From REAL CLEAR POLITICS:
BLITZER: The celebration continuing on the streets of Libya, throughout the country. We’re following the breaking news this hour, the death of the Libyan dictator, Moammar Gadhafi. I talked about it earlier with Republican senator John McCain, the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and I asked whether the Obama administration deserves any credit.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R), ARIZONA: I congratulate the British and French for their leadership and their effort. And so it’s been a significant success and we should celebrate today.
BLITZER: But the U.S. played a significant role in the NATO operation, not just the British and the French, Senator McCain, the first few weeks, first two weeks in particular, U.S. Tomahawk cruise missiles and U.S. air refueling capabilities. The Obama administration, from your perspective, deserves a lot of credit for this, as well, don’t they?
MCCAIN: Oh, I think they deserve credit. The fact is, if we had declared a no-fly zone early on, we would have never had — Gadhafi would have fallen at the beginning.
The second thing is that if we had used our capabilities, the A10 and the AC130, this would have been over a long time ago. But I think the administration deserves credit, but I especially appreciate the leadership of the British and French in this — in carrying out this success.
Anyone else sick of this bitter shithead who can’t deal with the fact that he’ll never live up to the legacies of his daddy and grandfather and that he had to marry a millionaire’s daughter in order to have a career? He wants to diss President Obama, but he’s also dissing the American troops. By the way, Captain Underpants didn’t mention his trip to Libya to visit Muammar Gadaffy Shoulda Ducked in August 2009. Here’s a picture of the historic meeting. Lindseypoo Graham was also along for the trip.
From THINK PROGRESS SECURITY:
The last major stronghold of deposed Col. Muammar Qaddafi fell today just two months after Libyan rebels seized Tripoli, the seat of his government. Qaddafi himself captured and killed with the fighting, marking the end of a line for a eccentric and colorful character who was by turns vilified in the U.S. and cozied up to, depending on which way the winds blow. No one exemplifies the extremes of favoring and denouncing Qaddafi like U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). Just 10 days after the first major national demonstrations — and violent reprisals from Qaddafi’s forces — McCain called on the Obama administration to arm the Libyan rebels.
But McCain was not always so clearly opposed to Qaddafi. In the mid-2000s, when the Iraq war began to fall apart and the Bush administration and its hawkish allies were looking for any silver lining, Qaddafi came in from the cold. Libya voluntarily gave up its weapons of mass destruction programs and Western companies poured money into the North African country’s abundant oil fields. By the late-2000s, the détente was in full swing, with visits to Libya by high-level U.S. politicians, including McCain. On his August 2009 visit there, McCain issued a now-infamous tweet:
A diplomatic cable about the visit released by the transparency group WikiLeaks this year explained that in meetings with Qaddafi and his son Muatassim, Libya’s national security chief, McCain said he would help the Libyan government get non-lethal military equipment from the U.S. — something Congress had been resistant to.
After ThinkProgress covered the cable, McCain told Foreign Policy that he had been “non-committal” on helping Qaddafi and that he “never did a single thing to follow up.” But the cable never even mentions the Libyan people or the well-known human rights abuses of Qaddafi’s brutal regime.
Nonetheless, the lengths McCain went to in order to portray himself to Qaddafi as an ally speaks for itself. Juxtaposed with his constant urging for U.S. escalation against Qaddafi since February, the 2009 visit demonstrates just how politics — and not principled opposition to tyranny — were able to guide McCain’s stances on Qaddafi and Libya.
(Video at THINK PROGRESS link)