The Marc Turi Criminal Indictment Exposed the Obama Administration’s Illegal, Covert Gun-Running Operation to Libya
Guest post by Jerome R. Corsi, Ph.D.
This article is the second of a series of articles explaining why President Obama enlisted the federal government’s national security and justice agencies to make sure Lt. General Michael Flynn never served as President Trump’s national security advisor. In September 2011, Flynn was promoted to Lieutenant General and assigned as assistant director of national intelligence in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). On April 17, 2012, President Barack Obama nominated Flynn to be the 18th director of DIA. On April 30, 2014, President Obama forced Flynn to retire because Flynn had collected sufficient intelligence on Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to charge Obama and Clinton with high crimes and misdemeanors. The premise of this article series is that as Trump’s national security director in the White House, Flynn would have pursued President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” over their illegal, clandestine supplying of weapons to terrorists in Libya. This series of articles draws on reporting Jerome Corsi previously published in World Net Daily [WND.com] from 2011-2015 when he worked at WND.com as a senior staff reporter.
(Here is a link to the first article in this series.)
Why did Barack Obama turn against Muammar Gaddafi?
The answer may be deceptively simple: The moment that Gaddafi became inconvenient to al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, Gaddafi became inconvenient to Obama.
In 2011, Gaddafi stood in the way of the al-Qaeda splinter group militia and the Muslim Brotherhood’s plan in Libya to advance the Arab Spring in North Africa by removing Muammar Qaddafi from power. The first article explained that President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton engineered an illegal, covert operation to run weapons to the al-Qaeda splinter militia groups and the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya. So, Obama and Clinton succeeded in converting Libya into a Sharia Law-driven Islamic terrorist state. After Qaddafi was deposed, Stevens was appointed U.S. ambassador to Libya. As U.S. ambassador, Stevens’s job shifted from overseeing the Obama-Clinton covert gun-running to Libya to supervising the shipment of arms from Libya to Syria to arm the rebels fighting Assad, some of whom ultimately become al-Nusra in Syria and some become ISIS. This second article examines the Marc Turi indictment. This case leaves no doubt Hillary Clinton was the chief architect of the Obama administration’s illegal, covert gun-running operation to Libya and subsequently to Syria.
As Trump’s national security advisor, General Flynn could have accessed the classified documentary evidence required to charge Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton with having engaged in “High Crimes and Misdemeanors” over their covert gun-running to al-Qaeda splinter militia groups and the Muslim Brother in Libya, as well as their clandestine gun-running to ISIS in Syria.
On Dec. 5, 2012, New York Times reporters James Risen, Mark Mazetti, and Michael Schmidt published an article entitled “U.S.-Approved Arms for Libya Rebels Fell into Jihadis’ Hands.” The article stated: “The Obama administration secretly gave its blessing to Libyan rebels from Qatar last year, but American officials later grew alarmed as evidence grew that Qatar was turning some of the weapons over to Islamic militants, according to United States officials and foreign diplomats.” This New York Times article implicated Marc Turi as the arms dealer who architected the 2011-2012 weapons shipments to Libya:
The case of Marc Turi, the American arms merchant who had sought to provide weapons to Libya, demonstrates other challenges the United States faced in dealing with Libya. A dealer who lives in both Arizona and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, Mr. Turi sells small arms to buyers in the Middle East and Africa, relying primarily on suppliers of Russian-designated weapons in Eastern Europe.
In March 2011, just as the Libyan civil war was intensifying, Mr. Turi realized that Libya could be a lucrative new market, and applied to the State Department for a license to provide weapons to the rebels there, according to emails and other documents he has provided. (American citizens are required to obtain United States approval for any international arms sales.)
The New York Times article explained that Turi emailed Christopher Stevens, “then the special representative to the Libyan rebel alliance.” The newspaper reported that Stevens said he would “share” Turi’s proposal with colleagues in Washington, according to emails Turi provided. Turi’s application for a license was rejected in late March 2011. Undeterred, Turi applied again, this time for a shipment of arms worth more than $200 million to Qatar. Two months later, the Department of Homeland Security raided Turi’s home near Phoenix.
