Monday, August 29, 2011

Leaked Cable: John McCain Pushed to Arm Qadhafi

Leaked Cable: John McCain Pushed to Arm Qadhafi

by Tim Mak

A leaked U.S. diplomatic cable shows that Arizona Republican Senator John McCain promised to help Libyan dictator Muammar Qadhafi obtain U.S. military hardware in 2009.

In a meeting, McCain said the U.S. wanted to provide Libya with weapons for 'security.' (AP Photo) The cable, released by the open information group Wikileaks, reveals the pledge came at meeting that was attended by other prominent members of Congress, including Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT).

In the meeting, Muatassim Qadhafi, the Libyan leader’s fifth son and national security advisor, requested U.S. assistance in obtaining military supplies, both lethal and non-lethal.

The cable shows that McCain was the dominant voice among the Congressional delegation in push for military hardware for Qadhafi.

“Senator McCain assured Muatassim that the United States wanted to provide Libya with the equipment it needs for its… security,” reads the cable.

McCain said that he understood the need for Libya to upgrade its existing ranks of C-130 Hercules aircraft. Libya had bought eight of the military cargo aircraft in the 1970s, but as bilateral relationships with the United States deteriorated, a ban of arms sales prevented the aircraft from being moved to North Africa. McCain pledged to do what he could to move the issue forward in Congress.

McCain stressed that Libya needed to fulfill its commitments of giving up its weapons of mass destruction in order for bilateral engagement to go forward.

On the other hand, some other details in the leaked diplomatic cable may embarrass McCain given the fall of the Qadhafi regime.

“He [McCain] described the bilateral military relationship as strong and pointed to Libyan officer training at U.S. Command, Staff, and War colleges as some of the best programs for Libyan military participation,” says the leaked document.

“The Senators expressed appreciation for Libya’s counterterrorism cooperation in the region,” adds the document.

McCain struck a distinctly different tone this week, telling Fox’s Greta van Susteren that “he [Muammar Qadhafi] has the blood of Americans on his hands as a result of Pan Am 103. He is a person who over time would — if he were able to succeed, would clearly train terrorists and export terrorism.”

Graham was the other major voice in the meeting, agreeing with McCain that the C-130 issue needed to be resolved.

All parties involved seemed pleasantly surprised by the then-relatively robust U.S.-Libya bilateral relationship.

“We never would have guessed ten years ago that we would be sitting in Tripoli, being welcomed by a son of Muammar al-Qadhafi,” remarked Lieberman, according to the document. “Lieberman called Libya an important ally in the war on terrorism, noting that common enemies sometimes make better friends.”

Muammar Qadhafi attended the meeting, but remained largely silent throughout the session. “The elder Qadhafi made a point of expressing his satisfaction with the improved U.S relationship and his hope that the relationship would continue to flourish,” says the leaked cable.

© 2011

21 Comments so far

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Posted by KeLeMi

Aug 26 2011 - 10:40am

We helped Saddam Hussein when he was at war with Iran. We helped the Taliban when it fought to get the SUUR out of Afghanistan. Onec it took power idt debunked the myth that "There's nothing worse than communism". The bull goes on.

Posted by Kitaj

Aug 26 2011 - 7:41pm

These Senators are aiding a "terrorist" - how come they arent in prison being waterboarded? Oh, that's right, they were just acting as salemen for the US weapons industry. My bad. What are the chances of the MSM covering this? - ha!

Posted by Gene Therapy

Aug 26 2011 - 11:02am

Congressional Reform Act of 2011 1. No Tenure/No Pension. A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office. 2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose. 3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do. 4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%. 5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people. 6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people. 7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective1/1/12. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work. THIS IS HOW TO FIX CONGRESS. If you agree with the above, pass it on.

Posted by ezeflyer

Aug 26 2011 - 11:10am

We need a referendum on this fine proposal.

