By John S.Morlu II
July 23, 2011
“It is also my information that sometime in 2005 Mr. Gibson was brought in by some persons who were in the inner circle of the Unity Party then and offered services for pay to conduct polls. In 2011, I think the earlier part of 2011 or sometime late 2010, he was back in Liberia again and offered his services and this time President Sirleaf rejected his services.”
Larry Gbison on VOA with James Butty, July 11, 2011
“This report is fascinating and totally fictitious. I paid no attention to Liberian politics for several years. Other than the fact that President Sirleaf is running for re-election, I can’t even tell who the other candidates are or exactly when the election is. So, I prepared no poll, no analysis, (and) no report. I haven’t been in Liberia since 2009.”
“I understand from your report that Mr. Sherman said that I came there in 2011 or 2010 which is absolutely not true. I was not in Liberia 2010, 2011.”
Who is telling the truth? Larry Gibson or Varney Sherman? Did Gibson visit Liberia in 2010/2011 or was his last visit in 2009? But it is essential to know that Varney Sherman is not just an ordinary person. He is the Chairman of the Unity Party and in the know of its operations.
How are we sure that Larry Gibson was not offered the job? Varney Sherman says he was not offered the post. How are we sure that the report on elections was not done as a bit to get the job? Larry Gibson also says he does not know the other candidates in the race? Do you think that is true…a political consultant for third world countries will not even try to know who are the candidates in Liberia, as Sherman has confirmed that he was a consultant in 2005 for President Sirleaf and UP?
The first thing for any reasonable person to do is not to blame John Morlu and others. Instead they should ask Sherman and Gibson to reconcile their own statements.
No One Admits to an Email Scandal
No one is ever going to admit to an email scandal. Can any reasonable person think Larry Gibson, UP or Excutive Mansion will ever admit to an email that indicated that they want to rig elections. Everything is leaking and there is internal fighting in the Unity Party…so when sensitive inside information and document is leaked, they denied it and blamed others for making it up.
Example 1New York Congressman Anthony Weiner
Former Congressman Anthony Weiner finally resigned. Congressman Weiner sent his naked picture on Twitter. For weeks, he denied it on radio, in newspapers and on CNN. Instead of accepting the facts, he tried to shift blame on others. Congressman Weiner blamed it on ‘someone’ who he claimed hacked his email, doctored his naked pictured and sent it across the web through Twitter. But he finally admitted, accepted responsibility and resigned his post as a Congressman.
There are many instances of email scandals involving politicians. The first thing they do is to deny it, attempt to spin it and blame it on ‘someone’ else for fabrication against them.
Example 2-Knuckles Gate IIEmail Leaked on FPA involving millions in Bribery Discussion
Our current Government has a documented history of denying everything. At first, they denied that the email that leaked involving bribe solicitation between officials, business persons and the Presidency. They claimed at that point that FPA fabricated the emails. Some even speculated that it was John Morlu that made it all up.
After persistent pushing of the matter, the President formed the Dunn Commission. The Dunn Commission owned expert find merits in the email. Several people were implicated including Medina Wisseh. Dunn Commission also found that the email from Presidential Special Assistant Elva Richardson was authentic. Dunn Commission called for a SPECIAL PROSECUTOR and that was history.
The President even threatened to sue New Democrat for the Dunn’s report on the email scandal dubbed ‘Knuckles Gate II.’ The President said Linda Koroma used her computer at her house during her birthday and Linda Koroma said she was NEVER at the birthday party. The fact of the matter is that the email was first denied and blamed shifted.
Example-3No Report is Factual
I cannot remember a time when the Government of Liberia has accepted a report or any information in the media. They always rubbish reports and blame others. For instance, TRC Report. Jerome Verdier, Massa Washington and John Stewart were deemed evil and against Government for the TRC. For 65 audit reports, John Morlu was accused of witching hunting, being political and came to Liberia to bring down the very Government he helped to put in power. Anti-corruption reports, Nagbalee Warner’s report, etc. have never been accepted. It is always blame shifting and castigating personalities, rather than a responsibility to accept the facts as they are.
Integrity is a challenge in Liberia. No one wants to accept the truth and take responsibility. It is always blamed on ‘someone’ else trying to undercut Government.
John Morlu Email ScandalNo Denial, Kept Quiet
When my email was altered from “darn” to “damn” job and from “they can have this darn job” to “you have your damn job,” no one was willing to listen. Why? I did not spend GAC money to pay off media folks that just went on spreading lies about me. I had the integrity not to lie about anything. I knew what I wrote and so I was not going to hold a media blitz of interviews to defend anything. I just let it go because I knew the truth. They wanted me out, so they altered my email to cast me in the dark clouds.
