The Big Lie About the Libyan War: The Obama administration s

Re: The Big Lie About the Libyan War: The Obama administrati

Postby admin » Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:44 am

Former Special Forces Commander: Was U.S. Running Guns to Syrian Rebels Via Benghazi? CIA: No
By Terence P. Jeffrey
January 22, 2013

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(CNSNews.com) - Retired Army Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin—who is the former commander of the U.S. Special Forces Command, the former deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence and who, in the 1990s, worked with the CIA—told CNSNews.com in a video interview last week that he believes it is a reasonable supposition that the U.S. was supporting or planning to support the Syrian rebels via Benghazi, Libya.

The CIA, however, says Boykin’s supposition is erroneous and that the U.S. was not conducting or planning covert action to support Syrian rebels through Benghazi.

“These assertions are both baseless and flat wrong,” a CIA spokesperson told CNSNews.com on Tuesday.

Boykin, who retired from the Army in 2007, believes that such an action, or planned action, would help explain why Amb. Chris Stevens was in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, visiting that city for the first time since he had departed from it in November 2011 after having served there as a special envoy to the Libyan rebels who overthrew the Qaddafi regime.

“Then what was Stevens doing there on September 11 of 2012?” Boykin said in an interview with CNSNews.com. “More supposition was that he was now funneling guns to the rebel forces in Syria, using essentially the Turks to facilitate that. Was that occurring, (a), and if so, was it a legal covert action?"

Before terrorists attacked the State Department’s Special Mission Compound in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, Amb. Stevens had met there with a Turkish diplomat.

About two hours after Amb. Stevens escorted the diplomat out of the main gate of the compound, dozens of terrorists swarmed through the same gate, beginning the series of attacks that would result in the deaths of Amb. Stevens, State Department Information Management Officer Sean Smith, and former Navy Seals Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, who were working for the CIA.

According to the State Department Accountability Review Board report, a Greek cargo ship first delivered then-Special Envoy Chris Stevens to Benghazi on April 5, 2011. Benghazi was then the center of the Libyan rebellion, and Stevens was accompanied at that time by ten State Department Diplomatic Security agents.

Stevens stayed initially in Benghazi at the Tibesti Hotel. But because of security concerns, he moved into the CIA Annex in Benghazi on June 1, 2011.

“Benghazi, however, was still very much a conflict zone,” said the ARB report. “On June 1, 2011, a car bomb exploded outside the Tibesti Hotel, and shortly thereafter a credible threat against the Special Envoy mission prompted Stevens to move to the Annex.”

Three weeks after that, Stevens moved into the State Department’s own facility in Benghazi. “On June 21, 2011, he and his security contingent moved to what would become the Special Mission Benghazi compound (SMC),” said the ARB report.

On Oct. 20, 2011, Libyan rebels killed Qaddafi and the rebellion was over.

“Stevens continued as Special Envoy to the TNC in Benghazi until he departed Libya on November 17, 2011, after which the Special Envoy position was not filled,” says the ARB report.

After Stevens’ departure from Benghazi, the CIA Annex and the State Department Special Mission Compound remained open. However, the State Department mission had a very small and rotating temporary staff.

“Stevens was replaced by an experienced Civil Service employee who served for 73 days in what came to be called the ‘principal officer’ position in Benghazi,” said the ARB report. “After November 2011, the principal officer slot became a TDY (temporary duty) assignment for officers with varying levels of experience who served in Benghazi anywhere from 10 days to over two months, usually without transiting Tripoli. In December 2011, the Under Secretary for Management approved a one-year continuation of the U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi, which was never a consulate and never formally notified to the Libyan government.”

The U.S. sent Stevens back to Libya as the U.S. ambassador in late May 2012. But, as ambassador, Stevens resided in Tripoli, site of the U.S. embassy, and did not return to Benghazi until Sept. 10, 2012, the day before the terrorist attacks.

Before Stevens arrived in Benghazi on Sept. 10, there were only five Americans at the State Department mission there. One was the temporary duty principal officer, who was in the 12th day of his 13-day temporary assignment to the mission. Another was Information Management Officer Smith, who had arrived the previous week for his own temporary duty assignment. The other three were State Department security officers temporarily assigned to the mission.

Stevens brought two additional State Department security officers with him on Sept. 10, but the temporary duty principal officer left Benghazi on the morning of Sept. 11, leaving Information Management Officer Smith, Amb. Stevens himself and the five State Department security officers as the only Americans manning the facility.

A half mile away as the crow flies, there were at least six CIA security personnel at the Annex—who, on the night of Sept. 11, would rush to the State Department compound in an attempt to rescue the Americans there.

CNSNews.com asked Gen. Boykin: “What possibly was the State Department doing in Benghazi at that point with that sort of skeletal group?”

“Well, I think that they were anticipating that they would eventually be given a directive to support the Syrian rebels and that that would be the hub of that activity,” said Boykin.

“So, I think they kept the facilities open, they kept them functioning, they had somebody there that had to be there because of the communications equipment, because of the potentially classified material that was still there,” said Boykin. “And I think that they stayed there in anticipation of supporting the Syrian rebels. They’d probably been given a heads up on that.”

Boykin stressed that he could not prove that the U.S. was conducting or planning a covert action to support the Syrian rebels that would involve the facilities in Benghazi, only that he had information supporting this supposition.

“Now, with regards to supporting the rebels in Syria, I can’t prove that there was a covert action program,” said Boykin. “I’ve got a lot of information that says there was. But if there was and it was done legally, I have no issue with it. But if it was done without the proper process being followed, including the Congress being notified--and generally when the Congress is notified they appropriate money for it--I’ve got a big issue with it because we don’t operate that way. That’s outside of the way America should be functioning.”

In June 2011, when the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence considered the nomination of General David Petraeus to be director of the CIA, Petraeus submitted a written outline of the legal process for initiating a covert action. Key elements include that the action must be formally approved by the president and that key leaders in Congress must be notified.

