The Two Frances-11

We continue the episodic publication of Thierry Meyssan’s book, Before Our Eyes. In this episode, France appears divided: on the one hand, the President plays into the hands of the Anglo-Saxons and his Gaullist rival into the hands of Qatar, while two very right-wing ministers rely on former Libyan Prime Minister Baghdadi Mahmoudi to defend the Libyan people. In this moment of truth, each actor must position himself with fear in his stomach. Few will remain true to themselves.

22- The fall of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya

Let’s go back to the war. France is the country most involved in military operations against Libya, accounting for a third of them, while the United States itself carries out only a fifth and the United Kingdom only a tenth.

Initially, the Allied armies were simply coordinated with each other. However, as of March 31. 2011, Washington would impose NATO’s sole command. The French army came under the command of the American admiral James G. Stavridis and his deputies, Canadian General Charles Bouchard, US General Ralph J. Jodice II and Italian Vice-Admiral Rinaldo Veri. Other non-Alliance member states are involved in the new “à la carte” coalition.

As a result, the French general staff only knew about the general strategy of the war, that which they have been ordered to do and which NATO has condescended to reveal to them. Moreover, the French forces involved were largely under-equipped and non-homogeneous, so they were extremely dependent on NATO.

At the beginning of the war, France participated in the carnage of the 40,000 Libyan army men gathered next to Benghazi, perhaps believing that they were preparing to massacre the population. For the next five months, it simply bombarded the objectives assigned to it. However, it had a few ground troops in charge of coordinating with the insurgents. It must therefore face the facts and admit the real reasons for the mess of the initial command: there are few armed insurgents and they are mainly from the Islamic Fighting Group in Libya (ICGL), i.e. al-Qaida.

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The Minister of the Interior, Claude Guéant, and the Minister of Defence, Gérard Longuet, are the only ones concerned about the French drift and ask the Council of Ministers for France’s withdrawal from the Libyan and Syrian wars. They conduct secret negotiations behind the back of President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The Minister of Defence, Gérard Longuet, is informed precisely of the gigantic demonstrations organised by Muammar Gaddafi in Tripolitania and Fezzan against NATO. From then on, he privately explained to President Sarkozy his opposition to this war [1]. He is joined by the Minister of the Interior and former Secretary General of the Elysée, Claude Guéant, who knows much more than he does. A third man, the Central Director of Homeland Security, Bernard Squarcini, is helping them.

On March 29th, the United Kingdom and France hold a meeting in London with their main allies. It is agreed that the salaries paid to CNTL members will be paid with frozen Libyan funds through the Libyan Information Exchange Mechanism (LIEM). This decision is doubly contrary to international law which prohibits interference in a national conflict by employing opponents – who must then be considered as spies – and it is of course prohibited to misappropriate frozen funds for its own benefit.

It was only during this period that Nicolas Sarkozy became aware of Libya’s treasure: 150 billion dollars, including 143 tons of gold and almost as many tons of silver. Claude Guéant is authorized to send the former director of the National Police, Prefect Édouard Lacroix, to negotiate with Gaddafi for a French withdrawal in exchange for a portion of this treasure.

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The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn of France, was arrested in New York on the plane that was to take him to Berlin, from where he was to travel to Tripoli. The American prosecutor would later drop the charges against him.

Things became more complicated on May 14 with the arrest in New York of the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn of France. If the neutralisation of his socialist rival was good news for Nicolas Sarkozy, what he learned on this occasion reinforced his desire to make the most of the war against Libya. Strauss-Kahn was arrested while travelling to Tripoli via Berlin and was due to meet Muammar Gaddafi with a colleague of Angela Merkel. The interview was to focus on Libya’s monetary experiences (how to do without the US dollar and the CFA franc?). The results were to be reported to the G8 in Deauville a few days later. Strauss-Kahn obviously fell into a trap set by people who knew his background well. Though his lawyers rushed to Tel Aviv to seek help, none was forthcoming. Once again, the supporters of the military-industrial complex overtook the proponents of borderless money [2].

As the secret Franco-Libyan negotiations progressed, Under-Secretary of State Jeffrey Feltman intervened from Washington and ordered Paris to stop them immediately.

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Nicolas Sarkozy, David Cameron and Emir Al-Thani created a new Libyan central bank and a new oil company to work with Total and BP. The CNTL was allowed to sell Libyan oil itself on the international market, under Qatar’s control, and to keep the profits. The lure of profit was too strong and no one was able to wait until the end of the conflict. In a letter to the Emir, the CNTL confirmed that it allocated 35% of the crude oil to France; a proportion that corresponds to the proportion of French bombardments in relation to all those of the Coalition.

