As everybody knows, a short video purporting to be the trailer for a film that was apparently never made, and which hardly anyone noticed for months, was publicly blamed by President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UN Ambassador Susan Rice, and White House spokesman Jay Carney, for an outbreak of anti-US riots in Islamic countries, and for the murder of Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi, Libya, on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11.
The filmlet – puzzlingly titled “Innocence of Muslims” – mocks the Prophet Muhammad. The Prophet Muhammad is a mythical construct (even if based on one or more obscure historical figures of the 7th century), made by his inventors in accordance with their own ideals as an intolerant mass-murdering lecher. And that’s how the filmlet depicts him.
For making it, a small-time hoodlum named Nakoula Basseley Nakoula has been put in prison. Ostensibly his criminal offense is breaking terms of parole in trivial harmless ways such as going on the internet, but in fact he is a political prisoner who used his Constitutionally granted freedom of speech to say something the regime that now rules the United States of America does not like.
(For more about the video, Nakoula, the riots and how the video was used to stoke them up, see our posts: Muslim evil rising, September 13, 2012; Islam explodes, and Obama lit the fuse, September 14, 2012; The pretext giver, September 15, 2012; To make a mocking movie, September 23, 2012; Muslims made the anti-Muhammad video?, September 26, 2012.)
This is from PowerLine by John Hinderaker:
Liberal support for free speech has been waning for a long time, and at present it seems to be just about extinct. The latest evidence is a story in today’s New York Times about Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the man who made the video that was falsely blamed for the Benghazi attack, and has languished in jail for the last two months as a result. One might think that the Times would regard jailing a man for exercising his First Amendment rights as an outrage requiring daily denunciations, but no – the tone of the article, by Serge Kovaleski and Brooks Barnes, suggests that Nakoula deserved what he got.
Start with the article’s title: “From Man Who Insulted Muhammad, No Regret.” The Times finds it remarkable that Nakoula isn’t penitent:
“Fuming for two months in a jail cell here, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula has had plenty of time to reconsider the wisdom of making ‘Innocence of Muslims,’ his crude YouTube movie trailer depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a bloodthirsty, philandering thug.”
So is America now a country where we imprison people so they can rethink the wisdom of making a video with the wrong political point of view? Apparently the Times thinks so; there is strong evidence that Barack Obama does, too.
“Does Mr. Nakoula now regret the footage? After all, it fueled deadly protests across the Islamic world and led the unlikely filmmaker to his own arrest for violating his supervised release on a fraud conviction. Not at all. In his first public comments since his incarceration soon after the video gained international attention in September, Mr. Nakoula told The New York Times that he would go to great lengths to convey what he called ‘the actual truth’ about Muhammad.”
Which raises an interesting point. I have never seen anyone comment on the historical accuracy of Nakoula’s film (assuming that anyone has actually seen it) or the YouTube trailer. Muhammad was, in fact, a “bloodthirsty, philandering thug.” You could say worse things about him than that without straying from the truth. But this question is not one that the Times, or any other media outlet I am aware of, has seen fit to explore.
The Times tries to keep alive the fiction that Nakoula’s video might have had something to do with the Benghazi attack:
“There is a dispute about how important the video was in provoking the terrorist assault on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed the United States ambassador and three other Americans.”
Actually, I don’t think there is any dispute at all. To my knowledge, there is zero evidence that the Ansar al-Sharia terrorists who carried out the attack knew or cared about Nakoula’s video.
The main point of the Times article – the only point, really – is to establish that Nakoula is disreputable and untrustworthy. But this is an odd perspective to take on what appears to be an extraordinary violation of the First Amendment – jailing a man for political speech regarded as inconvenient by the Obama administration. …
The Obama administration doesn’t even pretend that Nakoula was imprisoned for any reason other than as punishment for his impermissible speech. Recall Charles Woods [father of Tyrone Woods, one of the Americans murdered in Benghazi] recounting how Hillary Clinton approached him at his son’s memorial and said, “We’re going to have that person arrested and prosecuted that did the video.” And it is blindingly obvious that tossing a probationer in the slammer for using an alias and accessing the internet, notwithstanding that those actions violated the terms of his probation, is not standard practice.