In 2014, the Department of Justice indicted Turi on four felony counts: two of arms dealing in violation of the Arms Export Control Act and two of lying to the State Department in official applications. Pre-trial court filings by Turi’s defense counsel, Jean-Jacques Cabou of the law firm Perkins Coie LLP, made clear Turi intended to plead not guilty. Cabou felt he could prove that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton entrapped Turi in her 2011 covert, illegal plan to ship weapons to al-Qaeda-affiliated militia groups in Libya. The DOJ prosecution of Turi was unusual in that DOJ did not allege in its indictment that Turi ever actually sent any weapons to the Libyan “rebels.” Instead, DOJ charged Turi with lying on an export-license application, alleging he hid his intent to ship weapons and ammunition to Libya in violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 170.
Count 1 of the DOJ indictment against Turi, filed in U.S. District Court, District of Arizona, on February 11, 2014, read:
On or about March 29, 2011, in the District of Arizona and elsewhere, Marc Turi and Turi Defense Group, in an application for a license to broker weapons, did willfully and knowingly make and cause to be made an untrue material statement and omitted a material fact required to be stated therein by listing the Government of Qatar as the end user of certain USML [United States Munitions List} items, when, in fact, Marc Turi and Turi Defense Group knew then that the actual intended end user of the listed USML items were individuals in Libya.
The USML included defense- and space-related items and technology, including weapons that fell under the import/export jurisdiction of the State Department under the Arms Export Control Act of 1976 [22 U.S.C. 2778 and 2797(4)]
In a defense brief filed with the district court on Aug. 11, 2014, Cabou noted: “The central allegation here is that Defendants made false statements in an attempt to transship arms through Qatar and/or the United Arab Emirates to Libya. The government does not contend otherwise.” In the following sentence, written in bold type, Cabou telegraphed a key defense argument, “But, public documents reveal that arms were in fact transshipped though Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to Libya, and that the U.S. Government may have provided support for those transactions.”
This information comes from such reputable sources as the United Nations Security Council, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Reuters, and Senator [John] McCain’s own mouth. Given that the then-Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee [McCain] has publicly stated that the United States assisted in shipping arms to Libya, Defendants are certainly reasonable in believing the same. And if the United States did take such actions, any documents or other evidence relating to those actions are surely relevant to Defendants’ defense that they reasonably believed they had U.S. Government authority to broker nearly identical transactions. Defendants do not know what evidence does or does not exist on this front, but they are entitled to know.
The Marc Turi trial record established that DOJ utilized the Classified Information Procedures Act [CIFA, 18 U.S.C. App. 3 § 2] in an attempt to restrict releasing of various documents to the defense, effectively limiting the scope of defense discovery regarding the involvement of the Clinton State Department and Obama White House in arms shipments to Libya. The discovery reached an impasse when the government refused to produce any information requested by the defense in the CIFA conference held on Sept. 3, 2014. The government argued that the information requested by the defense regarding the Clinton State Department and the White House’s involvement in shipping arms to Libya was “not related to the conduct alleged in the indictment.”
In a motion to compel discovery filed with the district court on Sept. 22, 2014, defense counsel Cabou argued the government documents requested at the CIFA conference were central to the defense. Cabou wrote:
At its core, the Indictment alleges that Defendants, a State Department licensed arms dealer and its president [of Turi Defense Group] who have previously worked for the U.S. government through the Central Intelligence Agency, lied in an effort to arrange for the eventual transport of $267 million worth of weapons into Libya in 2011. It alleges that they intended to transport this extraordinary quantity of weapons with the assistance of foreign governments. It alleges that they intended to transport the weapons on dozens of airplanes into NATO-restricted airspace without NATO approval or detection. It alleges that they did so unilaterally. In other words, it alleges that they did so without any knowledge or involvement of the United States Government. Nonsense.
Cabou asserted the government’s “story defies common sense and ignores basic realities and the facts.” In the next paragraph, Cabou made clear the defense at trial would expose Hillary Clinton’s role in the Obama White House decision to transport weapons to the al-Qaida-affiliated militia in Libya in 2011 via a third-party country like Qatar. Clinton’s goal was to disguise the reality the weapons shipment was U.S. organized and delivered, in open defiance of United Nations Resolution 170 and a NATO-imposed arms embargo in effect at the time.
