George K. Fahnbulleh

Ideas and Opinions...

Policing: I call bullshit on that!!!

No we don't "all need to change." I expect criminals will continue to be criminals. I expect police, whose job it is to fight crime, will do their jobs in a manner consistent with the constitution in a way that is not criminal.

What is going on with bad policing, has been going on for decades: 30+ years ago Richard Pryor satirized it when he say "it says right there in the manual "you can break a nigger."" 35 years ago Marvin Gaye, in his song "Inner City Blues (make me wanna holler)" sang about "trigger happy policing."

What HAS changed is the proliferation of video recorders, be they dash cams or cell phones, which provide additional perspective than the police "I feared for my life" narrative. Now that the misconduct is recorded and visible, the police position is "you don't know what it is to be a police officer."

Do I need to be a police officer to know that you don't shoot a fleeing Walter Scott 8 times in his back, try to plant your taser next to his body, and file false reports?

Do I need to be a police officer to know you don't fire your weapon in to a crowd and kill Rekia Boyd?

Do I need to be a police officer to know you don't arrive on a scene where there are several other police officers and SIX seconds after arriving you EMPTY your weapon into LeQuan McDonald?

Do I need to be a police officer to know you don't shoot Tamir Rice within TWO SECONDS of arriving on the scene?

Do I need to be a police officer to know, if you "fear for your life" you don't climb on the hood of the "suspects" car and fire 15 shots through the windshield killing Timothy Russell and Melissa Williams?

Do I need to be a police officer to know Officer Robocop of the Inkster police, who had been sued 4 times for excessive force, should not have been on the force, but for the consistent defense by other "good officers?"

Maybe I don't know what it is to be a police officer, but the officers in these instances definitely don't know what it is to be rational law abiding human beings!

No we don't "all need to change." I expect criminals will continue to be criminals. I expect police, whose job it is to fight crime, will do their jobs in a manner consistent with the constitution that is not criminal.

How exactly was Philando Castile supposed to change? He applied for and was granted a Conceal Carry Permit. He attended the required classes. Yes he had been ticketed 52 times in that past 8 years, with 35 of the charges dropped. Those numbers by themselves would suggest that he was either a very bad driver, or they are the result of targeted policing/ticketing. However, when coupled with the fact that 7% of the drivers in St. Anthony's are black, but that 7% receives 50% of the tickets, they tell a different tale.

So is it unreasonable to believe that this was simply another "good ole boy harassing stop of a black man" with a "wide set nose?" The officer claims he thought they were armed robbers, yet they did not execute a "felony stop?"

But what I am hearing from cops is not about their failure to follow procedure, but it is "he could have been a criminal." I call bullshit on that!

In Liberia: NOCAL, No Cash Available for Liberia

Liberia Oil Basin

NOCAL paid nearly $4 Million USD to the Liberian Legislature over the past 18 months. The company paid $1,000,000 for the nation wide tour for the legislators to consult with their constituents.

I previously posted a check made out to Sen. Sando Johnson for $31,000.00 immediately after The Legislature passed the last oil block lease.

31000 x 102 = 3,162,000


It is my studied opinion, that NOCAL fronted the money to the legislators directly out of its coffers.

The lease signed with Liberty Petroleum, which had never ever drilled an oil well, fell through when Liberty could not flip the lease (which they tried to do 48 hours after getting it), and NOCAL was not able to collect it $25 million signature bonus. Out 4 million dollars with nothing to show, the President wants a restructuring.

Global Witness warned that Liberty Petroleum was unlikely to perform.

Global Witness: Liberia Has Burned the Furniture to Warm the House Feb 27, 2015

 A major oil contract, offshore Block 16, was recently handed to a coalition of three companies. One of these appears to lack sufficient funds to operate the oil block, and another has close links to some of Liberia’s worst tax dodgers. 
(1) On 18 December the first, and so far only, of these contracts was finalised. Block 16 was awarded to US-based Liberty Petroleum, Nigerian-based Pillar Oil, and Liberian-based New Millennium Oil and Gas, who together paid US$ 22 million in signature bonuses and other payments. 

(2) US-registered Liberty holds a 90 percent stake in the contract. Yet the company has only seven employees and a 2014 declared turnover of just US$ 3 million.

(3) In contrast, assuming that Liberty’s contract complies with the Liberian government’s new model contract (the Block 16 contract is not yet public), Liberty and its junior partners must invest US$ 53 million in the next seven years in oil exploration.

(4) Liberty is part-owned, through a series of intermediary companies and trusts, by US Congressman Trent Franks, a Republican representing Arizona’s 8th District.

(3) In contrast, assuming that Liberty’s contract complies with the Liberian government’s new model contract (the Block 16 contract is not yet public), Liberty and its junior partners must invest US$ 53 million in the next seven years in oil exploration.

(4) Liberty is part-owned, through a series of intermediary companies and trusts, by US Congressman Trent Franks, a Republican representing Arizona’s 8th District.

 

Just as Global Witness had previously warned, on June 16, 2015, FrontPage Africa reported:

The President confirmed that US oil company Liberty Petroleum, and Nigerian oil company A-Z failed to stump up US$25 million in cash they promised for four oil licenses that they agreed to purchase in the oil auction. These initial payments are known as "signature bonuses" in the oil industry.


The President said her son, Robert Sirleaf had reorganized NOCAL and left it strong. Now less than two years after he left, the President is saying the staff needs to be cut to 50? 

Why didn't Robert Sirleaf's reorganization cut the staff?

Unless the President is telling us the staffing increased from 50 to 300 AFTER Robert Sirleaf left it is clear their claim, his and hers, they reorganized the company is patently false!

Because the legislature has been PAID every step of the way, is the reason you do not see them clamoring for an explanation of what happened to the company.

This, my fellow Liberians, is the damage this woman has done to the country: she has completely destroyed the separation of powers and has corrupted and conscripted the legislature as her crime partner.

The Reorganization Team

President Sirleaf also disclosed that an Interim Transition Team (ITT) composed of the current Chief Operating Officer, the Vice President for Finance and the Vice President for Technical Services will hold over in the transition period, with severance pay delayed until the period is over.

I find it curious that the interim transition team includes the Chief Operating Officer & VP for Finance both executives who should have been managing the finances and operations of the organization.

The Chief Operations Officer, Althea Sherman (nee Eastman) was Robert Sirleafs best friend and classmate at CWA, Class of 1978.  She was brought in as his direct representative.  The Vice President of Finance, Karmo D. Ville was hired by Robert Sirleaf. Two of the three people being held over, are direct hires of Robert Sirleaf.

The entire thing is being stage managed by the president. Her son was Board Chair. She appoints his best friend to run the day to day operations of the company. The company fails. The president says fire everybody EXCEPT my sons friends, the same people who ran the day to day operations and the finance of the company that was poorly managed, are now going to lead the transition?