But what is so strange today with this email scandal is that a select group of media folks have been given Larry Gibson number to hold series of interviews with him. Not a single media person called me for an interview to determine whether the email that was alleged to have been written by me was true or not. They were paid by Government to castigate John Morlu and so they did in the media. I know thousands of dollars of taxpayers monies was spent on a massive media blitz against “wicked John Morlu.”
Register Voter Analysis and Polling
Like so many Liberians, I have received the excel doc showing the analysis allegedly done by Larry Gibson and submitted to Ms. Richardson of the Executive Mansion. It is not a poll as the media has indicated and as UP has done. Instead it is a simple analysis of voter register by county, showing how many voters UP is likely to get in 2011 per county.
Larry Gibson or anyone for that matter does not have to be physically in Liberia to analyze such data. But here is the twist and paradox. If they claimed that Mr. Gibson has not been in Liberia since 2009 or 2010/early 2011, and then John Morlu has not been in Liberia since May 2011, how come John Morlu who is living in the DC Metro Area is blamed but Larry Gibson who is in Baltimore is not blamed for it?
Interestingly, a select section of the media missed out just to attack John Morlu and defend UP and the Mansion. From reading the document it is a voter register, not polling as it has been widely reported. So I do not understand the blame game that is being played.
The Chronicle PaperIllogical ArgumentDoes Not Know Who Sent Doc
The Chronicle Wrote:
“According to some publishers spoken to by this paper who confirmed being in possession of the doctored report forwarded to them via email By Ernest Maximore, Communication Director at the GAC, CURRENTLY ON STUDY LEAVE in the US, was originally sent by John Morlu. Morlu specifically sent the document to media institutions that served as propaganda tools to the former Auditor General who shamefully was not re-nominated.”
This does not make any sense to me. John Morlu sent it to Maximore. Maximore sent it to media institutions. But then in the next sentence, Chronicle says “Morlu specifically sent the document to media institutions.” Who sent it to media institutions? John Morlu or Maximore? This shows a rush to judgment to attack John Morlu, because few dollars exchanged hands.
Another argument that is illogical is that Chronicle claimed that John Morlu has used several media institutions as his propaganda arm when he was Auditor General. But then any reasonable minded person would say that since John Morlu has such control over the “media institutions,” then he needs not to deal with them through a third party Maximore.
Essentially, the owner of Chronicle needs to get his story correct and that begins with establishing factually the medium through which such information was transmitted. But again Chronicle says, “according to some publishers” without giving a single name of a publisher that told such lies.
But then in a conversation, he told others that it was Mohammed Kanneh of Heritage. When Mohammed confronted him on 11 July 2011, Chronicle owner Philbert Brown said it was Stephen Yekeson and Maritime Commissioner Binyah Kessely who told him they were my cousins and they know my writing style. But I contacted Steve and he denied it. So Chronicle’s Philbert Brown needs to establish his facts.
ChronicleForensic ExpertWriting Expert
“After a careful and in-depth analysis of Morlu's several previously written articles the Chronicle has successfully discovered a number of correlations in the style and kind of phraseologies that can be precisely attributed to the former Auditor General. The Chronicle’s professional examination of Morlu's barefaced scheming apparently in cohort with some opposition elements based on his growing frustration after his re-nomination was nib in the bud clearly revealed significant connection between the former AG collaborating with political oppositions.”
Wild and unsupported allegations. Now it is Morlu and opposition people trying to make sure Ellen Johnson Sirleaf does not win in 2011. Morlu is mad because he was not re-nominated not because he does not like a regime that promotes and protects corruption and encourages impunity by recycling the corrupt in the system. For the likes of Chronicle, Morlu and the President cannot have fundamental differences on the issue. It has got to be a personal war between the two.
But let me turn to the main issue. Chronicle says that it reached the decision after it has conducted what it claimed an “in-dept” analysis on prior writings of Morlu. Is Chronicle a writing expert? The last time I checked, Liberia did not have a forensic lab to analyze writings and signatures. In fact, I hired experts from America when I served as Auditor General. This is just an indication that this was a made up news story to distract people attention from the real issues of fundamental fairness and transparency in these elections.
