On Sunday, the New York Times began a three-part series about how Libya evolved into a failed terrorist state. As of Monday two segments have been published, and they paints a horrible picture of Hillary Clinton, first for pushing that country into the Libyan ”civil” war, and then doing nothing about the threat that came next.
President Obama was deeply wary of another military venture in a Muslim country. Most of his senior advisers were telling him to stay out. Still, he dispatched Mrs. Clinton to sound out Mr. [Mahmoud] Jibril, a leader of the Libyan opposition. Their late-night meeting on March 14, 2011, would be the first chance for a top American official to get a sense of whom, exactly, the United States was being asked to support.
Her conviction would be critical in persuading Mr. Obama to join allies in bombing Colonel Qaddafi’s forces. In fact, Mr. Obama’s defense secretary, Robert M. Gates, would later say that in a “51-49” decision, it was Mrs. Clinton’s support that put the ambivalent president over the line.
Once Clinton pushed America into the war, and Qaddafi was deposed (and executed), Hillary ignored the warnings when, “militias refused to disarm, neighbors fanned a civil war, and the Islamic State found refuge.”
But Clinton was too busy bragging to care:
Mrs. Clinton had taken a triumphal tour of the Libyan capital, Tripoli, and for weeks top aides had been circulating a “ticktock” that described her starring role in the events that had led to this moment. The timeline, her top policy aide, Jake Sullivan, wrote, demonstrated Mrs. Clinton’s “leadership/ ownership/ stewardship of this country’s Libya policy from start to finish.” The memo’s language put her at the center of everything: “HRC announces … HRC directs … HRC travels … HRC engages,” it read.
It was a brag sheet for a cabinet member eyeing a presidential race, and the Clinton team’s eagerness to claim credit for her prompted eye-rolling at the White House and the Pentagon. Some joked that to hear her aides tell it, she had practically called in the airstrikes herself.
It was not that there were no warnings. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern AffairsJeffrey D. Feltman followed a trip to Libya by issuing an ominous report warning that the country was in danger of disintegrating.
The country’s interim leaders seemed shockingly disengaged, he wrote. Mahmoud Jibril, the acting prime minister, who had helped persuade Mrs. Clinton to back the opposition, was commuting from Qatar, making only “cameo” appearances. A leading rebel general had been assassinated, underscoring the hazard of “revenge killings.” Islamists were moving aggressively to seize power, and members of the anti-Qaddafi coalition, notably Qatar, were financing them.
On a task of the utmost urgency, disarming the militia fighters who had dethroned the dictator but now threatened the nation’s unity, Mr. Feltman reported an alarming lassitude. Mr. Jibril and his associates, he wrote, “tried to avert their eyes” from the problem that militias could pose on “the Day After.”
In the ensuing months, Mr. Feltman’s memo would prove hauntingly prescient. But Libya’s Western allies, preoccupied by domestic politics and the crisis in Syria, would soon relegate the country to the back burner.
And Mrs. Clinton would be mostly a bystander as the country dissolved into chaos, leading to a civil war that would destabilize the region, fueling the refugee crisis in Europe and allowing the Islamic State to establish a Libyan haven that the United States is now desperately trying to contain. [Emphasis added]
In other words Libya was a bigger failure for Hillary than originally thought. She not only pushed us into what many people considered an unnecessary war, but she ignored the aftermath which led to the destabilization of the entire region.
On Jan. 5, Mrs. Clinton’s old friend and adviser Sidney Blumenthal emailed her with the latest in a series of behind-the-scenes reports on Libya, largely written by a retired C.I.A. officer, Tyler Drumheller, who died last year.
The memo detailed the roiling tensions between Islamists and secularists over the role of Islamic law, fighting between rival militias associated with two different towns and four visits to Mr. Keib’s office by “angry militiamen” demanding concessions.
Mr. Keib, the email said, “believes that if he does not disarm the militias and meet their demands in the next six months, there is a good chance of increased fighting among rival groups that could lead to civil war.” Mrs. Clinton forwarded the message to Mr. Sullivan, her policy aide, with a single comment: “Worrying.”
Such alarming reports might have been expected to spur action in Washington. They did not.
The article explains that among Clinton’s closest advisers there was a “nagging worry that it would go south,” one senior aide said. “The aide recalled being instructed jokingly by Mr. Sullivan “to make sure that didn’t happen” before the American presidential election in November.”
Of course American’s realized Libya was “going south” on Sept. 11th, with the attack on the U.S. Mission in Benghazi. And we began to learn about Hillary’s failures when she introduced her lies about what happened that night.
So far the Times series portrays a Hillary Clinton as over-anxious to put American heroes in danger defending foreign interests and too weak to clean up the mess she created with the intervention. That does not sound like someone who should be our commander-in-chief.
Cross-posted at The Lid