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Thread: Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Libya crisis: Benghazi

  1. #241
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    Default Re: Are Tunisia and Egypt Facing Real Unrest or a Manufactured Crisis?

    Paulson: Why Did The White House Take So Long To Admit Libya Attack Was Terrorism?

    September 21, 2012 12:09 PM

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    Damage inside the burnt US consulate building in Benghazi (Photo credit: GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/GettyImages)



    After the deadly attack on the United States Embassy in Libya, it was apparent to many that the attack was premeditated and designed to kill Americans – not to protest an amateur-made movie that mocked Islam and disrespected Mohammad. The militant 9-11 attackers totally achieved their goal by leaving the United States Embassy in shambles with charred and blood-stained walls as well as a trail of death.
    Yet the current administration in the United States government insisted otherwise. President Barack Obama, United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney led the way by denouncing those who dared state the obvious version of what had happened in Benghazi, Libya – that it was about terrorism and not about the anti-Mohammad film.
    Finally, a week later, the obvious has been addressed by Jay Carney at the White House and Mathew Olsen, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, who both now admit that the deadly acts against United States Ambassador to Libya Christopher Steven and three other Americans were indeed an act of terrorism, obviously committed on 9-11.
    With Americans watching the nearing of the date September 11, 2012 on the calendar for weeks – if not months – and dreading the stark reality that something disastrous may happen to innocent Americans again, the president and his political cronies refused to believe what happened.
    Yet Americans are supposed to have faith in them, their judgment, trust their words and actions – and sit idly by as they denounce anyone who dares to try to challenge their words. Additionally, with extreme words, they denounce anyone who tries to challenge them for their power and positions. Unfortunately, in the past week, we have seen far too many Americans bow down to the blatant misspeaks or, perhaps, lies spoken by those in positions we have been able to dutifully trust in the past.
    Read more conservative politics at The Right Politics

    With this administration, we have seen far too many people trust in everything the political leaders say and do in Washington – without logical and discerned question. This is just plain foolish on the part of the blind followers.
    More than what these national leaders and politicians are doing to Americans, consider what they are they telling the rest of the world – the rest of the world who figured out the nation was 9/11-attacked again as soon as it happened. Our leaders told the world that we are a nation led by either ignorance via doubt or by liars. Neither, of course, is an admirable trait to display when one claims to be “the” world leader. Beyond causing America to be embarrassed throughout the world, last week’s denial of what happened on 9/11/2012 makes us look incredibly weak.
    Even the thought of blaming the anti-Islamic, Mohammad-disgracing movie for the most recent 9/11 attack on innocent Americans was ignorant – and carrying the thought out through words from the nation’s capital via our top leaders was incredibly inappropriate, totally embarrassing, extremely America-weakening, and – most of all – an ignorant stunt to try to pass on to America and the world.
    White House Press Secretary Jay Carney finally telling reporters a week after the incident, “It is, I think, self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack,” is too little – far too late.
    The goal now is for the United States and Libya to join political forces to bring the attackers to justice. This, of course, needs to be done swiftly and honorably in the name of the four fallen Americans.
    Then, there needs to be a full investigation as to why those present in the attacked-United States Embassies weren’t forewarned of the attacks as evidence that there was prior knowledge of the attacks grows.
    About Scott Paulson
    Scott Paulson writes political commentary for Examiner.com and teaches English at a community college in the Chicago area. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.
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    Default Re: Are Tunisia and Egypt Facing Real Unrest or a Manufactured Crisis?

    Obama officials' spin on Benghazi attack mirrors Bin Laden raid untruths

    In a familiar pattern, White House claims about what motivated the killing of the US ambassador in Libya are now contradicted



    Damage inside the burnt US consulate building in Benghazi. Libya said it has made arrests and opened a probe into the attack. Photograph: Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images

