A new batch of e-mails released by the House Select Committee on Benghazi reveals that Cody Shearer — a man investigated by the State Department in the 1990s for falsely representing himself as an agent of the U.S. government while taking cash from a genocidal warlord — wrote at least one crucial intelligence memo on Libya that was sent directly to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
On March 6, 2011, longtime Clinton consigliere Sidney Blumenthal forwarded Clinton a memo written by Shearer on Mahmoud Jibril, then a relatively unknown figure in the Libyan opposition against Gaddafi. In it, Shearer urges the U.S. government to make immediate contact with the Libyan politician. Clinton met directly with Jibril within days of receiving the memo. He was named head of the interim Libyan government soon after.
Shearer, a former tabloid journalist, became part of the Clinton machine after his brother-in-law was hired as deputy secretary of state during Bill Clinton’s first term. In the mid-90s, he traveled to Europe to negotiate the surrender of Radovan Karadzic, the Bosnian-Serb president responsible for the genocidal slaughter of thousands of Bosnian Muslims. Falsely claiming to be a State Department employee, Shearer told Karadzic’s family and associates he had the ear of his brother-in-law, Secretary of State Madeline Albright, and even President Clinton. He was paid at least $25,000 by the Serbs for his unsuccessful effort to reduce the charges against Karadzic before being officially warned by the State Department to cease and desist. The department later opened an investigation into his activities in the Balkans.
In 2011, Shearer teamed up with Blumenthal, another veteran Clinton confidante, in a shadowy scheme involving a private security contractor seeking to do business in post-revolutionary Libya. Blumenthal was advising the group while simultaneously sending intelligence reports directly to Clinton. E-mails previously leaked from Blumenthal’s account show that some of the information he sent was initially collected by Shearer.
The March 6, 2011 e-mail released by the Benghazi Committee, however, illustrates a more direct link between Clinton and Shearer. “Cody, on his own, still at heart an indefatigable journalist, simply picked up the phone . . . and had a conversation with one of the key figures in the Libyan National Council,” Blumenthal writes, copying Shearer’s intelligence memo directly into the e-mail.
Shearer’s memo calls Jibril “very smart” saying the Libyan has “no desire to serve in a future government, [but] only wants to help in the transition.”
“Someone should contact Mahmod Jipreel [sic],” Shearer continues. “He is balanced, level-headed and understands [the] current situation well.”
“Cody says that Jipreel [sic] said he has not been contacted by anyone from the US government,” Blumenthal wrote in the e–mail. But less than ten days later, on March 15, 2011, Clinton met directly with Jibril at a 4-star hotel in Paris. They talked for 45 minutes — Jibril later said it was this conversation that convinced Clinton of the need for military intervention. “I felt by the end of the meeting, I had passed the test,” he told the Washington Times in 2015. The United States voted for a U.N. resolution authorizing military force against Gaddafi on March 17. American cruise missiles began hitting Libyan targets two days later.
On March 23, Jibril was named the head of Libya’s transitional government. Despite Shearer’s claim that Jibril had no political ambitions, the Libyan now heads the National Forces Alliance, one of the most powerful political parties to form after Gaddafi’s fall. He ran unsuccessfully for prime minister in September 2012.
— Brendan Bordelon is a political reporter for National Review.