24 August 2011

McCain Lobbied to Arm Qaddafi

So says the gift that keeps on giving, the Wikileaks cables.

Julian Assange should be up for a Nobel:
For all the braying by the Senate’s top three hawks about how the U.S. wasn’t doing enough to oust Libyan dictator Col. Muammar Qaddafi from power, one might be surprised to learn that exactly two years ago, Sens. John McCain (R-AZ), Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) were in Tripoli meeting with the erratic leader and giving him assurances that relations between the nations were on the mend.

According to a leaked August 2009 U.S. diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks recounting the Senators’ junket, the neoconservative Connecticut Senator captured the dynamic of aligning with a brutal dictator:
Lieberman called Libya an important ally in the war on terrorism, noting that common enemies sometimes make better friends.
Qaddafi’s history as a top enemy of the U.S. stretched back decades, but his change of heart came quickly after the U.S. invaded Iraq under the pretense of Saddam Hussein’s development of weapons of mass destruction. Hawks seized on Libya’s d├ętente with the West as a sign that Bush’s tough actions in Iraq were having a ripple effect, though patently not, as Iraq War boosters had predicted, with regard to democratic reforms. “We never would have guessed ten years ago that we would be sitting in Tripoli, being welcomed by a son of Muammar al-Qaddafi,” said Lieberman, according to the leaked cable.
The three Senate hawks discussed in detail the Qaddafi regime’s security needs with Libyas National Security Adviser, Qaddafi’s son Muatassim. According to the cable:
5.(C) Senator McCain assured Muatassim that the United States wanted to provide Libya with the equipment it needs for its [a Libyan security program]. He stated that he understood Libya’s requests regarding the rehabilitation of its eight C130s [a transport plane] and pledged to see what he could do to move things forward in Congress. He encouraged Muatassim to keep in mind the long-term perspective of bilateral security engagement and to remember that small obstacles will emerge from time to time that can be overcome.
And these are the wankers that are considered to be serious about foreign policy and national security by the very serious people in Washington, DC.

And no one will ever challenge them on this.

We are so doomed.

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