    Almost immediately after President Obama announced the killing of Osama bin Laden, top government officials, including then-CIA Director Leon Panetta and top terrorism adviser John Brennan, made numerous false statements about what took place. That included the claim that Bin Laden was killed after he engaged in a "firefight", that he used his wife as a human shield to protect himself, and that he was living in luxury in a $1m mansion.
    None of those claims, central to the story the White House told the world, turned out to be true. Bin Laden was unarmed and nobody in the house where Bin Laden was found ever fired a single shot (a courier in an adjacent guest house was the only one to shoot, at the very beginning of the operation). Bin Laden never used his wife or anyone else as a shield. And the house was dilapidated, showed little sign of luxury, and was worth one-quarter of what it was claimed. Numerous other claims made by the administration about the raid remain unanswered because of its steadfast insistence on secrecy and non-disclosure (except when it concerns Hollywood filmmakers).
    Would it have mattered had the White House been truthful about the Bin Laden raid from the start? It would have undoubtedly made no difference for many people, who simply craved Osama bin Laden's death without regard to how it was done. But it certainly would have made a difference for at least some people around the world in terms of how they perceived of these actions and whether they approved – which is presumably why the White House was so eager to insist on these falsehoods and to ensure that the world's perception was shaped by them. (Please spare me the "fog of war" excuse: when the so-called "fog of war" causes the US government to make inaccurate claims that undermine its interests, rather than bolster them – as always happens – then that excuse will be plausible.)
    There's obviously an enormous difference between killing someone in a firefight and shooting him in cold blood while he's unarmed. The morning after the Bin Laden killing was announced, I wrote that although I'd have preferred he be captured and tried, "if he in fact used force to resist capture, then the US military was entitled to use force against him, the way American police routinely do against suspects who use violence to resist capture." At least one legal scholar has changed his mind about the legality of the killing, in the wake of evidence that Bin Laden was killed while lying on the ground, unarmed and severely wounded.
    But no matter. The White House's initial statements about what happened, false though they turned out to be, forever shaped perceptions of that event. Many people are unwilling to change their minds even in the wake of new evidence, while many others hear only of the initial claims made when news coverage is at its peak and never become aware of subsequent corrections. Combine that with the generalized "Look Forward, Not Backward" mentality popularized by President Obama – as embodied by John Kerry's "shut up and move on" decree to those asking questions about what really happened in the Bin Laden raid – and those initial White House falsehoods did the trick.
    We now see exactly the same pattern emerging with the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya and the killing of the US ambassador. For a full week now, administration officials have categorically insisted that the prime, if not only, cause of the attack was spontaneous anger over the anti-Muhammad film, The Innocence of Muslims.
    Last week, White House spokesman Jay Carney insisted that "these protests, were in reaction to a video that had spread to the region." On Friday, he claimed:
    "'This is a fairly volatile situation, and it is in response not to US policy, not to, obviously, the administration, not to the American people. It is in response to a video – a film – that we have judged to be reprehensive and disgusting. That in no way justifies any violent reaction to it. But this is not a case of protests directed at the United States, writ large, or at US policy. This is in response to a video that is offensive and – to Muslims.'"
    On Sunday, UN ambassador Susan Rice, when asked about the impetus for the attack, said that "this began as, it was a spontaneous – not a premeditated – response to what had transpired in Cairo," and added: "In Cairo, as you know, a few hours earlier, there was a violent protest that was undertaken in reaction to this very offensive video that was disseminated." In other interviews, she insisted that the Benghazi violence was a "spontaneous" reaction to the film.
    Predictably, and by design, most media accounts from the day after the Benghazi attack repeated the White House line as though it were fact, just as they did for the Bin Laden killing. Said NPR on 12 September: "The US ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed in an attack on the US consulate in Benghazi by protesters angry over a film that ridiculed Islam's Prophet Muhammad." The Daily Beast reported that the ambassador "died in a rocket attack on the embassy amid violent protests over a US-produced film deemed insulting to Islam." To date, numerous people believe – as though there were no dispute about it – that Muslims attacked the consulate and killed the US ambassador "because they were angry about a film".
    As it turns out, this claim is almost certainly false. And now, a week later, even the US government is acknowledging that, as McClatchy reports this morning [my emphasis]:
    "The Obama administration acknowledged for the first time Wednesday that last week's assault on the US consulate compound in Benghazi that left the US ambassador to Libya and three other Americans dead was a 'terrorist attack' apparently launched by local Islamic militants and foreigners linked to al-Qaida's leadership or regional allies.
    "'I would say they were killed in the course of a terrorist attack,' said Matthew Olsen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, told the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
    "It was the first time that a senior administration official had said the attack was not the result of a demonstration over an anti-Islam video that has been cited as the spark for protests in dozens of countries over the past week .'The picture that is emerging is one where a number of different individuals were involved,' Olsen said." [My emphasis]
    Worse, it isn't as though there had been no evidence of more accurate information before Wednesday. To the contrary, most evidence from the start strongly suggested that the White House's claims – that this attack was motivated by anger over a film – were false. From McClatchy:
    "The head of Libya's interim government, key US lawmakers and experts contend that the attack appeared long-planned, complex and well-coordinated, matching descriptions given to McClatchy last week by the consulate's landlord and a wounded security guard, who denied there was a protest at the time and said the attackers carried the banner of Ansar al-Shariah, an Islamist militia."
    Indeed, Libya's president has spent the week publicly announcing that there is "no doubt" the attack was planned well in advance and had nothing to do with the video.
    CBS News reported Thursday morning that there was no anti-video protest at all at the consulate. Witnesses insist, said CBS, "that there was never an anti-American protest outside of the consulate. Instead, they say, it came under planned attack." That, noted the network, "is in direct contradiction to the administration's account of the incident." The report concluded: "What's clear is that the public won't get a detailed account of what happened until after the election."
    The Obama White House's interest in spreading this falsehood is multi-fold and obvious:
    For one, the claim that this attack was just about anger over an anti-Muhammad video completely absolves the US government of any responsibility or even role in provoking the anti-American rage driving it. After all, if the violence that erupted in that region is driven only by anger over some independent film about Muhammad, then no rational person would blame the US government for it, and there could be no suggestion that its actions in the region – things like this, and this, and this, and this – had any role to play.
    The White House capitalized on the strong desire to believe this falsehood: it's deeply satisfying to point over there at those Muslims and scorn their primitive religious violence, while ignoring the massive amounts of violence to which one's own country continuously subjects them. It's much more fun and self-affirming to scoff: "can you believe those Muslims are so primitive that they killed our ambassador over a film?" than it is to acknowledge: "our country and its allies have continually bombed, killed, invaded, and occupied their countries and supported their tyrants."
    It is always more enjoyable to scorn the acts of the Other Side than it is to acknowledge the bad acts of one's own. That's the self-loving mindset that enables the New York Times to write an entire editorial today purporting to analyze Muslim rage without once mentioning the numerous acts of American violence aimed at them (much of which the Times editorial page supports). Falsely claiming that the Benghazi attacks were about this film perfectly flattered those jingoistic prejudices.
    Then, there are the implications for the intervention in Libya, which Obama's defenders relentlessly tout as one of his great victories. But the fact that the Benghazi attack was likely premeditated and carried out by anti-American factions vindicates many of the criticisms of that intervention. Critics of the war in Libya warned that the US was siding with (and arming and empowering) violent extremists, including al-Qaida elements, that would eventually cause the US to claim it had to return to Libya to fight against them – just as its funding and arming of Saddam in Iraq and the mujahideen in Afghanistan subsequently justified new wars against those one-time allies.
    War critics also argued that the intervention would bring massive instability and suffering to the people of Libya; today, the Washington Post reports that – just as the "president of Afghanistan" is really the mayor of Kabul and the "Iraqi government" long exercised sovereignty only in Baghdad's Green Zone – the central Libyan government exercises little authority outside of Tripoli. And intervention critics also warned that dropping bombs in a country and killing civilians, no matter how noble the intent supposedly is, would produce blowback in the form of those who would then want to attack the US.
    When the White House succeeded in falsely blaming the consulate attacks on anger over this video, all of those facts were obscured. The truth, now that it is emerging, underscores how unstable, lawless and dangerous Libya has become – far from the grand success story war proponents like to tell. As McClatchy noted in Thursday's report:
    "Libya remains plagued by armed groups nearly a year after the US-backed ouster of the late dictator Muammar Gaddafi. Yet the facility was primarily defended by local guards who may have been complicit …
    "Since the fall of Gaddafi last year, Libya's security has been dependent on a group of armed militias, including Ansar al-Shariah, that represent a wide variety of political strains and interests and remain heavily armed with weapons looted from Gaddafi storehouses. Interior Ministry forces and the Supreme Security Committee have been accused of complicity in recent attacks by Islamic fundamentalists on mosques and shrines affiliated with the moderate Sufi strain of Islam."
    Then, there are the garden-variety political harms to the White House from the truth about these attacks. If the killing of the ambassador were premeditated and unrelated to the film, then it vests credibility in the criticism that the consulate should have been much better-protected, particularly on 9/11. And in general, the last thing a president running for re-election wants is an appearance that he is unable to protect America's diplomats from a terrorist group his supporters love to claim that he has heroically vanquished.
    The falsehood told by the White House – this was just a spontaneous attack prompted by this video that we could not have anticipated and had nothing to do with – fixed all of those problems. Critical attention was thus directed to Muslims (what kind of people kill an ambassador over a film?) and away from the White House and its policies.
    The independent journalist IF Stone famously noted that the number one rule of good journalism, even of good citizenship, is to remember that "all governments lie." Yet, no matter how many times we see this axiom proven true, over and over, there is still a tendency, a desire, to believe that the US government's claims are truthful and reliable.
    The Obama administration's claims about the Benghazi attack are but the latest in a long line of falsehoods it has spouted on crucial issues, all in order to serve its interests and advance its agenda. Perhaps it is time to subject those claims to intense skepticism and to demand evidence before believing they are true.
    Other matters

