THE UNRAVELING OF A SUPPOSED FOREIGN POLICY ACCOMPLISHMENT

Hillary’s Clinton’s Libya Fiasco

“Hillary Clinton’s cupboard of accomplishments at the State Department is so bare that she and her allies cite Libya – a country so chaotic that our government will not capture those responsible for killing our ambassador – as a success. In fact, Hillary’s Libya fiasco is a touchstone of her failure to achieve a single signature accomplishment while at Foggy Bottom.” – America Rising Executive Director Tim Miller
HILLARY CLINTON TOOK CREDIT FOR OBAMA’S LIBYA POLICY, TOUTING HER EFFORTS
Clinton Took Credit Early On For The Air Campaign On Libya And Ouster Of Moammar Gaddafi Seven Months After The Air Campaign On Libya And With Moammar Gaddafi Dead, Commentators Speculated That It Was An Emerging Foreign Policy Success For Clinton’s Tenure At The State Department. “Seven months later, with longtime U.S. nemesis Moammar Gaddafi dead and Libya‟s onetime rebels now in charge, the coalition air campaign has emerged as a foreign policy success for the Obama administration and its most famous Cabinet member, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.” (Joby Warrick, “Clinton Credited With Key Role In Success Of NATO
Airstrikes, Libyan Rebels,” The Washington Post, 10/30/11)

Clinton, Speaking About The Air Campaign, Said: “We Set Into Motion A Policy That Was On The Right Side Of History, On The Right Side Of Our Values, On The Right Side Of Our Strategic Interests In The Region.” “Clinton, in an interview, acknowledged „periods of anguish and buyer‟s remorse‟ during the seven months of the campaign. But, she said, „we set into motion a policy that was on the right side of history, on the right side of our values, on the right side of our strategic interests in the region.‟” (Joby Warrick, “Clinton Credited With Key Role In Success Of
NATO Airstrikes, Libyan Rebels,” The Washington Post, 10/30/11)

EVEN AS VIOLENCE BEGAN RISING, CLINTON TOUTED “PROGRESS” AND URGED AMERICAN COMPANIES TO DO BUSINESS IN LIBYA
In 2012, Clinton Cited “Progress” And Was Promoting U.S. Businesses To Invest In Libya In 2012, Clinton Said “We’ve Seen Progress” In Libya Through “Building An Accountable, Effective Government; Promoting A Strong Private Sector; And Developing A Vibrant Civil Society.” SECRETARY CLINTON: “The prime minister and I had a very productive, comprehensive discussion about the many issues Libya is facing. We do not underestimate how challenging the road ahead will be. We are aware of that. We‟ve been on the path to democracy for more than 235 years, and we know that there are potholes and pitfalls along the way. Qadhafi spent 42 years hollowing out Libya‟s institutions, ruling through intimidation and division, but after his defeat, over the last four months, the prime minister and this interim government have provided essential and effective leadership and they‟ve begun the hard work of putting Libya back together. We‟ve seen progress in each of the three key areas of democratic society – building an accountable, effective government; promoting a strong private sector; and developing a vibrant civil society. And we will stand with the people of Libya as it continues this important work.” (Secretary Hillary
Clinton, Remarks With Prime Minister Elkeib After Their Meeting, Washington, D.C., 3/8/12)

Clinton: “We Are Encouraging American Companies To Look For Opportunities Inside Libya.” SECRETARY CLINTON: “We also know there are problems with border security, with integrating militias, with working toward national reconciliation, and on all of these and more, we are working with our Libyan partners. At the same time, on the economic front, business is picking up. Libya has exceeded everyone‟s expectations in resuming oil production. The United States and the UN have removed almost all restrictions on doing business, and we are encouraging American companies to look for opportunities inside Libya. We also are supporting the booming new civil society that is developing in Libya. I was delighted when I visited Tripoli to go to the university, to talk with young people, to meet with others who are fighting for women‟s rights and human rights in their country.” (Secretary Hillary Clinton, Remarks With Prime Minister Elkeib After Their Meeting, Washington,
D.C., 3/8/12)

Clinton’s Comments Came In Early 2012 Despite An Uptick In Violence In January 2012, Violence Was Beginning To Take Over The Capital Of Libya, Tripoli. “This has not been a few isolated incidents from the confusion of combat or the exuberance of the rebel victory. In January, Reuters reported in January that violence and lawlessness are slowly taking over the capital, Tripoli. Rival militias, no longer unified by their struggle against Gaddafi, are now openly clashing in the streets, and the new government‟s inability to impose control has resulted in a skyrocketing of crime and random violence.” (Joshua Foust, “A Hollow Victory: The Slow Unraveling Of Libya,” PBS‟s Need To
Know, 4/4/12)

JUST THIS PAST WEEK’S HEADLINES ALONE TELL THE STORY OF THE LIBYA POLICY FAILING AND FUELING TERRORISM
Yesterday, The U.N. Security Council Passed A Resolution Expressing “Grave Concern” With Libya’s Security The U.N. Security Council Passed A Resolution Expressing “Grave Concern” With Libya’s Deteriorating Security Situation. “The U.N. Security Council is expressing „grave concern‟ at the weakening security situation in Libya as the North African country struggles to control armed groups and transition to democracy. The council approved a nonbinding presidential statement Monday that „stresses the urgent need to strengthen military and police institutions‟ and strongly condemns the killing of unarmed protesters in the capital, Tripoli, last month.” (“UN Security
Council Shows „Grave Concern‟ On Libya,” The Associated Press, 12/16/13)

