by Gordon Duff, Originally posted on March 26, 2011, on VeteransTodayArchives.com
LIBYA’S STRANGE BEDFELLOWS
GWENYTH TODD (Clinton Advisor on Libya and the Middle East): “At that meeting (State Department), one of the agenda items that came up was how we could silence the (Lockerbie) victims’ families by possibly discrediting them – by saying that perhaps they were greedy and that they just wanted money…. and I walked out in disgust. I was outraged”.
Today, Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi is fighting to stay in power, subject to renewed UN sanctions and a NATO air assault. Few know his checkered history and the decades of “cooperation” between Libya and the covert operations of the United States, Britain, and Israel, assassinations, arms dealing, and, most of all, drugs.
From Monster Makeover (complete transcript below):
GWENYTH TODD: “According to Israeli lobbyists to whom I spoke, Israel felt no threat from Libya’s nuclear program in the late 90s and beyond. And if it had been a serious concern, Israel would have made it very clear that we needed to keep the sanctions on”.
Americans are flabbergasted, and they should be, at the strange bedfellows the Libyan crisis has uncovered, a Washington divided, not by politics but something baser exposed, signs of past sins and a flood of Gaddafi cash meant to mold public opinion now as it had for decades.
Why is the “anti-war” left behind “madman” Gaddafi with the right, some calling for his ouster and others like Rudy Giuliani, behind him 200%? What we don’t have is the truth, how Gaddafi went from CIA creature during the 1970s to terrorist pariah and back out the other side, Bush-Blair partner in the phony War on Terror.
What could have driven Blair to the kind of outrageous behavior, now exposed and confirmed in the ABC report below?
This week, ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), with the help of some of our associates at Veterans Today, tells a good part of that story. This video will not be seen in the United States. They won’t explain some of it, like why Israel wasn’t concerned about Libya’s nuclear program, one we learned they were managing for Gaddafi.
Most remember Tony Blair’s 2004 visit to Libya, arms for oil deals, but Gwyneth Todd, Clinton’s advisor on Libya, remembers Blair taking a stronger position years earlier, threatening to withdraw British support for sanctions against Saddam in Iraq unless America allowed British oil and arms interests a free hand to do business in Libya. American oil interests placed even more pressure on President Clinton but it wasn’t until George “W” Bush got into office that Gaddafi’s money, always floating around Washington, would find the right pockets.
Try to find Rudi Giuliani’s client list if you can. “He never met a brutal dictator he didn’t like….”
Gaddafi’s money had long been flowing into America and Britain and had long penetrated the corridors of power. America’s relationship with Gaddafi began long before, in fact, Gaddafi began life as a creature of the CIA and its friends from that “special country.”
THE LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS – “WAR THROUGH DECEPTION”
How could any organization have such an innocent name and be involved in so much of the world’s shadowy business? Back in 2004, Howard Davies, head of the London School of Economics resigned after it was discovered he had taken a $500,000 “honorarium” from Gaddafi. Though Libya’s version of AIPAC, the Monitor Group, a Washington conservative “think tank” and public relations agency, Libya has maintained an active role to this day co-managing the London School of Economics through professors like Anthony Gibbons.
From a Monitor Group letter:
We will create a network map to identify significant figures engaged or interested in Libya today … We will identify and encourage journalists, academics, and contemporary thinkers who will have an interest in publishing papers and articles on Libya, … We are delighted that after a number of conversations, Lord Giddens has now accepted our invitation to visit Libya in July.
Then there is the issue of George Soros. If anyone wonders the “who and where” of George Soros, they need look no further than the London School of Economics.
From the Guardian:
As part of the fall-out, billionaire US financier George Soros last night apologized for having advised the LSE to take Libyan money. Soros studied at LSE as an undergraduate and had advised the school that it was acceptable to receive the contribution from Gaddafi’s son, Saif, on the grounds that he appeared at the time to be a believer in an open society and claimed to be working to move Libya in that direction. A spokesman for Soros said he had come to see that his advice was “a mistake in judgment, which he now greatly regrets”.