The writer asks -
In the view of the New York Times, is the First Amendment reserved for the honest and the respectable?
And comments -
That certainly wasn’t the Left’s position when Communists were availing themselves of the bourgeois right of free speech.
Now, it seems, it may be reserved for those who submit to Obama and Islam.
In fact, the New York Times and American “liberals” in general have been against freedom as such for a long time now. Collectivists calling themselves liberal - in the manner described by George Orwell as Newspeak - is like Communist tyrannies commonly calling themselves People’s Democratic Republics. Or the main party of the Left in America calling itself the Democratic Party.
11/29/12. The real name of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula may have finally emerged. Fox News reports:
An Egyptian court convicted in absentia Wednesday seven Egyptian Coptic Christians and a Florida-based American pastor, sentencing them to death on charges linked to an anti-Islam film that had sparked riots in parts of the Muslim world [ie had been used to spark riots]. … The man behind the film, Mark Basseley Youssef, is among those convicted. He was sentenced in a California court earlier this month to a year in federal prison for probation violations in an unrelated matter. Youssef, 55, admitted that he had used several false names in violation of his probation order and obtained a driver’s license under a false name. He was on probation for a bank fraud case.
A three-ring circus has been erected around the false video narrative, with the Petraeus/Rice/Clapper follies detracting attention from the three essential issues: the Obama administration’s disastrous Libya policy, the president’s dereliction of duty on September 11, 2012, and the troubling goings-on at the Benghazi consulate that wasn’t a consulate.
We quote from Andrew McCarthy’s astute analysis of the devious political distractions from the main issues of Benghazigate being spun by the administration and the media.
CBS News is reporting that it was the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that purged references to “al Qaeda” and “terrorism” from talking points given to Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Rice used those talking points to promote the lie that the Benghazi massacre resulted from a spontaneous mob protest rather than a planned terrorist attack. CBS adds that the CIA and FBI signed off on this false version of events.
This is all farce, of course. There being no more honor among con-men than among thieves, there comes a time in all busted conspiracies when the conspirators start pointing fingers at each other.
To pause briefly over details of the farce:
When the subject of Ms. Rice’s fitness to be secretary of state arose during last week’s press conference, the president summoned up some faux bravado, daring two Rice critics, Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, to “go after me,” not the gracious Madame Ambassador, if they wanted a fight. …
If Susan Rice is a weak little woman who needs the protection of a big strong male, then she certainly shouldn’t be appointed Secretary of State – or, for that matter, Ambassador to the UN. It’s absurd to put women who need such protection into jobs that expose them to the storm winds of international conflict.
For decades now administrations both elephantine and asinine have appointed women as legates to Arab states – to Muslim states that despise women and regard them as obscene walking sex-organs that need to be covered up to the eyeballs – with disastrous results. It was a woman ambassador, April Glaspie, sent by President George H. W. Bush to Iraq, who blunderingly gave the green light to Saddam Hussein to invade Kuwait in 1990.
Now to return to the nub of the matter:
With their guy safely reelected, this spectacle has finally drawn the Obamedia’s attention to the president’s Benghazi travesty. Let’s not get lost here. It is critical to step back and bear two things in mind:
(a) All of the players here, including Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (both of whom the CBS report purports to absolve), are guilty of conspiracy — in this case, to mislead Americans about the cause of the attack and to aid the administration’s Islamist allies, whose objective is to impose sharia blasphemy standards on our country (a project on which the Obama administration has been colluding with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation since 2009). It was not for their own benefit that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Rice were, respectively, doctoring talking points and using them to create a false impression. Obama was the intended beneficiary. Patently the White House — which pitched Rice to the Sunday shows because Obama wanted to get the Mohammed-movie talking points publicly aired — was in the loop.
(b) Given that the conspiracy is a cover-up, there is the more salient matter of what is being covered up? The brain-dead mantra in Washington is always — all together now — “The cover-up is worse than the crime.” That is not true here. …
What is bad, very bad, is:
Four Americans were killed in Benghazi as a direct result of President Obama’s unprovoked and … unconstitutional war in Libya. This foolish gambit had the easily foreseeable result of empowering Islamists, very much including violent jihadists who now have access to much of the Qaddafi arsenal, in addition to other arms and training they received from the U.S. and NATO in the mission to overthrow Qaddafi (then, an American ally).