“The CIA carries out covert action on behalf of the president,” Petraeus told the committee. “It is the president, his national security staff, or other members of the executive branch that propose ideas for covert action programs that will support the national security objectives of the U.S. CIA then develops a plan for carrying out the program, including the preparation of a draft Presidential Finding or Memorandum of Notification (MON) and supporting paperwork.

“The CIA then submits that plan to the National Security Staff, after coordination with the ODNI and the Intelligence Community, as appropriate,” Petraeus said. “The proposed Finding or MON is reviewed by the National Security Staff and then sent to the president for approval. Once approved, and after required notification to the two intelligence committees, the president typically will direct the CIA to implement the program. Once implemented, the Agency itself, as well as the NSC and the intelligence committees of Congress, review the conduct of the program on an ongoing basis.”

Petraeus told the committee he would refuse an order to conduct an illegal covert action.

“If confirmed as Director of the CIA, I would refuse to carry out any activity that I believed to be illegal,” he said. “As outlined above, the CIA has an active role in the development of any covert action program, and I intend to be a strong voice for the CIA in that process. If I assessed that a covert action proposal would be ineffective or otherwise unsuited to the Agency’s capabilities, I would recommend against such a program, and, if necessary, raise my concerns directly with the president.”

Gen. Boykin said that if there was a legal U.S. covert action in Libya to help arm the Syrian rebels, or a plan for such an action, Congress should inform the American people about it.

“In the context of why Ambassador Stephens was there that day, I think that the American public needs an explanation,” said Boykin. “And if that explanation is that he was there to meet with the Turkish General Counsel who was helping to facilitate the flow of arms, then I think that needs to come out.

“I do not think that the details of the covert action need to be explained to the American public,” said Boykin. “Otherwise, why would you have a covert action program? No, I for one don’t think we should be supporting the rebels in Syria. There’s no good outcome in Syria but I won’t get off on that tangent. I don’t think that they necessarily have to explain to us exactly the mechanism or the mechanics of a covert action program.”

Boykin said he did not believe it would harm U.S. interest for Congress to simply reveal the fact of such a covert action without going into the details.

“Absolutely, they could tell us,” said Boykin. “First of all if it was legal, the Congress has been briefed so the Congress could tell you tomorrow whether there was an operation to supply arms and material to the rebels in Syria. If it was legal.”

When told that the CIA, in responding to his interview with CNSNews.com, said that the supposition that the U.S. was conducting or planning a covert action to support the Syrian rebels through Benghazi was “both baseless and flat wrong,” Gen Boykin said: "I am totally supportive of covert action and believe it is an important method for advancing U.S. policy. I believe there must be an explanation for why the ambassador was there on 9/11. I believe there has been significant information that has come out recently calling into question whether the ambassador was either involved in or making preparations for supplying material to the Syrian resistance forces."

During his 36-year career in the U.S. Army, Lt. Gen. Boykin served as an original member of Delta Force, as the commander of Delta Force, as the commander of U.S. Special Forces Command, as the commander of the U.S. Army Special Forces Center and as deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence. In 1994-1995, he did a tour with the CIA. He is currently executive vice president of the Family Research Council.

Here is the video of retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin talking to CNSNews.com about his supposition that the U.S. was conducting, or planning, a covert action to support the Syrian rebels through Benghazi, Libya:

[Correction: As originally posted, a quote from Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin in the fifth paragraph of this report said: “Our supposition was that he was now funneling guns to the rebel forces in Syria, using essentially the Turks to facilitate that." Correctly transcribed, the sentence is: “More supposition was that he was now funneling guns to the rebel forces in Syria, using essentially the Turks to facilitate that."]
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Re: The Big Lie About the Libyan War: The Obama administrati

Postby admin » Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:53 am

SLAIN U.S. AMBASSADOR RECRUITED JIHADISTS: Egyptian officials say Stevens worked with Saudis against Assad
by Aaron Klein
09/24/2012

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Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador murdered in Libya, played a central role in recruiting jihadists to fight Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, according to Egyptian security officials speaking to WND.

Stevens served as a key contact with the Saudis to coordinate the recruitment by Saudi Arabia of Islamic fighters from North Africa and Libya. The jihadists were sent to Syria via Turkey to attack Assad’s forces, said the security officials.

The officials said Stevens also worked with the Saudis to send names of potential jihadi recruits to U.S. security organizations for review. Names found to be directly involved in previous attacks against the U.S., including in Iraq and Afghanistan, were ultimately not recruited by the Saudis to fight in Syria, said the officials.

Stevens and three other American diplomats were killed on Sept. 11 in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi blamed on Islamists.

One witness to the mob scene in Libya said some of the gunmen attacking the U.S. installation had identified themselves as members of Ansar al-Shariah, which represents al-Qaida in Yemen and Libya.

The al-Qaida offshoot released a statement denying its members were behind the deadly attack, but a man identified as a leader of the Ansar brigade told Al Jazeera the group indeed took part in the Benghazi attack.

Al-Qaida among U.S.-supported rebels

As WND reported last week, questions remain about the nature of U.S. support for the revolutions in Egypt and Libya, including reports the U.S.-aided rebels that toppled Muammar Gadhafi’s regime in Libya consisted of al-Qaida and jihad groups. The U.S. provided direct assistance, including weapons and finances, to the Libyan rebels.

Similarly, the Obama administration is currently aiding the rebels fighting Assad’s regime in Syria amid widespread reports that al-Qaida jihadists are included in the ranks of the Free Syrian Army.

During the revolution against Gadhafi’s regime, the U.S. admitted to directly arming the rebel groups.

At the time, rebel leader Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi admitted in an interview that a significant number of the Libyan rebels were al-Qaida fighters, many of whom had fought U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He insisted his fighters “are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists,” but he added that the “members of al-Qaida are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader.”

Adm. James Stavridis, NATO supreme commander for Europe, admitted Libya’s rebel force may include al-Qaida: “We have seen flickers in the intelligence of potential al-Qaida, Hezbollah.”

