Libyan war for oil, WikiLeaks documents show

This video says about itself:

The war of intervention in Libya is yet another American illegal adventure argues Keith Harmon Snow, an independent war correspondent. The objective, he says, is secured access to Libya’s significant oil supply, other mineral resources and defense testing. He says the argument of humanitarianism and stopping a “warlord” was absolute nonsense. If that argument were true, he contends, there are far more brutal war criminals in African countries the US could have chosen to target.

By Robert Morgan:

WikiLeaks documents shed light on US-backed intervention in Libya

27 July 2011

US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks expose some of the real reasons and diplomatic tensions behind NATO’s ongoing bombardment of Libya. Far from initiating a “humanitarian” intervention to protect civilians against Muammar Gaddafi’s government, Washington backed the NATO intervention for one reason only—the installation of a regime that better serves the strategic interests of the US, as well as the operations of the giant oil and gas companies.

The cables date back to 2007, some three years after the Bush administration had lifted sanctions and formally re-established relations with the Gaddafi regime in a bid to secure access to Libya’s highly prized resources. Until the outbreak of revolutionary uprisings across the Middle East this year, Gaddafi was welcomed with open arms in Washington and internationally.

As the cables show, as recently as August 2009, US Senator John McCain led a high-profile bipartisan congressional delegation to meet with Gaddafi. McCain characterised the “overall pace of the bilateral relationship as excellent”. Senator Joe Lieberman said “we never would have guessed ten years ago that we would be sitting in Tripoli, being welcomed by a son of Muammar al-Qadhafi,” before calling Libya an “important ally in the war on terrorism.

It comes as no surprise that the cables refer to Libya’s “hydrocarbon producing potential” and the “high expectations” among international oil companies. Significantly, the Gaddafi regime held out to Washington the prospect of even greater riches. According to a September 2009 cable, then acting head of Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC), Ali Sugheir, told the US embassy that major “sedimentary basins with oil and gas resources had been discovered in Libya,” with seismic data indicating “much more remained to be discovered across the country.”

The scramble by dozens of international oil and gas companies to cash in on the lifting of sanctions, however, soon produced two major problems for the US government. Firstly, in the words of a November 2007 cable, “Libyan resource nationalism”—policies designed to increase the Libyan government’s “control over and share of revenue from hydrocarbon resources.” The cable ominously concludes that the US should demonstrate “the clear downsides” to the Libyan regime of such an approach.

Gaddafi’s policy forced oil and gas corporations to renegotiate their contracts under the latest iteration of Libya’s Exploration and Productions Sharing Agreement (EPSA IV). Between 2007 and 2008, major companies such as ExxonMobil, Petro-Canada, Repsol (Spain), Total (France), ENI (Italy), and Occidental (US) were compelled to sign new deals with the NOC—on significantly less favourable terms than they had previously enjoyed—and were collectively made to pay $5.4 billion in upfront “bonus” payments.

A June 2008 cable says that the Oasis Group—including US firms ConocoPhillips, Marathon and Hess—was reportedly “next on the block,” despite having already paid $1.8 billion in 2005. The cable questions whether Libya could be trusted to honour the new EPSA IV contracts, or would again “seek a larger cut.”

WikiLeaks: Libya Pressed Oil Firms To Reimburse Terror Costs: here.

Obama cited national security and potential massacres as reasons for intervention. But the price of gas also counts: here.

The governments of Britain and the United States have joined France, the other principal instigator of the imperialist war on Libya, in seeking an exit strategy from their failed attempt to overthrow the country’s long-standing dictator Muammar Gaddafi and install the Benghazi-based Transitional National Council (TNC) as a puppet government. After five months of raining death and destruction on the people of Libya and making numerous attempts to assassinate the Libyan leader, the major powers are now offering a settlement to Gaddafi and his regime: here.

Thousands followed the funeral procession of the Libyan rebel military chief Abdel-Fattah Younis through Benghazi today, a day after he was assassinated by mystery gunmen: here.

The assassination of a former Gaddafi official who became military chief of the Benghazi-based Transitional National Council has raised the specter of a civil war within the Western-backed Libyan “rebels”: here.

Younis assassination magnifies divisions among Libyan rebels: here.

BBC understatement of the year on Libya: here.

Britain: Jon Lansman recently reported how public opinion is far from supportive, and broadly sceptical of the British military action in Libya: here.

Libya: Nato Attacks On National TV Headquarters And Installations in Tripoli: here.

ConocoPhillips slow to clean up oil spill in China’s Bohai Sea: Guardian: here.

The Obama administration and its Department of Homeland Security are continuing their assault on WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, as part of the effort to stifle opposition to American militarism and imperialism: here.