Liberia is known for rigging elections, as Liberia entered the Guinea Book of Records when Charles D.B. King stole elections big time. In 1985, 1997 and 2005, all claimed these elections were rigged. The perception that the 1985 elections were rigged started the war. Instead of addressing the issue of how Liberia can hold free and fair elections that is accepted, insiders in Government are casting blame on Morlu, the only genius in time that is able to change things.
ChronicleOld StoryMorlu wants to bring down Government
“Morlu the Chronicle has learnt has assured his opposition collaborators that he was prepared to fight the UP led government at all cost. Whatever Morlu's strategy being adopted in cohort with opposition elements, he has selfishly set the tune for setting our country on the path of civil unrest. Too many were let go by this administration and if the President's inability to re-nominate John Morlu is the basis for going all out to bring down the administration.”
Well, in 2007 when I exposed the budget and stated that the Government was 3x corrupt, there were highly placed officials calling for Morlu’s neck. Among the leading persons was former LPRC MD Harry Greaves. Greaves said “he should be charged with treason.” It was Pro Tempore Cletus Wotorson who also went on radio to say no one is going to be charged with treason in this country. But I later learned that this was discussed at the Ministry of Justice level to bring me in and charged me. Some even wanted to link me with the Julu trial. Now again, Chronicle says Morlu wants to bring down the Government because he was not re-nominated. So what was Morlu reason to bring down the Government in 2007, as I was nominated and working in Government? Old story, zero impact. It is all talks.
Internal Fighting in UP
They have a lot of internal battles in the UP. I sit in America and receive up-to-date wrangling in UP. Just yesterday another story was on FPA on some disgruntled people in UP attacking Mr. Willis Knuckles.
The US$23 million UP budget has leaked and is in the hands of media folks. Will this again be blamed on others again? The fact of the matter is that everything in Liberia…from the Mansion down to the janitor section of a Ministry leaks in the papers. The John Morlus are not the issue. They should address the leaking of information as a known problem in Government and political parties.
I think the Government and UP must look inside their own camp to see who is leaking information to the public. The inner fighting over money and campaign leadership has taken a downward trend and that is not in UP favor. For some, as long as Mr. Knuckles control UP money, it is not a fair game.
FPA, John Morlu and Rodney Sieh
I feel for Rodney Sieh and his FPA. Everything that is considered by the Government as being “negative” is blamed on John Morlu. But of late, I have seen quite a lot of favorable, almost PR stories on FPA for Robert Sirleaf, President Sirleaf and the Unity Party. Not a single Government official or UP partisan has given John Morlu credit for these favorable stories. John Morlu is only blame for those unpleasant stories on FPA.
The fact of the matter is that Rodney Sieh is a brother. We have come a long way. But FPA attacked me a lot when I was AG and Government officials laughed it off as though it was a good thing.
I went to the National Legislator to discuss audit reports. Instead of concentrating on the audits, a Senator zoomed in and asked this question: “Is this not it true that Rodney Sieh is living with you?” “Boy”, I retorted that what that has to do with fighting corruption and audit reports. But for Rodney, he is forever tied to me for anything Government believes is “negative” and release from me when there are “good” stories in favor of Government and UP.
Past Hunting UP and John Morlu
I understand there are lot of people in UP and the higher ups in Government who know the ability of John Morlu to collect, analyze and make forceful arguments. I did that for UP in 2005. UP and John Morlu know how the first round and second were won in 2005. I was an insider then. So there is reasonable fear that Morlu knows how the game is played and so he is likely to share it with the opposition. I truly understanding their concerns but they do not need to be afraid of me because I do not use things I acquired during the course of work and personal relationship against people.
There is very little information in Government that Morlu does not know. I have contacts all over in Government. That is what is scaring them and again I understand their fears…I am considered a dark cloud hanging over them.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and John Morlu---The Relationshipthe Book
In 2006, I received a phone call from my friend and brother Robert Sirleaf. He informed me that after discussion, the Sirleaf family has agreed that they trusted me the most to do the Book proposal for Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. At first, I said why me? Why would the Sirleaf family want me to do this as I am not an English major and I did not want to be a custodian of anyone’s secrets? But after discussion, I agreed. I signed an agreement between me and President Sirleaf to keep the information obtained confidential until the book was published.
I went to Liberia in August 2006. I went to see Madam President each morning between August 6 and 17. I recorded more than 12 hours of tape. I prepared the book proposal and submitted to Counselor Bob Bennett, who was also the lawyer for Bill Clinton family.
I did not take a dime although Madam President was supposed to pay me. Robert Sirleaf only purchased the ticket. I got stuck in Brussels and spent my own money to eat and stay in the hotel in Brussels because there was labor strike. I eventually purchased a bus ticket and went to catch the flight from Amsterdam for Liberia.
