Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan was kidnapped Thursday by armed men and taken to an unknown location, the government said.
“The head of the transitional government, Ali Zeidan, was taken to an unknown destination for unknown reasons by a group” of men believed to be former rebels, the government said in a brief statement on its website.
Gunmen broke into the hotel where the prime minister was staying in the capital, Tripoli, and kidnapped him early Thursday morning, Al-Arabiya, a Saudi news channel, reported.
A former Libyan rebel group, The Libyan Revolutionary Operations Chamber, said on its Facebook page Thursday that it had “arrested” Zeidan after the government allowed the United States to capture Al-Qaeda suspect Abu Anas al-Liby in Tripoli last weekend.
The group said it had seized the prime minister “on the prosecutor’s orders,” and added that Zeidan was “arrested under the Libyan penal code … on the instructions of the public prosecutor.”
“His arrest comes after the statement by (U.S. Secretary of State) John Kerry about the capture of Abu Anas al-Liby, after he said the Libyan government was aware of the operation,” a spokesman for the group said.
US Secretary of State John Kerry named former US ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk as his main envoy in Israeli-Palestinian talks starting in Washington later on Monday and said he was seeking “reasonable compromises” in the tough negotiations.
“It is no secret that many difficult choices lie ahead for the negotiators and for the leaders as we seek reasonable compromises on tough, complicated, emotional and symbolic issues.”
Kerry said Indyk is ‘realistic’ about the difficulties facing the Israelis and Palestinians and US negotiators in the resumption of the long-stalled talks.
At a State Department announcement, Kerry said that “the cause of peace” has been Indyk’s life’s mission.
The Massachusetts Democratic Party are set to attack the Republican frontrunner Michael J Sullivan for the Senate seat vacated by Secretary Kerry. They will hold press conferences to highlight Sullivans opposition to same-sex marriage and his opposition to the assault weapons ban.
“We believe that by shining a light on Sullivan, who is widely recognized as the Republican front runner, we can show that the Republican Party is much like the national Republican Party, out of touch, driven by the Tea Party to take extreme positions, and on the wrong side of the issues for Massachusetts,’’ state Democratic Party chairman John W. Walsh said in a statement Tuesday.
But there is another angle to the Democrats’ strategy. By highlighting Sullivan’s socially conservative positions, they hope to energize the GOP primary electorate, propelling Sullivan to victory and thereby ensuring that the Democratic nominee will face the most conservative of the three Republican candidates in the June 25 election.
Democratic Sen. John Kerry, on a smooth path to confirmation as secretary of state, is likely to face friendly questioning when he testifies before the committee that he’s served on for 28 years and led for the past four.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman will sit at the witness table Thursday when he appears before the panel, a month after President Barack Obama said he wanted him to succeed Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Clinton is stepping down.
The five-term Massachusetts senator is widely expected to win overwhelming bipartisan support from his colleagues, and that notion was reinforced by the list of people who will introduce him: Clinton, Massachusetts freshman Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Republican Sen. John McCain.
Writing for the Washington/Moonie Times - in an column with the ominous title of “A world without America: Obama Cabinet nominees want to manage U.S. decline,” anti-Muslim nutjob (and birther) Frank Gaffney says that the nominee to head the CIA, John Brennan’s ability to speak Arabic is actually a negative:
Mr. Brennan is a textbook example of a U.S. official who has ‘gone native.’ He speaks Arabic and was formerly the top CIA officer in Saudi Arabia. He has shown himself to be deeply sympathetic to Islamists — for example, excusing and dissembling about their commitment to jihad and the necessity of not offending them.
It’s the main argument in his thesis, which is that President Obama’s second term agenda is to “manage America’s decline:”
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly declared that ‘a world without America is not only desirable, it is achievable.’ While that sentiment won’t be embraced in President Obama’s inaugural address next week, all other things being equal, it seems likely to be the practical effect of his second term.
Of course, Iran’s regime seeks a world literally without America. More to the point, Mr. Ahmadinejad and the mullahs in Tehran are working tirelessly to secure the means by which to accomplish that goal. Specifically, they have or are developing the ability to engage in devastating electromagnetic pulse attacks, biological warfare and other asymmetric terrorist strikes.
