The Libyan Gift That Keeps Giving: Sarkozy’s Turn

In the last few days, Tony Blair has developed Alberto Gonzales-like levels of forgetfulness with regards his flip-flops on Libya as he tries to answer questions about the Abdel Hakim Belhaj rendition.

But it looks like Blair won’t be the only European figure who may soon regret his inconsistency with regards to Libya.

Tucked into an article about US Judge Ricardo Urbina’s decision that British MPs couldn’t use FOIA to get information on British collaboration in our renditions is this tidbit directed as Sarkozy:

Previously unpublished documents show that French secret agents regularly spied on dissidents, and passed on information which led to them being captured and killed.

This all took place while the French President was still calling Gaddafi the “Brother Leader” and treating him as an honoured guest in Paris.

The damning revelations are contained in 5,600 pages of notes uncovered in archives in Sabah, in the south of Libya.

Jomode Elie Getty, a Libyan living in France, said he found a report dated 13 June 2007 that proved a surveillance operation had been organised against him and other dissidents by France’s secret service.

Another intelligence report, filed just before Gaddafi arrived on a state visit to France a few months later, read that it was necessary to “listen to contacts, to identify them and track them down” and to “prevent anti-Libyan acts”. The operation was co-ordinated by loyal Gaddafi lieutenant Bashir Saleh who, intriguingly, was “rescued” by the French during the rebellion and is now under 24-hour protection in Paris.

Then there’s the call from Saif al-Islam for Sarkozy to give back €50 million allegedly laundered from from Moammar Qaddafi through Swiss and Panamanian bank accounts to a key Sarkozy aide back in 2005.

“Sarkozy must first give back the money he took from Libya to finance his electoral campaign. We funded it. We have all the details and are ready to reveal everything,” said Saif-al Islam, currently held in Libya following the overthrow of his father’s regime.

“The first thing we want this clown to do is to give the money back to the Libyan people. He was given the assistance so he could help them, but he has disappointed us. Give us back our money.”

I’m not entirely sure why these EuroNeocons believed they’d be able to flip-flop their support like this and get away with it.

But given the thoroughly uncritical guarantees Libya backers offered that nothing could go wrong, I must confess to a bit of amusement.

1 reply
  1. PeasantParty says:


    I remember the news that France had been supportive of Libya when the uprisings started. I had no idea that Libya was footing elections too.
    Do you know if there is more to the France/Libya relationship or controlling interest in the country? I understand that Libya held a lot of sway with their oil exports, but these themes are something that should be looked at closer.

    With John Edwards being targeted by the DOJ for misusing campaign funds, now I am really getting the eyes peeled for foreign campaign influences here in the US!

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