    A former British army captain involved in co-ordinating drone attacks, James Jeffrey, has an outstanding op-ed in the Guardian explaining why drones are so odious and dangerous. I recommend it highly.
    Relating to the free speech debate that has emerged over the last week, I have a question for those who insist that advocating or inciting violence is not and should not be included within the protections of free speech: should this statement have led to an arrest? Relatedly: many people believe it was illegal for Obama to fight a war in Libya after Congress voted against the war's authorization, and many (including Obama) believe it would be illegal for the president to bomb Iran without congressional approval. Should advocacy of those acts of illegal violence be illegal and lead to arrest?
    The schedule of speaking events I'll be doing in late September and October has been slightly changed. All events are open to the public and event information is here.
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  3. #243
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    Default Re: Are Tunisia and Egypt Facing Real Unrest or a Manufactured Crisis?

    Perry blasts, blames Obama for Benghazi, Cairo attacks and Ambassador Chris Stevens death

    Wednesday, September 12, 2012



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    Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks at his victory party in Buda, Texas, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry released a statement Wednesday afternoon blasting President Barack Obama for the attacks on the American mission in Benghazi and the American embassy in Cairo and went a step further than Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, blaming the president for the deaths of the four Americans who were killed in the attack in Benghazi.
    Here’s the statement in its entirety:
    AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today released the following statement regarding the Benghazi attack that killed the U.S. Ambassador to Libya and three other Americans:
    “Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans are now dead in the chaos of a destabilized Middle East. President Obama said he “rejects” these brutal acts, and condemns them in “the strongest terms” – yet still acknowledges our attackers’ supposed justification. This kind of language broadcasts an impotent foreign policy that fostered this crisis in the first place.
    “Muammar Qadaffi was an evil oppressor who murdered innocent Americans. But in the naïve belief that America could “lead from behind” in the operation to remove him, this President allowed Libyan rockets and artillery to be scattered to the terrorist winds and had no plan to secure the country. Now we have these brazen attacks on our mission in Benghazi, and the violent death of our ambassador.
    “Combined with President Obama’s shameful lack of leadership in Egypt that culminated in the burning of our flag in our own embassy in Cairo yesterday, it is no wonder our enemies in the region are emboldened and our allies are afraid.
    “All Americans join together in mourning the tragic loss of our Foreign Service personnel in Benghazi yesterday, and extending our deepest sympathies to their families. We must now act decisively to secure our surviving people in the region, prevent further senseless bloodshed and defend American interests abroad.”
    Perry’s statement goes much further than the Romney campaign has gone on the matter — in a statement last night and at a press conference this morning, Romney and his campaign have slammed the White House for “sympathiz[ing] with those who waged the attacks.”
    Romney’s remarks were based around a statement put out by the U.S. Embassy in Cairo hours before protesters overran one of the walls protecting it. The statement was put out in response to an anti-Islamic video supposedly posted by an American that had begun to gain traction and generate anger on the ‘Arab Street.’ And hours after protesters at the embassy in Cairo overwhelmed some of its defenses, an armed group launched a coordinated attack against the American mission in Benghazi, Libya.
    The attack against the U.S. mission in Libya killed four American diplomats, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.
    (The Washington Post has a comprehensive timeline of what happened, when)
    Romney has been coming under fire for politicizing the issue from fellow Republicans today:
    - Mark Salter, who was a foreign policy adviser to 2008 GOP presidential candidate John McCain, wrote:
    [H]is policies are not responsible for the attacks on our embassy in Cairo and our consulate in Benghazi or the murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. The rush to condemn him in the wake of these attacks by Republicans from Mitt Romney to Sarah Palin, and scores of other conservative critics for policies they claim helped precipitate these attacks is as tortured in its reasoning as it is unseemly in its timing.
    - Former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan said: “I don’t feel that Mr. Romney has been doing himself any favors in the past few hours.”
    - BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith wrote that Republican foreign policy experts were telling him that:
    “They were just trying to score a cheap news cycle hit based on the embassy statement and now it’s just completely blown up,” said a very senior Republican foreign policy hand, who called the statement an “utter disaster” and a “Lehman moment” — a parallel to the moment when John McCain, amid the 2008 financial crisis, failed to come across as a steady leader.
    He and other members of both parties cited the Romney campaign’s recent dismissals of foreign policy’s relevance. One adviser dismissed the subject to BuzzFeed as a “shiny object,” while another told Politico that the subject was the “president’s turf,” drawing a rebuke from Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol.
    “I guess we see now that it is because they’re incompetent at talking effectively about foreign policy,” said the Republican. “This is just unbelievable — when they decide to play on it they completely bungle it.”
    However, former Perry foreign policy adviser Victoria Coates told the Houston Chronicle’s Joe Holley that she backed Romney’s critique saying that she believed the circumstances of his attack were overwhelming his argument.
    “It’s deeply unfortunate when the circumstance of the statement becomes the story,” said Coates, who is now an adjunct fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, and who suggested that Romney should simply have “gone earlier rather than save it for midnight” to avoid appearing to play politics on September 11. “It’s unfortunate that it’s playing out this way, and hopefully they can get back on message, because their point is sound,” she said.

    Categories: Gov. Rick Perry
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  4. #244
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    Default Re: Are Tunisia and Egypt Facing Real Unrest or a Manufactured Crisis?

    World wonders while Obama dithers





    'What happened initially was that it was a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired in Cairo as a consequence of the video. People gathered outside the embassy and then it grew very violent. And those with extremist ties joined the fray and came with heavy weapons, which unfortunately are quite common in post-revolutionary Libya, and that then spun out of control.' - United States ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, September 16




    THERE was no spontaneous "fray" in Benghazi that "spun out of control", ending in the deaths of the US ambassador to Libya and several embassy staff. The only thing spinning out of control in the days after the organised attack on the US consulate in Benghazi on September 12 was the administration of President Barack Obama, frantically portraying the terrible events in the Middle East as anything but what they were.


