A new State Department diplomatic cable has been released by WikiLeaks detailing the visit to Libya McCain had in 2009 aimed at fostering a closer relationship with Gadhafi. We’ve known about this for some time, despite the mainstream media not having mentioned it. I wrote a bit about it here. Again, there’s not really new information, but it is interesting to read the first hand account of our relationship with the guy we’ve been attacking and trying to oust from power.
Libya has acted as a critical ally in U.S. counterterrorism efforts, and Libya is considered one of our primary partners in combating the flow of foreign fighters. Our strategic partnership in this field has been highly productive and beneficial to both nations. We have begun some successful training programs to assist Libya in improving its security capabilities, under the rubrics of anti-terrorism assistance and border security.
[…] Libya has stated its number one priority, in return for relinquishing WMD, is a security guarantee by the U.S. against foreign aggression. To that end, Libya has expressed an interest in purchasing lethal weapons from U.S. firms.
Not only does this demonstrate the longstanding practice in US foreign policy of supporting tyrants that then become Hitler reincarnated and targeted for regime change, but it also punctures the moral case America made for the war.
Update: Just a quick addendum to this post, I wanted to highlight another cable on Libya from January 2010. It discusses Mustafa Abduljalil who is now the leader of the rebel Transitional National Council (TNC) and the de facto leader of Libya given the US recognition of the TNC as the legitimate government of Libya. US officials had met with him a number of times, seeming to prefer him to Gadhafi on a number of issues. More explanation here.
Interestingly, Abduljalil was also outspoken against US support for Israel in these meetings:
In the course of the discussion of the Criminal Code, Abduljalil abruptly changed the subject from freedom of speech to the “Libyan people’s concern about the U.S. government’s support for Israel.” He averred that Libya cares deeply about Muslims everywhere, and about Muslim countries. In his view, the root cause of terrorism stems from the perception that Europe and the U.S. are against Muslims.