That was the first wrong step, whether a mistake or (as we suspect) action intended to promote revolutionary Islam.
Then what it led to:
The jihadist siege against the American installation in Benghazi lasted for over seven hours. The commander-in-chief knew the attack was underway while it was happening — which is obviously why he won’t answer questions about when and how he learned of it. He had military assets in proximity to Benghazi that could have come to the aid of the besieged Americans. Yet, Obama failed to take meaningful military action, an inexcusable dereliction of duty. Then, he told the American people he had done all he could do to protect those who were killed and wounded, an inexcusable betrayal of trust. Both counts of malfeasance are impeachable offenses. Rice’s false statements, Clapper’s purge, and Petraeus’s contradictory statements to Congress do not erase any of that. Obama has far more to answer for than anyone else in this debacle, and it is imperative that he be held accountable.
No help reached the beleaguered ambassador. So either Obama gave the order to go to their aid as he says he did and it was not obeyed, in which case he is ineffectual and his officials rebellious; or he did not give the order, in which case he is lying.
Andrew McCarthy goes on to discuss just what scandalous facts the cover-up is trying to conceal: Was the CIA station in Benghazi being used, without authority, to detain terrorist prisoners? Or was it gathering arms for shipment to Syria in whose civil war the policy is not to interfere? Or was it something even worse?
It’s the answers to those questions that we wait to hear, not who changed the wording of talking-points given to the little lady who parroted what she was told on TV in order to conceal shameful secret enterprises in the Arab world by the Obama conspiracy. What were those shameful secret enterprises?
Or as Andrew McCarthy puts it:
The cover-up here is not worse than the crime. Congress must not allow itself to get sidetracked. What matters most is what the administration is hiding — not the fact that the administration is hiding it.
… 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:
We have spoken of the Three Harpies of the Obama administration, Hillary Clinton, Samantha Power, and Susan Rice (see our post, A siren song from hell, April 1, 2011). They wanted America to intervene militarily in the Libyan civil war “to protect civilians”, and they got their way, so the US is involved in a costly and ineffective engagement, along with ramshackle NATO; and Libyan civilians continue to be displaced, injured, and killed, often by the “protective” operations of the US and NATO – or the US in NATO, say, since the administration pretends that it has withdrawn from the fray.
Today we liken the three women to three witches, cooking up a lethal brew of global socialism, pro-Islamism, and anti-Americanism, in a steaming pot of self-righteous sentimentality.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a disciple of the Communist Revolutionary Saul Alinsky, is the most powerful of them by reason of her position in the administration. But she’s probably not the equal of the other two in gathering venomous ideas.
Samantha Power runs Obama’s “Office of Human Rights” and has written a book about genocide. It’s a long grope for a definition of the word. She believes, as the left generally does, that America should only go to war as an act of altruism, never to protect its own interests such as securing oil supplies or punishing attackers, and whenever possible as an instrument of the UN.
As for Susan Rice, the current US ambassador to that evil institution, here’s an account of her by Rick Moran from Front Page:
President Obama’s ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, has long been an advocate for weakening American sovereignty in order to benefit the UN and its anti-American agenda. It is a policy known as “engagement,” where the United States subsumes its own vital interests, abandons its traditional role of leadership in the world community, and … pushes the process of “subcontracting American national security” to the UN.
Time Magazine refers to this policy — without a hint of irony — as “leading from the back.” … Her vision of what the US’s role in the world should be … includes an open hostility to the state of Israel, a dangerous reliance on the UN to keep Iran from going nuclear, as well as the world body’s inexplicable granting Tehran membership on the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women. …
While one expects a UN ambassador to be an advocate for internationalism, Rice slipped the bounds of reason and waxed poetic in her testimony about the importance of the United Nations to our national security. … Rice claimed that … “the U.N. promotes universal values Americans hold dear.” …
That statement is nonsense. It is beyond rhetorical excess and enters the sublime milieu of self-delusion. Unless she believes that America “holds dear” values like racism, anti-Semitism, corruption, sexism, child rape, and a host of other execrable hallmarks of United Nations actions and policies, then she is either naive or willfully blind to the true nature of the UN. …
In one of the most extraordinary statements ever made by an American official about Israel, Rice bitterly complained last February about having to veto a Security Council resolution condemning Israel and its settlement policy. She deliberately undercut the impact of the veto by saying, “For more than four decades, [Israeli settlement activity] has undermined security … corroded hopes for peace and security … it violates international commitments and threatens prospects for peace.” During her testimony last week, Rice reiterated that sentiment, adding “Israeli settlement activity is illegitimate.”
