As Ed Schultz noted earlier this week, it looks Sen. John McCain, who's done nothing but criticize President Obama at every turn for his handling of the situation in Libya, has a little explaining to do. This Friday, Chris Hayes went after him for
As Ed Schultz noted earlier this week, it looks Sen. John McCain, who's done nothing but criticize President Obama at every turn for his handling of the situation in Libya, has a little explaining to do. This Friday, Chris Hayes went after him for talking tough and playing the bully, when in reality he's just another deal making politician who will cozy up with dictators if he feels it's necessary.
A leaked U.S. diplomatic cable shows that Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain promised to help Libyan dictator Muammar Qadhafi obtain U.S. military hardware in 2009.
The cable, released by the open information group WikiLeaks, reveals the pledge came at meeting that was attended by other prominent members of Congress, including Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.).
In the meeting, Muatassim Qadhafi, the Libyan leader’s fifth son and national security adviser, requested U.S. assistance in obtaining military supplies, both lethal and non-lethal.
The cable indicates that McCain was the dominant voice among the congressional delegation in a push for military hardware for Qadhafi.
“Sen. McCain assured Muatassim that the United States wanted to provide Libya with the equipment it needs for its … security,” according to the cable.
McCain said that he understood the need for Libya to upgrade its existing ranks of C-130 Hercules aircraft. Libya had bought eight of the military cargo aircraft in the 1970s, but as bilateral relationships with the United States deteriorated, a ban of arms sales prevented the aircraft from being moved to North Africa. McCain pledged to do what he could to move the issue forward in Congress.
McCain stressed that Libya needed to fulfill its commitments of giving up its weapons of mass destruction in order for bilateral engagement to go forward.
Brian Rogers, communications director for McCain, said in a statement to POLITICO that the Arizona Republican never made any promises to Libya and never acted to help the Qadhafi regime.
“At no point did Senator McCain ever promise to help the Qaddafi regime secure U.S. military assistance. Upon the his return to Washington, there were no follow-up discussions and no action taken by Senator McCain or his staff to provide the Qaddafi regime with C-130s or any other military assistance,” said Rogers. “There has been no greater champion than Senator McCain for Libya’s democratic revolution and for the toppling of the brutal Qaddafi regime.”
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