The April 2, 2011 email from Sidney Blumenthal to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton explains that freezing Libya’s foreign bank accounts would not stop Gaddafi’s ability to fight a Western-backed rebellion that began in early February of that year.
Quoting confidential sources, Blumenthal explains that Gaddafi was using approximately 143 tons of gold, and a similar amount of silver, to fund his military and intelligence operations. The precious metal reserves were valued at the time to be more than US$7 billion.
“This gold was accumulated prior to the current rebellion and was intended to be used to establish a pan-African currency based on the Libyan golden Dinar,” Blumenthal writes. “This plan was designed to provide the Francophone African Countries with an alternative to the French franc (CFA).”
The CFA is the currency used in Western Africa, which was mostly controlled by the French during the colonial period. France remains the dominant influence in the region and most West Africans speak French.
News of Gadaffi’s plan committed then-French president Nicolas Sarkozy to decapitate the Libyan government, Blumenthal claims in the email.
On 27 February 2011, the National Transitional Council was established to administer the areas of Libya under rebel control. On 10 March 2011, France became the first state to officially recognize the council as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people.
In addition to stopping Gadaffi’s long-term plans to supplant France as the dominant power in Francophone Africa, Blumenthal explains that Sarkozy had four objectives in getting rid of the Libyan leader; grabbing a larger share of Libyan oil production, increase French influence in North Africa, improve his own internal position within French politics, and reassert France’s role as a military power in the world.
As previously reported, the U.S. and Egypt had been training anti-Gadaffi forces for months in eastern Libya and centered around Benghazi, the de facto center of the uprising. U.S. President Barack Obama authorized the use of covert American forces for the effort; British special forces and MI6 secret intelligence service agents were also used.
Another email released from Wikileaks shows Secretary Clinton supported the Obama Administration’s effort to ignite the civil war in Syria as “the best way to help Israel” accept a nuclear Iran.