Former CIA officer Bruce Riedel went even further, telling the Hindustan Times: “There is no question that al-Qaida’s Libyan franchise, Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, is a part of the opposition. It has always been Gadhafi’s biggest enemy and its stronghold is Benghazi. What is unclear is how much of the opposition is al-Qaida/Libyan Islamic Fighting Group – 2 percent or 80 percent.”

In Syria, meanwhile, the U.S. may be currently supporting al-Qaida and other jihadists fighting with the rebels targeting Assad’s regime.

Al-Qaida among U.S.-supported rebels?

However, questions remain about the nature of U.S. support for the revolutions in Egypt and Libya, including reports the U.S.-aided rebels that toppled Muammar Gadhafi’s regime in Libya consisted of al-Qaida and jihad groups. The U.S. provided direct assistance, including weapons and finances, to the Libyan rebels.

Similarly, the Obama administration is currently aiding the rebels fighting Assad’s regime in Syria amid widespread reports that al-Qaida jihadists are included in the ranks of the Free Syrian Army.

During the revolution against Gadhafi’s regime, the U.S. admitted to directly arming the rebel groups.

At the time, rebel leader Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi admitted in an interview that a significant number of the Libyan rebels were al-Qaida fighters, many of whom had fought U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He insisted his fighters “are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists,” but he added that the “members of al-Qaida are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader.”

Adm. James Stavridis, NATO supreme commander for Europe, admitted Libya’s rebel force may include al-Qaida: “We have seen flickers in the intelligence of potential al-Qaida, Hezbollah.”

Former CIA officer Bruce Riedel went even further, telling the Hindustan Times: “There is no question that al-Qaida’s Libyan franchise, Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, is a part of the opposition. It has always been Gadhafi’s biggest enemy and its stronghold is Benghazi. What is unclear is how much of the opposition is al-Qaida/Libyan Islamic Fighting Group – 2 percent or 80 percent.”

In Syria, meanwhile, the U.S. may be currently supporting al-Qaida and other jihadists fighting with the rebels targeting Assad’s regime.

Last month, WND quoted a senior Syrian source claiming at lease 500 hardcore mujahedeen from Afghanistan, many of whom were spearheading efforts to fight the U.S. there, were killed in clashes with Syrian forces last month.

Also last month, WND reported Jihadiya Salafia in the Gaza Strip, a group that represents al-Qaida in the coastal territory, had declared three days of mourning for its own jihadists who died in Syria in recent weeks.

There have been widespread reports of al-Qaida among the Syrian rebels, including in reports by Reuters and the New York Times.

WND reported in May there was growing collaboration between the Syrian opposition and al-Qaida as well as evidence the opposition is sending weapons to jihadists in Iraq, according to an Egyptian security official.

The military official told WND that Egypt has reports of collaboration between the Syrian opposition and three al-Qaida arms, including one the operates in Libya:

• Jund al-Sham, which is made up of al-Qaida militants who are Syrian, Palestinian and Lebanese;
• Jund al-Islam, which in recent years merged with Ansar al-Islam, an extremist group of Sunni Iraqis operating under the al-Qaida banner and operating in Yemen and Libya;
• Jund Ansar al-Allah, an al-Qaida group based in Gaza linked to Palestinian camps in Lebanon and Syria.

U.S. officials have stated the White House is providing nonlethal aid to the Syrian rebels while widespread reports have claimed the U.S. has been working with Arab countries to ensure the opposition in Syria is well armed.
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Re: The Big Lie About the Libyan War: The Obama administrati

Postby admin » Fri Dec 30, 2016 7:01 am

Secret tapes undermine Hillary Clinton on Libyan war: Joint Chiefs, key lawmaker held own talks with Moammar Gadhafi regime
by Jeffrey Scott Shapiro and Kelly Riddell
The Washington Times
January 28, 2015

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First of three parts

Top Pentagon officials and a senior Democrat in Congress so distrusted Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 2011 march to war in Libya that they opened their own diplomatic channels with the Gadhafi regime in an effort to halt the escalating crisis, according to secret audio recordings recovered from Tripoli.

The tapes, reviewed by The Washington Times and authenticated by the participants, chronicle U.S. officials’ unfiltered conversations with Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s son and a top Libyan leader, including criticisms that Mrs. Clinton had developed tunnel vision and led the U.S. into an unnecessary war without adequately weighing the intelligence community’s concerns.

“You should see these internal State Department reports that are produced in the State Department that go out to the Congress. They’re just full of stupid, stupid facts,” an American intermediary specifically dispatched by the Joint Chiefs of Staff told the Gadhafi regime in July 2011, saying the State Department was controlling what intelligence would be reported to U.S. officials.


At the time, the Gadhafi regime was fighting a civil war that grew out of the Arab Spring, battling Islamist-backed rebels who wanted to dethrone the longtime dictator. Mrs. Clinton argued that Gadhafi might engage in genocide and create a humanitarian crisis and ultimately persuaded President Obama, NATO allies and the United Nations to authorize military intervention.

Gadhafi’s son and heir apparent, Seif Gadhafi, told American officials in the secret conversations that he was worried Mrs. Clinton was using false pretenses to justify unseating his father and insisted that the regime had no intention of harming a mass of civilians. He compared Mrs. Clinton’s campaign for war to that of the George W. Bush administration’s now debunked weapons of mass destruction accusations, which were used to lobby Congress to invade Iraq, the tapes show.

“It was like the WMDs in Iraq. It was based on a false report,” Gadhafi said in a May 2011 phone call to Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich, an Ohio Democrat serving at the time. “Libyan airplanes bombing demonstrators, Libyan airplanes bombing districts in Tripoli, Libyan army killed thousands, etc., etc., and now the whole world found there is no single evidence that such things happened in Libya.”

Seif Gadhafi also warned that many of the U.S.-supported armed rebels were “not freedom fighters” but rather jihadists whom he described as “gangsters and terrorists.”


“And now you have NATO supporting them with ships, with airplanes, helicopters, arms, training, communication,” he said in one recorded conversation with U.S. officials. “We ask the American government send a fact-finding mission to Libya. I want you to see everything with your own eyes.”

