WikiLeaks drops a bomb on senatorial war hawks.
For quite some time, the US position on the populous overthrow of its favorite dictators has been to support the revolutionary forces as soon as the military turns against the government. As dismal as that may sound, and we can collect countless examples (Suharto, Mubarak, Chauchesku…,) John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman missed out on this gameplan.
According to a WikiLeaks cable released earlier this week, the three senior senatorial hawks met with Libya’s Gaddafi and his son in Tripoli in 2009. As if meeting the dictator in a tent at 11pm isn’t odd enough, the content of their meeting was particularly striking.
Lieberman called Libya an important ally in the war on terrorism, noting that common enemies sometimes make better friends.
After his Gaddafi’s son urged the three senators to make good on a promise to deliver eight C-130 Hercules military transport planes that the country purchased in the early seventies….
Senator McCain assured Muatassim that the United States wanted to provide Libya with the equipment it needs for its TRIPOLI 00000677 002.2 OF 002 security. He stated that he understood Libya’s requests regarding the rehabilitation of its eight C130s (ref D) and pledged to see what he could do to move things forward in Congress.
Less than two years before the start of Libya’s civil war, when the US mercilessly bombed “Gaddafi forces” in an effort to remove the brutal dictator, John McCain described “the bilateral military relationship as strong.”
Interestingly, McCain also “pointed to Libyan officer training at U.S. Command, Staff, and War colleges as some of the best programs for Libyan military participation.” Perhaps the Gaddafi forces we were bombing at the start of Libya’s civil war were once college students trained by…us.