Muammar Qaddafi was a tyrant. Little good can be said of him. He was probably one of the worst Arab heads of state – a class that lends itself to only very small degrees of comparison.
But two things were in his favor.
One was that he wanted friendly relations with America. Or at least he did not want to give America reason to invade his country. President Bush launched an invasion of Iraq in March 2003 largely because (it was generally believed) Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Colonel Qaddafi had an arsenal of such weapons; but in December of that year, a few days after the defeated Saddam Hussein was captured, the dictator of Libya declared that he would abandon his WMDs. (In fact he kept quantities of chemical weapons right up to the day of his death in October 2011, but the 2003 declaration was nevertheless a white flag.)
The second thing – Qaddafi was the enemy of al-Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood, both of which were active dangers to the West.
It would seem, therefore, that the interests of the US and Europe would best be served by his staying in power.
Why then did President Obama go to war against him?
Diana West writes at Townhall:
More than Benghazi skeletons should haunt Hillary Clinton’s expected 2016 presidential bid. It now seems that the entire war in Libya – where thousands died in a civil war in which no U.S. interest was at stake – might well have been averted on her watch and, of course, that of President Obama’s. How? In March 2011, immediately after NATO’s punishing bombing campaign began, Muammar Qaddafi was “ready to step aside,” says retired Rear Admiral Charles R. Kubic, U.S. Navy. “He was willing to go into exile and was willing to end the hostilities.”
What happened? According to Kubic, the Obama administration chose to continue the war without permitting a peace parley to go forward.
Kubic made these extremely incendiary charges against the Obama administration while outlining his role as the leading, if informal, facilitator of peace feelers from the Libyan military to the U.S. military. He was speaking this week at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., where the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi was presenting its interim report. Kubic maintains that to understand Benghazi, the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks in which four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed, “you have to understand what happened at the beginning of the Libyan revolt, and how that civil war that created the chaos in Libya could have been prevented.” …
A short chronology sets the stage:
On March 19, 2011, Hillary Clinton, then secretary of state, made a dramatic announcement from Paris on behalf of the “international community.” Eyes steady, voice freighted with dignity and moment, Clinton demanded that Qaddafi – a post-9/11 ally of the U.S. against jihadist terror-armies such as al-Qaida – heed a ceasefire under a newly adopted United Nations resolution, or else.
“Yesterday, President Obama said very clearly that if Qaddafi failed to comply with these terms, there would be consequences,” Clinton said. “Since the president spoke, there has been some talk from Tripoli of a cease-fire, but the reality on the ground tells a very different story. Colonel Qaddafi continues to defy the world. His attacks on civilians go on.”
That same day, NATO air and sea forces went to war to defeat the anti-al-Qaida Qaddafi and bring victory to Libya’s al-Qaida-linked rebels. Uncle Sam … joined the jihad.
Through Libyan intermediaries whom he knew in his post-naval career as an engineer and businessman, Kubic was hearing that Qaddafi wanted to discuss his own possible abdication with the U.S. “Let’s keep the diplomats out of it,” Kubic says he told them. “Let’s keep the politicians out of it, let’s just have a battlefield discussion under a flag of truce between opposing military commanders pursuant to the laws of war, and see if we can, in short period of time, come up with the terms for a cease-fire and a transition of government.”
The following day, March 20, 2011, Kubic says he relayed to the U.S. AFRICOM headquarters Qaddafi’s interest in truce talks as conveyed by a top Libyan commander, Gen. Abdulqader Yusef Dubri, head of Qaddafi’s personal security team. Kubic says that his AFRICOM contact, Lt. Col. Brian Linvill, a former U.S. Army attache in Tripoli then serving as point man for communications with the Libyan military, passed this information up his chain of command to Gen. Carter Ham, then AFRICOM commander. AFRICOM quickly responded with interest in setting up direct military-to-military communications with the Libyans.
On March 21, 2011, Kubic continued, with the NATO war heating up, a senior aide to Qaddafi, Gen. Ahmed Mamud, directly submitted a set of terms for a 72-hour-truce to Linvill at AFRICOM. The Benghazi commission made the basic text of these terms available to press.
During a follow-up telephone interview I had with Kubic, he underscored the show of good faith on both sides that created hopefulness that these flag-of-truce negotiations would come to pass. On the night of March 21, Gen. Ham issued a public statement on Libya in which he noted the U.S. was not targeting Qaddafi.
By March 22, Qadaffi had verifiably begun pulling back troops from the rebel-held cities of Benghazi and Misrata. The cease-fire Hillary Clinton said the “international community” was seeking only days earlier seemed to be within reach, with the endgame of Qaddafi’s abdication and exile potentially on the table.
Then, shockingly, Kubic got what amounted to a “stand down” order from AFRICOM – an order that came down from “well above Gen. Ham,” Kubic says he was told – in fact, as Kubic said in our interview, he was told it came from outside the Pentagon.
The question becomes, who in the Obama administration scuttled these truce talks that might have resulted in Qaddafi handing over powers without the bloodshed and destruction that left Libya a failed state and led to Benghazi?
Had talks gone forward, there is no guarantee, of course, that they would have been successful. Qaddafi surely would have tried to extract conditions. One of them, Kubic believes, would have been to ensure that Libya continue its war on al-Qaida. Would this have been a sticking point? In throwing support to Islamic jihadists, including al-Qaida-linked “rebels” and Muslim Brotherhood forces, the U.S. was changing sides during that “Arab Spring.” Was the war on Qaddafi part of a larger strategic realignment that nothing, not even the prospect of saving thousands of lives, could deter? Or was the chance of going to war for “humanitarian” reasons too dazzling to lose to the prospect of peace breaking out? Or was it something else?
Kubic, the military man, wonders why the civilian leadership couldn’t at least explore a possibly peaceful resolution. “It is beyond me that we couldn’t give it 72 hours — particularly when we had a leader who had won a Nobel Peace Prize, and who was unable basically to ‘give peace a chance’ for 72 hours.”
