Libya: How Many Dirty Hands?

Oh what a tangled web they weave
When first they practice to invade
A sovereign nation and deceive
The world about their dark crusade.

— Michael Leunig, Poet, Cartoonist, 1945 – Present

This weekend a detailed article  suggested that a “French secret serviceman, acting on the express orders of the then President Sarkozy, is suspected of the murder of Colonel Gaddafi”, on October 20th last year.

Whilst bearing in mind that the NATO-backed insurgents now in power, who have near destroyed much of Libya, de-stabilised, terrorized and hope to carve up Libya’s resources for their benefit, rather than the benefit of the country, have every reason to wish to disassociate themselves from the butchery of Colonel Gaddafi’s terrible death, the new allegations illuminate interesting points.

The French assassin, it is claimed, infiltrated the mob rabidly manhandling the Colonel, and shot him in the head.

“The motive, according to well placed (Libyan) sources”, was to prevent any chance of interrogation into Sarkozy’s links with Colonel Gaddafi.

The Mail previously revealed, quoting a French governmental briefing note published by an investigative website, that fifty million euros has been “laundered though bank accounts in Panama and Switzerland … from Colonel Gaddafi, to fund (Sarkozy’s 2007) election as President”, which, if correct, “would have broken political financing laws.” Sarkozy’s “numerous visits to Libya” were also cited.

Further claims are that:

The Swiss account was opened in the name of the sister of Jean-Francois Cope, the leader of Mr Sarkozy’s ruling UMP party, and the President’s right-hand-man.

Gaddafi’s son, Saif alIslam, whose life hangs in the balance and no doubt further so should he be subject to the Libyan “judicial system”, has stated unequivocally regarding the Sarkozy campaign funding: “We have all the details and are ready to reveal everything … We funded it.”

No wonder Saif, also a generous funder (£1.5 million) to his former place of advanced study, the prestigious London School of Economics – where he also delivered the annual Ralph Miliband Lecture in May 2010, named for the renowned academic and father of the former UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband and his brother Ed, current Leader of the Labour Party – has been abandoned by the Western powers who had formerly welcomed him – then conspired in another illegal coup, this time in his country.

Sarkozy, on becoming President, memorably welcomed Colonel Gaddafi on a State Visit to Paris in December 2007, greeting him as  “Brother Leader” and hosting his famed Bedouin tent next to the Elysee Palace.

Tony Blair, of course, visited Gaddafi on many occasions, even flying in the Colonel’s private plane, pushing mega business deals. He too is mute on the horrors of the death and the fate of his children, grandchildren and country.

The Mail also makes the points that:

The United Nations mandate which sanctioned (the misnamed ‘no fly zone’) expressly stated that the Western allies could not interfere in the internal politics of the country.

Instead the almost daily bombing runs ended with Gaddafi’s overthrow, while both French and British military ‘advisors’ were said to have assisted on the ground.

Now Mahmoud Jibril, who served as interim Prime Minister following Gaddafi’s overthrow, has told Egyptian TV: ‘It was a foreign agent who mixed with the revolutionary brigades to kill Gaddafi.’

Another Tripoli source, according to the paper, stated: “Sarkozy had every reason to try to silence the Colonel and as quickly as possible”, with a further “diplomatic source” also stressing Gaddafi’s threats to reveal the financial details of the funding to the 2007 French Presidential elections donations.

An interesting point, if correct, is made by Rami El Obeidi, the “former head of foreign relations for the Libyan Transitional Council (who) said he knew that Gaddafi had been tracked through his satellite telecommunications system as he talked to “the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.” Which begs an elephantine question: are the two murderous  Western backed rampages against Libya and Syria and their leaders connected?

How much of alleged murky financial deals does Syria’s President also know?

Interestingly, Ben Oman Shaaban (22) one of those who attacked Colonel Gaddaffi, was badly injured, seemingly by those loyal to the Colonel, in an attack in July. Flown to Paris for treatment, he died in hospital last week. Shabaan was said to have frequently brandished the handgun said to have killed the Colonel. If true, he would have interesting knowledge about the appalling events of the day.

Sarkozy has consistently denied receiving money from the Libyan Leader and was not available to give a comment to The Mail. Enquiries into “alleged financial irregularities “, are ongoing.

Worthy of mention is that in November 2007, just before Gaddafi’s Paris visit:

A US State Department cable had warned that those ‘who dominate Libya’s political and economic leadership are pursuing increasingly nationalistic policies in the energy sector’ and that there was ‘growing evidence of Libyan resource nationalism.’

The cable cited a 2006 speech in which Gaddafi said: ‘Oil companies are controlled by foreigners who have made millions from them. Now, Libyans must take their place to profit from this money.’

Gaddafi’s government had forced oil companies to give their local subsidiaries Libyan names. Worse, ‘labor laws were amended to ‘Libyanize’ the economy’, that is, turn it to the advantage of Libyans.

Oil firms ‘were pressed to hire Libyan managers, finance people and human resources directors.’

Goodness, shocking!

Perhaps then it is no wonder all round that on hearing of Colonel Gaddafi’s horrific death, President Nobel Obama declared it was a “momentous day.” (BBC, October 20th, 2011.) Madam Clinton followed with a raucous laugh and: “We came, we saw, he died.”

There is only one certainty in the whole shaming “regime change” in Libya:  there are no clean hands.

And where is Colonel Gaddafi’s body?

Felicity Arbuthnot is a journalist with special knowledge of Iraq. Author, with Nikki van der Gaag, of Baghdad in the Great City series for World Almanac books, she has also been Senior Researcher for two Award winning documentaries on Iraq, John Pilger's Paying the Price: Killing the Children of Iraq and Denis Halliday Returns for RTE (Ireland.) Read other articles by Felicity.