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Kucinich to Obama: Keep Your Promise to American, Libyan People; Protect Seized Assets for All Libyans
Washington D.C. (May 5, 2011) – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), the leader of Congressional opposition to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) war in Libya, today sent the following letter to President Obama after news reports indicated that the United States would make available frozen assets of the Gaddafi regime to the Libyan rebels to finance their operations.
May 5, 2011
The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
Washington D.C. 20500
Dear President Obama,
On March 28, 2011, you stated that the United States “will safeguard the more than $33 billion that was frozen from the Qaddafi regime so that it’s available to rebuild Libya. After all, the money doesn’t belong to Qaddafi or to us – It belongs to the Libyan people.” I wholeheartedly agree.
Yet today in Rome, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton stated that “[c]learly on our agenda is looking for the most effective way to deliver financial assets and other means of supporting and helping [the rebels]” during an international meeting of the Libyan Contact Group.
Such a policy would stand in stark contrast to your previous statements that frozen assets would be held in trust to allow Libyans to rebuild their country and is counterproductive to the enforcement of the United Nations mandate to protect civilians. Financing the continuation of a deadly stalemate puts civilians at greater risk for a longer time. We cannot finance a civil war while at the same time claim concern for civilian life.
Further, improperly appropriating another nation’s assets and giving them to one group in that nation is unlawful. According to United Nations Security Council Resolution 1970, “assets frozen … shall at a later stage be made available to and for the benefit of the people of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.” We cannot credibly claim that the money is being made available for the benefit of all Libyans when the money is used to fuel a civil war. If a theft is committed by one individual, one nation or a group of nations, it must be condemned.
While the United States acts to enforce international law, we must also be bound by international law. Otherwise, our actions and our motives are suspect. I urge you to keep your promise to the American and Libyan people by discontinuing any policy that could prolong this deadly conflict.
Dennis J. Kucinich
Member of Congress