KHALIFA HEFTAR: Systemic Violations of US and International Law?

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A note from the Authors: This is a companion English legal opinion to our Arabic article on Mr. Heftar:  خليفة حفتر و “بلاك ووتر”…تعاون لإغراق ليبيا بالمرتزقة

 'Blackwater’s Founder Is Under Investigation for Money Laundering, Ties to Chinese Intel, and Brokering Mercenary Services' - The Intercept com

‘Blackwater’s Founder Is Under Investigation for Money Laundering, Ties to Chinese Intel, and Brokering Mercenary Services’ – The Intercept com

The focus of this op/ed/legal opinion will be the ramifications for Libya with the new revelations about “Libyan Government Officials” and “General Haftar, who is now the head of armed forces essentially in Libya”.   We will refer to ”Jeremy Scahill, co-founder of The Intercept, and Matthew Cole, the national security reporter for The Intercept, previously an investigative reporter with NBC.  Their new exposé is “Erik Prince in the Hot Seat: Blackwater’s Founder is Under Investigation for Money Laundering, Ties to Chinese Intel, and Brokering Mercenary Services.”

As we refer to two main sources, prior to reading this we suggest The Intercept exposé  and the subsequent Democracy Now! Interview with the authors Mathew Cole and Jeremy Scahill.   The 25 March 2016 interview was hosted by DEMOCRACY NOW!’s Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez.  Audio – Video – Transcript, Shorter Version.    Audio – Video – Transcript, Longer Version.

So important is this for the New Libya, we quote from the transcript of the short interview and the excerpts from The Intercept article.  We start with the background facts from which we provide a legal opinion.

 

BACKGROUND:

THE KHALIFA HEFTAR CONNECTION:

Mathew Cole the DN! Interview.

“And ultimately what he did was he went after meetings trying to broker a deal with a man by the name of General Haftar, who is now the head of armed forces essentially in Libya, but who has lived in the—he’s a dual U.S. citizen, lived in the U.S. for a long time and worked with the agency, the CIA, for many years.”

THE PLAN:
Mathew Cole DN! Interview:

“And so, come 2015, last year, where you had this crisis, a refugee crisis, as far as Europe is concerned, and certainly is very evident from the conflicts in the Middle East, they have all of these migrants washing up at their shores, and many of them get there from—leave Libya, regardless of whether they were from Libya. And so, now he’s starting to get a little bit more traction, because the—he wasn’t offering a mercenary force, he was offering a border control system. And what was—and, in fact, this is part of where our story began, in terms of where we picked it up, because what we were being told was, is that, yeah, he’s offering a border service, a border patrol, but what is really his intent is, is to build a mercenary force, and that this is just the fig leaf that allows him to do it, if he can sell this.”

The Intercept Article:

“By May 2015, Prince had rebranded himself and claimed a legitimate public reputation as FSG’s chairman. Without the approval of FSG’s management, he returned to Libya offering a freshly repackaged proposal, according to a person involved with the plan. Rather than a counterinsurgency force, Prince proposed a similar set of equipment and services, but with a new justification: The mercenaries would be there to engage in border security.

Prince’s Libya proposal called for supplying “armed” vehicles, helicopters, boats, and surveillance planes to help stem the tide of migrants trying to reach Europe.

According to an internal slide presentation, Prince’s private force would operate in Libya for the stated purpose of stopping the flow of refugees to Europe. Libya is one of the main routes for migrants trying to enter Europe from eastern Africa and parts of the central Sahel region.

Prince told colleagues that he received preliminary approval for the border force from a senior Libyan official, but would need to secure European support to loosen up restrictions on Libyan money and weapons, which would otherwise impede the plan, according to a person who discussed the proposal with Prince.

By exploiting European fears of a mass exodus from the Middle East and North Africa, Prince believed he could obtain political buy-in from Europe to bring a foreign force into Libya.

Prince arranged a meeting in Germany to pitch the plan and also shared the proposal with the Italian government, according to two people familiar with his drive to drum up support for Operation Lima. In Italy, Prince found only lukewarm interest, according to a person with knowledge of the effort. The Intercept was unable to confirm the German response.

