We’re at war in the MiddleEast so like bad pennies, Paul Pillar and Vincent Cannistraro are back in the news. The Australian reports that Pillar, who ran around the country on the CIA dime undercutting President Bush on Iraq says Gaddafi was our ally in the fight againt Al Qaeda:
The names of hundreds of suspects were passed to the CIA and British intelligence.
“There was a strong, shared concern between Gaddafi and the US and UK Governments about radical Sunni jihadist terrorists, including the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG),” Paul Pillar, a CIA veteran who negotiated with Libya over its nuclear program, told The Times.
Cannistraro who opposed the war in Iraq and was the head of the CIA’s branch in Libya has a different take:He thinks sometimes you have to make deals with bad guys but that Gaddafi was providing us with false information.He said that
Colonel Gaddafi had “sucked in” the West with allegations of terrorism in the east of Libya.
“Gaddafi conflated the LIFG with al-Qa’ida and that obviously caught the attention of the Americans and the British who, post-9/11, were hungry for terrorism intelligence,” he said. “There wasn’t a lot of reporting sources and Gaddafi was providing it – but his motivation was to protect himself.”
Mr Cannistraro agreed that “sometimes you had to do deals with bad people”. But he added: “Gaddafi was an outright murderer. There shouldn’t have been so much co-operation.”
Don’t ask me to tell you which version I credit.