New emails obtained by Fox News show that in March 2011, at the height of the Arab Spring revolution inside Libya, dictator Muammar Qaddafi’s son Saif was willing to talk peace from the ground in Libya – but a source told Fox News the offer was rejected by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
In the years since Qaddafi was forced from power, Libya’s government has collapsed, and extremist groups including ISIS have exploited the power vacuum. While the Obama administration has promoted the use of “soft power” and diplomacy, the documents suggest the option was not vigorously pursued here.
One key email describing the offer of talks was dated March 18, 2011 and sent at 7:27 a.m. EST to three members of The Joint Staff. It states, “Our contact will arrange a face-to-face meeting with Saif [Qaddafi], or a Skype/video-telecon [teleconference] to open communications if time does not permit … A peaceful resolution is still possible that keeps Saif on our side without bloodshed in Benghazi.”
The response from a senior policy adviser, on her government email account, was sent to 11 staff members at 7:57 a.m. The adviser writes, “Sirs, the JCSWG’s [the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Working Group] contact is ready to arrange a meeting with Saif on a skype/video-telecon. Might be worth passing to folks who do this stuff routinely.” These “working groups” are stood up to deal with specific issues or challenges.