December 2, 2017

Press Avoids Naming Obama and Hillary in Covering Libya Slavery ‘Debacle’

Beginning in mid-November, the international press noticed that a grisly practice had returned to Libya: slave auctions taking place monthly in at least nine locations, in territory controlled by the United Nations-backed Libyan Government of National Accord. No news coverage I have seen has reminded readers that the chain of events leading to this outrageous situation started with the toppling of the government of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, which could not have occurred without the indispensable support of then-President Barack Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Obama, Clinton and the other NATO nations involved in carrying out the Libya mission clearly had no idea of what do once Gaddafi was ousted and, ultimately, assassinated.

It’s reasonable to believe that the pair were more interested in treating Libya as a notch on their belts to establish their alleged foreign-policy credibility, Obama in advance of the 2012 reelection campaign and Clinton in advance of her all but certain plans to run in 2016.

In a late-2011 interview, Mrs. Clinton celebrated the appearance of success of the Libyan operation with a verbal victory dance, declaring, “We came, we saw, he died”:

The slave auctions were first covered by CNN on November 14: “People for sale; Where lives are auctioned for $400.” Reporters observed and filmed what they could of a clandestine slave auction outside of Tripoli. The network has filed at least six other subsequent reports on the situation. None of them mention Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.

At the Associated Press, five related reports have no reference to America’s former president or former Secretary of State.

The wire service now carries articles from other sources. In one posted early Saturday, Philadelphia Tribune writer Michael Coard effectively blamed the U.S. for the current chaos, but not who was in charge at the time (bolds are mine throughout this post):

The enslavement of Africans didn’t end when the Thirteenth Amendment was enacted in 1865. It continues for hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of sub-Saharan Africans on the northern coast of Libya, the main gateway to Europe. They have been trying to flee non-stop regional war and suffocating poverty by escaping to that nearby continent, which is only about 340 miles away. While doing so, many of them, today in 2017, are being auctioned off into enslavement for as little as $400 and as much as $970 (and higher).

After the U.S. assassinated revolutionary Pan-Africanist Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 and overthrew his regime, numerous military and political factions- including terrorists and other extremists- attempted to step up as replacements. But none succeeded, hence constant and ongoing violent anarchy and rampart criminality for six years and counting. …

Of the four in-house AP stories found in a search in “Libya slavery” at APnews.com, only two mentioned 2011 at all, and neither mentioned whose brilliant idea it was to overthrow Gaddafi without a subsequent plan:

November 28 (“UN to try to empty Libyan migrant detention centers”)

Since the ouster and killing of longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, he (International Organization for Migration head William Lacey Swing) said the International Organization for Migration has tried to take people out of detention centers in a campaign to “destroy the smugglers’ business model” and source of income.

July 1, 2016 (“Amnesty documents ‘horrifying’ abuse of migrants in Libya”)

Libya fell into chaos following the ouster and killing of Moammar Gadhafi, who ruled for over 40 years before a 2011 uprising that descended into civil war. Despite a U.N.-brokered political deal in December, the country remains politically divided between weak ruling bodies and rival armed groups.

Amid this lawlessness, people smuggling has become a lucrative business and all parties involved, including coast guards, are exhorting migrants for money, Amnesty said. Those who fail to pay are likely to suffer the worst treatment, according to the group.

University of Tennessee law professor and lead Instapundit blogger Glenn Reynolds took note of the press’s disinterest in recounting Libya’s underlying history and did their job for them in a USA Today column on November 27 (links are in original; bolds are mine):

Africans are being sold at Libyan slave markets. Thanks, Hillary Clinton.

‘We came, we saw, he died,’ she joked. But overthrowing Gadhafi was a humanitarian and strategic debacle that now limits our options on North Korea.

… Black Africans are being sold in open-air slave markets, and it’s Hillary Clinton’s fault. But you won’t hear much about that from the news media or the foreign-policy pundits, so let me explain.

Footage from Libya, released recently by CNN, showed young men from sub-Saharan Africa being auctioned off as farm workers in slave markets.

And how did we get to this point? As the BBC reported back in May, “Libya has been beset by chaos since NATO-backed forces overthrew long-serving ruler Col. Moammar Gadhafi in October 2011.”

And who was behind that overthrow? None other than then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Under President George W. Bush in 2003, the United States negotiated an agreement with Libyan strongman Gadhafi. The deal: He would give up his weapons of mass destruction peacefully, and we wouldn’t try to depose him.

That seemed a good deal at the time, but the Obama administration didn’t stick to it. Instead, in an operation spearheaded by Clinton, the United States went ahead and toppled him anyway.

The overthrow turned out to be a debacle. Libya exploded into chaos and civil war, and refugees flooded Europe, destabilizing governments there. But at the time, Clinton thought it was a great triumph — ”We came, we saw, he died.”

It’s surprising the extent to which Clinton has gotten a pass for this debacle, which represents a humanitarian and strategic failure of the first order.

… Libya, before Clinton got involved, was comparatively stable and no strategic threat to the United States or its allies. Now it’s a shambles, with people literally being sold in slave markets.

Reynolds also appeared on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show Friday evening, mostly recounting what was in his column. But he also reminded viewers (at the video’s 1:20 mark) that two other supposedly respected Obama administration officials, Susan Rice and Samantha Power, were involved in this debacle:

Transcript (from 1:20 to 2:18):

GLENN REYNOLDS: In 2011, Hillary Clinton, together with Susan Rice and Samantha Power and the Obama administration, decided to kick him (Gaddafi) out of power. They bombed and got rid of him and as you can see, so gloated after he was killed by a mob.

And there wasn’t much of a plan on what to do next, other than some advice Hillary’s adviser Sidney Blumenthal gave her about how to fit this into her presidential campaign plans.

And now Libya’s torn up with civil war. You’ve got fighting militias. You had a wave of refugees passing through Libya. A lot of them got stuck in Libya, and now some of them are essentially being sold essentially as slaves in slave markets to work on farms and that sort of thing there. And CNN covered that, BBC covered that, and it became a story last week.

And I saw it and I thought, “You know, this is a real mess.”

We heard about this. We knew it was bad. But years later, Hillary’s sort of gotten off scot-free on this. People don’t bring it up, and yet this is a royal debacle.

TUCKER CARLSON: Of course it is. And Susan Rice and Samantha Power never held to account for this.

As if creating such chaos in a country that portions of it have descended into slavery isn’t bad enough, no one should forget that Libya also became fertile ground for the rise of ISIS:

… having helped the Muslim Brotherhood come to power in Egypt, the (Obama) administration treated Islamism as the norm for the region.

… The administration also restrained the British and French in their conduct of the war, and gave them only grudging military support; under Obama, the U.S. was not a good ally. His lack of enthusiasm for the alliance, and for NATO, helps explain why Libya’s request for NATO to stay was not honored, and the country was left to slide into ruin.

Fortunately, the Egyptian people threw the Muslim Brotherhood-led government out of power in July, 2013. Libya, with far weaker institutions and democratic traditions, was not so lucky — nor was much of the rest of the Middle East, as ISIS grew in power throughout the region until finally being defeated in Iraq and Syria this year.

Libya should be remembered for eternity and brought up any time anyone brings up the laughable idea that Barack Obama, Mrs. Clinton, and the Obama administration in general represented the smartest, most qualified, and savviest collection of international experts ever seen in a presidential administration. The Libyan people justifiably see that as an especially cruel joke. The establishment press just wants us to pretend that it somehow just happened.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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