Direct democracy

Posted by minitrue

Aug 26 2011 - 2:21pm

Your proposal is a good one! I wrote this years ago (when we were being Bushwhacked). Sent it to all the Senators and Congressmen I could reach. Never an answer. I've had to update it instead of throwing it away now that we live in the Obamanation, which is doing the same thing.
Legislators, Remember your Oath of Office

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

That is the oath taken by every Congressman and Senator at the start of their term, and at the beginning of each session of Congress.

The President of the United States takes an even shorter oath, which is specified in Article II, Section 1. of the Constitution

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

That Constitution was carefully drafted by the founding fathers of our nation, to establish the basic operation of our government. It has stood intact for over two centuries, through many crises, and has been copied by many nations around the world as an example. As the law of the land, it should guide us through the current troubles, if we will only follow it.

Article I of the Constitution spells out the structure and requirements of the House of Representatives and Senate (the Congress) and what powers they have.

Article II establishes the Office of the Presidency and delineates his powers and limitations.

Article III pertains to the establishment and maintenance of the Judicial power of the government (the Supreme Court).

The first ten amendments were added to the Constitution at the time of ratification and are called the Bill of Rights. Those ten amendments were adopted to ensure that the government could never become a police state and run roughshod over the people.

The colonists had had enough of autocratic power under Georgian England. There is a process (Article V ) by which the Constitution can be changed. This has been done sixteen times since the original ratification. The method is very carefully spelled out, requiring a two thirds majority of either State legislatures, or of the House and Senate, to propose an amendment and the people have the final say, as it requires a seventy-five percent majority of the people to ratify it.

Nowhere in that Constitution does it provide for a president to be appointed, nor does it allow the President, appointed or elected, to declare war at his whim, or remove the protection of the Bill of Rights from the people. What the Bush regime has done and the Obama regime is doing is clearly unconstitutional and any legislators who go along with him are also impeachable and clearly breaking the above oath, as Bush has done since his appointment and Obama since his election.

The Constitution of the United States of America provides for a system of checks and balances to keep any of the three branches from running amok, with We the People of the United States having the final say over changes to that Constitution.

The American People should contact their various legislators, remind them of their oath, and inform them that they will not receive another vote unless they uphold the Constitution they promised to protect and defend, and assert their Congressional Rights.

The United States stands at a crossroads, if it is not already too late.

Posted by Naturally

Aug 27 2011 - 11:59am

Some good ideas, but:

1) No pension would mean congresspersons would be even more amenable to being bought by the plutocrats. Furthermore, every employee should have a pension plan. Removing congressional pensions would give license to other federal agencies, state and local governments, and private employers to do the same.

4) This is unworkable. Since Congress would have to pass your Reform Act, they can always change it at any time.

6) Also unworkable because it removes our checks and balances system. Your idea would put Congress directly under the control of the executive branch and their Justice Department. Congress would have no ability to investigate, impeach or remove a corrupt president or administration official. In the 70's Nixon could have had members who talked of impeachment put in prison.

I like the other provisions you suggest, especially (2) and (5). You could add provisions to strengthen anti-lobbying laws for past congresspersons. Make lobbying illegal and punishable by prison for ten years after leaving Congress, for example.

Posted by Oikos

Aug 26 2011 - 11:18am

McCain loves dictators. He always has. What else is new? He wishes he were one himself.

Posted by Dylan Hunt

Aug 26 2011 - 12:21pm

just think of these monarchists in Libya murdering and looting on behalf of the USA. "Satan's little helpers" "filling the world with bile and garbage." fucking retards

Posted by gardenernorcal

Aug 27 2011 - 10:29am

You have any idea who the "rebels" are, and what they are going to do in the future. I am sure their handlers do.

Posted by Michael F

Aug 26 2011 - 2:01pm

I'm not sure what the point of this exercise is. McCain's position was perfectly in accord with USG policy at the time. The Arab Spring was inconceivable, and we were trying to make a malleable puppet out of the weird guy with all that good oil. We arm everyone. Why not Qadhafi?

It was only later...this year...that the US, with the assistance of its al Qaeda and NATO friends, saw and seized the chance to get in there and grab all the oil and all the assets and put a stop to Qadhafi's regionalism.

Why pillory McCain for being like Obama?