While Prince’s re-invented Libya “border security” proposal was framed as a means of stopping migration, sources with knowledge of Prince’s business strategy allege that he had greater ambitions in that country. One person involved in Prince’s plan said the anti-migration force was seen as a vehicle for Prince to build a “backdoor” for so-called kinetic, or lethal, operations in Libya — a form of mercenary mission-creep. “During the day, you do interdiction of migrants — not kinetic,” said the person involved in the plan. “But those routes are used by weapons smugglers and drug traffickers at night. Insurgents too. Erik’s guys can then be offered to the Libyans to help with their other problems. That’s how you get kinetic.”

The plan called for a series of “border security” bases housing intelligence centers, helicopters, surveillance airplanes, and weaponized vehicles. Prince proposed a fully equipped, contemporary military force to be staffed in part by foreign mercenaries.

“This is Erik Prince using the refugee crisis in Europe in an effort to put mercenaries on the ground in Libya,” said Malcolm Nance, a former U.S. Naval officer who trained special operations forces and has extensive experience in Libya since the fall of Qaddafi. “They think they’re going to solve the migration problem with technology and a bunch of Western mercenaries?” Nance, who reviewed a copy of Prince’s plan provided by The Intercept, called the proposal “fantasy baseball.””

THE FUNDING:
Mathew Cole DN! Interview:

“There was a second complication, which is that Libyan government, because it’s essentially a divided government in a stalemate, something like a civil war, and it is a failed state, they’re financially frozen. They have a lot of money sitting in their central bank from all of their oil wealth, $150 to $180 billion, but no one will allow them to spend it, because no one’s sure which government is in power, and no one’s sure what—if whether the money being spent is legitimate. And so, Erik had this problem, which was he had the Libyans who were interested, but they couldn’t pay for anything. And so, the EU—partnering with the EU potentially was a way to get half of it funded from Europe and also to get the Europeans to help free up some of that money. And so, now Erik Prince was offering something, not just a mercenary force; he was acting as a banker. He was a real knight in shining armor for Libyan government officials who were sitting there with no money. And so, what we saw and what we could see from—and what our sources were saying was that what this was, was an opportunity, unlike the other proposals that he was offering, was the ability to be a banker for Libyan officials. And that is what started to get him into some real trouble.”

The Intercept Article:

“Prince’s May 2015 proposal for the Libya operations suggested, “Funding can be jointly shared by the EU and Libyan government from Libyan Investment Authority money frozen in European Banks.”

However, according to two people involved in the proposal, Prince grew frustrated with the failure to get European help in releasing the frozen Libyan funds, and began looking for other ways to get his border force funded.

By then, the U.S. government was already investigating Prince for possible weapons deals in Africa, according to the former senior U.S. intelligence official and the former intelligence official briefed on the matter. In the course of the surveillance operation for that investigation, U.S. intercepts revealed Prince appearing to discuss efforts to open bank accounts in China to help his Libyan associates.

“Money laundering for Libyan officials using a Chinese bank — that is the issue that pushed it over the edge” for the Justice Department, said the second former intelligence official.      AND

“It was not a personal account,” said the former U.S. intelligence official briefed on the investigation. “He was doing it for the purpose of what is considered now — in the investigation — money laundering on behalf of the Libyans.”

OTHER SOURCES:  Videos and Quotes:
Major Mohamed al Hijazi, Former Official spokesman, Operation Karama (until 2016): VIDEO

He alleges corruption of Mr. Heftar, his sons and tribesmen: destruction of homes, money laundering and theft of the military budget.  He also alleges that they bought property in Egypt, Jordan and Tunis.

الرائد محمد الحجازي يعلن عن إنفصاله عن عملية الكرامة ويتحدث عن تورط حفتر وقواته في الإغتيالات والإختفاء القصري والفساد

Sakar Garoushi- Head of the Libyan Air Force for the then “Internationally recognized” Government & Parliament in Baida/Tobruk discusses Major Hijazi’s comments on Khalifa Hafter’s sons Saddam and Khalid: (VIDEO See 2:26-2:39)

“The sons of the General (Saddam and Khalid) were assigned tasks outside of Libya for example if we buy weapons from a country…who we are going to send?   It is important that we send his son because his son will not steal the money and he will bring it back along with the weapons and I have witnessed that.”