What angered Rice was that the Security Council vote was 14-1, with countries like Great Britain, France, and Russia co-sponsoring the Palestinian-inspired condemnation. To Rice’s and the administration’s way of thinking, going against international “consensus” — even if inimical to US interests — was a blow to their strategy of “engagement.”
Rice’s statements before the committee on the UN’s massively hypocritical selections for the Human Rights Council can only be termed bizarre. The HRC features such stellar advocates for human rights as Angola, China, Cuba, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Saudi Arabia — a rogue’s gallery of thuggish states. After acknowledging that it is difficult to find nations that have good human rights records to serve on the council, Rice seemed proud of the fact that US opposition had kept Iran off the HRC. She chalked that “success” up to the fact that the United States had agreed to join the HRC rather than refuse to participate in such a farce.
What Rice didn’t mention was that in order to get Iran to withdraw its application for membership on the HRC, Washington agreed not to raise a stink when the fundamentalist Islamic Republic that mandates stoning women for adultery wanted to join the Commission on the Status of Women. With no objection from the US, Iran was duly elected to the commission.
Instead of Iran joining the HRC, Libya got the slot. How this can be termed a “success” takes pretzel-like logic — something Rice appears to excel at. …
Rice’s thinking on terrorism has also heavily influenced administration policy. In 1996, she advised President Clinton not to accept Sudan’s offer to turn over Osama Bin Laden because Sudan’s human rights record was so wretched, she thought we shouldn’t have anything to do with them.
Refusing to contaminate her idealistic beliefs with the ample evidence that has been produced to the contrary, Susan holds fast to her conviction that the “cause of terrorism” is “poverty”.
Her steadfast belief that poverty, not radical Islamist ideology, is responsible for terrorism has upended 20 years of American anti-terrorism policy. Rice is the inspiration behind the Obama administration’s de-emphasizing military action against terrorists, while looking for ways to address the “root causes” of the violence. …
It is Rice’s solution to what she considers the “real” causes of terrorism that is of great concern. She supports the transfer of nearly $100 billion every year to UN’s Millennium Development Project for redistribution to poorer nations and their kleptocrat leaders. How this will address the problem of “poverty” in poor countries never seems to get explained. The history of aid to these nations is that the elites end up with most of it while precious little trickles down to the masses. Rice ignores this history — and the reality that America doesn’t have $100 billion for such a cockamamie scheme. …
What isn’t generally known is her advocacy for unilateral American action in cases where the UN fails to act. Along with Samantha Power, the president’s national security advisor, Rice is responsible for pushing through the Security Council a strong resolution authorizing military force against Gaddafi. But when it comes to Darfur and other potential hot spots where the UN refuses to act, Rice has advocated that America go it alone to prevent a humanitarian disaster. … She has … suggested that the US should contribute a percentage of its military to a UN force, under UN command, to intervene where humanitarian crises threaten disaster.
This goes far beyond what most would advocate for when it comes to the Responsibility to Protect doctrine. But it is one more indication that Susan Rice casually sets aside the interests of her own country in order to cater to the whims and capricious agenda of a world body that has proven itself an enemy of the United States.
Because the left hates individual freedom, it hates America. It wants the UN to become the world’s governing body and redistribute wealth from the developed countries to the rest. And it’s making progress towards achieving its terrible aims. The thugocracies that have a permanent seat on its Security Council – Russia and China – are no longer restrained by Western powers. France and Britain are ghosts of the powers they used to be. And as Susan Rice represents an American leadership that does not like America, it looks as if Turtle Bay could actually become the capital of the whole-earth hell that the international left dreams of …
… unless the United States again, and soon, has strong wise men governing it, and they have the will to abolish the United Nations.
The UN must be destroyed!