White House: U.S. Relations with Libya Have 'Normalized'

White House: U.S. Relations with Libya Have 'Normalized'

Department of Homeland Security internal documents obtained by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) draft final regulation arranged by the Obama Administration that would lift the established ban on Libyans coming to the U.S. to work in aviation maintenance, flight operations, or to receive training and education in nuclear science. According to a House Judiciary Committee press release, “this draft final regulation could go into place without prior notice and comment.” 

The original prohibition was put in place by the Reagan administration following a slew of terrorist attacks involving Libyans. Despite the attacks on the U.S. consulate and CIA annex in Benghazi, Libya, the Obama administration defends lifting the ban by claiming the United States’ relationship with Libya has been “normalized.” 

“It is shocking that the Obama Administration is turning a blind eye to real terrorist threats that exist in Libya today. Just over a year ago, four Americans were killed in the pre-planned terrorist attacks on the American Consulate in Benghazi,” said Chairman Goodlatte in a statement. 

“We still haven’t gotten to the bottom of the Benghazi terrorist attacks and continue to face additional terrorist threats from Libya, yet the Obama Administration is preparing to lift a longstanding ban that protects Americans and our interests. The Obama Administration should focus its attention on getting answers to the lingering questions surrounding the Benghazi terrorist attacks and ensure that Americans are kept safe and sound,” Goodlatte said.

Terror-related threats towards Americans continue to happen in Libya one year after the attack in Benghazi. One terrorist incident that happened in the 1990’s is being handled by a U.S. court this week. Libyan Abu Anas al-Liby appeared in federal court in New York on Wednesday and is accused of having links to al-Qaeda and of connection to the bombings of two US embassies in 1998. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

“In the weeks and months leading up to the attacks in Benghazi, the Obama Administration ignored looming terrorist threats,” said Rep. Chaffetz in a statement. He added, “It is unbelievable that this Administration would again put Americans in harm’s way by lifting a decades old security ban on a country that has become a hotbed of terrorist activity. We must work with the Libyans to build mutual trust that ensures safety and prosperity for both countries to enjoy.”