In particular, Defendants intend to vigorously pursue a public authority defense, already noticed in this case, and premised on certain facts including, but not limited to, that: (1) Defendants had previously worked with the U.S. Government, including the CIA, on covert weapons transactions, (2) those transactions bore substantial similarities to the ones here, (3) Defendants either actually had public authority for the actions at issue here or reasonably believed that they had authority based on that prior relationship, (4) the United States did in fact covertly arm the Libyan rebels using a plan remarkably similar to the one at issue here, (5) the United States frequently assists in the covert transportation of arms, and (6) the manner and means by which the United States typically conducts such operations are identical to what actually happened in this case.
On Sept. 22, 2014, the District Court issued an order granting the defendant’s motion to compel the government to release the long list of internal government documents the defense requested. The documents to be released included other evidence “relating to instances in which the United States assisted or considered assisting in the covert transportation, provision, acquisition, transfer, or transport of Defense Articles to or from any person, entity, group of people, quasi-governmental entity, or government within the territory of Qatar and/or the United Arab Emirates within the timeframe of 2010 to the date of this request.”
On October 20, 2015, John Solomon and Jeffrey Scott Shapiro reported in the Washington Times on newly disclosed memos recovered in the burned-out compound in Benghazi in the aftermath of the attack that killed Ambassador Stevens on Sept. 11, 2011. The memos proved diplomats at the Benghazi compound were tracking several covert State Department-authorized weapons shipments. The State Department intended one of these secret weapons shipments to be for the Transitional National Council, the Libyan movement seeking to oust Gadhafi. The Washington Times reported that an end-use certificate from the State Department’s office of trade defense controls proved Dolarian Capital Inc. of Fresno, California, had been licensed to ship a weapons cache to Libya. The weapons cache included rocket launchers, grenade launchers, 7,000 machine guns, and 8 million rounds of ammunition. The newspaper reported that Dolarian Capital was a U.S. arms merchant working with U.S. intelligence. In 2011, the State Department approved Dolarian Capital to ship weapons to Libya via Kuwait, only to have the State Department inexplicably revoke the license before Dolarian Capital had sent the weapons.
On June 29, 2015, Catherine Herridge and Pamela Brown reported on Fox Business an interview they had conducted with Turi. “In the spring of 2011, Turi says his high-level contacts, both inside and outside of the US government, encouraged him to explore options to arm the Libyan opposition as they tried to overthrow the Libyan dictator Moammar Qaddafi,” Herridge and Browne reported. “Turi said, ‘That’s where I came up with this “zero footprint’ Arab supply chain whereby our foreign ally supplies another Arab country,’” Herridge and Browne continued. “In this case, the US would supply conventional weapons to a US ally—Qatar, who would, in turn, supply them to Libya, as a kind of workaround.” Herridge and Brown quoted Turi saying: “‘If you want to limit the exposure to the US government, you simply outsource it to your allies. The partners-—the Qataris and the Emiratis —did exactly what they were contracted to do.” Herridge and Brown concluded the article by noting that Turi told Fox Business that he never supplied any weapons to Qatar. He said the covert U.S. government program covertly running guns to the Libyan rebels was in the hands of the U.S. government and the State Department’s Bureau of Political and Military Affairs. Andrew Shapiro, a key Clinton aide, managed the State Department’s Bureau of Political and Military Affairs and was responsible for overseeing the export control process at the State Department.
On October 3, 2016, DOJ attorneys filed a motion in federal court in Phoenix to drop the case against Marc Turi. On October 4, 2016, Kenneth Pl Vogel and Josh Gerstein filed a story in Politico.com that asserted the following about the DOJ decision to dismiss the Turi indictment:
The deal averts a trial that threatened to cast additional scrutiny on Hillary Clinton’s private emails as Secretary of State, and to expose reported Central Intelligence Agency attempts to arm rebels fighting Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
In his first interview after the DOJ dropped the indictment against him, Marc Turi told Fox News that DOJ abruptly dropped the case to avoid public disclosure of the weapons program that was designed to force the ouster of Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi during the 2011 Arab Spring. “I would say, 100 percent, I was victimized … to somehow discredit me, to throw me under the bus, to do whatever it took to protect their next presidential candidate,” Turi told then-Fox News chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge.