    Within a week, the Obama narrative had been exposed as just that, a narrative, and the White House grudgingly had to abandon it.


    It was sorry to do so. It was fond of its spin. The mainstream media reported the Obama administration's shift as if it had gotten a few things wrong in the heat of a crisis, and then new information came to light.









    That isn't the case. The administration wanted to misrepresent what had happened. The administration wanted to sell the story that a wacky anti-Islam video made in the US caused the violence in Cairo and Benghazi and dozens of other cities.


    That story line absolved the Obama administration of any responsibility for what had happened. It also went a long way towards absolving bad actors in the Muslim world.


    There have been indications over the past four years that, in its heart of hearts, the Obama administration blames the US first for many of the ills of the world. On this occasion, the administration stopped hinting and came clean. It explicitly, even eagerly, blamed America.


    Meanwhile, in the real world, things are falling apart.


    We are paying the price of US weakness. Enemies of the US everywhere are emboldened. The Iranian regime dashes for nuclear weapons, sponsors terror, aids President Bashar al-Assad in Syria and seeks to facilitate the killing of US troops where it can.


    Anti-American factions in countries from Pakistan to Iraq to Egypt step forward with renewed confidence. In Afghanistan, the Taliban are back on offensive now that Obama has precipitously undone the surge and seems to be heading for the exits.
    Russia scoffs at us, China ignores us and throws its weight around. As all the world wonders, Obama does nothing. Actually, he does some things: He cuts the US defence budget. He undercuts Israel. And he takes credit for the fact that, as he said at the Democratic convention of Afghanistan, "in 2014, our longest war will be over".


    Obama doesn't even pretend to claim that war will end victoriously or even successfully. It was Obama who less than three years ago ordered tens of thousands more troops into that country. Those troops fought bravely and died nobly - but Obama can't bother to feign much interest in the outcome of the cause for which they fought.


    Obama likes to say "the tide of war is receding". But war isn't a tide, and in any case it's not receding. We're retreating, and our influence is receding - and this makes war, and chaos, and terror, more likely, not less. It is the tide of US power that's been receding under Obama.


    In his remarks on September 11, Obama paid tribute to members of the 9/11 generation who have worn the uniform in Iraq and Afghanistan. But about the goals they sacrificed for? Nothing.


    Here's what their Commander-in-Chief had to say on September 11: "Today, the war in Iraq is over. In Afghanistan, we're training Afghan security forces and forging a partnership with the Afghan people. And by the end of 2014, the longest war in our history will be over."


    The training and partnering now appear to be little more than bloody fig leaves. One war is over, and the other will be over - that's Obama's message.


    Obama used to pretend that the end of the wars would be accompanied by all kinds of positive developments in the Muslim world. No longer. Now we're just heading for the exits, lobbing drones as we go.


    The members of the 9/11 generation who fought for our country in Iraq and Afghanistan know the US President has blundered. But theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die, says Obama.


    And his opponent for president of the US? His not to make reply, he has apparently concluded. Mitt Romney's virtual silence on foreign policy is the opposite of politically astute.


    He most likely can't win the presidency without engaging in, and prevailing in, a serious and sustained national security debate over the next six weeks. It's irresponsible to duck that debate. When will he begin to ignore his timid advisers, overrule his calculating functionaries and make the case against Obama - and for the US? All the world wonders.
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    Default Re: Are Tunisia and Egypt Facing Real Unrest or a Manufactured Crisis?

    US officials knew Libya attack was terrorism within 24 hours, sources confirm

    Published September 27, 2012

    FoxNews.com

    URGENT: U.S. intelligence officials knew within 24 hours of the assault on the U.S. Consulate in Libya that it was a terrorist attack and suspected Al Qaeda-tied elements were involved, sources told Fox News -- though it took the administration a week to acknowledge it.

    The account conflicts with claims on the Sunday after the attack by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice that the administration believed the strike was a "spontaneous" event triggered by protests in Egypt over an anti-Islam film.

    Two senior U.S. officials said the Obama administration internally labeled the attack terrorism from the first day in order to unlock and mobilize certain resources to respond, and that officials were looking for one specific suspect.

    In addition, sources confirm that FBI agents have not yet arrived in Benghazi in the aftermath of the attack. Four Americans including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens were killed in the assault.

    The account that officials initially classified the attack as terrorism is sure to raise serious questions among lawmakers who have challenged the narrative the administration put out in the week following the strike. A few Republican lawmakers have gone so far as to suggest the administration withheld key facts about the assault for political reasons.

    "I think we should have answers right away. ... I think they're reluctant to tell us what this event really was probably because it's an election year. But the American people deserve to know answers about what happened at our embassy in Libya," Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., told Fox News.

    Curiously, Obama referred to "acts of terror" in his first public remarks about the attack. But from there, administration officials went on to blame the anti-Islam film. Rice was the most explicit in that explanation, insisting on a slew of Sunday shows that the attack was not pre-planned and was tied to the film.

    Obama still has not publicly and specifically described the Benghazi attack as terrorism.

    But top administration officials have gradually walked back Rice's version of events.

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reportedly suggested Wednesday to foreign leaders visiting the United Nations summit in New York that the Al Qaeda affiliate in North Africa was involved.

    "Now with a larger safe haven and increased freedom to maneuver, terrorists are seeking to extend their reach and their networks in multiple directions," Clinton told the group, according to The New York Times. "And they are working with other violent extremists to undermine the democratic transitions under way in North Africa, as we tragically saw in Benghazi."

    She was referring to Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

    Clinton earlier this week called the attack terrorism, two weeks after the fact. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney also said that Obama now believes it is terrorism as well.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012...#ixzz27gJqdu00
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    Default Re: Is Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Libya Facing Real Unrest or a Manufactured Crisis?

    Muslim cyber attacks on US financial institutions over anti-mulsim film from 9/11/2012


    Plain Dealer file PNC has been preparing for a cyber attack expected today.As expected, PNC Bank's web site has been hit today by a cyber attack that is causing issues for some consumers.


    CLEVELAND, Ohio -- PNC is the latest large U.S. bank targeted for a cyber attack, apparently by a group that says it is lashing out in retaliation for the anti-Muslim video that has led to protests and violence this month.

    The attack bombards a bank's web site with so much traffic that customers find it takes a long time to log into their account, or they may not be able to log in at all.

    "Some customers do continue to report intermittent issues logging on to online banking on the first try," PNC spokesman Fred Solomon said about 10 a.m. today. "We ask that they try again while we work to ensure full access."

