Former Liberian Leader Samuel Doe – America’s “Step Child”
Great documentary series on how America supported former Liberian President Samuel Doe. It chronicles the 1980 coup in which soldiers overthrew, killed and disembowelled the former President William Tolbert. Master Sergeant Samuel Doe (as he then was) succeeded Tolbert as Liberia’s Head of State.
The barely literate Doe was clearly not fit to lead a country. Yet he was propped up with American aid, led a tyranny in which he favoured his Krahn ethnic group and Liberia eventually descended into civil war.
One of the most astonishing quotes from this series is an American diplomat who said of Doe:
“He should have lost but he rigged the election. But at that time all west African elections were rigged. It was a very normal thing to do… for the government to ‘win’ the election even though they may have had less than a majority of the vote. It did not trouble us at all.”