The Friends & Family plan works for AT & T, but it does not work for a country. 

I seriously fear for the future of this country.

In Liberla: A Disgraceful Government

 

"The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it" ~ George Orwell

I read with the utmost amount of shame and disgust, the recent 17 (seventeen) page missive, by a national security operative of the Government of Liberia, Grant Solomon, against the former Justice Minister of Liberia, Christiana Tah. Three months after Madame Tah resigned from the Sirleaf government, the government is still undertaking an intense effort to discredit her. To me, it is evident the President and her National Security Team feel the need to impeach her credibility, to preempt and discredit anything she may say about her time in government.

I have included in this paper, an extensive bibliography, to demonstrate to the "security researcher" that when you write a 17 page document, you should include information which can be verified.

The manner of Madame Tah’s resignation, and the insight it provided into the President’s actions in obstructing investigations, was unlike any other resignation in this government.i

That fear was evident and confirmed in a letter to Madame Tah by the National Security Council, in which the government believed it was necessary to "admonish" Madame Tah, a lawyer, of her obligation not to divulge "state secrets."

Ironically, the people demanding she maintain secrecy, are now spreading gossip, not only about the workings of the Ministry of Justice, under Tah, but about her place of birth, her family life.

There are so many things that are disgusting and false about this piece, it is difficult to even begin to organize my thoughts. Some of the things that jump out at the reader, are not only the venom and vitriol in the letter, but the pettiness.

The piece does not simply deal with Madame Tah’s tenure at the Ministry of Justice, but delves into her personal life and attacks her marriage and her children. This is something low class people do. Mr. Solomon writes:

"She is married to Dr. Tah, a gynecologist, and almost twenty years her senior. The union is blessed with two children, a young lad, of less significance to society, and a budding young lady who is a caricature of her mother’s dual personality."

How is the age difference in a person’s marriage the concern of the national security agency? Mr. Solomon refers to Madam Tah’s son, who is autistic as "a young lad, of less significance to society." Thankfully, the young man is a citizen of a country, America, which values all of its citizens, even the ones with disabilities. What kind of human beings, let alone a President, and her National Security Team, attacks an autistic child to go after his mother?

Solomon goes on to say of Tah’s daughter "a budding young lady who is a caricature of her mother’s dual personality." This young lady has excelled with multiple degrees from some of the top universities in the world.

Although Mr. Solomon states Tah has the following academic credentials:

  1. Masters in Sociology / Corrections – Kent State University
  2. LLB Law Degree – Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law
  3. LLM Law Degree - Yale Law School

He attempts to diminish her credentials by suggesting she graduated from the Grimes Law School with a 2.1 GPA, when in fact she graduated Magna Cum Laude.

According to the Yale Law School website "Applicants for the LL.M. program must have completed their law degree at an accredited U.S. law school or a non-U.S. law school with substantially equivalent standards, and must have a strong record of academic accomplishment."ii

We are to be convinced that a person with a 2.1 GPA met the "strong record of academic accomplishment" required by Yale Law School.

The leaves one to wonder, why are these people so insecure that they seek to diminish the accomplishment of others.

It also begs the question: why would the President, not once, but twice, appoint a person of such low academic standing, first as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and later as Justice Minister?

The answer to the first question can be found in the President’s autobiography, "This Child Will Be Great." This is a woman who has been able to con the world that she is a "Harvard trained economist" over the past 12 years, when in fact, she has a 2 year degree from Madison Business CollegeIV, described in Wikipedia as:

"Madison Business College was the name of a business college in Madison, Wisconsin, founded in 1858. It was also known as Northwestern Business College and School of Shorthand, Capital City Commercial College, Madison College, Madison Junior College, and Madison Junior Business College; it closed on September 22, 1998."

She was able, through her work with the Government of Liberia, to parlay that 2 year degree into a 9 credit certificate program designed specifically for people from third world countries, by Harvard. Lawrence Summers, the former US treasury secretary, is a Harvard trained economist.

It is also noteworthy that this president has managed to drive out of her government just about every woman of qualification and substance including Antoinette Sayeh and Olubanke King-Akerele. Imagine a woman president who despises competent women; quite the contradiction.

The NSA robs Korean Businessmen

What seems to strike a raw nerve with the President and her entire National Security Team, was the public disclosure by Madame Tah, of the President’s refusal for the Ministry of Justice to investigate allegations of robbery against agents of the National Security Agency made by Korean businessmen.

Madame Tah’s allusion to this incident, in her resignation statement, so irked the President, that New York Times writer, cum Sirleaf biographer[i], Helene Cooper attempted to cast aspersions and derision on it, in her October 30, 2014 article.  Ms. Cooper wrote:

Ms. Tah, used her resignation news conference to accuse Ms. Johnson Sirleaf of trying to block a corruption investigation into Liberia’s National Security Agency, which is headed by another of the president’s sons. Ms. Johnson Sirleaf denied the charge; it was the same son, Fumbah Sirleaf, who helped American agents pull off West Africa’s largest drug bust in 2010.”

The crime was initially reported on extensively by the National Chronicle, in a series of articles:

  1. In Alleged Organized Crime "Gold, Diamond Deal":NSA, Lebanese National Rob Koreans Of US$284,000
  2. After Sharing Korean Businessmen’s US$284,300: NSA Aids Lebanese Man To Escape

On August 14, 2014, officers of the Police Support Unit (PSU) barricaded and tear-gassed the offices of the National Chronicle, seized computers and arrested its editor, Phillibert Browne. On September 9, 2013, the Police Director, Christian Massaquoi barred Mr. Browne from traveling. The raid was ordered directly by the President of Liberia, bypassing the Ministry of Justice.

The Ministry of Justice’s attempts to take hold of the investigation were thwarted by the Executive Mansion. In a letter dated July, 11, 2014 the Deputy Minister of Justice for Administration and Public Safety, Wheatonia Y. Dixon Barnes wrote:

"We are indeed very concerned about the legal implication this issue poses to the Government of Liberia (GOL), and the potential negative impact it may have on investors. In this connection, therefore, we advise that you forward this matter to the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) for a thorough investigation in conjunction with the NSA. To protect the integrity of the process, we further advise that the amount in question be deposited into an escrow account until the legality of this issue is determined. Additionally, we request that you stay all forms of investigation with respect to this case pending our joint sitting."

Those instructions were never carried out, even though, by law, the Director of the National Security Agency is required to "report to the President through the Ministry of Justice on all Matters affecting the work of the Agency, as circumstances may require or as directed by the President." The law further requires the Ministry of Justice to "issue orders and regulations with the approval of the president with regards to the performance of such additional function as circumstances may dictate for securing the safety of the State." The National Security Agency can give no account of the money, seized by its agents.

