Alex Constantine - March 30, 2011
" ... This information is available to anyone who conducts even a cursory Internet search, but it has not been reported by the corporate-controlled media in the United States, except in the dispatch from McClatchy, which avoids any reference to the CIA. None of the television networks, busily lauding the 'freedom fighters' of eastern Libya, has bothered to report that these forces are now commanded by a longtime collaborator of US intelligence services. Nor have the liberal and 'left' enthusiasts of the US-European intervention in Libya taken note. They are too busy hailing the Obama administration for its multilateral and 'consultative' approach to war, supposedly so different from the unilateral and 'cowboy' approach of the Bush administration in Iraq. That the result is the same—death and destruction raining down on the population, the trampling of the sovereignty and independence of a former colonial country—means nothing to these apologists for imperialism. ... "
Libya: A CIA commander for the rebels
By Patrick Martin | Opinion Maker | March 28, 2011
The Libyan National Council, the Benghazi-based group that speaks for the rebel forces fighting the Gaddafi regime, has appointed a long-time CIA collaborator to head its military operations. The selection of Khalifa Hifter, a former colonel in the Libyan army, was reported by McClatchy Newspapers Thursday [see below] and the new military chief was interviewed by a correspondent for ABC News on Sunday night.Hifter’s arrival in Benghazi was first reported by Al Jazeera on March 14, followed by a flattering portrait in the virulently pro-war British tabloid the Daily Mail on March 19. The Daily Mail described Hifter as one of the “two military stars of the revolution” who “had recently returned from exile in America to lend the rebel ground forces some tactical coherence.” The newspaper did not refer to his CIA connections. ...
Khalifa Hifter: New Rebel Military Commander may have ties to CIA
By northsunm32 | All Voices | March 30, 2011
... [Col. Khalifa Haftar] settled in with his family in Vienna Virginia about five miles from CIA headquarters in Langley.
A Washington Post report March 26 1996 described an armed rebellion against Gadaffi in Libya The article cites witnesses to the rebellion who report that "its leader is Col. Khalifa Haftar, of a contra-style group based in the United States called the Libyan National Army.This comparison is to the "contra" terrorist forces financed and armed by the US government in the 1980s against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua.
Hifter's CIA connections go further back, to 1987. A French newspare reported that Hifter, then a colonel in Gaddafi's army, was captured fighting in Chad in a Libyan-backed rebellion against the US-backed government of Hissène Habré. He defected to the Libyan National Salvation Front (LNSF), the principal anti-Gaddafi group, which had the backing of the American CIA. He organized his own militia, which operated in Chad until Habré was overthrown by a French-supported rival, Idriss Déby, in 1990.
So Hifter can list many different military experiences on his resume. Two at least probably involve the CIA. Perhaps the former Libyan Justice Minister who heads the Libyan National Council received a glowing recommendation from the CIA as to Hifter's skills.
Libyan rebel leader spent much of past 20 years in suburban Virginia
By Chris Adams
McClatchy Newspapers | March 26, 2011
WASHINGTON - The new leader of Libya's opposition military spent the past two decades in suburban Virginia but felt compelled — even in his late-60s — to return to the battlefield in his homeland, according to people who know him.
Khalifa Hifter was once a top military officer for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, but after a disastrous military adventure in Chad in the late 1980s, Hifter switched to the anti-Gadhafi opposition. In the early 1990s, he moved to suburban Virginia, where he established a life but maintained ties to anti-Gadhafi groups.
Late last week, Hifter was appointed to lead the rebel army, which has been in chaos for weeks. He is the third such leader in less than a month, and rebels interviewed in Libya openly voiced distrust for the most recent leader, Abdel Fatah Younes, who had been at Gadhafi's side until just a month ago.
At a news conference Thursday, the rebel's military spokesman said Younes will stay as Hifter's chief of staff, and added that the army — such as it is — would need "weeks" of training.
According to Abdel Salam Badr of Richmond, Va., who said he has known Hifter all his life — including back in Libya — Hifter -- whose name is sometimes spelled Haftar, Hefter or Huftur -- was motivated by his intense anti-Gadhafi feelings.
"Libyans — every single one of them — they hate that guy so much they will do whatever it takes," Badr said in an interview Saturday. "Khalifa has a personal grudge against Gadhafi ... That was his purpose in life."
According to Badr and another friend in the U.S., a Georgia-based Libyan activist named Salem alHasi, Hifter left for Libya two weeks ago. alHasi, who said Hifter was once his superior in the opposition's military wing, said he and Hifter talked in mid-February about the possibility that Gadhafi would use force on protesters.
"He made the decision he had to go inside Libya," alHasi said Saturday. "With his military experience, and with his strong relationship with officers on many levels of rank, he decided to go and see the possibility of participating in the military effort against Gadhafi." He added that Hifter is very popular among members of the Libyan army, "and he is the most experienced person in the whole Libyan army." He acted out of a sense of "national responsibility," alHasi said.
"This responsibility no one can take care of but him," alHasi said. "I know very well that the Libyan army especially in the eastern part is in desperate need of his presence."
Omar Elkeddi, a Libyan expatriate journalist based in Holland, said in an interview that the opposition forces are getting more organized than they were at the beginning up the uprising. Hifter, he said, is "very professional, very distinguished," and commands great respect.
Since coming to the United States in the early 1990s, Hifter lived in suburban Virginia outside Washington, D.C. Badr said he was unsure exactly what Hifter did to support himself, and that Hifter primarily focused on helping his large family.