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Mon Feb 4, 2013, 12:31 PM

Rand Paul Pushes Gun-Running Conspiracy (Libya to Turkey to Syria) Theory During

Benghazi Hearing.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) used today’s hearing on the Benghazi attack to confront Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about a conspiracy theory involving moving guns from Libya to Syrian rebels.

Paul, a new member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, wasted no time in making a mark on the proceedings. After informing Secretary Clinton that he would have fired her for her role in the response to the attack, Paul came seemingly out of nowhere to ask Clinton about Turkey. “Is the U.S. involved with any procuring of weapons, transfer of weapons, buying, selling, anyhow transferring weapons to Turkey out of Libya?” he asked.

A clearly confused Clinton responded to the best of her ability:

CLINTON: To Turkey? I will have to take that question for the record. Nobody has ever raised that with me.

PAUL: It’s been in news reports that ships have been leaving from Libya and that they may have weapons and what I’d like to know is the annex that was close by, were they involved with procuring, buying, selling, obtaining weapons and were any of these weapons being transferred to other countries, any countries, Turkey included?



Paul’s inquiry about Turkey seems less odd if you’re familiar with Glenn Beck-inspired conspiracy theories that have been circulating among right-wing websites since the attacks in Libya. The theory goes that Ambassador Chris Stevens — who was killed during the attack — was deeply involved in the CIA project of gathering loose arms in Libya in the aftermath of Moammar Qaddafi’s downfall. Stevens then facilitated the movement of those arms from Libya to Turkey, where they then went on to Syria. The secrecy involved in moving those weapons under the table is part of why the Obama administration covered up the truth of the attack, according to the theory, which even Fox News has helped spread.

The Obama administration has repeatedly said that it will not be providing arms to the rebels in Syria, which this theory claims to counter. While the CIA was involved with helping round up the loose arms that were rampant in Libya, there is no evidence that Stevens or the State Department was involved in the operation, nor that the arms were then shipped to Syria. That Sen. Paul would use his first hearing on the Foreign Relations Committee to push this theory, despite the fact even if it were true it would fall outside of Secretary Clinton’s purview, does not say great things about his future on the body.

http://thinkprogress.org/security/2013/01/23/1485661/rand-paul-conspiracy-theory-libya/

That is a right-wing CT that I had not heard of before.

I thought we were rid of Glenn Beck. Is he still around somewhere pushing CT's that FOX and other right-wing rumor mongers can link to as 'proof' that a conspiracy exists?

17 replies, 2046 views

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Arrow 17 replies Author Time Post
Reply Rand Paul Pushes Gun-Running Conspiracy (Libya to Turkey to Syria) Theory During (Original post)
pampango Feb 2013 OP
el_bryanto Feb 2013 #1
pampango Feb 2013 #2
BlakeA Feb 2013 #3
pampango Feb 2013 #5
Comrade Grumpy Feb 2013 #4
pampango Feb 2013 #8
Comrade Grumpy Feb 2013 #17
Johonny Feb 2013 #6
farminator3000 Feb 2013 #7
BlakeA Feb 2013 #9
pampango Feb 2013 #10
BlakeA Feb 2013 #11
pampango Feb 2013 #12
BlakeA Feb 2013 #13
aikoaiko Feb 2013 #14
pampango Feb 2013 #15
BlakeA Feb 2013 #16

Response to pampango (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 12:33 PM

1. It's been in news reports that Rand Paul is a fungoid invader from Dimension Z

Would you care to comment?

Bryant

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Response to el_bryanto (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 02:35 PM

2. It sounds logical. I tried to research it but found nothing so it might be just the type of story

that Glenn Beck will be excited about. (Of course, I'll have to change the key figure from Rand Paul to President Obama.) I'll think Beck will love it.

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Response to pampango (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 05:37 PM

3. Daily Kos

I didn't see much difference between Paul inquiry and the one several months earlier from Daily Kos -- not exactly a conservative web site.


http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/09/28/1137620/-Times-of-London-Shipload-of-Looted-Missiles-From-Libya-Arrives-in-Turkey#

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Response to BlakeA (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 05:51 PM

5. Of course, one answer could be that liberals investigated the possibility of an arms transfer

several months ago then determined that it was not true. That would be a reason that DailyKos story you found was several months old and not a recent one.

