ON EVERY SIDE AND YET NO SIDE, EVERYONE’S FRIEND AND ENEMY
“WMD” STOCKS NEVER DESTROYED, LIBYA AN “ARSENAL OF LIQUID DEATH”
By Gordon Duff STAFF WRITER/Senior Editor
When Egypt’s Mubarak felt his grip on Egypt loosening, he called his friends in Tel Aviv. Three planeloads of riot gear and ‘other materials’ arrived almost immediately. When Gaddafi felt his grip on Libya loosening, he called his friends in Tel Aviv. Unlike Mubarak, publicly friendly with Israel, Gaddafi has publicly bashed Israel for decades.
In fact, Gaddafi is the only world leader than publicly threatens Israel but maintained, until recently, a very warm relationship with the United States. Saddam was removed because of far more moderate statements than Gaddafi makes daily. Iran faces “nuclear castration” for threatening to see “Zionism erased from the sands of time.”
So, when it was reported that African mercenaries, hired by Israel’s CST Global began unloading in Libya, a relationship long hidden reared its ugly head. More reinforcements came in from Belarus, joining the hundreds of “foreign technical advisors” that run anything in Libya with “knobs and blinking lights” and even more from Georgia. The initial UN attacks on Libya’s air defenses decimated Gaddafi’s air defense system, including killing its staff, all from Belarus.
Gaddafi’s credibility with the world nosedived the moment he began crying out about “Al Qaeda” forces “embedded” with the rebels, a disorganized “ragtag” of students, military deserters and members of tribes hostile to Gaddafi’s rule. Suspiciously, Gaddafi’s unfounded Al Qaeda claims picked up backing in the US, among “right wing” pundits, Fox News in particular and, most telling of all, Wikileaks.
It gets better.
As early as August 2009, Wikileaks had been tied to Israel. By December, Zbigniew Brzezinski had labeled it as part of an intelligence operation. In response, Julian Assange promised damaging information on Israel. Though cables are said to have been released, none have been published, but rather “withheld” by news sources said to be “sensitive” to Israeli interests.
On March 18, Wikileaks released reports that rebels in Libya were backed by Al Qaeda, according to this in the UK Telegraph:
WikiLeaks cables, independent analysts and reporters have all identified supporters of Islamist causes among the opposition to Col Gaddafi’s regime, particularly in the towns of Benghazi and Dernah.
The WikiLeaks cables, initially revealed by The Daily Telegraph and dating from 2008, identified Dernah in particular as a breeding ground for fighters in a number of causes, including Afghanistan and Iraq.
“The unemployed, disfranchised young men of eastern Libya have nothing to lose and are therefore willing to sacrifice themselves for something greater than themselves by engaging in extremism in the name of religion,” the cables quoted a Dernah businessman as saying.
Col Gaddafi has pinpointed the rebels in Dernah as being led by an al-Qaeda cell that has declared the town an Islamic emirate.
Thus, in March, when Gaddafi is claiming Al Qaeda is responsible for the rebellion, Fox News, owned by Israeli ultra-nationalist Rupert Murdoch, backs him up. Tel Aviv sends in mercenaries. Then Wikileaks, long “outed” as very favorable to Israel and highly critical of all Islamic states does a 180 degree turn.
Wikileaks now states that it was the CIA all along that had trained and backed the rebels. This is done through the release of cables, carried in a story in the Washington Post, that “proved” the CIA was behind all the “Arab Spring” revolutions.
The cables, provided by the anti-secrecy Web site WikiLeaks, show that U.S. Embassy officials in Damascus became worried in 2009 when they learned that Syrian intelligence agents were raising questions about U.S. programs.
Syrian authorities “would undoubtedly view any U.S. funds going to illegal political groups as tantamount to supporting regime change,” read an April 2009 cable signed by the top-ranking U.S. diplomat in Damascus at the time. “A reassessment of current U.S.-sponsored programming that supports anti-[government] factions, both inside and outside Syria, may prove productive,” the cable said.