    Customers can also call customer service or go to a branch or ATM if they have business to do today.

    Today's incident follows similar attacks this week on Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank and KeyCorp. (See Wednesday's story.) Last week, Chase, Bank of America and Citi were targeted. All are among the 20 largest U.S. banks. The group that claims responsibility said PNC would be next. The attacks generally last a day or two.

    The banks say the web site slowdowns are disruptive but stress that no customer information has been compromised.

  7. #247
    Creepy Ass Cracka & Site Owner Ryan Ruck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Libya Facing Real Unrest or a Manufactured Crisis?

    If there was an attack on US Bank, I didn't notice it and I try to log in to my account a couple times a day (and have had to thanks to Sirius Radio screwing up my billing with a small account change - damn thieves trying to take out a full year subscription on a newly added radio when I already pay monthly on my first one, then billing me for my monthly payment with the new radio before they refunded my money, and then not refunding the full amount because of an "activation fee". Finally got it refunded fully after enough complaining and having been a loyal customer for the last 5 years. I know, cool story. Real on topic. ).

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    Default Re: Is Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Libya Facing Real Unrest or a Manufactured Crisis?

    Thanks for the update Ryan, in your line of work you might be hearing more about this if it was serious.

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    Creepy Ass Cracka & Site Owner Ryan Ruck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Libya Facing Real Unrest or a Manufactured Crisis?

    I'll keep my ear to the ground for sure. We didn't even get a company email on it, and I'm pretty sure we would have, so I can't imagine it's that big of a deal.

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    Default Re: Is Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Libya Facing Real Unrest or a Manufactured Crisis?

    Producer of anti-Islam film arrested, ordered held without bail

    From Stan Wilson, CNN
    updated 10:48 AM EDT, Fri September 28, 2012


    Nakoula Basseley Nakoula is led out of his Cerritos, California, home by Los Angeles County sheriff's officers on September 15.

    STORY HIGHLIGHTS

    • "He engaged in a likely pattern of deception," a judge says of man linked to anti-Islam film
    • His attorney argues for $10,000 bail, warning his client's safety is at risk
    • A prosecutor says he repeatedly violated his probation and "cannot be trusted"
    • Nakoula Basseley Nakoula believed to be behind "Innocence of Muslims" film



    Los Angeles (CNN) -- Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the man allegedly behind the inflammatory film "Innocence of Muslims," was ordered held without bail Thursday after being arrested in California and accused of violating his probation.
    "He engaged in a likely pattern of deception both to his probation officers and the court," Judge Suzanne Segal said in issuing her ruling.
    The preliminary bail hearing began with Segal asking the defendant -- dressed in gray slacks and a white and yellow striped T-shirt, with handcuffs and chain around his waist -- what his true name was.
    "Mark Basseley Yousseff," he replied.
    The judge then asked again, what is your name?
    "Mark Basseley," he said this time, again without spelling the name out. He has used at least 17 false names, according to court documents, but is mostly referred to as Nakoula.
    An attorney for the man then argued for $10,000 bail.
    Attorney Steve Seiden said his client had always maintained contact, in person and by telephone, with probation officers who have been monitoring him since his 2010 bank fraud conviction. But the main reason Nakoula shouldn't be jailed, his lawyer argued, was for safety reasons, saying the anti-Islam film would make him a target of fellow inmates.
    "It is a danger for him to remain in custody at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles because there are a large number of Muslims in there," Seiden said. "We are extremely concerned about his safety."
    Making no mention of aliases, the lawyer added that Nakoula had made no attempt to flee Southern California and never would.
    Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Dugdale told the judge that the man -- whom he referred to as Nakoula or Bassil -- had engaged in a "pattern of deception" and "a person who cannot be trusted."
    Dugdale pointed to a probation report citing eight allegations in which Nakoula had allegedly violated his probation. One of those was a requirement not to use aliases without permission from his probation officer, something the prosecutor said Nakoula did on at least three instances: during his fraud case, when he tried to get a passport in 2011 and during the making of the film. Dugdale said Nakoula had deceived the cast of the film as well as his probation officers.
    The prosecutor also noted that Nakoula was able to afford to make payments during the making of the film, saying it further raised concerns about the possibility of him fleeing the area while the legal case against him proceeds.
    "He poses a flight risk and poses a danger to others," Dugdale said, alluding to the probation report's recommendation that Nakoula be sentenced to 24 months in prison.
    The prosecutor added that he had received assurances from the Metropolitan Detention Center that Nakoula would be placed in protective custody if he was ordered jailed, meaning he would not have contact with other inmates.
    The judge, who ordered a future identity hearing to determine the defendant's actual name, cited the many instances in which he misrepresented his name. She also noted his "unstable" residence and work history, referring to the film project, as also among the reasons for denying him bail.
    When asked if he understood the nature of the hearing, Nakoula answered, "Yes."
    The judge then waived his right to a preliminary hearing and left open a future date for a revocation hearing. Immediately following Thursday's hearing, Nakoula was escorted away by the U.S. Marshals Service in a three-car caravan and driven two blocks to the Metropolitan Detention Center.
    'Innocence of Muslims' actress sues filmmaker, YouTube
    Earlier this month, Nakoula met with a probation officer in the wake of a federal review of his five-year supervised probation in the 2010 case.
    Nakoula was cooperative at that voluntary interview, authorities said. He was bundled up in a coat, hat and white scarf when he was escorted from his house for that interview. He wasn't under arrest at that time.
    Having served one year in federal prison at Lompoc, California, officials couldn't determine this month whether Nakoula paid any of the court-ordered restitution of $794,700, according to probation department officials and court records.
    While on probation, Nakoula was prohibited from using aliases as well as accessing computers or any device that can access the Internet without approval from his probation officer.
    Iran blocks YouTube, Google over Mohammed video
    He came to the world's attention after his movie, a trailer of which had been posted to YouTube, was highlighted this month by media in Egypt. Violent protests subsequently erupted in Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, Morocco, Sudan, Iran, Iraq, Israel and the Palestinian territories, with some of them targeting U.S. diplomatic missions.
    On Friday, a Chechen court ruled the film to be extremist and banned it in the Russian republic, according to information minister Murat Tagiyev.
    The film has potential to inflame sectarian hatred and may cause "destabilization of the political situation in the region, most of whose population is Muslim," he said.
    As the protests raged, Nakoula remained out of public view and ensconced with his family in their home in Cerritos, California, southeast of downtown Los Angeles.
    Actor: Anti-Islam filmmaker 'was playing us along'
    When news of his movie first broke, the filmmaker identified himself as Sam Bacile and told The Wall Street Journal he was a 52-year-old Israeli-American real estate developer from California. He said Jewish donors had financed his film.
    But Israel's Foreign Ministry said there was no record of a Sam Bacile with Israeli citizenship.
    A production staff member who worked on the film in its initial stages told CNN that a different name was filed on the paperwork for the Screen Actors Guild: Abenob Nakoula Bassely. A public records search showed an Abanob B. Nakoula residing at the same address as Nakoula Basseley Nakoula.
    Another staffer who worked on the film said he knew the producer as Sam Bassil. That's how he signed a personal check to pay staff.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Is Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Libya Facing Real Unrest or a Manufactured Crisis?

