Change: Qaddafi’s foreign minister defects to Britain, other regime leaders may be leaving too

posted at 6:32 pm on March 30, 2011 by Allahpundit

So that’s what Obama and Hillary and a bunch of other unnamed U.S. officials were getting at when they hinted about cracks forming in Qaddafi’s inner circle. From Monday:

Morale among Qaddafi’s forces is extremely low, and his all-important inner circle — a dozen people or less — are now questioning whether the Libyan leader can survive, a senior U.S. official told Fox News.

Qaddafi’s “inner circle” includes a handful of senior military officers, his immediate family and a handful of his political cronies, the senior official told Fox News.

Hard to believe that morale on the ground is low when they’re pushing the rebels out of towns like Ras Lanuf, but score one for the White House in pulling this off. They must have been quietly coordinating with Musa Kusa for weeks to make it happen:

Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa arrived in Britain on Wednesday to seek refuge after quitting the government in protest against leader Moammar Gadhafi’s attacks on civilians.

“He has told us that he is resigning his post. We are discussing this with him and we will release further detail in due course,” a British Foreign Office spokesman said, adding that “his role was to represent the regime internationally — something that he is no longer willing to do.”

Noman Benotman, a friend and senior analyst at Britain’s Quilliam think tank, said Moussa Koussa “wasn’t happy at all. He doesn’t support the government attacks on civilians.”

That last bit is a lie. As noted in the NBC story, this guy was known as the “envoy of death” in the 80s when he led the terrorists and terrorist-enablers in Qaddafi’s intelligence service. He went on to become the regime’s diplomatic mouthpiece, and now he’ll become (a) a massive intelligence windfall for the west and (b) a trophy used to prove that things really have become hopeless for the regime notwithstanding this week’s successful counteroffensive against the rebels, which might destroy morale among regime troops on the front lines. And in fact, he may not be the only member of Qaddafi’s brain trust to have bugged out recently: This Maltese journalist is claiming that there’s been a mass defection of regime figures from Libya to Tunisia, including the current intelligence chief and at least one parliamentary leader. Supposedly they’re in contact with EU officials and are waiting for flights out. I can’t find confirmation of that elsewhere, but if it’s true, look for “defection” stories to start sprouting all over the news garden later tonight.

Exit question: Why now? I could understand if Kusa had bailed when the west effectively declared war at the UN, but the regime’s showed surprising resilience in keeping the rebels at bay over the past two weeks. Revisit the AP story I posted just an hour ago to see how they’re adapting their tactics to neutralize airstrikes and reclaim territory from the rebels. And, contrary to the quote above, Kusa obviously didn’t have such deep misgivings about killing civilians that he felt obliged to leave when Qaddafi first started rolling over people in the east a few weeks ago. Again, why now?

Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air



Trackback URL


This guy was known as the “envoy of death”

“foreign minister defects to Britain”

Whew! Glad to know at least one Libyan is getting something out of our billions.

WitchDoctor on March 30, 2011 at 6:36 PM

Rudolph Hess?

mjbrooks3 on March 30, 2011 at 6:39 PM

Good… now there will be room for a more pro-rape, pro-sharia guy in the new gov’t!!!

MeatHeadinCA on March 30, 2011 at 6:41 PM

Again, why now?


MeatHeadinCA on March 30, 2011 at 6:42 PM

Don’t trust anyone from over there.

It’s simplistic and true.

Schadenfreude on March 30, 2011 at 6:43 PM

One can only gape in stunned amazement at the extent of the idiocy being displayed by the leaders of America, Britain and Europe over the ‘Arab Spring’ – which should surely be renamed ‘the Arab Boomerang’.

Schadenfreude on March 30, 2011 at 6:45 PM

In the game of chess cornering/capturing or killing the king is the objective. Khadafy must either be be killed or captured and put on trial. It is ridiculous for us not to say he is a target. If he is allowed to go into exile he will only be up to more mischief with his large bankroll.

SC.Charlie on March 30, 2011 at 6:46 PM

Again, why now?

MeatHeadinCA on March 30, 2011 at 6:42 PM


MONEY. And of course freedom, fame & better food (if he doesn’t stay in England too long)

Tim Zank on March 30, 2011 at 6:47 PM

So,Qaddafi’s foreign minister is fleeing the sandbox,
me thinks,its time to send in……..
… Libya…

to clean up the mess……

Classic “Rat Patrol” Television show promo

canopfor on March 30, 2011 at 6:49 PM

Why now?

