On This Day — President Ronald Reagan Announces Economic Sanctions Against Libya (January 7 1986)

“I cannot rule out that Libya, in some way, is responsible (for the ‘La Belle Disco’ bombing ). But I must say that such hasty blame regarding Rome and Vienna, for which Libya had immediately been made responsible, did not prove to be correct.”

Christian Lochte — Head of the Hamburg Branch of the BfV (April 1986)

“Your White House, specifically your national security adviser, constructed an operation whereby the free press in this country was going to be used to convey a false story to the world, namely that Qaddafi was planning new terrorist operations.”

New York Times (October 3 1986)

On April 14th 1986, Ronald Reagan ordered a series of bombings directed against Libya under “Operation El Dorado Canyon

On January 7 1986, President Ronald Reagan announced economic sanctions against Libya and called on the European allies to join with the U.S. in isolating Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

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Addressing a national television audience at his first White House news conference in nearly four months, President Ronald Reagan said there was irrefutable evidence of Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi’s involvement in the December 27, 1985 airport massacres in Rome and Vienna.

“…On December 27th terrorists, as we know, attacked Rome and Vietnam [Vienna] international airports. It was the latest in a series of atrocities which have shocked the conscience of the world. It’s clear that the responsibility for these latest attacks lies squarely with the terrorist known as Abu Nidal and his organization. The number of his victims increased by 19, among them 5 Americans, including Natasha Simpson, an 11-year-old girl. Many others from around the world were wounded. And we shall make every effort to bring Abu Nidal and other terrorists to justice.

But these murderers could not carry out their crimes without the sanctuary and support provided by regimes such as Colonel Qaddafi’s in Libya. Qaddafi’s longstanding involvement in terrorism is well documented, and there’s irrefutable evidence of his role in these attacks… (…)

Our differences are not with the people of Libya, but with Colonel Qaddafi and his regime. We’ve taken these steps after much reflection and in full awareness of the economic consequences which the United States stands to incur as a result. Civilized nations cannot continue to tolerate in the name of material gain and self-interest the murder of innocents. Qaddafi deserves to be treated as a pariah in the world community. We call on our friends in Western Europe and elsewhere to join with us in isolating him. Americans will not understand other nations moving into Libya to take commercial advantage of our departure. We will consult with all our key allies to pursue the goal of broader cooperation.

Italy’s Prime Minister Craxi, in whose country one of the recent attacks occurred, properly emphasized the necessity not only of coping with terrorists but identifying “those states that guarantee terrorist protection and the possibility to arm and organize themselves to carry out their bloody raids.” Qaddafi’s Libya is such a nation, and we call upon other nations to join us in denying it the normal economic and diplomatic privileges of the civilized world. If these steps do not end Qaddafi’s terrorism, I promise you that further steps will be taken.”

On October 2 1986, Bob Woodward (Washington Post) published an extraordinary story: “Gadhafi Target of Secret U.S. Deception Plan”.

Under orders from the White House, the US Intelligence Community was planting false information in the US media.

In the evening of October 3 1986, Secretary of State George P. Shultz spoke to reporters at a Press Briefing:

There is a wonderful book that you might read… And the title of it is from a quote from Winston Churchill: “In time of war, the truth is so precious, it must be attended by a bodyguard of lies.”

President Ronald Reagan announces economic sanctions against Libya

REFERENCES

US Reagan News Conference, Sanctions Against Libya — AP Archive
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On This Day — President Ronald Reagan announces economic sanctions against Libya(January 7 1986)

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