The American Colonization Society (ACS) was formed in 1816 it purpose was to resettle ex slaves in Africa. They colonized the area that is now Liberia in 1822 86 former slaves, government officials, and ACS officials set sail from New York harbor. They headed for the west coast of Africa. The former slaves were taken to Sherbro Island many including ACS representative were killed by malaria and yellow fever. The survivors were taken to Cape Mesurado. The rulers of Mahnbahn and Dei granted them a tract of land at the mouth of St. Paul River (1 ).
The deportation ad resettlement concept attracted numerous supporters. It has people like Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. ACS members included President Monroe, President Andrew Jackson, Congressional members Daniel Webster, Henry Clay and national anthem composer Francis Scott Key. Though it did have support among some African Americans it was a "white only" group. In 1846 ACS went Bankrupt (2 ).
After going to war with Iraq many question why president Taylor unquestioned links with Al Qaeda never became an issue with American officials(3 ).
Former Liberian president Charles Taylor allowed refuge for Al Qaeda members before and after the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks on America (4 ).
The US Defense Department approved plan for a raid by US special forces to capture an Al Qaeda leader that was under President Taylor protection. The plan was called off and never reactivated (5 ).
Other senior Al Qaeda members receive President Taylor protection. Al Qaeda member charged that they paid president Taylor protection. Then they joined in the African Diamond trade raising millions for terrorist activities(6 ).
A investigation found that Abdullah Mohammed, Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, and Sheikh Ahmed Salim all three are wanted in the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and remain on the FBI's list of 22 most wanted terrorists. Met with President Taylor to discus the Diamond trade(7 ).
Charles Taylor is being tried by an international tribunal for arming funding, and controlling rebels in the neighboring Sierra Leone in exchange for illegally mined diamond. He pled not guilty to 11 charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Rebels killed thousands of women and children. Women and children were mutilated by hacking off hands and limbs with axes and machetes. Women were raped and turned into sex slaves. Taylor a former warlord won the presidency in 1997 and was indicted in 2003 for sponsoring the rebels. Taylor agreed step down as president and go into exile (8 ).
There are 500,000 Victims of killings, systematic mutilation. He is also accused of using children as soldiers. He says the allegations against him are "disinformation, misinformation, lies, rumors." (9 ).
His son Chuckie Taylor was convicted by a US court for torture and related crimes he committed while in Liberia, and serving as the head of Anti Terrorist Unit (ATU). The acts of torture include electric shocks on the genitals, burning victims with cigarettes and hot irons and melting plastic and rubbing salt into wounds. He was convicted under the federal law US Torture Victim Protection Act, that was enacted in 1994. this law allows US Federal courts to exercise universal jurisdiction over persons found in the US who are suspected of torture committed anywhere in the world. This law applied to any citizen of the US or anyone present in the USA regardless of nationality and regardless where the crimes occurred (10 ).
War has had a disastrous effect on Liberian economy it has 80 percent unemployment. American company Firestone ran at 80-year-old plantation as a source for its materials to make tires. Some called it "gulag of misery" where workers were exposed to exposed to pesticides and other hazardous chemicals, risked injury due to improper safety measures, and received low pay (11 ).
Firestone signed a historic collective bargaining agreement with its workers. It was a long hard struggle for this first step the new contract calls for a twenty four percent increase in pay. A twenty percent decrease in quotas. It also includes "improved housing standard" that guarantees every house will have an indoor restroom or "safe and sanitary latrine" by the end of 2011 (12 ).
Firestone still has enviromental issues to deal with. They dispute charges by the Liberian government that it is contaminating Liberia (13 ).