The Security Council Resolution Was Also Critical Of The Libyan Government For Failing To Keep Arms Stockpiles Out Of The Hands Of Terrorists And Torturing Prisoners. “The Security Council statement asks the Libyan government to better control arms stockpiles and keep them out of the hands of „terrorist and extremist groups.‟” (“UN Security Council Shows
„Grave Concern‟ On Libya,” The Associated Press, 12/16/13)

Last Week McClatchy Reported That Since The Benghazi Attack, The Terrorist Group Responsible, Ansar Al Shariah, Has Grown, Becoming A Regional Hub Based In Benghazi For Militant Fighters Since The Attack On Benghazi In September 2011, Ansar Al Shariah’s Presence Has Grown. “What is clear, however, is that in the months since U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three others died here in the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on U.S. facilities, Ansar al Shariah‟s presence in Benghazi has grown, despite the initial public reaction, which drove it from its headquarters into hiding in the days immediately after Stevens‟ death.” (Nancy A. Yousseff, “Benghazi, Libya, Has Become Training Hum For
Islamist Fighters,” McClatchy Newspapers, 12/12/13)

The Group Has Spread Beyond Benghazi To Areas Key To The 2011 Uprising. “Beyond Benghazi, where it was founded, the group has spread to eastern cities that were key to the 2011 uprising, including Ajdabiya and Derna. Residents told McClatchy that the difference now is that rather than operate as an open organization from a headquarters, the group has melted into the population.” (Nancy A. Yousseff, “Benghazi, Libya, Has Become Training Hum For Islamist Fighters,” McClatchy Newspapers, 12/12/13)

Benghazi Has Become A Regional Hub For Training Of Islamist Extremists. “The accounts of the officials, who asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the topic, are more evidence that this city in Libya has become a regional hub for Islamist extremists seeking to hone their combat skills.” (Nancy A. Yousseff, “Benghazi, Libya, Has Become Training Hum For Islamist Fighters,” Miami Herald,
12/12/13)

On Thursday, The Increasing Violence In Libya Led The State Department To Issue A Travel Warning

On December 12, 2013, The State Department Issued A Travel Warning U.S. Citizens Of The Risks Of Traveling To Libya. “The Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of traveling to Libya and strongly advises against all but essential travel to Tripoli and against all travel to areas outside of Tripoli. Because of ongoing instability and violence, the Department‟s ability to provide consular services to U.S. citizens within Tripoliis extremely limited, and the Department cannot provide consular services outside Tripoli except by telephone. The U.S. Embassy in Libya remains an unaccompanied post due to security concerns. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning dated June 7, 2013.” (U.S. Department Of State, Bureau Of Consular Affairs, 12/12/13) And The Washington Post Reported That Efforts To Capture Those Charged In The Benghazi Attack Have Stalled Efforts To Capture People Charged In The Benghazi Attack Have Stalled. “U.S. officials say efforts have stalled to capture about a dozen people secretly charged in the 2012 attack on the American compound in Benghazi that claimed the lives of U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.” (Adam Goldman and Sari Horwitz, “U.S. Efforts Stall In Capturing Suspects In 2012 Benghazi Attacks,
Officials Say,” The Washington Post, 12/5/13)

None Of The Suspects Charged Have Been Brought To Trail. “So far, none have been brought to trial and the lack of progress in capturing Khattala has frustrated U.S. intelligence officials and lawmakers who want to see him and the others prosecuted. One official said that Khattala continues to operate in eastern Libya with impunity.” (Adam Goldman and Sari Horwitz, “U.S. Efforts Stall
In Capturing Suspects In 2012 Benghazi Attacks, Officials Say,” The Washington Post, 12/5/13)

One Of The Suspects, Ahmed Abu Khattala, Gave An Interview To CNN At A Coffee Shop In Benghazi. “Earlier this year, a seemingly unconcerned Khattala gave an interview to CNN at a coffee shop in Benghazi, saying that he had gone to the U.S. compound the night of the attack but was not involved in the violence.” (Adam Goldman and Sari Horwitz, “U.S. Efforts Stall In Capturing Suspects In 2012 Benghazi Attacks,
Officials Say,” The Washington Post, 12/5/13)

According To A Senior Obama Administration Official, “This Situation Is Tougher In Libya Now.” “„This situation is tougher in Libya now,‟ said a senior Obama administration official. „You sort of get one crack at these things, and then it‟s tougher.‟” (Adam Goldman and Sari Horwitz,
“U.S. Efforts Stall In Capturing Suspects In 2012 Benghazi Attacks, Officials Say,” The Washington Post, 12/5/13)

MEDIA MATTERS AND OTHER CLINTON ALLIES HAVE TOUTED HER RECORD IN LIBYA AS AN ACCOMPLISHMENT
Literally One Day After The State Department Issued Its Travel Warning, Media Matters Run By Clinton Ally David Brock Was Touting Her Record On Libya On Friday, Media Matters Cited Libya In An Attempt To Bolster Clinton’s State Department Legacy. “As she prepared to step down from office in January, journalists and experts detailed her legacy, which included: opening up Myanmar by becoming the first secretary of state in 50 years to make an official visit to the nation; negotiating a cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas in late 2012, which many credit for averting an all-out war; overseeing the negotiation of the new START nuclear arms accord with Russia; building an international consensus to remove Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi from power; and tightening sanctions on Iran to their highest level ever.” (“Schoen Wrong On Hillary Clinton‟s State Tenure,” Media Matter‟s Blog, 12/13/13)