The surreptitiously taped conversations reveal an extraordinary departure from traditional policy, in which the U.S. government speaks to foreign governments with one voice coordinated by the State Department.

Instead, the tapes show that the Pentagon’s senior uniformed leadership and a congressman from Mrs. Clinton’s own party conveyed sentiments to the Libyan regime that undercut or conflicted with the secretary of state’s own message at the time.

“If this story is true, it would be highly unusual for the Pentagon to conduct a separate set of diplomatic negotiations, given the way we operated when I was secretary of state,” James A. Baker III, who served under President George H.W. Bush, told The Times. “In our administration, the president made sure that we all sang from the same hymnal.”

Mr. Kucinich, who challenged Mrs. Clinton and Barack Obama for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, acknowledged that he undertook his own conversations with the Gadhafi regime. He said he feared Mrs. Clinton was using emotion to sell a war against Libya that wasn’t warranted, and he wanted to get all the information he could to share with his congressional colleagues.

“I had facts that indicated America was headed once again into an intervention that was going to be disastrous,” Mr. Kucinich told The Times. “What was being said at the State Department — if you look at the charge at the time — it wasn’t so much about what happened as it was about what would happen. So there was a distortion of events that were occurring in Libya to justify an intervention which was essentially wrong and illegal.”

Mr. Kucinich wrote a letter to Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton in August explaining his communications in a last-ditch effort to stop the war.

“I have been contacted by an intermediary in Libya who has indicated that President Muammar Gadhafi is willing to negotiate an end to the conflict under conditions which would seem to favor Administration policy,” Mr. Kucinich wrote on Aug. 24.

Neither the White House nor the State Department responded to his letter, he said.


A spokesman for Mrs. Clinton declined to provide any comment about the recordings.

The State Department also declined to answer questions about separate contacts from the Pentagon and Mr. Kucinich with the Gadhafi regime, but said the goal of Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama was regime change in Libya.

“U.S. policy during the revolution supported regime change through peaceful means, in line with UNSCR 1973 policy and NATO mission goals,” the State Department said. “We consistently emphasized at the time that Moammar Gadhafi had to step down and leave Libya as an essential component of the transition.”

‘President is not getting accurate information’

Both inside and outside the Obama administration, Mrs. Clinton was among the most vocal early proponents of using U.S. military force to unseat Gadhafi. Joining her in making the case were French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, and her successor as secretary of state, John F. Kerry.

Mrs. Clinton’s main argument was that Gadhafi was about to engage in a genocide against civilians in Benghazi, where the rebels held their center of power. But defense intelligence officials could not corroborate those concerns and in fact assessed that Gadhafi was unlikely to risk world outrage by inflicting mass casualties, officials told The Times. As a result, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, strongly opposed Mrs. Clinton’s recommendation to use force.

In July 2013, the Joint Chiefs found a more direct way of demonstrating to Assad how serious they were about helping him. By then the CIA-sponsored secret flow of arms from Libya to the Syrian opposition, via Turkey, had been underway for more than a year (it started sometime after Gaddafi’s death on 20 October 2011).​ The operation was largely run out of a covert CIA annex in Benghazi, with State Department acquiescence. On 11 September 2012 the US ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, was killed during an anti-American demonstration that led to the burning down of the US consulate in Benghazi; reporters for the Washington Post found copies of the ambassador’s schedule in the building’s ruins. It showed that on 10 September Stevens had met with the chief of the CIA’s annex operation. The next day, shortly before he died, he met a representative from Al-Marfa Shipping and Maritime Services, a Tripoli-based company which, the JCS adviser said, was known by the Joint Staff to be handling the weapons shipments.

-- Military to Military – Seymour M. Hersh on US intelligence sharing in the Syrian war, by London Review of Books


If Mrs. Clinton runs for president next year, her style of leadership as it relates to foreign policy will be viewed through the one war that she personally championed as secretary of state. Among the key questions every candidate faces is how they will assess U.S. intelligence and solicit the advice of the military leadership.

Numerous U.S. officials interviewed by The Times confirmed that Mrs. Clinton, and not Mr. Obama, led the charge to use NATO military force to unseat Gadhafi as Libya’s leader and that she repeatedly dismissed the warnings offered by career military and intelligence officials.

In the recovered recordings, a U.S. intelligence liaison working for the Pentagon told a Gadhafi aide that Mr. Obama privately informed members of Congress that Libya “is all Secretary Clinton’s matter” and that the nation’s highest-ranking generals were concerned that the president was being misinformed.

The Pentagon liaison indicated on the tapes that Army Gen. Charles H. Jacoby Jr., a top aide to Adm. Mullen, “does not trust the reports that are coming out of the State Department and CIA, but there’s nothing he can do about it.”

In one conversation to the Libyans, the American intelligence asset said, “I can tell you that the president is not getting accurate information, so at some point someone has to get accurate information to him. I think about a way through former Secretary Gates or maybe to Adm. Mullen to get him information.” The recordings are consistent with what many high-ranking intelligence, military and academic sources told The Times:

Mrs. Clinton was headstrong to enter the Libyan crisis, ignoring the Pentagon’s warnings that no U.S. interests were at stake and regional stability could be threatened. Instead, she relied heavily on the assurances of the Libyan rebels and her own memory of Rwanda, where U.S. inaction may have led to the genocide of at least 500,000 people.

“Neither the intervention decision nor the regime change decision was an intelligence-heavy decision,” said one senior intelligence official directly involved with the administration’s decision-making, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “People weren’t on the edge of their seats, intelligence wasn’t driving the decision one way or another.”

Instead of relying on the Defense Department or the intelligence community for analysis, officials told The Times, the White House trusted Mrs. Clinton’s charge, which was then supported by Ambassador to the United Nations Susan E. Rice and National Security Council member Samantha Power, as reason enough for war.

“Susan Rice was involved in the Rwanda crisis in 1994, Samantha Power wrote very moving books about what happened in Rwanda, and Hillary Clinton was also in the background of that crisis as well,” said Allen Lynch, a professor of international relations at the University of Virginia. “I think they have all carried this with them as a kind of guilt complex.”

