The dirty deals that put illegal arms shipments into the hands of Libyan jihadists.
In a scathing column Fox News contributor Andrew Napolitano makes the convincing case that Hillary Clinton sold weapons to Libya in a direction violation of the U.N. arms embargo, and then lied about it under oath during her testimony before the House Select Committee on Benghazi Oct. 22.
"To pursue her goal of a ‘democratic' government there, Clinton, along with Obama and a dozen or so members of Congress from both houses and both political parties, decided she should break the law by permitting U.S. arms dealers to violate the U.N. arms embargo and arm Libyan rebels whom she hoped would one day run the new government,” Napolitano explains. "So she exercised her authority as secretary of state to authorize the shipment of American-made arms to Qatar, a country beholden to the Muslim Brotherhood and friendly to the Libyan rebels and a country the U.S. had no business arming—unless the purpose of doing so was for the arms to be transferred to the rebels.”
Memos recovered from the incinerated compound in Benghazi give great weight to the assertion. The documents were obtained by the Washington Times and they reveal the American diplomats stationed there were keeping track of numerous potential U.S.-sanctioned weapons shipments aimed at arming our allies, "one or more of which were destined for the Transitional National Council, the Libyan movement that was seeking to oust Gadhafi and form a new government,” the paper reports.
A file marked “arms deal” reveals that one of those shipments was supposed to be sent by Dolarian Capital Inc. of Fresno, CA, one of many arms sellers that work with U.S. intelligence. The file contained an end use certificate from the State Department’s office of defense trade controls licensing, and Dolarian confirmed one of the licensing requests the State Department initially approved in 2011 was an authorization to send weapons to Libya via Kuwait. The certificate was inexplicably revoked before Dolarian could ship rocket and grenade launchers, 7,000 machine guns and 8 million rounds of ammunition originally manufactured by former Soviet-bloc nations in Eastern Europe.
“Dolarian Capital submitted the end user certificate in question to the U.S. Department of State for review and issuance of a license to transfer the arms and ammunition to Libya,” one of the company's attorneys said in a statement issued to the Times. "The U.S. Department of State responded with a approval, which was revoked shortly thereafter. As a result no arms or ammunition was shipped or delivered to Libya under the end user certificate.”
Nonetheless, federal court documents obtained by Fox News reveal arms sales to Libyan rebels that occurred during Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State were ultimately transacted. "It was then, and remains now, my opinion that the United States did participate, directly or indirectly, in the supply of weapons to the Libyan Transitional National Council,” stated career CIA officer David Manners in a sworn declaration to the District Court of Arizona on May 5, 2015.
Manners' testimony was part of a grand jury investigation into American defense contractor Marc Turi and his company Turi Defense Group, another entity licensed by State to sell and transport weapons worldwide. The investigation was focused on both the source and user of weapons defined in court documents as "end user" or "end use” that were entering Libya in 2011 while Qaddafi's regime was collapsing--but before any Libyan opposition groups were formally recognized by the United States.
Turi illuminated what occurred in the midst of that chaos, including the reality that poor oversight of the operation allowed America’s enemies to obtain weapons. "When this equipment landed in Libya, half went one way, and the half went the other way," Turi said. "The half that went the other way is the half that ended up in Syria.”
Turi admitted to Fox he had criminal past that included stealing a computer, his roommate's car, and writing several bad checks including one for $100,000 dollars. They verified his arrest, conviction and a stint in an Arizona jail, all of which seemingly conflict with what Fox characterizes as the "painstaking compliance” required to get the "necessary approvals set by strict US government regulations” to become a licensed arms contractor.
Turi was one cog in a rather large machine of State Department-licensed contractors awarded a record number of contract during Clinton’s tenure. "More than 86-thousand licenses with a value of $44.3 billion dollars were granted in 2011... a surge of more than $10 billion dollars from the previous year,” the news site reports.
Turi, who provided documents to Fox revealing exchanges with officials inside and outside the government, including high level members of Congress, the military, and State Department employees, explains he was part of a “zero footprint” supply chain whereby one Arab nation would supply another. "If you want to limit the exposure to the US government, what you simply do is outsource it to your allies," Turi explained. "The partners-the Qataris, and the Emiratis did exactly what they were contracted to do.” Turi claims he never sent weapons to Qatar and that such transactions are handled by the government and the State Department's Bureau of Political and Military Affairs headed by Clinton aide Andrew Shapiro, who oversaw State’s export control process.