Another of the enigmatic characters of that era is Richard Mellon Scaife, perhaps most famous for underwriting the Whitewater investigation into the Clintons and for his curious financial relationship with Ken Starr, the Special Prosecutor whose work led to the impeachment attempt made on President Clinton. The main issue with the Clintons was that they were not “on board” when it came to drug operations in Libya.
When journalist Steve Kangas, a former Army intelligence officer, tried to tie Scaife to this group, he was found “suicided” outside Scaife’s office:
Kangas ran the Liberalism Resurgent website. This included several articles on the activities of the Central Intelligence Agency. One of his online essays, The Origins of the Overclass, attempted to show “why the richest 1 percent have exploded ahead since 1975, with the help of the New Right, Corporate America and, surprisingly, the CIA.” In the essay, he argues that Richard Mellon Scaife ran “Forum World Features, a foreign news service used as a front to disseminate CIA propaganda around the world.
It is believed that Kangas was working on a book about CIA covert activities when on 8th February 1999, he was found dead in the bathroom of the offices of Richard Mellon Scaife, the owner of the Pittsburgh Tribune. He had been shot in the head. Officially he had committed suicide but some people believe he was murdered. In an article in Salon Magazine, (19th March 1999) Andrew Leonard asked: “Why did the police report say the gun wound was to the left of his head, while the autopsy reported a wound on the roof of his mouth? Why had the hard drive on his computer been erased shortly after his death? Why had Scaife assigned his No. 1 private detective, Rex Armistead, to look into Kangas’ past?”
A better question is why is an institution known to be “ground zero” for the Mossad and Israel’s stranglehold on British politics totally “in bed” with Libya? The LSE has always been able to turn out propaganda “on-demand,” as is seen below:
Support for the Afghan Taliban was “official ISI policy”, the London School of Economics (LSE) authors suggest. Pakistan’s military denied the claims. A spokesman said the allegations were “rubbish” and part of a malicious campaign against the country’s military and security agencies.
The LSE report comes at the end of one of the deadliest weeks for Nato troops in Afghanistan, with more than 30 soldiers killed.
‘Double game’Links between the Taliban and Pakistan’s intelligence service have long been suspected, but the report’s author – Harvard analyst Matt Waldman – says there is real evidence of extensive cooperation between the two.
Here, Israel needed to push their message, peddling the thin credibility of the “nest of spies,” the London School of Economics, a story later peddled to the world on by Wikileaks, another Mossad run “disinformation service.” In fact, it has been Israel’s Mossad along with India’s RAW and the CIA, using assets such as Raymond Davis, who have maintained a “double game” of hunting the Taliban and financing and training it as well, particularly against Pakistan. The problem, of course, is that the terrorists trained by the Mossad/RAW/CIA groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan are also killing American soldiers as well. This is the kind of “collateral damage” that intelligence agencies write off with a shrug.
Long seen as a recruiting ground for MI 6 and the CIA, the LSE (London School of Economics) has always stood ready to serve, whether “managing” public opinion, marshaling academics behind the propaganda, or creating a mosaic of respectability behind political and economic policies designed to fail, part of the “chaos theory” warfare so deftly managed by so many with so much education, so much privilege and so little conscience.
GADDAFI AND THE CIA, ASSASSINATIONS, AND DRUGS
Gaddafi came to power in 1969. Almost immediately, Britain perceived a threat to their interests in Africa and tasked the SAS with his overthrow. However, America ordered a “stand down” and explained that Gaddafi, half Muslim radical and half Marxist was going to be “of use.” There was no safer home ground for moving the CIA’s drug and weapons smuggling business to Libya.
To accomplish this, CIA insiders, Ted Shackley aided by Edwin Wilson and the Nugan Hand Bank went into business with Gaddafi. They agreed to take care of his “problems” for him, with “extreme prejudice” and he would protect them from extradition if the “climate” changed.
No one knows the exact year, but by 1973, the CIA had established a base of operation in Libya and had begun, not only training and equipping Libya’s army on behalf of Israel but had gone into full partnership with Libya’s secret police and intelligence services as well.
US Special Forces, stationed in Libya under the cover of Vietnam vets (Operation Phoenix) working as “mercenaries” assisted Gaddafi in operations against Libyan dissidents in Europe and even the United States. The crew that took to Libya to help Gaddafi were better known for their exploits in Southeast Asia under Operation Phoenix.
The same “mercenaries” under the guise of School of the Americans would begin a Phoenix operation, planned in Miami and put in place in El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua, partnering with Manuel Noriega and the Reagan administration. Only a small part of this would surface during the Iran Contra hearings, better dubbed, “the Iran-Contra coverup.”
Michael Rupert would expose this operation. From his statement to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence:
On November 15, 1996, I stood at a town hall meeting at Locke High School in Los Angeles and said to Director of Central Intelligence John Deutch, “I am a former Los Angeles Police narcotics detective. I worked South Central Los Angeles and I can tell you, Director Deutch, emphatically and without equivocation, that the Agency has dealt drugs in this country for a long time.” I then referred Director Deutch to three specific Agency operations known as Amadeus, Pegasus and Watchtower.
Most Americans have been led to believe that the purpose of these hearings is to ascertain whether or not there is any evidence that the Central Intelligence Agency dealt drugs during the Iran-Contra era. If these hearings were about evidence, then the most patriotic duty I could perform would be to quote Jack Blum who served as chief investigator for the Kerry Subcommittee on narcotics and terrorism ten years ago. He testified before this committee last year and said, “We don’t have to investigate. We already know.” We could save a lot of taxpayer money by just rereading the records of the Kerry hearings. There is more evidence in there than any court in the world would ever need to hand down indictments.
At best, I could just quote you one entry from Oliver North’s diary dated July 5, 1985, which said that $14 million to buy weapons for the Contras, “came from drugs.” I wouldn’t need to mention the two hundred and fifty other such entries in his diary, which refer to narcotics. Or I could quote Dennis Dayle a senior DEA supervisory agent who said, “In my thirty-year history in DEA, the major targets of my investigations almost invariably turned out to be working for the C.I.A.”
Gaddafi needed assassins, something the US had so many of and, in the wake of the failure in Vietnam, had available for hire.
What was created in Libya was a reign of terror against the Libyan people unprecedented by today’s standards with those even rumored to oppose Gaddafi found hanging from lamp posts or gutted and burned in front of their homes. Keeping this out of the press was the job of organizations like the London School of Economics, the Monitor Group and a series of prominent Washington insiders, one of whom has thrown his hat into the “presidential ring” for 2012 and is now braying about Obama’s “decision making” on Libya.
We call this “Operation Gladio.”
By 1975, CIA and Special Forces groups were actively working for Gaddafi outside Libya, directly involved in assassinations of dissidents in Germany and even the United States.
After leaving the CIA in September 1979, Ted Shackley formed his own company, Research Associates International, which specialized in providing intelligence to business. He was also given consulting work with API Distributors, the company established by Thomas G. Clines, Raphael Quintero, and Ricardo Chavez.
In 1979 a gun that Wilson (CIA’s Edwin Wilson) arranged to be delivered to the Libyan embassy in Bonn was used to kill a political dissident. Another dissident was murdered in Colorado by one of Wilson’s men.
According to Alfred W. McCoy (The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade): “Throughout 1979 the Wilson network and the Nugan Hand Bank began to build a close commercial alliance in the netherworld of national security subcontracting”. Ted Shackley and Thomas G. Clines were also drawn into a relationship with the Nugan Hand Bank. Michael Hand wrote to Shackley on 27th November 1979, suggesting a business meeting. Hand’s latter also referred to Bernie Houghton, who had worked for Shackley in Vietnam.
Michael Hand probably wanted to talk about Edwin Wilson. In 1979 a Washington grand jury began gathering incriminating evidence about his illegal arms sales. To avoid arrest he moved to London. In the winter of 1979, Wilson had a meeting with Bernie Houghton and Thomas G. Clines in Switzerland in an attempt to help him out of his difficulties. This included a non-delivery of 5,000 M16 automatic rifles. The three men discussed ways of using the Nugan Hand Bank to float a $22 million loan to finance the delivery. The hand was obviously concerned that if Wilson was arrested he might begin talking about his dealings with Nugan Hand.
Michael Hand also had talks with William Colby, the former director of the CIA. It is not known what was discussed at this meeting but Colby submitted a bill to Nugan Hand Bank for $45,684 for his legal advice.
“OUTLIVED HIS USEFULNESS,” LIBYA, REAGAN AND IRAN CONTRA AND THE “NEOCONS”
When President Reagan ordered the bombing of Libya in 1986, supposedly in retaliation for the bombing of Berlin “discotheques” by Libyan agents that same year, Gaddafi felt betrayed. The CIA and Mossad had, not only assisted Libya with terrorist operations in Europe but had actually carried them out for Libya. However, by the end of Reagan’s first term, Gaddafi was seen as both uncontrollable and Libya no longer a viable safe haven for managing destabilizing operations in Europe such as those tied to Operation Gladio.
Operation Gladio is the heart of world terrorism, alive and well, and built by NATO, built by the United States and used against America and the world. Gladio, created to save us from communism, quickly became a terrorist organization itself, murdering political leaders, rigging elections, terror attacks to blame on one group or another. The “medicine” became the disease.
“Rogue” CIA agent, Edwin Wilson had a close associate and confidant placed high among Reagan insiders. That partner was General Richard Secord, the man responsible for the mysteriously failed rescue attempt of American hostages from Iran in 1980. Had President Carter known more about Major General Secord, he could have predicted the outcome. The cabal that managed the CIA’s Libya operations, old hands from Operation Phoenix and the opium trade of the Golden Triangle, had, by 1981, found a more lucrative trade, “crack cocaine” and the cover of military operations in Central America with ties to Israel, Iran, in fact, an operation that would finance a rebirth of “conservative values” that would rewrite the political scene in America. The real roots of “Neocon” America, “family values” and “Christian Zionism” is the CIA and their drug empire.
If there has been anything consistent in the past 45 years of American politics, it has been the influx of drug funding, Golden Triangle, Columbian Cartel, and today, Afghanistan heroin.
In June 1972, General Secord was assigned as a staff assistant in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Washington, D.C. His duties included serving as desk officer for Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam under the assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs.
“From late 1973 until April of 1975, Theodore Shackley, Thomas Clines, and Richard Armitage disbursed, from the secret, Laotian-based, Vang Pao opium fund, vastly more money than was required to finance even the highly intensified Phoenix Project in Vietnam. The money in excess of that used in Vietnam was secretly smuggled out of Vietnam in large suitcases, by Richard Secord and Thomas Clines and carried into Australia, where it was deposited in a secret, personal bank account (privately accessible to Theodore Shackley, Thomas Clines, and Richard Secord). During this same period of time between 1973 and 1975, Theodore Shackley and Thomas Clines caused thousands of tons of US weapons, ammunition, and explosives to be secretly taken from Vietnam and stored at a secret “cache” hidden inside Thailand.” This money, with the help of Raphael Quintero, found its way into the Nugan Hand Bank in Sydney. The bank was founded by Michael Hand, a CIA operative in Laos, and Frank Nugan an Australian businessman.
In 1975 Richard Secord was transferred to Iran as chief of the Air Force’s Military Advisory Assistance Group (MAAG). With Ted Shackley, Thomas G. ClinesAlbert Hakim, Secord established an arms sales company called Egyptian American Transport and Service Corporation (EATSCO). Later EATSCO was convicted of embezzling millions of dollars from the Pentagon.
In April 1980, Secord was promoted to the rank of major general and was in charge of rescue efforts for U.S. hostages held in Iran. The following year Secord was appointed as deputy assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs. Soon afterward, with the help of Oliver North, coordinated the campaign to win congressional approval for $8.5 billion AWACS sale to Saudi Arabia.
Secord was suspended for three months in 1982 while he was being investigated by the FBI about his links to and EATSCO. He was reinstated by Frank Carlucci but took early retirement from the USAF in May 1983. Secord now established the Stanford Technology Trading Group International (STTGI). According to Lawrence E. Walsh, who carried out the official investigation into the scandal (Iran-Contra: The Final Report): “Using a complex web of secret Swiss bank accounts and shell corporations managed by Willard Zucker at Compagnie de Services Fiduciaires (CSF) in Geneva, they built a lucrative Enterprise from covert-operations business assigned to them by Lt. Col. Oliver L. North.”
In October 1985, Congress agreed to vote 27 million dollars in non-lethal aid for the Contras in Nicaragua. However, members of the Ronald Reagan administration, including George Bush, decided to use this money to provide weapons to the Contras and the Mujahideen in Afghanistan.
Time had passed Gaddafi by, Gaddafi left to his plots, his arms dealing, his adventures in Africa, and his rebirth as the new Mussolini. Bush and Blair, driven by a thirst for power, pulled Gaddafi back into the fold. Gaddafi believed himself “reborn” as the great enigma of the 21st century, a murderous despot flying high with his new role of statesman and partner in America’s plots within plots in Central Asia.
Consider Gaddafi a potential victim of his own success.
SUSAN COHEN: “I think anger’s healthy, which is a very unpopular view. Anger gives strengthening. Anger is energizing and if you use anger and act on anger, I think it’s a very good emotion. I began to really grow, to feel this enormous rage at the terrorists, enormous rage, and an enormous hatred of the Libyan people and I want to see the people who killed my kid punished. But I noticed after the Libyan people began this uprising and my feelings towards them changed and I said to myself, there are young kids going out there facing machine guns, bullets and I didn’t hate them anymore. I began to see us all as victims. They were victimized too. And I thought to myself, yes we all hate him. We all hate Gaddafi and we are all victims of Gaddafi so I feel very strongly on their side now and that to me was an amazing revolution”.
JOLLEY: The New Jersey shoreline is an ocean away from Libya. Susan Cohen for one has never been there. And yet her life has been altered and fractured by a ruthless tyrant in a foreign land. Susan Cohen lost her twenty-year-old daughter Theo in a disaster she knows as Pan Am 103 and what much of the rest of the world knows as Lockerbie.
SUSAN COHEN: “I love her and I miss her and this never should have happened to her, never. Theo was a bright young woman. She was talented. She sang like an angel”.
JOLLEY: Theo Cohen was a gifted opera singer – flying home to the United States after three months studying in Europe.
SUSAN COHEN: “We were on the phone. She was coming back in two days and she said I miss you and I love you. I was so happy. I hung up the phone and I did a little dance in the kitchen, a little dance in the kitchen. I didn’t dance in the kitchen after that – ever again”.
JOLLEY: A bomb planted by Libyans blew Pan Am 103 to smithereens. The wreckage and 259 bodies rained down on and around the Scottish town of Lockerbie.
SUSAN COHEN: “They said that her body had landed a mile away in a sheep meadow and I think of that. I think of the last moments and seconds. So just another thing to be haunted, to haunt me”.
JOLLEY: Susan Cohen is in no doubt that Gaddafi himself hatched the plot and there’s evidence to support that. And now 22 years on, she waits for justice – astonished and appalled by the actions of her own and other western governments over Pan Am 103 and other atrocities. Instead of punishing a man she calls a mass murderer, they made him their friend.
SUSAN COHEN: “They knew Gaddafi did it. They always knew Gaddafi did it so there was no excuse for not taking stronger action. The simple truth is they didn’t want to do it”.
JOLLEY: Colonel Muammar Gaddafi installed himself as Libya’s leader after a military coup in 1969 and over time, as his authority grew, so did his reputation as a dangerous, erratic despot. He and his nation became pariahs. A series of incidents confirmed the renegade status. In London in 1984 a Libyan embassy official turned a machine gun on a small gathering of protesters, killing a police officer.
PROTESTOR: “Suddenly people were firing heavy caliber machine guns at them in the middle of a London Square from an embassy!”
JOLLEY: In Berlin two years later, Libya bombed a nightclub killing two American servicemen. Ten days later, US President Ronald Reagan sent fighter planes to attack Gaddafi’s Tripoli compound.
FORMER US PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: “The mad dog of the Middle East has a goal of a world revolution, Muslim fundamentalist revolution”.
JOLLEY: But the retaliation didn’t bring contrition or moderation. As the United States slapped firm sanctions on Libya, a bigger, more sinister terrorist plot began to take shape. Libyan operatives found a gaping hole in Pan Am Airline security and secreted a suitcase on board. Just a few days before Christmas 1988, Pan Am 103 left Heathrow for New York. The bomb in the suitcase went off less than an hour into the flight.
There was no military retribution this time, but the United Nations eventually imposed tough sanctions on Libya. The aim? To force Gaddafi to hand over the two suspected Lockerbie terrorists. But it wouldn’t be long – a few years – before backroom negotiations began for sanctions to be lifted.
FORMER PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR: “We do not forget the past but we do try, in the light of the genuine changes happening, to move beyond it”.
GWENYTH TODD: “In 1998 the UK came and said we have to do something about Libya because we cannot have sanctions against all these different countries. We have business interests and other interests and something has to give somewhere”.
JOLLEY: Gwenyth Todd’s a long way from Libya and Washington now. She lives in Canberra, but from 1997 to 1999 she served in the White House as an advisor to President Clinton on Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Libya and was privy to defining moments in the so-called rehabilitation of Gaddafi. Gwenyth Todd remembers well the pressure to remove sanctions.
GWENYTH TODD: “At one point Tony Blair made very clear to President Clinton that unless we made progress on lifting sanctions against Libya, it would be difficult for the British to continue to support us in Iraq – and Clinton got the message very clearly. At that point, we went into a mode of how can we resolve this as quickly as possible, and the shift focused away from Gaddafi to the two suspects in the actual bombing”.
JOLLEY: For many families of the Lockerbie victims, that was unacceptable and the Administration knew it.
GWENYTH TODD: “I went to a meeting at the State Department and people were concerned that the families were going to say that trying the two bombers was not sufficient because obviously, it did not involve Gaddafi. At that meeting, one of the agenda items that came up was how we could silence the victims’ families by possibly discrediting them – by saying that perhaps they were greedy and that they just wanted money…. and I walked out in disgust. I was outraged”.
JOLLEY: In 1999 Libya finally surrendered Abdelbaset Al Megrahi and Lamin Khalifah Fhimah and sent them to the Netherlands to stand trial under Scottish law. As would become the pattern, Gaddafi was rewarded. United Nations sanctions were suspended for the duration of the trial and as it turned out, never reimposed after Megrahi’s conviction.
Oil companies and big businesses saw the wall falling and wanted in but still needed the United States to remove its sanctions.
GWENYTH TODD: “After the UN sanctions were suspended, we immediately received a visit from a senior executive of one of these oil companies and he said, are you going to lift the sanctions? And we said no, not yet. And he actually started to cry. We had to hand him a Kleenex box. That was the kind of pressure CEOs and you know, Vice Presidents, coming to the White House and just saying you know, you have to help us, you have to help us”.
JOLLEY: In Libya, the mercurial dictator was facing challenges. The economy was imploding – the pressure was building on his leadership.
DIRK VANDEWALLE: “It was a regime that was completely isolated and Libya had a lot of difficulties in terms of selling its oil. The infrastructure for Libya’s oil economy was really deteriorating and so at the same time, it was also very clear, that there was growing internal unrest and particularly the people around Gaddafi were very aware of this growing discontent”.
JOLLEY: It was the colonel’s second eldest European educated son, Saif Gaddafi, who’s credited with leading the campaign to bring Libya in from the cold, but when Foreign Correspondent visited his cloistered world in 2004, he admitted his father needed a lot more convincing.