Obama favored the Muslim Brotherhood’s coming to power in Egypt. He welcomed some of its members into advisory positions in his administration. Did the possible “larger strategic realignment” involve the Muslim Brotherhood? Did the Obama administration want it in power in Libya as well as in Egypt? What advice was Obama and Hillary Clinton getting on Libya and Egypt during the violent upheavals of the so-called “Arab Spring”, and from whom? Is there a clue in the fact that Hillary Clinton’s closest adviser was Huma Abedin, whose family has close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood? Isn’t there at the very least grounds for suspicion in the light of all this? (See our posts, Extreme obscenity, July 27, 2013, and Hillary of Benghazi, August 27, 2013.)
We think there is. But why Obama and Hillary Clinton should want the Muslim Brotherhood in power in North Africa is another question – one to which there cannot be a reassuring answer.
Western Journalism’s analysis of the “Benghazi Accountability Report” in two parts
Needless to say, the poster above is addressed to Obama. Aptly.
To add to the information we have posted (see for instance immediately below) on the subject of the Benghazi betrayal, here are some new and interesting items from an article by Arnold Ahlert.
General Carter Ham, top commander in Africa, tries to defy an order not to respond to request for help from Benghazi, and is instantly fired:
The decision to stand down as the Benghazi terrorist attack was underway was met with extreme opposition from the inside. The Washington Times‘s James Robbins, citing a source inside the military, reveals that General Carter Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command, who got the same emails requesting help received by the White House, put a rapid response team together and notified the Pentagon it was ready to go. He was ordered to stay put. “His response was to screw it, he was going to help anyhow,” writes Robbins. “Within 30 seconds to a minute after making the move to respond, his second in command apprehended General Ham and told him that he was now relieved of his command.”
Did General Petraeus have anything to do with refusing to send help?
A spokesperson, “presumably at the direction of CIA director David Petraeus,” released the following statement: “No one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate.”
Ambassador Stevens was not only sending arms to jihadists already fighting in Syria, he was also actively recruiting jihadists to go there. He was riding the tiger!
“Egyptian security officials” revealed that Ambassador Christopher Stevens “played a central role in recruiting jihadists to fight Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria.” Stevens was reportedly a key contact for Saudi Arabian officials, who wanted to recruit fighters from North Africa and Libya, and send them to Syria by way of Turkey. The recruits were ostensibly screened by U.S. security organizations, and anyone thought to have engaged in fighting against Americans, including those who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, were not sent to engage Assad’s regime. Yet … reality is far different. The rebels the administration armed to fight Gaddafi, as well as those we may have armed to fight Assad, do include al-Qaeda members, and fighters from other jihadist groups as well.
Yes, Stevens worked with men who later killed him:
Business Insider reveals ”there’s growing evidence that U.S. agents – particularly murdered ambassador Chris Stevens – were at least aware of heavy weapons moving from Libya to jihadist Syrian rebels”, and that, beginning in March 2011, Stevens was “working directly with Abdelhakim Belhadj of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group – a group that has now disbanded, with some fighters reportedly participating in the attack that took Stevens’ life.” In November 2011, the Daily Telegraph reported that “Belhadj, head of the Tripoli Military Council and the former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, ‘met with Free Syrian Army leaders in Istanbul and on the border with Turkey,’ said a military official working with Mr Belhadj.”
Stevens’s death did not stop the flow of arms from Libya to Turkey destined for Syria which he had helped to organize. Most of the weapons had come originally from the erstwhile Soviet Empire in Eastern Europe:
Three days after the attack in Benghazi, it was revealed that ”a Libyan ship carrying the largest consignment of weapons for Syria…has docked in Turkey,” with a cargo that “weighed 400 tons and included SA-7 surface-to-air anti-craft missiles and rocket-propelled grenades.” Business Insider speculates the weapons came “most likely from Muammar Gaddafi’s stock of about 20,000 portable heat-seeking missiles – the bulk of them SA-7s – that the Libyan leader obtained from the former Eastern bloc.” The Insider then reaches a devastating conclusion. “And if the new Libyan government was sending seasoned Islamic fighters and 400 tons of heavy weapons to Syria through a port in southern Turkey – a deal brokered by Stevens’ primary Libyan contact (meaning Belhadj) during the Libyan revolution – then the governments of Turkey and the U.S. surely knew about it.”
What other conclusion is possible? A US ambassador doesn’t make a massive interference in the affairs of foreign countries without his government knowing what he’s doing. His mission is to implement his government’s policy by whatever means it instructs him to use. That was what the Banghazi mission was chiefly established for:
Far from just a diplomatic mission in Libya, the evidence suggests that one of the explicit functions of the U.S. “consulate” was to oversee the transfer of Libyan weapons from the Gaddafi regime’s stockpile … to the opposition in Syria.
Who would have given the direct order – presumably handed down in the first place from the Commander-in-Chief – for summarily replacing General Carter Ham with his second in command? Would it be the Defense Secretary?
It was Defense Secretary Leon Panetta who announced General Ham’s replacement – as quietly as he could, in the stealthy mode that characterizes all releases of information about the Benghazi disaster.
James S. Robbins at the Washington Times, quoted by Arnold Ahlert above, further reports:
On October 18, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta appeared unexpectedly at an otherwise unrelated briefing on “Efforts to Enhance the Financial Health of the Force.” News organizations and CSPAN were told beforehand there was no news value to the event and gave it scant coverage. In his brief remarks Mr. Panetta said, “Today I am very pleased to announce that President Obama will nominate General David Rodriguez to succeed General Carter Ham as commander of U.S. Africa Command.” This came as a surprise to many, since General Ham had only been in the position for a year and a half. The General is a very well regarded officer who made AFRICOM into a true Combatant Command after the ineffective leadership of his predecessor, General William E. “Kip” Ward. Later, word circulated informally that General Ham was scheduled to rotate out in March 2013 anyway, but according to Joint doctrine, “the tour length for combatant commanders and Defense agency directors is three years.” Some assumed that he was leaving for unspecified personal reasons.
