McCain Pushed to Arm Gadhafi, WikiLeaks Reveals

Cable details 2009 meeting
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2011 11:54 AM CDT
John McCain, backdropped with a pre-Gadhafi flag, talks during a press conference in Benghazi, Libya Friday, April 22, 2011.   (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

(Newser) – John McCain may be talking tough about Libya these days, but back in 2009 he promised Muatassim Gadhafi—Moammar’s fifth son and his national security adviser—that he’d do what he could to help Libya obtain military supplies, particularly new aircraft, a cable released by WikiLeaks reveals. McCain met with Gadhafi along with such Senate notables as Lindsey Graham, Susan Collins, and Joe Lieberman, but the cable indicates that McCain did most of the talking, Politico reports.

McCain stressed that Libya needed to fulfill its promise to give up its weapons of mass destruction, but he also described US-Libyan relations as strong, and thanked Libya for its counterterrorism cooperation. But in a May interview, Lindsey Graham said the meeting led nowhere. “We never did anything,” he said. “I didn’t feel comfortable pushing the Pentagon to provide military aircraft to Libya. None of us did."

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