Solomon, who claims he is a "security researcher" has obviously never heard of the internet. He tries to pin the dismissal of Deputy Minister Barnes on Madam Tah, when the Executive Mansion website, on September 13, 2014, posted a list of three deputy Ministers from Justice who were dismissed by the President being "out of the country without an excuse."

Why concoct a fantastical lie, when the information is readily available?

The fact is the President dismissed three of Minister Tah’s Deputies even after Minister Tah submitted medical excuses and pleaded in person for mercy for the three Ministers. The real target of the dismissals at Justice was Wheatonia Barnes, because of the instructions she gave Fumba Sirleaf, noted above. The President could not stomach the idea that any person would instruct her son to hold on to evidence of a crime. The other two ministers were simply collateral damage.

We are supposed to believe that 5 rogue agents, seized nearly $250,000 dollars and that money was never turned over to the authorities within the agency?

Madame Tah’s assertions were vindicated when the Special Independent Committee set up by the President, to bypass the Ministry of Justice, and "to investigate accusations of money laundering, counterfeiting, illegal arrest, and conspiracy to defraud" the Korean businessmen made 3 findings and recommendations, which were:

  1. Appropriate administrative actions be taken against the operatives of the National Security Agency (five in all) who were directly involved with the arrest of the Korean and Sierra Leonean nationals immediately.

  2. The operatives of the National Security Agency (five in all) who were directly involved with the arrest of the Korean and Sierra Leonean nationals, and their co-conspirators (two who do not work with the NSA) be handed over to the Ministry of Justice for prosecution in order to clear the name and image of the National Security Agency.

  3. The Government of Liberia refunds to the Korean nationals the full amount of US$247,500, which they withdrew from the International Bank of Liberia (IBLL) on July 8, 2014, and which they proceeded with directly to the City King Hotel, immediately thereafter, and were arrested shortly after their arrival. Liberian Observer 11/10/2014

The President’s attempt to shield her son, and obstruct justice cannot go unnoticed, especially when one considers that one of the NSA agents involved in this robbery, Terrence Doe, has an extensive criminal record in the United States. Doe was tried and acquitted on double murder charges in New Jersey. The question on everyone’s mind, is how, did a career criminal become an agent of the National Security Agency? Perhaps, her son, Fumba Sirleaf can answer that.

NSA robs Nigerian Businessman

Incidentally, this is not the first time agents of the NSA have robbed foreign businessmen in Liberia. In September of 2006, NSA agents confiscated $508,000.00 from a Nigerian businessman, under the guise that the Nigerian was a drug dealer and counterfeiter. The businessman, Valentine Ayika, went on to become a member of the Nigerian parliament. Mr. Ayika sued the government of Liberia in the ECOWAS Court, and in the case Valentine Ayika v Republic of Liberia, the court "ordered the return of $508, 200 dollars by the Liberian Government to Mr Valentine Ayika.

The presiding judge, Justice Hansine Donli, held that the plaintff, Ayika, was exonerated from drug trafficking and money laundering by an investigative team in Liberia.  Donli said Ayika was not indicted by the investigative team and that Liberian Government had no legal justification to confiscate the said money."

President Sirleaf stubbornly refused to obey the ruling of the Court until Liberia’s seat on the Court was denied.

How does one explain, the same agency, committing two of the same kind of robberies, yet expect us to believe the head of the agency knew nothing about it? 

The Cockrum Meeting

Again, Mr. Solomon, the security researcher, tries to place the blame for the Cockrum tapes on Madame Tah. I know both Melvin Johnson and Ellen Cockrum, and I know they have never met with Madame Tah.

The Golden Child

It seems the President and her minions, are still trying to wrap their heads around the terrible election thumping of her golden child, Robert Sirleaf, at the hands of George Weah. This 78% - 11% drubbing of the golden child, has left the President and her inner circle in total shock and disarray. They understand that this was a vote that says the President has no legacy. For all of the love and adulation, they twice showed the President, she has abused them, abused their trust to please her golden child and minions. Coupled with the complete collapse of the healthcare system when the Ebola epidemic hit, after 9 years in office, the Liberian people want nothing to do with anything or anybody named Sirleaf anymore.

Sadly, rather than working to salvage what is left of her tattered legacy, the President is hell bent on settling scores with her former Justice Minister, and anyone she imagines an enemy. This is unwise, and ill advised. I will encourage Madame Tah to speak to the Liberian people, at the time and place of her choosing. 

The reason for highlighting with documentary evidence, unlike our erstwhile security researcher, Mr. Solomon, is to show that he is a liar, a person in a long tradition of government liars which date back to the Tubman era of the Public Relations Officers (PRO’s). They authored documents, wrote "secret memoranda" which they claimed they found in women’s shoes. It is pathetic, that this Continuing Criminal Enterprise which calls itself the Government of Liberia, has decided it will publish lies about a person who has served the Liberian people faithfully

Questioning George Werner’s Nomination

In his recent piece titled “In Liberia: George Werner Unqualified for Minister of Health”, Mr. George Fahnbulleh writes to oppose the appointment and nomination of the designee.  Fahnbulleh makes a strong case against the Minister-designate first by claiming and presenting evidence to indicate that he (the designee) is unqualified to hold the position, and secondly, that he (the designee) lied to bolster his resume. 

That he is not qualified to hold the position should come as no surprise to those who follow the appointment patterns in the present administration. President Sirleaf has demonstrated a strange proclivity for appointing unqualified candidates to prestigious and powerful positions in her government. It would probably be unfair to Mr. Werner to oppose his appointment on the basis of lack of requisite experience. The second charge is, in my opinion, more damaging: He deliberately embellished his professional record. To put it more bluntly, he lied.

I read the article published on the Daily Observer in which Mr. Werner claimed to have been a “therapist” and a “clinician”. See here: http://liberianobserver.com/news/meet-liberia%E2%80%99s-new-health-minister-designate... Obviously, the words were used loosely here in layman terms. However, Mr. Werner should know the professional definitions of the words he used to describe himself. As Mr. Fahnbulleh points out, one needs professional licenses to practice as a “clinician” and a “therapist”. Mr. Werner chose to deliberately lie to augment his credentials; he should be questioned about his statements and made to provide proof of the claims he makes. Upon failure to do so, his nomination should be rejected.