On October 25 Panetta had this to say:
The basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on; without having some real-time information about what’s taking place. And as a result of not having that kind of information, the commander who was on the ground in that area, Gen. Ham, Gen. Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation.
James Robbins comments:
The information I heard today was that General Ham as head of Africom received the same e-mails the White House received requesting help/support as the attack was taking place. General Ham immediately had a rapid response unit ready and communicated to the Pentagon that he had a unit ready.
General Ham then received the order to stand down. His response was to screw it, he was going to help anyhow. Within 30 seconds to a minute after making the move to respond, his second in command apprehended General Ham and told him that he was now relieved of his command. …
This version of events contradicts Mr. Panetta’s October 25 statement that General Ham advised against intervention. …
He conjectures further:
Maybe Ham attempted to send a reaction force against orders, or maybe he simply said the wrong thing to the wrong people. Perhaps he gave whomever he was talking to up the chain a piece of his mind about leaving Americans to die when there was a chance of saving them. At the very least U.S. forces might have made those who killed our people pay while they were still on the scene. The Obama White House is famously vindictive against perceived disloyalty – the administration would not let Ham get away with scolding them for failing to show the leadership necessary to save American lives. The Army’s ethos is to leave no man behind, but that is not shared by a president accustomed to leading from that location.
Loyal Leon Panetta is walking the razor’s edge between the truth and the Obama version of it.
Guardedly, with hooded eyes, Panetta answered an unwelcome question by declaring - two weeks or so after the the Benghazi disaster – that “it was a terrorist attack because a group of terrorists obviously conducted that attack.”
So according to the Defense Secretary an attack must be identified as a terrorist attack if terrorists carry it out. Reason would make the case the other way about: if a terrorist attack takes place, you can then rightfully call the attackers “terrorists”. Panetta’s way, if the attack had been mounted by say the Libyan police force, it would not have been a terrorist attack even if they used the method of terrorism.
And let’s look again at the other statement that emerged from this verbal acrobat’s mouth, about why no help was sent to the Americans in peril – a statement that we know contained at least one lie:
The basic principle is that you don’t deploy forces into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on, without having some real-time information about what’s taking place. And as a result of not having that kind of information, the commander who was on the ground in that area, Gen. Ham, Gen. Dempsey and I felt very strongly that we could not put forces at risk in that situation.
That’s a basic principle of armies, or just of the US army? That you don’t deploy “into harm’s way without knowing what’s going on”? Isn’t it enough to know that it’s harm’s way? How much does a fighting force need to know about an armed attack before it can act in defense? In other words, what is an army for? (Yes, yes, we know that in Afghanistan US armed forces were compelled to do social work, but that hasn’t become the official job description – yet.)
And there’s another lie Panetta told, about not having “some real-time information about what’s taking place”. Masses of information was pouring into Washington – as well as reaching General Ham somewhere in Africa – from the CIA center itself right from the very beginning of the onslaught, and also from a drone overhead starting soon after it began.
When will we learn the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? Probably never. The investigating committee set up by Obama cannot be relied on to reveal it.
But lots of individuals know parts of the story. Will some of them speak?
General Ham has been removed from his command, but he is still alive and still has the power of speech. Our hope is that he will come forward and tell what he knows.
Why are we posting so much, so often, on the events of 9/11/12 in Benghazi, Libya?
Because what happened there is extremely grave. The US ambassador’s death was an enormity committed against the United States of America. The deliberate sacrifice of American soldiers was also deeply criminal. These were grave deeds, but gravest of all is the probability that these events were the result of treason.
Treason committed by whom? By the President of the United States of America.
Could any American in the history of the Union have believed such a thing to be possible? Or even thinkable?
We are not alone in thinking the unthinkable. See Roger L. Simon’s thoughts on the subject here at PJ Media.
Our Constitution defines it [treason] this way: “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.” Aid and comfort to the enemy — what is that? When you ascribe an action to the protest of a video when it is actuality a planned terror attack by Ansar al-Shariah, an established offshoot of al-Qaeda (if that’s not your “enemy,” then who) — and you knew that all along, you watched it live without doing anything, and then you told those who wanted to help to “stand down”? Meanwhile, our government may have been conspiring to arm another offshoot of al-Qaeda in Syria. How much more treasonous can you get? Benedict Arnold was a piker.
And Bob Owens considers the question of treason in the highest places also at PJ Media. Some of his conjectures as to what happened when the secret CIA center was attacked are even more shocking than the revelations that have been leaking out slowly over the last few weeks. If what he surmises is right, then a charge of treason against President Obama is fully justified.
For starters, we now know that not a single American life should have been lost. Trucks with with the Islamist cell’s logo and with heavy machine guns mounted on them took up blocking positions around the consulate no later than 8:00 p.m., according to Libyan eyewitnesses. These so-called “technicals” did not let anyone in or out for one hour and 40 minutes, until the attack began at 9:40 p.m. local time.
In that time, air assets based in Italy, Sicily, and the Mediterranean Sea could have easily dispatched the forces preparing for an attack, using precision weapons to destroy these logo-identified blocking vehicles. There is every reason to believe that the timely launch of air assets would have destroyed the attacking force as they prepared for their assault, without the loss of a single American life. For reasons as yet unknown, these easily identifiable enemy assets massing for an attack on the U.S. consulate were met with indifference by U.S. forces.
Our CIA assets, which seem to have been composed of former SEALs and other special operations personnel, conducted an unsupported rescue mission under fire. They saved the lives of the remaining consulate staff and recovered the body of Sean Smith, whom they then escorted back to their safehouse a mile away.
