There’s some dispute over its ultimate destination, but a Libyan ship left for this area from a Greek port on Saturday. (Israel Radio reported this morning that Israel’s foreign ministry says it’s headed for the Egyptian port of El Arish, but the ship’s captain says it’s heading for Gaza). The ship’s crew, which claims to be carrying ‘humanitarian aid,’ says it’s willing to have the ship boarded and inspected at sea, but they’re not willing to unload at the Israeli port of Ashdod, as Israel has demanded.
But here’s the key. The ship has been sent by the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation. And if you’ve been following the Illinois Senate race, you may already know that the Obama administration has contributed $400,000 to the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation and to Wa Attassimou, another ‘charity’ run by a Gadhaffi family member (Hat Tip: Murphywong). And just to top it all off, the Foundation is run by the same Gadhaffi son who brought the Pan Am bomber back to Tripoli.
The Obama Administration plans to give $400,000 in funding to a Libyan charity run by the Gadhafi family, and U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) wants the grant withdrawn.
The money would be divided between two foundations run by the family of Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi. A $200,000 share is set to go to the Gadhafi Development Foundation, which is run by Gadhafi’s son, Saif, and another $200,000 are to go to Wa Attassimou, an organization run by Muammar Gadhafi’s daughter, Aisha.
Kirk says the grants should be withdrawn in light of the recent return to Libya of Pan Am Flight 103 bomber Abdel Baset Megrahi. The terminally ill prisoner was released from in Scotland on compassionate grounds, and got a hero’s welcome from Muammar Gadhafi and other Libyans upon his return.
Saif Gadhafi was involved in negotiating for Megrahi’s release, and accompanied him back to Libya.
“Just weeks after the Gadhafi family celebrated the return of a terrorist responsible for the murders of 189 Americans, the U.S. taxpayer should not be asked to reward them with $400,000,” Kirk wrote to the president. “For the sake of the victims’ families who have endured so much pain these last few weeks, I ask you to withdraw your Administration’s request.”
So in essence, the Obama administration is paying at least part of the cost of a Libyan ship being sent to run Israel’s legal blockade of Gaza.
What could go wrong?