Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 1, 2011

PALLING AROUND WITH 'AN INTERNATIONAL TERRORIST'.... During a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing yesterday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), not surprisingly, pressed Defense Secretary Bob Gates on pursuing regime change in Libya.

Graham, who hasn't exactly been subtle about this, insisted to Gates that Moammar Gadhafi is "an international terrorist" and an "unlawful enemy combatant." The Pentagon chief patiently explained that there's a U.N.-backed coalition, and to keep intact, the U.S. will not target the dictator directly.

And while don't expect Graham to back off, it is worth noting that he has the same problem John McCain has -- just 18 months ago, Graham cozied up to Gadhafi, even visiting with him at the dictator's home in Tripoli.

McCain, for example, considers Gadhafi a modern-day Hitler, with "American blood on his hands," but that didn't stop McCain from personally visiting with Gadhafi in August 2009 to discuss delivery of American military equipment to the Libyan regime.

Justin Elliott noted yesterday that Lindsey Graham has the same problem.

Again, the argument that the U.S. should kill Gadhafi because he supported terrorism ignores the past decade of improving ties between the U.S. government and Libya, which included high-profile visits from members of the Bush administration and a deal in which Libya paid money to families of Lockerbie victims. Graham himself should know this, given his meeting with Gadhafi in 2009.

According to a WikiLeaks cable describing the meeting, Graham was on board with improving ties -- and even helping send Libya military equipment -- with this "international terrorist":

"Senators McCain and Graham conveyed the U.S. interest in continuing the progress of the bilateral relationship and pledged to try to resolve the C130 issue with Congress and Defense Secretary Gates."

There's even a video of Graham shaking hands with the international terrorist. If the South Carolina senator wanted to try to strangle the monster right there on the spot, instead of talking about U.S. aid to the guy, that was his chance.

I'm curious if Graham has simply forgotten about this, or if he's just hoping everyone else has.

Steve Benen 12:35 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (17)

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Have any members of the media -- anyone -- asked either of them about this?

Posted by: South Florida Lawyers on April 1, 2011 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

"Senator Graham, what say you?"

"Well, understand, it was all a part of mine and John's plan. You see, once we offered to sell him weapons, and he agreed to buy them, well, then we knew the SOB was a mass murdering bastard! So, we got him right where we want him - except our weak on National Security President doesn't want to kill him. Oh, why, oh why, President Obama, do you hate America?"

Posted by: c u n d gulag on April 1, 2011 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

And this will garner how much MSM time?

Now if in 2008, a certain black Senator had been videoed shaking hands with Gadhafi, that's all the media world would be talking about for the next 5 weeks.

Thought experiment:
Suppose McCain's little military aid expedition had occurred in 2008 and he actually won the Presidency. The U.S. would look pretty silly right now bombing it's own equipment that the sitting U.S. President shook hands over a deal on just a couple years prior.

Posted by: SWENXOF on April 1, 2011 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

south florida lawyers.....

No, no one in the collective corporate media has asked either of them about this, and they won't. that would destroy their own going agenda that props this shits stains up as much as they can, putting them on their shows to spew forth the corporate agenda .......

Posted by: stormskies on April 1, 2011 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

Lindsay was just complimenting Ghadifi on his cute shoes, fabulously chic parasol, and stunning use of color in his decor.

Posted by: Eeyore on April 1, 2011 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, Eeyore- naughty, naughty burro!

Posted by: DAY on April 1, 2011 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Obama is quietly remaking the map of the world, politically, and no one in this country understands or appreciates it.

Republicans have been responsible for maintaining the dictatorships in N. Africa and the Middle East. It is their theory that 'strong men' (aka dictators) are necessary to keep an unruly populace under control, even if doing so makes some of that population into terrorists, since that only excuses the use of dictatorial powers all the more.

The Republicans, that is, have a very short-term view; whatever guarantees the money flowing to them from the oil states is fine by them.

Obama, it seems to me, is moving against that. And he has caught the Republicans flat-footed and off guard, a circumstance so unusual that the beltway media and most other commentators don't see it.

Posted by: jjm on April 1, 2011 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

Let's not forget, Obama met with Gadaffi. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1198756/Brown-shakes-hands-Gaddafi-hold-historic-meeting-G8-summit.html

Posted by: MelissainKC on April 1, 2011 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Lindsey told me he can't remember half the guys he's blown, so why would you expect him to remember all the guys he's shook hands with?

Posted by: DC hustler on April 1, 2011 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

Remember when FHTG Sarah Palin slammed Obama for "Palling around with terrorists?" Someone should do a mashup of that sound clip over pictures of "Get Off My Lawn" McCain and "Ooh, your chapeau is to DIE FOR" Graham shaking hands with Ghadafi.

Posted by: Eeyore on April 1, 2011 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

MelissainKC, did you read the article or just look at the pictures? There is a difference between shaking hands and selling arms.

Posted by: Danp on April 1, 2011 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Lindsey, nobody is running around calling you an "Unlawful Closet Homosexual", so why don't you dial back your claws and put them back in your little pink handbag, please?

Posted by: Trollop on April 1, 2011 at 2:15 PM | PERMALINK


That was part of the G8 summit. You can't avoid meeting other attendees.

That isn't like flying to a dictators country for the express purpose of selling arms.

Posted by: bdop4 on April 1, 2011 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

The above comments mocking Graham for his speculated gayness are from lefties right?

Would the same kind of comments, from righties, aimed at a Dem politician cause as little discomfort?

The usual defense from lefties is that the righty-gay target votes for gay-unfriendly policies, therefore should be called out for the closeted nancy-boy that he is. But I think you can read the above comments, and those of the genre, and see something else going on.

Personally, I think nearly all of us have sexist, racist, and homo/hetero-hating tendencies, and more openness and less hypocrisy *might* be a good thing. (Or it might be a horrible idea).

As it is, we pretend only knuckle-dragging Conservatives say these things, and then when the subject is Sarah Palin or Michelle Malkin or Ann Coulter or Andrew Sullivan, we hedge and claim the derogatory comments are just because the target is so deserving, and the ammunition so handy.

I don't think such comments are necessarily, or even usually, *hateful* -- just part of the normal, tribal, in-and-out group dynamics of human nature. But I bet more lefties disagree.

Posted by: flubber on April 1, 2011 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK


I'm gay so it's like the n-word while black plus, speculum maybe but speculated? Really?!

Political correctness and $5 will get you something, but not much!

Posted by: Trollop on April 1, 2011 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

I've said it so many times my friends know it by heart and don't want to hear it, but when the US supports the dictators or puts dictators in office in the mideast and then we sell them military goods, the countries in the mideast should be prepared for the US to attack them and call them evil raghead terrorists. The only country we won't attack is Israel. Oh, and Saudi Arabia, even tho that's where the main terrorists, bin ladin and most of the guys that flew those planes on 9/11 come from.

Posted by: Schtick on April 1, 2011 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

Flubber: I'm an out of the closet middle aged lazy federal bureaucrat fag. Pardon me if my pissiness about closeted hypocrites bothers people, but I'm bitter because I am about to get sent home with no pay and I can't put my husband on my government health insurance because Sen Graham calls that a threat to the sanctity of traditional marriage while sipping cosmos at gay bars in chic gay resorts. So yes, I'm a bit cranky. :)

Posted by: Eeyore on April 1, 2011 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK



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