Of Lies, Deceit And Misinformation
June 26, 2002
“O what a tangled web we weave when first we learn to deceive”
Several vicious tactics were employed by Charles Taylor and his National Patriotic Front of Liberia in their rape and destruction of Liberia and its people: Unmitigated violence against the masses; and fear, torture and death against individuals perceived as obstacles to his quest for power were the most well-known. A little less known, but perhaps equally dangerous, tactic was misinformation. In human toll, it is difficult to assess the damage and or carnage that might be attributed to the campaign of misinformation. That fact notwithstanding, it would be reckless to ignore or refuse to acknowledge the important role it played in successfully catapulting Mr. Taylor to power. It would be doubly more reckless to deny that this tactic is very much alive today in Taylor’s Liberia. As it was employed during the war years to discredit those who disagreed with his gruesome tactics, it is again being used to smear and tarnish the image and reputation of individuals and organizations opposed to his continued misrule in Liberia.
An article in the June 18 edition of The New Liberia Newspaper marked the beginning of a decidedly direct campaign of misinformation against what the article referred to as “Self-exiled opposition” as well as The Movement for Democratic Change in Liberia, an organization dedicated to facilitating peaceful political change in Liberia. The article quoted, “Sources within the Movement for Democratic Change in Liberia”, in saying that “forces loyal to Charles Brumskine and defeated Unity Party Candidate, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf are engaged in a serious battle for control of the Movement”. Were it not for the seriousness we attach to maintaining transparency, as well as adherence to the principles of democracy within the MDCL, this article would have been comical and hardly deserved a second look. However, since we are acutely aware of the potential discord misinformation may generate, we have chosen to address this lie.
The leadership of the Movement for Democratic Change in Liberia hereby states unequivocally that there is not now nor has there been in the past a leadership crisis within the MDCL. Any statement to the contrary is a lie and must be exposed for what it really is, a ploy designed to create chaos, generate discord and distract the Movement from its goals to foster peaceful political change in our beloved Liberia.
We would also like to reiterate our commitment to the noble ideals of democracy and peace and call upon Liberians everywhere to join us in this struggle to thwart the plans of the forces of evil in their attempt to continue the relentless destruction of our patrimony.
We consider it honorable to stand up and be counted. In the struggle against evil it is said, “ All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. We in the MDCL are good men and women, hence our unwavering stance against anyone and anything whose goal it is to destroy our beloved Liberia.
Bereft of any plans on how to move Liberia out of the precarious situation in which the country finds itself, and bankrupt of ideas on how to lift its people from the depths of poverty, individual Liberians as well as Liberian organizations and institutions, remain prime targets of the Taylor government’s smear campaigns. Misinformation campaigns conducted against them because they dare to expose the fraud that he perpetrated upon the Liberian people. Every Liberian, politician or not, who dared to challenge or question the disposition of government resources, or the direction in which Mr. Taylor is taking the country has been either forced into exile, imprisoned or killed. Restrictions are being placed on the free expression of the people’s rights under the Constitution at every opportunity the government gets.
The international community has finally awakened to the reality that all is not well in Liberia. Some are calling for the indictment of Mr. Taylor for war crimes. Although somewhat belatedly, this call is not without merit because whatever constitutes crimes against humanity, Mr. Taylor may have committed it. With all of this just on the heels of elections 2003, the government of Liberia is aware that it cannot possibly win a free and fair election, it therefore uses diversionary tactics to thwart the process. But this will not fly. The people of Liberia will rise up and reclaim their patrimony.
The MDCL remains a very cohesive organization and will not relent in its effort to become a strong advocate for the rights of the people of Liberia. Let those who would attempt to divide us be warned that, unlike many others who have sold out, our loyalty is not for sale.
May the Almighty God grant us His peace and save our country, Liberia.
Done this 26th of June, 2002
Nohn R. Kidau (Mrs.), Chair
The Movement for Democratic Change in Liberia