TLP: Sometimes, It's Just Really Better Not To Know
A lot of what the federal government spends money on can seem stupid, wasteful and maddening. But most of the time, those things are right in front of our faces. Sometimes, where the money goes is a huge WTF?
The New York Times reports from Liberia:
How much money did Charles G. Taylor, the deposed president of Liberia, siphon out of his destitute, war-shattered country, and where is it?Don't you love the phrasing — "donor nations" — and the fact that, of course, it's the United States that is paying most of that $100k monthly nut (for what, four years so far?) and the trial expenses?
For almost seven years, since an international warrant was issued for his arrest, the search has stretched from the mangrove swamps and diamond fields of West Africa to Swiss banks and shell corporations — a state-of-the-art version of the sweeping asset hunts that have accompanied the fall of autocrats since the shah of Iran’s demise in the 1970s.
Investigators have crawled in the dirt under porches and buildings in this impoverished capital to seek out financial records. They have confronted bankers and government officials on four continents. They have cross-referenced mazes of documents charting the transfer of millions of dollars into and out of dozens of accounts.
But they have come up dry for any money in Mr. Taylor’s name. In fact, four years ago, Mr. Taylor was classified as “partially indigent” by the Special Court for Sierra Leone at The Hague, where he is charged with instigating murder, mutilation, rape and sexual slavery during intertwined wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone that claimed more than 250,000 victims from 1989 to 2003.
That has left donor nations — the United States being the largest — to cover his monthly $100,000 legal bill and the broader costs of his $20 million trial.
Something tells me Charles G. Taylor, late of the Liberian presidential palace, isn't the only alleged scammer in West Africa.