Bill Van Auken: WikiLeaks Cables Expose Washington's Close Ties to Gaddafi

US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks on Wednesday and Thursday expose the close collaboration between the US government, top American politicians and Muammar Gaddafi, who Washington now insists must be hunted down and murdered. Washington and its NATO allies are now determined to smash the Libyan regime, supposedly in the interests of "liberating" the Libyan people. That Gaddafi was until the beginning of this new year viewed as a strategic, if somewhat unreliable, ally is clearly seen as an inconvenient truth. The cables have been virtually blacked out by the corporate media, which has functioned as an embedded asset of NATO and the so-called rebel forces that it directs. It is hardly coincidental that the WikiLeaks posting of the cables was followed next day by a combination of a massive denial of service attack and as a US judge's use of the so-called "Patriot Act" to issue a sweeping "production order", or subpoena against the anti-secrecy organization's California-based Domain Name Server, Dynadot. The most damning of these cables memorializes an August 2009 meeting between Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and his son and national security adviser, Muatassim, with US Republican Senators John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Susan Collins of Maine, and Connecticut Independent Joe Lieberman. McCain, the Republican presidential candidate in 2008, has in recent speeches denounced Gaddafi as "one of the most bloodthirsty dictators on Earth" and criticized the Obama administration for failing to "employ the full weight of our airpower" in effecting regime change in Libya. (How the worm turns) In the meeting held just two years ago, McCain took the lead in currying favor with the Gaddafi's. According to the embassy cable, he "assured" them that "the United States wanted to provide Libya with the equipment it needs for its security, and pledged to see what he could do to move things forward in Congress! The cable continues to relate McCain's remarks: "He encouraged Muatassim to keep in mind the long-term perspective of bilateral security engagement and to remember that small obstacles will emerge from time to time that can be overcome. He described the bilateral military relationship as strong,and pointed to Libyan officer training at the US Command, Staff, and War colleges as some of the best programs for Libyan military participation. The cable quoted Lieberman as saying: "We never would have guessed ten years ago that we would be sitting in Tripoli, being welcomed by a son of Muammar al-Qadhafi. It states further that the Connecticut senator went on to describe Libya as "an important ally in the war on terrorism", noting that common enemies sometimes make better friends!" The "common enemies" referred to by Lieberman were precisely the the Islamist forces concentrating in eastern Libya that the US then backed Gaddafi in repressing, but with America's help were now organized, armed, and led in the operation to overthrow him!

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