That would leave open the question of why Rand Paul had not arrived at the same conclusion.

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Response to pampango (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 05:47 PM

4. I'm not a right-winger, think Beck is worse than nuts, but also have questions about that.

Are we going to find out in 10 years that we were supplying Libyan weapons to Syrian rebels?

Just what in the heck was that CIA annex in Benghazi up to?

I notice that Clinton didn't answer the question. She deferred to the CIA.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 06:12 PM

8. The possiblity is certainly worthy of an investigation. Perhaps liberals have done so and not found

anything to it to the arms transfer theory. That would explain why it is Glenn Beck pushing this rather than a liberal source.

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Response to pampango (Reply #8)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 09:28 PM

17. Well, I see that Obama nixed plans to arm the Syrian rebels.

So if anything is happening, it would have to be a rogue operation, or something Iran-Contra-like, but I have seen no evidence.

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Response to pampango (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 06:04 PM

6. I'm hoping he has no future in the senate or politics

he had nothing to offer and has proven it beyond a doubt.

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Response to pampango (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 06:06 PM

7. you really aren't gonna believe this one -that'd be a big YES on Blenn Geck.

http://www.upworthy.com/glenn-beck-accidentally-explains-his-sleazy-business-model-on-his-own-show

i just realized he's trying to be paul harvey and failing MISERABLY!

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Response to pampango (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 06:18 PM

9. New York Times -- they're not conservative either.

Well I think it's a given that there are arms shipments from Libya to Syria going through Turkey.

And Clinton supported a CIA plan to arm Syrian rebels.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/08/us/politics/panetta-speaks-to-senate-panel-on-benghazi-attack.html?_r=0

And when you have indefinite warfare, (we are well passed the 10 year mark now,) you get increasing secrecy, and you get more and more corruption in your foreign policy apparatus.

Clinton may be in the clear. But it was not a strange question. And it was a question, not an accusation. Her seeming bewilderment at simply being asked about arms transfers strikes me as disingenuous.

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Response to BlakeA (Reply #9)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 06:29 PM

10. The NYT story says the CIA and Clinton supported a plan to arm Syrian rebels but Obama rejected it.

The White House, however, was worried about the risks of getting more deeply involved in the crisis in Syria. And ... the White House rebuffed the plan, rejecting the advice of most of the key members of Mr. Obama’s national security team.


It does not say that any transfer of arms actually occurred. That is a figment of furtive imaginations of Glenn Beck and Rand Paul, not of any liberal source.

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Response to pampango (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 06:56 PM

11. A good point on Obama

Well the dispute is over U.S. involvement in the shipments.

I don't know of anybody who claims shipments have not been made.

You are quite right. The official on the record statement is that Obama rejected U.S. involvement.

But then you read things like this from Business Insider -- again, another reputable source.

http://www.businessinsider.com/obama-admin-admits-to-covertly-sending-heavy-weapons-to-syrian-rebels-2012-12

And even if Obama himself is not doing something off the record, you have to wonder how much control a President has over institutions like the C.I.A. when indefinite warfare is allowed. 10 plus years and counting. Places like the C.I.A. need to be kept on a short leash. Under indefinite warfare, they've had virtually no leash at all.

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Response to BlakeA (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 08:12 PM

12. I'm glad you consider Business Insider (which uses reports from FOX News and WSJ)

in the story, as a reputable source. If that screams objective reporting to you, so be it.

Stevens' last meeting on Sept. 11 was with Turkish Consul General Ali Sait Akin, and a source told Fox News that Stevens was in Benghazi "to negotiate a weapons transfer in an effort to get SA-7 missiles out of the hands of Libya-based extremists."

Last month The Wall Street Journal reported that the State Department presence in Benghazi "provided diplomatic cover" for the now-exposed CIA annex. It follows that the "weapons transfer" that Stevens negotiated may have involved sending heavy weapons recovered by the CIA to the revolutionaries in Syria.

The dispute is indeed over US involvement in the shipments. Only Rand Paul, Glenn Beck, FOX News and the Wall Street Journal seem to think that the US was involved.

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Response to pampango (Original post)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 11:26 PM

13. Only the Wall Street Journal?

It is one thing to have a healthy skepticism of the Wall Street Journal.

