Today known as Joshua Blahyi, he devotes himself to running a ministry, making amends, and rehabilitating former child soldiers. In his former life he ran the Butt Naked Brigade, a militia aligned with Samuel Doe. There were countless militias in those days, led by men who adopted noms de guerre such as General Bin Laden and General Mosquito. Butt Naked’s soldiers were particularly ruthless—killers and rapists who fought naked except for guns and shoes. Their nakedness was meant to instill fear and, they also thought, to protect them. By their own admission, before battle they often sacrificed young children, ate their hearts, and drank their blood. “The hearts were roasted,” Blahyi told me, as if that were a mitigating detail. In 2008, in front of Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, he claimed that he and his followers had killed more than 20,000 people.
Freston's June 2012 trip to Liberia was with the One Campaign, Bono's anti-poverty advocacy group. Freston is board chair.
Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: firstname.lastname@example.org.