On Tuesday, Politico reported that the Justice Department had quietly dropped a criminal case against Marc Turi. He had been indicted by federal prosecutors in Phoenix for supplying arms to Libyan “rebels” during the 2010–11 civil war.
In that conflict, pursuant to Obama-administration policy that was spearheaded by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and backed by senior Republicans on Capitol Hill, the United States switched sides: turning against the regime of Moammar Qaddafi (notwithstanding that he had been supported by the U.S. government as a key anti-terrorism ally), and backing Islamists championed by the Muslim Brotherhood, whose ranks were threaded with al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadists (i.e., the terrorists about whom Qaddafi had been providing our government with intelligence).
The administration dropped the criminal case on Tuesday, one day before a court-ordered deadline to disclose information about its efforts to arm Islamist rebels.
Turi’s lawyers had explained his defense to the court: His arms shipments, destined for the Libyan rebels and channeled through Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, were part of a U.S.-authorized effort. Turi further asserts that the Obama administration was subsequently complicit in the shipment of weapons from Libya to “rebels” in Syria, who are fighting the Assad regime.
This defense is consistent with public reporting that the administration has tried to downplay for years. The murder of four American officials, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, by al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadists in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, was the culmination of a series of terrorist attacks on Western targets. Islamists had been empowered by Qaddafi’s overthrow and armed with the Obama administration’s encouragement. The New York Times, for example, reported less than a month after the Benghazi massacre that “the Obama administration gave its blessing to arms shipments to Libyan rebels from Qatar last year, but American officials later grew alarmed as evidence grew that Qatar was turning some of the weapons over to Islamic militants.”
Moreover, as I have previously recounted, Mr. Stevens, prior to becoming ambassador, was the administration’s liaison with the Libyan “rebels,” including their jihadist factions. One of his contacts, Abdelhakim Belhadj, had been a leader of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Libyan Islamic Fighting Group before taking control of the Tripoli Military Council after Qaddafi was overthrown.
Belhadj coordinated a 400-ton weapons shipment from Benghazi to Syria through Turkey. The vessel carrying the weapons had docked in Turkey just five days before Stevens was killed. Although Benghazi was an extraordinarily dangerous place for Americans, the U.S. maintained State Department and CIA compounds there whose purposes have still not been explained. Despite the obvious danger on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Stevens was at the compound that night and met with Turkey’s consul general just before the fatal jihadist siege. Immediately after Obama was reelected in November 2012, the Times of London reported that he was beginning to arm the Syrian “rebels” directly; but the administration had plainly been encouraging others to arm them prior to that.
99% of the attention given to the events in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 has been on the cover-up. Almost no attention has been given to what was being covered-up – the reason our people were in Benghazi in the first place. The congressional GOP has been complicit in this, most likely because they were aware of and had approved of the clandestine operations taking place in Libya and Syria.
The US government has engaged in numerous covert activities and “secret” wars around the globe since the end of WWII. Our success rate is abysmal. Even when we win (“Charlie Wilson’s War”) we lose (the creation of the Taliban and al Queda). And the worst part is these misadventures are only a secret to the American people. Nowadays even the media is part of the conspiracy.
The only way to hold Hillary Clinton accountable for the Benghazi Clusterfuck is to vote for Donald Trump.