The Leader of Liberia's 'Demon Forces' Gets Closing Arguments Today

Illustration via Rolling Stone

Miami's chapter in the implausible saga of Charles "Chuckie" Taylor Jr. will soon come to a sordid end.

Lawyers for Taylor and the prosecutors are scheduled to begin closing arguments today in a case that's drawn international interest for its horrifying accusations and its legal implications.

In a few short years, Taylor went from suburban Orlando teenager to leader of his father Liberian dictator Charles Taylor's elite security team known as the "Demon Forces." As the name might imply, Chuckie's team was allegedly fond of raping, torturing, and slicing off genitals.

The case is also a first test of a 1994 U.S. law aimed at prosecuting Americans who engage in torture abroad. Given our own misadventures with torture under the Bushies, this whole case has the whiff of a political referendum on just how much damage that lame duck administration has done to our international moral standing.

We may soon have an answer.

-- Tim Elfrink

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink