Libya Revisited: The Case for War Crimes Tribunal, Not Senate Hearings

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Libya Revisited: The Case for a War Crimes Tribunal instead of a Senate Hearing

By: Christof Lehmann

The Benghazi Hearing on the role of former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton prior to and during the assault on the U.S. Embassy / CIA compound in Libya reflects partisan pre-election posturing.

The hearing also reflected a bipartisan agreement with regard to omitting the U.S.’s role in State sponsorship of terrorism, the overstepping of the provisions of UNSC Resolution 1973 (2011), and the strategy to use a destabilized Libya as springboard for the war on Syria, Iraq, Mali, and the destabilization of Egypt after the ouster of Mohamed Morsi. 

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Clinton and Jibril in Tripoli after the murder of Muammar Qaddafi.

Omitting foreknowledge about Al-Qaeda linked terrorists in eastern Libya. Not at any point during the hearing of the Select Committee on Benghazi was it mentioned that the U.S. military command was well aware of the fact that Libya was the second-largest contributor of foreign Al-Qaeda fighters in Iraq during the US occupation and that most of the Libyan Al-Qaeda fighters came from the eastern Libyan cities of Benghazi (Bengazi) and Derna.

The data had been published in a West Point counter-terrorism report entitled Al-Qa’eda’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq.

The study puts into perspective the words of the murdered, former Libyan head of State Muammar Qaddafi in a BBC interview where he stressed that the armed insurgency in eastern Libya was run by Al-Qaeda fighters.

That is, Al-Qaeda-linked brigades like the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) distributed weapons (and drugs) to protesting youth who in part had legitimate grievances.

CTC_West_Point_Foreign_Fighters_In_IraqU.S. Embassy in Benghazi a hub for liaison with multiple terrorist brigades.  It is also noteworthy that the CIA (under the auspices of the State Department) deployed agents as liaison to eastern Libya in early 2011.

The hearing would, however, disclose that both the State Department and the CIA had contacts to various radical Islamist organizations.

It is not surprising either, that Hillary Clinton’s statements during the Benghazi (Bengazi) Hearing suggested that the primary U.S. presence during the attack in Benghazi a year ago was a CIA presence. The CIA and JSOC had been present even before the eruption of the first violent protests.

The hearing would disclose that U.S. Ambassador J Christopher Stevens was liaison to several of the insurgencies. Many of these, like the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, were led by former Guantanamo inmates and in part by known CIA/MI6 agents such as Abdelhakim Belhadj who after the ouster of Muammar Qaddafi would become the head of the western-backed Tripoli Military Counsel.

Belhadj_McCain_Libya_Syria_USABelhadj would also be honored by no other than the Chairman of the U.S. Senate’s Armed Services Committee, Republican Senator John McCain. In April 2013 Senator McCain illegally crossed the Turkish – Syrian border to hold a meeting with “the Syrian opposition” in a safe house in Idlib.

Present at the covert meeting were the chief of the so-called Free Syrian Army Salam Idriss, as well as Abu Bakhr al-Baghdadi, a.k.a. Al-Badri or Caliph Ibrahim; the leader of Daesh, a.k.a. ISIS, ISIL or Islamic State.

McCain would claim that he was not aware that al-Baghdadi was present. A statement that contradicts even the most basic security procedures for U.S. Senators and diplomats who are holding meetings abroad.

McCain_ISIS_FSA

In the image above: U.S. Senator John McCain meeting illegally in a rebel safe house with the heads of the “Free Syrian Army” in Idlib, Syria in April, 2013. In the left foreground, top al Qaeda terrorist leader Ibrahim al-Badri (aka Al-Baghdadi of ISIS, aka Caliph Ibrahim of the recently founded Islamic Empire) with whom the Senator is talking. Behind Badri is visible Brigadier General Salim Idris (with glasses), the former military chief of the FSA, who has since fled to the Gulf states after the collapse of any semblance of the FSA. (Courtesy VoltaireNet.org)

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The attack on the U.S. Embassy and the CIA compound in Benghazi was led by former Guantanamo inmate Sufiyan Qumu who like Belhadj was released from Guantanamo in time to participate in the overthrow of the Libyan government.

It remains unclear whether the February 17 Martyrs Brigade that was ordered to stand down, or if so by whom. It is certain, however, that the February 17 Martyrs Brigade, in 2011, assassinated General Younes, thus helping long-term CIA asset General Khalifa Hifter (a.k.a. Hefter) to assume power.

Certain is also that the attack on the U.S. compound was not the product of a spontaneous demonstration but a well-planned and conducted military operation.

Overstepping the provisions of UNSC Resolution 1973 (2011). One important point that was omitted from the hearing was the U.S. and its NATO and Gulf Arab allies overstepped the provisions of UN Security Council Resolution 1973 (2011).

The resolution called for the enforcement of a no fly zone that should prohibit the Libyan government from using the Libyan air force against the insurgents.

Instead, the resolution was used by NATO and NATO-allied Gulf Arab States to target Libyan ground forces, the Libyan government, vital infrastructure, and to provide air cover for the foreign-sponsored insurgencies.

UNSC_Qaddafi_UNDONE

Instead, members from both the Democrats and the Conservatives maintained the narrative that the U.S. freed the Libyan people from a dictator and the claim that the following chaos was an unplanned or unwanted side-effect. Before returning to these side-effects, however, it is timely to focus on the role of the UN Security Council.

To be adopted, a UNSC Resolution requires the concurrent vote of all of the Council’s permanent member States. The Russian abstention should, in theory, and legally speaking, have prevented the implementation of UNSC Resolution 1973 (2011). The Libyan case has once again highlighted the failures of the Security Council.