Humanitarian crisis was not imminent

In 2003, Gadhafi agreed to dismantle his weapons of mass destruction and denounce terrorism to re-establish relations with the West. He later made reparations to the families of those who died in the bombing of Pan-Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.

News media frequently described the apparent transformation as Libya “coming in from the cold.”

Still, he ruled Libya with an iron grip, and by February 2011 civil war raged throughout the country. Loyalist forces mobilized tanks and troops toward Benghazi, creating a panicked mass exodus of civilians toward Egypt.

Mrs. Clinton met with Libyan rebel spokesman Mahmoud Jibril in the Paris Westin hotel in mid-March so she could vet the rebel cause to unseat Gadhafi. Forty-five minutes after speaking with Mr. Jibril, Mrs. Clinton was convinced that a military intervention was needed.

“I talked extensively about the dreams of a democratic civil state where all Libyans are equal a political participatory system with no exclusions of any Libyans, even the followers of Gadhafi who did not commit crimes against the Libyan people, and how the international community should protect civilians from a possible genocide like the one [that] took place in Rwanda,” Mr. Jibril told The Times. “I felt by the end of the meeting, I passed the test. Benghazi was saved.”

So on March 17, 2011, the U.S. supported U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973 for military intervention in Libya to help protect its people from Gadhafi’s forthcoming march on Benghazi, where he threatened he would “show no mercy” to resisters.

“In this particular country — Libya — at this particular moment, we were faced with the prospect of violence on a horrific scale,” Mr. Obama declared in an address to the nation on March 28. “We had a unique ability to stop that violence: An international mandate for action, a broad coalition prepared to join us, the support of Arab countries and a plea for help from the Libyan people themselves.”

Yet Human Rights Watch did not see the humanitarian crisis as imminent.

“At that point, we did not see the imminence of massacres that would rise to genocidelike levels,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of the Middle East and North Africa division for Human Rights Watch. “Gadhafi’s forces killed hundreds of overwhelmingly unarmed protesters. There were threats of Libyan forces approaching Benghazi, but we didn’t feel that rose to the level of imminent genocidelike atrocities.”


Instead, she said, the U.S. government was trying to be at the forefront of the Arab Spring, when many dictator-led countries were turning to democracy.

“I think the dynamic for the U.S. government was: Things are changing fast, Tunisia has fallen, Egypt has fallen, and we’d better be on the front of this, supporting a new government and not being seen as supporting the old government,” Ms. Whitson said.

Clinton blocks Gadhafi outreach

On the day the U.N. resolution was passed, Mrs. Clinton ordered a general within the Pentagon to refuse to take a call with Gadhafi’s son Seif and other high-level members within the regime, to help negotiate a resolution, the secret recordings reveal.

A day later, on March 18, Gadhafi called for a cease-fire, another action the administration dismissed.
Soon, a call was set up between the former U.S. ambassador to Libya, Gene Cretz, and Gadhafi confidant Mohammed Ismael during which Mr. Ismael confirmed that the regime’s highest-ranking generals were under orders not to fire upon protesters.

“I told him we were not targeting civilians and Seif told him that,” Mr. Ismael told The Times in an telephone interview this month, recounting the fateful conversation.

While Mrs. Clinton urged the Pentagon to cease its communications with the Gadhafi regime, the intelligence asset working with the Joint Chiefs remained in contact for months afterward.

“Everything I am getting from the State Department is that they do not care about being part of this. Secretary Clinton does not want to negotiate at all,” the Pentagon intelligence asset told Seif Gadhafi and his adviser on the recordings.

Communication was so torn between the Libyan regime and the State Department that they had no point of contact within the department to even communicate whether they were willing to accept the U.N.’s mandates, former Libyan officials said.

Mrs. Clinton eventually named Mr. Cretz as the official U.S. point of contact for the Gadhafi regime. Mr. Cretz, the former ambassador to Libya, was removed from the country in 2010 amid Libyan anger over derogatory comments he made regarding Gadhafi released by Wikileaks. As a result, Mr. Cretz was not trusted or liked by the family.

Shutting the Gadhafis out of the conversation allowed Mrs. Clinton to pursue a solitary point of view, said a senior Pentagon official directly involved with the intervention.

“The decision to invade [Libya] had already been made, so everything coming out of the State Department at that time was to reinforce that decision,” the official explained, speaking only on the condition of anonymity for fear of retribution.


As a result, the Pentagon went its own way and established communications with Seif Gadhafi through one of his friends, a U.S. businessman, who acted as an intermediary. The goal was to identify a clear path and strategy forward in Libya — something that wasn’t articulated by the White House or State Department at the time, officials said.

“Our big thing was: ‘What’s a good way out of this, what’s a bridge to post-Gadhafi conflict once the military stops and the civilians take over, what’s it going to look like?’” said a senior military official involved in the planning, who requested anonymity. “We had a hard time coming up with that because once again nobody knew what the lay of the clans and stuff was going to be.

“The impression we got from both the businessman and from Seif was that the situation is bad, but this [NATO intervention] is even worse,” the official said, confirming the sentiments expressed on the audio recordings. “All of these things don’t have to happen this way, and it will be better for Libya in the long run both economically and politically if they didn’t.”

Pentagon looks for a way out

The Pentagon wasn’t alone in questioning the intervention.

The week the U.N. resolution authorizing military force was passed, Sen. Jim Webb, Virginia Democrat, expressed his own concerns.

“We have a military operation that’s been put to play, but we do not have a clear diplomatic policy or clear statement of foreign policy. We know we don’t like the Gadhafi regime, but we do not have a picture of who the opposition movement really is. We got a vote from the Security Council but we had five key abstentions in that vote.”

Five of the 15 countries on the U.N. Security Council abstained from voting on the decision in Libya because they had concerns that the NATO intervention would make things worse. Mrs. Clinton worked to avoid having them exercise their veto by personally calling representatives from Security Council member states.

Germany and Brazil published statements on March 18, 2011, explaining their reasons for abstention.

