In a column three months ago (“Egypt: Let the Looting Begin”), I suggested that what was really going on in Egypt was somewhat different from the official narrative. In quite a few of the “people power” revolutions in recent years—no matter how sincere the people on the streets—it turned out that there were attempts to orchestrate things by people behind the scenes for whom “people power” was the very last thing on the agenda. In that column I reported that Frank Wisner, a veteran spook described by Vijay Prashad at Counterpunch as a “bagman of empire,” was Obama’s man on the ground.
Wisner, a former director at AIG and Enron with longstanding family ties to the OSS and the CIA, had previously been involved in drafting the Bush administration’s postwar blueprint for Iraq. That agenda involved so-called privatizations of state industry that amounted to insider deals with global corporate interests for pennies on the dollar, “strong intellectual property protections” largely written by Monsanto and the RIAA, and draconian crackdowns on genuine freedom fighters in the labor movement and the Iraqi Freedom Congress. Paul Bremer, with the help of his Heritage Foundation boys in the Green Zone, basically oversaw the looting of everything that wasn’t nailed down.
In that light, some recent news from Libya is especially interesting. First, Alexander Cockburn (“What’s Really Going On in Libya?” Counterpunch, April 15) reports that a high priority for the NATO operation in Libya was to see to the central banking arrangements of the revolutionary government in Benghazi. On March 19, they authorized the Central Bank of Benghazi to handle monetary policy for the country. Gadhafi, it seems, had announced his intention to repudiate the dollar and the euro and encourage the use of the gold dinar as a common currency by all of Africa. He’d gained tentative buy-in, over the previous year, from a number of Arab and African regimes. The government-owned Libyan national bank in Tripoli, which is independent of the global banking industry, has been a thorn in the flesh of global financial elites for some time.
Things that make you go “Hmmmm…”
Meanwhile, Russ Baker at Alternet announces (“The CIA’s Man in Libya?” April 26) that the latest head of rebel forces in Libya, Gen. Khalifa Hifter, is a CIA asset. Hifter has lived in the Greater Washington area of Virginia (cough cough Langley cough) for almost 20 years, enjoying an unusually comfortable lifestyle considerably disproportionate to his visible means of support. Hifter has headed the military wing (Libyan National Army) of an opposition movement in exile (NSFL) for most of that time. The CIA sponsored a training operation for the Libyan National Army at a base in Chad during the reign of Bush I, with a view to a possible future overthrow of Gadhafi. In 1996, Hifter headed a failed overthrow attempt, after which he returned to the United States.
So the head of the opposition movement is on the CIA payroll, and the first order of business of the insurgent regime is to create a central bank that takes orders from international finance capital. Doesn’t look real good for “freedom” in Libya, does it? Looks pretty damn good for the banksters, though.
If the attempt to overthrow of Gadhafi had anything to do with genuine freedom, it’s a safe bet the U.S. government would have had nothing to do with it. Put not your faith in princes.
Reprinted courtesy of the Center for a Stateless Society.