It is quite another to claim it is fish wrap in the same category as Glenn Beck.

And Rand Paul did not make an accusation or come to a conclusion about possible United States involvement in gun running. He simply asked a question.

And it was not a question based on some grand conspiracy theory. Covert operations involving arms shipments go on all the time.

It's a perfectly reasonable inquiry.

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Response to BlakeA (Reply #13)

Thu Feb 7, 2013, 11:44 PM

14. FYI -- you have a fan.


At Thu Feb 7, 2013, 11:29 PM an alert was sent on the following post:

Only the Wall Street Journal?
http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=2333358

REASON FOR ALERT:

This post is disruptive, hurtful, rude, insensitive, over-the-top, or otherwise inappropriate. (See <a
ALERTER'S COMMENTS:

Malicious intruder

You served on a randomly-selected Jury of DU members which reviewed this post. The review was completed at Thu Feb 7, 2013, 11:41 PM, and the Jury voted 0-6 to LEAVE IT.

Juror #1 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: No explanation given
Juror #2 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: I don't see anything wrong with expressing this point of view in a respectful way.
Juror #3 voted to LEAVE IT ALONE and said: probably is a troll... I am sure he will be tomb stoned soon enough.... don't think this post reaches that level
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Thank you very much for participating in our Jury system, and we hope you will be able to participate again in the future.

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Response to BlakeA (Reply #13)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 06:49 AM

15. I do have a 'healthy skepticism' for the WSJ and FOX News. I assume most of us do.

As you said, covert operations of all sorts go on all the time. As you also said, " the dispute is over U.S. involvement in the shipments."

Obama rejected US involvement in arms shipments to the rebels in Syria. The evidence you present to defend Rand Paul's "perfectly reasonable inquiry" (which, if true, would mean that Obama is a liar or totally incompetent) is from a conservative publication, Business Insider, based on "reports" made to FOX News and the WSJ, picked up by Glenn Beck and repeated in a congressional hearing by the ultra-conservative Rand Paul.

That chain of events - 'reports' to conservative media which are then parroted by conservative commentators and other media outlets to give them the appearance of 'a perfectly reasonable inquiry' - has been used repeatedly by the right to discredit Obama and other Democrats. ('Reports' that he was born in Kenya, 'reports' that he is really a Muslim, etc., etc., etc. After those 'reports' have bounced around the conservative media for a while, a congressman can 'credibly' ask a 'reasonable' question of a Democrat based on these 'reports' which 'everyone' has heard.)

My guess is that there are liberals out there who want to know if the US has done what Beck, Paul and FOX News are stating. I doubt if many of them are going to view these guys with a feeling of appreciation that they are asking the tough, 'reasonable' questions of Democrats. I trust than any such investigation will not be based on 'reports' to the conservative media which are then repeated by Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, then presented to congress by that 'reasonable' inquisitor, Rand Paul.

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Response to pampango (Reply #15)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 09:18 PM

16. I'm not interested in the rantings of Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh

Obama doesn't have to admit covert programs in public statements. In fact, officials can lie about covert programs when giving testimony in open hearings. There is also a legal difference between U.S. "coordination" of arms shipments and "involvement" with them that can make things fuzzy. Add to that the possibility that the C.I.A. just might overstep its bounds at times.

There just wasn't anything wrong with Senator Paul's question.

And I don’t think the Think Progress writer appreciates the full dynamics.

He apparently doesn’t understand the position of many Republicans.

Many Republicans, with people like Hillary Clinton along for the ride, continue to be under neoconservative hypnosis. So if there was U.S. gun running to Syrian “rebels,” that is fine with them. They can hardly beat Obama over the head with it.

John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Joe Lieberman support the U.S. arming the Syrian "rebels."

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/20/world/middleeast/mccain-and-graham-suggest-helping-syrian-rebels.html?_r=0

As do Leon Panetta, Hillary Clinton, (as did General Petraeus.)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/pentagon-leaders-said-they-favored-arming-syrian-rebels/2013/02/07/aff3e10c-715a-11e2-b5f8-9a5465abcc30_story.html

If Rand Paul is a nut for being concerned about this kind of possible activity, then the other characters mentioned above are even nuttier than he is.

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