Once there, they came under fire again — including fire from a terrorist team armed with mortars. Then something truly extraordinary and troubling took place:
“At that point, they called again for military support and help because they were taking fire at the CIA safe house, or annex. The request was denied. There were no communications problems at the annex, according to those present at the compound. The team was in constant radio contact with their headquarters. In fact, at least one member of the team was on the roof of the annex manning a heavy machine gun when mortars were fired at the CIA compound. The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing, and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Spectre gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. special operations forces to provide support to special operation teams on the ground involved in intense firefights.”
After reading this, I was simply stunned. According to the article, an American CIA agent had a laser on a target and was attempting to call in close air support — and was denied. While this article never explicitly says so, some have suggested that the “security officer” in the article was Ty Woods, soon to be killed by that same mortar.
Let’s unpack this.
In this context, there are two ways to “lase” a target. One is simply using a visible laser designator/laser sight to point out the target’s location. The second is the use of a laser target designator (LTD), which is a far more sophisticated device. An LTD uses coded pulses of a band of light not visible to the human eye, and these pulses communicate and synchronize with an aircraft-mounted module to direct a finite and fairly exclusive family of air-launched guided weapons.
If the CIA officer was lasing a target with the laser designator/laser sight on his weapon, one might argue (and some have) that this was an act of improvisation — a hope that the visible lasing would convince the mortar team to flee their position in fear of being bombed. This position is not without merit but overlooks two salient facts. The first is that these security officers lasing the target were manning a heavy machine gun, which presumably would have the reach and power to eliminate the mortar team, or at least suppress it, without air support. It also overlooks the fact that the article directly states that the target was being lased for a specific asset, a “Spectre.”
Airborne gunships have been around since the Vietnam war, when C-47 transport planes were first equipped with port-side mounted miniguns for close air support missions, becoming AC-47s. By 1967, a desire to improve upon the concept involved replacing the aged twin-engine C-47 base aircraft with the four-engine C-130, which had greater speed, more fuel, and a greater capacity for weapons and ammunition. These AC130s carried various nicknames, including “Spooky” (inherited from the AC-47) and “Spectre,” the latter of which has been the most publicly recognizable name of these powerful ground support aircraft.
If the CIA operators were using an LTD, it additionally means that air assets were not in Italy or Sicily on the ground. It means that strike aircraft were overhead, and were denied permission to fire from someone in the chain of command. LTDs must sync with overhead aircraft; they have no deterrent effect since they use a spectrum of light we cannot see and can only communicate with craft overhead.
I will caution that this is highly speculative, but an LTD would presumably not be used for just any variant of the C-130-based gunships. While we did have AC-130 gunships based close to Benghazi, they would not make the best use of targets lit by an LTD. The AC-130 uses guns, not guided weapons. [But] the same cannot be be said of another “Spectre” variant, the MC-130W.
The MC-130W is built to use precision-guided weapons, including the GBU-44/B Viper Strike glide bomb and the AGM-175 Griffin missile. Both are laser-guided weapons that can be directed using a ground-based LTD. Both are weapons designed to be highly accurate, with small warheads to greatly reduce the danger of collateral damage. They are precisely the kind of weapon an experienced CIA operator would call in if they wanted to reduce the threat of collateral damage, like the kind of damage that might be caused by firing an HMG from a rooftop.
If this is what occurred, it seems that even in weapon selection, the primary concern of the HMG operator was saving innocent lives.
But we do not know at this time which actually occurred. Based upon the information we can glean, we’re left with two most probable outcomes.
Either the Obama administration refused to launch close-air support aircraft from nearby bases that could have eliminated enemy forces attacking Americans trapped on the ground, or we had close air support aircraft overhead that could have taken out the terrorists that had Americans under fire with precision weapons — and the administration refused to let them fire.
The moral cowardice of both decisions is unconscionable. …
Retired Admiral James Lyons notes various sources claiming: ”One of Stevens’ main missions in Libya was to facilitate the transfer of much of Gadhafi’s military equipment, including the deadly SA-7 — portable SAMs — to Islamists and other al-Qaeda-affiliated groups fighting the Assad Regime in Syria.”
Barack Obama has long had a cozy relationship with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and their alliance with Islamists in Syria battling Bashir Assad has been criticized before. If Ambassador Stevens was facilitating weapons transfers from Libya to Syrian Islamist forces aligned with al-Qaeda, via his Turkish alliance, then we are at a troubling, perhaps catastrophic point in this republic’s history.
We have been at war with the Islamist hydra of al-Qaeda for more than a decade, and now sources are accusing a sitting president of arming this enemy.
18 USC § 2381 provides us with a legal threshold for treason: “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.”
Providing munitions to al-Qaeda-aligned Islamist forces would seem to meet that standard. The Obama administration has the most damaging charge of all to which it must answer, and can be offered no quarter.
Aggravating the frustration and fury of those who want the truth about what happened and punishment of those to blame for it, is the unbearable indifference that Obama and Hillary Clinton have displayed to the suffering of the murdered men and their families, as well as to the fact that America was attacked and the battle thrown away or gifted to the enemy.
Mark Steyn’s comments highlight their vicious, shallow, self-important, impenetrable insouciance – and their cruel, glib lies:
Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods fought all night against overwhelming odds, and died on a rooftop in a benighted jihadist hell hole while Obama retired early to rest up before his big Vegas campaign stop. …
Ty Woods, Glen Doherty, Sean Smith and Chris Stevens were left to die, and a decision taken to blame an entirely irrelevant video and, as Secretary Clinton threatened, “have that person arrested.” And, in the weeks that followed, the government of the United States lied to its own citizens as thoroughly and energetically as any totalitarian state, complete with the midnight knock-on-the-door from not-so-secret policemen sent to haul the designated fall guy into custody.
