The McClatchy news service scoop that Labib al-Nahhas, the Syrian foreign affairs director of al-Qaeda’s ally Ahrar ash-Sham, visited Washington, DC in December 2015 should have created a huge political stir in a presidential election year.
However, the fact that the Obama administration has been consorting with terrorist allies of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, and other countries has received little to no coverage in the American media. More astoundingly, Ahrar ash-Sham, which, along with the al-Nusra Front massacred 19 Alawite Muslims in the Syrian village of Zara in May, is not designated a terrorist group by the US State Department.
The simple fact is that from CIA director John Brennan to national security adviser Susan Rice and US Central Command chief General Joseph Votel to Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Senator John McCain, the Obama administration and the Republicans who control Congress have consorted with Islamist terrorists. These groups have included those who have executed Americans and who help finance and plan terrorist attacks against civilians around the world. The visit of al-Nahhas to Washington follows a long tradition of the US government consorting with Sunni Mujahideen (called the “muj” by their CIA overseers), jihadists, and Salafists starting with the support for Muslim insurgents in Afghanistan and continuing with the provision of military training and weapons to Sunni Arab guerrillas in Iraq.
U.S. Army General Joseph Votel, who paid a May visit to northern Syria, is not the first US official who entered Syria for a “get acquainted with” session with US-armed jihadist rebels, which was disguised as a “fact-finding mission”. In May 2013, Senator McCain entered northern Syria and met with a man who strongly resembles Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The more McCain’s staff and his neo-conservative apologists tried to claim the man was not al-Baghdadi but an unidentified commander of the Northern Storm Brigade, a group linked to the practically non-existent Free Syrian Army, the more McCain’s and the neocons’ lies became apparent. Reports from Damascus, Baghdad, Tehran, and Hezbollah’s media outlets in Beirut all confirmed that the CIA, along with the Israel Defense Force, were actively providing weapons, training, and logistics support to ISIL and allies units in Syria and western Iraq.