"A clinician is a health care practitioner that works as a primary care giver of a patient in a hospital setting, pre-hospital setting, clinic setting, or under the Affordable Care Act in home health care. Only a clinician diagnoses, prescribes treatment, treats, and discharges patients from therapy. For example, a physician is a clinician, a nurse is not."
http://bit.ly/1FCce3Q 

It could be argued that the political environment in Liberia is so morally contaminated, perhaps it shouldn’t matter that one candidate has lied. After all, doesn’t everybody else? It would be a pointlessly humongous task to point out similar discrepancies in the present administration. Seemingly, such lies and embellishments are the natural order of the day. One could even argue that it is unfair to single out Mr. Werner for scrutiny at this time. After all, the president moves the former Minister of Education to the position of National Investment Commissioner. Some fair questions would be, is the candidate qualified for that position? What are her credentials and professional track record? Is she qualified solely on the basis of the mere possession of a PhD? Does holding a PhD mean she knows anything about investments? The African “book-man-mentality” rules the day in Liberia. Once a candidate possesses a terminal degree that candidate is qualified to hold any position, no matter the discipline. The idea of specialization does not come into play in Liberia, unfortunately.

President Sirleaf has also recently appointed Mr. Gyude Moore to the position of Public Works Minister. Mr. Moore is said to have obtained an MBA (Masters in Business of Administration) from the prestigious Georgetown University in Washington, DC, USA. But is he the best qualified candidate for such a position? If one were to question the president’s preference in this matter, one has to realize the pattern the president has set: She appointed the late Willis Knuckles to the position and later on appointed Kofi Woods to the same portfolio. Nine years after her ascendancy to the presidency she claims that Liberia is still suffering from the devastation brought on by the civil war that ended over a decade ago. But how does she intend to remedy the problem by these senseless appointments?  What did she expect Mr. Knuckles or Mr. Woods to accomplish in terms of improving the state of public works in Liberia besides personally enriching themselves? Nothing. And nothing was accomplished.

In this new package of appointments, one has to also question the motive of the president appointing Dr. Wede Brownell to the position of Deputy Foreign Minister for Administration. After receiving a PhD in Accounting or Business Administration, Dr. Brownell taught at a university in the states for a brief period before accepting a highly acclaimed academic position at the University of Liberia. After a publicly contentious stay in that position, she was forced to flee. All of a sudden Dr. Brownell is named Deputy Foreign Minister? If she were trained to be an academician but miserably failed in that line of work, we are now led to believe that she will perform with stellar acclaim in a setting about which she knows nothing. Astounding logic, one must admit.

Again, in all fairness, perhaps we should not be questioning the appointment of Mr. Werner to the sensitive post while ignoring the rest of the package. After all, Mr. Werner is a very intelligent person with ample academic qualifications as the president’s other appointees; all the president’s nominees should be given equal scrutiny. So what sets Mr. Werner aside? Simple. He lied. His lie is a public lie and deserves the public scrutiny it invites. Mr. Werner should have stayed the course and remained silent on the sidelines as his confirmation battle before the Liberian legislature ensued. But because of over-ambition and reckless boldness, he has overplayed his card to ensure his success; that tactic has backfired. His nomination has been rejected, although he has previously passed confirmation before the same body.

But if one were to accept the allegation that the national state of affairs in Liberia has degenerated to a morally contaminated environment, why should we care about Mr. Werner’s appointment? After all, it might be a cynical ploy for the legislature to exploit the executive. They could be rejecting his nomination now only to put pressure on the president; they might be holding out for approval until certain bargains are made and they might approve the nomination subsequently. If that is the case, as we have seen before, what will have been gained by opposing this nomination now?

The answer is simple: Our opposition to this appointment must be a matter of record. Other Liberians are free to support Mr. Werner, and I’m quite sure they do and will continue to do so. Our opposition may not matter in substance, but let it be a matter of record; not just for the present-day record, but for the sake of posterity. If anyone were to re-examine or question this appointment in a future generation, let the record show that George Fahnbulleh opposes it and I support Mr. Fahnbulleh. In my particular case, I specifically oppose the nomination because Mr. Werner is on record of lying to the Liberian public; I consider that a grievous offense.

 

 

In Liberia: George Werner Unqualified for Minister of Health

 

 

At a time when Liberia’s health system has been decimated by the Ebola Virus Disease, and the management has shown inept and incompetent, the President of Liberia, has chosen to name a person totally unqualified to lead in the building of the healthcare system.

Liberians have quickly forgotten, just a few months ago, our President was begging the world for help or the country would die.  The international community has rushed in, and seeing the need to make a change at the Ministry of Health, the President appointed George Werner as the new Minister of Health.

The problem is Mr. Werner has no background in healthcare, zero, nada, zip, nothing!  He has taken to embellishment of his work in a Philadelphia Group Home (6 years and 9 months) and referred to his title as a “Clinical Therapist.”  Much of the information which follows was garnered directly from Mr. Werner’s LinkedIn page, and further research into the institutions he lists.

Sadly neither the Government of Liberia, nor the Liberian newspapers even took the time (all of 3 hours) to research and validate any of the claims made by Mr. Werner.  They have all simply parroted Mr. Werner’s statements and wished him well.

According to Mr. Werner’s LinkedIn page:

June 2003 – March 2010 
Therapist
Pennsylvania Clinical Schools

Pennsylvania Clinical Schools was a residential treatment facility (a group home) run by the State of Pennsylvania for wayward youth.  The facility was closed in 2010.

Because the facility was closed, there is no way to verify, what Mr. Werner actually did at the facility other than being a group home aid.  There are however, several studied deductions we can make which support the fact that Mr. Werner was not, repeat, was not a “Clinical Therapist.”  

To be a Clinical Therapist, in most US states, requires a state occupation license.  The State of Pennsylvania is one of those states.  Fortunately Pennsylvania publishes the license of every practitioner.  Pennsylvania also grants licenses by reciprocity with other states, and those licenses acquired in other states are documented in the database.  You can search the Pennsylvania License Database here

The Pennsylvania License Database show NO RECORD of GEORGE KRONNISANYON WERNER ever having a license as anything, in Pennsylvania or any other state, let alone a “group/clinical” therapist.

In a 2005 piece written for the Perspective, entitled “Perceptions and Beliefs about Interpersonal Violence” Mr. Werner was already brandishing his 2 years as a group home aid (he began working at PCS in June 2003), and referring to himself as a “clinician.” 

Mr. Werner wrote:

As a clinician, one hopes to help ameliorate the effects of interpersonal violence on society’s most vulnerable and to be a part of discovering the causes of interpersonal violence. However one evaluates interpersonal violence, there are grim consequences for victim, perpetrator, and the wider society. Individuals who commit acts of violence against others, like my father, are human beings in need of some degree of rehabilitation.

This leaves me wondering why Mr. Werner did not channel his expertise to the rehabilitation of ex-combatants in Liberia?

March 2010 – September 2010
Clinical Coordinator
Resources for Human Development, Inc.

