Accuracy in Media

With a new report from the British Parliament condemning their own country’s decision to help intervene in Libya, the mainstream media have started to rewrite history. The media’s revisionism seeks to repair the damaged foreign policy legacy of President Obama by making the decision to intervene in Libya the fault of foreign countries, particularly France and England.

A CNN article written with this purpose in mind bears the headline, “Britain’s Libya intervention led to growth of ISIS, inquiry finds.” Angela Dewan writes, “Britain’s military intervention in Libya was based on ‘inaccurate intelligence’ and ‘erroneous assumptions,’ a report released Wednesday found, pointing the finger at former Prime Minister David Cameron for failing to develop a sound Libya strategy.” Yet, she adds, “the United States became involved and played a key role.”

The role of America in this debacle is not just an addendum to the interference by Britain and France. As The New York Times reported back in February, Hillary Clinton’s “conviction would be critical in persuading Mr. Obama to join allies in bombing Colonel [Muammar] Qaddafi’s forces.” The Times article cites former Defense Secretary Robert Gates as crediting Mrs. Clinton’s influence in tipping the scales for Obama to favor intervening there.

Despite the presence of other nations in the coalition, Mrs. Clinton took credit for the early developments in Libya. She announced on television, “We came, we saw, he died.” Her aide, Jake Sullivan, wrote in a State Department email that Mrs. Clinton had “leadership/ownership/stewardship of this country’s [L]ibya policy from start to finish.”

One of the decisions that Sullivan notes Mrs. Clinton made was to ensure that the Russians abstain, and other countries support, UN Resolution 1973—the resolution that authorized a no-fly zone over Libya.

But the media are working to ensure that the Libya debacle doesn’t affect Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign. Articles on the British parliament’s report by Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, and Newsweek fail to even mention Obama or Clinton.

“The Foreign Affairs Committee concludes that the British government ‘failed to identify that the threat to civilians was overstated and that the rebels included a significant Islamist element,’” writes Ben Norton for the liberal website Salon. “The summary of the report also notes that the war ‘was not informed by accurate intelligence,’” continues Norton. Ironically, it is Salon which, at least in part, outlines Obama’s and Clinton’s role in creating the chaos that envelops Libya today.

“Saif Qaddafi quietly opened up communications with the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton intervened and asked the Pentagon to stop talking to the Libyan government,” writes Norton. “‘Secretary Clinton does not want to negotiate at all,’ a U.S. intelligence official told Saif,” he continues.

It is now clear—and should have been clear at the time—that Qaddafi had no intention of massacring civilians in Benghazi. As we have pointed out in our 2014 and 2016 Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi (CCB) reports, Rear Admiral Chuck Kubic (Ret.) was working with Qaddafi’s military to broker a truce. Qaddafi had, Kubic notes, already begun pulling his troops back from Benghazi and Misrata. The United States decided not to pursue the truce talks. The Pentagon has since confirmed (see the top of page 680) that the bid for a truce took place.

President Obama told Fox News that his “worst mistake” was “Probably failing to plan for the day after” Qaddafi was toppled in Libya. “What went wrong?” According to this article in The Atlantic, “Obama has placed the responsibility on the entrenched tribalism of Libyan society, as well as the failure of America’s NATO allies to step up to the plate.”

But it was not necessary to get involved in Libya in the first place, given that Qaddafi had become an ally in the War on Terror and had given up his weapons of mass destruction. The intervention demonstrates how the Obama administration switched sides in the war on terror.

Yet the mainstream media seek to exonerate President Obama for his actions in Libya. By reporting on the details of a foreign report describing the mistakes made by the British government leadership, the media can conveniently make the story about British ineptitude.

But what about our own government’s mistakes?

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama cannot escape their part in this debacle, and bear a significant part of the blame for the failed intervention into Libya, even if the media refuse to apportion blame where it truly lies. As former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta wrote in his book, Worthy Fights, “In Afghanistan I misstated our position on how fast we’d be bringing troops home, and I said what everyone in Washington knew but we couldn’t officially acknowledge: that our goal in Libya was regime change.”

Clearly, regime change was the goal of the United States government from very early on. And this debacle has led to the growth of ISIS. As we point out in our 2016 CCB report, the Obama administration facilitated the provision of arms to the al-Qaeda-linked rebels. Obama also authorized covert support to the Syrian rebels. “The Syrian Support Group, with Obama/Chicago connections, became the U.S. conduit for aid to various Syrian rebel militias. Turkey became the distribution hub,” states the CCB report. “…it now appears that at least some of the recipients instead were jihadist units that would eventually coalesce into the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS–later, simply Islamic State or IS).”