Once Cyrenaica was separated from the rest of Libya and its oil again exploited, nothing significant happened on the battlefield. The inhabitants of Benghazi, who regained their independence, no longer considered themselves interested in the future of Tripolitania and Fezzan.

During the next five months, several French personalities travelled to Libya. This was particularly the case for lawyers Roland Dumas and Jacques Vergès. The two men proposed to the Libyans to defend their interests and have the illegal freezing of 400 million euros of their assets in France lifted. They demanded to be paid in proportion to the sums at stake and left Tripoli with 4 million euros in cash, as an advance. They then sent a handwritten fax to Alain Juppé asking him to specify in what capacity this freeze took place. As the Jamahiriya collapsed in August, they would never do the work for which they were heavily paid.

Another lawyer, Marcel Ceccaldi, agreed to defend Khaled Al-Hamedi – the son of Gaddafi’s comrade in arms – after his wife and children were targeted and killed by NATO to put pressure on him [3]. It also launched several proceedings before African international tribunals in order to provide the United Nations with favourable case law. After the defeat, this old friend of Gérard Longuet became the advisor to the Chief of Staff of the Guide and negotiated the lifting of the proceedings against him in exchange for the non-publication of the recordings of the conversations with Ziad Takieddine during the negotiations and the payment of Nicolas Sarkozy’s election campaign. Although Ceccaldi was also an adventurer, he scrupulously respected his commitments, even after the fall of the Jamahiriya.

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Even Dominique de Villepin was for sale: he and his friend Alexandre Djouhri tried to meet Muammar Kaddafi, not in his capacity as former French Prime Minister, but on behalf of the Emir of Qatar.

The former Prime Minister, Dominique de Villepin, came to Djerba (Tunisia) and requested an audience in Tripoli. He had become a lawyer again and represented the Emir of Qatar. He was accompanied by a friend of President Sarkozy, Alexander Djouhri, who had already acted as an intermediary with Libya. He was the bearer of a proposal to surrender in exchange for a safe conduct for Gaddafi and his family. They received emissaries who came to ask about the meaning of their travel, but were finally not allowed to enter Libya.

For my part, invited by the Guide’s daughter, Aïcha Gaddafi, I came to see what was happening on the spot. I had the feeling that I had been manipulated since Fidel Castro had spoken to me with admiration for Muammar Gaddafi because the “Commander” did not speak lightly. I noted that the districts of Tripoli which the United Nations Human Rights Council announced had been razed to the ground by Libyan aircraft had never been bombed. I noted that international law was favourable to the Jamahiriya and I drafted a plan to restore the truth and save the country diplomatically. However, the head of the secret service, Abdullah Senussi, was convinced that I was a spy. So I was put on hold until I could check my resume. France then sent a pseudo delegation of support to Libya composed of “militants”, all of who were appointed by General Intelligence. They filed a file attesting to my opposition to the agreement between Libya and the Bush administration; harsh statements from which I had never concealed myself and which had led Aisha Gaddafi to bring me to Tripoli to verify the facts for myself. This approach had the opposite result to that expected: while the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Moussa Koussa, defected and joined the British, Muammar Khadafi had me join the government, charged me with negotiating various alliances and preparing the UN General Assembly in September in New York. As I did not want to be paid for political action, it was agreed that, if I succeeded in having NATO’s intervention declared illegal by the UN, I would head the editorial staff of an English-language television channel for which studios were purchased in Malta under the chairmanship of Khaled Bazelya. However, I was only to have relative power because Muammar Gaddafi would continue to negotiate through another channel with Israel, France and the United States.

The government had largely deserted. There were only six ministers left in place, two of whom were incapacitated. However, despite appearances, their positions remained unclear. Some, such as the oil company, Choukri Ghanem, claimed to defection to regain the right to travel in Europe and to release Libyan funds. Everyone was suspicious of everyone. Suspected of having passed to the enemy, Minister Abdul Ati Al-Obeidi was arrested and tortured by Abdullah Senussi for a day. It was a misunderstanding. Aware that he could still save his people, limping, he heroically continued his work without saying anything.

