George Boley, Liberian Warlord, Is Finally Under Arrest

Some news out of New York. George Boley, a warlord I first met when covering the Liberian civil war in the mid-90s, and who later moved to New York, was arrested January 15th by U.S. Immigration and Customs and is now sitting in a jail cell in upstate Batavia. So far, he's being charged administratively, with lying in order to gain entry into the U.S., and with committing extrajudicial killings while in another country. Other branches of Homeland Security, I've been told, are looking at charging him with actual war crimes, which is a good thing, because he belongs in the Hague with his fellow warlord, Charles Taylor.

I've been involved with Boley's case for a little while. I was subpeonaed by a human rights group in Minnesota, the Advocates for Human Rights, to testify against Boley in a defamation lawsuit that he himself filed against the group (the definition of chutzpah, by the way). I eventually provided a sworn affadavit in the case, in which I detailed what I knew of Boley's activities in the civil war, which is a lot -- I knew, from firsthand observation, that his organization, the grossly-misnamed Liberian Peace Council, recruited and armed child soldiers; fed them drugs; and ordered them to rape and kill. For starters. (The lawsuit, unsurprisingly, was dismissed earlier this month.)

Boley, who holds a Ph.D. from the University of Akron, received his undergraduate degree at SUNY Brockport, and he kept his family in upstate New York for the duration of the civil war. I've been speaking to him on and off now for a year, and his excuse-making had become increasingly ridiculous. The last time we spoke, he told me that there had been two organizations in Liberia during the civil war named the Liberian Peace Council: His, which was peaceful, and someone else's, which was a fighting faction. This was an absurd line of argument, especially to someone, me, who had seen him actually in command of child soldiers in the war zone.

I'll follow-up this post with more information as I get it.