Documents: CIA sent captives to Gaddafi's Libya

Intro by Mike Ely

The actual policies and actions of Gaddafi's government has long been hard to document. Now however, in the wake of the unjust NATO aggression in Libya, Gaddafi's files will increasingly be open to examination. And some of the West's own crimes and collaborations are likely to tumble out.

It has long been known that the Gaddafi government closely collaborated with Western intelligence and other covert agencies in their international operations. Now details may be  emerging.

The following New York Times report is one of several now circulating. What we have here is an initial description of documents found in caches in Tripoli -- obviously there will now start a process of confirming what they say and how reliable they are. It is worth remembering that disinformation also happens -- and there are ongoing efforts to discredit Gaddafi (including among the Libyan people) -- and so we should be alert to the possibility that evidence is forged.

* * * * * * * * * *

"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. ...

"A C.I.A. spokeswoman, Jennifer Youngblood, declined to comment on Friday on the documents. But she added: “It can’t come as a surprise that the Central Intelligence Agency works with foreign governments to help protect our country from terrorism and other deadly threats.”...

"While most of the renditions referred to in the documents appear to have been C.I.A. operations, at least one was claimed to have been carried out by MI-6.

“The rendition program was all about handing over these significant figures related to Al Qaeda so they could torture them and get the information they wanted,” said Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director of Human Rights Watch, who studied the documents in the intelligence headquarters in downtown Tripoli."


* * * * * * * * *

Files Note Close C.I.A. Ties to Qaddafi Spy Unit

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.

Although it has been known that Western intelligence services began cooperating with Libya after it abandoned its program to build unconventional weapons in 2004, the files left behind as Tripoli fell to rebels show that the cooperation was much more extensive than generally known with both the C.I.A. and its British equivalent, MI-6.

Some documents indicate that the British agency was even willing to trace phone numbers for the Libyans, and another appears to be a proposed speech written by the Americans for Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi about renouncing unconventional weapons.

The documents were discovered Friday by journalists and Human Rights Watch. There were at least three binders of English-language documents, one marked C.I.A. and the other two marked MI-6, among a larger stash of documents in Arabic.

It was impossible to verify their authenticity, and none of them were written on letterhead. But the binders included some documents that made specific reference to the C.I.A., and their details seem consistent with what is known about the transfer of terrorism suspects abroad for interrogation and with other agency practices.

And although the scope of prisoner transfers to Libya has not been made public, news media reports have sometimes mentioned it as one country that the United States used as part of its much criticized rendition program for terrorism suspects.

A C.I.A. spokeswoman, Jennifer Youngblood, declined to comment on Friday on the documents. But she added: “It can’t come as a surprise that the Central Intelligence Agency works with foreign governments to help protect our country from terrorism and other deadly threats.”

The British Foreign Office said, “It is the longstanding policy of the government not to comment on intelligence matters.”

While most of the renditions referred to in the documents appear to have been C.I.A. operations, at least one was claimed to have been carried out by MI-6.

“The rendition program was all about handing over these significant figures related to Al Qaeda so they could torture them and get the information they wanted,” said Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director of Human Rights Watch, who studied the documents in the intelligence headquarters in downtown Tripoli.

The documents cover 2002 to 2007, with many of them concentrated in late 2003 and 2004, when Moussa Koussa was head of the External Security Organization. (Mr. Koussa was most recently Libya’s foreign minister.)

The speech that appears to have been drafted for Colonel Qaddafi was found in the C.I.A. folder and appears to have been sent just before Christmas in 2003. The one-page speech seems intended to depict the Libyan dictator in a positive light. It concluded, using the revolutionary name for the Libyan government: “At a time when the world is celebrating the birth of Jesus, and as a token of our contributions towards a world full of peace, security, stability and compassion, the Great Jamhariya presents its honest call for a W.M.D.-free zone in the Middle East,” referring to weapons of mass destruction.

The flurry of communications about renditions are dated after Libya’s renouncement of its weapons program. In several of the cases, the documents explicitly talked about having a friendly country arrest a suspect, and then suggested aircraft would be sent to pick the suspect up and deliver him to the Libyans for questioning. One document included a list of 89 questions for the Libyans to ask a suspect.

While some of the documents warned Libyan authorities to respect such detainees’ human rights, the C.I.A. nonetheless turned them over for interrogation to a Libyan service with a well-known history of brutality.

