiaE.htm)
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 See Sudan Tribune, July 26, 2010. (http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?page=imprimable&id_article=35765)
 Morgenthau, H. J. (2006). Politics among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace. New York, McGraw-Hill.
 Nye, J. S. (2004). Soft Power - The Means to Success in World Politics. New York, Public Affairs, a member of the Perseus Books Group.
 See Mia Farrow, The Darfur Archives (http://www.miafarrow.org/darfur-archives.html) and ABC New, April 30, 2006. George Clooney Speaks About Crisis in Darfur. (http://abcnews.go.com/ThisWeek/story?id=1907005)
 Mamdani, M. (2007) The Politics of Naming: Genocide, Civil War, Insurgency. London Review of Books. (http://www.lrb.co.uk/v29/n05/mahmood-mamdani/the-politics-of-naming-genocide-civil-war-insurgency)
 Telegraph, February 13, 2008. Steven Spielberg boycotts Chinese Olympics (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1578577/Steven-Spielberg-boycotts-Chinese-Olympics.html)
 Greenspan, A. (2007). The Age of Turbulence - Adventures in a New World. New York, The Penguin Press. See page 463.
 See Hahn, N. S. C. (2008). ‘Neoliberal Imperialism and Pan-African Resistance.’ Journal of World Systems Research XIII (2): 142 - 178. (http://jwsr.ucr.edu/archive/vol13/Hahn-vol13n2.pdf). Section on The Rhetoric of Empire and Civil Society, page 157.
 US Today (2001). May, 29, 2001. Pentagon Provides for Hollywood (http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/2001-05-17-pentagon-helps-hollywood.htm#more)
 Fineman, M. (1993). The Oil Factor in Somalia. Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, Republished by Nomadnet (http://www.netnomad.com/fineman.html).
 (Cable from US Embassy in Mogadishu to State Department Headquarters. 21 March 1990. Cable Number: Mogadishu 02844. Freedom of Information Act release 2006-01-286 to Keith Yearman). See The Conoco – Somalia Declassification Project (http://www.cod.edu/people/faculty/yearman/somalia.htm)
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 Chevron (2010) Press Release September 8, 2010. Chevron to Acquire Deepwater Interests Offshore Liberia. Entry expands Chevron’s presence in West Africa in a promising new geological trend. (http://www.chevron.com/chevron/pressreleases/article/09082010_chevrontoacquiredeepwaterinterestoffshoreliberia.news)
 International Commission on Intervention and state Sovereignty (ICISS), 2001. Report of the ICISS, page XI. (http://www.iciss.ca/members-en.asp)
 See John Pilger (1994), Documentary: ‘Death of a Nation’, from min. 0:56. Can be retrieved from (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhaBSPGBXco)
 Korb (2008). Personal communication with Lawrence Korb, Copenhagen, September 18, 2008.
 Farah. D. (2002). Washington Post, December 29, 2002; page A01. (http://www9.georgetown.edu/faculty/irvinem/CCT510/Sources/washingtonpost-Africans_Al-Qaeda_Diamonds-12-29-02.html)
 UN Security Council, July 5, 2000. S/RES1306 (2002), article 10. (http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N00/517/01/PDF/N0051701.pdf?OpenElement)
 World Diamond Council (http://www.worlddiamondcouncil.com/)
 UN General Assembly (2002). Resolution 56/263. The role of diamonds in fuelling conflict: breaking the link between the illicit transaction of rough diamonds and armed conflict as a contribution to prevention and settlement of conflicts (http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N01/497/66/PDF/N0149766.pdf?OpenElement)
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 Richardson, J. (2009). Former National Security Advisor of Liberia under Taylor's administration. Interview recorded on February 21, by Niels Hahn, at the Royal Hotel in Monrovia.
Allen, C. (2009). Chairperson of the National Patriotic Party of Liberia (NPP), during Taylor's administration Interview recorded on April 7, by Niels Hahn, in his home in Paynesville, Monrovia.
Dunbar, J. (2006). Former Minister of Land, Mines and Energy, Republic of Liberia. Interview recorded in his home in Monrovia by Niels Hahn. June 16, 2006.
 Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia (2009). Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia (TRC). Monrovia. 1: Findings and Determinations.
 See Hahn (2009) Recommendations to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia. (http://centrum.humanitasafrika.cz/en/library/catalogue/article/11)
 International Court of Justice (1986). International Court of Justice. Case Concerning the Military and Paramilitary Activities in and Against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v. United States of America. International Court of Justice. (http://www.icjcij.org/docket/index.php?sum=367&code=nus&pl=3&p2=3&case=70&k=66&p3=5)
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