A “gentleman’s agreement” between the permanent members from 1948 introduced the tradition that a resolution that had not been vetoed could be implemented by those that were sponsoring and supporting it, provided that the provisions of the resolution were not overstepped. Part of the blame for the developments in Libya must, in all fairness, be attributed to Russia and China as well. It is noteworthy that the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, August 2014, criticized the UN for failing to protect small, sovereign nations from the consequences of the conflicts of the great powers as the League of Nations has failed them.

SFChaos in Libya unintended? A 2010 U.S. Special Forces Training Circular, TC 18-01 clearly states that the United States, for the foreseeable future, would primarily be involved in irregular warfare. The TC 18-01 was to be released to “foreign students and contractors” on a case by case basis only. The document also contains a “destruction Notice” to prevent any unauthorized dissemination. nsnbc international has published the TC 18-01 HERE.

The term “irregular” must be understood as a euphemism for “illegal”; That is in violation of international and humanitarian law.  A study of the TC 18-01 enabled nsnbc to a) understand the strategy used in Libya, in Syria, in Egypt subsequent to the ouster of Mohamed Morsi b) as well as to forecast the developments in Ukraine, It is noteworthy that Egypt’s President, Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi stated that the U.S. has stabbed Egypt in the back with Morsi and that the Egyptian government and the people of Egypt would not easily forget of forgive this fact that.

Al-Mafraq - recritment and staging area.Al-Mafraq – recruitment and staging area in Jordan.

The chaos that ensued in Libya established the springboard for the destabilization of Mali. The destabilization of Libya also created the springboard for the recruitment, training and deployment of insurgents to the Syrian theater of war.

In June and July 2012 some 20,000 fighters under the command of LIFG second in command, MahdiAl-Harati, launched two major assaults on Syria via the Jordanian border town of Al-Mafraq, near theRamtha airbase where the United States has stationed air forces, special forces, DIA and CIA operatives as well as a number of organizations like USAID.

Moreover, in April 2013 the UN would note that Libya has developed into a major hub for the shipment of weapons to Syria via Turkey and other neighbors to Syria. In September 2013 Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdul-Aziz stated that a lot of Libyans are fighting within the ranks of the armed terrorist groups in Syria and that Libya remains a hub for weapons shipments to the insurgents. The post-coup Libyan Foreign Minister stressed that “helping our brothers in Syria is a source of pride”. 

The statement by Mohamed Abdul-Aziz came after an article in the British newspaper The Times, written by journalist Sheera Frenkel, revealed the discovery of the largest arms shipment from Libya to Syria via Turkey. These weapons were shipped via Turkey with full knowledge of the Turkish authorities and distributed to fighters of the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA)and other insurgencies by Turkish (read NATO) officers. The shipment included, among other, shoulder-launched SAM-7 anti-aircraft missiles.

Stavridis_Obama_NATO_USA_NEO

Ambassador Christopher Stevens had previously served as Ambassador to Syria. Stevens was one of the most skilled U.S. diplomats when it came to subversion management. No unspoken bipartisan agreement to omit these and many other facts about Libya can change these and many other facts that prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Hillary Rodham Clinton, among many others, would be a prime candidate for a war crimes tribunal rather than for a pre-election positioning game at the U.S. Senate.

It is also noteworthy that the strategy that is outlined in the Training Circular TC 18-01 is consistent with NATO strategy. NATO Supreme Allied Commander, Admiral James G. Stavridis and Ivo H. Daalder wrote an article in the March/April 2012 edition of Foreign Affairs (pp. 2 – 7 ). Their article is entitled “NATO’s Victory in Libya. The Right Way to Run an Intervention”,

Daalder and Stavridis described the NATO-led campaign against Libya with the words ” a teachable moment and model for future interventions”. The author has attempted to reach out to the now retired Admiral Stavridis to ask whether or not he still maintains that position. No answer was forthcoming.

It is noteworthy that Stavridis, during a 2012 Forestall Lecture noted that he was a newly selected one-star accounting officer at the Pentagon and that he was “lucky to have survived the September 11, 2001 attack on the Pentagon”. There are several questions which we would like to ask Admiral (ret) Stavridis.

Where, exactly, was his office and what files was he working on in the days up to 9/11? How did a newly selected one-star accounting officer achieve to be promoted to the rank of full Admiral and NATO SACEUR by 2008? More questions have been asked in the article entitled “Rumsfeldt’s Missing Trillions, Stavridis and Unconventional War“.

Considering that there, arguably, is a need for a full investigation and a war crimes tribunal rather than a pre-election Senate Hearing it must be noticed that the UNSC is the plaything of the permanent Security Council members. Neither the USA, Russia or China have made their citizens subject to the Rome Statutes and the International Criminal Court (ICC). Being charged there is the privilege of politicians from e.g. Libya, Yugoslavia, Ivory Coast, and other nations who are subject to superpower rivalries.

Copyright © Dr. Christof Lehmann, nsnbc, 2015

About the author:

Dr. Christof Lehmann is the founder and editor of nsnbc. He is a psychologist and independent political consultant on conflict and conflict resolution and a wide range of other political issues. His work with traumatized victims of conflict has led him to also pursue the work as political consultant. He is a lifelong activist for peace and justice, human rights, Palestinians rights to self-determination in Palestine, and he is working on the establishment of international institutions for the prosecution of all war crimes, also those committed by privileged nations. On 28 August 2011 he started his blog nsnbc, appalled by misrepresentations of the aggression against Libya and Syria. In March 2013 he turned nsnbc into a daily, independent, international on-line newspaper. He can be contacted at nsnbc international at nsnbc.wordpress@gmail.com

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