McCain Pledged To Help Gaddafi Get Military Aircraft, Says Leaked Cable


After the Libyan rebels seized Tripoli, Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham said that Americans had not done enough to oust Muammar el-Gaddafi from power In a statement that damned the Obama administration with only the faintest of praise, McCain and Graham thanked everyone (the British, the French, Qatar, etc.) but the US as we had failed to “employ the full weight of our airpower.” But a leaked Wikileaks cable reveals this statement to display something of a turnaround in the two senators’ views about the Gaddafi regime.

Exactly two years ago, McCain, Graham and Senator Joe Lieberman were in Libya meeting Gaddafi, Think Progress points out. Not only did they assure the long-standing dictator that Libya’s relationship with the US was “on the mend”; the cables reveal that McCain assured Gaddafi’s son, Muatassim — Libya’s National Security Adviser — that the Arizona senator would “see what he could do to move things forward in Congress” regarding the Gaddafi regime’s request for eight C130s (military transport aircraft).

The cables make no mention of democratic reforms of, indeed, of the Libyan people.

Lieberman also pledged support for Libya as “an important ally in the war on terrorism.” “We never would have guessed ten years ago that we would be sitting in Tripoli, being welcomed by a son of Muammar al-Qaddafi,” the cables quote Lieberman as saying.

Flash forward to February of this year when Gaddafi and his sons responded with bullets and violence to Libyans protesting inspired by the uprisings in neighboring Tunisia and Egypt. The International Criminal Court soon put out a warrant for Gaddafi’s arrest. McCain himself made a surprise visit to the rebel stronghold of Benghazi in April. Then, just this past weekend, the rebel forces marched into Tripoli and seized Gaddafi’s Bab al-Azizya compound — all developments that no one ever “would have guessed” would have occurred.

As the rebels gained ground, McCain and his “clique,” says Think Progress, wasted no time in “return[ing] to their perches as the staunchest advocates of U.S. military action in Libya, taking to the airwaves to lament the U.S.’s mere three-week delay to build international consensus and calling for arming the Libyan rebels.” In other words, McCain and his cohort  were for Gaddafi “when it was convenient as a win for the Bush administration” and then against him when the uprising began. What they have been consistent in, is their hawkish tone, and in switching sides as the moment dictates.


Previous Care2 Coverage

Libya, Obama and American Global Leadership

Rebels Seize Gaddafi’s Compound But Where Is He? (video)

Politicians React To Libya News




Photo of McCain, Graham and Lieberman in Kabul in July 2011 by U.S Embassy Kabul Afghanistan


Yvette S.
Past Member 6 years ago

Will someone please remove all this Riff Raff from the building? These guys guys talk out of so many different sides of their mouths they even have gas that lies.

Eternal Gardener
Eternal G6 years ago

The man is a walking faux pas!

Siusaidh C.
Susan C6 years ago

Alfred spouts the Israeli Hasbara line - evasions, half-truths, and plain old lies. But what the hell - until China pulls the debt-plug, the US/Israel (essentially one State) rules the world.

Marjorie L.
Marjorie L6 years ago

US foreign policy is vile. We should not be in Libya. Congress is an obscene joke.

Donna Farr
Donna F6 years ago

I am not suprised by all these, we shouldn't be in any war right know it's all for politlcal gain for power. What a mess and at the price of troops dieing everyday.

Alfred Supe
Alfred Supe6 years ago

Elizabeth said:

"Since Israel illegally appropriated the Gaza strip, perhaps a more germane question would be what would we do if Mexico forcibly took Texas.?"

And who rules Gaza now?? Pray do tell us, Israel, or Egypt, or Hamas, a world-wide known terrorist organization, elected by the Gazans themselves?? Hum??

And are you aware that 1.1 MILLION Palestinians live in Israel, as full Israeli citizens, with every single right accorded to the native Israelis?? And that a recent scientifically-conducted poll found that they wanted to live in Israel, not in ANY so-called Palestinian state?

Lynne B.
Lynne Buckley6 years ago

McCain should remember that his actions from two years ago don't just disappear because he's trying to score cheap points at the person who kicked his butt at the election. It's yet another pathetic example of how he'll do anything to get publicity.

Lynn C.
Lynn C6 years ago

I've NEVER heard McCain say one believable thing since he's been in the public eye....which has been much too long.

Rob K.
Rob Keenan6 years ago

This probably makes it an even worse week for Condi than it already was,Dominic C.,considering what her fellow war criminal,former Vice Dictator Darth Cheney wrote about her in his new book.

John E.
John E6 years ago

Will The Three Stooges (and Tony Blair) please stand up and explain themselves?
And then just shut the hell up for the rest of eternity.

And in case anyone was wondering, the rest of the world does pay attention to those who promote illegal wars, and no, no-one is surprised by this. Or those who do business so profitably with the Saudi regime, or those who funded OBL to serve it up to the Russians in Afghanistan, or ..... I could go on.
Jean W covered the subject quite adequately.