11 thoughts on “Libyan war for oil, WikiLeaks documents show

  1. Mutilated pro-Gaddafi soldiers found dead in rebel-controlled area – report

    Published: 22 July, 2011, 10:22
    Edited: 22 July, 2011, 13:15

    A mass grave believed to contain the remains of Gaddafi loyalists has been discovered in the Nafusa Mountains in Libya, adding to concerns over the way the Libyan rebels treat captives and the civil population in territories under its control.

    ­The five mutilated bodies were found in a water tank just off the main road between Zintan, the area’s main town, and Al-Qawalish, according to The Daily Telegraph newspaper.

    The identity of the men, one of whom had been decapitated, remains unknown.

    The mutilated corpses were clad in green uniforms of a kind worn by troops loyal to the Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi.

    Rebel commanders asked to comment on the find claimed that the men were most probably killed by Gaddafi’s forces while attempting to defect. However, after the discovery was reported to local authorities, the area was flattened by bulldozers and the corpses went missing.

    The incident has heightened concerns that Libyan rebels may be abusing human rights in four towns they seized in the Nafusa Mountains in the North-West of the country. Human Rights Watch reported that in the past month, Libyan rebels have looted and damaged property, burnt homes and beaten individuals alleged to have supported government forces there.

    The rebel military commander in the Nafusa Mountains, Colonel El-Moktar Firnana, has admitted that some abuses occurred after the rebels captured the towns.

    Nevertheless, Firnana said such attacks violated orders issued to the rebel forces not to attack civilians or damage civilian property, adding that some of the offenders had been punished.

    “If we had not issued directives, people would have burned these towns down to the ground,” the colonel told Human Rights Watch.

    Crimes committed by the rebels are being swept under the carpet to support NATO’s cause in the region, says Sukant Chandan, a spokesman for the British Civilians For Peace in Libya movement.

    “Fundamentally, there has been a problem in the way the NATO nations and their media have portrayed these so-called rebels. These rebels have been conducting mass lynches of black people throughout the first several weeks and months of this crisis,” the activist told RT, adding that the question has been raised several times at press conferences, but has not been answered.

    The media does not reflect these issues as “it does not fit the narrative,” concludes Chandan.


  2. Statement by UNAC on the occasion of the August 13, 2011 “Millions March in Harlem” mobilization, the many meetings with strong African American endorsement featuring Libyan bombing eyewitness Cynthia McKinney, and the August 20 Black is Back Coalition mobilization for an “International Day of Action Against the Wars on Africa and the African People.”

    ‎”UNAC welcomes the July and August actions protesting the wars on African people abroad and at home. We will be marching on August 13 in Harlem to demand an end to the U.S./NATO bombing of Libya, an end to the U.S.-backed sanctions against Zimbabwe, and an end to the racist attacks of the Bloomberg administration on New York’s Black community.”

    UNAC welcomes the July and August actions protesting the wars on African people abroad and at home. We will be marching on August 13 in Harlem to demand an end to the U.S./NATO bombing of Libya, an end to the U.S.-backed sanctions against Zimbabwe, and an end to the racist attacks of the Bloomberg administration on New York’s Black community. We urge all UNAC affiliates outside of NYC to mark August 20 with events educating the antiwar movement about the wars on African people worldwide.

    The U.S.-led NATO assault on Libya, an assault that has created over 1000 civilian casualties in a few short months, is not only a means for the US to try to halt the Arab Spring. It is also part of an ominous escalation of US military intervention on the African continent. Nation reporter Jeremy Scahill recently documented the Special Operations strikes, drone attacks, and expanded surveillance operations in famine-wracked Somalia, a nation in which the CIA operates an illegal torture compound and which is still reeling from the 2006 US-inspired and supported Ethiopian invasion. The U.S. goal in Somalia is control of the strategically important Horn of Africa. In the Congo, a decade and a half-long U.S. proxy war over control of coltan and other precious minerals, has resulted in the death of over six million.

    U.S. military activity in Africa is directed by AFRICOM (United States Africa Command), the latest U.S. imperial military training, secret war, death squad-promoting interventionist institution aimed at asserting U.S. interests in Africa and denying the people there of the fundamental right to self-determination. In the Americas, the U.S. backs a UN occupation of the Black nation of Haiti and promotes policies in Colombia that displace masses of Afro-Colombians.

    There is no community more antiwar in sentiment than African Americans in the U.S. The historic militancy of the Black community has been met with a set of punitive government policies, dubbed the New Jim Crow, that have led to the mass incarceration of its youth and their entrapment in a new prison-industrial complex. As Black Agenda Report editor Glen Ford, recently asked, “If there is not a war against the Black community, where did all the prisoners come from?”

