John McCain Worked to Arm Qaddafi in 2009

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Photo: Mahmud Turkia/AFP/Getty Images

The two-year-old "zombie tweet" in which John McCain brags about an "interesting meeting" with the "interesting" Colonel Muammar Qaddafi is nothing compared to details of his 2009 promise to arm the Libyan dictator. According to diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks, McCain, along with senators like Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman, met with the embattled African leader and "assured … that the United States wanted to provide Libya with the equipment it needs for its … security." McCain did insist that Qaddafi would have to give up his weapons of mass destruction to move forward, but said he would work with Congress on upping Libya's aircraft power. McCain "described the bilateral military relationship as strong and pointed to Libyan officer training at U.S. Command, Staff, and War colleges as some of the best programs for Libyan military participation."

Times have changed: "Qaddafi on his way out," McCain tweeted this week. On Fox News, he said Qaddafi "has the blood of Americans on his hands as a result of Pan Am 103. He is a person who over time would — if he were able to succeed, would clearly train terrorists and export terrorism." (Pan Am 103, remember, happened long before McCain's 2009 chumminess.) According to the leaked cable, Qaddafi "made a point of expressing his satisfaction with the improved U.S relationship and his hope that the relationship would continue to flourish."

In related news, Julian Assange appreciates the attention.

Leaked cable: John McCain pushed to arm Qadhafi [Politico]