Roger Aronoff, a founding member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi [CCB] and the Editor of Accuracy in Media, reported on July 31, 2014, on the Turi indictment. Aronoff argued that Clare Lopez, a CCB member who served as a career operations officer with the CIA and yet today serves as vice president for research at the Washington-based Center for Security Policy, might be right. Lopez claimed that in 2011, Hillary Clinton’s State Department was orchestrating its own gun-running operation to supply the Libyan rebels. She also claimed that arms dealer Marc Turi was set up to take the fall for these illicit arms deals. “We have ample evidence the Libyan gun-running operation was a White House operation and that the State Department under Hillary Clinton ran the show,” Lopez told WND.
“The key point is that Marc Turi, despite receiving written approval from the U.S. government to broker weapons to Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, never actually went through any weapons purchases or shipments to Qatar, to the UAE, or Libya,” Lopez stressed. But what is clear is that the guns were shipped. We concluded in the Citizens’ Commission Interim Report in April 2014 that Hillary Clinton’s State Department was shipping the guns to Libya,” she continued. “Marc Turi was set up and framed for something he didn’t do, while others, who actually did collaborate with Qatar and the UAE to deliver the weapons under U.S. and NATO protection and supervision, are not only not prosecuted like Marc Turi, they’re not even mentioned.”
In March 2011, as the U.S. and European bombing of Libya began, the Obama administration rejected an offer by Muammar Qadhafi to engage in negotiations to abdicate as president of Libya. On March 21, 2011, in the early stages of the Libyan Islamic rebellion, Rear Admiral (Ret.) Chuck Kubic began to email and telephone contact between Tripoli and AFRICOM in Stuttgart, Germany, to broker an offer by Gadhafi to engage in talks with the United States under a white flag of truce, according to testimony Kubic provided the Citizens Commission on Benghazi. “Muammar Qaddafi expressed his willingness to abdicate shortly after the beginning of the 2011 Libyan revolt, but the U.S. ignored his calls for a truce, which led to extensive loss of life (including four Americans), chaos, and detrimental outcomes for U.S. national security objectives across the region,” the Interim Report of the Citizens Commission on Benghazi concluded. “He even pulled his forces back from several Libyan cities as a sign of good faith.”
The Interim Report detailed the precise chain of communications with the U.S. government involved in pursuing the possibility Gadhafi might abdicate, obviating the need for the U.S. to join with NATO to back the Al Qaeda-affiliated militia seeking to depose Gadhafi in an armed rebellion. “Rear Admiral Kubic telephoned LTC Brian Linvill, the U.S. AFRICOM point of contact for all military matters regarding the Libyan situation, to advise him of Qaddafi’s desire to enter into military-to-military discussions,” the Interim Report continued. “General Carter Ham was advised immediately on 21 March 2011 of these communications and conveyed them up his chain of command to the Pentagon.” The Obama administration, however, expressed no apparent interest in pursuing the possibility Gaddafi might step down from power in Libya. “After two days of back-and-forth with the Libyans, however, General Ham had received no positive affirmation of consent from Washington, D.C. to pursue Qaddafi’s offer,” the Interim Report continued.
I don’t know if the decision came from the White House or Hillary Clinton at the State Department. But the advice AFRICOM gave me was to leave everything alone and stand down. An authoritative source told me in the U.S. government that an intelligence memorandum on the negotiations went to President Obama in its raw form. This memorandum was the document that gave the actual intelligence on the al-Qaida elements that were part of the Libyan revolution. All these negotiations happened from March 19-22, 2011. The intelligence document given to the president was dated March 24, 2011. On March 29, 2011, President Obama signed the intelligence finding, authorizing the United States to arm the rebels.