“We weighed the risks of a military operation as a whole, not just for Libya but, of course, also with respect to the consequences for the entire region and that is why we abstained,” Germany said.
Brazil wrote, “We are not convinced that the use of force as contemplated in the present resolution will lead to the realization of our most important objective — the immediate end of violence and the protection of civilians.

We are also concerned that such measures may have the unintended effect of exacerbating tensions on the ground and causing more harm than good to the very same civilians we are committed to protecting.”

Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., told The Times that history has proved those concerns correct.

“The U.N. Security Council resolution on Libya was meant to create a no-fly zone to prevent bombing of civilians,” said Mr. Kislyak. “NATO countries that participated in this intervention were supposed to patrol the area. However, in a short amount of time the NATO flights — initially meant to stop violence on the ground — went far beyond the scope of the Security Council-mandated task and created even more violence in Libya.”

On March 19, the U.S. military, supported by France and Britain, fired off more than 110 Tomahawk missiles, hitting about 20 Libyan air and missile defense targets. Within weeks, a NATO airstrike killed one of Gaddafi’s sons and three grandsons at the family’s Tripoli compound, sparking debate about whether the colonel and his family were legitimate targets under the U.N. resolution.


Mr. Gates, the defense secretary, said the compound was targeted because it included command-and-control facilities.

Even after the conflict began, U.S. military leaders kept looking for a way out and a way to avoid the power vacuum that would be left in the region if Gadhafi fell.

As the intelligence asset working with the Joint Chiefs kept his contacts going, one U.S. general made an attempt to negotiate directly with his Libyan military counterparts, according to interviews conducted by The Times with officials directly familiar with the overture.

Army Gen. Carter Ham, the head of the U.S. African Command, sought to set up a 72-hour truce with the regime, according to an intermediary called in to help.

Retired Navy Rear Adm. Charles Kubic, who was acting as a business consultant in Libya at the time, said he was approached by senior Libyan military leaders to propose the truce. He took the plan to Lt. Col. Brian Linvill, the U.S. AFRICOM point of contact for Libya. Col. Linvill passed the proposal to Gen. Ham, who agreed to participate.

“The Libyans would stop all combat operations and withdraw all military forces to the outskirts of the cities and assume a defensive posture. Then to insure the credibility with the international community, the Libyans would accept recipients from the African Union to make sure the truce was honored,” Mr. Kubic said, describing the offers.

“[Gadhafi] came back and said he was willing to step down and permit a transition government, but he had two conditions,” Mr. Kubic said. “First was to insure there was a military force left over after he left Libya capable to go after al Qaeda. Secondly, he wanted to have the sanctions against him and his family and those loyal to him lifted and free passage. At that point in time, everybody thought that was reasonable.”

But not the State Department.

Gen. Ham was ordered to stand down two days after the negotiation began, Mr. Kubic said. The orders were given at the behest of the State Department
, according to those familiar with the plan in the Pentagon. Gen. Ham declined to comment when questioned by The Times.

“If their goal was to get Gadhafi out of power, then why not give a 72-hour truce a try?” Mr. Kubic asked. “It wasn’t enough to get him out of power; they wanted him dead.”

Libyan officials were willing to negotiate a departure from power but felt the continued NATO bombings were forcing the regime into combat to defend itself, the recordings indicated.

“If they put us in a corner, we have no choice but to fight until the end,” Mr. Ismael said on one of the recordings. “What more can they do? Bomb us with a nuclear bomb? They have done everything.”

Under immense foreign firepower, the Gadhafi regime’s grip on Libya began to slip in early April and the rebels’ resolve was strengthened. Gadhafi pleaded with the U.S. to stop the NATO airstrikes.

Regime change real agenda

Indeed, the U.S. position in Libya had changed. First, it was presented to the public as way to stop an impending humanitarian crisis but evolved into expelling the Gadhafis.

CIA Director Leon E. Panetta says in his book “Worthy Fights” that the goal of the Libyan conflict was for regime change. Mr. Panetta wrote that at the end of his first week as secretary of defense in July 2011, he visited Iraq and Afghanistan “for both substance and symbolism.”

“In Afghanistan I misstated our position on how fast we’d be bringing troops home, and I said what everyone in Washington knew, but we couldn’t officially acknowledge: That our goal in Libya was regime change.”

But that wasn’t the official war cry.

Instead: “It was ‘We’re worried a humanitarian crisis might occur,’” said a senior military official, reflecting on the conflict. “Once you’ve got everybody nodding up and down on that, watch out because you can justify almost anything under the auspices of working to prevent a humanitarian crisis.
Gadhafi had enough craziness about him, the rest of the world nodded on.”

But they might not be so quick to approve again, officials say.

“It may be impossible to get the same kind of resolution in similar circumstances, and we already saw that in Syria where the Russians were very suspicious when Western powers went to the U.N.,” said Richard Northern, who served as the British ambassador to Libya during part of the conflict. “Anything the Western powers did in the Middle East is now viewed by the Russians with suspicion, and it will probably reduce the level of authority they’re willing to give in connection to humanitarian crises.”

Mr. Kucinich, who took several steps to end the war in Libya, said he is sickened about what transpired.

He sponsored a June 3 resolution in the House of Representatives to end the Libyan war, but Republican support for the bill was diluted after Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, proposed a softer alternative resolution demanding that the president justify his case for war within 14 days.

“There was a distortion of events that were occurring in Libya to justify an intervention which was essentially wrong and illegal because [the administration] gained the support of the U.N. Security Council through misrepresentation,” said Mr. Kucinich. “The die was cast there for the overthrow of the Gadhafi government. The die was cast. They weren’t looking for any information.

“What’s interesting about all this is, if you listen to Seif Gaddafi’s account, even as they were being bombed they still trusted America, which really says a lot,” said Mr. Kucinich. “It says a lot about how people who are being bombed through the covert involvement or backdoor involvement of the U.S. will still trust the U.S. It’s heart-breaking, really. It really breaks your heart when you see trust that is so cynically manipulated.”


