Libya

Successful U.S. Action in Libya Leads to Jihadists Controlling Secret American Bases There.

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Without getting sidetracked with "What About Benghazi?" questions (which are well worth asking), check out this new story from The Daily Beast's Eli Lake. It tells you all you need to know about the sagacity of Barack Obama's unilateral and unconstitutional commitment of U.S. forces in Libya.

A key jihadist leader and longtime member of al Qaeda has taken control of a secretive training facility set up by U.S. special operations forces on the Libyan coastline to help hunt down Islamic militants, according to local media reports, Jihadist web forums, and U.S. officials.

In the summer of 2012, American Green Berets began refurbishing a Libyan military base 27 kilometers west of Tripoli in order to hone the skills of Libya's first Western-trained special operations counter-terrorism fighters. Less than two years later, that training camp is now being used by groups with direct links to al Qaeda to foment chaos in post-Qaddafi Libya.

Last week, the Libyan press reported that the camp (named "27" for the kilometer marker on the road between Tripoli and Tunis) was now under the command of Ibrahim Ali Abu Bakr Tantoush, a veteran associate of Osama bin Laden who was first designated as part of al Qaeda's support network in 2002 bythe United States and the United Nations. The report said he was heading a group of Salifist fighters from the former Libyan base.

Well that's just great, isn't it?

Luckily for Obama, who replaced a terrible Secretary of State (Hillary Clinton) with an even worse one (John Kerry), and whose Defense Department is full of whiny crybabies (Leon Panetta back in the day, various officers today), nobody cares about Libya anymore. Qaddafi could be back in power and no one would give a rat's ass. Because, you know, we need to fix what's wrong in Syria. Or Crimea. Or Ukraine. Or maybe Venezuela. Or Rhode Island. The most important thing in U.S. foreign policy is that, like the rock band Boston and Satchel Paige, you should never look back. U.S. foreign policy, like a third-rate boxer or Mad Men's Don Draper only goes in one direction: Forward.

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  1. Hey, training and supplying Osama bin Laden worked out so well for us. Nothing untoward could possibly come from this this.

    1. Is it possible that “we didn’t” actually either supply or train Osama Bin Laden, and that many of your complaints might *still* be valid?

      Because we didn’t.

      Idiotic claims like this make criticisms of US Foreign Policy far more easily dismissible.

      1. I have a hard time believing many of the arms we gave to the Mujahideen in Afganistan didn’t end up under his control, and that the CIA didn’t know they certainly would.

        1. Putting arms into the stream of commerce argument is a long way from “training and supplying” him directly.

          1. I’ll concede on that point. I was thinking of an analogy with the Fast and Furious weapons killing some border agents, but you’re right, it’s not as though the gun-walkers were told to go out and shoot them.

          2. We (through the Paks – who had a big hand in directing weapons flows in the 80s) did supply Haqqani militants and Hekmatyers group who later allied with AQ. But AQ wasn’t around in the early 80s. Of course Bin Laden was.

            Less a reap what you sow issue than the area is full of shitbirds and they would get weapons from somebody no matter what.

            1. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar has one steady and constant ally – himself. I would have given a lot to get him in my sights.

              1. Isn’t he dead yet or is that another one I’m thinking of (the one eyed man)?

                1. They caught Gulbuddin’s double – and I wasted a whole bunch of single malt getting happy drunk in vain.

                  One Eye Mullah Omar is still alive, too, unfortunately. He might be the single Talib left from the original bunch.

        2. I vaguely remember reading a report back in the day from a reporter who went to Afghanistan and ran around with the Mujahideen. He had met Osama bin Laden who was there also, but the Mujahideen dismissed bin Laden as a crazy man. He was there at the time and yes we aided the Mujahideen, but I am not sure how much bin Laden benefitted from that.

          According to that account bin Laden did a lot of preaching and proselytizing, ranting and raving while the Mujahideen did all the actual fighting.

        3. How much have you actually read about said programs?

          The CIA gave money to the ISI, who trained Afghan Muj.

          There were also Arabs in afghanistan, partly self-funded, and who got “Some” money via GIP (saudi intelligence) and ISI. They probably represented *single digit* percent of the money spent and the people being trained. They did zero actual fighting and were considered a sideshow of a sideshow and had zero real impact on what was going on there.

