This is totally random – and quite amusing. The other day, I was doing some research on former NSA Director Michael Hayden and I came across these remarks delivered on Hayden’s retirement from the Air Force in June 2008, just days before he took over George Bush’s CIA. Introducing him, of course, was Robert M. Gates, the former Bush-Obama Secretary of Defense.
Gates, an old agency hand, told an anecdote from the three years he spent in the CIA as Deputy Director, from 1986 to 1989. His remarks are quite revealing, particularly about Egypt and the dictator Mubarak, a former U.S. ally who just this weekend was sentenced to life in prison for failing to stop the killings of hundreds of protesting civilians during the uprising against his rule. They also serve as a reminder of how long the U.S. had been going after Libya’s Gaddafi before his ignoble downfall and death last October. Indeed, during Gates’ days at CIA (where he was the number two man), President Reagan delivered one of the first lethal blows, aided – as I recently reported – by financial intelligence collected by the NSA.
At one point during my tenure as Deputy DCI, I was briefed on a plan to launch balloons into Libya dropping leaflets telling the people to overthrow the government. I told them to make sure the leaflets specifically said it was Gaddafi who should be overthrown because I could see strong westerly winds carrying the balloons with a generic “overthrow your government” right across Libya into Egypt – (laughter) – And I imagine President Mubarak would have been none too pleased. (Laughter.)
Yeah, ha ha ha. So Gaddafi was bad but Mubarak was OK. You know the rest.