Reality Check: Is Al-Qaeda An Enemy Or Not? [video and transcript]_Featured_, Politics, Videos Friday, August 3rd, 2012
Ben Swann Reality Check looks at a new report that the U.S. Government is funding the opposition in Syria including al Qaeda fighters.
The headline from Reuters yesterday: President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for rebels seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
A U.S. government source acknowledged that the U.S. is collaborating with a secret command center operated by Turkey and its allies.
Last week, Reuters reported that, along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Turkey had established a secret base near the Syrian border to help direct vital military and communications support to Assad’s opponents.
The Obama administration has stated publicly that it is providing some backing for Assad’s opponents. And, the state department said earlier this week that the U.S. government has set aside a total of $25 million for ‘non-lethal’ assistance to the Syrian opposition.
Who are these rebels that the U.S. is supporting?
Buried at the bottom of the Reuters report is the following:
“Recent news reports from the region have suggested that the influence and numbers of Islamist militants, some of them connected to al Qaeda or its affiliates, have been growing among Assad’s opponents. U.S. and European officials say that, so far, intelligence agencies do not believe the militants’ role in the anti-Assad opposition is dominant.”
Really? They don’t believe that the militants’ role is dominant?
We’ve been here before. In 2011, the U.S. provided large amounts of money and military support to help overthrow Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi. At that time, an Italian newspaper interviewed Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, the Libyan rebel leader. He said that the Jihadists who fought against allied troops in Iraq were on the front lines of the battle against Gaddafi’s regime.
“Mr. al-Hasidi admitted he had earlier fought against ‘the foreign invasion’ in Afghanistan, before being ‘captured in 2002 in Pakistan.’ He was later handed over to the US, and then held in Libya before being released in 2008. Mr. al-Hasidi insisted his fighters ‘are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists,’ but added that the ‘members of al-Qaeda are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader.” – Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi
Here’s what you need to know. Late last year when Senator John McCain co-wrote the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and President Obama signed it into law, they crafted a law that gave the President the authority to use all necessary and appropriate force during the current armed conflict with al-Qaeda, and the Taliban, and associated forces – including the power to indefinitely detain anyone caught supporting al-Qaeda, which in this case, is the President and members of Congress.
To be clear, we are spending over a trillion dollars, and more importantly spilling the blood of thousands of American lives in Iraq and Afghanistan, then spending more American money and military power to, in some cases, help the same fighters overthrow another government. Is al-Qaeda the enemy or aren’t they?