By Bob Bennett
For months, we’ve heard an incessant daily barrage of charges: Hillary Clinton violated rules of handling classified materials, set up her own e-mail server and abandoned four Americans to die in Benghazi. We’ve heard that she deleted a large number of e-mails and scrubbed the server.
But even outlets like Fox News, that clearly support Donald Trump in his race against Clinton, have shown no interest in reporting what else she did in Libya. This is odd, because open-source information that Clinton and Obama had supported and armed Libyan rebels—including terror groups such as al-Qa’eda—has been available since Apr 22, 2014, from the Citizens Commission on Benghazi. Members of the CCB include: terrorism and Middle East expert Clare Lopez, Retired Admiral James “Ace” Lyons and Retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Allen West.
The U.S. armed and supported al-Qa’eda–linked rebels in Libya
The CCB team revealed that:
The U.S. was fully aware of and facilitating the delivery of weapons to the al-Qa’eda–dominated rebel militias throughout the 2011 rebellion. The jihadist agenda of AQIM [al-Qa’eda of the Islamic Maghreb], the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), and other Islamic terror groups represented among the rebel forces was well known to U.S. officials responsible for Libya policy.
[On March 18, 2011] Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced U.S. government support for the Brotherhood-led Libyan Transitional National Council in its revolt against Qaddafi.
The war in Libya was unnecessary, served no articulable U.S. national security objective, and led to preventable chaos region-wide.
The CCB referenced EU-based author John Rosenthal, who publishes frequently on the Middle East. Writing in the June 23, 2011 National Review, he quoted a report by two French think tanks:
“The members of the al-Qaeda–affiliated Libyan Islamic Fighting Group [are] the “main pillar of the armed insurrection.” And “No one can deny that the Libyan rebels who are today supported by Washington were only yesterday jihadists killing American GIs in Iraq.”
Hillary Clinton took the lead in our attack on Libya
On January 28, 2015 The Washington Times began a three-part series, based on “secret audio recordings recovered from Tripoli.” It described Hillary Clinton as the prime mover in launching the war to depose Gadhafi.
Part 1 of the series opened with: “Top Pentagon officials and a senior Democrat in Congress [Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich] 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…. The tapes …chronicle U.S. officials’ unfiltered conversations with Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s son and a top Libyan leader.”
“An American intermediary specifically dispatched by the Joint Chiefs of Staff” depicted State Department reports sent to Congress as being “full of stupid, stupid facts,” saying the State Department was “controlling” the intelligence received by U.S. officials.
Perhaps that was because Hillary Clinton’s source for information was the rebels themselves:
“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,” wrote The Times. Jibril said he told her “The international community should protect civilians from a possible genocide like the one [that] took place in Rwanda.”
He may’ve played Clinton, knowing her personal interest in Rwanda (It occurred during the Clinton term), and the influences on her of Susan Rice, who was involved in the crisis in 1994, and Samantha Power, who wrote “moving books” about the catastrophe.
Gadhafi, a U.S. ally in the War on Terror, was fighting a civil war against “Islamist-backed rebels,” wrote The Times. “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.”
Clinton’s excuse for war shown to be false
Gadhafi’s son, Seif told Pentagon representatives that many of the U.S.-backed rebels were “‘not freedom fighters’ but rather … ‘gangsters and terrorists.’” He begged the American government to “send a fact-finding mission to Libya. ‘I want you to see everything with your own eyes.’”
John Rosenthal corroborates that, in this quote from the French report:
The NGO Human Rights Watch published casualty figures concerning [the city of] Misrata that reveal that, contrary to the claims made in the international media, Qaddafi loyalist forces have not massacred the residents of the town.
It is thus now obvious that Western leaders — first and foremost, President Obama — have grossly exaggerated the humanitarian risk in order to justify their military action in Libya.
The intelligence community had “found no specific evidence of an impending genocide.”
Gadhafi offered to step down, but Clinton pushed ahead with the war
“Army Gen. Carter Ham, the head of the U.S. African Command, sought to set up a 72-hour truce with the regime,” said The Times. Retired Navy Rear Adm. Charles Kubic, an intermediary said the terms were reasonable:
“‘[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.”
U.S. violates UN resolution and attacks Gadhafi regime
“The war continued and ultimately cost tens of thousands of lives,” declared the CCB report. On March 17, 2011 the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1973, establishing a no-fly zone to protect civilians from alleged massacre by Gadhafi’s forces. That meant patrolling the skies over Libya. But NATO far exceeded that authorization and launched an attack on the Gadhafi regime: “On March 19th, “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,” wrote The Washington Times.
In his book Worthy Fights, then-CIA director Leon Panetta admitted: “our goal in Libya was regime change.”
Surprisingly, Clinton was not just carrying out Obama’s wishes; rather, she was the leader in this mad attack on an ally:
“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.”
Months of attacks on Libya by NATO and the rebels resulted in thousands dead, and in handing the country over to Islamists, including ISIS.
It seems that Hillary Clinton would have accepted Gadhafi’s terms and allowed him to step down, but she could not live with the term that a sufficient force remain in Libya to restrain al-Qa’eda—since AQ represented a significant segment of the rebels she wished to support. She’s had a history of weak-kneed adoration of Islamists, like Arafat. If Clinton allowed herself to be swayed by the rebel spokesman, and ignored intelligence of her own military, she’s utterly unequipped to be president.
Either way, outlets like Fox News owe it to the public to reveal what she really did in Libya.