    The United National Antiwar Coalition urges all antiwar activists to use the month of August to deepen their involvement in the fight against the “other” wars on the African continent and at home.

    Stop the U.S./NATO Bombing of Libya!
    U.S. Hands Off Africa!
    End the U.S./UN Occupation of Haiti!
    Bring Our War Dollars Home!
    Money for Jobs and Education, Not for War and Incarceration!


  3. NATO ‘bombed Libya military target, not civilians’

    By Imed Lamloum (AFP) – Jun 20, 2011

    SORMAN, Libya — NATO insisted an air strike west of Tripoli hit a military target and not civilians as claimed by Moamer Kadhafi’s regime, while a British air force chief warned Tuesday of Libya overstretch.

    NATO, reversing an initial denial, acknowledged its warplanes early on Monday carried out strikes in the Sorman area, 70 kilometres (45 miles) from Tripoli, but said its warplanes bombed a “high-level” command and control node.

    Libyan government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim said 15 people, including three children, were killed in the attack, which he slammed as a “cowardly terrorist act which cannot be justified.”

    Ibrahim said the attack was on an estate of a veteran comrade of Kadhafi, Khuwildi Hemidi, who served on the Revolution Command Council Kadhafi created when the strongman seized power in 1969.

    Journalists escorted there by authorities saw damaged buildings on the sprawling estate.

    Reporters were also taken to Sabratha hospital some 10 kilometres from Sorman, where an AFP correspondent saw nine bodies, including two children. They also saw body parts including a child’s head.

    Canadian Lieutenant General Charles Bouchard, commander of NATO operations in Libya, insisted the military was targeted.

    The new Libyan claim of civilian deaths came just hours after NATO acknowledged that one of its missiles had gone astray early on Sunday, hitting a residential neighbourhood of Tripoli.

    Italy warned that NATO’s accidental killing of civilians was endangering the alliance’s credibility.

    “NATO’s credibility is at risk,” Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said on the sidelines of a meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Luxembourg.

    “We cannot run the risk of killing civilians. This is not good at all.”

    In Brussels, NATO said it lost radar contact with a drone helicopter conducting a reconnaissance flight over Libya on Tuesday.

    “This drone helicopter was performing intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance over Libya to monitor pro-Kadhafi forces threatening the civilian population,” military spokesman Mike Bracken said in a statement.

    In Washington, defence officials said the aircraft was a Fire Scout, but could not confirm whether it had been shot down or suffered mechanical or communications problems.

    Libyan state television showed footage on Tuesday of a burnt-out helicopter it identified as an Apache, reportedly downed near Zliten, 160 kilometres (100 miles) east of the capital.

    The caption on the television, which quoted military sources, read: “Images of the Apache helicopter shot down by the people’s army.”

    In London, Air Chief Marshal Simon Bryant, the deputy head of the Royal Air Force, has warned that Britain’s ability to carry out future missions is under threat if its involvement in Libya extends past the summer, a report said Tuesday.

    The comments by Bryant come just days after the navy chief warned of tough choices if the Libyan campaign lasts more than six months.

    In a briefing paper for lawmakers obtained by the Daily Telegraph newspaper, Bryant, the air force’s head of combat operations, said missions in Afghanistan and Libya were together placing a “huge” demand on resources.

    “Two concurrent operations are placing a huge demand on equipment and personnel … Should Operation Ellamy (Libya) endure past defence planning assumptions the future contingent capability is likely to be eroded,” Bryant said.

    Prime Minister David Cameron responded to the warnings by saying he was confident Britain “can keep this pressure up, we can maintain this mission for as long as necessary. Our allies are equally staunch.”

    Meanwhile senior Libyan rebel leader Mahmud Jibril arrived in China on Tuesday as Beijing intensifies its involvement in efforts to resolve the crisis in the war-torn country.

    Jibril, the top foreign affairs official in the Libyan opposition’s National Transitional Council (NTC), will meet with Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi during his two-day visit, ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters.

    “China’s immediate task is to promote peace and encourage talks,” Hong said, adding that the situation in the north African state “should not be left as it is anymore”.

    “The Libyan crisis has lasted for four months — during this period of time, the people of Libya have suffered to the fullest extent the chaos caused by war, and infrastructure was greatly damaged,” Hong said.

    “China expresses great concern in this regard,” he added, reiterating Beijing’s calls for a ceasefire and negotiations “as soon as possible” with an eye to a political resolution to the crisis.

    Copyright © 2011 AFP. All rights reserved.


  4. Libya rebels fight rumours about general’s death

    July 31, 2011

    BENGHAZI, Libya — Libyan rebels sought to stamp out rumours by providing details on the assassination of army chief General Abdel Fatah Yunis while tightening security in their eastern stronghold of Benghazi.