Obama has shown he can and will escalate to not accept defeat. Of course he may accept a tie. And, of course, Koussa will be given a very nice stipend.

burt on March 30, 2011 at 6:51 PM

Gaddfly’s Titanic of the Sand Dunes,has struck a mirage,
the rats are fleeing……..

canopfor on March 30, 2011 at 6:51 PM

See, Obama knows what he’s doing you idiots.

angryed on March 30, 2011 at 6:52 PM

Maybe he’s gonna cut a deal and claim the management made him do it ..

wheels on March 30, 2011 at 6:52 PM

I bet,Libya is running out of English Tea,and thats

canopfor on March 30, 2011 at 6:52 PM

See, Obama knows what he’s doing you idiots.

angryed on March 30, 2011 at 6:52 PM

angryed:Lol,you RightWing WingNuts!!

canopfor on March 30, 2011 at 6:53 PM

I dont see how this is of any real importance. Even the BBC has shrugged its shoulders in the following from their web site:

“BBC world affairs correspondent John Simpson said he suspected Col Gaddafi would shrug off Mr Koussa’s resignation as he had lost other ministers in the past.
His interior minister is now in Benghazi and it did not really make any difference at all as “this is a one horse show”, he said.”

Indy82 on March 30, 2011 at 6:55 PM

This just didn’t happen overnight…

So while Hillary was out there boasting to the press and all of America and the World that cracks were froming in Gadaffi’s regime, this schmuck was probably ready to have a coronary figuring out that if Hillary was talking about him, he was toast.

Gadaffi isn’t one to let his top people just walk off. Back in the, well, a couple decades ago or so, one of Gadaffi’s people showed up in a suitcase, and a couple other suitcases, in Scandinavia, on his way “home” to Gadaffi.

Considering of all the people Hillary and team were associated with, Gadaffi probably had his Maktab guys checking this lucky bastard out days ago.

coldwarrior on March 30, 2011 at 6:57 PM

They had a good thing going in Libya and must figure now is the time to cash out. Working for a certifiable loon can’t have been a bed of roses; dubious personal loyalty and perverse professional pride aside, there wasn’t much incentive to stay long in that market.

Seth Halpern on March 30, 2011 at 6:58 PM

This has more stink’n twists and is almost as
complicated as all the space families in power,

for da spice, in the “DUNE Movie”!!!!

Dune Trailer Remastered

canopfor on March 30, 2011 at 6:59 PM

A little taqqiya to impress the “smart power” crew and then Musa Kusa (and other “defectors” who have spirited their money out of their respective countries) can meld into one of the no-go Muslim neighborhoods springing up all over Europe in order to stir up and train the “yutes” there.

Why isn’t this “envoy of death” not being hauled into a Belgium prison to be tried by the ICC? (FWIW Moussa Koussa sounds like a product for a bad-hair day.)

onlineanalyst on March 30, 2011 at 7:01 PM

First we liberate Libya, helping AQ. Next we help AQ in America?

capejasmine on March 30, 2011 at 7:03 PM

O/T-Cool Site,With Hot Air Blog Posting Page,

Conservative Real-Time News Source

canopfor on March 30, 2011 at 7:05 PM

Why isn’t this “envoy of death” not being hauled into a Belgium prison to be tried by the ICC?
onlineanalyst on March 30, 2011 at 7:01 PM

They are still looking for W.

WitchDoctor on March 30, 2011 at 7:06 PM

coldwarrior on March 30, 2011 at 6:57 PM

Every time we ask, we receive. Thanks, CW.

OldEnglish on March 30, 2011 at 7:08 PM

i don’t mind paying these thugs to double cross their boss, but part of the deal had better be el-megrahi’s head on a platter…that dood needs to be eliminated.

DrW on March 30, 2011 at 7:08 PM

These guys are growing old. A sweet asylum deal from the West is probably like when a corporation offers a really generous early retirement package. Sure, maybe they weren’t planning on retiring any time soon, but some offers only come once.

The alternative is to stick around, navigate the coming purge (which most can do), and then eventually, at the sunset of their careers, navigate the dangerous transition to rule by one of Gadaffi’s insane sons. Not a lot to look forward to, compared to a life of sipping margaritas on decadent Western beaches.

sandberg on March 30, 2011 at 7:16 PM

Exit question: Why now? I could understand if Kusa had bailed when the west effectively declared war at the UN, but the regime’s showed surprising resilience in keeping the rebels at bay over the past two weeks.
Me thinks the writing is on the wall!

canopfor on March 30, 2011 at 7:17 PM

Interesting,and troubling!

Obama administration is sliding into long-term military involvement in Libya

Despite protestations to the contrary, USSO’s intelligence sources find the American role in the operation against Muammar Qaddafi heading only one way: the United States is sliding deeper day by day into a third war in a Muslim country.

In the last three days, US air strikes have beaten Qaddafi’s forces into tactical retreat from all its conquests in the rebel-held eastern province of Cyrenaica. This operation rescued the rebels from the certain defeat they faced in the middle of last week, allowed them to retake the strategic oil towns of Ajdabiya, Brega and Ras Lanuf and opened the way for them to drive forward to Qaddafi’s home town of Sirte, the key to Tripoli.