    A picture of one of the destroyed Harriers.

    Attachment 944



    A memorial that has been set up.

    Attachment 945

    Attachment 946

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    Default Re: Is Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Libya Facing Real Unrest or a Manufactured Crisis?

    Sleight of Hand

    September 29, 2012 - 1:49 pm - by Richard Fernandez


    Reports the FBI has still not started investigating the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi half a month after it occurred suggests that they’re really not going to. The real crime of interest is not the murder of Ambassador Stephens but something else. While the ambassador’s death was tragic it may have been incidental. Collateral. The real objective of the Benghazi attack may have been US intelligence operations in North Africa and the Middle East.


    “It’s a catastrophic intelligence loss,” said one U.S. official who has served in Libya and who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the FBI is still investigating the attack. “We got our eyes poked out.”

    The CIA’s surveillance targets in Benghazi and eastern Libya include Ansar al-Sharia, a militia that some have blamed for the attack, as well as suspected members of al-Qaida’s affiliate in North Africa, known as al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb.

    These would have been the second set of eyes they got poked out. According to Michael Scheuer, former head of the Bin Laden search unit, the “Arab Spring” dealt a major blow to US intelligence efforts in the region because it disrupted the CIA’s ability to render suspects to Arab intelligence services.

    “The help we were getting from the Egyptian intelligence service, less so from the Tunisians but certainly from the Libyans and Lebanese, has dried up – either because of resentment at our governments stabbing their political leaders in the back, or because those who worked for the services have taken off in fear of being incarcerated or worse.


    “The amount of work that has devolved on US and British services is enormous, and the result is blindness in our ability to watch what’s going on among militants.”

    Scheuer it will be recalled advocated US custody of detainees in the aftermath of September 11 because it was receiving bum information from the detainees tortured by the foreign intelligence agencies. With the decomissioning of Guantanamo it was back to that high minded and humanitarian mode of questioning that Bush wished to reduce but which Obama caused to restore: rendition.


    But he screwed that up too and some capability was probably being rebuilt from the ground up, perhaps by using militias and other subnational units in the role that Arab national intelligence agencies formerly performed. The Independent was one of the first to suggest that intelligence assets had been targeted in the Benghazi attack.

    The US administration is now facing a crisis in Libya. Sensitive documents have gone missing from the consulate in Benghazi and the supposedly secret location of the “safe house” in the city, where the staff had retreated, came under sustained mortar attack. Other such refuges across the country are no longer deemed “safe”.

    Some of the missing papers from the consulate are said to list names of Libyans who are working with Americans, putting them potentially at risk from extremist groups, while some of the other documents are said to relate to oil contracts.

    CNN found Ambassador Stephen’s diary among the Benghazi ruins suggesting that none of the bad guys were interested in it or they would have scooped it up already. None of the attackers has been publicly describe as having been captured. They’re not hanging around the ruins of the the Benghazi consulate, which is probably a dry hole now, waiting for the FBI to spot them.


    One of the reasons why the administration clung to the story that an anti-Muslim video sparked the attack for so long was because it could not admit to itself the more catastrophic alternative: that the attacks on the embassies were part of a big counterintelligence operation against the US. James Clapper apparently came to the reluctant conclusion some hours after the attack that it was his bailiwick not Hillary’s which was in the crosshairs.


    Shawn Turner, spokesman for Clapper’s office, said that in the immediate aftermath of the attack, U.S. agencies came to the view that the Benghazi attack had begun spontaneously after protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo against a short film made in California lampooning the Prophet Mohammad.

    Turner said that as U.S. intelligence subsequently learned more about the attack, “we revised our initial assessment to reflect new information indicating that it was a deliberate and organized terrorist attack carried out by extremists.”

    If Benghazi were an offensive counerintelligence operation then Clapper’s admission is is a half-truth at best. The organizations which mastermind such things are other intelligence agencies, only a handful of which would have been capable of carrying out something on this scale. Neither the rag-tag militias nor the remnants of al-Qaeda would have been able to do it. But some Arab intelligence agencies, or Iran’s or the ISI — might. If so then the attack may not have been masterminded by “al-Qaeda”, but it was for the benefit of al-Qaeda.

    The whole thrust of what Roger L. Simon has called “Benghazigate” — an organized pattern of lying to lay the blame on the wave of attacks on an unknown video producer has been designed to avoid answering two questions:

    1) who masterminded the attacks;

    2) what help did they have from persons inside the United States.



    These questions are probably being asked in parallel and explain the involvement of the FBI, whose remit is domestic counterintelligence.

    The FBI is probably not asking “who killed Stephens”. It is probably asking who knew where the safe house was? Who knew what the contingency plans were? And above all, when did you first hear about what must have been the cover story, the anti-Mohammed video.

    Answers to either or both of these questions would open a whole can of worms.

    The biggest possible can of worms would be that the CIA had its “eyes poked out” to prevent it from seeing some dangerous operation that is even now hatching in the intelligence shadow of the ‘Arab Spring’: the possibility that there is something out there which has to be kept secret from US intelligence. How better to do it than to disrupt a major center of US intelligence operations in the area?

    So it’s better for the public to think that an unknown video producer was the cause it all. The alternative, explanation: that the enemy intelligence agencies destroyed the CIA’s efforts to recover from the ‘Arab Spring’ and that America is now flying blind in the Middle East would be a hard thing to admit.




    I Ruined the President's Genius Plan

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    Default Re: Is Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Libya Facing Real Unrest or a Manufactured Crisis?

    Pelosi Accuses GOP Of Holding Up Funds Which Would Have Provided Security For Libya Consulate

    video
    by Noah Rothman | 5:17 pm, October 2nd, 2012
    » 99 comments



    House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) appeared on CNN with Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday where she sat down for a wide-ranging interview. The Minority Leader addressed the ongoing scandal surrounding President Barack Obama’s administration’s response to the September 11 attacks in Libya which left four dead, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Pelosi said that Republicans in Congress withheld $300 million in funds for Libya which would have provided for enhanced security around the Benghazi consulate. When Blitzer asked if she thought Republican calls for an investigation into the incident in Benghazi were political in nature, Pelosi replied “One might suspect that.”