    National Transitional Council Chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil said on Saturday that Yunis had been summoned from the front by a committee of four judges with the knowledge of the NTC’s executive committee, the rebels’ de facto government.

    “The recall of General Fatah Yunis from Ajdabiya was based on a warrant that was issued with the knowledge of the executive committee” of the NTC, he told reporters.

    “I don’t know why this arrest (warrant) was issued and we don’t know who was present at the meeting when the decision was made… or on what basis the decision was made,” he added.

    Jalil last Thursday announced that Yunis had been killed by an armed group after being summoned to answer questions over military matters.

    Yunis was a linchpin of Colonel Moamer Kadhafi’s regime before defecting to rebels fighting to oust the strongman since February.

    Benghazi has since become a whirlpool of rumours and reports on the motives behind the general’s assassination and on the identity of those responsible for his arrest.

    Jalil said Yunis died from shots fired at the chest and head and that his body had been only partially burned enabling his positive identification.

    He ordered all brigades — or katibas — operating in the city of Benghazi to disband and come under the fold of the interior ministry to boost security and unity in the rebel stronghold.

    Military spokesman Colonel Ahmed Omar Bani said that the judges who summoned Yunis for questioning did not have the authority do so and that the minister of defence had written a letter recalling the arrest warrant.

    He refused to identify suspects arrested in connection with the assassination on the basis that they are innocent until proven guilty.

    “When the full truth is known it will be put to the people and the whole world,” he said, adding that in the meantime he “will cut the road to those trying to start up rumours among the revolutionaries.”

    Mahmud Shammam, who handles media for the rebels, slammed foreign and local journalists over their coverage of the general’s assassination, saying that “irresponsible news” was being published.

    Bani said there was a security breach in Benghazi on Thursday in reference to a prison break for which he blamed members of a “fifth column”, zealous defenders and informants of Kadhafi’s regime. Some of the escapees remain at large.

    In Zuwaytina, the Union of Revolutionary Forces late Saturday dismissed reports that Yunis was a traitor killed by his own people for providing strategic military information to Kadhafi’s regime.

    “Anybody can say anything but all this big talk needs proof. The chief of staff was always with us from the beginning,” said Fawzi Bukatif, spokesman of the Union of Revolutionary Forces and head of the February 17 brigade.

    The Union of Revolutionary Forces, which was formed on July 13, provides a unified command structure for fighters from volunteer brigades, who now fall under the authority of the rebels’ ministry of defence.

    He condemned the general’s assassination as a “cowardly act” and said that Yunis’s arrest and assassination took place without the knowledge nor consent of the Union of Revolutionary Forces.

    “We have no relation with the arrest of Yunis or everything that happened… whatever happened was not by our orders,” he said, adding that brigades not affiliated with the Union of Revolutionary Forces arrested Yunis.

    Bukatif said that the Obeida Ibn al-Jarah brigade, which an NTC member mentioned earlier as a potential culprit, was not part of the rebel body and no longer fighting on the front, which lies near the strategic oil hub Brega.

    He added that Mustafa Rubaa — who belongs to the Union of Revolutionary Forces “as an individual” but not as part of a brigade — was detained for his role in the arrest of Yunis.

    The villa of the assassinated general in Benghazi was surrounded by checkpoints and no traffic was allowed on the coastal city’s main highway before dawn Sunday as AFP received unconfirmed reports of clashes.

    South of Benghazi, rebels reported an attack by pro-Kadhafi forces on the southern oasis town of Jalo but said that it had been successfully repelled.

    Kadhafi’s regime meanwhile accused NATO of killing three journalists in an air strike on state television on Saturday and said that the murder of the rebels’ army chief proved Al-Qaeda was instigating the country’s armed revolt.

    Deputy foreign minister Khaled Kaaim said early Sunday the Kadhafi regime was in contact with members of the NTC.

    “There are contacts with Mahmud Jibril (number two in the NTC), and (Ali) Essawy (in charge of external relations), (religious leader Ali) Sallabi and others,” Kaaim told a news conference in the capital.

    The deputy minister denied rumours about recent contacts between the regime and Yunis.

    Meanwhile diplomats said that the UN Security Council is ready to release Libyan assets frozen under UN sanctions to buy humanitarian aid for the population facing growing shortages.

    Dominique Soguel for AP


  5. Pingback: Non-democracy in ‘new’ Libya | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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  7. Hello, can I get the links from wikileaks from which you’ve taken these cables please? I cannot get these on Wikileaks itself! Thank you.


  8. Pingback: ‘New’ Libya warplane kills Greek sailors | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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  10. Pingback: ‘New’ Libya, with NATO and ISIS, without life-saving medicines | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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