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WikiLeaks: McCain promised Gaddafi military help two years ago

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WikiLeaks: McCain promised Gaddafi military help two years ago

  • McCain shakes Gaddafi's hand, August 2009.
    AP screengrabMcCain shakes Gaddafi's hand, August 2009.

U.S. Sen. John McCain told Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi two years ago that he would help the dictator obtain American military hardware, according to a U.S. diplomatic cable posted Wednesday by WikiLeaks.

On Sunday, McCain said Gaddafi's ouster was "so long in coming" because the U.S. did not use the "full weight of our airpower."

The Arizona Republican, who traveled to Libya in 2009 with Connecticut independent Sen. Joe Liebermann, "pledged to see what he could do to move things forward in Congress," the cable said.

Also in the U.S. delegation, which spoke with Gaddafi and his son, Libyan National Security Advisor Muatassim Gaddafi, were Republican Sens. Lindsay Graham and Susan Collins.

"Muatassim requested the 'highest level of help possible' to obtain military supplies, including mobile hospitals and uniforms. He also requested assistance with upgrading Libya's equipment, including helicopters," the cable said.

On Sunday, McCain and Graham assailed the summer's U.S. policy of assistance for Libyan rebels, saying "Americans can be proud of the role our country has played in helping to defeat Qaddafi, but we regret that this success was so long in coming due to the failure of the United States to employ the full weight of our airpower."

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john mccain, libya, muammar gaddafi

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