صقر الجروشي يرد على إتهامات الحجازي ويعترف أن أبناء حفتر هم من يقومون بشراء السلاح وجلبه إلى ليبيا

UN Security Council Resolution 1970 of 2011:

“9. Decides that all Member States shall immediately take the necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, from or through their territories or by their nationals, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of arms and related materiel of all types, INCLUDING WEAPONS AND AMMUNITION, MILITARY VEHICLES and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and spare parts for the aforementioned, and technical assistance, training, financial or other assistance, related to military activities or the provision, maintenance or use of any arms and related materiel, INCLUDING THE PROVISION OF ARMED MERCENARY PERSONNEL whether or not originating in their territories, and decides further that this measure shall not apply to:”   

ANDREW ENGEL: The Washington institute for Near East Policy, “LIBYA’S CIVIL WAR Rebuilding the Country from the Ground Up” HERE & PDF (Page 3)

In Benghazi, for example, residents with ties to Tripolitania—particularly those from Misratah—are being targeted and forced out of the city. The Laithi district in particular has seen an exodus of families to Misratah. Hardline federalists seeking greater autonomy or even independence for Cyrenaica may have an interest in seeing the conflict continue in order drive out of Cyrenaica those with roots in Tripolitania, deepening east and west divi­sions.33

FREDERIC WEHREY: The New York Times: “Is Libya headed for another Gaddafi?”

“But there is another dynamic at work. Many of the pro-Hifter forces — their leaders say anywhere from 40 to 80 percent — are in fact neighborhood militias. The struggle in some areas has taken on a vicious familial and even ethnic quality, marked by the settling of ancient scores, between the east’s Bedouin Arab tribes and families from western Libya, some of whom have distant ties to Turkey. “This is about fighting the Turks and Freemasons,” the leader of one tribal militia told me. Another described children as young as 14 or 15 fighting in his ranks. I heard stories of summary executions of prisoners, forcible eviction of families and destruction of property.”

 

Based on the above research by The Intercept’s Jeremy Scahill, Mathew Cole, Democracy Now! as well as ours, we are able to provide the following legal opinion.

 

 

Khalifa Heftar: A Legal Opinion

 

Heftar’s possible violation of UNSC Resolution 1970

In Paragraph 9 of Resolution 1970, the UNSC ruled that

“all Member States shall immediately take the necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, from or through their territories or by their nationals, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of arms and related materiel of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and spare parts for the aforementioned, and technical assistance, training, financial or other assistance, related to military activities or the provision, maintenance or use of any arms and related materiel, including the provision of armed mercenary personnel whether or not originating in their territories.”

Heftar’s possible violation of UNSC Resolution 1970 paragraph 9 for the use of “armed mercenary personnel”

As noted by Mathew Cole in the Democracy Now! interview, Erik Prince, founder of the controversial American security services company Blackwater has attempted sell military services to Libya since 2011.  The proposal for Prince’s services has allegedly included mercenaries.  In his attempts to make a deal, Prince approached various parties, including the EU, Mr. Heftar and Libyan “government officials”.   Given Mr. Heftar’s proximity to and the fact that Mathew Cole noted Libyan “government officials” by deduction, we must conclude that we are discussing “government officials” of the former “internationally recognized” government in Tobruk/Baida.

In his efforts, Prince met with Heftar and his Libyan counterparts on several occasions in the attempt to broker mercenary services.  The attempt to sell mercenary services to the “government officials” would have been successful but for the inability for the “government officials”  to secure payment for Prince’s services.  The net result according to The Intercept article, is both sides involvement in money laundering.  Due to Heftar’s links as the Head of the “Libyan National Army” (“LNA”) of the former “internationally recognized” government of Tobruk, one may speculate the extent of Heftar’s participation in the recruitment of mercenaries.  This speculation was confirmed by Mathew Cole, who stated that “the goal of proposing [the plan was] to build a mercenary force.”