In other words, President Obama’s decision to switch sides in the war on terror has directly led to the arming of Islamic radicals in Libya and Syria. This is far from a mistake in failing to plan for the day after—it is a series of mistakes by an administration, and president, willfully ignoring the jihadist sympathies of those the government is arming.

The 2012 Benghazi terror attacks started with the misbegotten adventure by the Obama administration and its NATO allies, who were bent on regime change in Libya. Then came the failure to secure our Special Mission Compound and CIA Annex in Benghazi, the dereliction of duty by failing to come to the aid of our personnel when they were under terrorist attack on September 11 and 12, 2012, and the ensuing cover-up. Despite the media’s attempts to shield President Obama from the blame, he and his former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had much to do with the recent and current chaos in Libya.

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  • Jack Parsons

    According to more than a few observers, Gadhafi’s plan to quit selling Libyan oil in U.S. dollars — demanding payment instead in gold-backed “dinars” (a single African currency made from gold) — was the real cause of the debacle. The regime, sitting on massive amounts of gold, estimated at close to 150 tons, was also pushing other African and Middle Eastern governments to follow suit.
    And it literally had the potential to bring down the dollar and the world monetary system by extension, according to analysts. French President Nicolas Sarkozy reportedly went so far as to call Libya a “threat” to the financial security of the world. The “Insiders” were apparently panicking over Gadhafi’s plan.

  • efred1

    The American Media are shielding Obama and Hillary from EVERYTHING they’ve screwed up; which is, everything they’ve done both privately and in their respective duties as President and Secretary of State.

    The American Media needs to be torn down and rebuilt back into The Watchdogs of Liberty, as the Founders intended. As it stands today, the American Media is The Leg-Humping Lapdogs of Tyrants and Tyranny. Stop paying attention to them, and boycott their sponsors.

  • Ted

    Well, Trump The Motormouth … the original Ugly New Yorker … is going to win here … and everybody will then begin to get a real up close and personal view of shit REALLY hitting the fan.

    (However, the good President Bush has told some he’s voting for Mrs. Clinton!)

    Buy your tickets early! This is going to be one really effed-up reality show … led by the apprentice of all apprentices … and the media (at least the non-Republican media) will be LOVING IT!

  • Invading Libya and deposing Ghaddafi was Hillary’s project. That is a historical fact.

  • Frank de Varona

    Obama and Hillary Clinton committed treason, dereliction of duty, and criminal negligence in Libya before, during and after the civil war. If we had justice in America Obama would have long ago be impeached and Hillary indicted.We are sadly becoming a Banana Republic since the president and high officials have committed many crimes with complete impunity. Everyone needs to read CCB above and send it to members of Congress and all newspapers in the nation.

    We should learn from Brazil, a nation that impeached two of its president.

    Congratulations to Roger Aronoff and all members of the CCB for a job well done. You will live in our history books!

    Frank de Varona

  • Michael Lee Pemberton

    Jack Parsons “According to more than a few observers, Gadhafi’s plan to quit selling Libyan oil in U.S. dollars — demanding payment instead in gold-backed “dinars” (a single African currency made from gold) — was the real cause of the debacle.” Really, Jack, that is so unbelievable as to be laughable. On another note, the USA following the lead of Great Britain and France regarding Libya ? Balderdash ! Hadn’t Obama already had our warplanes engage a Libyan Mig and blown up one of Gaddafi’s palaces killing a nephew or other relative? They would do better to go back to the Mohammed video tale. If Hillary and Barack aren’t held accountable under the American judicial system, they might want to consider moving to Benghazi.

  • Jack Parsons

    You claim that it is “so unbelievable as to be laughable”? Elaborate – – if you can.

  • Therein lies the propaganda. And if you begin to even believe that it will go away if Trump is elected, take another look and use those rose colored glasses. Anything he does will be mocked, derided, etc. He will be a racist a bigot and anything and everything that bigotry brings. We have never seen this level of inner city racism since Selma. And why you might ask? For it is Soros’ money that is flowing into Black Lives Matter’s hands from Ferguson to Baltimore in order to stop the “evolving into” Marxist Fascism, but to do it through anarchy looking as if it is “revolution” to more fully destabilize to more quickly formalize the US as a Marxist Fascist country, and unless you have been asleep for the last 3 decades, we are already a fully functioning Socialist country, for the votes for Bernie Sanders completely shows that. P. Kathy Kleiman

  • madhatter46

    Yet he won a second term and Hillary may win the next term. It’s not just voter fraud or the Ministry of Truth–the “People” have become as corrupt, as greedy, as narcissistic, as amoral, as addicted to instant gratification as the politicians who we complain about. Character? Virtue? Accepting responsibility? Hey- just play games with your computer, text and tweet all day, befriend hundreds on our facebook accounts, and then sell our souls to nihilism? Shame on “We, the People.”

