Kucinich Requests Administration’s Legal Rationale to Vest Libyan Assets

For Immediate Release

Kucinich Requests Administration’s Legal Rationale to Vest Libyan Assets

WASHINGTON - Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today requested that Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner provide “the legal justification that will be invoked to allow the Administration to go beyond seizing Libyan assets to vesting and redistributing them.” Congressman Kucinich’s letter comes in the wake of United States official recognition of the Transitional National Council (TNC) as the official, interim representative of the Libyan people, which has been reported as paving the way to allow the Administration to release funds frozen from the Gaddafi regime.

“The Administration’s stated intent is to turn over roughly $37 billion of assets to the Transitional National Council… [T]o take effective possession of and redistribute the assets without passage of the authorizing legislation it requested raises questions about a potentially illegal conversion of funds. It would also violate the right of the sovereign people of Libya to decide how they will use the frozen assets since they have yet to formally recognize the TNC as the governing body of Libya,” wrote Kucinich.

“There is a real possibility that the assets will be used not for the humanitarian purposes which they are intended but for instruments of war,” added Kucinich. “According to The New York Times, American officials explained that ‘about $3.5 million of the sum is liquid… and could be provided to the Transitional National Council over time. Although the officials expressed hope that the newly created Transitional National Council would use the money for traditional public services – to pay for health care and electrical power, for example – one of the council’s immediate priorities is arming and training its fighters so they can finally defeat forces loyal to Colonel Gaddafi.’”

See a signed copy of the letter here.

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