From the NY Times ...
So, it seems that the US was also sending arms to Libyan rebels through a "surrogate" country (Qatar), but it seems that the arms ended up in the hands of the wrong people. The article says there is no evidence that these weapons were involved in the 9/11/12 Benghazi debacle. Not too surprising since it was weeks before anyone got to investigate the scene of the crime. Might also provide a "motive" for not bailing out the beseiged Americans that night.
But in the months before, the Obama administration clearly was worried about the consequences of its hidden hand in helping arm Libyan militants, concerns that have not previously been reported. The weapons and money from Qatar strengthened militant groups in Libya, allowing them to become a destabilizing force since the fall of the Qaddafi government.Geez! Suckered twice.The Obama administration did not initially raise objections when Qatar began shipping arms to opposition groups in Syria, even if it did not offer encouragement, according to current and former administration officials. But they said the United States has growing concerns that, just as in Libya, the Qataris are equipping some of the wrong militants.
Fast & Furious with a MidEast flavor?
The administration has never determined where all of the weapons, paid for by Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, went inside Libya, officials said. Qatar is believed to have shipped by air and sea small arms, including machine guns, automatic rifles, and ammunition, for which it has demanded reimbursement from Libya’s new government. Some of the arms since have been moved from Libya to militants with ties to Al Qaeda in Mali, where radical jihadi factions have imposed Shariah law in the northern part of the country, the former Defense Department official said. Others have gone to Syria, according to several American and foreign officials and arms traders.American officials say that the United Arab Emirates first approached the Obama administration during the early months of the Libyan uprising, asking for permission to ship American-built weapons that the United States had supplied for the emirates’ use. The administration rejected that request, but instead urged the emirates to ship weapons to Libya that could not be traced to the United States.The bad guys in the ME must be laughing up their sleeves at how stupid Americans are.But the American support for the arms shipments from Qatar and the emirates could not be completely hidden. NATO air and sea forces around Libya had to be alerted not to interdict the cargo planes and freighters transporting the arms into Libya from Qatar and the emirates, American officials said.
Meanwhile, Morsi in Egypt is looking like a worse despot than Mubarack was; and Assad has been mixing up nerve gas (which he says that he does not intend to use on his own people ... does that mean he plans to use it on somebody else?)
Sure does reinforce the case for letting these guys fight out their own tribal wars.
Also not too surprising that this stuff is only being reported now that the election is over.