If Mathew Cole’s assertions are true, Heftar as the contact in the negotiations with Erik Prince for the recruitment of mercenaries would be in violation of Resolution 1970’s Paragraph 9 provision which condemns the use of “armed mercenary personnel whether or not originating in their territories.”  Due to his position as Head of the LNA, Heftar may also be found indirectly liable for the attempt to supply mercenaries to Libya along with the former “internationally recognized” government.

One may further speculate that resolution 1970 imposes the duty upon the U.S. to prevent its citizen, Mr. Khalifa Heftar, from violating the provisions of the Resolution 1970’s Paragraph 9.

Violation of Resolution 1970 Paragraph 9’s “indirect supply, sale or transfer of . . . weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment.”

In a video of an official press conference, Head of the Air Force of the former “internationally-recognized” government of Libya, Mr. Sakar Garoushi comments on the role played by Khalifa Heftar’s two sons, Khalid and Saddam in their father’s military actions.   At 2:26 – 2:39 of the video, Garoushi alleges that Mr. Khalid and Mr. Saddam Heftar were sent abroad to purchase weapons for their father, Khalifa Heftar.  Garoushi noted the importance of sending The Brothers Heftar to purchase weapons was due to the fact that they “will not steal the money” and that they will return with the weapons. Garoushi ends this point by claiming he was a witness to these acts.   Sakar Garoushi video:

“The sons of the General (Saddam and Khalid) were assigned tasks outside of Libya for example if we buy weapons from a country…who we are going to send?   It is important that we send his son because his son will not steal the money and he will bring it back along with the weapons and I have witnessed that.”

The act of purchasing weapons by The Brothers Heftar on behalf of Papa Haftar would be a violation of Article 9 of Resolution 1970, as it is an “indirect supply, sale or transfer of . . . weapons and ammunition.”  The Brothers Heftar would be in violation for the “supply,” while Papa Heftar would be liable for the “transfer” of weapons and ammunition.

 

Violation of U.S. Anti-money laundering laws 18 USC 1956

Although Erik Prince repeatedly attempted to broker his mercenary and “paramilitary” services, Prince also acted as a “banker” for his Libyan associates due to their frozen assets and their inability to pay for his services.  Prince is currently under investigation for suspicious anti-money laundering activities committed in Macau.  In Macau, Prince was denied the possibility of opening an account at a European-connected bank for his Libyan associates.  The application was rejected after it was reviewed at the bank’s headquarters.  Prince later returned to Macau and opened a bank account at the Bank of China which is claimed to be “on behalf of a business” with his Libyan associates.  As China has been recently named a “money laundering machine” or “money-laundering hub,” suspicions may be raised as to the nature and reasoning behind opening the bank account.  A former U.S. intelligence official claims that Prince was “money laundering for Libyan officials using a Chinese Bank.”   Was the reason for the denial due to the fact that the funds were illicit and/or violated the terms of Resolution 1970?

Heftar’s possible violation of U.S. Anti-money laundering laws
18 U.S.C 1956 concerning the laundering of monetary instruments grants U.S. courts the right to prosecute

“whoever, knowing that the property involved in a financial transaction represents the proceeds of some form of unlawful activity, conducts or attempts to conduct such a financial transaction which in fact involves the proceeds of specified unlawful activity . . . with the intent to promote the carrying on of specified unlawful activity.”

18 U.S.C 1956 (a)(2)(A) allows U.S. courts to prosecute

[w]hoever transports, transmits, or transfers, or attempts to transport, transmit, or transfer a monetary instrument or funds from a place in the United States to or through a place outside the United States or to a place in the United States from or through a place outside the United States . . . with the intent to promote the carrying on of specified unlawful activity.”

In furtherance of the America power to enforce its anti-money laundering laws, 18 U.S.C 1956 (f) grants U.S. courts extraterritoriality for violations of the section committed by U.S. citizens abroad if the value of the instruments or funds exceeds $10,000.

