« | »

Gates: Libya Not ‘Vital National Interest’

From Jake Tapper at ABC News:

Defense Secretary: Libya Did Not Pose Threat to U.S., Was Not ‘Vital National Interest’ to Intervene

Jake Tapper
March 27, 2011

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said that Libya did not pose a threat to the United States before the U.S. began its military campaign against the North African country.

On “This Week,” ABC News’ Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper asked Gates, “Do you think Libya posed an actual or imminent threat to the United States?”

“No, no,” Gates said in a joint appearance with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“It was not — it was not a vital national interest to the United States, but it was an interest and it was an interest for all of the reasons Secretary Clinton talked about.  The engagement of the Arabs, the engagement of the Europeans, the general humanitarian question that was at stake,” he said.

So we put members of our military at risk and spent $1 billion taxpayer dollars on something that is not in the vital interest of the United States.

Gates explained that there was more at stake, however. “There was another piece of this though, that certainly was a consideration. You’ve had revolutions on both the East and the West of Libya,” he said, emphasizing the potential wave of refugees from Libya could have destabilized Tunisia and Egypt.

“So you had a potentially significantly destabilizing event taking place in Libya that put at risk potentially the revolutions in both Tunisia and Egypt,” the Secretary said.  “And that was another consideration I think we took into account.”

So the US went to war into kinetic military action to protect the Tunisian and Egyptian ‘revolutions’? To protect the Muslim Brotherhood?

During his campaign for the Presidency, in December, 2007, Barack Obama told The Boston Globe that “The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”

Something we were among the first to recall.

Earlier in 2007, then-Senator Hillary Clinton said in a speech on the Senate floor that, “If the administration believes that any — any — use of force against Iran is necessary, the President must come to Congress to seek that authority.”

But that was then, and this is now. Then we had a Republican administration and now we have a Democrat one. This is not complicated.

Tapper asked Clinton, “Why not got to Congress?”

“Well, we would welcome congressional support,” the Secretary said, “but I don’t think that this kind of internationally authorized intervention where we are one of a number of countries participating to enforce a humanitarian mission is the kind of unilateral action that either I or President Obama was speaking of several years ago.”

“I think that this had a limited timeframe, a very clearly defined mission which we are in the process of fulfilling,” Clinton said.

Mrs. Clinton is right. Except that the timeframe apparently isn’t limited, and the mission isn’t at all defined.

By the way, according to other reports, Mrs. Clinton went on to explain that while the US might not have a vital interest in Libya, Europe does.

So we should be comforted to know that we went to war for oil — but not for oil for the US — but for oil for Europe.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, March 27th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

9 Responses to “Gates: Libya Not ‘Vital National Interest’”

  1. proreason says:

    Perhaps Mr Gates is unaware that the Vital Interests of Barack Obama ARE the Vital National Interests of the United States.

    This confusion will soon be corrected.

    • JohnMG says:

      Gates, like nearly everyone in this hapless administration , is an embarrassment. Both he and Mullen were selected not for their talents, but for their political bent, and as such, have carried the water for the O-child.

      If this is what we get, then we should dispense with the oath of office they are required to take. I find such mockery offensive.

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    What’s also worth mentioning is the fact that Hitlery kept talking over Gates and made herself the focus of the interview.


  3. Astravogel says:

    I seem to recall that Korea was
    said to not be in our national interest
    also, just prior to the NKPA invasion.

  4. canary says:

    JohnMG, your take on Gates is right. He’s done nothing but roll over and flip flopped for an incompetent Obama. Gate made military cuts, and one minute he says he doesn’t know how long this Libya thing will go on, and then he says it will take months. He has no regard for our troops. Telling the troops to expect a lot to die when he ordered them on a death mission for humanitarian services in Afghanistan. Taking Afghanistan’s corrupt leader Karzai on a tour of a U.S. military base Ft. Campbell Ky before they deployed and continue heavy causality loss. That’s insane. Obama’s propaganda has confused & washed the brains of our troops.

    It’s simple math equation.

