- ticket title
- Malta’s Foreign Minister: Features of solving the Libyan crisis looming, and we support the efforts of the UN mission in Libya
- Developing five City Profiles for conflict-affected cities in Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Syria
- Egypt, Italy FMs discuss bilateral ties, regional issues
- UNHCR Update Libya (6 December 2019) [EN/AR]
- Secretary-General Appoints Nada al-Nashif of Jordan Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights
By Jerome R. Corsi
NEW YORK – Hillary Clinton’s political problems as she seeks the Democratic Party nomination for president could be compounded next month when the trial of gunrunner Marc Turi begins.
Court filings by Turi’s defense counsel, Jean-Jacques Cabou of the law firm Perkins Coie LLP, indicate then-Secretary of State Clinton’s alleged role in a secret and possibly illegal Obama administration plan in 2011 to ship weapons to al-Qaida-affiliated militia groups in Libya will be at the center of the case.
The Department of Justice prosecution of Turi is unusual in that it does not allege in its indictment that Turi ever actually shipped weapons to the Libyan “rebels.”
Instead, the DOJ has charged Turi with lying on an export-license application, alleging he hid his intent to ship weapons and ammunition to Libya in direct violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 170.
Count 1 of the DOJ indictment against Turi, filed in U.S. District Court, District of Arizona, on Feb. 11, 2014, reads: “On or about March 29, 2011, in the District of Arizona and elsewhere, Marc Turi and Turi Defense Group, in an application for a license to broker weapons, did willfully and knowingly make and cause to be made a material untrue statement and omitted a material fact required to be stated therein by listing the Government of Qatar as the end user of certain USML [United States Munitions List] items, when, in fact, Marc Turi and Turi Defense Group knew then that the actual intended end user of the listed USML items were individuals in Libya.”
The USML is a list of defense- and space-related items and technology, including weapons, that fall under the import/export jurisdiction of the State Department according to the Arms Export Control Act of 1976 [22 U.S.C. 2778 and 2797(4)].
In a defense brief filed with the district court on Aug. 11, 2014, Cabou noted: “The central allegation here is that Defendants made false statements in an attempt to transship arms through Qatar and/or the United Arab Emirates to Libya. Government does not contend otherwise.”
In the next sentence, written in bold type, Cabou telegraphed a key defense argument: “But, public documents reveal that arms were in fact transshipped though Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to Libya, and that the U.S. Government may have provided support for those transactions.”
Cabou noted the information “comes from such reputable sources as the United Nations Security Council, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Reuters and Senator McCain’s own mouth.”
“Given that the then-Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee has publicly stated that the United States assisted in shipping arms to Libya, Defendants are certainly reasonable in believing the same,” the attorney wrote.
“And if the United States did take such actions, any documents or other evidence relating to those actions are surely relevant to Defendants’ defense that they reasonably believed they had U.S. Government authority to broker nearly identical transactions,” he said.
He concluded with: “Defendants do not know what evidence does or does not exist on this front, but they are entitled to know.”
The Turi case record clearly establishes the DOJ has utilized the Classified Information Procedures Act [CIPA, 18 U.S.C. App. 3 § 2] in an attempt to restrict releasing various documents to the defense, effectively limiting the scope of defense discovery regarding involvement of the Clinton State Department and Obama White House in arms shipments to Libya.
The discovery reached an impasse when the government refused to produce any of the information requested by the defense in the CIPA conference Sept. 3, 2014. The government argued the information requested by the defense regarding the Clinton State Department and the White House involvement in shipping arms to Libya was “not related to the conduct alleged in the indictment.”
In a motion to compel discovery filed with the district court Sept. 22, 2014, defense counsel Cabou argued the government documents requested at the CIPA conference were central to the defense.
“At its core, the Indictment alleges that Defendants, a State Department licensed arms dealer and its President [of Turi Defense Group] who have previously worked for the U.S. government though the Central Intelligence Agency, lied in an effort to arrange for the eventual transport of $267 million worth of weapons into Libya in 2011,” Cabou wrote.
“It alleges that they intended to transport this extraordinary quantity of weapons with the assistance of foreign governments,” Cabou continued. “It alleges that they intended to transport the weapons on dozens of planes into NATO-restricted airspace without NATO approval or detection. It alleges that they did so unilaterally. In other words, it alleges that they did so without any knowledge or involvement of the United States Government. Nonsense.”
