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Disgusted with Lieberman

The Winsted Journal Editorial

As if Connecticut residents need any more reasons to be disgusted with their senior senator, details were released this week regarding a meeting Sen. Joseph Lieberman had with Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi as recently as 2009 to offer support to the embattled leader.

In an awkward-looking meeting carried on Arabic television, Lieberman — allegedly an “Independent Democrat” — was part of a Republican Senate delegation led by failed presidential candidate John McCain for this unusual diplomatic mission, which reportedly included discussions of “security, counterterrorism and civil-nuclear cooperation.” The information is included in a diplomatic cable released this week on the Wikileaks website.

Seemingly unable to contain his enthusiasm, Lieberman is quoted in the cable as having gushed, “We never would have guessed 10 years ago that we would be sitting in Tripoli, being welcomed by a son of Muammar al-Gadhafi.” The senator also reportedly called Libya “an important ally in the war on terrorism” and noted that “common enemies sometimes make better friends.”

While all of this discussion of security and counterterrorism was going on, there were no agreements related to supplying weapons to Gadhafi, according to McCain, but the subject clearly came up.

In discussions with Gadhafi’s son, National Security Advisor Muatassim al-Gadhafi, it was noted that the Libyans were seeking “security assurances” from the United States in exchange for giving up a weapons of mass destruction (WMD) program.

“Muatassim welcomed the high-level visit, describing it as a good sign for the relationship — a relationship that Libya wants to develop,” the cable reads. “He explained to the senators the recent requests that the National Security Council had made to procure defense equipment.”

McCain reportedly assured the Libyans that he would “move things forward in Congress” on securing equipment, but when confronted with the leaked diplomatic cable this week, he denied having any discussion about supplying weapons to the Gadhafi regime.

It didn’t take long for McCain and Lieberman to flip-flop on their relationship with Gadhafi, as the dictator became faced with the stirrings of a revolution. Both senators publicly called for military action against the regime this year, with Lieberman going out of his way to criticize President Obama in February after the State of the Union address.

“I wish we had spoken out much more clearly and early against the Gadhafi regime,” he said publicly.

McCain and Lieberman are so two-faced and self-interested that it is truly disgusting to hear either one of them utter another word on this issue. The only thing Connecticut residents can find pleasure in is the fact that this is Lieberman’s final, stomach-churning term.