NEW YORK – As former Sectary of State Hillary Clinton prepares to testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, new documentary evidence of a secret State Department gun-running operation is adding fuel to the controversy over the Department of Justice prosecution of arms dealer Marc Turi.
A member of the independent Citizens Commission on Benghazi claims the publication Tuesday of new evidence that the State Department under Hillary Clinton’s leadership approved a California company to deliver arms to Libya with the goal of ousting Moammar Gadhafi exposes the hypocrisy of prosecuting Turi.
Turi believed he also had State Department approval for arranging a similar clandestine arms shipment to Libya in 2011.
“At long last, some of the details about Secretary Clinton’s Department of State gun-running operation to the al-Qaida-and-Muslim-Brotherhood-dominated Libyan rebels are beginning to emerge,” said Clare Lopez, a member of the Citizens’ Commission who served as a career operations officer with the CIA and is currently vice president for research at the Washington-based Center for Security Policy.
“It’s long been known that under President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton, the U.S. switched sides in the global war on terror, but the White House successfully concealed much about its agenda to replace secular North African leaders with Muslim Brotherhood regimes – until now,” she said.
The Washington Times reported Tuesday that two documents picked up in Benghazi after the Sept. 11, 2012, attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens show diplomats at the compound were tracking several clandestine State Department-authorized shipments of weapons.
One of those shipments was to be delivered to the Transitional National Council, the Libyan movement seeking to oust Gadhafi.
The Washington Times reported an end-use certificate from the State Department’s office of trade defense controls proved Dolarian Capital Inc. of Fresno, California, had been licensed to ship to Libya a weapons cache that included rocket launchers, grenade launchers, 7,000 machine guns and 8 million rounds of ammunition.
The newspaper further reported that Dolarian Capital had received State Department approval in 2011 to ship weapons to Libya via Kuwait, only to have the State Department inexplicably revoke the license prior to the shipment.
Lopez said the State Department’s approval of the shipment “attests to the reality of the United States government’s clandestine gun-running operation, sometimes referred to as ‘Zero Footprint.’”
“That Marc Turi, who also followed legal protocol in submitting requests to provide arms to the Libyan rebels, should be subject to prosecution by the Department of Justice over an alleged paperwork charge – even though in the end he never shipped any weapons to Libya at all – is a travesty, when the actual providers, the arms dealers who actually did supply weapons to the Libyan al-Qaida militias, with U.S. and NATO approval, have scarcely even been named, much less charged with any crime,” Lopez said.
“It is long past time that Secretary Clinton and the entire Obama administration be held accountable to the American people – and the families of those who gave their lives in Benghazi – for these policies,” Lopez concluded.
As WND previously reported, on Feb. 11, 2014, the Department of Justice indicted Turi for allegedly making false statements in filing to obtain a license to supply weapons to Libya.
WND has further reported that Turi’s defense attorney, Jean-Jacques Cabou of the law firm Perkins Coie LLP in Arizona, intends to establish at trial that Turi was encouraged by the State Department to engage in the actions for which he is now charged. Turi arranged to ship weapons to Libya via third-party countries to circumvent the U.N. arms embargo.
The Department of Justice agrees with defense counsel Cabou that no shipment of weapons by Turi ever occurred.
The Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi has alleged the State Department under Hilary Clinton’s direction was seeking to engage U.S. arms dealers in a secret scheme to deliver arms to Libya via intermediary countries such as Kuwait to mask the Obama administration’s apparent violation of U.N. Resolution 1973. Passed March 17, 2011, the resolution imposed a no-fly zone over Libya with the goal of establishing an embargo on arms shipments.
In July, WND reported a video showing the chief spokesman for the Gadhafi regime displaying to reporters a cache of weapons and ammunition seized from Qatar supported the Citizens Commission contention that the Obama administration “changed sides in the war on terror” in 2011 by facilitating the delivery of weapons to the al Qaida-dominated rebel militias attempting to overthrow Gadhafi.