‘A public authority defense’
Cabou asserted the government’s “story defies common sense and ignores basic realities and the facts.”
In the next paragraph, Cabou made clear the defense at trial would focus on Hillary Clinton’s alleged role in the Obama White House decision to transport weapons to the al-Qaida-affiliated militia in Libya in 2011 via a third-party country like Qatar. The ostensible aim was to disguise the fact that the weapons shipment was U.S.-organized and -delivered, in open defiance of U.N. Resolution 170 and a NATO-imposed arms embargo in effect at the time.
In particular, Defendants intend to vigorously pursue a public authority defense, already noticed in this case, and premised on certain facts including, but not limited to, that: (1) Defendants had previously worked with the U.S. Government, including the CIA, on covert weapons transactions, (2) those transactions bore substantial similarities to the ones here, (3) Defendants either actually had public authority for the actions at issue here or reasonably believed that they had authority based on that prior relationship, (4) the United States did in fact covertly arm the Libyan rebels using a plan remarkably similar to the one at issue here, (5) the United States frequently assists in the covert transportation of arms, and (6) the manner and means by which the United States typically conducts such operations are identical to what actually happened in this case.
On Sept. 22, 2014, the District Court issued an order granting the defendant’s motion to compel the government to release the long list of internal government documents the defense requested to see.
The request included any documents or other evidence “relating to instances in which the United States assisted or considered assisting in the covert transportation, provision, acquisition, transfer, or transport of Defense Articles to or from any person, entity, group of people, quasi-governmental entity, or government within the territory of Qatar and/or the United Arab Emirates within the timeframe of 2010 to the date of this request.”
‘Hillary was shipping the guns to Libya’
WND reported July 27 that a member of the independent Citizens Committee on Benghazi believes that in 2011 Hillary Clinton’s State Department was orchestrating its own gunrunning operation to the Libyan rebels and that arms dealer Marc Turi has been set up to take the fall for “illicit arms deals.”
Clare Lopez, a former career operations officer with the CIA who now is vice president for research at the Washington-based Center for Security Policy, told WND there is “ample evidence the Libyan gun-running operation was a White House operation and that the State Department under Hillary Clinton ran the show.”
“The key point is that Marc Turi, despite receiving written approval from the U.S. government to broker weapons to Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, never actually went through any weapons purchases or shipments to Qatar, to the UAE, or to Libya,” she said.
Lopez said it’s clear, however, that the guns were shipped.
She noted that the CCB concluded in its interim report in April 2014 that it was Clinton’s State Department that was shipping the guns to Libya.
“Marc Turi was set up and framed for something he didn’t do, while others, who actually did collaborate with Qatar and the UAE to deliver the weapons under U.S. and NATO protection and supervision, are not only not prosecuted like Marc Turi, they’re not even mentioned,” she said.
The establishment media reporting on weapons interdicted by Libya in 2011 suggests that Turi might have been set up to be the “fall guy” in an illicit gunrunning operation diverted to Libya via Qatar..
On Dec. 5, 2012, New York Times reporters James Risen, Mark Mazetti, and Michael Schmidt, in an article titled “U.S.-Approved Arms for Libya Rebels Fell Into Jihadis’ Hands,” wrote: “The Obama administration secretly gave its blessing to Libyan rebels from Qatar last year, but American officials later grew alarmed as evidence grew that Qatar was turning some of the weapons over to Islamic militants, according to United States officials and foreign diplomats.”
This New York Times article, without attributing a source for the information, clearly implicated Turi as the arms dealer at the center of the 2011 redirection of weapons from Qatar that was interdicted by Libya and shown to the world press by then-Gadhafi information minister and official spokesman Moussa Ibrahim, as previously reported by WND.
“The case of Marc Turi, the American arms merchant who had sought to provide weapons to Libya, demonstrates other challenges the United States faced in dealing with Libya,” the New York Times article detailed. “A dealer who lives in both Arizona and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, Mr. Turi sells small arms to buyers in the Middle East and Africa, relying primarily on suppliers of Russian-designed weapons in Eastern Europe.”