Short ‘n’ Stubby: If this is Tuesday, it must be Libya

…and if the Stumpy Cat is meowing, it must mean she has some news for us. And of course, being Ms. Manx, she ALWAYS comes through:

On the WSWS (always a good place to go for the real news), Patrick Martin reports a preponderance of evidence that the Libyan rebels have CIA ties. Shocking? Only to those who’ve had their heads stuck in a heap of oily sand since, oh, about 1946 or thereabouts.

And if you find that surprising, there’s the additional fact that recent defector Moussa Koussa, Gaddafi’s former foreign minister, has been in British intel’s pocket for lo these many moons. MI6, to be quite precise:

As head of Libya external intelligence, Mr Koussa was an MI6 asset for almost two decades. He was charged with conducting negotiations over Libya’s giving up its weapons of mass destruction in 2003.

Of course, says the Manx, the converse is also true: If you’re not surprised that the rebels have CIA ties, then this little item shouldn’t surprise you either. In fact, it probably explains a lot. Our stumpy friend points out that the rats are actually reluctant to leave a sinking ship unless there is someplace safe for them to swim to nearby.

Meanwhile, the good ol’ Dissociated Press is doing yeoman’s work for the CIA again, claiming that they’re just now scrambling to “help” the “freedom fighter” rebels, and that they’ve barely had time to get their boots on the ground. Where have we heard all that before? Oh yeah: Iran-Contra. But hey, even the AP can have a weaselly little moment of truth, for about one second every 12 hours:

The CIA’s precise role in Libya is not clear. Intelligence experts said the CIA would have sent officials to make contact with the opposition and assess the strength and needs of the rebel forces in the event Obama decided to arm them.

Uh-huh, saith the Manx. Actually, the CIA’s role in Libya is quite clear to those who know what signs and symptoms to look for As is the CIA’s role in determining how much (or rather, how little) is said about their operations, and in what tone. Remember, Operation Mockingbird never ended; it merely “went volunteer”. This story tells just enough to make the reader think they’ve learned something, but actually, it’s the AP’s and WaHoPo’s contribution to the “fog of war” that serves the CIA’s real nefarious purposes only too well. If their hand is not up the armed insurrectionaries’ backs, then MI6’s certainly is. And again, Iran-Contra should serve to remind us just what a dead giveaway the words “freedom fighter” really are.

Speaking of war and fog, how do you like those grey clouds coming out of His Barackness’s mouth? He says no ground troops for Libya? Funny, his own NATO chief says just the opposite. Gee, who are we to believe? When in doubt, says the Manx, always believe the worst. The ground troops are probably in there already. Probably disguised as “diplomats”, too, like that CIA/Blackwater spook who went on a murderous rampage in Pakistan. Remember him?

And while we’re on the subject of murderous rampages, some Russian doctors have come forward saying that civilians are being killed–by the coalition that’s supposed to be “helping” to “liberate” them from that “murderous tyrant”, Gaddafi. Should we believe Teh Russkies? Ms. Manx says “Da.” It happened in Vietnam, it happened in Afghanistan, it happened in Iraq–what makes anyone think it wouldn’t happen in Libya? Fog of war, baby!

And while we’re on the subject of Russkies and Libya, did you know that the Russian military has found that Gaddafi’s forces have NOT been waging air strikes against the rebels on the ground? Meaning that the whole “no-fly zone” excuse is, pardonnez my franglais, a lot of merde de bull? C’est vrai! But then again, Teh Russkies don’t have a dog in this fight; they’ve got their own oil in the Black Sea region, which I’m sure the oil-hungry Europeans can’t possibly have designs on, and they’re also in a rather nice trading relationship with Venezuela, which has more oil than Libya, Iraq, or even Saudi Arabia. So, of course, their word can safely be discounted, right?

Meanwhile, down in another part of Latin America–Brazil, to be exact–it looks like His Barackness’s much-hyped grand tour of last week has failed to get a major intended ally on side. Dilma Rousseff, like her comrade Lula before her, refuses to isolate Iran, Venezuela OR Libya. Instead, she’s showing a surprising amount of fair-mindedness and even solidarity! Gasp! The lovely lady has backbone, who’d of thunk? Well, Ms. Manx would have…but then, like all cats, Ms. Manx can tell these things with surprisingly little effort. It’s only the stoopid hoomins who’ve got a lot of catching up to do.