It is unclear whether the State Department is still funding Syrian opposition groups, but the cables indicate money was set aside at least through September 2010. While some of that money has also supported programs and dissidents inside Syria, The Washington Post is withholding certain names and program details at the request of the State Department, which said disclosure could endanger the recipients’ personal safety.
In February 2006, when relations with Damascus were at a nadir, the Bush administration announced that it would award $5 million in grants to “accelerate the work of reformers in Syria.”
But, wait a minute, this is where it gets really good;
But no dissidents inside Syria were willing to take the money, for fear it would lead to their arrest or execution for treason, according to a 2006 cable from the U.S. Embassy, which reported that “no bona fide opposition member will be courageous enough to accept funding.”
Around the same time, Syrian exiles in Europe founded the Movement for Justice and Development. The group, which is banned in Syria, openly advocates for Assad’s removal. U.S. cables describe its leaders as “liberal, moderate Islamists” who are former members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Though the story itself is about Syria and there is no mention of the CIA, the references in these Wikileak cables are considered “documented proof” of years of CIA preparations, arming and training rebels, to overthrow Gaddafi.
No explanation is made for how the CIA pulled this off, arming and training tens of thousands of rebels over a period of years in the middle of a police state.
LIBYA’S “PING PONG” POLITICS
Colonel Gaddafi is known for many things, flamboyance, brutality, even charm…but he is also both pragmatic and a survivor. His sights have been on one goal only, that of achieving power for himself and Libya, a starring role on the world stage.
Libya’s population of 6 million has shown an increase of 300% in two decades but is still insignificant when compared to Egypt’s of well over 80 million. To compensate for this, Libya, with the 6th largest oil reserves in the world, has “shopped” the region for partners to provide manpower for Colonel Gaddafi’s dreams of empire. Through the 70’s and 80’s, Libya suggested joining with Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Yemen and even Iran.
Libya turned to the US in the early 70s, CIA Director Richard Helms established an operations center for Southern Europe and North Africa and, under the cover of “rogue operations,” infiltrated terrorist groups across Europe from Red Brigades to the IRA.
Israel played a prominent role in this relationship at a time when Libya was publicly supporting a broad front be established against Israel. This covert ‘back-channel’ relationship with Gaddafi, playing on his love of conspiracy and his desire for leverage against other Arab leaders, rarely surfaces. The current revolt in Libya is one of those times.
By 1978, however, Gaddafi felt spurned by Sadat of Egypt who sought a conciliatory relationship with Israel and the United States. The “spat” began when Sadat called for a cease fire after the Israel’s successful counter-offensive in the Sinai, during the 1973 War:
He (Gaddafi) accused the Egyptian leader of cowardice and of purposely sabotaging the federation. In response, Sadat revealed that he had intervened in 1973 to prevent a planned Libyan submarine attack on the S.S. Queen Elizabeth II while the British liner was carrying a Jewish tourist group in the Mediterranean.
Gaddafi turned to the Soviet Bloc and sought to position himself as the conduit for Russian ambitions in Africa. During this period, the race for weapons of mass destruction (WMD’s), nuclear, biological and chemical warfare developments promoted unusual relationships.
The most advanced programs were in Israel and the Soviet Union along with Czechoslovakia and East Germany. The three, working in concert, established an advanced program in South Africa. Simultaneously, Israel joined with South Africa to develop nuclear weapons at Armscorp’s Pelandaba Nuclear Research Facility.
During the 1970s, Israel and South Africa joined in a program to develop, not only nuclear weapons but biological and chemical weapons as well. Working closely with them were the following countries: Iran, Libya, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, the Soviet Union and North Korea.
We know for certain that ten nuclear weapons were built in South Africa, six of which were dismantled, one tested on September 22, 1979.
Though South Africa says it dumped the chemical weapons it developed with Israel into the ocean, weapons that had been used in Angola against civilians, sources indicate that 3 barrels of VX gas were transferred to Libya. As late as 2004, Israeli Johan Meyer was arrested in South Africa for selling weapons grade nuclear centrifuges to Libya. Meyer eluded custody and currently resides in Israel.
