New Plan: Let's let Libyans attend flight school, study nuclear science in US

I understand that everyone is busy with a cavalcade of stories out of Missouri and various places around the world. That’s a given, and who could blame us for being distracted? But back on the Washington ranch, Andrew Malcolm has turned up a story worthy of our interest. It seems that there’s a new rule change in the offing which applies to some old friends of ours.

Remember the aftermath of 9/11 when investigators made the chilling discovery that American flight instructors had unwittingly taught the Arab hijackers how to fly jumbo jets like the ones they plowed into the World Trade Center and Pentagon, killing some 3,000 innocents?

And how one of the dumber hijackers had raised suspicions, letting slip that he had no intention of seeking a pilot’s license? But, you might not be surprised to learn, Washington wasn’t really into taking seriously any alarms from unimportant places like Minnesota?

Turns out, President Reagan worried about terrorist hijackers using airplanes as weapons way back in 1983. He banned Libyans from taking flight lessons or nuclear studies in the United States.

Now, believe it or not, President Obama is lifting that ban because, aides say, post-Gaddafi Libya and its relations with the United States are “normalized.”

Seriously? We just abandoned our embassy there last month.


Even given his credentials, some might think a story like this so unlikely that perhaps Andrew had gotten into the brandy a bit early. But, as usual, he was right.

The Obama administration has lifted longtime restrictions on Libyans attending flight schools in the United States and training here in nuclear science, according to a final amendment of the ban recently approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Less than two years after the deadly terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya that killed four Americans, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is poised to sign off on an amendment reversing the ban, which was enacted following a wave or terrorist attacks in 1980s and prevents Libyans from studying these sensitive trades in the United States.

Because things are going so well with the Libyans these days, I guess. The Homeland Security spox in question has assured us that there would be “robust and thorough security threat assessments and vetting procedures” in place for any Libyan students enrolled in such programs. So, with that reassuring caveat, I suppose that all is well.

The UN announced only this weekend that they were sending a few hired guns to try to negotiate a cease fire in Libya – no small feat given the number of other brush fires they have to try to stick their noses into at the moment. The country is still chock full of people bent on destruction of one flavor or another, no small number of which wouldn’t mind giving the United States another serious black eye. Is this really the time to be releasing the doves and offering an olive branch? I mean, we have sufficient other fish to fry at the moment that we could open a new Arthur Treacher’s chain in every nation on the planet.

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David Strom 5:21 PM on December 09, 2022