    RELATED: New Evidence Of Warnings Before Benghazi Attack: Consulate Bombed Twice Prior To 9/11 Assault

    Blitzer read portions of a letter sent by House Oversight Committee members Reps. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) to Sec. Hillary Clinton in which they reveal their knowledge that the mission in Libya made repeated requests for increased security after having come under attack several times in recent months. They say that those resources were withheld by Washington.

    “It’s also important to note that the Republican appropriation Congress gave the administration $300 million less than it asked for for the State Department, including funding for security,” said Pelosi.

    “Are you suggesting that there was a financial aspect to what happened in Benghazi, Libya,” Blitzer asked. “That the U.S. was not enough money to protect American diplomats?”

    Pelosi said that the Congress has the power of the purse, and that no one would know exactly what happened in Benghazi in the near future. “But we also have to look to ourselves in terms of that funding question,” said Pelosi.

    She went on to slam Republicans for not holding a full hearing on the events on Benghazi and said that Democrats had held a hearing on Medicare without Republicans.

    “So, are you saying this is political from their perspective,” Blitzer replied.

    “One might suspect that,” said Pelosi.

    Watch the clip below via CNN:


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    Default Re: Is Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Libya Facing Real Unrest or a Manufactured Crisis?

    Congresswoman: Obama‘s ’Benghazi-Gate‘ Is ’Worse Than Watergate’

    October 2, 2012 By Daniel Noe 11 Comments



    Today on Fox News, Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) laid rhetorical siege to the Obama administration’s response to the attack on a Libyan embassy that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

    Blackburn left no stone unturned in her indictment, claiming that the administration had bungled not just the aftermath of the attack, but the lead up to it as well.

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    Default Re: Is Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Libya Facing Real Unrest or a Manufactured Crisis?

    US prepares to strike Libyan militia suspected in Benghazi attack

    Published: 03 October, 2012, 19:56




    Islamists hold weapons as hundreds of heavily armed Libyans from a "Pro Sharia" group demonstrate.(AFP Photo / Abdullah Doma)

    The US military and intelligence agencies are preparing to capture and kill militants involved in the attack on the US consulate in Libya, despite the Libyan government’s demand that no foreigners will fight on their country’s land.

    The top-secret Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) is currently gathering information on the attack that killed a US ambassador and three other Americans, planning to launch drone strikes or raids against the suspects, the New York Times reportes.

    “They are putting together information on where these individuals live, who their family members and their associates are, and their entire pattern of life,” an unnamed American official told the news organization.

    While President Barack Obama has not yet ordered strikes on suspects, the JSOC is preparing what senior military officials call “target packages” in the case that he does make the order.

    “Make no mistake, justice will be done,” the president said last month, making a promise to take action against the consulate’s attackers.

    The dossiers come at a time when the Obama administration has faced criticism for its failure to accurately describe the cause of the attack. While the White House claimed the killings were a violent response to an anti-Muslim YouTube video, the attack was later determined to have been a terrorist attack planned for the Sept. 11 anniversary. The administration has also been condemned for providing inadequate security at a site that already had fears of rising terrorism.

    But as the US contemplates administering drone strikes and raids, it may harm relations with Libya.

    Strikes against the suspected attackers would require the US military to enter Libyan territory against the wishes of the national government. While Libyan Prime Minister Mustafa Abu Shagur called the assault on the US consulate “a cowardly, criminal and terrorist attack,” he said extremists in the country were a small minority that does “not number more than 100 or 150.” The prime minister expressed his opposition to having any foreign troops on Libyan soil.

    “We will not accept anyone entering inside Libya,” he said. “That would infringe on sovereignty and we will refuse.”

    Aside from 50 additional US Marines sent to guard the US embassy in Tripoli and two other diplomatic residences, Shagur said he would not tolerate more US troops entering the country.

    The potential situation in Libya closely resembles US actions in Pakistan. The US has often faced criticism for violating Pakistan’s sovereignty by entering Federally Administered Tribal Regions (FATA) without permission. In June, Pakistan condemned the US for administering drone strikes on its territory, killing 27 people in just three strikes. The foreign ministry considers these kinds of attacks, which go against the wishes of the national government, illegal.

    While infringing on the country’s sovereignty, the CIA-led drone campaign and raids also fuels anti-American sentiment, leading to further civilian deaths. The US has now damaged relations with its former ally, which causes speculation whether the situation Libya could become a second Pakistan.

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    Default Re: Is Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Libya Facing Real Unrest or a Manufactured Crisis?

    Hey, let's tell them what we're doing, ok? LOL

    Idiots - then again, it's the Russians advertising it, right? I mean don't the Sov... er... I mean Russians control the Islamic freaks now? LOL
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Is Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Libya Facing Real Unrest or a Manufactured Crisis?

    CBS/AP/ October 4, 2012, 11:36 AM
    FBI team examines site of deadly Libya attack

    The damage inside the burnt U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, is seen Sept. 13, 2012, following an attack on the building Sept. 11, 2012. / AFP/Getty Images


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    More than three weeks after a deadly assault on a U.S. Consulate in Libya killed four Americans, FBI have investigators examined the destroyed complex in the port city of Benghazi, CBS News senior correspondent John Miller reports.
    According to a U.S. official, the FBI team collected whatever evidence they could from the site to the extent possible.
    U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the assault, which the White House has referred to as a terrorist attack.


    Play Video
    Libya consulate attack: Better security was requested


    Meanwhile, CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson reports that, according to a House committee, a State Department officer told panel members there were 13 threats made against the consulate during the six months before the attack on the facility on the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
    The officer told committee members that the U.S. mission had made repeated requests for increased security.
    A spokesman for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is holding a hearing on the controversy next week, said its source is Regional Security Officer Eric Nordstrom, who was stationed in Libya from September 2011 to June 2012.


    According to the panel, Nordstrom has already given a private briefing to members and will be called to testify Wednesday.
    Separately, The Washington Post reports one of its reporters found "sensitive documents" that were "only loosely secured" in the burned-out remains of the consulate Wednesday. The newspaper says the discovery "further complicates efforts by the Obama administration to respond to what has rapidly become a major foreign-policy issue just weeks before the election."
    The oversight committee has also requested testimony from a second State Department official, Charlene Lamb, the deputy assistant secretary for international programs, who is involved in reviewing security requests.
    Republicans have accused the Obama administration of being unprepared for the terrorist attack by Muslim extremists on the consulate, then allegedly issuing misinformation about it.