SAIF GADDAFI: “At the beginning of course it wasn’t easy, but he realized that it is in our favor and our advantage for him, for Libyan society, Libyan people, Libyan state, for the future of the next generation. And I think all of us agreed that Libya should adopt several reforms, internal and external”.
DIRK VANDEWALLE: “Saif realized I think more than anybody else or as least as much as some other people at the very top leadership around Gaddafi, that something really needed to be done, to make sure that Libya kind of came back and that the sanctions were lifted, and that in a sense Libya could really start to behave again as any normal nation in the international system”.
JOLLEY: With Libya willing to participate, negotiations began to lift US sanctions. Further compensation payments to the Lockerbie families were on the agenda but Gaddafi’s suspected stash of weapons of mass destruction had become Washington’s top priority.
RANDA FAHMY HUDOMI: “The Americans you know….. at the time, the Bush Administration was very much focused on an agenda of non-proliferation and the most important thing to those diplomats sitting at the table was to get Colonel Gaddafi to give up his weapons”.
JOLLEY: Randa Fahmy Hudomi was appointed Assistant Deputy Secretary of Energy by President George Bush in 2001. She now has her own lobbying firm and worked for the Gaddafi regime to get Libya removed from the US ‘States Sponsoring Terrorism’ list.
RANDA FAHMY HUDOMI: “The Libyans made a deal with the Americans that primarily involved up their weapons in exchange for the Americans not pushing for regime change, not removing Gaddafi from power. And the Americans did agree to that, and the Americans also really had no promises or discussions regarding Gaddafi’s human rights situation within Libya itself”.
JOLLEY: Gaddafi’s weapons of mass destruction were shipped to America and put on public display, but many wondered if the WMD issue was itself an invention and the surrender designed to show a newly compliant, level-headed Gaddafi.
GWENYTH TODD: “According to Israeli lobbyists to whom I spoke, Israel felt no threat from Libya’s nuclear program in the late 90s and beyond. And if it had been a serious concern, Israel would have made it very clear that we needed to keep the sanctions on”.
JOLLEY: By the end of 2003, the so-called rehabilitation of Gaddafi was complete and Libya was being welcomed back into the fold. The mad dog of the Middle East became an ally of the West and vowed to join the fight against Islamic terrorists.
FORMER US PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH: “Leaders who abandon the pursuit of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them, will find an open path to better relations with the United States”.
FORMER PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR: “Saif is committed to resolving contentious international and domestic issues through dialogue, debate and peaceful negotiations”.
JOLLEY: As governments and businesses embraced a newly moderate Libyan leadership, the re-branding of Gaddafi and his family continued in more subtle ways. In the UK the prestigious London School of Economics accepted nearly 5 million dollars from the Gaddafi family and awarded Saif, the emerging public face of the regime, a doctorate.
And in Cambridge Massachusetts, home to Harvard University, a group of influential academics and government policy consultants were receiving millions from the Gaddafis. For a fee of almost three million dollars, the Monitor Group brought together a team of the world’s leading academics, journalists, former diplomats, intelligence agents, and politicians to advise the Gaddafi regime. Publicly they say they were promoting economic and political reform in the country, but if you take a look at their confidential proposal leaked to a dissident group, their aims are closer to those of the Libyan propaganda machine, peddling Gaddafi to the international community.
A book was in the pipeline. Its purpose ‘to enable the international intellectual and policymaking elite to understand Gaddafi as an individual thinker rather than the leader of state’.
BENJAMIN BARBER: “If you want to talk about Monitor, go do an interview with Monitor. I’m not here to defend or you know explain what Monitor did. I think there are people at Monitor I worked with who are interested in reform. There were people at Monitor doing work on oil. There were people at Monitor doing work on PR. I wasn’t one of them, that’s not what I was doing”.
JOLLEY: A one-time adviser to President Clinton, Benjamin Barber worked as a consultant with the Monitor Group and has traveled to Libya to meet with Gaddafi.