Like its Guide, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya had no alliance policy. From the beginning of the war, she had only a few African states as friends, including South Africa, Cuba, Syria and Venezuela. Dmitry Medvedev’s Russia betrayed her, provoking a strong reaction from Ambassador Vladimir Shamov – who was dismissed – and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin – who bided his time [4]. China, with which it had a strong dispute in the Horn of Africa, refused to take a stand. Worse, pushed by the wind, some of her former allies turned their backs on her. This is particularly the case of President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal. After having been particularly pampered by Gaddafi for a long time, he was the first to condemn him and make it known.

I feared that the case of Imam Moussa Sader, who disappeared in Libya or Italy in 1978, would make it difficult to get closer to the Shiites. This was not the case. It seems that, despite the public statements of the Lebanese leaders, there was a doubt about his true personality. He founded Amal, the Movement of the Disinherited (now chaired by billionaire Nabih Berri) and brought the Lebanese Shiites out of their situation. But for some, he would have been a Shah’s spy, who would have played a role in the split of Hezbollah from his party.

I attached great importance to renewing ties with Iran, which agreed to receive a delegation at a very high level, and with the Lebanese Resistance. I recognized, among the journalists present in Tripoli, the American photographer Tara Todras-Whitehill, whose role I knew she played for Mossad during the assassination of Rafik Hariri. I therefore proposed to hold her in Tripoli, inform Lebanon and prepare her extradition as a sign of good will. My mistake: Muammar Gaddafi continued his contacts with the Israelis and sent one of his children to Tel Aviv to negotiate. Abdallah Senussi hesitated once again to arrest me. Todras-Whitehill challenged me when we met again.

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The famous New York photojournalist Tara Todras-Whitehill is reportedly a Mossad agent. According to the investigation of former East German judicial police inspector Jürgen Cain Kulbel, she played a central role in the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

The Guide sank into the irrational. He hosted a Bedouin woman who entered into a trance. Through her voice, angels spoke to him. She convinced him that all this would end well. At some point, the United States would withdraw as it pushed for conflict: without explanation. This woman and her family carried a heavy obscurantism. No discussion was possible. When I asked ingenious questions, her father answered that he “agrees to talk to the infidel” – me in this case – that “it doesn’t bother him”.

On June 27th, the French army bombed the Libyan television station at the precise moment when Youssef Shakir, a star journalist and former member of al-Qaeda, gave me the floor.

Believing it could take public opinion as a witness, the Jamahiriya allowed the foreign press to cover the conflict. Hundreds of journalists from all over the world came to see the traces of NATO bombings. Sometimes they missed their target, hit one building and left another intact. It appears that, in each of these cases, a second strike immediately followed the journalists’ passage.

Unable to identify which journalist was in contact with NATO, Muammar Gaddafi decided to gather them all at the Rixos Hotel and only allow them to leave with police officers. The offices of the government spokesman, Moussa Ibrahim, were also located there. While his team was working as a team, all computers were suddenly hacked. The data scrolled at full speed on the screens and the keyboards no longer responded. The power had to be cut off to stop the hacking. Again, it is impossible to know which “journalists” organized this operation. Abdullah Senussi then decided to use software he had bought from a French company. This allowed one to hack all the emails in an account since its creation, by entering the memory of the server that stores them. The results were staggering. Almost all of the journalists present, including the French, except for the Russians, South Americans and the AFP correspondent, are spies working mainly for the CIA and MI6. Before coming to Libya and from computers they did not carry with them, they exchanged either application files or mission orders by e-mail with their headquarters.

Generally speaking, television teams are composed of three or four people. The war journalist who appears on the screen is a correspondent of the central office who provides him with information on all the theatres of operation. Most of them covered the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq before coming to Libya – despite appearances, they are not many. Two technicians ensure the recording of images and sound. They are usually undercover Special Forces members. Finally, the American teams also include a producer who is in fact an operative agent on mission.

Daily bombardments, although generally extremely targeted, wound or kill their share of “collateral victims”. In addition, some targets are only chosen criminally, as racketeers do, to make an impression and force submission.

Politics takes place in three buildings: all political leaders, except the Guide, have been gathered for their safety at the Radisson Blue Hotel; foreign guests are received at the Corinthia, which will house the provisional government; while journalists are monitored at the Rixos Hotel, which will be partially destroyed.

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Gérard Longuet, Minister of Defence, and Alain Juppé, Minister of Foreign Affairs. The two men hate each other cordially. The first – a former militant of the far-right political party in the West – tried, in vain, to oppose the war against Libya, the second – allegedly “Gaullist” – organised the French engagement.