And “that person” – a horrid little anti-Semite who invented a Jewish film-maker for him in turn to accuse, but nonetheless one who is entirely innocent of the murder of Ambassador Stevens and Sean Smith, of the sacrifice of Woods and Doherty – is sitting in a prison cell in California, having had these crimes heaped on his head by the great political messiah of the Democratic Party, Barack Hussein Obama. Even for such a victim of injustice and political persecution decent men and women must express outrage.
And for these grave, these monstrous wrongs in foreign lands, the real perpetrators - be they the President of the United States and the most highly placed members of his administration – need to be punished with the full force of the law.
Postscript 10/31/12: It now emerges that Glen Doherty was one of the 8 Marines sent from Tripoli, met by a (terrorist) escort, delayed by the escort for 45 minutes at the Benghazi airport, and eventually taken to the secret annex which soon after their arrival was pounded with mortars, one of which killed him.
While Obama officials looked on, their man in Benghazi was slowly murdered amidst smoke and flames.
What might have been done to help Ambassador Stevens when the US consulate in Benghazi was attacked – and while the officials in the State Department and the Pentagon knew that it was being attacked? Even at that late hour could anything have been done to save him and his staff?
CBS News explores the possibility:
Here’s the text, to mull over at leisure:
The closer we get to the election, the harder Republicans in Congress are pushing for answers to a big question: What really happened in the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya last month that killed the U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans?
Some lawmakers are asking why U.S. military help from outside Libya didn’t arrive as terrorists battered more than 30 Americans over the course of more than seven hours. The assault was launched by an armed mob of dozens that torched buildings and used rocket propelled grenades, mortars and AK-47 rifles.
CBS News has been told that, hours after the attack began, an unmanned Predator drone was sent over the U.S. mission in Benghazi, and that the drone and other reconnaissance aircraft apparently observed the final hours of the protracted battle.
The State Department, White House and Pentagon declined to say what military options were available. A White House official told CBS News that, at the start of the attack, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta “looked at available options, and the ones we exercised had our military forces arrive in less than 24 hours, well ahead of timelines laid out in established policies.”
Even as some action of theirs is seen to be useless and pointless, they find a way to boast!
But it was too late to help the Americans in Benghazi. The ambassador and three others were dead.
A White House official told CBS News that a “small group of reinforcements” was sent from Tripoli to Benghazi, but declined to say how many or what time they arrived.
Retired CIA officer Gary Berntsen believes help could have come much sooner. He commanded CIA counter-terrorism missions targeting Osama bin Laden and led the team that responded after bombings of the U.S. Embassy in East Africa.
“You find a way to make this happen,” Berntsen says. “There isn’t a plan for every single engagement. Sometimes you have to be able to make adjustments. They made zero adjustments in this. They stood and they watched and our people died.”
Passively stood and watched.
Did any of them really hate what they were allowing to happen? Or were they too busy preparing excuses?
Oh, it seems they did do something. Or started to do something:
The Pentagon says it did move a team of special operators from central Europe to the large Naval Air Station in Sigonella, Italy, but gave no other details. Sigonella is just an hour’s flight from Libya. Other nearby bases include Aviano and Souda Bay. Military sources tell CBS News that resources at the three bases include fighter jets and Specter AC-130 gunships, which the sources say can be extremely effective in flying in and buzzing a crowd to disperse it.
Rick Nelson, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and a former Navy pilot who worked in counter-terrorism, says such missions can be very risky. “A lot can go well, right, as we saw with the bin Laden raid. It was a very successful event,” he says. “But also, when there are high risk activities like this. a lot can go wrong, as we saw with the Iranian hostage rescue decades ago.”
Add to the controversy the fact that the last two Americans didn’t die until more than six hours into the attack, and the question of U.S. military help becomes very important.
Sending the military into another country can be a sensitive and delicate decision. CBS News has been told Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did seek clearances from Libya to fly in their airspace, but the administration won’t say anything further about what was said or decided on that front.
Let’s think about that last paragraph. So the special operators flown from central Europe to a point in Italy only one hour’s flight away from Benghazi, and the fighter jets and Specter AC-130 gunships which might have dispersed the attackers, were not ordered to proceed because Hillary Clinton had asked for, was awaiting, and had perhaps not received permission from the Libyan “government” to enter the country’s airspace? A “government” that did not, could not, protect the consulate as it should have done? A “government” that was helped to power by the US? This “government” Hillary Clinton decided must be treated with all formal rectitude at such a critical moment, when Libyan nationals were destroying the consulate and killing the ambassador?
She was the presidential candidate in 2008 who proposed herself as the leader who could cope best if the phone rang at 3 am because a crisis somewhere in the world needed to be dealt with urgently.
What a failure she has turned out to be! What a fumbling fool!
And where was President Obama while all this was going on? What did he say? What orders did he give? Was he asleep? Did the phone ring? Did he not hear it? Or if he did, and he answered it, what did he say? Anything? Or was he saving up his words, preparing a beautiful speech for the Rose Garden the next day?
These weasel words, these hollow assurances:
The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack. We’re working with the government of Libya to secure our diplomats.
Or: “let’s bolt the stable door really tight now that the horse has flown.”
I’ve also directed my administration to increase our security at diplomatic posts around the world. And make no mistake, we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people.
Then came an indirect reference to the video which from then on, for weeks, he was going to blame for what happened in Benghazi:
Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence. None. The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts.
Already, many Libyans have joined us in doing so, and this attack will not break the bonds between the United States and Libya. Libyan security personnel fought back against the attackers alongside Americans. Libyans helped some of our diplomats find safety, and they carried Ambassador Stevens’s body to the hospital, where we tragically learned that he had died.
It apparently took hours for the Libyans who got hold of Mr Stevens – dead or alive – to deliver him to the hospital. What did they do with him in that time? According to some reports he was sodomized.
But what actually happened to the ambassador is of much less importance to Obama than keeping on the best of terms with the chaotic state of Libya.
