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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/12/16

What Hillary Knew about Libya

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France's Designs

Plus, the propaganda themes, which stress American righteousness in standing up to foreign evil, are useful in obscuring the self-interested motives that often circle around a killing field like the one that Libya has become.

For instance, another Blumenthal memo to Clinton explained France's political and pecuniary interests in toppling Gaddafi and thus thwarting his ambitious plans to use Libya's oil wealth as a means of freeing parts of Africa from French domination.

In an April 2, 2011 email, Blumenthal informed Clinton that sources close to one of Gaddafi sons were reporting that "Qaddafi's government holds 143 tons of gold, and a similar amount in silver" and the hoard had been moved from the Libyan Central Bank in Tripoli closer to the border with Niger and Chad.

"This gold was accumulated prior to the current rebellion and was intended to be used to establish a pan-African currency based on the Libyan golden Dinar. This plan was designed to provide the Francophone African Countries with an alternative to the French franc (CFA)."

Blumenthal then added that "According to knowledgeable individuals, this quantity of gold and silver is valued at more than $7 billion. French intelligence officers discovered this plan shortly after the current rebellion began, and this was one of the factors that influenced President Nicolas Sarkozy's decision to commit France to the attack on Libya."

The email added: "According to these individuals, Sarkozy's plans are driven by the following issues: a. A desire to gain a greater share of Libya oil production, b. Increase French influence in North Africa, c. Improve his internal political situation in France, d. Provide the French military with an opportunity to reassert its position in the world, e. Address the concern of his advisors over Qaddafi's long term plans to supplant France as the dominant power in Francophone Africa."

In an earlier email, dated March 27, 2011, Blumenthal also discussed the French interests in the conflict, citing "knowledgeable individuals" who said that Sarkozy "is pressing to have France emerge from this crisis as the principal foreign ally of any new government that takes power."

So do you think it would it be easier for the Obama administration to rally American support behind this "regime change" by explaining how the French wanted to steal Libya's wealth and maintain French neocolonial influence over Africa -- or would Americans respond better to propaganda themes about Gaddafi passing out Viagra to his troops so they could rape more women while his snipers targeted innocent children? Bingo!

Seeing No Jihadists

In selling the Libyan policy to the American people, it was also important to downplay another part of the crisis: that Gaddafi was right when he warned of the danger from Islamic radicals, including Al Qaeda's North African affiliate, operating in eastern Libya.

Gaddafi's original military offensive was aimed at these groups, but the Obama administration's propagandists twisted the issue into Gaddafi supposedly committing "genocide" against the people of eastern Libya, thus requiring a U.S.-led "responsibility to protect" or "R2P" mission.

However, in the emails to Clinton, Blumenthal conveyed the actual reality -- that these supposedly innocent anti-Gaddafi rebels in the east indeed included jihadist elements. He wrote: "Sarkozy is also concerned about continuing reports that radical/terrorist groups such as the Libyan Fighting Groups and Al Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) are infiltrating the NLC [the rebel's National Transitional Council] and its military command.

"Accordingly, he [Sarkozy] asked [a] sociologist ... who has long established ties to Israel, Syria, and other nations in the Middle East, to use his contacts to determine the level of influence AQIM and other terrorist groups have inside of the NLC. Sarkozy also asked for reports setting out a clear picture of the role of the Muslim Brotherhood in the rebel leadership."

Blumenthal added: "Senior European security officials caution that AQIM is watching developments in Libya, and elements of that organization have been in touch with tribes in the southeastern part of the country. These [European] officials are concerned that in a post-Qaddafi Libya, France and other western European countries must move quickly to ensure that the new government does not allow AQIM and others to set up small, semi-autonomous local entities -- or 'Caliphates' -- in the oil and gas producing regions of southeastern Libya."

In other words, the danger of Islamic terror groups exploiting the power vacuum that the Obama administration and its Western allies were creating inside Libya was well understood in March 2011, but the supposed "R2P" mission pressed ahead nevertheless.

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Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Secrecy & Privilege: Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq, can be ordered at secrecyandprivilege.com. It's also available at
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