On March 14, 2011, Clinton and Ambassador Chris Stevens met with Mustafa Jibril in Paris. Jibril was a senior member of Libya's Transitional National Council (TNC). This occurred while a $267 million contract with Turi was working its way through channels. He insists Clinton was provided a copy of the application a day later when she and aide Huma Abedin were in Cairo, meeting with Egypt's new foreign minister Nabil el Arabi. The information was given to the TNC, who subsequently gave it to Clinton. "That's what was told to me...and emailed, “ Turi insists. Turi also alerted Stevens in an email, and received a reply from the ambassador thanking him and stating, "I'll keep it in mind and share it with my colleagues in Washington.
A day later, a heavily redacted email provided to the Benghazi Committee revealed Clinton’s “newfound” interest in supplying weapons to rebels via contractors. "FYI. The idea of using private security experts to arm the opposition should be considered," Clinton wrote. In May, Turi got State Department approval for supplying Qatar. Two months later, federal agents raided his home.
The feds are alleging Turi tried to arm Libyans directly by submitting false documents for weapons shipments to Qatar as a cover up. Turi insists the feds are prosecuting an innocent man to cover for Clinton.
Prior to her testimony on Oct. 22, Clinton only had to address the subject on one previous occasion, during an exchange with Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) in 2013. "Well, Senator you’ll have to direct that question to the agency that ran the annex,” Clinton answered at the time, apparently alluding to the CIA. "And, I will see what information was available.
During her Oct. 22 testimony she was equally duplicitous, stating, “I think the answer is no” when asked a direct question about supplying Libyan rebels, insisting that arming private militias may have been considered, but not "seriously considered,” and ultimately answering “no” when asked if she was aware the U.S. was shipping weapons Libyan rebels directly or indirectly.
Napolitano shreds those assertions. "How could she answer ‘no’?” he writes. "She not only knew about the sending of arms to rebels but also personally authored and authorized it…The FBI and CIA advised her —in documents that are now public—that U.S. arms were making their way to known al-Qaida operatives.”
The documents to which Napolitano refers were obtained by Judicial Watch (JW) via court order last May. They were "the first official confirmation that shows the U.S. government was aware of arms shipments from Benghazi to Syria,” JW revealed. "Once this plot was hatched, Clinton and her fellow conspirators realized that some of these rebel groups were manned by al-Qaida operatives; and selling or providing arms to them is a felony -- hence the reason for months' worth of missing and destroyed Clinton emails,” Napolitano explains.
Based on this additional evidence, which comes on top of the FBI investigation into Clinton’s failure to secure classified information—that now includes an email released Oct. 30 by the State Department demonstrating irrefutable proof she sent classified information—her obstruction of justice arising from the wiping of her server, and her perjured testimony before U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan last August, when she insisted she had turned over all of her work-related emails to the State Department, Napolitano believes an FBI indictment is a virtual certainty. "When those recommendations are made known, no ballot will bear her name,” he concludes.
Perhaps. Yet nagging developments suggest otherwise. The endemic corruption of the FBI and the Justice Department, most recently manifested in the dropping of a criminal investigation against the IRS—despite documents obtained by Judicial Watch showing both entities were involved in the scandal itself—is extremely troublesome. So is the reality that two-term Vice President Joe Biden announced his intention not to run for president the day before Hillary’s testimony, suggesting he might have already known Democrats weren’t about to be saddled with the terminally-addled Bernie Sanders as their only presidential candidate. There is also the Benghazi Committee’s incomprehensible decision not to ask Clinton about a story that appeared in the Daily Mail on Oct. 17, revealing her unsecured server contained a 2002 email written by former Secretary of State Colin Powell to George W. Bush, marked “Secret/NoForn” as in confidential and not for foreign eyes. At the very least this demonstrates Clinton was extracting secure information from the State Department server. For what purpose, and why didn’t a single American mainstream media source pick up the story?
Clinton remains a virtual lock for the Democratic presidential nomination. As the National Journal’s Ron Fournier explains, "Democrats are eager to forgive Clinton’s lapses in judgment and honesty,” and despite the fact that Americans find her inherently untrustworthy (an NBC/WSJ poll reveals that 53 percent of registered voters don’t believe she is “being honest and straightforward,” while just 27 percent do), it is likely nothing short of a criminal indictment will derail her presidential ambitions. Sadly, that says as much about the American public as it does about Clinton herself.