In the view of USSO’s military experts, the Libyan opposition’s gains are no more than a victory on paper, not the battlefield. Qaddafi and his commanders executed tactical retreats from those towns – not because they were beaten in battle but to avoid being ground down by superior US sea-based and air power. That power opened the door for the opposition rebels to recover the towns they lost in the last three weeks and pose as victors.

For Washington, the implication is clear: continuing rebel momentum against Qaddafi’s forces depends on United States commitment to two steps:

canopfor on March 30, 2011 at 7:20 PM

Guys like this are notorious for lack of nerve. Sunshine soldiers as it were. It may be significant that he left or it may be he’s just taking the bug out route based on the fact that mad dog henchmen are cowards. If they weren’t cowards, they wouldn’t be mad dog henchmen.

JimP on March 30, 2011 at 7:28 PM

You got to know when to hold ’em. Know when to fold ’em. Know when to walk away. Know when to run.

Lily on March 30, 2011 at 7:36 PM

American Exceptionalism, Foreign Policy Initiatives, Foreign Affairs, Diplomatic, Intelligence and Military Analysis

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Ex Captain X and über smart Zach H (oh! he got game bay bee!) fire up the plowshears into the famous Red Mist Making A 10 Thunderbolt II production centre at the world famous CNAS with a Libyavention Policy Paper.

“Forging a Libya Strategy: Policy Recommendations for 44”

Consisting of four main points co – existing conterminously in the space time continuum – and

“…Argue that U.S. interests in Libya, which include the protection of civilians and providing momentum to the revolutionary fervor sweeping the region, come at a potentially high cost to the United States. In addition, continued engagement may detract focus and resources away from other critical issues in the region and globally

X’s nom d’guerre at Abu Moqawama heats up the forge to cold rolled steel stats:

“…The following bullet points will not do justice to the arguments Zack and I advance, so, again, read the entire thing before making a comment. In summary, we argue:

1. No matter what anyone else says, the United States and its allies are at war in Libya.

2. The United States has very few interests in Libya.

3. Unlike with respect to Afghanistan in 2009, the Obama Administration went to war in Libya without a deliberate planning process that forced policy makers to articulate U.S. interests, goals and assumptions. This helps to explain why the administration has had so much difficulty articulating, for the American people, our interests in, goals toward and assumptions about Libya.

4. Now that we’re in this mess, a policy of regime change in Libya makes the most sense.

5. We see two possible outcomes in Libya: either a rapid collapse of the regime, or a stalemate. We assess the latter as more likely.

6. In order to avoid the latter and in light of U.S. interests, we believe the United States should establish a structure of incentives to get Moammar Gadhafi to leave. Kinetic military action by U.S. forces is not part of our proposed incentive structure. In fact, we think the United States should halt direct military action and work to broaden the international coalition to include more countries who do have interests in Libya.

7. We should be prepared to accept the status quo antebellum, though. Why? See #2.

The X and Zach score some direct hits yet the ancient meme vClausewitz schwerpunkt’d in Vom Kriege seems…MIA. While policy recco’s are not a set piece battle, maybe they should be:

canopfor on March 30, 2011 at 7:51 PM

Exit question: Why now?

They finally met his financial requests?

ButterflyDragon on March 30, 2011 at 7:59 PM

How long before little Bammie’s cabinet starting with Hillary joins him in London?

slickwillie2001 on March 30, 2011 at 8:25 PM

Doesn’t matter. This isn’t Egypt where a disintegrating inner circle finally tells Mr. Big it’s time to go. Daffy ain’t playin’ that game. Scooter and the three sisters think all these tyrants are cookie cutter and will all fall the same way. Not so. Only way Daffy goes out is with his boots on. Lots of blood yet to be shed, apprently, some of it American.

a capella on March 30, 2011 at 8:44 PM

Why now? Maybe he’s a double agent. Perhaps he’s been sent out to provide disinformation to the coalition. He was the former head of Libyan intelligence so we believe he’s a treasure trove of info on the regime’s status, tactics and crimes. It’d be one helluva head-fake to send him out. Just a theory.

rcpjr on March 30, 2011 at 9:13 PM

Since old Musa Kusa didn’t bring Ali al-Megrahi along with him, I sure as hell hope they don’t PL110 him and set him up in a nice cushy mansion somewhere with a lifetime income.

Frankly, Musa Kusa has plenty of blood on his hands for Lockerbie, among other little projects in which he was involved over the decades.

Let him sleep with the fishes.

coldwarrior on March 30, 2011 at 10:02 PM

Didn’t this guy have a role in the Lockerbie bombing? If so, are the Brits and/or the US going to take him in for “questioning” or are they going to let him live large in some 5 star London hotel???

Gohawgs on March 30, 2011 at 10:30 PM