Resources for Human Development, Inc. is an organization which among other things, provides staffing and management of group home workers.  A search of employment opportunities from their website (http://www.rhd.org/RHDCareers/JobListings.aspx), the job of a Care Coordinator is described here:

The Care Coordinator is responsible for providing supportive services to individuals with mental illness living independently in the community. The Care Coordinator assists the program participant to identify and connect with community resources, monitors the progress of each participant toward obtaining goals, and provides ongoing coaching to support participant’s wellness.

This was the last job Mr. Werner held in the United States, for 7 months.  Can any person read the job description and try to make the case that this job provides the requisite experience to be Minister of Health of Liberia? 

Civil Service Agency:
2013 – Present

Mr. Werner as served for 14 months as the Director General of the CSA.  Somehow after 14 months at CSA, with his other experience shown above, we are to accept that he is qualified to be Minister of Health.


I would challenge Mr. Werner to go beyond phrases like “I was admitted into the prestigious program.”  Being admitted to a program means nothing. Why did he not say “I completed..”

None of what Mr. Werner has presented of his background and experience qualifies him to be Minister of Health.

There are far more qualified Liberians, IN LIBERIA and Internationally whose leadership, experience, and domain knowledge far exceed the group home knowledge of Mr. Werner, who are qualified for the job.  

President Sirleaf needs to take the lives of the Liberian people, and her job, much more seriously.

 

In Liberia: Requesting a License To Steal


The recent Emergency Powers requested by the President of Liberia are nothing more than her asking for a license to steal.   This is nothing more than an attempt, by the president, to dispossess Liberians of their rights and properties and give them no judicial recourse. It is theft.  I will deal with only three of the changes the President requested.  

7. Article 24 of the Liberian Constitution (1986). Appropriation of Property

The President may, by proclamation, appropriate any private property or prevent the use thereof in order to protect the public health and safety during the state of emergency without payment of any kind or any further judicial process. Provided however, that the property will be released to the rightful owners upon the end of the state of emergency and that the government pays for any damages thereto.

The President already has the authority to do what she deems necessary under the Public Health Law, as well as the Eminent Domain clause of the Constitution.

Article 15
a) While the inviolability of private property shall be guaranteed by the Republic, expropriation may be authorized for the security of the nation in the event of armed conflict or where the public health and safety are endangered or for any other public purposes, provided:
     (i) that reasons for such expropriation are given;
     (ii) that there is prompt payment of just compensation;
     (iii) that such expropriation or the compensation offered may be challenged freely by the owner of the property in a court of law with no penalty for having brought such action; and
    (iv) that when property taken for public use ceases to be so used, the Republic shall accord the former owner or those entitled to the property through such owner, the right of first refusal to reacquire the property.

b) All real property held by a person whose certificate of naturalization has been cancelled shall escheat to the Republic, unless such person shall have a spouse and/or lineal heirs who are Liberian citizens, in which case the real property shall be transferred to them in accordance with the intestacy law.

c) The power of the Legislature to provide punishment for treason or other crimes shall not include a deprivation or forfeiture of the right of 
inheritance, although its enjoyment by the convicted person shall be postponed during a term of imprisonment judicially imposed; provided that if the convicted person has minor children and a spouse, the spouse or next of kin in the order of priority shall administer the same. No punishment shall preclude the inheritance, enjoyment or forfeiture by others entitled thereto of any property which the convicted person at the time of conviction or subsequent thereto may have possessed.
The Public Health Law, gives the President the Power to Exercise these powers under EXCEPT for the phrase "without payment of any kind or any further judicial purpose."
 
§ 14.5. Right of Minister to commandeer unoccupied real Property and materials.
If an outbreak of any formidable epidemic exists or is threatened, it shall be lawful for the Minister to require any person owing or having charge of any land or any buildings or dwellings not occupied, or any person owing or having charge of tents, transport bedding, hospital equipment, drugs, food or any other appliances, materials or other articles urgently required in connection with such outbreak to hand over the use of such land or buildings or to supply or make available any such article, subject to the payment of a reasonable amount as hire or Purchase Price. Any person liable hereunder who without reasonable cause fails or refuses to comply with any such requirement shall be subject to the penalties provided for violation of provisions of this chapter.
Additionally 14.2 (m) states:
§ 14.2. Power of Minister to make rules.
Whenever any part of the Republic appears to be threatened by,any formidable epidemic, endemic or communicable disease, the Minister shall declare such part an infected area and shall make rules with regard to any of the following matters:
(m) For prohibiting any person from living in any building or using any building for any purpose whatsoever if in the opinion of the health inspector in charge any such use is liable to cause the spread of any communicable disease; any rules made under this section may give a health inspector power to prescribe the conditions under which a building may be used;
The President can seize (appropriate) ANY private property without payment of any kind of any further judicial process. If the citizen in question tries to complain about see #5. One lawyer tried to convince me this is necessary because "the Americans" may demand a specific piece of land for building ETUs and the eminent domain process is too slow and cumbersome. The problem with this logic is that these powers were requested BEFORE the Americans ever came to build ETUs.
 
Secondly why not just streamline the eminent domain process, after all the Constitution does state "PROMPT payment," and there is nothing that stops the government from quickly possessing the property while the "reasonable value" is reached.
 
These people have already identified land/properties they want to appropriate. They will use the state of emergency to appropriate it, and if the citizens complain, see #5.
 
Note: the Richards family has been in court with the government of Liberia for 42 years over an illegal property contract.
 
The President has also asked for the following emergency powers:
Article 12 of the Liberian Constitution (1986). Labor. The President may by proclamation, procure certain labor and services during this state of emergency;
 
Article 12 of the Constitution states:
No person shall be held in slavery or forced labor within the Republic, nor shall any citizen of Liberia nor any person resident therein deal in slaves or subject any other person to forced labor, debt bondage or peonage; but labor reasonably required in consequence of a court sentence or order conforming to acceptable labor standards, service in the military, work or service which forms part of normal civil obligations or service exacted in cases of emergency or calamity threatening the life or well-being of the community shall not be deemed forced labor.
The problem here is the unspecified "certain labor and services." Can the President by 3 twenty five cent pieces of bubble gum from LeafSir Enterprises of North Carolina for $5,000,000. USD? Yes she can. If a citizen chooses to question it, see #5.
 
