What I find most surprising about Johnson's interview is this though:
Who supplied the guns to them? Who supplied the finance to buy the weapons? Who provided the training? It's a whole lot of questions that need answers...The first group of people that bear the greatest responsibility is not the fighting man but the people who supplied and bought the weapons. I don't know who planned and bought all the weapons, but the men didn't just come here shooting guns from the sky.
Umm--yeah right. I mean fair enough, the guns didn't just fall out of the sky (though given the flight safety record of some of the companies involved even that is possible). Still, I'm pretty sure A LOT of people know exactly where the guns came from. Why? Because since 2000, the UN has been monitoring the arms embargo--first on Sierra Leone and then on Liberia. And, well, if you watch a very nice Frontline documentary, Gunrunners, it will give you the basics of how the guns were purchased and financed. Global Witness has also done some really nice work on this. The International Crisis Group has also worked on this.
But to cut a long story short, it involves diamonds, timber, stocks of weapons in Eastern Europe, fake end-user certificates, unregistered aircraft, falsified flight plans, and transnational criminal networks. In some the UN reports, it even involves invoices, photos of Taylor associates with known weapons providers, photographs of the weapons on aircraft etc.
To add just one last thing: either Prince Johnson's staff hasn't briefed him, or perhaps he's just clueless (I won't make other assumptions since I know more about weapons trafficking than I do about the details of Liberian history) but really, where the weapons came from is open knowledge and to say that this needs investigation is simply not true and it's a distraction from more important issues. Thanks for the point about Khaddafi SNLII...
And the second thing, the important distraction is this: apparently Johnson is threatening to kill TRC members (which he denies) and is arguing that he has immunity from prosecution because of an amnesty law he says the legislature has passed.