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Hannity Book: Kerry Objected to Reagan's Bombing of Terrorist Gadhafi

Wednesday, 18 February 2004 12:00 AM

The Fox News Channel star and nationally syndicated radio host has unearthed a letter Kerry wrote harshly criticizing President Reagan for his retaliation against terrorist leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Specifically, the Massachusetts Democrat objected to a retaliatory strike by President Ronald Reagan against the Libyan dictator in 1986. In a never-before-published letter written shortly after Reagan ordered the strikes, Kerry complained that Reagan had overreacted to the bombing by Libyan terrorists of a Berlin disco frequented by American troops.

The Libyan-sponsored bombings killed one U.S. soldier and wounded 51. Kerry claimed that the April 1986 U.S. air strike that nearly killed Gadhafi was not "proportional."

"While I stated that my initial inclination was to support the President," Kerry wrote, "I pointed out that two essential tests had to be met in determining whether or not the U.S. action was appropriate. First, the United States had to have irrefutable evidence directly linking the Qadaffi [Gadhafi] regime to a terrorist act and, second, our response should be proportional to that act."

Though Kerry admitted that the evidence tying Tripoli to the disco bombing was "irrefutable," the U.S. had failed the proportionality test, he insisted.

"It is obvious that our response was not proportional to the disco bombing and even violated the Administration's own guidelines to hit clearly defined terrorist targets, thereby minimizing the risk to innocent civilians," he complained.

Kerry said it was a "mistake" for Reagan to have targeted the "head of state of another country - no matter how repugnant we find the leader." "We are not going to solve the problem of terrorism with this kind of retaliation," he warned. "There are numerous other actions we can take, in concert with our allies, to bring significant pressure to bear on countries supporting or harboring terrorists."

The senator's comments seem even more dangerously flawed considering the outcome of Reagan's actions. After the bombings, Gadhafi hemmed in his terrorism. In the 1990s, as NewsMax reported, he opened secret ties with the CIA to cooperate with the U.S. in counterterrorism. And just this past year, terrified of being toppled like Saddam Hussein was, Gadhafi, in a stunning move after U.S. and British negotiators applied pressure, opened his nation's nuclear and weapons programs to international inspectors.

Hannity's book "Deliver Us From Evil: Defeating Terrorism, Despotism, and Liberalism" went on sale across America this week. The text of Kerry's letter, reprinted in the book, follows:

"While I stated that my initial inclination was to support the President, I pointed out that two essential tests had to be met in determining whether or not the U.S. action was appropriate. First, the United States had to have irrefutable evidence directly linking the Qaddafi regime to a terrorist act and, second, our response should be proportional to that act. The evidence was irrefutable that the Qaddafi regime was behind the Berlin disco bombing which claimed the lives of two innocent victims and injured 200 others.

"However, as to the second test, it is obvious that our response was not proportional to the disco bombing and even violated the Administration's own guidelines to hit clearly defined terrorist targets, thereby minimizing the risk to innocent civilians. I believe it was a mistake for us to select as targets areas of heavy civilian concentration, as well as to include the family and home of the head of state of another country - no matter how repugnant we find the leader.

"The fact that the bombing resulted in the deaths of at least 17 civilians certainly undermined the Administration's own justification for the raid. Beyond this point, however, is the fact that we are not going to solve the problem of terrorism with this kind of retaliation. There are numerous other actions we can take, in concert with our allies, to bring significant pressure to bear on countries supporting or harboring terrorists."

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The Fox News Channel star and nationally syndicated radio host has unearthed a letter Kerry wrote harshly criticizing President Reagan for his retaliation against terrorist leader Moammar Gadhafi. Specifically, the Massachusetts Democrat objected to a retaliatory strike...
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Wednesday, 18 February 2004 12:00 AM
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