David Cameron’s statement regarding the killing of Moammar al-Gaddafi will go down as another piece of brash hypocrisy, which would be breathtaking if it was not so expected from the British premier. He mentioned that he was “proud of the role that Britain has played” in the uprising – intending of course the support given by NATO once it was clear that the Libyan people had risen up against the man en masse.
However he neglected to mention some of the other roles that Britain previously played with the Gaddafi regime which have undoubtedly had an effect on the events:
· Many of the weapons used by Libyan dictator’s regime were in fact purchased from Britain. According to the AP: “Britain sold Libya about $55 million worth of military and paramilitary equipment in the year ending Sept. 30, 2010, according to Foreign Office statistics. Among the items: sniper rifles, bulletproof vehicles, crowd control ammunition, and tear gas”
· Not only did the British arm the forces of the Gaddafi regime, they also trained them. The Khamis brigade troops were also trained by the SAS as well as being armed by British companies.
Cameron also stated that today was “a day to remember all of Colonel Gaddafi’s victims”. However, he neglected to mention those victims who were kidnapped and rendered to the Gaddafi regime by the British intelligence service such as Sami al Saadi who is now suing the British government for not only being complicit in his rendition and torture, but actually actively organizing it as highlighted by documents unearthed in Libya. Continue reading →
NYT’s Misleading Rendition of the Reason for Rendition
09/06/2011 by Peter Hart, FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting)
Documents discovered in Libya suggest a close relationship between the Libyan government and the CIA. The New York Times described it this way on September 3:
TRIPOLI, Libya — Documents found at the abandoned office of Libya’s former spymaster appear to provide new details of the close relations the Central Intelligence Agency shared with the Libyan intelligence service — most notably suggesting that the Americans sent terrorism suspects at least eight times for questioning in Libya despite that country’s reputation for torture.
And then today (9/6/11) the Times put it this way:
The cooperation appeared to be far greater with the American intelligence agency, which sent terrorism suspects to Libya for questioning at least eight times, despite the country’s reputation for torture. Britain sent at least one suspect, according to the documents.
As Glenn Greenwald pointed out on Twitter (in fewer characters), the whole point of rendition was to send prisoners to countries the United States knew would treat them a certain way. It wasn’t a series of accidents. In other words, the CIA used Libya not despite its reputation for torture, but because of it.
With the Gadhafi regime in tatters and the Libyan leader on the run, secret files in Tripoli have come to light which detail the depth of cooperation between the US and UK with Libya on the rendition of terror suspects.
The United States and Britain face embarrassing questions after reams of confidential documents discovered in Libya’s External Security agency headquarters exposed the depth of cooperation between the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the UK’s foreign intelligence service MI6 and fugitive dictator Moammar Gadhafi’s secret service.
The documents, uncovered by officials from the Libyan transitional authority and researchers from Human Rights Watch during a sweep of government buildings, show that both the US and British intelligence services developed very close relations with Gadhafi. This cooperation took place even before the former Libyan leader was rehabillitated in the wake of his pledge to help in the war on terror and his renouncing of nuclear-weapons in 2004. Continue reading →
[Of course, US and EU petrodollar imperialists have had a firm hold on Libyan resources for a number of years. But the end of Gaddafi will open the door for some to get into the lucrative holdings, or to expand those they already have–at the expense of others untied to the NTC. Here is the latest speculative prospecting among the petrobanks and petrocorporates. — Frontlines ed.]
While NATO members, led by France, piously proclaimed at the onset of their military offensive in Libya that their concerns were solely humanitarian, a covert tussle to gain a commanding lead in developing the country’s energy riches in light of Colonel Gaddafi’s departure is well underway.The Libyan economy depends primarily upon revenues from the oil sector, which contribute about 95 percent of export earnings, 25 percent of GDP, and 80 percent of government revenue.
Prior to the outbreak of conflict, Libya was exporting about 1.3-1.4 million barrels per day from production estimated at roughly 1.79 million barrels per day, of which approximately 280,000 barrels per day were indigenously consumed. But analysts believe that with reconstruction Libya could soon be exporting 1.6 million barrels per day of high-quality, light crude. Continue reading →
[A description, written in February 2011, of US-Gaddafi relations during the period 2003-February 2011, when the people’s rebellion destabilized Gaddafi’s reliability as an ally and partner–and the US began searching for new, more reliable brokers for Libyan oil. — Frontlines ed.}
Libya: How Gaddafi became a Western-backed dictator
Italy’ President Silvio Berlusconi and Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
Civilians were strafed and bombed from helicopters and planes. Snipers with high-powered rifles fired into unarmed crowds. Two pilots flew their fighter jets to Malta rather than bomb their own people and another two are reported to have crashed their jets rather than attack civilians. Sections of the armed forces, several diplomats and a couple of ministers have abandoned the regime and, at the time of the writing, the east of Libya was in the hands of popular revolutionary committees.
And as more sections of his armed forces stared to go over to the people, Gaddafi ordered troops who refused to shoot their own people to be executed.
Gruesome footage of the carnage was revealed to the world despite the Gaddafi regime’s desperate attempts to seal the country by blocking the internet and locking out journalists. Continue reading →
With Muammar Qaddafi’s ignominious disappearance to who knows where, fast on the heels of President Obama’s proclamation that “Qaddafi’s rule is over,” it is easy to think of the United States as the dictator’s stubborn, persistent, and ultimately triumphant foe.
One remembers Reagan’s efforts to confront Qaddafi decades ago: the 1986 missile strikes, the skirmishes in the Gulf of Sidra, the labeling of Libya’s leader as the “mad dog of the Middle East,” and of Libya as a rogue state.
But the line that one is tempted to draw between U.S./Libyan relations then and U.S./Libyan relations now isn’t straight. While Qaddafi is now despised as an enemy, for much of the past decade he was treated as a friend. Continue reading →
[The pro-US/EU interventionist media has routinely failed to provide news coverage to the widespread attacks on African migrants and black residents and citizens of Libya, other than to characterize, falsely, that all such black Africans have been mercenary soldiers for the fallen Gaddafi regime. The history of sub-Saharan migration to Libya–and by way of north Africa, to Europe–has not been told in non-xenophobic or non-racist terms, nor have the imperialist efforts to foster divisions and antagonisms between Africans and the Arab world been exposed. Genuine revolutionary and anti-imperialist forces must challenge such xenophobia and manufactured antagonisms. — Frontlines ed.]
The New Libya
by PATRICK COCKBURN, Counterpunch
Tripoli, August 30, 2011–Yassin Bahr, a tall thin Senegalese in torn blue jeans, volubly denies that he was ever a mercenary or fought for Muammar Gaddafi.
Speaking in quick nervous sentences, Mr Bahr tries to convince a suspicious local militia leader in charge of the police station in the Faraj district of Tripoli, that he is a building worker who has been arrested simply because of his color. “I liked Gaddafi, but I never fought for him,” Mr Bahr says, adding that he had worked in Libya for three years laying tiles.
But the Libyan rebels are hostile to black Africans in general. One of the militiamen, who have been in control of the police station since the police fled, said simply: “Libyan people don’t like people with dark skins, though some of them may be innocent.” Continue reading →