By 2004, Libya was said to have ended all nuclear, biological and chemical programs, though they were spared the rigorous inspections to which Iraq had been subjected. However, last month, the British reported that Libya’s program had not been “mothballed” as indicated:
Despite a promise in 2003 to give up weapons of mass destruction, Gaddafi is thought to have retained as much as 14 tons of the chemicals required to create mustard gas.
The stocks are said to be stored in secret secure facilities in the Libyan desert. The chemicals would need to be mixed and loaded into shells before they could be used as weapons, but are “still a concern,” said a senior British government source. “We want to make sure they’re destroyed.”
Sources in the UK tell us that though the article says “mustard gas,” we should be reading VX, a far more potent and threatening chemical.
MISPLACED WIKILEAKS CABLE SAYS LIBYA ARMED “TO THE TEETH” WITH WMD’S
In fact, Libya had agreed, in 2003, to destroy all chemical weapons. However, in this Wikileaks cable, one not made public in the United States, we learn that as late as 2011, Libya maintains its stocks of chemical weapons. Gaddafi had been allowed extensions year after year claiming he had no money. (A Wikileaks “double secret,” kept secret from US by our government and again by Wikileaks)
Header: VZCZCXRO1980PP RUEHTRODE RUEHTRO #0795/01 2781540ZNY SSSSS ZZHP 051540Z OCT 09FM AMEMBASSY TRIPOLITO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5334INFO RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE PRIORITY 0088RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1173RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0844RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 0624RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DCRUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DCRHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DCRUEHTRO/AMEMBASSY TRIPOLI 5881
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 TRIPOLI 000795 NOFORN SIPDIS DEPT FOR NEA/MAG AND ISN/CBC (FERGUSON); NSC FOR MCDERMOTT E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/5/2019 TAGS: PARM, PREL, PGOV, CWC, OPCW, LY SUBJECT: LIBYA’S CHEMICAL WEAPONS DESTRUCTION CHIEF DEFENDS EXTENSION REQUEST REF: A) STATE 100809; B) TRIPOLI 490 CLASSIFIED BY: Joan Polaschik, CDA, U.S. Embassy Tripoli, U.S. Department of State. REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)
1.(S/NF) Summary: Dr. Ahmed Hesnawy, head of Libya’s chemical weapons destruction program, defended Libya’s Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) extension request….
HESNAWY JUSTIFIES EXTENSION REQUEST
2.(S) During a September 30 meeting, Pol/Econ Chief jointly delivered ref a demarche with French DCM to the head of the chemical weapons destruction program at Libya’s National Chemical Weapons (CW) Authority, Dr. Ahmed Hesnawy. During the meeting, Hesnawy also provided a detailed briefing on his progress toward meeting Libya’s Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) commitments.
3. (S) Hesnawy gave a long explanation of the reasons for the extension request, including resistance from the local community when construction work began at the building site…..
3.(S/NF) Hesnawy then explained that the next problem he confronted was with the “civil defense people,” who…..
UK EMBASSY WARNS OF HESNAWY’S CONFIDENCE9.(S) In a separate meeting, xxxxxxxxxxxx told P/E Chief that while the MFA IO officer Tajouri Shiradi had made the same request for support for Libya’s CWC requests, he did not provide as much detail on the progress of the Libyan program. xxxxxxxxxxxx expressed surprise that Hesnawy had met with us, relating that he was an elusive character….
10.(S/NF) Bio info: Hesnawy is a charismatic and gregarious character, who spoke fluent American English. He used American expressions and slang with ease and was clearly trying to endear himself to P/E Chief. He said that he has been head of Libya’s Chemical Weapons Program for the last 12 years and was intimately aware of every technical detail relating to that program. According to xxxxxxxxxxxx, Hesnawy may be working with National Security Advisor, Muatassim al-Qadhafi, on missile purchase requests.
Again we note, when mustard gas is mentioned, VX and other weapons are not as the classification of any document mentioning weapons of the magnitude, VX or, for-instance nuclear weapons would make it unsuitable for “leaking.”