This entry was posted in Barreling Right Along, Brazil is the Bomb!, Huguito Chavecito, Isn't It Ironic?, Isn't That Illegal?, Obamarama!, Short 'n' Stubby, Spooks, The 'Stans, The United States of Amnesia, The War on Terra. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Short ‘n’ Stubby: If this is Tuesday, it must be Libya

  1. James says:

    Love that stubby cat..the stub KNOWS.

  2. Cort Greene says:

    Thanks Sabina, here some more info to consider:

    Some say Wilson recruited Qaddafi in 1973 and others say he started working with MI6 in 1967, as I said before just a falling out among thieves.

    CIA, Edwin Wilson, Gaddafi,439,7189


    It would be useful to read pages 322 – 324 of the book,
    Libya: The Struggle for Survival – Geoff Simons – Hardcover (ISBN …

    The Politics of Heroin: Nugan Hand « Chasing Nugan Hand
    – 1:53pm
    Jan 27, 1980 … Taken from pages 461-472 in Alfred W. McCoy’s bombshell book, “The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity In The Drug Trade”, (published by … – Cached

    Working through Houghton, moreover, the Nugan Hand Bank deepened its contacts with the network of ex-CIA officials surrounding Edwin Wilson. After helping Hand informally with the bank’s operations for the previous five years, Houghton finally joined Nugan Hand’s staff in late 1978 and opened a branch in Saudi Arabia to collect deposits from American contract employees. Under Houghton’s management, the Saudi branch ran the bank’s biggest — and simplest — fraud. With introductionsfrom Beck Arabia of Dallas, a leading engineering firm with major Middle East contracts, Houghton flew into Saudi Arabia in January 1979 and rented a villa at Al-Khobar to serve as both office and residence for the bank. Over the next twelve months, Houghton and his aides circulated through the U.S. construction camps along the Persian Gulf, issuing bank receipts for cash deposits from American contract workers. Paid in cash and unable to make deposits in Saudi Arabia’s backward banking system, American expatriate workers needed the deposit-taking service that Nugan Hand pretended to provide. Houghton then bought bundles of Thomas Cook traveler’s checks and sent them off in commercial courier parcels to Michael Hand’s new office in Singapoer. Through this simple system, Houghton and Hand collected collected at least $5 million from their fellow Americans—all of which simply disappeared when the bank collapsed a year later.

    Houghton’s presence in Arabia brought Nugan Hand Bank into closer contact with Wilson’s network of former CIA officials, now moving its base of operations to nearby Libya. When Houghton opened his Saudi office in 1979, Wilson’s network seemed a step away from unprecedented power, and Houghton apparently decided to join their rise. Within months, however, both Wilson’s group and Nugan Hand were plunging precipitously toward a collapse.

    After decades inside the CIA, Wilson and his closest associates were finally forced out in the late 1970s, losing the mantle of CIA protection that had long masked their operations. In February 1976, Admiral Bobby Ray Inman, the new head of the Office of Naval Intelligence, ran into Ed Wilson by chance and learned to his surprise that this wheeler-dealer was one of his own operatives in Task Force 157. When Wilson’s contract came up for renewal a few months later, ONI canceled it on Inman’s orders, pushing the ex-CIA man into the private sector. There he prospered. Between June and September 1976 Wilson supplied Libya with thousands of CIA-designed bomb timers and more than 21 tons of Composition C-4, the most powerful nonnuclear explosive in America’s arsenal–thereby providing Colonel Muammar al-Qaddafi with a potent weapon for his terrorist campaign in Europe and the Middle East. Over the next four years, Wilson recruited U.S. Green Berets to train Libyan commandos, delivered weapons for Qaddafi’s terrorists, and even arranged assassinations for the Libyan dictator. One of Wilson’s employees, former CIA officer Kevin Mulcahy, became concerned by these shipments and reported them to the CIA.

    But Wilson’s old friend Theodore Shackley, now deputy director for Clandestine Services [at CIA], blocked any internal investigation. In April 1977 The Washington Post published an article on Wilson’s activities stating that he “may have had contact with one or more current CIA employees”, and the agency’s new director, Admiral Stansfield Turner, started asking questions. He soon learned about Wilson’s close friendship with his former CIA colleagues Clines and Shackley, then high in the Langley hierarchy. Over the opposition of senior CIA bureaucrats, Turner transferred the two to secondary jobs. A year later Thomas Clines resigned from the CIA after thirty years’ service, borrowed $500,000 from Wilson to set up his own company, and soon won a $71 million contract for arms delivery to Egypt. No longer heir-apparent to the post of CIA director, Theodore Shackley resigned in Septermber 1979 and followed Clines into the consulting business.