For his part, President Obama seems to have in mind bringing about a world without America in a geostrategic sense. As Mark Steyn notes in a characteristically brilliant essay in National Review Online, that would be ‘Obamacare’s other shoe.’ It would amount to a ‘fundamental transformation’ of America’s place in the world, evidently intended to be the president’s second-act counterpart to the socialist transformation of this country that dominated his first term.
This agenda is strongly evident in Mr. Obama’s choices for key national security positions: John F. Kerry at the State Department, Chuck Hagel at Defense and John O. Brennan at the CIA. The three are, like the president, imbued with a post-American, post-sovereignty, post-constitutional, transnationalist outlook. In his administration, it would appear that their mission would be, as the American Enterprise Institute’s Danielle Pletka puts it, to manage the United States’ decline.
Hat tip - Right Wing Watch
As expected, John Kerry, the senior senator from Massachusetts and former Democratic presidential candidate in 2004, has been nominated by President Obama to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of State in Obama’s second term.
Kerry is popular in the Senate on a bipartisan basis. His confirmation should present few issues, especially since he has already gone through the even more severe vetting process of an intense and highly competitive presidential race.
And because of his detailed knowledge of many foreign policy issues, due to his chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee over the years, not to mention his presidential aspirations and his Vietnam military service at an earlier stage in life, he is also well placed to ensure thoughtfulness and continuity in American foreign policy in the months ahead.
Washington (CNN) — President Barack Obama on Friday will nominate Sen. John Kerry, the former presidential candidate who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, to be the next secretary of state, a senior administration official told CNN.
The senior senator from Massachusetts is noted for the experience, gravitas and relationship-building skills that could help him succeed Hillary Clinton, the outgoing top U.S. diplomat.
Kerry has traveled the globe on behalf of the Obama administration to mend frayed relationships. Most notably, he traveled to Pakistan after a series of incidents, including the raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, that had set relations back.
He has support from Republicans as well as Democrats. The nomination will be sent to the Senate for confirmation.
President Obama is considering asking Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) to serve as his next defense secretary, part of an extensive rearrangement of his national security team that will include a permanent replacement for former CIA director David H. Petraeus.
Although Kerry is thought to covet the job of secretary of state, senior administration officials familiar with the transition planning said that nomination will almost certainly go to Susan E. Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
John O. Brennan, Obama’s chief counterterrorism adviser, is a leading contender for the CIA job if he wants it, officials said. If Brennan goes ahead with his plan to leave government, Michael J. Morell, the agency’s acting director, is the prohibitive favorite to take over permanently. Officials cautioned that the White House discussions are still in the early stages and that no decisions have been made.
Obama’s ‘Congressional Secretary of State,’ Kerry Stokes Talk of Top Diplomat Prize Kerry’s Diplomatic Activities Are Questioned
Since he was elevated to the leading foreign policy position in Congress three years ago, John F. Kerry has been on the road a lot. He has brokered runoff elections in Afghanistan, shuttled between warring factions in Africa, and patiently sat through marathon tea-drinking sessions with recalcitrant Middle East dictators, all to advance the Obama administration’s top foreign policy goals.
In the words of Vice President Joe Biden, Kerry “probably has the closest relationship with the president and the vice president of any chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.”
“When he takes on the responsibility of being an envoy for this administration, he does it with great skill,” Biden told the Globe.
Yet Kerry’s frenetic pace of travel on behalf of the administration is stoking a lively debate. Some foreign policy specialists question whether the Massachusetts Democrat has his eye on the secretary of state’s job if Obama is reelected and, as a result, has been too lenient on oversight of the administration’s policies, the chairman’s primary role.
The fiercest criticism is directed at his committee’s oversight of the war in Afghanistan and the administration’s use of lethal force, including the expansion of drone strikes in Pakistan and elsewhere.
“Times of war is when the need for oversight is at its zenith,” said Bruce Fein, a constitutional lawyer and former top Justice Department official in the Reagan administration. “That’s where the checks and balances are needed. Kerry is doing the opposite. He seems to be running for secretary of state and has not had serious oversight of the conduct of wars that are more endless than Vietnam.”