One document in the C.I.A. binder said operatives were “in a position to deliver Shaykh Musa to your physical custody, similar to what we have done with other senior L.I.F.G. members in the recent past.” The reference was to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which was dedicated to the overthrow of Colonel Qaddafi, and which American officials believed had ties to Al Qaeda.

When Libyans asked to be sent Abu Abdullah al-Sadiq, another member of the group, a case officer wrote back on March 4, 2004, that “we are committed to developing this relationship for the benefit of both our services,” and promised to do their best to locate him, according to a document in the C.I.A. binder.

Two days later, an officer faxed the Libyans to say that Mr. Sadiq and his pregnant wife were planning to fly into Malaysia, and the authorities there agreed to put them on a British Airways flight to London that would stop in Bangkok. “We are planning to take control of the pair in Bangkok and place them on our aircraft for a flight to your country,” the case officer wrote.

Mr. Bouckaert of Human Rights Watch said he had learned from the documents that Sadiq was a nom de guerre for Abdel Hakim Belhaj, who is now a military leader for the rebels.

In an interview on Wednesday, Mr. Belhaj gave a detailed description of his incarceration that matched many of those in the documents. He also said that when he was held in Bangkok he was tortured by two people from the C.I.A.

On one occasion, the Libyans tried to send their own plane to extradite a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, Abu Munthir, and his wife and children, who were being held in Hong Kong because of passport irregularities.

The Libyan aircraft, however, was turned back, apparently because Hong Kong authorities were reluctant to let Libyan planes land. In a document labeled “Secret/ U.S. Only/ Except Libya,” the Libyans were advised to charter an aircraft from a third country. “If payment of a charter aircraft is an issue, our service would be willing to assist financially,” the document said.

While questioning alleged terror group members plainly had value to Western intelligence, the cooperation went beyond that. In one case, for example, the Libyans asked operatives to trace a phone number for them, and a document that was in the MI-6 binder replied that it belonged to the Arab News Network in London. It is unclear why the Libyans sought who the phone number belonged to.

The document also suggested signs of agency rivalries over Libya. In the MI-6 binder, a document boasted of having turned over someone named Abu Abd Alla to the Libyans. “This was the least we could do for you to demonstrate the remarkable relationship we have built over recent years,” an unsigned fax in 2004 said. “Amusingly, we got a request from the Americans to channel requests for information from Abu Abd through the Americans. I have no intention of doing any such thing.”

Scott Shane contributed reporting from Washington.

People in this conversation

  • Guest - Walter Lippmann

    Without saying that these documents now being exultantly reported on are not genuine, let's keep in mind that history is usually written by the victors in any war.

    Let's also keep in mind that not all released documents can be assumed to be genuine, as we saw in the materials which were supposedly found on the laptop of FARC commander Raul Reyes.

    Still, the question which readers of Kasama should ponder is this:

    Under WHAT conditions should they support United States or NATO intervention in any dispute? I do not think there are any occasions when US and NATO intervention can bring about positive results.

    Some elements to consider:

  • Walter Lippmann writes:

    <blockquote>"Still, the question which readers of Kasama should ponder is this: Under WHAT conditions should they support United States or NATO intervention in any dispute? I do not think there are any occasions when US and NATO intervention can bring about positive results."</blockquote>

    I'm confused by this.

    There has been no debate <em>here</em> (on Kasama) about supporting the U.S. -- opposing and exposing U.S. imperialism is a key reason this site exists. There has been consistent and relatively uniform opposition to the NATO invasion -- starting with the no-fly zone.

    And zero support (that I have seen) for the rebel forces once they allied themselves with NATO.

    (The only possible exception is a cross posting from Louis Proyect, whose views are obviously his own and worth engaging in their own right.)

    So why raise support for U.S. imperialism (over and over)? You seem imply (falsely) that supporting U.S. imperialism is something "readers of Kasama should ponder."

    Why exactly should we ponder this? Shouldn't we simply oppose it? What exactly is there to ponder?

    The main issue is <em>opposing</em> the U.S./NATO aggressions (since we are, after all in the U.S. and have special responsibilities).

    But the inevitable side issue (of prettifying and supporting mid-level oppressors like Gaddafi, or Saddam Hussein, or Kim Jung Il in strange and fantastical ways) does involve questions of what we want, what we consider progressive, i.e. what we are all about.

    The issue being debated is the strange and non-revolutionary support by some leftists for reactionary third world governments (and their often inventive implicaiton that these oppressors are "anti-imperialist" somehow.)