In August, Gadhafi’s compound in Tripoli was overrun, signaling the end of his 42-year reign and forcing him into hiding. Two months later, Gadhafi, 69, was killed in his hometown of Sirte. His son Seif was captured by the Zintan tribe and remains in solitary confinement in a Zintan prison cell.

ONE of Britain’s top human rights lawyers who represented Julian Assange and war criminals has died in an apparent suicide.

Married dad of two John Jones QC, 48, who worked alongside Hollywood actor George Clooney’s wife Amal, passed away on Monday.

He acted for Wikileaks founder Assange, 44, holed-up for four years in the Ecuador Embassy in London, when the Swedish government initially tried to extradite him for questioning on rape charges.

Mr Jones and Amal, colleagues at renowned civil rights legal firm Doughty Street in central London, were currently trying to save the lives of Colonel Gaddafi’s son Saif and Libyan spy chief Abdullah al-Senussi.

-- Britain’s top human rights lawyer who represented Julian Assange and worked alongside George Clooney’s wife Amal dies in apparent suicide, by Neil Syson


Since Gadhafi was removed from power, Libya has been in a constant state of chaos, with factional infighting and no uniting leader. On Tuesday, an attack on a luxury hotel in Tripoli killed nine people, including one American. A group calling itself the Islamic State-Tripoli Province took responsibility for the attack, indicating a growing presence of anti-American terrorist groups within the country.
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Re: The Big Lie About the Libyan War: The Obama administrati

Postby admin » Fri Dec 30, 2016 7:02 am

Hillary Clinton’s ‘WMD’ moment: U.S. intelligence saw false narrative in Libya
by Kelly Riddell and Jeffrey Scott Shapiro
The Washington Times
January 29, 2015

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Second of three parts

The intelligence community gathered no specific evidence of an impending genocide in Libya in spring 2011, undercutting Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s primary argument for using the U.S. military to remove Col. Moammar Gadhafi from power, an event that has left his country in chaos, according to officials with direct knowledge of the dispute.

Defense officials, speaking in detail for the first time about their assessments of the Libyan civil war four years ago, told The Washington Times that Mrs. Clinton’s strong advocacy for intervention against the Libyan regime rested more on speculative arguments of what might happen to civilians than on facts reported from the ground.

The Defense Intelligence Agency ran the Libya intelligence operation.

“It was an intelligence-light decision,” said one senior U.S. intelligence official directly familiar with the Libyan matter, who spoke to The Washington Times only on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.

The official’s sentiments were echoed by nearly a dozen other key players inside the intelligence and military communities who described to The Times a frustrating period during which the concerns of senior military leaders, including Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, were repeatedly cast aside.

Speculative arguments often trumped reporting from the ground, the officials added.

The intelligence community wasn’t the only one concerned that Mrs. Clinton was selling the war on exaggerated pretenses.

In secretly tape-recorded conversations, an emissary sent by the Pentagon and Democratic Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich openly discussed with Gadhafi regime officials in 2011 concerns that there was a false narrative being used to sell the war, The Washington Times reported Thursday.

In one pointed conversation, the officials suggested Mrs. Clinton was engaging in the same misleading tactics as the George W. Bush administration when it went to war with Iraq in 2003 claiming the country had large stocks weapons of mass destruction, a claim that proved to be inaccurate.

“It was like the WMDs in Iraq. It was based on a false report,” Seif Gadhafi, the son of the Libyan leader, said in a May 2011 phone call with Mr. Kucinich. “Libyan airplanes bombing demonstrators, Libyan airplanes bombing districts in Tripoli, Libyan army killed thousands, etc., etc., and now the whole world found there is no single evidence that such things happened in Libya.”

The gap between Mrs. Clinton’s rhetoric warning of a Rwanda-like slaughter of civilians in Libya and the facts gathered by career intelligence staff is taking on significance as the former secretary of state prepares another bid for the White House and her national security credentials are re-examined.

Predictions of genocide

When the Arab Spring fervor touched off a civil war in Libya in early 2011, U.S. officials were caught off guard. The CIA had little information about the rebels leading the fight, the Libyans who set up an interim government or Gadhafi’s own intentions in repressing the rebellion, officials said.

In fact, intelligence agencies didn’t even have a good estimate of how many civilians were living in Benghazi, which was expected to be the conflict’s flashpoint, officials told The Times.

The DIA was put into the lead role for assessing the situation, and a separate working group within the Pentagon’s joint chiefs quickly gathered valuable insights from an American asset who was in direct contact with the Gadhafi regime, including the leader’s son Seif and Mohammad Ismael, Seif Gadhafi’s chief of staff.

Soon, however, the information being gathered by the intelligence community was at loggerheads with claims of the main supporters for war with Libya, which included French President Nicolas Sarkozy; Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican; Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John F. Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat; and three powerful women close to President Obama: Mrs. Clinton; Susan E. Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations; and adviser Samantha Powers.

Mrs. Clinton ultimately became the most powerful advocate for using U.S. military force to dethrone Gadhafi, both in her closed-door meetings with Mr. Obama, who ultimately made the decision, and in public with allies and the news media.

Her argument was best summed up in comments she made in March 2011, when she warned that Gadhafi was on the cusp of a genocide against civilians in Benghazi on par with those in Rwanda and Bosnia in the 1990s when her husband, Bill, was president.

“Imagine we were sitting here and Benghazi had been overrun, a city of 700,000 people, and tens of thousands of people had been slaughtered, hundreds of thousands had fled either with nowhere to go, or overwhelming Egypt while it’s in its own difficult transition,” Mrs. Clinton told ABC News on March 27 after the U.S. signed off on a U.N. resolution granting military intervention.

If “we were sitting here, the cries would be, ‘Why did the United States not do anything?’” she predicted.

Few objective indicators

The intelligence community had few facts to back up Mrs. Clinton’s audacious predictions, officials told The Times.

In fact, the Pentagon’s judgment was that Gadhafi was unlikely to risk world outrage by inflicting large civilian casualties as he cracked down on the rebels based in Benghazi, the officials said.