Of course, yesterday was already a painful day for our nation as we marked the solemn memory of the 9/11 attacks. … And then last night, we learned the news of this attack in Benghazi. …
No acts of terror …
Yes, he did say “acts of terror”, but whether he meant to include the Benghazi attack in that category was not clear. (See the whole text here.) And if he did, why did his spokesmen refuse to attribute the attack to terrorists for weeks afterwards, preferring to blame some obscure video of mysterious provenance?
… will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.
We will make that mistake, if mistake it is. We do not believe for a moment that justice will be done. Not by this president.
People died, Obama lied. Yes, that happened in Libya last month, when Ambassador Stevens and three other American were murdered by terrorists, having been refused the protection the ambassador had asked the State Department for. And Obama and his henchwomen went on lying and lying about what happened. (You need a bitter sense of Huma to appreciate the appalling story to the full.)
But that is not the story that Thomas Sowell deals with in the article we appreciatively quote from here. He is writing about a speech Obama made in 2007 in which he typically lied. Dr Sowell calls Obama “Phony in Chief“.
When President Barack Obama and others on the left are not busy admonishing the rest of us to be “civil” in our discussions of political issues, they are busy letting loose insults, accusations and smears against those who dare to disagree with them.
Like so many people who have been beaten in a verbal encounter, and who can think of clever things to say the next day, after it is all over, President Obama, after his clear loss in his debate with Mitt Romney, called Governor Romney a “phony.”
Innumerable facts, however, show that it is our Commander in Chief who is Phony in Chief. A classic example was his speech to a predominantly black audience at Hampton University on June 5, 2007. [ See the video below.] That date is important, as we shall see.
In his speech — delivered in a ghetto-style accent that Obama doesn’t use anywhere except when he is addressing a black audience — he charged the federal government with not showing the same concern for the people of New Orleans after hurricane Katrina hit as they had shown for the people of New York after the 9/11 attacks, or the people of Florida after hurricane Andrew hit.
Departing from his prepared remarks, he mentioned the Stafford Act, which requires communities receiving federal disaster relief to contribute 10 percent as much as the federal government does.
Senator Obama, as he was then, pointed out that this requirement was waived in the case of New York and Florida because the people there were considered to be “part of the American family.” But the people in New Orleans — predominantly black — “they don’t care about as much,” according to Barack Obama.
If you want to know what community organizers do, this is it – rub people’s emotions raw to hype their resentments. And this was Barack Obama in his old community organizer role, a role that should have warned those who thought that he was someone who would bring us together, when he was all too well practiced in the arts of polarizing us apart.
Why is the date of this speech important? Because, less than two weeks earlier, on May 24, 2007, the United States Senate had in fact voted 80-14 to waive the Stafford Act requirement for New Orleans, as it had waived that requirement for New York and Florida. More federal money was spent rebuilding New Orleans than was spent in New York after 9/11 and in Florida after hurricane Andrew, combined.
Truth is not a job requirement for a community organizer. Nor can Barack Obama claim that he wasn’t present the day of that Senate vote, as he claimed he wasn’t there when Jeremiah Wright unleashed his obscene attacks on America from the pulpit of the church that Obama attended for 20 years.
Unlike Jeremiah Wright’s church, the U.S. Senate keeps a record of who was there on a given day. The Congressional Record for May 24, 2007 shows Senator Barack Obama present that day and voting on the bill that waived the Stafford Act requirement. Moreover, he was one of just 14 Senators who voted against – repeat, AGAINST – the legislation which included the waiver.
When he gave that demagogic speech, in a feigned accent and style, it was world class chutzpah and a rhetorical triumph. He truly deserves the title Phony in Chief. …
Obama’s true believers may not want to know the truth. But there are millions of other people who have simply projected their own desires for a post-racial America onto Barack Obama. These are the ones who need to be confronted with the truth, before they repeat the mistake they made when they voted four years ago.
Berkeley … Peace Corps … Democratic Party … Middle East …
Christopher Stevens, US Ambassador to Libya, bien pensant par excellence, walked a sure path of romantic self-deception to an early, cruel, and violent death.
… not a little video made by a Coptic Christian in America.
This is from the Examiner:
Islamic militants affiliated with al-Qaeda are leaving clues behind at U.S. diplomatic missions that demonstrations are being orchestrated directly by al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, with some social networking assistance and logistics, with campaign resources, suggesting ties to Iran.
Militant message boards started lighting up on Sunday with specific instructions regarding recruiting, communication between mosques and followers in primarily Islamic communities, and organization for protests, following the release of a video by al-Zawahiri …
Ayman al-Zawahiri, leader of al-Qaeda, is the brother of Mohamed al-Zawahiri, the Egyptian imam who had the video shown again and again, and called for its insults to the Prophet Muhammad to be avenged on Americans.
What Ayman al-Zawahiri really wanted to avenge were the killings of two al-Qaeda leaders, Abu Yahya al-Libi and Atiyah Abd al-Rahman.
Al-Libi was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan on June 4, while al-Rahman is believed to have been killed in a drone attack in North Waziristan on August the 22nd. Al-Rahman relayed Osama bin Laden’s messages, and served as al-Qaeda’s representative in Iran. He became the operational directorof al-Qaeda following the death of Osama bin Laden. Most considered al-Rahman’s death to be a significant loss to al-Qaeda, creating a leadership crisis.
Ayman al-Zawahiri gave the orders. Others carried them out:
In Egypt, the protest was organized by Wesam Abdel-Wareth, a Salafist leader and president of Egypt’s Hekma television channel, who called for a gathering on September 11 at 5 p.m. in front of the United States Embassy, to protest against a film that he thought was named “Muhammad’s Trial” [actually, a scrappy crappy "trailer" made of short video clips titled Innocence of Muslims].