  3. Inversius says:

    Well spotted Ms. Manx.

    Shades of Iran 1953 and the Cuban Bay of Pigs – both involved insurgency organised and sponsored by the CIA et al who managed to round up a motley of otherwise disparate rebels with an axe to grid. Actually can it still be strictly called insurgency when the rebels are backed by belligerents (namely US, UK, France… all the usual suspects)? We shouldn’t really be surprised at rebels behaving badly – Webster Tarpley cites a Combating Terrorism Centre (West Point, US) document as claiming that Banghazi, rebel central, produced more than its fair share of al-Qaeda operatives in the past. I fear another Taliban in the making. The real losers here are the civilian population and the losses won’t just be counted in lives, but in quality of life for decades to come. Proud of yourselves, Imperialists? I bet you are.

  4. Cort Greene says:

    The nature of the Gaddafi regime – historical background notes

    Written by Fred Weston Wednesday, 06 April 2011

    We provide a brief historical outline of the development of the Gaddafi regime from the bourgeois Arab nationalism of the early days, to the period of so-called Islamic socialism, to the recent period of opening up to foreign investment, with major concessions to multinational corporations and the beginnings of widespread privatisations.

    Gaddafi came to power in a young officers ´coup in 1969, which was clearly influenced by the panarabism of Nasser’s Egypt. Under the previous rule of King Idris, Libya had been totally under the thumb of imperialism. He became associated with the Free Officers’ movement, a group of junior officers in the Libyan Army who had a deep sense of anger and shame at seeing the Arab armies defeated in the 1967 war with Israel. Gaddafi’s aim was to modernise Libya and develop the economy.

    However, as he attempted to do this on a capitalist basis he came into conflict with the interests of the imperialists, for example taking over the property of former Italian colonisers or, as in 1971, nationalising the assets of British Petroleum. In the process he also expelled US bases from Libya.
    Retaliatory measures by the British government contributed to pushing Gaddafi to seek economic help from the Soviet Union.

    This came in 1972 when the Soviet Union signed a deal with Libya to help develop its oil industry.

    During the same period, however, Gaddafi was very clear in expressing his anti-Communism. In 1971, he sent a plane full of Sudanese Communists back to Sudan where they were executed by Nimeiry.

    In 1973 the regime published an official document to commemorate the fourth anniversary of Gaddafi’s rise to power, under the title “Holy War Against Communism” in which we read that, “the biggest threat facing man nowadays is the communist theory.”

    The Nixon administration, in spite of Gaddafi having expelled US bases, saw him as a beneficial influence in the Arab world, precisely because of his anti-communism. This was expressed also on the international arena. Initially Gaddafi was not pleased at Egypt’s close relationship with the Soviet Union. In the Yemen he was for unification of the North and South, but on the basis that the South should abandon its pro-Moscow stance.

    He supported Pakistan against India in the 1971 war on the basis that India was aligned with the Soviet Union.

    What produced a radical change in Gaddafi’s stance was the worldwide recession of 1974. This had deep repercussions within Libya, leading to growing social unrest. This in turn produced divisions within the regime, with some sections reflecting the interests of the weak capitalist elements within Libyan society, while Gaddafi himself proceeded to move against these elements.

    The inability of the nascent Libyan bourgeois to develop the economy, led Gaddafi to shift from his earlier policy of attempting to develop indigenous Libyan capitalism to what was to become an economy dominated by state owned enterprises.

    Some of the army officers involved in the initial 1969 coup against the monarchy that brought Gaddafi to power broke with him on this specific question and organised an attempted coup in 1975 to try and stop his programme of nationalisations.

    Some of these are now playing a role in trying to overthrow Gaddafi today, such as Omar Mokhtar El-Hariri the newly appointed Minister of Military Affairs in the present Interim Government of the opposition.

    Gaddafi successfully crushed the 1975 coup and proceeded subsequently with his programme. He ended up by taking over most of the economy and leaning towards the Soviet Union. By 1979 the private sector had been almost completely eliminated.

