Thursday, November 29, 2012

Where are the Libyan weapons?

Forget about Susan Rice. Peter Irsanow asks at The Corner "what about the 20,000 heat seeking surface-to-air missiles that were left unsecured after the rebel takeover last year?”

"The urgency of securing Libyan weaponry after the president’s campaign to depose Qaddafi was plain from the outset. Shortly after the dictator was deposed, scores of al-Qaeda and Islamist flags were raised throughout Benghazi, including the rebel headquarters in that city. According to rebel leader Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, a significant number of Libyan rebels were al-Qaeda fighters, many of whom had fought U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. That would have alerted even a casual observer to the possibility that Qaddafi’s massive weapons stockpiles might end up in the hands of some bad actors."

"Soon afterwards, however, a U.N. envoy reported that Libyan weapons depots were left unguarded after Qaddafi’s overthrow. Since “leading from behind” meant a light or non-existent American footprint in Libya, securing Libya’s vast munitions stockpiles was left in large part to the rebels — that is, the same folks who couldn’t wait to raise the aforementioned flags."

"The weapons depots contained, among other things, chemical and radiological material, including an estimated 7,000 drums of uranium. At the time, assistant secretary of state Andrew Shapiro stated that terrorist groups were interested in obtaining Libyan anti-aircraft missiles which “could pose a threat to civil aviation.” Furthermore, the Washington Post’s David Ignatius reported last May that former CIA officers, apoplectic about the missing weapons, stated that the missiles included Russian-made SA-7 and SA-24 missiles."

"This is just one of the reasons it’s not time to “move on” from questions about Benghazi . If the administration couldn’t competently handle security at our diplomatic facilities in Libya, it raises legitimate questions about its competency in securing the Libyan missiles as well."

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