"A 25-year-old supporter of Mrs. Johnson-Sirleaf who spoke on the condition of anonymity said: 'God is never unjust. Everyone who votes for Charles Taylor tomorrow will be punished.' The woman described seeing Mr. Taylor's boy soldiers hack her stepfather to death with a cutlass for being a former policeman. Her two young children died of malnutrition during the civil war, she said...
In 1985, according to the newsletter Africa Confidential, Mr. Taylor escaped from a Plymouth County jail in Massachusetts, where he had been held for 15 months on an extradition request by the Liberian Government... That Government accused Mr. Taylor, its former General Services Agency director, of embezzling [U.S.]$1 million. Mr. Taylor's lawyer, Ramsey Clark, said the charge was trumped up.
Asked earlier this month how the United States would react to a Taylor presidency, Nicholas Burns, the State Department spokesman, said: 'Lots of people with checkered pasts participate in elections. Redemption is an important theological element in diplomacy.'"
The New York Times
20 July 1997