Fleitz: Obama Administration Dragged Its Feet on Gadhafi

Thursday, 20 Oct 2011 03:03 PM

By Amy Woods and Ashley Martella

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Finding and killing Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi took as long as it did because the "wily" dictator kept an extremely low profile and made use of a series of underground tunnels to elude capture, Fred Fleitz, managing editor of LIGNET.com, a new Washington, DC-based intelligence analysis and forecasting service, told Newsmax.

"The fact is, Gadhafi was very clever about electronic communications, he was very clever about not going on television, not being videotaped or photographed by reporters," Fleitz said. "He was a wily character, and he played it very carefully so he couldn’t be identified and located."

He told Newsmax the death of Ghadafi will revolutionize Libya and free its people, describing it as "a very important development."

Story continues below.

"The failure to find Gadhafi, and the failure to take his hometown, was a psychological barrier that was blocking the ability of the interim government to move forward in building a new Libya," Fleitz said. "It allows them to put Gadhafi behind them and to move forward."

Get Free Intelligence Reports About Libya and the Future of the Mid-East From LIGNET — Click Here Now

Now that he is gone, elections are slated to take place in the the next year and a half, Fleitz said.

"There is a lot that has to be done," he told Newsmax. "The rebel fighters have to be disarmed. There are significant differences between the different factions on what type of government they are going to have."

Another problem is the historic rivalry between Benghazi and Tripoli, because Gadhafi moved the country's capital to Tripoli, from Benghazi, when he took over in 1969, Fleitz said.

"There are people who have taken territory, rebel groups that don’t want to give it up," he said. "A strong central government has to be put together, and there has to be an effort to get these people behind that government. They are going to need a lot of help, and there are a lot of concerns by experts looking at that right now because of rivalries and infighting in Tripoli and Benghazi between these various rivals."

Fleitz told Newsmax the role of Islamists will factor into Libya's elections and development as a democracy.

"In neighboring Tunisia, national elections will be held on Sunday. It looks like an Islamic party will win," he said. "The next election will be in Egypt, where it also looks like an Islamist government is going to take a large portion of the seats, maybe as close as 50 percent."

No on knows what’s going to happen in Libya – a country dotted with radical Islamists, a Muslim Brotherhood, and a former al-Qaida presence, Fleitz told Newsmax.

"...it is something that will have to be watched very carefully to make sure that Libya actually adopts a legitimate form of democracy," he said. "It would be a shame after this bloody civil war and fight for democracy if groups come to power who are not truly committed to democracy."

Fleitz said President Barack Obama and the administration should be credited with the victory, as well as France, the United Kingdom, and Qatar "because they are the three countries that really stuck their necks out at the early stage of this to bring this about."

"I know that the Obama administration deserves credit, but it is worth noting that they dragged their feet for a long time before they did anything," he told Newsmax. "If they had taken action immediately, this could have happened a lot sooner and at a much lower cost of human life."

Get Free Intelligence Reports About Libya and the Future of the Mid-East From LIGNET — Click Here Now

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