    To provide some kind of ideological backing to what he was doing, he wrote the first part of his famous Green Book in 1975 and in 1977 he changed the official name of the country to the “Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya”, Jamahiriya meaning the “state of the masses”. In his book he presents his version of “socialism”, an Islamic version that rather than viewing the class struggle as the key to moving society forward, sees the class struggle as a dangerous deviation.

    In effect his book was simply a cover for a regime that allowed no freedom of organisation or strike for the workers, but claimed to be building some kind of socialism, which of course it was not.

    It was in this period that some groups on the left became open cheer-leaders for Gaddafi, uncritically supporting his regime.

    This ignored some not unimportant details.

    For example, in 1969 Gaddafi had banned independent trade unions and strikes were completely banned a few years later. Once real labour organisations had been banned, state-controlled “unions” were set up. What was thus created was a totalitarian regime, under the tight control of Gaddafi himself.

    In spite of this brutal dictatorship, a combination of large oil reserves, and thus income, and a large public sector, allowed for the development of an extensive welfare state. In this we have to understand that Gaddafi was able to build a significant base of support for himself among the population. Some of that support has survived to this day as we can see in Tripoli and other areas of the country.

    A layer of the population, particularly among the older generation, will remember what it was like under King Idris and will also recall how Libya developed subsequently under Gaddafi.
    Since then, however, many important changes have taken place on a world scale that deeply affected Libya.

    A key element was the fall of the Soviet Union and its East European satellites that ushered in the return to capitalism in all these countries. These events had a major impact on the direction taken by China towards capitalism. How could a small country like Libya escape such a process?

    It is in fact in 1993 that we see the first tentative steps of the regime to begin a process of “economic liberalisation” or “infitah” as it was known. Decree No.491 in 1993 allowed for the liberalization of the wholesale trade.

    This was followed later that year and in 1994 with legal guarantees to cover foreign capital investment as well as the convertibility of the Libyan Dinar.

    However, it is also true to say that although the intention was there, in practice this led to very little movement in the direction of full-fledged privatisation.

    The main beneficiaries of the nationalised economy, the middle and senior managers, the officer caste, the technocrats who ran the oil industry as well as the state bureaucrats, had little interest in changing the status quo.

    The relative independence that Libya enjoyed while the Soviet Union existed determined the conflict with imperialism that put Libya in the position of being classed as a “rogue state” together with other regimes such as that of the Ayatollahs in Iran or of Serbia under Milosevic.

    In 1986, Reagan ordered a bombing raid against Libya with the declared aim of killing Gaddafi.

    He survived, but the raid caused some 60 victims. The 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Scotland also helped to provide the excuse for the sanctions that were imposed on the country. This, together with falling oil prices in the nineties and into the early 2000s, caused significant economic pain to the country.

    The 2003 invasion of Iraq by imperialism, leading to the death of Saddam Hussein and the overthrow of his regime served also as strong pressure towards abandoning any pretence of an anti-imperialist stance.

    The excuse for the invasion of Iraq had been the alleged presence of weapons of mass destruction, something imperialist powers were also accusing Libya of. The combination of all these factors is what determined a radical shift in policy.

    In June 2003 Shukri Ghanem, considered a “reformist”, i.e. a free marketer in favour of privatisations, was appointed as Prime Minister. In the same year Decision No.31 put forward the proposal for 360 state owned enterprises to be privatised over a period from January 2004 to December 2008. By the end of 2004, 41 enterprises had already been privatised. This was slower than expected, but the process had clearly begun. As part of this process in January 2007 the Libyan government announced plans to lay off 400,000 public sector workers, more than one-third of the overall government workforce.

    In December 2003, Libya renounced its programme to develop “weapons of mass destruction”.

    This was just after the US had invaded Iraq. Gaddafi’s shift allowed Bush to present his policy in Iraq as one that was paying off, as a former “rogue regime” such as the Libyan was now being brought back into the fold. UN sanctions were thus lifted in 2003 and a year later the US lifted most of its sanctions also. Diplomatic relations were re-established in 2006.

    As a result of all this Libya started attracting a lot of foreign direct investment, mainly in the energy sector, but also in civil engineering.