Confirming Admiral Kubic’s timeline, Reuters reported on Wednesday, March 30, 2011, that President Obama “has signed a secret order authorizing covert U.S. government support for rebel forces seeking to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi, government officials told Reuters on Wednesday.” Reuters further reported that the “presidential finding” signed by Obama was “a principal form of presidential directive used to authorize secret operations by the Central Intelligence Agency,” noting the signing of the presidential finding was a “necessary legal step” before the CIA could proceed.
“One of the most astounding parts of this whole thing is that Gadhafi had destroyed his stash of Weapons of Mass Destruction [WMDs] and was providing us with a steady stream of intelligence on al-Qaida movements in Libya,” Kevin Shipp told the author when reporting for WND.com. Kevin Shipp, a member of the Citizens Commission on Benghazi and a former CIA agent who spent 17 years with the CIA counterintelligence, counterterrorism, human intelligence operations, and internal security, as well as a program manager of the Department of State, Diplomatic Security, Anti-Terrorism Assistance global police training program. “Gadhafi was collaborating with us as an ally, so for the Obama administration, the White House national security team, and the State Department to break off contact with Gadhafi was amazing, especially when he was asking to step down and seek asylum.”
Shipp expressed his continued amazement that the Obama administration stood by while Libyan rebel forces aligned with al-Qaida not only toppled Gaddafi but also killed him. “It amounted to a de facto, third-party assassination committed ultimately by the United States, if you ask my opinion,” he concluded. “Why would we destabilize Libya when the leader tried to be our ally? This question is huge, and it suggests a pattern of Obama and his national security advisors to support Islamic rebel movements, including supporting the Free Syrian Army, over what could be a more stable solution.” Shipp speculated on why the Obama administration began covering up the truth about Benghazi. “The Obama administration was terrified that the American public would learn the CIA and Hillary Clinton’s State Department were running guns secretly into Libya before Gadhafi was deposed. Obama and Clinton did not want the American public to know that weapons bound for Libya wound up in the hands of al-Qaida in Syria,” he said. “Obama’s covert gun-running activity in Libya and Syria would be traitorous, in my opinion, if the facts ever came out to the American public.”
“Barack Obama supported the Muslim Brotherhood in the Arab Spring that eventually turned into supporting al-Qaida,” Lt. Col. Dennis Haney, USAF (Ret.), told the author when reporting for WND.com. Haney was also a member of the Citizens Commission on Benghazi. He had served as a U.S. Air Force jet fighter aircraft combat-experienced Electronic Warfare Officer with 22 years of experience as an Electronic Combat technical expert, attached for three years to the 52nd Tactical Fighter Wing Staff in Spangdahlem AB, Germany.
On the Citizens Commission on Benghazi, Haney played a crucial role in coordinating with the Global Response Staff [GRS] contractors that were present defending the CIA Annex at Benghazi during the terrorist attack that took the life of Christopher Stevens. “President Obama is a Muslim sympathizer,” Haney continued. “He wanted the Arab Spring to break forth across northern Africa, even if it meant destabilizing countries like Egypt and Libya by deposing Mubarak in Egypt and Gadhafi in Libya. Gadhafi had given up trying to fight America and was willing to open up his munitions inventory to U.S. inspection.”
Returning to the central theme, Obama and his coup d’état co-conspirators could not afford to risk allowing Lieutenant General Flynn to serve as President Trump’s national security advisor in the White House. As a former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency in the Obama administration, Flynn would have been able to gather the internal classified documents that could prove to the American people the Obama administration’s treasonous gun-running operations in Libya and Syria.
In 2020, Jerome Corsi published Coup d’État: Exposing Deep State Treason, from which much of this article was drawn. In 2019, he published Silent No More: How I Became a Political Prisoner of Mueller’s “Witch Hunt,” explaining how the Mueller prosecutors confronted Dr. Corsi for over two months for hours at a time in a closed conference room with no windows. Dr. Corsi effectively ended the Mueller “Russian Collusion” investigation when he refused to take the Mueller prosecutors’ plea deal, alleging he had lied to the FBI. The FBI never indicted Dr. Corsi—further proof the Mueller prosecutors were the ones telling the lies.