          Keep in mind that the CIA had almost no direct influence over the ISI’s training and funding *at all* as far as ‘who’ was involved. You could just as well claim Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and Jalaluddin Haqqani were the “beneficiaries” of CIA support and be generally correct only in the broadest and indirect of senses. Yes, Bin Laden maybe got “some” money at some point to do some stuff while briefly involved in afghanistan. So did tens of thousands of other people who CIA had zero real influence over. Does that go anywhere close to supporting the idea tha OBL was a “US Creation”? No. Its a stupid claim and completely uninformed. There’s a dozen books you could read about the CIA’s jobs in afghanistan, many from the actual people in charge themselves, like Milt Bearden, Gary Shroen, etc. It doesnt take a lot of effort to fill in the blanks your imagination is currently in charge of.

          1. You sound plausible.

            But I’d add that you know about as much about the CIA as you knew about the NSA two years ago.

            1. “argumentum ad ignorantiam” is a weak way of claiming that one person’s bullshit theories are as equally plausible as “the best understanding of the existing known facts”

          2. Talking to me? I agree and thought that is what I said.

            I’ve read a couple of good books on the time – Liked Charlie Wilsons war the best. Bob Woodwards book was good as well (about Casey mostly).

            1. no = mad scientist

      2. Because we didn’t.

        OSama bin Laden used his personal fortune to set up logistical support for the Jihadists fighting the Soviets.

        He didn’t get U.S. support because he was doing unsexy things like building roads and bases for the rebels, arranging to get recruits to staging points etc.

        The U.S. was not really interested in such supply chain issues; they just wanted to fuck up the Russians.

        And Bin Laden didn’t need American support; he had his wealth, and the support of a sizeable faction in the Saudi royal family.

        There are many things to criticize about US foreign policy in the mideast and central asia. Funding Osama Bin Laden is not one of them, since it emphatically did not happen.

  2. Had some good laughs last night asking a friend of mine who is a huge Hillary supporter whether or not she will be able to run on any accomplishments during her tenure at State. I wish I could show you how many knots she twisted in to when trying to explain Benghazi.

    Her:”Hillary took far too much blame for it, the media totally blew it out of proportion.”

    Me:”Maybe if she hadn’t lied about it they wouldn’t have been so “harsh”.”

    Her:”She was fed bad information! It’s not her fault!”

    Please let her run. I wanna see these conversations rehashed again and again.

    1. Her:”She Bush was fed bad information about WMDs! It’s not her his fault!”

      Sounds fair, to me.

      1. Refresh: How does it work?

    2. If you replace “Hillary” with “Bush”…

      Isn’t that the exact same argument that progs had against Bush and WMDs?

      1. Bush lied before the fact, while Hill-dog lied after the truth was obvious.

        Clinton scandals are usually small bore, but usually someone is personally fucked over by them.

        With Bush, a bloody war (worse in human terms) but I don’t think it was done for personal reasons. Not excusing him, I just think the two actions are not personally comparable.

        1. Without getting too deep in to it, Bush never lied about everything. There is a difference between reporting what every intelligence agency in the western world believed was true (even Hans Blix!) and then finding out this was wrong versus deliberately lying about the cause of an attack weeks after it happened.

          1. Yes, it’s simple to say he lied (while Powell seems to get a pass while doing the same) and is the way lefties support their conspiracy theories.

            I was in the first GW and thought we should have finished things off then. I don’t think they needed all their pretzel logic and facts to go to war, but when you work with the UN I guess that’s how the world works.

            It was an honorable, though fucked up endeavor and I didn’t care what he had or didn’t. Learned my second lesson about being involved in the ME. I do think even now there is more freedom in Iraq than before, but the cost was too high.

        2. Bush lied before the fact,

          Bush was fed bad information about WMDs! It’s not his fault!

    3. David Peatreaus must have a file on Hillary a foot thick to have avoided getting tossed under the bus for Benghazi. An obvious blown joint CIA / State Operation.

      1. “Drake|4.23.14 @ 2:11PM|#

        David Peatreaus must have a file on Hillary a foot thick to have avoided getting tossed under the bus for Benghazi”

        Are you suggesting *he wasn’t?*

        The “investigation” of his affair w/ whatshername was coincidentally concurrent with his specific objections to the Admin’s political spin-job.

        1. That got him to shut up and ran him out of his job. But I have never once heard a news story that pinned the Benghazi mess on Peatreaus.

          They all mentioned the “CIA annex” as if it’s the most natural thing in the world to have a bunch of CIA operators in an in-law apartment out behind a consulate. And it is purely a coincidence that the “annex” was also attacked.

          If Peatreaus didn’t have something on her – Hillary would have pointed at him and made the Body-Snatcher sound during the hearings.