In accordance with Paragraph 9 of resolution 1970, the attempt to recruit mercenaries and the indirect supply, sale and transfer of weapons and ammunition constitutes an “unlawful activity.” As Mathew Cole noted Mr. Heftar is a dual US/Libyan citizen, similarly one could speculate on his sons’ U.S. citizenship.  As such, one could speculate whether both successful and unsuccessful attempts made by the Heftars to transfer money to commit any of the violations of paragraph 9 (recruit mercenaries and transfer weapons and ammunition) would make them liable for violations of U.S. anti-money laundering laws.

The Heftars would also be liable for violations of U.S. anti-money laundering laws if transfers of monetary instruments were made from U.S. territory.  Seeing as the Heftars have been reported to regularly visit their home state of Virginia, people may question whether transfers were made from the U.S or to the U.S.

Finally, the Heftars transfer of instruments or funds while abroad could grant the courts extraterritorial jurisdiction to hear a case against them.  Given the price of weapons and recruitment of mercenaries, it is more likely than not that the instruments and funds were of a value greater than $10,000.

 

Heftar’s possible violation of the U.S. International Traffic of Arms Regulation and the UNSC Resolution 2095

In order to sell arms in Libya, U.S. persons must be in compliance with both the International Traffic of Arms Regulation (“ITAR”) and the UN Security Council Resolution 2095.

ITAR restrictions on the exporting U.S. military products including weapons

Through the ITAR, the U.S. government regulates the sale or transfer of technology or articles listed on the U.S. Munitions list to a non-U.S. person. The Arms Export and Control Act states that the U.S. munitions list contains all military articles which the POTUS decides to regulate “in furtherance of world peace and the security and foreign policy of the United States.” In order to sell any “defense articles” listed on the U.S. Munitions List (including tanks, firearms, ammunition) or military services, a U.S. citizen is required to obtain the necessary authorization from the U.S. government.

The legislation extends to the “reexport or retransfer” of “defense articles” whose transfer the U.S. State Department has not authorized by either license, written approval or through exemption.  §120.19

127.1 of the ITAR states that it is unlawful for any U.S. citizen:

“To reexport or retransfer or attempt to reexport or retransfer any defense article, technical data, or defense service from one foreign end-user, end-use, or destination to another foreign end-user, end-use, or destination for which a license or written approval is required by this subchapter, including, as specified in §126.16(h) and §126.17(h) of this subchapter, any defense article, technical data, or defense service that was exported from the United States without a license pursuant to any exemption under this subchapter.”

Violations of the ITAR carry the penalty of ten years imprisonment, $1,000,000 in fines, or both.

It has been speculated that Prince has violated ITAR for attempting to provide paramilitary services without U.S. government approval. Due to Heftar’s connections with Prince, one may speculate whether Heftar has violated ITAR as well.  If the weapons The Brothers Heftar have allegedly purchased are listed on the U.S. Munitions list, then the Heftars could be found in violation of § 127.1of the ITAR.   Both The Brothers Heftar and Papa Heftar could be found in violation of the reexport or re-transfer of U.S. weapons without U.S. government approval.   It should be investigated whether any member of the family possesses the prerequisite ITAR license to re-transfer or reexport.   The Heftars could be found guilty of a violation of ITAR for failure to obtain a license or approval which may result in 10 years of imprisonment and $1,000,000 fine, or both.

Heftar’s potential violation of paragraph 10 of the UNSC resolution 2095

Paragraph 10 of the UNSC resolution 2095 stipulates that restrictions on providing military services to Libya will not apply to the sale, supply and transfer “of non-lethal military equipment, and the provision of any technical assistance, training or financial assistance, when intended solely for security or disarmament assistance to the Libyan government . . .”

According to The Intercept, Prince’s plan presented to the EU on “border security” to stabilize Libya’s emigration problem proposed the use of “intelligence centers, helicopters, surveillance airplanes and weaponized vehicles.”  It is debatable whether “weaponized vehicles” can be considered as “non-lethal military equipment.”  Due to his position as the Head of the LNA with the former “internationally-recognized” government, Heftar should be investigated for his connection with Prince’s plan and a potential violation of paragraph 10 of the UNSC resolution 2095.

