Ex-CIA chief: Gaddafi a good partner

2011-04-27 13:31
Maryland - The former chief of the CIA on Tuesday praised Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's past co-operation and said his downfall could complicate US interests in the short term.

Retired general Michael Hayden, who led the Central Intelligence Agency from 2006 to 2009 under President George W Bush, said that restive Syria also helped US intelligence but only in selective areas.

Speaking at a conference of the Marine Corps University, Hayden said the CIA had worked well with Gaddafi and Musa Kusa, the foreign minister who defected last month as Libyan forces moved against rebels.

"Whatever you think of Gaddafi and Musa Kusa...they were good and they were good counter-terrorism partners," Hayden told the conference near Washington.

Hayden said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was "pretty good" at fighting Sunni Muslim militants but supported Shi'ite radicals. Assad belongs to the Alawite sect, a Shi'ite offshoot despised by Sunni extremists such as al-Qaeda.

"In both cases, you have real near-term turbulence that could - that will - make the closer fight in the immediate time-frame much more difficult," Hayden said.

But Hayden said the wave of unrest across the Arab world could prove beneficial to the United States in the long term by changing the dynamics of the region.

The uprisings "will make the ground far less fertile for the type of extremism that al-Qaeda proselytizes, but it's a long time between here and there", Hayden said.

Gaddafi, a long-time international pariah due to the 1988 Lockerbie bombing and other attacks blamed on Libyan spies, started to reconcile with the United States in 2003 and found common interests in fighting al-Qaeda.

But Western powers led by France and Britain launched air strikes on Gaddafi's forces last month due to fears of mass civilian casualties as they mobilised against rebel strongholds.

Read more on:    cia  |  al-qaeda  |  musa kusa  |  muammar gaddafi  |  libya  |  us  |  north africa  |  uprisings

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Paarden Eiland - 12:20 PM
    Road name: Neptune Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Carlisle Street
  • Tuesday Belhar - 12:12 PM
    Road name: Stellenbosch Arterial Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Symphony Way
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold 9780

BlackBerry 6 Engage your world with BlackBerry 6 OS on the...

From R3049.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something may come up to alert you of your security needs. It may be that you need to create a better structure for your finances...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.