What Hillary Knew about Libya

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Exclusive: In Official Washington’s propaganda world, the U.S. government and its “allies” are always standing for what’s right and good and the “enemies” are the epitome of evil doing the vilest things. But some emails to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton depicted a far different reality, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

To justify U.S. “regime changes,” the U.S. government has routinely spread rumors and made other dubious claims which — even when later doubted or debunked — are left in place indefinitely as corrosive propaganda, eating away at the image of various “enemies” and deforming public opinion.

Even though this discredited propaganda can have a long half-life — continuing to contaminate the public’s ability to perceive reality for years — President Barack Obama and his administration have shown no inclination to undertake a kind of HAZMAT clean-up of the polluted information environment that American citizens have been forced to live in.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies before Congress on Jan. 23, 2013, about the fatal attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11. 2012. (Photo from C-SPAN coverage)

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies before Congress on Jan. 23, 2013, about the fatal attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11. 2012. (Photo from C-SPAN coverage)

A recent case in point was the emergence — in the State Department’s New Year’s Eve release of more than 3,000 emails to and from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — of evidence that two key propaganda themes used to advance violent “regime change” in Libya in 2011 may have originated with rebel-inspired rumors passed on by Clinton’s private adviser Sidney Blumenthal.

A March 27, 2011 email from Blumenthal reminded Clinton that “I communicated more than a week ago on this story – [Libyan leader Muammar] Qaddafi placing bodies to create PR stunts about supposed civilian casualties as a result of Allied bombing – though underlining it was a rumor. But now, as you know, [Defense Secretary] Robert Gates gives credence to it.”

Blumenthal’s email, which was slugged “Rumor: Q[addafi]’s rape policy,” then plunged ahead into his new rumor: “Sources now say, again rumor (that is, this information comes from the rebel side and is unconfirmed independently by Western…

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