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‘The other Manafort’: The biggest misinformation peddler in Trumpworld might be someone you’ve never heard of

By PhillyNews.FYI , in News , at February 20, 2021 Tags: ,


<p>According to the U.N. report, the mercenary operation cost $80 million and included a plan to form a hit squad to locate and assassinate commanders opposed to Haftar. </p><p>Haftar, a one-time <a href=”https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/a-former-cia-asset-has-become-a-us-headache-in-libya/2016/08/17/a766e392-54c6-11e6-bbf5-957ad17b4385_story.html” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>CIA asset</a> considered Libya’s most powerful warlord, has fought to overthrow the North African nation’s internationally recognized government during the country’s second civil war since the overthrow of longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi in the 2011 Arab Spring revolts. Haftar has enjoyed various degrees of support from <a href=”https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/14/libya-crisis-egypt-sisi-backs-haftar-assault-on-tripoli” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>Egypt</a>, the <a href=”https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/1/30/uae-ready-to-cooperate-with-un-new-us-administration-on-libya” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>United Arab Emirates</a>, and <a href=”https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200707-russia-sends-more-mercenaries-to-support-haftar-in-libya/” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>Russia</a>. British, French, U.S., and UAE warplanes have also <a href=”http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/revealed-leaked-tapes-expose-western-support-renegade-libyan-general-185825787″ rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>assisted</a> his forces. </p>
<div class=”rm-shortcode” data-rm-shortcode-id=”d86dfead1335247d1112dbb4a5744d9c” id=”9455d”><blockquote class=”twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet” data-partner=”rebelmouse” data-twitter-tweet-id=”1362908802044088326″><div style=”margin:1em 0″>Erik Prince, the former head of Blackwater, brother of Betsy DeVos and prominent supporter of Donald Trump, violate… https://t.co/4bTlQRHLQs</div> — Citizens for Ethics (@Citizens for Ethics)<a href=”https://twitter.com/CREWcrew/statuses/1362908802044088326″>1613777754.0</a></blockquote></div>
<p>In 2019, Trump reportedly<a href=”https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/04/21/trumps-call-libyan-national-army-leader-increases-risk-protracted-urban-conflict” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”> granted permission</a> for Haftar—who stands accused of <a href=”https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/25/khalifa-haftar-libyan-general-accused-of-human-rights-abuses” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>ordering</a> his troops to commit war crimes—to launch an air campaign against the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord, attacks which <a href=”https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/tripoli-offensive-leads-surge-civilian-deaths-libya-study-finds” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>killed</a> hundreds of civilians in the Libyan capital of Tripoli. </p><p>The U.N. report raises questions about whether Trump was complicit in Prince’s violation of the international arms embargo against Haftar’s forces. </p><p>Anas el-Gomati, director of Libyan think tank Sadeq Institute, <a href=”https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/2/20/trump-ally-erik-prince-violated-libya-arms-embargo-un-report” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>told</a> <em>Al Jazeera </em>that using mercenaries allows leaders to “outright refuse that you have any knowledge of what’s going on.”</p><p>”To what degree did Trump help facilitate this war alongside Erik Prince?” asked el-Gomati, who also wondered whether “Erik Prince was coordinating with Russian Wagner Group mercenaries in Libya, and has helped them establish a foothold in the way he helped the United Arab Emirates establish a foothold in Libya.”</p><p>Another unanswered question is who funded Prince’s $80 million operation. Wolfram Lacher, a Libya expert at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, told the <em>Times</em> that Prince has “been linked to the Trump administration, the Emirati leadership, and the Russians.” </p><p>”For me, the question is who is tacitly backing him?” asked Lacher. </p>
<div class=”rm-shortcode” data-rm-shortcode-id=”2cc22add8c360a52441be74e5a7f9577″ id=”cc27e”><blockquote class=”twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet” data-partner=”rebelmouse” data-twitter-tweet-id=”1362905077611069443″><div style=”margin:1em 0″>BREAKING: A UN report says Betsy DeVos’ brother Erik Prince violated an int’l arms embargo on Libya by deploying a… https://t.co/COvFC0JuW9</div> — NowThis (@NowThis)<a href=”https://twitter.com/nowthisnews/statuses/1362905077611069443″>1613776866.0</a></blockquote></div>
<p>Prince, a former U.S. Navy SEAL, founded Blackwater—now called Academi after being sold twice—in 1997. He rose to prominence during the George W. Bush administration and the so-called War on Terror, in which the U.S. relied heavily upon private contractors. On September 16, 2007, Blackwater guards <a href=”https://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/03/world/middleeast/03firefight.html” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>massacred</a> 17 men, women, and children in Nisour Square in Baghdad, Iraq. </p><p>Last December, Trump <a href=”https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/12/23/senior-un-human-rights-official-deeply-concerned-trumps-pardons-mercenaries-who” rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>pardoned</a> four of the Nisour Square killers, who had been sentenced to 12 years to life in prison for crimes including first-degree murder.</p><p>Trump and Prince have long enjoyed warm relations. Prince was a major Trump donor whose sister, Betsy DeVos, was confirmed as secretary of education in 2017.</p><p>This isn’t the first time Prince has been accused of breaking domestic and international laws against weapons transfers. In 2012 his anti-piracy security force in Somalia was <a href=”https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/local/wp/2015/01/02/was-the-u-n-targeting-blackwater-founder-erik-prince-on-somalia/” target=”_blank”>accused</a> by the U.N. of “the most brazen violation of the arms embargo by a private security company.” Prince was also <a href=”https://theintercept.com/2020/02/20/erik-prince-fbi-investigation-trump-barr/” target=”_blank”>reportedly</a> the target of an FBI investigation last year for weaponizing crop dusters.</p>

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