Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s Oil Man’s CV of Sleaze
An interesting little article from Nov. 14, 1997 from the South African Mail & Guradian online about Emanuel Shaw II and his business partner Gus Kouwenhoven. Link to article and a link about Gus Kouwenhoven for the uninitiated.
But this is not about Gus Kouwenhoven. This really isn’t about Liberian Emanuel Shaw II .
This appointment of Mr. Shaw to Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Liberia Airports Authority (LAA) has everything to do with * President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
The appointment was made in early May. It was an incredibly bold decision by Ma Ellen and one that had me wracking my brain why she would take such an enormous risk putting forward such a notorious figure for such a high profile post. Particularly in an election year. Most especially given her incessant rhetoric that corruption is and continues to be public enemy number one. And above all given the fact how diligently she manages, curates and cares for her image to the International Community, press, etc.
Within the three to four weeks Ellen Johnson Sirleaf officially rescinded this appointment via a press release through her emansion.gov.lr website. She finally bowed to pressure within Liberia and the Int’l Community. Did she really think that pressure would not come?
And this my friends is a perfect example of why I continue to rail on Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. People need to start paying attention to the red flags and move beyond the press releases masquerading as journalism in some of our finest publications. Publications that are near and dear to my heart but simply have not done their homework or have hit that wall of Kukujumuku without even realizing it. Quite simply Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is not who you think she is. She is not what you read about. She is only part of those things. Enough to lend them credibility. But behind that facade is a cold hearted, calculating woman of steel, or “Iron” in her case. Make no mistake about it. The proverbial canaries in the coal mine are dropping like flies and given the heightened volatility in the region Ellen is playing with fire yet again in the name of political expediency. And we know what happens when she pursues means that justify her ends…no matter how noble those ends might ultimately prove to be.
For starters all you need to know about Emanuel Shaw is that two of his close friends and business partners were/are Charles Taylor and Gus Kouwenhoven.
So let’s get a few things straight:
Ms. Sirleaf chose to to put forward an individual with exceptionally close ties to two men who are responsible, directly and indirectly, for some of the largest atrocities in the history of Africa? Chose a man not only close to those two but was absolutely instrumental in assisting Taylor & Kouwenhoven get their ill-gotten gains.
She chose this specific appointment because she was looking for someone who could be “an experienced financial and aeronautical professional to assist in developing the plans for modernizing Roberts International Airport and to guide the process for correcting the continued difficulties found in International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) assessments of the airport safety and operational adequacy.”
She chose an “experienced” individual who could not legitimately fly out of that very airport he was to manage and oversee. Why? Because he was one of the most prominent figures on the UN Travel Ban list since it’s inception.
And she chose to give as her excuse the following: “given details regarding sanctions imposed against Mr. Shaw by the United Nations and the United States Government that have been brought to her attention, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has withdrawn the appointment.”
So * President Sirleaf is claiming ignorance? Ignorance that she, her advisors, cabinet members and others didn’t alert her to when his name was being considered for said nomination? Really Ms. Sirleaf? Really?
Let’s be clear. It is absolutely inconceivable that you did not know that Mr. Shaw was on the UN Travel ban and one of the highest profile members of which UN Security Council Resolution 1521 of 2003 clearly highlights.
So the fundamental question is why? Why would * President Sirleaf put a nomination forward that was so sure to be scrutinized as it has? More importantly why would she promote such a notoriously bad character to a high level position within her government no matter how qualified he might be for the position?
UPDATE: This isn’t the first time. I just learned, and must have missed it somehow, that * President Sirleaf also appointed Benoni Urey’s as a Mayor of a town in Liberia. Another illustrious member of UN Security Council Resolution 1521 and integral member of Taylor’s team.
Executive Mansion press release below…
Appointment of Emanuel Shaw as LAA Chairman Withdrawn over Sanctions
Friday, 27th May 2011
The Office of the President has issued the following statement:
The appointment of Mr. Emanuel Shaw as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Liberia Airports Authority (LAA) was intended to bring an experienced financial and aeronautical professional to assist in developing the plans for modernizing Roberts International Airport and to guide the process for correcting the continued difficulties found in International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) assessments of the airport safety and operational adequacy.
The assignment was meant to be temporary as the Government seeks management that is willing to assume responsibility for planning and implementing the long-delayed development of RIA and other domestic airports.
However, given details regarding sanctions imposed against Mr. Shaw by the United Nations and the United States Government that have been brought to her attention, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has withdrawn the appointment.
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