WASHINGTON (FinalCall.com) – It was one of the most bizarre incidents during the NATO-supported uprising in Libya. The Rev. Walter Fauntroy, a retired member of the Congressional Black Caucus went missing in Tripoli for several weeks during a self-sanctioned mission to that war zone, as rebel forces advanced toward the capital and their eventual overthrow of Col. Muammar Gadhafi , who led the North African country for nearly 41 years.
Rumors spread that the former senior aide to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had been killed. Then, on Aug. 24, the office of the Rev. Fauntroy’s successor in Congress– D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton–announced that she had “been in touch with authorities who have spoken with” Mr. Fauntroy. “Authorities have confirmed for Norton that (the) Reverend Fauntroy is safely in the care of the International Committee of the Red Cross and is expected to leave Libya soon.”
One day later Mrs. Norton issued another statement indicating that she “spoke with Ms. Dorothy Fauntroy, wife of former D.C. Congressman Walter Fauntroy. Ms. Fauntroy told Norton that the family spoke to (the) Reverend Fauntroy around 3:00 a.m. EDT and that he said he is in a safe place in Libya and expects to return to D.C. later this week. … Ms. Fauntroy did not know the circumstances of (the) Reverend Fauntroy’s visit to Libya. He told her of the trip only shortly before his departure in order to prevent her from worrying,” the statement concluded.
“And I went” to Libya, Mr. Fauntroy told The Final Call, after several days of thinking about whether or not to grant an interview. “And God knows, did I get in trouble. When I got there I found myself in the secure hotel that had been, by international law reserved for news media so they could go out and cover the war and come back and report it to the world in safety. I was there.
“But I found myself there among 37 so-called newsmen, and myself, all of whom were threatened, first by ones within the group. There were Gadhafi reporters who were so angry with the lies the reporters were saying that they were going to kill them, and told them they were going to kill them. And chop their heads off, and cut their right arm and left leg off and take a picture of it and send it to their friends. And they were scared to death, because they knew if we walked out of that place, they could do it.”
Among the lies that were spread by Western news services, according to the Rev. Fauntroy, was that “Libyans are killing Libyans savagely. And the fact is, as I pointed out to you, they (the killings) were done by professionals from the special forces from the countries that want the oil–the NATO forces. You don’t get the picture that indicate(s) to you that, one, it’s all about Africa’s resources. Period. Period,” he explained.
“We thought we had change in the ‘60s, you know, and the people who wanted to go back to pre-colonial times were killed,” he said, referring to ousted Congolese President Patrice Lumumba who was among the very first post-colonial African leaders.
“We have an opportunity now, because of the discontent with the concentration of wealth and the deprivation of now middle-income people, who are becoming very poor, they have said, ‘It’s over.’ We’re not going to … just like Patrick Henry and the Americans said: ‘Give us liberty or give us death,’ we’re that. We’re at that place,” Mr. Fauntroy explained, describing the rebellions that swept through North Africa and the Arab world.
Among the most dangerous troublemakers he concluded, “were those who were sent there by the most efficient intelligence agencies in the world–those in Spain, and in the French connection, and German intelligence and in British intelligence who said: ‘That if this man, Walter Fauntroy, surfaces and does what he intends to do, we’ll have to take him out … talking about take Africa from Europe.’ And so they were after me too. And I had all of them in that hotel.”
Mr. Fauntroy said he had gone to Africa on a “peace mission,” in the spirits of former Congolese President Patrice Lumumba; former Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah; former South African President Nelson Mandela; and Southern Sudanese leader John Garang; to convince leaders in Sudan and Libya and elsewhere, that Africa could and should become the “breadbasket of the world.”
“Oh yes,” he laughed and said, when asked about any contacts he had with the Libyan rebels who now control the country, after overthrowing the Libyan government, with the help of air power, weapons, and intelligence assistance from the NATO powers. “I really need to sit you down for a while and go over what this is all about, and why they killed so many of those who had Blacks in their families. That’s an involved subject, and I’d love to go into it with you,” he said.
The Rev. Fauntroy undertook the dangerous mission to Libya and Sudan, he explained, because his safety was guaranteed by the U.S. government. “They committed themselves to me, that if I went on this peace mission, and I had to get out of there, they would get me out.”
One day, during the time he was trapped in the hotel with the international journalists, “they (U.S. authorities) called and said, ‘It’s time to go.’ I said, no, no. I can’t go. I said, if I go, 37 people who don’t like one another, and some of them want to kill me, will die, and I can’t leave here with their blood on my hands.
“So, I’m staying. I’m going to cover them and try to get them out of here and try to get them back home to their wives and their families and their children and their friends, just as I am now back home with my wife, who had been told for two weeks that I had been killed. And I was so frustrated by that, knowing what pain that must have been for my people, and not being able to communicate with anybody, that one of the reporters for CNN, who knew that her goose was cooked if I didn’t get them out of there, said: ‘Well, I’ll let you talk with Wolf Blitzer.’ I said wonderful. Get me on the line with him.
“I just asked for three minutes. I got on, I said, ‘Wolf, this is Walter Fauntroy, and I am in grave danger of losing my life with 37 other people, most of them newsmen, and I want to ask that you would tell all of the persons who know the work of prayer, who believe that fervent prayers of the righteous can be affective, to pray for me.’ That’s all I said. You know what happened?
“After I said that on CNN and it went all over the world, in 108 nations where I have been working for the last 25 years, where they observe the King Holiday on the 15th of January, people there who knew the vision, and knew that it was time for us to go to the land of promise of a decent life, quality of life for everybody, when they got through calling their presidents and calling the United States, saying: ‘Don’t you all let Walter Fauntroy die there. I heard his voice. He’s alive. Get him out.’ And the next day I got a call from the State Department. “I said: ‘Get us back.’ Did I get back? Did every one of them get home?”
A joyous reunion soon followed at Dulles International Airport, Mr. Fauntroy explained. “It was heaven,” the retired senior pastor of Washington’s New Bethel Baptist Church explained. “Everybody in my family was so happy, because God–late in the midnight hour– turned it around, and it worked out in my favor, because I stood on my ground. My ground was that the message of non-violence is the only hope of the world, and that at the time the world is about to explode because the people who can make products–of any kind–can’t sell them now, because there’s nobody to buy them.
“Life requires–in the structure of the universe–that you have to have balance. You’ve got to have, not only supply, but demand. If you have supply and no demand, you can’t sell anything. If you have demand and no supply, you can’t get anything,” the Rev. Fauntroy said.
Witnessing the Transition to Fear in Tripoli, Libya (FCN, 09-16-2011)
Black Libyans and Workers live in fear after NATO backed coup (WT&R, 08-31–2011)
[Video] Minister Farrakhan’s address on War against Libya, Africa (Harlem, NY)
Gold, Oil, Africa and Why the West Wants Gadhafi Dead (FCN, 06-07-2011)
Ten reasons why the U.S. war in Libya is a CIA operation (FCN, 04-28-2011)
Why the West Want the Fall of Muammar Gaddafi (Analysis by Jean-Paul Pougala, 04, 2011)
A CIA commander for the Libyan rebels (WSWS, 03-28-2011)
Libya, Getting it Right: A Revolutionary Pan-African Perspective (FCN, 03-08-2011)
An Analysis of Muammar al-Qaddafi’s Green Book (FCN, 06-18-2010)
How the U.S. Government destabilized foreign governments (FCN, 07-22-1985)