          1. Hillary would have pointed at him and made the Body-Snatcher sound during the hearings.

            That’s… actually a really great visual.

          2. No = I think you’re assuming that there was also disagreement about the “Smuggling guns to syria” thing. There wasn’t. Which is why no one in this whole political ‘investigation’ ever asks what the CIA’s mission was or who their contacts were there and what activities they were involved in that may have fostered some resentment among the specific people that eventually assaulted them.

            I dont think anyone’s ‘burned’ anyone over that because everyone thought it was a good idea at the time.

    4. wish I could show you how many knots she twisted in to when trying to explain Benghazi.

      Interesting. I thought the schtick was that Benghazi didn’t need to be explained.

  3. Maybe we can get a new video of guys in ski masks playing on monkey bars. That B-roll from 2001 is getting pretty tired.

    1. Its nostalgic and people love that.

  4. …you should never look back.

    Leading from behind!

  5. So did they seize control of the facility or did the US invite them in?

    1. Which does it count as if the facility were unoccupied when the jihadis took it over?

    2. So they have a “camp” that we refurbished. I know that flushing toilets are probably a novelty there, but so what? Maybe an obstacle course and a rifle range they won’t use? (Because bullets hit the target when Allah wills it – aiming is sacrilegious).

  6. Bomb it.

    1. Seems like the obvious solution.

  7. Personally, not a fan of Team Red, but this Team Blue foreign policy stuff makes my head implode. H.C. followed by John F’ing Kerry?

    Ugh.

    1. What I’d like to know is, when did Sec. of State become boobie prize for presidential campaign losers? Does this mean we can look forward to Sec. of State Romney the next time a Repub wins?

      1. Loki, you are making this worser and worser. It is affecting my ability to spell.

        People I never want to see as S.S.
        1) John Insane
        2) Al Gore
        3) Chelsea Clinton
        4) Al Sharpton

        1. Al Sharpton? That would be comedy Gold!

          He could try to shake down Putin or something (or am I thinking of Jessie J?)

          1. Ummm, both.

      2. Is it that or does S.o.S. keep them out of the running forever? I’m think of Colon Powell here.

  8. Stop attacking Hillary!11!! Ban bossy!11!!

    1. That whole “Ban Bossy” thing does seem like sub rosa battlespace preparation for a Hillary campaign, doesn’t it?

      1. I think it was, but putting the meme “Ban Bossy” into circulation in connection with Hillary, seems like a very counterproductive move.

        1. Ha, that is the other way to take it.

  9. The spin I’m picking up from the “Obama Uber Alles” crowd in the comments is, “You can’t blame things like Libya going to shit on Obama because unlike Iraq, he didn’t lie about it or blow a trillion dollars in ‘commitment’ to a bad idea.”

    So its not really the “intervention” and consequences thereof that they seem to have any problem with ; its the ‘policy commitment’ and its costs.

    Since Obama merely *dabbles* in this stuff – tossing some guns @ Syrian rebels here, assassinating some Jihadists there – its very *incoherence* is actually a Benefit. By never setting specific policy goals for yourself = you never fail.

    Also, if you DO start to fail, what you do is rotate the people in charge of said failure before the failure becomes “common knowledge”. Hence, Hilary washed her hands of this place ASAP, and Sibelius is given a medal of freedom before people learn how few payments have actually been processed on the back end. Its worked so far! Stay a few steps ahead of the news cycle and you’re good.

    1. …he didn’t lie about it or blow a trillion dollars in ‘commitment’ to a bad idea.

      He saves that for domestic policy.

      1. Boom. Key point PB ignores when he brings up BOOSH! and other random poo flinging

    2. Stay a few steps ahead of the news cycle and you’re good.

      I think that the “news cycle” is behind him all the way.

  10. U.S. foreign policy, like a third-rate boxer or Mad Men’s Don Draper only goes in one direction: Forward.

    Forward, not backward; upward, not forward; and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom!

    Oh, and FAKE SKANDUL!!!11!!!!

    1. Are we not free to gambol towards a free Libya?

  11. FAKE SCANDAL FAKE SCANDAL FAKE SCANDAL FAKE SCANDAL FAKE SCANDAL FAKE SCANDAL FAKE SCANDAL FAKE SCANDAL FAKE SCANDAL FAKE SCANDAL FAKE SCANDAL FAKE SCANDAL FAKE SCANDAL

    /shreeek in 10 minutes

    1. Needs moar BOOOOOSHHPIGS.

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