Thus, such weapons may well exist and we are told they do only they are not a subject for albeit revealing but “soft” chatter.
HOW DOES GADDAFI GET AWAY WITH THIS?
Though a common theme among many in the world of “alternative journalism” has Libya’s Gaddafi as the victim of CIA and oil company conspiracies tied to the Bush/Blair/Cheney war on terror, such beliefs vary from reality by miles and miles.
In the video below, former Prime Minister Tony Blair discusses the role he says he never had in negotiations with Libya:
One day, Libya was a rogue nation with a nuclear program, poisoned gas and bio-weapons development and defying American/Israeli power. At the height of his belligerence, the entire population of Libya was less than the Denver metropolitan area, with 90% living within a few miles of the Mediterranean, ringed with American bases and home to a massive US fleet.
For some unknown reason, Colonel Gaddafi could be accused of mass murder in Africa, blowing up American troops in Germany and even downing an airliner over Scotland and retain his rule for 42 years.
General Noriega and Saddam Hussein, whose offenses, against America at least, were minor in comparison, suffered a different fate. There is no way of getting around it, Gaddafi isn’t now nor has he ever been anything but a very slippery character.
SECRET TOUR OF ILLEGAL WEAPONS SITES BY US AND UK
Nine years after Gaddafi promised Bush and Blair his weapons programs would be dismantled, four years after his “final deadline,” American planes are bombing Libya and his weapons are exactly where they were.
We have learned that officials of both the Bush and Blair administrations were aware that Gaddafi was actively violating weapons accords during the period they were informing the world that Libya had totally disarmed.
In fact, the Daily Telegraph reported a few days ago:
Scientists from Britain and America visited the chemical weapons facility as it was being built in August 2006.
The cable, a copy of which was leaked to the WikiLeaks website and seen by The Daily Telegraph, detailed a visit by the scientists to a military facility in Tajura, on the outskirts of Tripoli.
The communique reports: “US and UK experts were both told that a lab under construction at the facility would be for chemical weapons defensive purposes.”
Andy Oppenheimer, editor of Chemical and Biological Warfare Review, said the facility described in the cable was “quite clearly” being used to develop chemical and biological weapons agents.
“The Libyans may well claim that this facility is for defence, but that’s a very thin argument because in order to defend against chemical weapons you have to build them and test them first,” he said.
He continued: “Libya clearly did develop chemical weapons. There was a load of mustard gas and blistering agent that that was being destroyed under the terms of the Chemical Weapons Convention, but there are now fears that the Libyans are lying and that they have stocks which haven’t been declared.
Libya is estimated to have 13.6 metric tonnes of sulphur mustard and 556 metric tonnes of CW precursor chemicals by the OPCW.
Why would Libya not only be allowed to keep its WMD’s, all the while the American people were assured they had been destroyed, but build new facilities as well?
Why would Israel agree to keep silent about this if they perceive Libya as a potential enemy?
Were the millions in oil and weapons deals with Shell, BP, Haliburton and BAE Systems blinding some?
Did Libya’s American lobbyist, a former mayor of New York City, help Gaddafi scam the United States out of $35 billion in bail out money?
How much imagination does it require to believe that Gaddafi, perhaps the consummate Washington insider of all, perhaps the last real survivor of the Bush era “neocons” has been plotted against by the CIA, oil companies and banks?
Perhaps Gaddafi is just too slippery for all of us.
Gordon Duff posted articles on VT from 2008 to 2022. He is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War. A disabled veteran, he worked on veterans and POW issues for decades.
Gordon is an accredited diplomat and is generally accepted as one of the top global intelligence specialists. He manages the world’s largest private intelligence organization and regularly consults with governments challenged by security issues.
Duff has traveled extensively, is published around the world, and is a regular guest on TV and radio in more than “several” countries. He is also a trained chef, wine enthusiast, avid motorcyclist, and gunsmith specializing in historical weapons and restoration. Business experience and interests are in energy and defense technology.