Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s war plan as she was pushing for U.S. intervention in Libya in 2011 was to “play it by ear,” according to then-Secretary of Defense Bob Gates.
Clinton and others argued the U.S. had a moral obligation to intervene and save the lives of Libyans that dictator Muammar Gaddafi was threatening with genocide. But Clinton, who is now running for president, apparently didn’t plan for the power vacuum that would result from the fall of Gaddafi.
“We were playing it by ear,” a frustrated Gates told Nancy Youseff of The Daily Beast. He opposed the intervention, which he says resulted in the downfall of Gaddafi and ensuing widespread chaos. (RELATED: Trump Says Middle East Would Be Better Off If Hussein, Gaddafi Were Still In Power)
Clinton touted the intervention in the Democratic presidential primary debate last week, saying it was “the right decision at the time,” and pointed to a free election held after Gadaffi’s fall as evidence it was a success. (RELATED: Remembering Libya: Hillary’s Iraq)
“And you know what, they voted for moderates,” she said. “They voted with the hope of democracy.”
She left out the fact that Libya is now a failed state caught up in civil war that is dominated in large part by Islamic extremists (the same ones that have since metastasized into central Africa). It’s also a refugee hub where human traffickers thrive. ISIS controls some of its territory and is reportedly planning to use the country as a “strategic gateway” to Europe.
Clinton blamed these negative outcomes on the “Arab Spring” and “a lot of other things” in the debate. “Because of the Arab Spring, because of a lot of other things, there was turmoil to be followed,” she said.
Clinton is scheduled to testify Thursday before the House Select Committee on Benghazi.
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