BENJAMIN BARBER: “On my visits in 2006, 2007, and 2008 the primary issue and concern was with democracy and government reform. Now you might say in Gaddafi’s Libya? And you know critics have a right to say yeah that’s problematic, but at the time this was a state that had become an ally of the West. But I’m not sure non-engagement is an option when our own government, the United States and Britain, and Europe have already made the decision to engage. It worked out a hell of a lot better than the alternative which would have been a Libya still a terrorist state, still a rogue state – a Libya with weapons of mass destruction, a Libya that refused to cooperate with us in the war against al Qaeda, a Libya that had executed the hostages it was holding”.
DIRK VANDEWALLE: “I think it was to some extent dangerous because it reinforced, particularly in Gaddafi’s mind I think, the fact that he truly was this great figure, this great thinker. It gave him a kind of legitimacy and I think it reinforced within his own mind this idea of what he had been saying all along, so it looked to him ah look you had all these big public western intellectuals coming and talking to me about democracy that what he had been saying in the Green Book, what he had been saying for forty years and it really was legitimate”.
JOLLEY: For the many still unconvinced of a real change in Libya, the early release in 2009 of Lockerbie bomber Megrahi was an outrage. It was Saif Gaddafi who helped broker the deal and who accompanied the bomber home to Tripoli and a hero’s welcome. Megrahi was released because he had months to live. He’s still very much alive.
BENJAMIN BARBER: “Gaddafi did not force the release of this guy. The Scottish Government released him with the complicity of the British Government. That’s for them to explain”.
JOLLEY: Oil joint BP has admitted lobbying the British Government for the prisoner transfer deal. It was concerned its $1.5 billion dollars offshore drilling contract with Libya could be jeopardized if Megrahi stayed behind bars.
GWENYTH TODD: “We and our allies have kowtowed to Gaddafi over oil interests, over whatever, and there’s been no regard for the deaths, the murders”.
JOLLEY: The carefully reconstructed Gaddafi image was shattered as the Arab rebellion that evicted first Tunisia’s leader and then Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, erupted in Libya. The Colonel returned to belligerence and bloody reprisal. His apparently moderate son Saif joined in.
SAIF GADDAFI: “If you are strong they love you. If not, say goodbye. And it’s good, we get rid of them…. hypocrites”.
JOLLEY: “Do you think they’ll get rid of you?”
SAIF GADDAFI: No.
JOLLEY: Now though, even those once fiercely loyal to Gaddafi were abandoning ship.
ALI AUJALI (Former Libyan Ambassador to Washington): “Now Saif he show us his real face. He shows us that he was wearing a mask for the last twenty, fifteen years ago. The way he spoke to his, to the Libyan people that day, that’s what made me straight not to think twice to go and resign and condemn this regime”.
JOLLEY: Libya’s Ambassador to Washington, Ali Aujali, faithfully served Gaddafi for forty years – until now.
ALI AUJALI: “Yes there was killing, yes there was hanging in the street, yes there were innocent people in the prison. This always happens but we always say let us, how can we help the Libyan people through this government. Unfortunately, we tried and we failed”.
MANSOUR ELKIKHIA: “I could not tolerate a regime that abuses its people so much and a people’s regime that hangs people in the streets, a regime that deprives you of the simplest rights. A regime that keeps an eye on everything that you do. So you fight inside, you lose inside. He has too many secret police, too many people who are willing to eliminate you. Therefore I had to escape, I had to leave the country”.
JOLLEY: The horrific brutality of Gaddafi’s rule forced Mansour Elkikhia to flee Libya thirty years ago. Now he watches in horror as the Gaddafi he feared, returns to form. The friend he’s talking to in Misratah has just lost two nephews and a niece in Gaddafi’s counter-attacks. It’s a painful reminder of his own loss of loved ones under the regime.
MANSOUR ELKIKHIA: “When it comes to freedom, you know it is not cheap. You have to give something and it’s very, very important that we teach our children that nothing comes for free, especially for freedom. You know if you want your freedom you have to spill blood for it. If somebody gives it to you, it’s not freedom and that is the feeling over there. The feeling over there is that we will do what we need to do. We will excuse me (crying) we will not give up. We will not give up. It’s either freedom or death”.