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For the Record': How the U.S. Set the Stage for the Islamic State in Libya


The Obama administration has come under fire for its handling of the 2011 Middle East uprisings known as the "Arab Spring.”  Even top Democrats have blamed Obama’s policies for inadvertently paving the way for the spread of the Islamic State.

In 2011, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was openly supportive of the decision to remove former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi from power. As news of Gaddafi’s death broke, Clinton was caught on camera joyfully touting, “We came. We saw. He died.”

But evidence clearly shows the power vacuum left after Gaddafi opened the way for the Islamic State to seize control of in Libya.

In December 2015, Clinton strongly defended the policies that lead to the overthrow of Gaddafi and a substantial Islamic State presence in Libya, saying, “We have to continue to do what is necessary when someone like Gadhafi, a despot with American blood on his hands, is overturned.”

A 2014 For the Record investigation uncovered the role the U.S. government played in opening Libya to the Islamic State. It was a secret operation code-named “Zero Footprint.” In the episode, government officials and contractors told For the Record that any worries about the connections between the rebels and terrorist groups were brushed aside by leaders from both political parties. In the end, America’s leaders were focused only on toppling Gaddafi all the while keeping their actions concealed from the public.

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