Clinton bragged about the U.S. role in Moammar Gadhafi’s death, and her emails leaked by Wikileaks show the race to claim Libya’s resources in the aftermath.
WASHINGTON — A message from Hillary Clinton’s private email server reveals that France and the United Kingdom both sought to control Libya’s oil in the days after the U.S.-backed coup in 2011.
An email sent on Sept. 16, 2011 to Clinton, then the U.S. Secretary of State, from journalist and family friend Sidney Blumenthal, shows that French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron each traveled to Tripoli about one month after Moammar Gadhafi’s government fell in order to assert their claim on Libya’s energy reserves.
They made these demands, Blumenthal wrote, during meetings with the country’s National Transitional Council, a de facto government which formed with Western support in the aftermath of the coup:
“According to knowledgeable individuals, as part of this effort, the two leaders, in private conversations, also intend to press the leaders of the NTC to reward their early support for the rebellion against Muammar al Qaddafi. Sarkozy and Cameron expect this recognition to be tangible, in the form of favorable contracts for French and British energy companies looking to play a major role in the Libyan oil industry. According to this source, Sarkozy feels, quite strongly, that without French support there would have been no revolution and that the NTC government must demonstrate that it realizes this fact.”
Blumenthal reported that Cameron sought to downplay the historically strong ties between the U.K.-based BP Oil and the Gadhafi government. France, he wrote, was negotiating “to reserve as much as 35% of Libya’s oil related industry for French firms, particularly the major French energy company TOTAL.”
Analysis of the Clinton emails by Antiwar.com shows Sarkozy also lusted after Gadhafi’s gold and silver reserves, valued at about $7 billion.
The United States, France, U.K. and other NATO allies backed rebel forces in Libya that ousted Gadhafi in August 2011, in what was widely reported to be a “humanitarian intervention” against a government with a history of severe human rights abuses.
Clinton played a major role in convincing allied nations to join in the attacks, and after Gadhafi was killed that October, she boasted during a break in an interview for CBS, “We came, we saw, he died.”
However, far from improving conditions, the fall of Libya’s government left what was once an economically prosperous nation in chaos and disarray.
The failed state proved to be a perfect opportunity for Daesh, the terrorist group commonly known in the West as ISIS or ISIL, as Catherine Shakdam reported for MintPress last March. She highlighted that it brought extremists closer to European shores:
“With ISIS now inserted into the mix of Libya’s unravelling, the country is back on the forefront of the war on terror. Two days after the video surfaced, Egypt’s Ambassador to the U.K. Nasser Kamel told the BBC that ISIS would attempt to break into Europe by exploiting conventional migration routes, camouflaging its fighters within the waves of illegal migrants pouring toward Western capitals.”
Clinton’s emails also suggest that another U.S. ally, Israel, supported the destabilization of Syria through efforts to weaken Iran and control energy reserves in Syria’s Golan Heights, a region illegally occupied by Israel.
Similar to the conflict in Libya, the Syrian civil war is driven by competing interests in gas pipelines which would run through the country.
By Kit O’Connell