Despite the fact that Libyan strongman Col. Muammar Gadhafi was considered an important U.S. ally in the terror war as recently as 2009, top American lawmakers and Obama administration officials rushed to celebrate his reported violent death at the hands of NATO war planes and Western-backed revolutionaries. Several members of Gadhafi’s family, including children and grandchildren, have been killed recently as well.
European and American rulers lavished praise on the fledgling National Transitional Council (NTC) regime following Gadhafi’s death, promising vast amounts of taxpayer money to support the new government. The emerging rulers, however, include among their senior leaders more than a few al Qaeda-linked Islamic extremists who have boasted of battling American troops in other nations.
Just a few years ago, Gadhafi and the U.S. government were actually cooperating closely in the battle against many of the same figures now taking over Libya with Western support. Top leaders of groups like the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), which merged with al Qaeda in 2007, were considered high-priority targets for both governments.
The relationship between the two national governments was apparently going well and getting better until recently. In 2008, for example, the U.S. Federal Reserve was secretly bailing out banks owned by the Gadhafi regime. The next year, according to leaked U.S. diplomatic cables, a high-level American delegation in Tripoli praised Gadhafi’s regime and the strengthening of bilateral ties between the two governments.
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Photo: Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi meets with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (out of picture) in Tripoli, Libya, Friday, Sept. 5, 2008.: AP Images