Although the President and I were not on good terms for the most part of the 4 year tenure, I did not publish anything on the book or release the 12 hours of tape I have in Virginia, USA. I kept it confidential and will likely do so for the rest of my life.
I say all of this to inform the Liberian people that I have not been personal against anyone including the President. I have always remained professional and above personal issues. Like any human being when you under attacked constantly by a Government as I was for 4 years, you try to fight back with all you have. But I always reminded myself...do not go personal.
At least from point, I do not have a personal feud with President Sirleaf. Instead, we initially agreed that corruption and impunity was the #1 problem facing Liberia and that we needed to fight it forcefully. That is why it took me nearly 6 months to accept the AG post and leave my wife and four kids to go to Liberia.
But President Sirleaf and I have a fundamental difference on the issue of corruption. She wanted a mode of operations that was behind closed door and gradual. I wanted an open war on corruption that was immediate and categorical. Additionally, she and I disagree on the status of corruption. I still believe it is Liberia’s #1 problem and I learned from interaction she no longer held such position. Therefore, there was no need for us to continue working together and we discussed. We have parted ways…
How many Liberians know that I recorded 12 hours of tape for Madam President and spent a lot of hours writing the book proposal…do people know what it means to write a book proposal for a President that is given a lawyer like Bennett, a prominent Washington DC lawyer? But I told the President I would do it in time and she was surprised I did it in time and left Liberia. So there is nothing personal here…it is just fundamental disagreement on the issue of corruption.
Liberian can be rest assured that I would support President Sirleaf again if there was evidence of a demonstrable effort to really fight corruption. I do not see it now…Robert Sirleaf always says John, at least you are consistent. I fought corruption and impunity against Charles Taylor and Chairman Bryant administrations. I have done it with President Sirleaf. I do not pick and choose when it comes to my own principle against corruption and impunity.
I am a Jeffersonian Republic, trained at the Academic Village of Thomas Jefferson, the University of Virginia. I know how to fight back hardest when under attack. I have kept out of Liberia since I departed Government. I truly think the Government should be well advised to leave me alone so that I live my quiet life in America, a country that has given me such in life.
This email scandal has cast a dark cloud on the fairness and transparency of the 2011 elections. The Government can increase the chances of acceptance of the results by simply explaining what went wrong in a truthful way. The contradictory statements between UP Chairman Sherman and Larry Gibson are not sufficient to convince any reasonable minded person. Not being in Liberia since 2009 or 2010/2011 does not justify that one cannot do any analysis and submit via internet…this is the internet age.
The email leaked because God does not like ugly thing and therefore “God is moving from behind them.”
Again, I appreciate the respect that the Government and its officers have for my intellectual ability to move things forward. But I have always tried to use my intellectual strength for the good of the people such as by not compromising on the war on corruption. For 4 years, the Liberian people know I fought a good fight although I lost to the corrupt. But for me losing is not so bad if it is done on principle.
If I wanted to get back at anyone, I have got enough intellectual arsenals contained in documentary evidence. I will also not manufactured things and hide behind FPA. I will just go for the “kill” as we say in America. I have nothing to lose, as I am not in Government. I am a private citizen. I was not afraid to speak out when I was in Government why in the world would I be afraid to speak out when I am now a FREE AGENT.
There is no need for folks in Government and UP to be afraid of John Morlu. I think they should just do what is right for Liberia and the poor suffering Liberian people. It is the plight of the poor and impoverished Liberians who are living on the marginson less than a dollar a daythat should matter. Not someone named John Morlu, who is accused of using the power of the pen to bring down a whole Government. Give’m a break!
The Government should investigate the email through a Commission and then put the Commission report on shelf as it has been the case in recent past.
A simple rule in communication is that when you are “caught with your pants down” or “your hands in the cookie jar,” you immediately tell the truth and nothing but the truth. Congressman Lee of New York would have been saved had he just told the truth from the “get go.” He did not tell the truth and he was canned for it.
Larry Gibson and Sherman are questioning each other truthfulness on this matter. By the way, Larry Gibson was also the lawyer that advised the Mansion and the Minister of Foreign Affairs on the Zakim Contract fiasco that led to Harry Greaves dismissal from LPRC…that was in 2010.
John Morlu yesterday was the sexual harasser, the door breaker, the rebel, the witch hunter and the politician. Now, John Morlu today is the election expert, opposition collaborator, and the hacker. This one John Morlu!!!!