 

Heftar’s potential violation of paragraph 13 of UNSC Resolution 2009

Paragraph 13(a) of UNSC Resolution 2009 states that the arms embargo shall not apply to the supply, sale or transfer of:

“arms and related materiel of all types, including technical assistance, training, financial and other assistance, intended solely for security or disarmament assistance to the Libyan authorities and notified to the Committee in advance and in the absence of a negative decision by the Committee within five working days of such a notification.”

Even though it may appear that supplying Libya’s  “government officials” with equipment and assistance in the form of “intelligence centers” complies with Paragraph 13 for security purposes, the alleged purpose of the plan may violate Paragraph 13.

According to The Intercept,

“one person involved in Prince’s plan said the anti-migration force was seen as a vehicle for Prince to build a “backdoor” for so-called kinetic, or lethal, operations in Libya — a form of mercenary mission-creep. ‘During the day, you do interdiction of migrants — not kinetic,’ said the person involved in the plan. ‘But those routes are used by weapons smugglers and drug traffickers at night. Insurgents too. Erik’s guys can then be offered to the Libyans to help with their other problems. That’s how you get kinetic.’”

Mathew Cole stated in the Democracy Now! interview that “the goal of proposing [the plan was] to build a mercenary force.”

One may speculate whether Prince’s boarder security motives and the use of mercenary forces are in compliance with paragraph 13 of the UNSC resolution 2009. The use of a mercenary forces may not be construed as “security or disarmament,” due to questionable militarily actions of troops under the command of Mr. Heftar.   Due to Heftar’s meetings with Prince, and Heftar’s position with the LNA, Heftar may also be in violation of paragraph 13(a) of resolution 2009.

 

Possible Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes committed by forces under the control of Heftar

Article 7(d) of the ICC’s Rome Statute on Crimes against humanity defines “deportation or forcible transfer of population” as a

“forced displacement of the persons concerned by expulsion or other coercive acts from the area in which they are lawfully present, without grounds permitted under international law.”

Article 8 (2)(a)of the Rome Statute section states that “Grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, namely, any of the following acts against persons or property protected under the provisions of the relevant Geneva Convention” are War Crimes and  includes the:

“extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly.”

In his 2015 article titled “Libya’s Civil War Rebuilding the Country from the Ground Up,” Andrew Engel stated:

“As Libyan national identity contin­ues to devolve to the level of region, tribe, and town, violence has also become more intimate, especially in Benghazi, Darnah, the Nafusa Mountains, and the country’s southwest. In Benghazi, for example, residents with ties to Tripolitania—particularly those from Misratah—are being targeted and forced out of the city. The Laithi district in particular has seen an exodus of families to Misratah. Hardline federalists seeking greater autonomy or even independence for Cyrenaica may have an interest in seeing the conflict continue in order drive out of Cyrenaica those with roots in Tripolitania, deepening east and west divi­sions.33

Frederic Wehrey, an expert on Libyan Military Affairs, in his October 2015 The New York Times opinion piece, “Is Libya Headed for Another Qaddafi? stated:

“But there is another dynamic at work. Many of the pro-Hifter forces — their leaders say anywhere from 40 to 80 percent — are in fact neighborhood militias. The struggle in some areas has taken on a vicious familial and even ethnic quality, marked by the settling of ancient scores, between the east’s Bedouin Arab tribes and families from western Libya, some of whom have distant ties to Turkey. “This is about fighting the Turks and Freemasons,” the leader of one tribal militia told me. Another described children as young as 14 or 15 fighting in his ranks. I heard stories of summary executions of prisoners, forcible eviction of families and destruction of property.”

The forcible evictions and destruction of property constitute both crimes against humanity and war crimes under the Rome Statute.  We encourage an investigation of the involvement in these acts by forces under the command of Mr. Heftar.