5. Article 15 of the Liberian Constitution (1986). Restriction of speech. President may, by proclamation or executive action, prevent any citizen, groups of citizens or any entity protected under Article 15 of the constitution from making any public statement in person, in print or electronic [media], which may have the tendency to undermining the State of Emergency, confusing the public on the nature of the health care threat, or otherwise causing a state of panic about the health care of security condition of the nation;
 
Article 15
a) Every person shall have the right to freedom of expression, being fully responsible for the abuse thereof. This right shall not be curtailed, restricted or enjoined by government save during an emergency declared in accordance with this Constitution.
b) The right encompasses the right to hold opinions without interference and the right to knowledge. It includes freedom of speech and of the press, academic freedom to receive and impart knowledge and information and the right of libraries to make such knowledge available. It includes non-interference with the use of the mail, telephone and telegraph. It likewise includes the right to remain silent.
c) In pursuance of this right, there shall be no limitation on the public right to be informed about the government and its functionaries.
d) Access to state owned media shall not be denied because of any disagreement with or dislike of the ideas express. Denial of such access may be challenged in a court of competent jurisdiction.
e) This freedom may be limited only by judicial action in proceedings grounded in defamation or invasion of the rights of privacy and publicity or in the commercial aspect of expression in deception, false advertising and copyright infringement.
The Constitution is clear, State of Emergency or not, THERE SHALL BE NO LIMITATION on the Right of the Public to Be INFORMED ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT AND ITS FUNCTIONARIES.
 
So based on what the President is asking for, she can seize (appropriate) any and all property belonging to the family of Flomo Zayzay, WITHOUT payment, and then make a Proclamation that no person associated with these properties can make any statement as to the government's seizure. They will then construct a crematorium on the property, dispose of Ebola waste on the Property, and return it to you after the state of emergency.
 
Or they will seize the properties with homes on them, lease the homes to aid agencies, pocket the money and tell you to see #5.
 
This is the road to perdition!
 
 

In Liberia: Incapable of Introspection

I read Minister Lewis Brown's response to the Press Statement by the former Justice Minister, and wondered what manner of people are Liberia's leaders who are incapable of introspection.  Mr. Brown, as usual, was in full uninformed attack mode.  Rather than focus on the substance of the Madam Tah's statement, which has resonated across the globe as a scathing indictment of the President and the Government, Mr. Brown chose to be, well...Mr. Brown (see Mr. Brown from the TV Show).

One would think, any response coming from an official government source, would be based on deep introspection, reason, and judgment.  It is clear neither the government nor Min. Brown seem capable of that.

In his very first paragraph Mr. Brown deliberately misrepresents that Madam Tah "finally mustered the courage to exercise her prerogative to resign."  Did Mr. Brown's boss, President Sirleaf, not inform him of the Minister's resignation of March 31, 2014?  Mr. Brown the Minister resigned on March 31, while still under suspension.  Your boss has that resignation letter.  It would be in the best interest of full disclosure that she release to the Liberian public a full copy of the original letter of resignation.

I, for one, am curious, as to why the President refused to accept the original letter of resignation?

As several legal scholars have already written, the President did not give any substantial weight to the precedent set under her by allowing the Court to remove a member of the Cabinet from his / duties.  I continue to believe, the President colluded with the Court to orchestrate the suspension, because she wanted to accomplish other nefarious goals which Minister Tah would not allow. 

If one must listen to people opine about actions of the Judiciary, one should listen to legal scholars who understand legal doctrine.  As is usually the problem in Liberia, people do not know how to "stay in their lane."   In the case of Minister Brown, he should pull off the road entirely.  

Was Minister Brown aware, that Madam Tah returned to Liberia even as the Ebola epidemic was growing, and the president already had her resignation letter in hand?  And he wants to talk about mustering courage?  What exactly did she have to gain? She could have demanded then that the President accept her resignation.  

Now, it is not clear to anyone why Minister Brown thinks that Minister Tah will be angry when she has been magnanimous to return to work and help this Government that is now spiraling into an abyss, without complaining, after her rights were abused by the Judiciary with the complicity and endorsement of President Sirleaf.  It is, rather, the Government that is angry and embarrassed by the forthrightness of the former Minister, which it is incapable of responding to.

Please tell us "what bigger interest" of the Liberian people is served, when the Minister of Justice, cannot investigate allegations of fraud against other government agencies? Or is it just the National Security Agency, which happens to be headed by her son?  You have the audacity to talk about "teaching by good examples?"

Minister Brown, please tell us what "bigger interest" of the Liberian people was served, when the President decided that the Security services under the State of Emergency would be under the control of the Minister of Defense, as opposed to the Minister of Justice where it belonged?

Do you understand this directly contributed to the death of a Liberian citizen, Shaki Kamara.  Apparently, it has not occurred to you and your boss, that her decision to place command where it should not be placed, had consequences for the Liberian people.  I do not need to remind you of the public beat down by the American ambassador regarding the misuse of the Army.  

How does it serve the Liberian people's "bigger interest" when a president, in office is so consumed by petty parochial interests that her decisions lead to the death of a Liberian citizen, and international rebuke?

I also find especially troubling, the misogyny and sexism you demonstrate when you state "the former Minister may be deeply beholden to the human emotions of bitterness and anger."  What is it about crude men like you that you would seek to dismiss the statement from a Minister of Justice as “emotional?”  

Minister Brown, let me suggest, that you resist the urge for your natural tendency to be a fanatic, confer with the President and cabinet, and decide what the government's official response is to the indictment made by the former Minister of Justice.

You seem eager to tell us of your meeting on October 4, where the President expressed concerns about corruption investigations, where she stated there were no sacred cows.  Perhaps then her son, the Director of the NSA is a sacred sheep or goat.  Because when it was necessary to investigate charges of fraud in his agency, the investigation was promptly sent to a private party outside of the Ministry of Justice. 

Mr. Minster please consult with the Minister of Finance, and provide the Liberian people HOW MUCH money has been made available to the Ministry of Justice for investigators and prosecutors?  Please ask the Minister of Finance to provide to the Liberian people the budgetary allotment for LAWYERS, in other government agencies.  How does that compare with what is provided for the Ministry of Justice?

Will those figures reflect a commitment to investigating and fighting corruption?

For a government, which has completely lost the trust of its citizens, it should be evident that whoever speaks on behalf of the government, at this time, should be a person of substantial credibility.  The President seems to prefer the face of her government to be a man singled out, by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for economic crimes.(TRC Final Report, page 295), and one forbidden to enter the United States. 

Isn’t this the very Lewis Brown who accused the President of desecrating the office of the Presidency, only a few years ago?  

As for Deputy Minister of Information, Isaac Jackson, I will not dignify his comments, as it is evident he lacks the aptitude and the intellectual heft to understand the contents of Minister Tah’s statement.

This President seems to have a penchant for losing women of great credibility, Antoinette Sayeh, Olubanke King, and now Madam Tah.  At some point, you must look in the mirror, instead of looking in the echo chamber, comprised of the likes of Lewis Brown, and ask yourself: what am I doing wrong. 

Finally, with regards to corruption cases, we have seen the President’s attitude towards her cronies, like for example, resubmitting names to the Senate, in the face of brewing scandals.  It does not take a rocket scientist to conclude the Justice Ministry would have been pressured by the President to forego prosecution of her cronies.

We are all waiting to see the government’s performance on corruption going forward…we will be watching.