    Perhaps the documents now being reported are falsifications. but it has been reported for a while that Libya supported "the war on terror" and there is extensive documentation (and personal testimony) about CIA rendition to torture in Syria.

    I think it is quite likely that we will learn a lot about Gaddafi's involvement with the U.S. covert operations -- and you can't credibly deflect the issues for long.

  • Guest - hastenawait

    These questions about how to understand regimes in imperialized countries is a key one facing the anti-imperialist Left (and the Left in general) today.

    In some quarters we see the persistence of a highly-undialectical type of analysis, which attempts to support anti-imperialist politics by - as Mike Ely describes above - prettifying Third-World regimes, which often have comprador or bureaucrat-capitalist aspects.

    The more nuanced or dialectical view is more honest about the nature of these regimes, and doesn't rely on a campaign of prettification to put forward an anti-imperialist stance. I think that anti-imperialism should be able to stand on its own two feet. Imperialism is creating misery around the world and ought to be knocked down. We shouldn't have to justify this stance by misleading people about the nature of the regimes in imperialized countries. To use an analogy, when one person rapes another, we should oppose that. To make the case, we shouldn't have to prove how good the rape victim is in every aspect of life, even to the point of distortion. Rape is the thing that we oppose. Anti-rape politics can be made to stand on its own two feet.

    Perhaps the tendency to prettify is a symptom of the Left's long-term defeat and marginalization in the defensive position. For so long - especially in the U.S. - we've been excluded from the field of effective politics, on the level of practice and discourse. We are maneuvering and arguing from a position of weakness. Before we even speak we have to preface what we say with a string of justifications for our own existence. An understanding of something like imperialism is so far off most people's maps (precisely because of our marginalization) that we've resorted to weird contortions, like trying to justify opposition to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 by pointing out all the positive things that Saddam's government did. Mussolini made the trains run on time, too, and a broken clock is right at least twice a day. That's a weak basis for an anti-imperialist politics.

    Perhaps, also, some of us like to entertain fantasies that they're doing it right somewhere. Maybe that's Libya or maybe it's the DPRK. After decades without a successful socialist revolution, that's understandable. After 1917 or 1949, for example, the revolutionary Left could speak with a certain confidence, from a position of strength. The inevitable forces of history seemed to be at our backs like wind behind a sail. I imagine that was a nice feeling.

    But getting rid of illusions about a regime like Gaddafi's is important, as Mike suggested above, because it has to do with the fundamental questions regarding what we are about. Our politics have a negative and a positive content. We are anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist: absolutely. But we must also be for something, even if we don't have exact prescriptions and blueprints for what revolution is supposed to achieve. Fundamentally, we should be for liberation, an end to basic alienation in social relations, popular agency and so on. Distorting the nature of authoritarian regimes in other parts of the world also distorts that vision. It tarnishes the positive dimension of our politics, and ultimately weakens the negative aspect (the "anti" part in anti-imperialism and so on); when we base our arguments against U.S./NATO intervention on the supposed goodness or badness of the regime in question, we are implicitly maneuvering within the parameters of discourse/action set up by the imperialists! They base their argument FOR intervention on precisely these questions, and we are therefore subordinated to their logic rather than breaking through to establish a politics on a fundamentally different basis. If in all our polemics and conversations with people we insist on the "objectively anti-imperialist" nature of Gaddafi's regime and its benevolence towards the people and so on, when revelations like this one come out (i.e. the revelations about the regimes collaboration with the CIA) we are discredited. All our arguments are weakened. Those people we were starting to sway might think, "Huh, I guess the anti-imperialists were wrong after all, and Obama was right." (Granted, this example is not the best one and is more complex, because the revelation can discredit Washington, too. But other instances might not call Washington into question so clearly, but might very easily call US into question.)

    At the same time, all of this is complicated by the fact that negative distortions about Third-World regimes do abound. The U.S. and Britain made claims about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction that turned out not to be true, and getting a more accurate picture such regimes - whatever that means - IS an important task for the Left today. The less accurate our knowledge, the weaker we are. Getting to the truth here is not easy, especially when knowledge about a regime is unusually fragmentary. I've run into people who have utterly outlandish notions about the horrors of Kim Jong Il's Korea. Dispelling those illusions is important. But campaigns of systematic distortion are not at all necessary and are ultimately harmful, even when the distortion results from sincere belief.