State-backed Islamic scholars in Sudan called for a mass protest after Friday prayers over a film [the same one] denigrating the Prophet Mohammed that originated in the United States, and an Islamist group threatened to attack the US embassy.
That the demonstrations are not spontaneous but organized is indicated by the fact that they all follow common patterns:
Crowds are chanting common slogans – The three most common chants heard have been “death to Obama”, “death to America”, “death to Israel”, and “death to Jews”.
Also: “Obama! Obama! We are all Osama!”
Cameras are present – Cameras have been in abundance at all disturbances.
U.S. flags are burned in every demonstration.
When rioters have entered U.S. diplomatic compounds, the U.S. flag has been taken down [and] the black flag of al-Qaeda, also known as the battle standard of Muhammad, has been displayed and flown above U.S. diplomatic compounds and buildings.
Defensive perimeters are being tested, and witnesses have spoken of drawings and diagrams of compounds being drawn on location.
Several attempts have been made to infiltrate the interior defenses within U.S. diplomatic compounds to reach areas where sensitive intelligence information is stored.
Protesters have been providing visual screening to al-Qaeda operatives moving in and among the large groups. These operatives are actively gathering on-site intelligence about U.S. diplomatic security measures and personnel. …
Foreign service officer Sean Smith observed before his death, “We saw one of our ‘police’ that guard the compound taking pictures.” …
Yet the Obama administration sticks to its absurd story that the video film traveled about the Muslim world, as if by its own volition without anybody deliberately sending it, and inevitably enraged tens of thousands of Muslims everywhere and set them thirsting for American blood. The State Department singing in harmony with the leaders of the mobs!
The video film had nothing to do with the pre-planned attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, where Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans – former SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, and Sean Smith a computer expert – were murdered.
While the Obama administration appears to be operating in a combined state of chaos and denial, the administration’s position of “we’re not going to talk about this until investigations are complete”, in regards to releasing further details about the attack on the U.S. consulate office in Benghazi, Libya, signals that the Obama administration is closing ranks to prepare for the congressional investigations that are sure to come in the near future. …
Following the attack that left four dead, including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, the messages coming from Barack Obama’s cabinet signal a disconnect between President Obama’s statements, and the reality of events on the ground this week, during well coordinated demonstrations in over twenty countries worldwide. …
The White House still shows no signs that it intends to veer from it’s “the film made them do it” response to attacks on U.S. diplomatic installations. There has been no change in the posture at U.S. Africa Command, and the only sign of activity in regards to consular security and intelligence protection at the administration level was President Obama issuing an order to increase security at diplomatic posts worldwide. ..
U.S. intelligence sources continue to downplay the possibility of al-Qaeda involvement in Libya.
[But] the head of Libya’s newly elected Congress, Mohamed Al-Magarief, pointed at al-Qaeda as the prime suspect. Mr. Magarief didn’t say how far in advance the attack had been planned. He said, however, that he believes the militants went to the consulate with violence in mind. “I think this was al-Qaeda,” Mr. Magarief said in the interview. “If you take into account the weapons used, like RPGs and other heavy weapons, it proves that it was preplanned. It’s a dirty act of revenge that has nothing to do with religion.” Now U.S. intelligence officials are being forced to consider an al-Qaeda possibility, even if they are not announcing that they are, due to mounting evidence of intelligence in the system, at the time of the attack, that was not acted upon by the White House. …
A Washington Post report stated that a senior U.S. intelligence official did acknowledge there were indications of al-Qaeda involvement in the attack, but none were “significant”. [!] The report stated that armed militants began moving into Benghazi one hour before the attack, and that none of them carried signs or shouted slogans during their time outside the compound walls. As many as 50 heavily armed men, carrying AK-47′s, rocket propelled grenades, and mortars were spotted before the attack commenced. The shooting began soon after militants had organized themselves.
There was no protest by Libyan citizens going on outside the Benghazi consulate. All was quiet until the terrorists converged on it.
This is from the Star-Telegram:
A Libyan security guard who said he was outside the U.S. Consulate when it was attacked Tuesday night has provided new evidence that the assault that left four Americans dead, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, was a planned attack by armed Islamists and not the result of anger over an online video that mocks Islam and its founder, Muhammad.
The guard was interviewed Thursday in the hospital where he is being treated for five shrapnel wounds in one leg and two bullet wounds in the other.
He said that the consulate area was quiet — “there wasn’t a single ant outside” — until about 9:35 p.m., when up to 125 armed men descended on the compound from all directions.
The men lobbed grenades into the compound, wounding the guard and knocking him to the ground, then stormed through the main gate, shouting “God is great” and moving to one of the many villas that make up the complex. …
“Wouldn’t you expect if there were protesters outside that the Americans would leave?” the guard said.
This is from CNN:
Three days before the deadly assault on the United States consulate in Libya, a local security official says he met with American diplomats in the city and warned them about deteriorating security.
His warning was apparently ignored.
The attack came. The building was set on fire. The ambassador may have been trapped.
The main building in the compound is in charred ruins. … The suite where the body of the ambassador was found was protected by a large door with steel bars; the windows had steel bars.
His body was recovered after looters broke into the room. It appears his security detail left him in the room while they tried to deal with the attack.
All that may be true. But CNN then falsely reports -
There are numerous questions about what happened at the consulate where protesters had gathered to demonstrate against the film Innocence of Muslims, which reportedly was made in California …
As the guard attested, there was no protest. No one says they saw the film.
But here (in a video clip from PowerLine) is Susan Rice, US Ambassador to the UN, contradicting President Mohamed al-Magarief of Libya who asserts that the attack was planned, and telling the official Obama lie:
The murder by Muslims of US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens was a cause for war because he was a US ambassador.
The statement must stand without any qualification.
That said, we need to take a closer look at the man himself. He was the victim not only of Islamic savagery but also of US policy towards Islam over the past decade – a policy which under President Obama positively encouraged and finally enflamed that savagery. And we ask: To what extent did Mr Stevens himself accept, agree with, endorse, or even actively and enthusiastically promote the policy that brought him, as an official representative of it, to his violent death?
