“I have met with these brave fighters, and they are not Al-Qaeda. To the contrary: They are Libyan patriots who want to liberate their nation. We should help them do it.” – Senator John McCain in Benghazi, Libya April 22, 2011. 
Image: And yet, the very courthouse McCain uttered his lies in front of is now flying the flag of Al Qaeda, while crowds have been photographed in the streets of Benghazi  carrying it aloft since the fall of Qaddafi. Clearly, the senator from Arizona was “mistaken.” (click images to enlarge.
Even as McCain deceived the world with his comments in pursuit of overthrowing and destroying the sovereign nation-state of Libya, it was already a matter of record, according to America’s own West Point Combating Terrorism Center , that Benghazi, and much of eastern Libya known as Cyrenaica, served as an epicenter for global Al Qaeda recruitment. Militants hailing from the eastern region’s Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) would end up in both Afghanistan and Iraq fighting Western troops and participating in sectarian violence.
This included LIFG leader Abdul Hakim Belhaj  aka Abdul Hakim Hasadi , who first fought alongside the CIA against the Soviets in Afghanistan, then against US and British troops before eventually being captured by the US and handed over to Qaddafi who imprisoned him for 7 years. Upon his release, he would promptly be sponsored by NATO and the likes of John McCain, given arms, money, and training just as he was by the CIA during the Soviet Afghan-invasion, with the addition of NATO close air support in his bid to overthrow the Libyan government.
Video: McCain can’t plead ignorance – international news has covered Al Qaeda’s involvement in Libya, and now in Syria for well over a year.
Belhaj and other militant factions constituting the “Libyan rebels” would go on a genocidal rampage throughout the country, encircling cities like Bani Walid and Sirte , cutting off food, water, electricity, and emergency aid while NATO mercilessly bombed populated city centers for days, weeks, and in the case of Sirte, months.
Belhaj is now the military commander of Tripoli and has been reported to be working with Syrian militants  to repeat NATO’s campaign of atrocities, destabilization, and Balkanization in Syria, where he is said to be importing weapons and funds as well as LIFG fighters.
There is no doubt that the men McCain was defending were LIFG fighters, terrorists linked directly with Al Qaeda according to West Point reports (.pdf) , and listed to this day by the US State Department  and the UK Home Office (.pdf)  as a “foreign terrorist organization.” McCain was not only rhetorically supporting listed terrorists, but providing material support including weapons, funds, training, and airsupport in direct violation of USC § 2339A  & 2339B , “providing material support or resources to designated foreign terrorist organizations.”
Video: McCain can easily be considered one of the founding fathers of the autonomous Al Qaeda terror-emirate of Benghazi, a distinction that makes a mockery of the 6,000+ US troops that gave their lives for the fraudulent “War on Terror ” McCain is so fond of promoting.
In a recent turn of events, it has been reported that the city of Benghazi has declared autonomy from Tripoli, raising the Al Qaeda flag  and becoming in effect, a terror-emirate, one whose capital McCain had stood in, praising men who had American blood on their hands and were in the process of (and still are ) carrying out racist genocide. Thanks to McCain’s support, the forces of Al Qaeda have achieved in one year what Qaddafi had prevented them from doing for decades. They now have a vast region, rich in oil resources gladly siphoned by Western corporations, to use as a base of terror – one of the very supposed scenarios McCain helped send 6,000+ US troops to their graves in Iraq and Afghanistan to prevent.
But McCain’s treason, national, and international crimes don’t begin or end there. His International Republican Institute  (IRI) was mentioned by name in the New York Times as being behind the supposedly “indigenous” “spontaneous” “Arab Spring” unrest in the first place. In an April 2011 article published by the New York Times titled, “U.S. Groups Helped Nurture Arab Uprisings ,” it was stated:
“A number of the groups and individuals directly involved in the revolts and reforms sweeping the region, including the April 6 Youth Movement in Egypt, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and grass-roots activists like Entsar Qadhi, a youth leader in Yemen, received training and financing from groups like the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute and Freedom House, a nonprofit human rights organization based in Washington.”
After helping overthrow the Egyptian government, McCain would lead representatives from Wall Street’s Fortune 500 corporations on a tour of Cairo like conquerors surveying their new dominion . He would also taunt the heads of state of both Russia and China, revealing the final destination of the chaos and destabilization he has been helping along by claiming , “I would be a little less cocky in the Kremlin with my KGB cronies today if I were Vladimir Putin. I would be a little less secure in the seaside resort [of] President Hu and a few men who govern and decide the fate of 1.3 billion people.”
The work of McCain’s IRI more recently manifested itself when it was caught meddling in Russia’s elections  late last year and again just this month . The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a US government funded umbrella organization under which the IRI falls and the IRI itself, were behind several US-backed NGOs, particularly GOLOS, seeking to “expose voting irregularities.” The purpose of this was of course to cast doubts on the validity of the elections and justify street mobs brought out by the Russian opposition groups the IRI had been cultivating in an attempt to trigger an “Arab Spring” in Russia.
Image: Screenshot taken of McCain’s messages  regarding unrest he and his IRI have prepared and are now trying to trigger in the streets of Russia. (click to enlarge.)
And just this week, echoing his frothing warmongering over Libya, McCain called for US airstrikes on Syria . Promoting the use of America’s military while being unable to cite any credible or imminent threat to US territorial security would seem like a punishable offense or at least a sign of mental instability and grounds for dismissing the aged Senator. Instead, McCain represents the public face and voice of the corporate-financier agenda of Wall Street and London  which has plotted a premeditated blitzkrieg  from Tunisia to Thailand, and eventually to the doorsteps of both Moscow and Beijing.
On the eve of possible Western intervention in Syria, and with warmongers like John McCain, fellow IRI chairman Lindsey Graham, and Senator Joseph Lieberman calling for a repeat of Libya, it is essential that Americans look at the Al Qaeda flags waving over Benghazi and recognize McCain’s role helping hoist them aloft.
Thousands of American troops have shed their lives in a war  they believed was meant to fight these very men now being handed nation after nation by US senators like McCain, who in fact were the principle proponents of the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq. We are not witnessing a wave for liberation and democracy sweeping the globe, but rather a sinister deception paved in blood, terror, and betrayal of all kinds crafting a world not for ‘we the people’ to thrive in, but for Wall Street and London to feed on.
Tony Cartalucci is the writer and editor at Land Destroyer Report