Reporting violations of the Rome Statute to the ICC – How to prosecute Heftar should Libya choose

For violations of the Rome Statute, Article 15 grants the Prosecutor the right to “initiate investigations proprio motu on the basis of information on crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court.”

Article 14 of the Rome Statute concerns the Court’s jurisdiction to hear a referral by a State Party:

“A State Party may refer to the Prosecutor a situation in which one or more crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court appear to have been committed requesting the Prosecutor to investigate the situation for the purpose of determining whether one or more specific persons should be charged with the commission of such crimes.”

 

A Conclusion:
FAIEZ SERRAJ’s INITIAL DOMESTIC SUPPORT is based on Strategic Semantics  The New Libya Report on Google+  HERE

“FAIEZ SERRAJ’s INITIAL DOMESTIC SUPPORT is based on Strategic Semantics”  The New Libya Report on Google+ HERE

Mr. Heftar’s tenure as the Head of the Libyan National Army is no longer viable

Given the research complied from The Intercept’s Jeremy Scahill and Mathew Cole – what is be done with the divisive Mr. Heftar.   HISTORY has already written Mr. Heftar’s footnote as well as those emphatic, opportunistic legislators, academics, media outlets and international state actors who support him, despite this overwhelming evidence.  The real question is…

How will HISTORY record those who in power who knew and did nothing.

 

To Mr. Serraj,

Your legitimacy does not derive from a Libyan popular or parliamentary vote nor from the UN Security Council Resolution 2259 as the West touts.   Rather, as WE know, your legitimacy is teetering on how you handle Mr. Heftar.  Coddle him and you may need more than an EU-funded “civilian security mission” to ‘back” you.   In your press conference, your choice to mention “Daesh” – not the Heftar catchall term of “Islamist” indicates a shift from the Heftar dogma.  The Libyan people were waiting for this strategic clue.  Thus, the peace and hence, your legitimacy.

For your domestic legitimacy to continue to flourish – excise the boil that is Khalifa Heftar.  It may take months but to demonstrate your promises of security and stability are more than words – begin by declaring a complete ceasefire and ORDER HIM PERSONALLY to halt his destruction of Benghazi by – among other things – barrel bombs.   As Mr. Heftar has announced on numerous occasions, the military operations he leads does not fall under the purview of politics – predictably he will not stop.  When he refuses to cease his destruction of Libya, your must refer the alleged crimes committed by forces under the command of Mr. Heftar to the ICC Prosecutor for an investigation.   Failing to confront and/or stop Mr. Heftar, will see your emerging domestic legitimacy evaporate.

We, the Authors have discussed this in greater detail our Google+ op/ed: “FAIEZ SERRAJ’s INITIAL DOMESTIC SUPPORT is based on Strategic Semantics”

To the EU, UN and International Community:

Mr. Heftar’s mentality of a “Temporary Military Council is a vestige of a bygone age that cannot supplant in Libya ever again – the social media savvy youth will neither accept it nor allow it.    Your history has been littered with the carcasses of foreign military leaders who, though once friends, became embarrassing or just loss their usefulness: Augusto Pinochet, Saddam Hussein, Rafael Trujillo, Diệm, Muammar Gaddafi, and dozens of African Leaders.   Mr. Heftar is such a leader.   Sacrifice him on the pyre to build a New Libya State.  It will definitively demonstrate that you are an honest broker – working for the interest of the Libyan people.  However, if you choose to decline, we predict that these revelations will fester along with the embarrassment of your affiliation with Mr. Heftar.   Therefore, based on these revelations, we encourage the EU, the UN Security Council and its ICC Prosecutor by the power granted by Article 15 of the Rome Statute to initiate an investigation for the alleged crimes committed by forces under the command of Mr. Heftar in Libya.

To the United States’ Department of Justice:

As Mr. Prince -a US citizen – is the subject of a multi-departmental investigation about Operation Lima, so should there be a multi-state investigation of Mr. Heftar and his sons – as US citizens – for their participation in the SAME operation.

 

 

 

Parts of this op/ed article is reproduced in accordance with Section 107 of title 17 of the Copyright Law of the United States relating to fair-use and is for the purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.

 

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