Daniel Greenfield has also asked that question, and he writes:
Christopher Stevens was a Middle Eastern diplomat who typified the new breed going from the University of Berkeley and the Peace Corps to desks in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Syria. He taught English to Moroccan children in the Peace Corps and helped Palestinian Arabs in the East Jerusalem Consulate, which has a firm policy of pretending that Israel does not exist.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said of Christopher Stevens that he “made other people’s hopes his own” and that may serve as a fitting eulogy both for Stevens and for the disastrous foreign policy of making “other people’s hopes” our own that brought on the Arab Spring.
Stevens, like Clinton and Obama, made the hopes of Islamists his own and they repaid him for it, just as Afghans repaid America for supporting them against the Soviet Union, as Lebanon and Somalia repaid America’s peacekeeping efforts by killing American troops and on down the litany of gratitude in bombs and bullets that have come America’s way from the Muslim world.
“He risked his life to stop a tyrant, then gave his life trying to build a better Libya,” Hillary Clinton said, but if anything his murder exposed the lie that there is a better Libya now than there was before Hillary and he intervened in Libya. Clinton’s eulogy comes perilously close to conceding Stevens’ real mission and the degree of American intervention in the overthrow of Gaddafi.
Stevens was the connection between the Islamist Benghazi rebels and the Obama administration’s illegal war to overthrow Gaddafi. His mission, like the true mission of the war, was secret, and the consulate, marginally fortified and devoid of Marines, reflected that secrecy. Stevens did not think that he had anything to fear from the Islamists because they were his friends.
And he wanted to be their friend because he romanticized them. He looked at them through a veil of pro-Third World “anti-colonialist” leftist sentimentality. It made him feel good.
In the Wikileaks cables…
Useful things, those!
… Stevens cheerfully described fighters who saw “resistance against coalition forces in Iraq” as “an important act of ‘jihad’” …
Of which campaign for world domination by Islam – one must therefore conclude – he heartily approved!
For years he had walked safely in their company without understanding that he was just as much of a target as a Marine in Baghdad, but without the training, the weapons or the survival skills.
The only reason Christopher Stevens had lasted this long is that the jihadist fighters had known a useful man when they met him. And Stevens proved to be very useful, but his usefulness ended with Gaddafi’s death. Once the US successfully overthrew Gaddafi and began focusing on stabilizing Libya, Stevens ceased to be a useful idiot and became a useless nuisance. Attacks soon followed on the Benghazi consulate and on other consulates as well, but the Marines were not brought in and Stevens continued relying on local goodwill to secure his offices. It was only a matter of time until the attackers got through.
Clinton, her State Department and its media allies appear unnaturally eager to paint Christopher Stevens as an American martyr to the cause of Libyan Islamism, a kinder, gentler Rachel Corrie who willingly died so that the Islamists might have their dream of an Islamic state in Libya.
We will of course never know what was going through Christopher Stevens’s mind on September 11, 2012, as he battled the choking smoke, experiencing what so many New Yorkers had experienced on September 11, 2001. Like them, he was faced with a terrible dilemma, a choice between remaining in the fire and committing suicide by going outside.
Many in the World Trade Center chose to jump to their deaths, but Christopher Stevens chose to remain inside and die rather than face the tender mercies of his attackers. Stevens had spent enough time in Libya to have seen what the jihadist fighters did to their captives and must have known what horrors he could expect at their hands. The photos that have been released, along with claims by Libyan jihadists that they sexually assaulted his corpse, suggest that he made the right choice. And perhaps in those final moments, facing that terrible choice, Christopher Stevens finally understood the true horror of the Muslim world that he had fallen in love with as a Peace Corps volunteer.
But could he, even at that moment, especially at that moment, have allowed himself to admit the unendurable truth?
“He was an avid student of Islam and the Middle East, and consistently strove to build the proverbial bridge between our two cultures in the face of sometimes overwhelming antagonism and bitter misunderstanding,” a friend from the diplomatic service tells us. But though Christopher Stevens may have studied Islam, he had learned very little about it, and so his final lesson was the bloody one that Westerners who never really learn what Islam is about end up receiving.
“The world needs more Chris Stevenses,” Hillary Clinton said, but does it really? … Does it need men who give up the hopes and dreams of their country to take on the dreams of their enemies without ever realizing where the fatal road of those dreams leads?
Stevens’ former Peace Corps colleague says of him, “Chris devoted his career, and life, to improving relations between the Arabic/Islamic world and the West.” That he did and he died doing it …
And failing to achieve the impossible goal of course …
… losing whatever career or life he might have had if he had not embarked on a futile errand to make the Muslims who killed him and paraded his body around like him. And … the effort was to no avail.
“It’s especially tragic that Chris Stevens died in Benghazi because it is a city that he helped to save,” Obama said, repeating the same lie that he used to drag America into his illegal war. Benghazi was not in any need of saving, it was the Americans who came to Benghazi, like Chris Stevens, who needed saving.
That is the terrible blind spot in our vision which, like Christopher Stevens, tells us that we need to save the Muslims who hate us, rather than showing us that we need to save ourselves.
So it emerges that Christopher Stevens in his illusions and commitment is like John Walker Lindh, who “wanted to help” the Afghans and is serving a 20-year prison sentence for fighting with the Taliban. The only significant difference between them is that John Walker Lindh the Traitor devoted himself to helping barbaric Muslim terrorists when they were fighting against American forces as their enemy, while Christopher Stevens the Martyr devoted himself to helping barbaric Muslim terrorists when they were fighting with American forces as their ally.
And therein lies the stark proof of the confusion of values which arose when America, a nation idealizing life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness was forced into a betrothal with Islam, a cult idealizing total control, joyless submission, and death.