CIA & MI6 in Libya: U.S.-British covert operations exposed
Apr 7, 2011
The New York Times, the Washington Post and other corporate news sources are
now openly admitting that the opposition forces fighting the Libyan government
are supported and coordinated by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and
Britain’s MI6 with in-country special forces.
President Barack Obama in March signed an order dispatching CIA operatives
to identify targets for bombing and to vet potential leaders within the rebel
forces in the event of toppling the Libyan government.
Al Jazeera says in a recent article that both U.S. and Egyptian Special
Forces are providing training to the rebel groups at a secret facility in
eastern Libya. This adds greater clarity to the insistence on the part of the
Obama administration that the current leader of Libya, Moammar Gadhafi, be
forced from office. The U.S. wants a compliant regime in control of this
oil-rich North African state of more than 6 million people.
Egypt’s military receives in excess of $1.5 billion a year from the
U.S. for training, equipment and cooperation with Washington. An unidentified
rebel fighter described being trained in military techniques by U.S. and
Egyptian military forces.
“He told us that Thursday night (March 31) a new shipment of Katyusha
rockets had been sent into eastern Libya from Egypt. He didn’t say they
were sourced from Egypt, but that was their route through. He said these were
state-of-the-art, heat-seeking rockets and that they need to be trained on how
to use them, which was one of the things the American and Egyptian special
forces were there to do.” (Al Jazeera, April 4)
The fact that the rebel forces are receiving arms and training from U.S.,
British and Egyptian intelligence and military units illustrates the hypocrisy
of the naval blockade being imposed on Libya, under the guise of an arms
embargo. The only arms embargo is against the Libyan government, while the
imperialist states and their allies in the region are free to provide air and
sea support for the rebels.
While Al Jazeera has been supportive of the military and political campaign
against the Libyan government, it was forced to admit on April 4 that
“since the rebels appear to be receiving covert support in terms of
weaponry and training, it is not surprising that they are not inclined to
criticize NATO openly.”
U.S. cover story falls apart
The Obama administration claims it does not know who the so-called
“rebels” are in Libya. But Khalifa Haftar, officially appointed
leader of the military campaign against the Libyan government, has for many
years been financed and supported by the CIA. For two decades he lived in
Virginia near CIA headquarters in Langley.
A report by the right-wing Jamestown Foundation declares, “Today as
Colonel Haftar finally returns to the battlefields of North Africa with the
objective of toppling Gadhafi ... he may stand as the best liaison for the
United States and allied NATO forces in dealing with Libya’s unruly
This same study revealed that Haftar played an important role in June 1998
in establishing the so-called Libyan National Army, the military wing of the
National Front for the Salvation of Libya “with strong backing from the
Central Intelligence Agency.” Not only did the CIA set up the LNA but it
also created a training camp in Virginia where members of the group were taught
counterinsurgency and destabilization tactics by the U.S. government.
The Nation magazine, in an April 3 article entitled, “The CIA, the
Libyan rebellion, and the president,” concludes, “An event that
Americans were led to believe was an autonomous rising on the model of Egypt
turns out to have been deeply compromised from the start, and compromised by
American meddling. All the external parties are in Libya for different reasons.
Things could not have gotten this far without the CIA.”
The CIA and Africa
While the first clandestine operations of the CIA were directed against
leftists in Europe after World War II, it soon focused on weakening oppressed
nations, national liberation movements and socialist states. In 1953, the CIA
engineered a coup against Mohammad Mossadegh, the elected leader of Iran, who
had tried to nationalize the oil industry for the benefit of the people. He was
replaced by the Shah, a U.S. puppet, who was finally overthrown in 1979.
The CIA was behind the 1954 overthrow of the progressive Arbenz government
of Guatemala. In Cuba in 1961, CIA-trained exile forces landed at the Bay of
Pigs in an attempt to topple the revolutionary government of Fidel Castro.
In 1966, the CIA was behind the destabilization and overthrow of the
Pan-African and socialist-oriented government of President Kwame Nkrumah in
Ghana. Nkrumah had supported national liberation movements throughout Africa
and the world and formed close relations with the Soviet Union, China, Cuba and
In 1975, the CIA attempted to prevent the consolidation of national
independence in the oil-rich Southern African nation of Angola. Agency
operatives aided the racist South African Defense Forces and the
counterrevolutionary UNITA and FNLA movements. Angola finally was liberated in
Importance of anti-imperialist perspective
An important role of the CIA has been to foster chaos in order to
destabilize and overthrow governments in countries where U.S. imperialism
wanted to intervene to protect its strategic interests. Thus it has a long
track record of fomenting disinformation and psychological warfare.
The corporate media are always ready to build public support for U.S.
imperialist aims and objectives, both domestically and internationally. As
Washington sends the CIA, stealth bombers and “Tomahawk” missiles
to engineer regime change in Libya, the media have framed this as an act of
humanitarian relief designed to protect civilians. They have little to say when
Libyans die and property is destroyed.
It is the duty of the anti-war and peace movements in the U.S. and
throughout the Western industrialized countries to expose the role of the CIA
and other intelligence services and uphold the right of oppressed,
post-colonial and revolutionary governments to self-determination and
Any other approach strengthens the imperialists and their intelligence and
military apparatuses. It only delays the struggle for international solidarity
of the workers and oppressed inside the U.S. and around the world.