  • Guest - redwein

    Thanks Mike and Hastenawait for your remarks. Another point is that we have to distinguish anti-imperialist rhetoric and even more so objective points in history during which there may have been some legitimately anti-imperialist politics at work from present day objective historical reality. And it's incumbent on us to mark the dialectical footprints which define those degenerate paths, of which there have been a multitude, because they trace the outlines of struggle both globally and domestically within those nations. There are friends of imperialism who became enemies and enemies who became friends; those on both the Right and the Left buy into narratives, which should be abandoned, for their own purposes and to the detriment of seeing imperialsim itself, of being able to see where the real struggle is and so who the real enemy is, and the real comrade. So I look forward to seeing the next email from ANSWER, to be followed by a deeper analysis from the group for which it fronts (the PSL?), explaining away this latest revelation of the anti-imperialist Gaddafi's fealty to the imperialists. (Actually I have a feeling I may not get that email; they'll just ignore what's inconvenient.) Just as I await the day when Amy Goodman peels away Aristide's saintly veneer, painted on when he was a young radical priest, and finally sees the embracer of neoliberalism and second-rate tyrant that he had become by the time of his 'kidnapping'.

  • Guest - louisproyect

    Frankly, I don't think this is any kind of revelation. It is common knowledge that Libya collaborated with the Bush White House on "extraordinary rendition".

    Sunday Times (London)
    November 14, 2004, Sunday
    US accused of 'torture flights'

    by Stephen Grey

    AN executive jet is being used by the American intelligence agencies to fly terrorist suspects to countries that routinely use torture in their prisons.

    The movements of the Gulfstream 5 leased by agents from the United States defence department and the CIA are detailed in confidential logs obtained by The Sunday Times which cover more than 300 flights.

    Countries with poor human rights records to which the Americans have delivered prisoners include Egypt, Syria and Uzbekistan, according to the files. The logs have prompted allegations from critics that the agency is using such regimes to carry out "torture by proxy" -a charge denied by the American government.

    Some of the information from the suspects is said to have been used by MI5 and MI6, the British intelligence services. The admissibility in court of evidence gained under torture is being considered in the House of Lords in an appeal by foreign-born prisoners at Belmarsh jail, south London, against their detention without trial on suspicion of terrorism.

    Over the past two years the unmarked Gulfstream has visited British airports on many occasions, although it is not believed to have been carrying suspects at the time.

    The Gulfstream and a similarly anonymous-looking Boeing 737 are hired by American agents from Premier Executive Transport Services, a private company in Massachusetts.

    The white 737, registration number N313P, has 32 seats.

    It is a frequent visitor to American military bases, although its exact role has not been revealed.

    More is known about the Gulfstream, which has the registration number N379P and can carry 14 passengers. Movements detailed in the logs can be matched with several sightings of the Gulfstream at airports when terrorist suspects have been bundled away by US counterterrorist agents.

    Analysis of the plane's flight plans, covering more than two years, shows that it always departs from Washington DC. It has flown to 49 destinations outside America, including the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba and other US military bases, as well as Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Morocco, Afghanistan, Libya and Uzbekistan.

    Witnesses have claimed that the suspects are frequently bound, gagged and sedated before being put on board the planes, which do not have special facilities for prisoners but are kitted out with tables for meetings and screens for presentations and in-flight films.


  • Guest - dave

    "Americans sent terrorism suspects at least eight times for questioning in Libya despite that country’s reputation for torture..."

    Despite? Now that's funny.

    This has been going on for decades. If you will permit me to link to something I wrote...

  • Guest - Clay Claiborne (@clayclai)

    <a href="/" rel="nofollow"></a>
    Today British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy were in Tripoli to bask in the glory of a successful campaign to remove the murderous dictator Mummar Qaddafi from power.

    For once, they did a good deed in stopping Qaddafi from using his air force, navy and heavy weapons to massacre the people of Benghazi, Misrata and Tripoli and they claim that their actions were motivated only by humanitarian concerns. This is certainly not the case.

    In a related story, documents captured in Tripoli and revealed yesterday, show just how close NATO was to Qaddafi before the uprising began. Britain was posed to upgrade the T-72 tanks of the feared and hated Khamis Brigade just before the Libya uprising started according to <a href="/" rel="nofollow">Public Service Europe</a>:
    <blockquote>Documents captured in Tripoli show just how close Britain came to enhancing the capabilities of Gaddafi's elite forces

    Just days before the Libyan revolution commenced, General Dynamics UK - a subsidiary of General Dynamics US - was poised to commence with an £85m contract to upgrade Colonel Gaddafi's military. This deal was signed three years ago with the then Labour Government's blessing. After former Prime Minister Tony Blair brought Gaddafi back in from the cold, British defence manufacturers were given free rein to offer Libya their products.

