(by Alana Cook, WND) -- Back in 1979 when a mob attacked and burned the U.S. embassy in Tripoli, Libya, while an unstable Moammar Gadhafi was in power, American officials decided to respond by banning Libyan nationals from entering the U.S. to train as pilots or nuclear scientists.
Now, following a 2012 attack by Islamists that killed America’s ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi, Libya, and the Arab Spring that destabilized other North African and Middle Eastern nations, and which, according to one analysis, left “particularly severe” fragmentation of Libyan society so that the “chances of the country’s dissolution are high,” American officials want to drop that ban.
The request to lift the Reagan-era passport ban that restricts Libyan nationals from entering the U.S. to train for those two positions is coming from officials with the Department of Homeland Security and the 9/11 Commission – because, “It simply isn’t needed to keep America safe from harm.”
It was earlier this month at a joint congressional hearing that House Oversight and Government Reform Committee members pressed Border Security Subcommittee officials to give sound reasoning for the current administration’s request in light of late-March reports that indicate Libya is overrun by al-Qaida, Muslim Brotherhood and other terrorist-backed Islamist militias and is on the verge of a civil war.
A commentary at Gatestone Institute even noted there is a move to bring an Islamic monarchy back to Libya.
And according to a just-released report by Clare M. Lopez of the Citizens Commission on Benghazi, “Early 2011 was swarming with al-Qaida and Muslim Brotherhood militias and affiliates fighting to overthrow Moammar Gadhafi’s regime.”
But Democrats are calling the restriction “an anachronistic relic of a bygone era.”
“Why are we willing to risk, no matter the likelihood, chancing Libyan extremists or terrorists to come here to essentially learn the skills to commit acts of terror … why now specifically? What has changed? The burden of advocating for change, in my judgment, in the status quo lies with the administration,” Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., said in testimony.
Oversight committee members cited Obama’s “failed” promise to secure diplomatic posts worldwide immediately following the 2012 Benghazi attacks.
“I have also directed my administration to increase our security at diplomatic posts around the world,” Obama said then. “Make no mistake, we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people.”
But nothing has happened yet.