 

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf's Insidious Odious Lie

 

Clarification Letter Links:

  1. 10/08/2014 Clarification Letter (Page 1)
  2. 10/08/2014 Clarification Letter (Page 2)
  3. 10/08/2014 Clarification Letter (Page 3)

The President of Liberia in a letter, to the House of Representatives, seeking to clarify her earlier request for Emergency Powers, demonstrates how contemptible she is of the people of Liberia.

In her earlier letter the President requested Emergency Powers to abrogate Article 24 of the Liberian Constitution. Her request read:

7. Article 24 of the Liberian Constitution (1986). Appropriation of Property
The President may, by proclamation, appropriate any private property or prevent the use thereof in order to protect the public health and safety during the state of emergency without payment of any kind or any further judicial process. Provided however, that the property will be released to the rightful owners upon the end of the state of emergency and that the government pays for any damages thereto. 

I argued that the President should not be able to seize private property and leave the citizens no ability to have the process reviewed by a court. Secondly the idea that the government alone would decide what the damage would be and what it would pay for is particularly specious.

On October 8, 2014, the President made the following clarification to the legislature:

Article 24 of the Liberian Constitution (1986) Expropriation of property. The President may, by proclamation, appropriate any private property of prevent the use thereof in order to protect the public health and safety during the state of emergency without payment of any kind or any further judicial process. Provided however, that the property will be released to the rightful owners upon the end of the state of emergency and that the Government pays for any damages thereto.

The death tolls brought about by this disease have been overwhelming particularly in counties like Lofa, Montserrado, Bong, Margibi, Nimba, Bomi and others. We are advised by both national and international health authorities that victims of the Ebola virus must be buried and laid to rest in isolated places and not in any ordinary public graveyard or cemetery. Such a number of deaths we have seen and experienced, present a problem as a public cemetery are very few and inadequate. Therefore the government of Liberia will use any available land in any town, village or city conducive for the burial of Ebola victims whenever the safety of the people or dwellers of such community demands. Such land to be used will be released or returned to the rightful owner upon the end of the state of emergency. The provision of Article 24 of the Constitution will therefore be affected or suspended whenever and wherever necessary.

So the President's original request was not only deliberately vague and deceptive. It was a lie. 

Her initial demand was to be able to appropriate ANY private property,  not any available private property. Any available private property includes occupied dwellings, cars, trucks, pencils, pens....ANY private property.  Now she explains she actually wants any available land.  Would it not be easier to have the Ministry of Lands Mines and Energy and CNDRA identify possible cemetery sites and purchase them from the owners?

Would it not be safer to build crematoriums in each county / location, as Min. Lewis Brown said they already had plans to do?  

Based on her clarification the President wanted to appropriate private property, turn it into a cemetery, and then return the cemetery to the rightful owner. What "DAMAGE" would the government pay for. Does this President not understand that turning any land into a cemetery make that land UNUSABLE to the owner for any purpose? This explanation is so odious, and dishonest, it is not even worthy of any consideration.

This was never about cemeteries.  It was a flat out attempt to be able to dispossess citizens of any property the president and her minions identified and wanted, and deny them any judicial redress.  There is no sane person, who believes turning vacant property into a cemetery and then returning it to the rightful owner, leaves the land usable for any other purpose.  Congratulations Flomo Zayzay, the government has just returned your 25 acres and it is now a cemetary...enjoy!

This lady continues to try to take Liberia down the road to perdition.

Notes from Liberia John Berestecky 08 09 2014

Here is a letter that I just received from my friend "Mustafa" who is working with the ebola response in Monrovia. This is very important to read.:

Dear friends and partners,

I bring you a thoughts on the current ebola crisis in my country, Liberia.

Since I begun working with the ebola response in Liberia, I have never been as sadden as I was today. I stood with my tracers and watched the ambulance team transferring two of the Catholic Sisters from their St, Joseph Catholic Hospital Compound. As the two innocent young Nuns from the Democratic Republic of Congo mounted the ambulance to be taken to the treatment unit at the ELWA, I shared tears. I share tears because we could have prevented them from contacting this deadly disease. They had trusted us and our ability to manage the ebola response; we cause all of them to be infected. After serving this country for over 40 years and saving thousands of lives, is this the way we could repay them. As the ambulance made its way out of the deserted hospital with the first badge of two nuns, I became too overwhelmed with sorrow. The ambulance was returning for four of them including a medical doctor. How could we have disappointed them....I reflected painfully:

Three weeks ago, Brother Patrick, the business manager from Cameroon got infected by a case that was brought to the hospital. He was a contact until he started showing symptoms. The laboratory had taken his specimen and his result was negative. Based on this result,the other sisters and brothers decided to nurse him back to health. Despite their treatment he progressively began to shown signs and symptoms that were typical of ebola. He decided that he would leave for his home country, but the airline recognizing the signs and symptoms ask for a repeat of the test. Behold! This came back positive.

The sisters, brothers and doctors who treated him were in a state of shock and dismay. Brother Patrick was kept in one room of the hospital for treatment. The confidence of the brothers and sister in our ebola response system was seriously corroded. Brother Patrick became weaker and weaker and others stop coming around as they pondered over their own status. Then Brother Patrick died. His body was among the 52 bodies that were buried in a mass grave one week end ago. Then the sisters and brothers as well three of the Liberian health care worker (including a laboratory technician, a social worker and and a nurse) started getting sick. In all seven of them became positive for ebola. One of them, a Nigerian Medical doctor, was told he was negative. However, he told us that every symptoms in his body indicated to him that he too had contacted the disease. We then ordered for a new result. We are awaiting this result, but he is getting sicker and sicker each day.

Even as I write to you, we are arranging to take the remaining two cases tonight. We were told that previous attempts to take them to the treatment unit were met with resistance with resistance. But their reluctance was due to the fact that we destroyed their confidence in our ability to handle this Ebola crisis. They had decided that they would rather die in their compound then follow us to the treatment unit. If we had failed them with our laboratory results, how could they trust us to provide the kind of intensive care that is required in the treatment unit? As if to make matters worse, the Liberian Social Worker who was confirmed with ebola escaped today in the population. Her daughter came and took her away, when she heard we were moving them to the treatment unit. This is worrisome as she could be a source of new transmissions in the community. Are we really winning this war against ebola?

I would say NO!!! Just a few days ago, our only internist was suspected to have been a contact with Dr. Samuel Brisbane who had died from ebola. Dr. Brisbane had contacted ebola from a patient because he refused to use gloves and barrier nursing. Dr. Borbor was asked to do his laboratory test. It came back negative about one week ago. To our greatest dismay, he was taken to the treatment unit last night when he started manifesting severe symptoms of ebola. They are now repeating his test. Such inconsistent test needs tos top because it only exposes more people to the infection.

