Declassified emails released in January and February reveal that Hillary Clinton was one of the main instruments in spreading chaos and extremism in Libya when the U.S. secretary of state personally pushed for the ousting of late Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi.
Clinton’s emails reveal that she and her staff were aware that civilians they claimed to be protecting were not actually in danger from government forces.
Less than a month ahead of the passage of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973, a resolution which authorized a no-fly zone to protect civilians on March 17, 2011, Hillary's assistant, Huma Abedin, in an email dated Feb. 21, 2011, stated: “Based on numerous eyewitness reports, it is the Embassy's assessment that the government no longer controls Benghazi. This is likely the case for Ajdabiyah as well."
Abedin went on to write that sources in Benghazi reported that Libyan Interior Minister Abdul Fattah Younes had "changed sides" and was "now with the protesters in Benghazi." The mood in Benghazi and Ajdabiyah, according to the email, was "celebratory" and all posters of Gadhafi had been “knocked down."
Crucially, this email was written at a time when Clinton was aware that no government crackdown was taking place in either Benghazi or Ajdabiyah.
This was despite anti-government protests kicking off in Benghazi and Ajdabiyah a few days before, at a time when the U.S. and France and other Western governments were claiming government forces were involved in the mass-killing of protesters and civilians.
However, on March 2, 2011, a few days before the passage of the U.N. resolution, U.S. State Department official Harriet Spanos sent an email informing Clinton that "Security Reports . . . confirm that Benghazi has been calm over the past couple of days."
“Economic activity is going on in Benghazi," she added in the email, with shops and banks open and "[m]obile and landline phones… working… and Internet has returned."
The moment of truth came 11 days into the NATO bombing, which continued for several months, when Clinton’s top adviser, Sidney Blumenthal, who was not employed by the state department but by the private Clinton Foundation, laid out the reasons for the Washington-led intervention and the eventual ousting of Gadhafi.
Without once mentioning “humanitarian" purposes, in a March 27, 2011 email Blumenthal stressed to Clinton the importance of pressing for a “final win" by ousting Gadhafi in order to boost U.S. President Barack Obama’s then low approval ratings.
Ousting the Libyan strongman, argued Blumenthal, would further establish “security in North Africa, securing democracy in Egypt and Tunisia, economic development, effect throughout Arab world and Africa, extending U.S. influence, counter-balancing Iran, etc."
Further highlighting his complete and utter disregard for the human cost of the intervention, in the same email Blumenthal informed Clinton about the horrors committed by U.S.-backed forces in Libya, which included members of al-Qaida.
"Speaking in strict confidence, one rebel commander stated that his troops continue to summarily execute all foreign mercenaries in the fighting." Such actions are considered war crimes and in violation of international resolutions and conventions.
The emails also reveal that the Obama administration and Clinton were aware of the threat of al-Qaida in the eastern part of the country, which had for years been suppressed by the Libyan leader.
The emails also show that claims made by NATO at the time, including alleged atrocities committed by Gadhafi’s forces such as rape and mass killings, were rumors used by Clinton and the Obama administration to help sell the intervention to the world.
It is clear the NATO intervention was not intended for humanitarian purposes. So what were the intentions of Clinton and the Obama administration? The same as most U.S. interventions: financial interest.
The emails reveal that most of the intelligence Clinton received on Libya was from Blumenthal, who was preparing to make substantial financial gains from the fall of the Libyan leader.
According to Vice News, the intel briefs on Libya were “prepared by Blumenthal's business partner and former CIA operative Tyler Drumheller, a consultant with plans to take advantage of economic opportunities in a post-war Libya."
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Both men worked with the U.S.-based security company Osprey, a start-up that hoped to profit from medical and military contracts with Libyan rebels amid the chaos of the conflict, according to Vice News.
Five years later, the opportunism of Clinton and the Obama administration which resulted in one of the most disastrous interventions in recent decades, aiding the rise of extremist groups in the oil-rich African country and contributing to Europe’s ongoing refugee situation can be seen for what it was: a devastating assault on the people of Libya rooted in lies, deceit and narrow, imperial self-interest.