Posted by Thoughts_Into_Action

Aug 27 2011 - 1:58am

No one seems to be arguing along the lines you propose, MF. It's even quite clear here that the O'Bomber administration has needlessly escalated the wars, perhaps even more so than a McCain/Palin administration might have done.

However, the reflex reaction against coddling terrorists is prime-beef Republican territory. And here they are, just trying to make a buck post Lockerbie, and falling all over themselves about reformed terrorists being your best friend, etc. So, it's all disgraceful, but the article clearly shows a blow up of the Republican terror-baiting spiel, and it's good to see such hypocrisy exposed so nakedly.

Your larger point that weapons-of-mass destruction exports is the strongly supported policy of both the Dems and Repugs is true, of course. And our representatives don't really care if the guy's a dictator or terrorist, really. They get their campaign contributions from the defense industries after all. It's just constituent service.

Posted by Michael F

Aug 27 2011 - 8:16am

Point taken...although I find little comfort in catching the Republicans with their hypocricy hanging out...there seems to be a lot of that going around...all over.

Posted by gardenernorcal

Aug 27 2011 - 10:24am

I don't have a problem with calling either party on their indiscretions and flaws. If they don't wish to be called on something, don't do it and that goes for both parties. I thought we were in a new era of "personal responsibility"? Don't expect a pass just because someone else does it as well.

If the "three amigos", Lieberman, Graham and McCain aren't aware that their behaviors and performances are being recorded and reported they shouldn't be Senators.

Posted by gardenernorcal

Aug 27 2011 - 10:14am

Exactly what sort of "Spring" has the "Arab" world enjoyed? I am so sick of this meaningless marketing catch pharase.

"Why pillory McCain for being like Obama? .."

Why not pillory them both if they deserve it. Isn't that what "pillorying" is all about?

Posted by Michael F

Aug 27 2011 - 1:21pm

You know, I've never really thought about what pillorying is all about, and I can't answer your question. But it's a good question.

But as to the priority for pillorying, McCain is a certifiable idiot, and Obama doesn't have that defense.

Posted by suhail_shafi

Aug 26 2011 - 5:32pm

McCain is a real creep. He spent the best years of his life carpet bombing helpless Vietnamese civilians, alligned himself with George Bush's crimes and openly proclaimed his lifelong hatred for Asians. Now we discover yet another dimension to his creepiness.

Posted by Donny-Don

Aug 26 2011 - 6:18pm

And then he saddled us with the indefatiguably self-promoting Sarah Palin, to the detriment of all of us, further pushing the lapdog news media to new lows and diverting America's attention from real issues that matter to informed people. I'll never forgive McCain for that. If he'd selected some sensible running mate, rather than shamelessly pander to the flat-earth evangelicals by selecting Caribou Barbie, Palin would just be an ex-governor of Alaska whom nobody in the lower 48 would recognize. She'd be making her living selling moose-hide lamps rather than monopolizing the attentions of air-headed news producers.

Posted by gardenernorcal

Aug 27 2011 - 10:08am

Not exactly accurate. McCain only served 20 hours in combat. Not sure how 20 hours constitutes the best years of his life. Or how many bombs he could have dropped during that time, especially since I don't think his plane was equipped with bombs. He certainly lost 5 planes, but one of them was lost on his way to an Army Navy football game in Philadelphia, 3 others in non-comat situations.

Posted by robert1234

Aug 26 2011 - 7:32pm

Two nations have actually given up their nuclear programs. Iraq and Libya. There is a lesson in that, isn't there? Meanwhile both Brazil and Saudi Arabia are in the process of building nuke plants and have known plans for nuke weapons. Are they next? No, because they are already U.S. puppets.

Posted by gardenernorcal

Aug 27 2011 - 10:26am

That's the dirty little secret like "Dimona" that gets ignored by the press.

Posted by chuck38

Aug 27 2011 - 12:21pm

Selling arms to a terrorist.... HMMMMM Doesn't that make McCain guilty of colluding with a terrorist ???????????????? Then WHY isn't he having to be made accountable for THAT??????????!!!!!!!!!!???????????


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