    In total, Blair helped secure some £350m worth of defence contracts. As well as the General Dynamics UK agreement, this also included an MBDA deal for £147million - for the supply of anti-tank missiles and £112m for a communications system. Other deals for air-to-air missiles and patrol vessels worth a further £600m never came to fruition. General Dynamics UK supplies the Bowman tactical communications and data system to the British Army, and has exported it to the Netherlands and Romania.
    Documents unearthed in the barracks of Gaddafi's elite Khamis Brigade show that the Libyans were preparing to have 22 vehicles, including T-72 tanks and other armoured vehicles upgraded with new communications equipment on the eve of the uprising.
    Note that the company doing the upgrade, General Dynamics, is one of the biggest defense contractors in the US, but this deal was done by it's UK subsidiarity to skirt the US prohibition on selling weapons to Qaddafi.

    It is quite likely that the tanks to be upgrade were among those used against Libyan civilians and subsequently destroyed by NATO air strikes.

    Since it is unlikely that NATO countries were upgrading Qaddafi's tanks so that he could use them against Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, and certainly not Israel, it would seem that they should have foreseen that they most likely would be used against the Libyan people. Especially since he had done it before.
    <blockquote>ATTENTION CYNTHIA MCKINNEY: Did you know that your "<em>Brother Qaddafi"</em> was friends with, and financially supported <a href="/" rel="nofollow">a white supremacist group in Canada?</a></blockquote>
    For more background on the Libyan Revolution and links to lots of information see my other writings at the DailyKos and WikiLeaks Central:
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">Why NATO's mission in Libya isn't over yet</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">Libya's Freedom Fighters: How They Won</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">Racism in Libya</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">Abdul Rahman Gave his Eyes to See the End of Qaddafi</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">BREAKING: Secret files reveal Dennis Kucinich talks with Qaddafi Regime</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">BREAKING: Libyan TNC won't extradite Lockerbie bomber</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">Who really beat Qaddafi?</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">#Feb17: @NATO Please help MEDEVAC wounded from #Libya</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">What should those that opposed NATO's intervention in Libya demand now?</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">BREAKING: Qaddafi's Tripoli Compound Falls!</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">Does PDA Support Qaddafi?</a>
    <a href="/,-the-Battle-to-Liberate-Tripoli-is-Joined" rel="nofollow">BREAKING: Operation Mermaid Dawn, the Battle to Liberate Tripoli is Joined</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">Helter Skelter: Qaddafi's African Adventure</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">Qaddafi's Long Arm</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">SCOOP: My Lai or Qaddafi Lie? More on the 85 Civilians presumed killed by NATO</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">Did NATO kill 85 Libyan Villagers As Qaddafi Regime Contends?</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">CCDS Statement on Libya - a Critique</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow"> The Assassination of General Abdul Fattah Younis</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">NATO over Tripoli - Air Strikes in the Age of Twitter</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">How Many Libyans has NATO Killed?</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">Qaddafi Terror Files Start to Trickle Out!</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">Have Libyan Rebels Committed Human Rights Abuses?</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">Tripoli Green Square Reality Check</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">Behind the Green Curtain: Libya Today</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">Gilbert Achcar on the Libyan situation and the Left</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">NATO slammed for Libya civilian deaths NOT!</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">2011-07-01 Qaddafi's Million Man March</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">NATO's Game Plan in Libya</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">February 21st - Tripoli's Long Night</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">Did Qaddafi Bomb Peaceful Protesters?</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">Tripoli Burn Notice</a>
    <a href="/,-PalestiniansIsraelis?via=blog_511082" rel="nofollow">Libyans, Palestinians &amp; Israelis</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">'Brother' Qaddafi Indicted plus Libya &amp; Syria: Dueling Rally Photofinishs</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">An Open Letter to ANSWER</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">ANSWER answers me</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">2011-06-22 No Libyans allowed at ANSWER Libya Forum</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">Are they throwing babies out of incubators yet?</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">Continuing Discussion with a Gaddafi Supporter</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">Boston Globe oped supports Gaddafi with fraudulent journalism</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">2011-04-13 Doha summit supports Libyan rebels</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">Current Events in Libya</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">Amonpour Plays Softball with Gaddafi</a>
    <a href="/">" rel="nofollow">Arming Gaddfi</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">North African Revolution Continues</a>
    <a href="/" rel="nofollow">Is Libya Next? Anonymous Debates New Operation</a>
    The US, UK and EU countries made peace with Qaddafi some time ago and had already brought him fully into the imperialist fold before the uprising. He had joined the IMF, established <a href="/">" rel="nofollow">military-to-military</a> relations with the pentagon and, we now know from documents found in Tripoli since it's liberation, the CIA was even using his torture dungeons for <a href="/" rel="nofollow">"special renditions."</a>