    Obama campaigning + basketball + properly going through congress = late for spring break /family fun
    Obama campaigning + basketball – properly going through congrees = timely take for family fun

    There’s something wrong when a President brags he’s “enjoying more and more” the job of being President. Nothing about the weight on his shoulders. Nothing about difficulty. Enjoying. yes enjoying.

    Hillary lying for Obama. Obama is surrounded like spoiled celebrity full of yes people on his payroll. Enabling a self-made disaster to run freely.

  5. canary says:

    U.S. aiding al-Qaeda fighting with Libya rebels.
    Remember Obama claims to have waited between campaigning and basketball to see who the rebels were first. Explains it all. Explains this bizarre

    The Telegraph: Libya rebel commander admits his fighters have al-Qaeda links

    By Praveen Swami, Nick Squires and Duncan Gardham
    25 Mar 2011

    Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, the Libyan rebel leader, has said jihadists who fought against allied troops in Iraq are on the front lines of the battle against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.

    Mr al-Hasidi insisted his fighters “are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists,” but added that the “members of al-Qaeda are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader”.

    Mr al-Hasidi admitted he had earlier fought against “the foreign invasion” in Afghanistan, before being “captured in 2002 in Peshwar, in Pakistan”. He was later handed over to the US, and then held in Libya before being released in 2008.

    British Islamists have also backed the rebellion, with the former head of the banned al-Muhajiroun’




    young muslim men (WAMY?) prop to ambush in a situation that has everyone scratching their heads.

  6. canary says:

    Here’s General Gates who ran a school during Clintons years, (may have saved his life staying out Clinton’s intelligence since there were so many of their bizarre deaths at Waco, OKC fed building coming down.
    And then Obama comes in and under General Gates more than a half of dozen 30 -35 years of intelligence get blown up in a freak terror attack?

    And then Officer Ralph Peters making the rounds we need ground troops in Libya. His romancing the war in his book, and Officer ego trip tells me we need new leadership.

    I think our present Military Leadership just want their own “sustainable jobs”. The type “sustainable jobs” mentioned in the Rules of Radicals.

  7. canary says:

    AFP: More air attacks on Libya as world powers keep up pressure

    Mar 30, 2011
    By Imed Lamloum, AFP


    France is prepared to hold discussions over supplying military aid to Libyan rebels fighting Kadhafi’s forces, Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said, while US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that although UN sanctions prohibit the delivery of arms to the country, that ban no longer applies.

    At an international conference on Libya in London, Clinton said: “It is our interpretation that (UN Security Council resolution) 1973 amended or overrode the absolute prohibition on arms to anyone in Libya, so that there could be a legitimate transfer of arms if a country should choose to do that.”

    Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini told AFP that participants in the London conference of more than 40 countries and organisations, including the United Nations and NATO, had unanimously agreed that Kadhafi should leave the country.

    “Beyond that, it depends on the country which may offer to welcome Kadhafi. There is as yet no formal proposal, no country has formulated such a plan, even the African countries which may be ready to make one.”

    “When you consider that these so-called civilised countries are trying to solve problems by dropping bombs, it makes me proud to be South American,” the Argentine leader told reporters during a visit by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

    “But those of us from so-called uncivilised countries have succeeded to resolve our conflicts in a civilised way, through international law.”

    Ahead of the talks, Kadhafi issued a defiant letter likening the NATO-led strikes targeting his artillery and ground forces to military campaigns launched by Adolf Hitler during World War II.

    “Stop your barbaric, unjust offensive on Libya,” he said in the letter.


    Clinton keeps flip flopping on giving weapon to rebells. It’s all a technical legal issue, with no regard as to whose hands will the weapons go into.

    • canary says:

      “Beyond that, it depends on the country which may offer to welcome Kadhafi. There is as yet no formal proposal, no country has formulated such a plan, even the African countries which may be ready to make one.”

      I may see my 1st half guess Gaddafi ends up in Africa right. It might be awhile before the other half Obama goes to his home country of Africa to join him.

      Nearly all of Obama’s BBF’s have dumped and dropped him. Yet, Obama has a thing for bad boys and we know how these sick love affairs sometimes never end.

« Front Page | To Top
« | »