A Liberian immigrant living in Philadelphia has been arrested by federal authorities and charged with fraudulently hiding his background as a high-ranking member of a rebel group — he called himself “Dragon Master” — that is accused of committing atrocities during a Liberian civil war.
Laye Sekou Camara, of Southwest Philadelphia, is accused of lying about his background in 2011 to obtain a visa to enter the United States and then later to obtain a green card.
Camara then allegedly used the green card to falsely characterize his background on a Pennsylvania identification application in 2017, according to a criminal complaint submitted to Magistrate Judge Richard A. Lloret and publicly filed last week. Camara is charged with the use of an immigration document obtained by fraud.
In news accounts dating back to 2003, during and shortly after the conflict known as the Second Liberian Civil War, prosecutors say Camera is identified as a brigadier general with the rebel faction known as Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy, or LURD. Liberia’s first civil war was fought for most of the 1990s and left hundreds of thousands of civilians dead.
U.S. authorities have led the charge in recent years to bring Liberian war criminals to justice — particularly in Philadelphia, where thousands of refugees fleeing the conflict were relocated in the 1990s and 2000s.
Colin Powell just died from Covid-19. So we should expect a tsunami of eulogies from politicians, the mainstream media and even a few liberals who seem to enjoy sanitizing the murderous lives of the ruling class. Those of us on the left who refuse to play the games of polite society when it comes to war crimes will likely be chastised. And he will take his place among the “great generals” of the American Empire. All warmongering societies do this, so it should come as no surprise. But no amount of gushing tributes can erase the truth.
The man who helped whitewash the massacre of civilians at My Lai during the war against Vietnam, pushed hard for the Gulf War in the 1990s, and gave the green light to Ariel Sharon in his murderous assault on civilians in Jenin and land grabs in the occupied West Bank, also sold the war against Iraq at the beginning of this century with a fistful of lies. Iraq never attacked the US. It did not have “weapons of mass destruction.” But the Bush administration was salivating for blood and oil after the attacks on the US on the 11th of September, 2001. And any morsel of fiction that would justify their lust for violence was welcomed.
Powell would later blame his role in peddling these lies on an “intelligence failure.” This is the go-to excuse for the American military establishment, as we see with the latest atrocity they committed in Afghanistan, the recent drone bomb incineration of a family in Kabul after the disastrous pull out of American troops. Now that he is dead, he will not face justice at the Hague for these crimes. But really, no member of the American ruling class ever does.