The specific intelligence was that Gadhafi had sent a relatively small — by Western standards — cadre of about 2,000 troops armed with 12 tanks to target armed rebels in Benghazi. Ground intelligence indicated that the Gadhafi forces were defeating the rebels, killing about 400 and wounding many more.

In comparison, 10,000 people have been killed at the hands of Boko Haram in Nigeria in the past year alone. Estimates of the number of people killed in Rwanda, mostly Tutsi civilians, range from 500,000 to 1 million over a 100-day period. The Bosnia war lasted, at varying levels of intensity, for three years and claimed at least 100,000 lives, with some estimates reaching 200,000.


Some accounts said the Libyan forces were attacking unarmed protesters, but no genocide was reported, the officials said. There was strong evidence that most civilians fled Benghazi ahead of the expected battle, officials said.

Furthermore, defense officials had direct information from their intelligence asset in contact with the regime that Gadhafi gave specific orders not to attack civilians and to narrowly focus the war on the armed rebels, according to the asset, who survived the war.

All spoke to The Times on the condition of anonymity but confirmed Col. Gadhafi’s order.

Defense officials said the Gadhafi forces were serious about routing the uprising and that some collateral damage to civilians remained possible, though they were unable to give the White House specifics. No intelligence suggested that a genocide was imminent, the officials said.

“Gadhafi was serious, but I wouldn’t classify it as Rwanda,” said an unidentified defense official close to the intelligence available at the time.

Political issue

Mrs. Clinton is keeping mum these days about Libya as she mulls a run for president, in part because the subsequent assault on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi by an Islamist militia and her reaction to the incident have come under harsh criticism.

Along with other administration officials, Mrs. Clinton falsely blamed that attack, which killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, on an anti-Islam video. She also famously asked, “What difference does it make” whether the attack was planned terrorism or a spontaneous protest as she had claimed.

Her official representative declined to comment for this report.

The State Department confirmed that its primary goal in 2011 was regime change, meaning ousting Gadhafi from power. But it deferred comment to Mrs. Clinton about the specifics on intelligence and her own public statements.

Mr. Kerry, who succeeded Mrs. Clinton as secretary of state, backed the Libya intervention with similar language. He told The New York Times that “the memory of Rwanda, alongside Iraq in ‘91, made it clear that the United States needed to act but needed international support.”

With the benefit of hindsight, diplomatic analysts frown on such comparisons to Rwanda and say the rhetoric in 2011 was simply overstated.

“We are prone to think in terms of analogies, and the analogy in Rwanda was one that administration officials like Hillary Clinton and others used, and I think it was an inappropriate analogy because you cannot say Libya was Rwanda,” said Paul Miller, who served as an adviser on security matters for Mr. Obama and Mr. Bush.

“[Libya] was a war between an autocratic government and a bunch of tribes, and amidst that kind of war there will be a humanitarian crisis, there will be innocent people killed. But that is very different than a straight genocide against a group,” Mr. Miller said.

The notion that a genocide was imminent was rooted in Gadhafi’s Feb. 22, 2011, speech in which he pledged to “sanitize Libya an inch at a time” and “clear them of these rats.”


Civilian deaths vs. genocide

Supporters of the intervention argued that Gadhafi’s use of the words “rats” and “cleans” resembled the genocidal language used by Hutu leaders and militias in Rwanda in 1994. Rwandan radio was calling on Hutus to “cut down the tall trees” and “crush the cockroaches.”

A month later, Gadhafi delivered another speech in which he made it clear that only those standing against him with arms would face reprisal.

“If you read [Gadhafi’s comments] closely, they were clearly directed only at the rebels who were going to stand and fight,” said Alan Kuperman, a public policy professor at the University of Texas who composed an exhaustive study on the Libyan civil war.

“If you threw down your weapons, you were considered harmless. If you ran away, you were considered harmless. And if you were just a civilian, you were considered harmless,” Mr. Kuperman said. “Rebels were going to be targeted, and those were the ‘rats’ he was talking about.”


Human rights groups offered a similar assessment. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, both of which were tracking the crisis before the U.S. intervention, said there was no way to determine that spring whether Benghazi would develop into a Rwanda-type crisis.

“We can’t definitively predict whether the State Department’s claims of an impending crisis on the scale of the Rwanda genocide would have come to pass,” Robyn Shepherd, a spokeswoman at Amnesty International, said in an email statement. “What we can confirm is that Libyan forces were committing serious violations of international humanitarian law.”

Amnesty recorded acts in which Gadhafi’s regime “deliberately killed and injured scores of unarmed protesters” and “launched indiscriminate attacks and attacks targeting civilians in their efforts to regain control of Misrata and territory in the east.”

But academics argued that such acts were not unusual coming from a dictator trying to defend his throne in the midst of a civil war.

“I never came across any evidence that indicated intention or actions consistent with an imminent bloodbath,” said Mr. Kuperman. “I found nothing in terms of reports on troop movements, nothing in terms of threats from his regime or actions anywhere else.”

Mrs. Clinton’s defenders could argue that Americans will never know whether a genocide would have occurred because the U.S. did the right thing and intervened before it could happen. They also are certain to note that the final decision rested not with Mrs. Clinton but with Mr. Obama.

Paul: ‘Hillary’s War’

What is not in dispute is that the intelligence community’s assessment and the military leadership’s concerns were not given full credence, and that almost certainly will provide fodder to Mrs. Clinton’s critics to attack her leadership style.

“I think there was a rush headlong toward war in Libya and [the State Department and the administration] weren’t listening to anyone saying anything otherwise, including the Defense Department and intelligence communities, who were saying, ‘Hold on a minute. This may not be a good idea,’” said Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican and a presidential contender himself.

“Hillary’s judgment has to be questioned. Her eagerness for war in Libya should preclude her from being considered the next commander in chief,” he said.

Mr. Paul, who has a libertarian flair, has begun calling Libya “Hillary’s War.” What remains to be seen in the months ahead is whether Mrs. Clinton embraces the moniker as she begins her campaign.
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