first_imgHooray! The Americans are coming and if the driver knows what’s good for himself he should beat it, meaning run for his life. Yes, the Americans are coming, according to media reports, to investigate the case of the missing billions. The Tuesday, October 16, 2018 edition of the Hot Pepper newspaper carried a front-page story claiming that the Americans have already concluded their work and departed the country.In other accounts, the FrontPage Africa newspaper in its October 15, 2018 edition reports that investigators have found only small amounts of local currency in the CBL’s vault instead of the 15.5 billion Liberian dollars which the CBL maintained was in its vault. Whatever the case may be, the public desires and deserves to know the truth. In the interest of fairness and transparency, it is only proper that the Americans release preliminary findings on what has been unearthed so far.But it should not be surprising if the Americans do not make public their findings. There are speculations from some diplomatic sources that Liberians may be in for a rude awakening when findings are disclosed to the public absolving the government of blame. Further, according to diplomatic sources, fears are that revelations of the true findings linking past and current government officials to the disappearance of the money may serve to incite and provoke mass public protest with unforeseen consequences for a government said to be strongly within the orbit of US policy influence. In effect, according to diplomatic sources, it means or suggests that the Americans will act, if needs be, to save the hide of a government which they believe would lend itself to easy manipulation.But such premonitions, as farfetched as they may seem, cannot be dismissed with a wave of the hand. The Americans came not once but several times before. In 1990, they raised the hope of starving, desperate and besieged Liberians when the US Government dispatched a flotilla of ships, planes and troops to the shores of Liberia, raising the hopes of Liberians that their ordeal at the hands of bloodthirsty warlords was over as the Americans had now arrived to intervene. But to their greatest dismay, this was never to be.The Americans instead idled and fiddled while the country went up in flames. But it took the courage and bold ingenuity of West African leaders to intervene and put an end to the madness which had engulfed the country. Again, the nation bore witness to similar circumstances in 2003 when the nation found itself torn apart once again by bloody fratricidal conflict. At the height of the fighting in the besieged city of Monrovia, thousands took to the streets to celebrate what had then been announced as a cease-fire and the arrival of American troops.Again, the joy of the people was short-lived, for within a matter of minutes, euphoria had instantly turned into apprehension, fear and grief as mortar rounds fired by LURD forces began falling on hapless, unarmed civilians. Once more, the West African Community was called into action after the US government had insisted on the presence of “African Boots” on the ground as a precursor to their intervention.Further, in 2016, the nation was shocked by news of the brutal killing of Harry Greaves, a former confidant of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Greaves had allegedly fallen out with the former President and was said to have become a virtual mockingbird singing tales of sleaze allegedly involving former President Sirleaf. Harry, according to accounts, went to the RLJ Kendeja Hotel and was never seen again until his dead body was washed ashore a local beach in Monrovia near the Executive Mansion.With a cloud of suspicion hanging over the Government of Liberia, and in response to public pressure, President Sirleaf invited a team of US forensic experts to Liberia to investigate. The team released its final report, concurring that Harry had indeed drowned. But the key question which remained unanswered to date was, if Harry had indeed drowned, how come his arms were contracted but not instead flexed as would normally be the case when a drowning person lapses into a state of unconsciousness?  Further, had rigor mortis set in before he drowned or after? What accounted therefore for the presence of a stick in his anus can still not be reasonably explained?But the Americans had said it — Harry died by drowning and that was it, although strong suspicions about complicity were never quite laid to rest. In the case of the missing money, this newspaper wonders why ECOWAS was not invited into the fray. The regional body has already established an institution to handle such matters involving money laundering and the like.This institution is styled the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering (GIABA). It is a specialized institution of ECOWAS and a FATF Style Regional Body that promotes policies to protect the financial systems of member States against money laundering, terrorist financing and the financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Recommendations are recognized as the global anti-money laundering (AML) and counter terrorist financing (CTF) standard.In the face of this, there are questions whether the outcomes of this investigation will be akin to that of the Harry Greaves investigation. There is, however, another twist to this with suggestions from certain diplomatic quarters that the Americans are alarmed by inroads the Chinese are making in Liberia with the construction or planned construction of large infrastructural projects which are without doubt leaving visible imprints that the Americans have been unable to match.They, according to sources, strongly desire to see a “Maada Bio” in George Weah who will cancel at a stroke of a pen, planned Chinese infrastructural projects such as the proposed flyover at the Boulevard junction and the ministerial complex overpass. President Weah needs to awaken to these challenges no matter how outlandish they may appear.For now let us all shout: Hooray, the Americans are coming; so Driver, beat it! Throw your anti-corruption “axe” Mr. President, and let it fall where it may. Who die, da their worry!Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgVAN NUYS – Bearers of holiday gifts expected to wait hours to ship them Monday – the U.S. Postal Service’s busiest day of the year. But frantic holiday shippers got welcome relief thanks to extended hours and alternative shipping options, which shrank lines at many post offices. “You would expect chaos here,” said Chuck Novak, 50, of Hollywood, who’d run through the noontime labyrinth at the Van Nuys Main Post Office Monday with enough time to still eat lunch. “(But) hey, today is the busiest day at the post office – and only a 20-minute wait. “These guys are awesome.” This holiday season, the U.S. Postal Service expects to deliver 20 billion cards, letters and packages. The real crunch, however, came Monday,with an estimated 1.6 billion parcels and letters being processed across the nation. In California alone, UPS added 6,500 extra mail handlers to cope with the load. For FedEx, the busiest day was Dec. 12, with an estimated 8.5 million packages. To get packages delivered on time, the USPS recommends they be in today for coast-to-coast delivery by Christmas, and Wednesday for in-state shipping via priority mail. First-class mail rates rise to 39 cents a letter on Jan. 1. At UPS, procrastinators can wait until Thursday and use UPS Air. “We’re very tired, but in the spirit, because they know we’re doing this for a good cause,” said Robert Villa, retail manager of Van Nuys Post Office, as workers in the back sorted through 17,000 “Operation Gratitude” packages destined for troops overseas. “We’re making it happen.” Out front, seven clerks manned seven windows as lobby hosts Elaine Boyd and Lorrie Ordaz helped patrons with their mail. “I’m in the spirit; it’s a joyous occasion,” Boyd said. “Bah humbug,” joked Richard, a postal window clerk. Tyrone “Nitty” Buckner, a radio host on Laguna Beach radio station KLAS-FM, had such a good year that he was able to buy his first presents, ever, for his Chicago aunts. Only he soon discovered that a full-service post office doesn’t mean boxes and bubble wrap are for sale. “Christmas is all good, baby,” he chimed, before scurrying up the street to the nearest stationery store. For Licia Shearer, it was an easy trip to the post office Monday. “I came here ready to stand in line a couple of hours and it’s not that bad,” she said cheerfully, moving to the head of the line in 15 minutes. “You smile, put smiles on other peoples’ faces – that’s the meaning of Christmas.” Dana Bartholomew, (818) 713-3730 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake Placed end to end, according to the USPS, those items would circle the globe six times. In Los Angeles, an estimated 61 million chunks of mail came through post office doors Monday, more than double the average letters and parcels mailed each day. But the growing popularity of online purchases, self-service shipping, online home package pickup and the use of private carriers helped make the busiest day at the post office a lot easier to deal with. “We’re used to this,” said Rich Maher, USPS spokesman for the Los Angeles region. “We just go ho ho ho … we know we’re delivering Christmas cheer to everyone.” The peak day for United Parcel Service is today, with more than 20 million packages, or 230 packages delivered every second, according to UPS officials. last_img read more