    Many contracts were signed giving concessions to western oil and gas companies, such as Italy’s AGIP, British Petroleum, Shell, Spain’s Repsol, France’s Total and GFD Suez, as well as US companies such as Conoco Phillips, Hess, and Occidental, Exxon and Chevron, as well as Canadian, Norwegian and other companies.

    In this period the Gaddafi regime moved closer and closer to the imperialists. The press of recent years is full of stories about western businesspeople and politicians visiting Libya and making lucrative deals.

    An example is an article, “The Opening Of Libya”, that appeared in Business Week on March 12, 2007:
    “Much of the progress [in opening up the Libyan economy] is due to an unusual partnership with Harvard Business School professor and competitiveness guru Michael E. Porter, who is advising the Libyans through Boston consultancy Monitor Group.

    For the past two years, more than a dozen Monitor consultants have been working in Libya, studying the economy and running a three-month leadership program intended to create a new pro-business elite (..)

    “Porter was persuaded to take the job by Qaddafi’s son, Saif al Islam.

    The former London School of Economics graduate student is a lean man who favors expensive European suits and Western-style economic reform. Since first meeting Saif at several dinners in London, Porter has traveled to Libya three times and met top government officials, including the elder Qaddafi.”

    Saif al Islam, one of Gaddafi’s sons, is renowned for being in favour of “liberalising” the economy, and has been pushing for more and more “liberal” economic policies, i.e. greater privatisation!

    But as Business Week quoted, Saif explained that, “We need to change from a state economy to an open economy, but without it being out of control.”

    What Saif meant with these words was an opening up of Libya’s economy, with privatisation of state owned enterprises, but making sure that the Gaddafi family and its entourage gets the lion’s share of these enterprises in collaboration with western multinational corporations… and without renouncing the dictatorial powers of the regime itself.

    Since Libya was taken off the list of “rogue states”, a whole swathe of western politicians have been to Libya, shaking hands and embracing Gaddafi… and signing excellent deals for their respective national companies.
    In 2008 Berlusconi signed a deal to pay Libya US$5 billion in compensation for Italy’s colonisation of Libya in the past.

    Part of the deal also involved Libya policing the Mediterranean coast to stop African immigrants getting to Italy.

    The fact that Gaddafi used brutal means to achieve this seemed to be of no concern to western governments at the time.

    This was followed by an official visit from the then US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice the same year, the first such visit since 1953. But it was Tony Blair who started the process when he visited Gaddafi back in 2004, establishing a “new relationship”… and bringing home some very lucrative oil contracts for Shell!

    Thus we see how the aura of “anti-imperialism” that Gaddafi may have had in the past evaporated in the past decade. He has been collaborating fully with imperialism, de facto returning to the Gaddafi of the early 1970s. His regime has been based on making deals with imperialism and even helping them directly as the case of Italy demonstrates.

    He was also helping them in their so-called “war on terror”, passing information to both the CIA and MI6 on suspected Islamic fundamentalists from Libya. A leaked cable from the US embassy in Tripoli from August 2009, described how “Libya has acted as a critical ally in US counter-terrorism efforts, and is considered one of our primary partners in combating the flow of foreign fighters”.

    The cable emphasised that the US-Libya “strategic partnership in this field has been highly… beneficial to both nations”. It is therefore clear that Gaddafi is not an anti-imperialist. He had become a useful collaborator of the imperialists in the recent period.

    All this also explains his surprise at being attacked by NATO forces in the recent period. He felt he had done everything that he needed to do to avoid ending up like Saddam Hussein.

    However, because of his past, Gaddafi was never fully trusted; he was a bit of a wild card.

    He was collaborating yes, fully and willingly, but when the imperialist powers saw a chance of replacing him with someone even more subservient they did not hesitate in seizing the opportunity.

    • Inversius says:

      Gadaffi is a complex character. Marxists don’t like him because he is too capitalist, The US don’t like him because he’s too socialist (he kicked out BP and Nationalised oil after the coup in ’63 – also check out for facts on Libyan distribution of wealth), Hard-line Islamists don’t like him because he’s too moderate (equal state funded education for women for a start). He’s far from a saint, but if you want a much more balanced appraisal check out Yoweri Museveni’s (President of Uganda)take –

  5. Sabina Becker says:

    Somewhat germane to the subject, here’s a friend of mine, explaining Libya to a Martian:

    Just wait’ll Yyuran starts asking about the CIA.

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