    They were happy to keep paying him for Libya's oil no matter how many people he slaughtered to maintain his dictatorship. That is why they made no substantive moves to stay his murderous suppression of the uprising until it had survived it's first month, gone over to armed struggle, and was starting to show that it had staying power.

    Today when Sarkozy <a href="/,0,2374293.story" rel="nofollow">said</a> <em>"This was a just cause,"</em> he told the truth, but when he said there was <em>"no hidden agenda,"</em> he lied.

    While they were already getting Libya's oil, due to the current world economic crisis, it was critical for them to maintain that supply, and once civil war was looking like it might be settling in for a very long and bloody fight, it was critical that they act to minimize the disruption to <em>"their"</em> oil supply.

    In this regards, the world economic crisis served the Libyan revolution in two ways. First NATO countries, unlike with Iraq, which happened at another time under different economic circumstance, couldn't afford years of sanctions against Qaddafi either before or after a massacre and were forced to support the Thuwwar so as to shorten the war and the disruption of the oil supply. Second, they couldn't afford to use the war to create lucrative rebuilding contracts by devastating Libya's infrastructure like they did in Iraq.

    The short story is that the capitalist crisis has so weakened the imperialist powers that their options in dealing with the Libyan situation were somewhat limited. This is why the NTC could cut a deal for air support without also accepting NATO boots on the ground. Some, including the NATO leaders themselves, will argue that they are fresh out of boots anyway, but that hardly undercuts my argument that the Libyan revolutionaries benefited from a weaken NATO.

    So while today's speeches were full of flowery words about <em>"democracy"</em> and <em>"freedom"</em>, what they really want is at least as much influence over Libya as they had under Qaddafi, if not more.

    So when Cameron said:
    <blockquote><em>"Let us be clear: This is not finished, this is not done, this is not over."</em></blockquote>
    He no doubt had in mind more than catching Qaddafi and clearing out the remaining pockets of resistance, which the NTC now believes will take another two weeks of siege because their strategy is to avoid bloodshed as much as possible and Qaddafi is holding civilians hostage and using them as human shields in the few areas he still controls.

    We are given a clue as to what else NATO may have in mind to complete their mission by a piece that came out in the <a href="/">" rel="nofollow">Christian Science Monitor</a> today:
    <blockquote>some US defense analysts warn that it may be difficult to cement any victory in Libya without ground troops.</blockquote>
    According to <a href="/">" rel="nofollow">Dr. Nora Bensahel</a>, senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security:
    <blockquote><em>“Without some sort of troops on the ground, the risks go up that this will not be a quick or easy transition.”</em></blockquote>
    The Thuwwar have come this far without NATO boots on the ground and the remaining Qaddafi loyalist seem relatively well contained. I'm sure Qaddafi would have loved nothing better than to pop Cameron and Sarkozy in Tripoli so I'm sure they felt it was well secured before their visit.

    Civil society is returning to Tripoli at lightening speed and has been up and running in Benghazi for months. Hell, this evening I'm even seeing tweets that say they have already restored water and electricity to the parts <a href="/!/freelibyanyouth/status/114494040598257666" rel="nofollow">Bani Walid</a> they have just liberated and even Qaddafi's birthplace in <a href="/!/Libyan4life/status/114445792638550016" rel="nofollow">Sirte</a> has fallen.

    Given all this, it would seem to be a strange time to be talking about boots on the ground but not only NATO but now the <a href="/" rel="nofollow">Russians</a> and the <a href="/;utm_source=NNG" rel="nofollow">Chinese</a> have been calling for some sort of international <em>"peace keeping force"</em> now that the war has ended. Everybody wants an opportunity to get their spooks on the ground so that they can <em>"influence"</em> Libya's future.

    IMHO, Libya's answer should be <em>"thanks, but no thanks,"</em> Libya is for the Libyans now and so is their oil.

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