I have investigated the laboratory procedure and I noted several sources for potential errors. There is a single team of laboratory technicians that are working over ten hours a day and seven days a week without any time to rest. This would lead to lapses and increased risk for errors. One of the technicians told me sadly that they worked these very long hours and no one provides them with food. They begged for food and were given a 100 pound bag of rice with no soup kind and no one to cook for them. Many of them had not being paid for three months. How could we trust our lives in in the hands of people that are overworked, staved and not given their just compensation? Are we wining this war against Ebola?

I was trying to get the burial team to pick up a body that had being lying out for two days. The dispatcher from the Red Cross, who is a friend said to me, “ I beg you Dr. , the number of bodies we have in Monrovia is more than the two vehicles and two teams we have today.” She said that even as I was speaking to her, two of their vehicles were already filled with bodies.

Even, where we have our clinic, a man had started vomiting and toileting blood two days ago. I was called to intervene. I call the ambulance team but no one responded. I called those of my colleagues in authority at the Health Ministry, but they too were powerless as the system and the logistics were not in place to respond to such a call. The treatment unit was overflowing with sick people. They just could not pick any one up in the community because there no bed available in the unit. Then the man died. His body stayed in the house for two days, while his poor wife and children slept in the open. No one wants to come closer to them. After two whole days of begging every authority I knew, they finally removed the body today. The home was never spread. The poor woman and her children are again sleeping outside today. I have tried to call the guy on spraying but his phone is off. But, I will press on and will call again tomorrow.

This evening the Catholic Bishop asked that Sister Shanta (who died around 2 am this morning, the second victim from the Catholic Hospital) be buried in the compound. The authorities honored his wish and her remains were lay to rest on Liberian soil thousands of miles from her native DRC. We can point to her grave and memorialize her in the future. But, Brother Patrick and the over fifty bodies that were buried a few weeks ago will never have such honor. The remains of the over 60 bodies that have so far being cremated in the Indian crematorium on the Marshall Highway will never have these memories.

I pray that their memories and the memories of those who will survive this deadly ebola will remain in our hearts. As I walked out of the deserted St. Joseph Catholic Hospital, I remembered that it was here my father was treated during his last days on earth in 2011 and it was here my sister Marie receive her treatment before we transferred her to Ghana. But today, the hospital is a ghost town.

Maybe, as some of us fight each day to make some kind of difference, it will at least amend for all of our mistakes and failures in the Ebola Response. May God save our country and those countries affected!!!!

 
John Berestecky can be reached at johnb at hawaii dot edu

Re-Imagining Liberia: A Protocol for Asset Declaration & Verification

As Liberia continues to make progress towards harnessing and leveraging the technologies of the 21st century, my musings have turned to thinking about solutions to some of the issues which have bedeviled us and our governance. 

 In a series of posts I will ask and try to answer some questions which have vexed us.  I am persuaded it is not enough to say "this is what is needed;" we must answer what, why, and how.  I am not an economist, I am a technologist.  We look at questions and try to provide solutions based on process, policy, and technology.  This is what this post is attempting to do.  I invite all Liberians to make this a vigorous discussion.

This particular topic today deals with how we can implement a reliable asset declaration protocol which will allow the government to attest to the veracity of the asset declarations made by government officials.

 WHAT ARE ASSETS?

 An asset is anything to which a monetary value can be attached.  The issue with assets in Liberia is that it seems people employed by the government seem to be able to increase the amount of assets they have at a rate that far outpaces their salaries.  The government has no reliable mechanism for establishing the value of a person's assets before he/she enters government, and no reliable mechanism for establishing their value after they leave office.  As a result, prosecution, which relies on facts is next to impossible.

 There are several components required for this protocol to work, three of the most important are:

  1. There must be means of establishing ownership of assets which is non-refutable. 
  2. There must be a legal framework, thru the legislative process, that establishes the use of identifiers and technology to ensure such a system is trustworthy and reliable. 
  3. There must be a legal framework which ensures the ability of all the government agencies, required in the verification process, to communicate electronically effectively and efficiently.


ESTABLISHING ASSET OWNERSHIP WITH A SINGLE ENTITY IDENTIFIER(SEI)

In order to establish the ownership of an asset, we must have the ability to issue universal identification numbers to every entity (individual or corporate entity) that can own said asset.  This single entity identifier can be separated into two distinct groups, with different government agencies taking ownership and management of the groups:

Group I:  The Single Person Identifier (SPI) - In every developed country there is an identifier that distinctly identifies every individual.  It is a one to one relationship, and it is non-refutable.  In the United States, this is called the Social Security Number.

For the purposes of Liberia, we can also use the social security number, and the logic is simple:  Every person, at one time or another will have to interact with the national social security corporation.  As such, every person born in Liberia, every person who works in Liberia must have a social security number.  This must be mandated by law.

What the social security number will allow us to do is to distinguish between Mary Blapoh from Ganta, and Mary Blapoh from Logan Town, even if they were both born on the same day. 

NASSCorp already has in place the system to verify identities and issue social security numbers. 

Every asset, bank accounts, property deeds, business ownership (whole or partial) must have a social security number(s) attached to it, in a uniform manner in computer systems.  Those systems must, by law, allow for the query and response, of that data, to establish the identity of an applicant for any of the above kinds of services.

For example, if Mary Blapoh (Ganta) wants to open a bank account, she must present her indentification and social security credentials to the bank.  The bank, in turn, must be able to send an electronic query to NASSCorp seeking to establish the veracity of Mary Blapoh's credentials.  Once the bank receives an affirmative response, the account, with Mary Blapoh's SSN can be opened.  The same scenario would work for any other type of service.

Group II: Business Entity Identifier

This type of identifier is given to every registered business by the Revenue Bureau of the Ministry of Finance when a business is registered.  However, since businesses are owned by individuals, the social security numbers of the owners must be attached to the incorporation documents.  There must also be procedures to change the ownership percentages, in a filing that can be done electronically.

The challenges now for the government are to institute the legislation, begin the process of issuing social security numbers to every Liberian citizen and non-citizens doing business in Liberia, and affixing a social security number(s) to all asset records.

This process, in my opinion, can be accomplished in 24-36 months and includes legislation, system updates, and account updates.

Any entity that is the holder of records of assets, must have the ability to respond to an electronic query for records tied to a specific social security number. This means if the government wants to do an asset verification on an individual, it can send out a query to the banking sector for all accounts owned by a specific SSN; it can send a query to the National Archives for all property records owned by that SSN; it can query its corporate registration database for all corporations owned in whole or in part, by that SSN.

Lastly, because these protocols are already established in the developed world, any person who previously lived outside Liberia, must provide the government with the authority to do asset verifications on his/her foreign identifiers.