A secret meeting is being held at the Joint Force Command in Naples by NATO. France is represented by its Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alain Juppé, and not by its Minister of Defence, Gérard Longuet, who is against the war. In 2004, Juppé, former Prime Minister, was sentenced by the Nanterre Court of Appeal to 14 months’ suspended imprisonment and one year’s ineligibility for illegal taking of interest. This particularly lenient decision – he had been sentenced to 10 years’ ineligibility at first instance – had led him to leave France and settle in Quebec for a year. In fact, he spent many weeks in Washington and, out of ambition, became a neo-conservative. When asked about his presence at the Naples meeting, Alain Juppé’s cabinet will reply that he was unable to attend because he was on holiday on that date.

To form the National Liberation Army, France chose Generals Abdelfattah Younès and Khalifa Haftar. The first was until February one of Gaddafi’s companions. It is not known how DGSE managed to return him. However, he continues to maintain relations with Saïf el-Islam Gaddafi. Haftar betrayed his country during the Chad war. He worked for France and the United States before being forced to flee and settle in Langley (USA), near the CIA headquarters. However, Younes was arrested, tortured, mutilated and murdered at the end of July. His body is partially burned and eaten. Although everyone pretends to ignore what happened, he was executed – following a trap set by Mustafa Abdel-Jalil – by the men of Abdelhakim Belhadj (Al Qaeda), gathered in the Brigade on February 17.

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Former Libyan Prime Minister Baghdadi Mahmoudi was conducting secret negotiations with French Defence Minister Gérard Longuet. He was extremely loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, but denounced the thuggish behaviour of several of his children. After the war, he was sentenced to death and finally released thanks to his lawyer, Me Marcel Ceccaldi, in July 2019.

Just before the start of the Naples meeting, a negotiator secretly dispatched by Nicolas Sarkozy left Tripoli on a speedboat. The decision had already been made to end it all. The trap was closing. It would now be impossible to enter and leave Tripoli by air, land and sea. Meanwhile, the French Parliament allows the attack on Libya. At the National Assembly, where we know nothing about what is going on behind the scenes, the president of the Sarkozy group, Christian Jacob, does not hesitate to pay a hypocritical tribute to the soldiers on mission. “These soldiers, often very young, have committed themselves to defend our country and our values, risking their lives. We know what we owe them and the whole of France is aware of the value of their sacrifice. While revealing that they were sent exclusively as part of a colonial conquest war, very far from republican values: “The French flag flies in Benghazi and it is for us a source of immense pride,” he shouts to the applause of his colleagues.

While I explain to my friends that the Atlantic Council will never allow NATO to ignore the mandate of the UN Security Council and bomb Tripoli, Washington is trampling on the Alliance’s statutes. Forming a conspiracy, it convened a secret “Defence Committee” in Naples. Only the closest States are invited (France, Italy, Turkey, United Kingdom) and some friends from the region (Saudi Arabia, Israel, Qatar). Together, they define how they will use NATO assets and present the Atlantic Council with a fait accompli.

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Luther King’s former companion, Walter E. Fauntroy, will testify that he himself saw regular French and Danish soldiers behead Libyans alongside jihadists. In his country, he was immediately accused of fraud and forced to flee to Dubai. The case was closed a few years later.

The record of decisions of this meeting specifies the targets for each unit. Among them, French Special Forces are given the mission to eliminate me. Search notices – concerning about fifteen Libyans and myself – were distributed in Tripoli the day after its fall. However, I and my companions are falling through the cracks thanks to states and people – including Walter E. Fauntroy, a former member of the United States Congress and former assistant to Martin Luther King Jr. – including French and Russian television crews who have just arrived. Back in his country, Fauntroy will testify that he himself saw regular French and Danish soldiers alongside Al Qaeda beheading Libyans.

The capture of Tripoli was a deluge of fire for three days. About 40,000 people were killed without distinguishing between soldiers and civilians, reproducing the massacre committed by Italian troops in 1911. All the roadblocks at the main intersections of the city were bombed, then British helicopters took to the streets to indiscriminately machine gun all those in the streets. The city was not properly defended because its military governor had been corrupted by NATO and sent his soldiers home just before the attack.

During the battle, Muammar Gaddafi took refuge in a bunker located under the Rixos hotel where foreign “journalists” had previously been gathered. Their presence prevents the Coalition from using air weapons. The park is therefore surrounded by the Al Qaeda brigade commanded by the Irish Mehdi Al-Harati – the CIA agent who participated in the Turkish Freedom Flotilla operation for Gaza – and supervised by French Special Forces. The hotel is defended by Khamis Gaddafi and his men.