  • Tbear

    Welcome to Amerika – aka: Obamaland!!!!

  • Roberto Enrique Benitez II

    Just to add, the bombing that led to the death of Gaddafi’s relative was in retaliation for the Libyan bombing that killed US military personnel in Berlin in 1986 during Pres. Reagan’s term. The downing of Libyan fighters occurred in 1981 and also in 1986, also during Reagan’s presidency. The first occurred after the Libyans tried to shoot down an AF RC-135V. The 2nd was after they attacked Navy F-14s. I doubt Mr. Obama would’ve had the courage to order such actions against Libya. The lesson learned, don’t mess with Tomcats.

  • Roberto Enrique Benitez II

    Would you rather have a traitor as defined by the Constitution as president?

  • terry1956

    I beg to differ, the fact is most Americans are ignorant when it comes to political economics, the US Constitution and proper Anglo-American legal culture.
    This is even true with most of the otherwise well read and college educated.
    At a book store a guy working on his master degree in teaching told me we had a need of the 16th amendment to the US Constitution because of roads and schools but when I pointed out that roads was by a super majority funded by state and local taxes and that the federal government funded only around 10% ( 12% actually), he did not know what to say.
    The next week at the same store I talked to a well read retired lady who I agreed with on a lot of stuff but she was well read on things in the US that happen in her life time but knew very little about the Federalist Papers, the Articles of Confederation and the debates to Ratify the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights while I a high school drop out and a factory worker for over 25 years did.
    Almost none of what I know was learned in the 11 years I went to government schools and the vast majority learned since I started to use the internet in 1996 plus there still is so much I don’t know, just sitting down to read the Federalist Papers in the past month has been an eye opener.

  • madhatter46

    Beg to differ about? Yes, a fool thinks himself wise, while the wise person knows himself to be a fool. Gotcha questions are not the issue though. I’m not sure that even a majority of our representatives in Washington have read any of the federalist nor any anti-federalist–against a big central government–papers but actually don’t need to, to know leaving a 20 trillion dollar debt and a 200 trillion dollar unfunded liability not even counting state and local obligations is a big problem. Don’t need to read James Madison about men not being angels to realize that current politicians lie to us constantly–let’s see–you can keep your insurance?–and Jonathon Gruber admitted they lied –or Benghazi was caused by a video, having exposed Hillary’s e-mail to her daughter denying it. Knowing Dennis Hastert entered Congress with a net worth of $250,000 and when he came out he suddenly had 13 million? Do we have to read the Federalist Papers to know that the Iran Nuclear deal was bad–that laws are supposed to be followed, or not as Nancy Pelosi said, ‘we have to pass the bill before we can find out what’s in it’? Do the Federalist papers explain how to get 90 million Americans back to work? Does knowing that the federal gov’t funds 12% of road repairs solve anything? What about the other 88%–who’s doing the auditing and accounting on that share? Anyway–yes the internet can be put to good use but far too many use it for just amusement and propaganda. Don’t believe everything you read-but hope you see some truth in what I just wrote–God Bless!

  • Michael Lee Pemberton

    1. OPEC, not Gaddafi nor Libya, controls the market in Middle Eastern crude oil.

    2. A single African currency made of gold, a gold dinar, does not exist. If it did, it would not have to be backed by gold but would fluctuate based upon the value of its gold content. Paper currency and base metal currency is backed by gold and other precious metals.

    3. Most Middle Eastern and North African countries depend upon U. S. Foreign Aid and assistance. For assistance you can substitute food and defense as deserts don’t produce much grain and regime changes don’t come without at least our tacit approval.

    Indicates that Libya is not a major source of crude oil imports when compared to Canada, Mexico, or even Trinidad and Tobago.

    Indicates that the U. S. is the leading crude oil producer in the world, followed closely by Saudi Arabia and Russia.

    Lists Venezuela as first in proven crude oil reserves and Saudi Arabia second, Libya comes in at number nine followed by the U. S. In tenth place. The U. S. is conserving its oil reserves by importing.


    The USA has 8133.5 tones of gold compared to Libya’s 116.6. We are listed as number one in gold holdings, whereas Libya is only thirty-one. I believe that we have more leverage than Libya.
    Is that enough?