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Blamed for the massacre of over 100 civilians last September, the junta in Conakry is trying to improve its image via a United States-based public relations company run by two former Department of Defense officials. David Crane, who was the first Chief Prosecutor at the Special Court for Sierra Leone before his departure in 2005, has made a surprise return to West Africa as a consultant to Guinea’s embattled military junta.
Crane, together with the Special Court’s former Chief Investigator, fellow US citizen Alan White, has set up a consultancy called CW Group International. According to a copy of a report written by CW Group International obtained by Africa Confidential, the Guinean government engaged its services on 15 October 2009, some three weeks after the 28 September massacre at Conakry’s national sports stadium that brought international notoriety to the government. The agreement was for CW Group to conduct “a confidential investigation into the recent allegations of shootings and sexual assaults” at the stadium…
In its report, CW doubts that there are grounds for international legal action against the perpetrators of the stadium killings. There can be no question of war crimes since these events were not part of an internal or international armed conflict, they note.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”