When defeat is certain, the Gaddafi flee to Sirte. For my part, I will first find the Revolutionary Guards that the Islamic Republic of Iran sent to save me, and then I will flee to Malta on a small ship chartered by the Czech Republic for the International Organization for Migration. Before we leave, my companions and I will be successively searched by NATO, the Senussi, the Muslim Brotherhood and its al-Qaeda branch in Libya. The passengers were selected by mutual agreement between NATO – which has just changed its mind about me – and the Kadhafists so that the two groups could let them cross the battle lines. On board, I find myself with both the former mistress of Saef el-Islam and the Italian Special Forces who provoked the war by firing from the rooftops at demonstrators and police officers in Benghazi on 16 February 2011.

Finally in Sirte, the Guide negotiated with Israelis for his departure for Chad. It was a trap. On October 20, he was arrested by the French Forces and Al Qaeda, raped, tortured and murdered.

Far from surrendering their weapons, the Libyan “revolutionaries”, i. e. Al Qaeda, find themselves as in Afghanistan, then in Yugoslavia, with the wind in their sails.

23- The transfer of Libyan fighters to Syria

Even before the final fall of Tripoli, the United States is converging its employees of the Libyan National Transitional Council and the Al Qaeda command at the Corinthia Hotel. The building was placed under the protection of the British services, while fighting continued in the city and the deserted streets were littered with corpses. Abdelhakim Belhadj, former world number 3 of Al Qaeda, is appointed military governor of the capital. Alain Juppé told the Parisian on 26 August: “When asked about the cost of the operation – the Ministry of Defence talks about one million euros a day – I point out that it is also an investment in the future. The country’s resources were confiscated by Gaddafi who accumulated gold stocks. This money must be used for Libya’s development; a prosperous Libya will be a balancing factor for the region. On September 1st, an international conference in Paris confirmed the “regime change”. Less than one-tenth of the Libyan $50 billion blocked is released. We do not know what happened to the remaining 100 billion dollars of the Libyan Treasury.

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120,000 dead later, Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron celebrate their victory in Benghazi. But is it against Muammar Gaddafi, against the Tripolitan or against the Libyans?

On September 15, Nicolas Sarkozy, Alain Juppé and BHL travelled with David Cameron to Benghazi, escorted by hundreds of French and British police and military officers. They are triumphantly acclaimed by 1,500 handpicked people. They come to take possession of the oil they have conquered. In a brief speech, President Sarkozy announced that France stands not only alongside Libya but also with “all Arab peoples who will want to free themselves from their leader”. All he can think about now is attacking Syria and seizing its colossal gas reserves.

Emir Al-Thani can rub his hands. The international press celebrates him as a defender of democracy, as he practices slavery in his country (Kafala). The conquest of Libya cost him only 20,000 tons of weapons and $400 million.

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As soon as the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya fell, the Senoussi brotherhood restored slavery.

Precisely, as soon as the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya was overthrown in Tripoli, Bengahzi residents arrested the blacks who had not been able to escape. They are put in cages and exhibited like animals. The ancient slavery tradition of nomadic Bedouin populations over sedentary Blacks is reappearing.

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After transforming Amnesty International into a lucrative fundraising company, Ian Martin became the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative in Libya. Vitali Tchourkine, Russian ambassador to the Security Council, revealed that he had transferred Al Qaeda fighters in Libya to Turkey and then Syria by presenting them as “refugees”.

In November 2011, Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative and former Secretary General of Amnesty International, Ian Martin, organized the boat transfer of 1,500 jihadists from Al Qaeda to Turkey [5]. Officially these men, single and armed, are “refugees”. They are under the authority of Abdelhakim Belhadj – who has not left office in Tripoli – and Mehdi Al-Harati. They land in Turkey and are transported by buses chartered by MIT (Turkish Secret Service) to Jabal Al-Zouia in Syria. They constitute the first unit of the Free Syrian Army (ASL) under French command. Belhadj will return to Libya at Christmas, after being recognized in Syria by a Spanish journalist from ABC. Mehdi Al-Harati will then create another group, Liwaa Al-Umma (the Islamic Nation Brigade), to train Syrian fighters. In September 2012, this group will return to the free Syrian army.

(To be continued…)

List of other episodes:

Right Before Our Eyes-1

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