John McCain has taken a hard line stance against Libya’s Moammar Ghadafi over the last several months but that wasn’t always the case, according to a cable released by WikiLeaks, McCain at the urging of Moammar’s fifth son and national security adviser promised to provide the regime with military supplies, including new aircraft as late as 2009.
According to Politico, while McCain wasn’t alone during that meeting, with Senators Lindsey Graham, Susan Collins and Joe Lieberman it was McCain who did most of the negotiating.
During his talk with Moammar’s son he did say Libya needed to give up weapons of mass destruction, but also said ties with the US were strong and he went on to thank Libya for their hard stance on terrorism.
For his part Lindsey Graham tried to cover up the meetings discussion in May, noting that the talks didn’t go anywhere:
“We never did anything,” he said. “I didn’t feel comfortable pushing the Pentagon to provide military aircraft to Libya. None of us did.”
It’s not the first time the U.S. would have armed someone who eventually became an enemy of their own state, CIA operatives and other members of the armed forces helped train Osama bin Laden and his men before they turned from allies to enemies of the United States.
More documents from the Wikileaks file dump could shed more light on how the situation progressed, however with 250,000 files to search through, those details could be slow to arrive.