    Play Video
    Sec. Clinton promises open investigation on Benghazi attack


    Initially, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice suggested the attack was spontaneous, sparked by an anti-Islam video on the Web.
    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said she's committed to finding out exactly what happened leading up to the assault and whether security requests were made but denied.
    "No one wants the answers more than we do here at the (State) Department," Clinton said. It has appointed a review board to investigate the controversy.
    A letter to Clinton from the committee chairman, Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and panel member Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, had said the information came from "individuals with direct knowledge of events in Libya."
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    Default Re: Is Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Libya Facing Real Unrest or a Manufactured Crisis?

    State Department stayed out of contractors' dispute over consulate security, letters show

    By Catherine Herridge
    Published October 03, 2012
    FoxNews.com



    Letters obtained exclusively by Fox News appear to show the State Department refused to get involved when the company tasked with protecting the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, raised security concerns, the latest indication that warning signs may have been ignored in the lead-up to last month's terror attack.

    The letters pertain to a dispute between Blue Mountain Libya, the security license holder in Libya, and its operations partner Blue Mountain UK, which trained and provided the local guards.

    A source with knowledge of two State Department meetings -- one in June and a second in July -- told Fox News that Blue Mountain Libya felt the security provided by the UK partner was "substandard and the situation was unworkable."

    But according to the source, when the Libyans tried to bring in a third party -- an American contractor -- to improve security, a State Department contract officer declined to get involved.

    "The U.S. government is not required to mediate any disagreements between the two parties of the Blue Mountain Libya partnership," contracting officer Jan Visintainer wrote on July 10 to Blue Mountain Libya, adding that to date "contract performance is satisfactory."

    Asked about that letter Tuesday, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the department's investigation likely would address the issue.

    "Presumably, those kinds of questions will have to be looked at in the context of the work that we're doing," she said.

    A representative with Blue Mountain UK has not yet responded to a request by Fox News for comment.

    The July 10 exchange and the apparent warning that set it off are sure to be examined closely as both the State Department and Congress begin to scrutinize what may have gone wrong in the weeks and months preceding the attack, in which the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed.

    The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee plans to hold a hearing Oct. 10 on security in the region before the attack. Two members of that committee, Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, fired off a letter Tuesday to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asking a string of security-related questions.

    They detailed attacks and other security incidents in Benghazi starting in April and asked the State Department what measures it took to address the threat. Further, they claimed officials have told the committee of "repeated requests" for additional security that were turned down.

    "Based on information provided to the committee by individuals with direct knowledge of events in Libya, the attack that claimed the ambassador's life was the latest in a long line of attacks on Western diplomats and officials in Libya in the months leading up to September 11, 2012," they wrote. "In addition, multiple U.S. federal government officials have confirmed to the committee that, prior to the September 11 attack, the U.S. mission in Libya made repeated requests for increased security in Benghazi. The mission in Libya, however, was denied these resources by officials in Washington."

    A State Department spokeswoman said Tuesday that Clinton plans to respond to the lawmakers' questions.

    The letter to Clinton alleges 13 incidents that showed the deteriorating security situation on the ground -- one of which included workers with Blue Mountain. Weeks before the attack, the letter said, Libyan guards employed by the Blue Mountain Group were urged by their family members to quit over rumors "of an impending attack."

    The letter included other incidents, which have been well documented, including the June attack on a convoy carrying the British ambassador. And it said "assailants" put an explosive device at the gate of the U.S. Consulate in early June, blowing a hole in the security perimeter.

    The State Department, meanwhile, has stood by U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice in the face of criticism and calls for her resignation. Rice came under fire for claiming repeatedly the Sunday after the attack that it was a "spontaneous" reaction to protests over an anti-Islam film. The administration now acknowledges the assault was a coordinated terror attack.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012...#ixzz28MBSk014
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    Default Re: Is Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Libya Facing Real Unrest or a Manufactured Crisis?

    October 5, 2012 8:29 AM

    Libya consulate: Was security added or taken away?


    The damage inside the burnt U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, is seen Sept. 13, 2012, two days after an attack on the complex. (AFP/Getty Images)




    (CBS News) Critics have faulted the administration for changing its reporting on the consulate attack in Libya, but senior correspondent John Miller said that the focus should not be on how information was gathered in the midst of crisis, but on what security existed in Benghazi on September 11 in Benghazi: "What was the deteriorating security situation? How much did Washington know, and what did they deliver in terms of protection? It sounds more like they were taking it away than providing extra."


    Officials tells CBS News there were repeated requests for additional security before the attack that were denied and multiple security incidents that should have served as red flags.


    "What we're learning now is that there were a drumbeat of incidents, about 13 security threats," said Miller, "either directly to the consulate, a handful of those, but then incidents in the surrounding area against the British, the Red Cross and so on, and this was building up."


    Among the most prominent security incidents in Benghazi were a June bomb blast that blew a hole in a perimeter wall surrounding the consulate, followed the next week by an attack on the convoy of the British ambassador, which left two security guards injured. Those have been detailed in a letter sent by Rep. Darrell Issa and Rep. Jason Chaffetz to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Issa is the chairman of the House Oversight Committee and Chaffetz heads that panel's Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations.


    Miller said he expects a lot of news to come from next week's Congressional hearing into security at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.


    "I've been to embassies all over the world and I've seen how security works," Miller said on "CBS This Morning." "When it comes to the ambassador, whether he going to make a trip, make that call, in the embassy the ambassador is king. That's going to be his call whether to go.


    "But the things that go along with that - which is the security of the facility he's going to, the security provided to him on the road - a lot of those decisions aren't made there, they're made in Washington. And as we get closer to next Wednesday's Congressional oversight hearing we're going to start learning some incredible things.


    Miller said one witness that may shed light on the matter is the regional security officer from Benghazi, Eric Nordstrom, "who we understand is prepared to testify about these rising security threats - and they did ask for more security in cables and memos from Washington." Another witness being sought is Charlene Lamb, the deputy assistant secretary of state for international programs, "who is the person who approves or denies those requests.


    "I think we're going to see a lot of news coming out of that," Miller said.


    On Thursday FBI agents and other investigators visited what's left of the American Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, to document the crime scene and collect evidence. Their first visit came three weeks after the attack that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.





    Miller said that focus on the attack is still centering on Anshar al Sharia, a Libyan group that reads from the al Qaeda narrative.


    "The question is, once they figure out the 'whodunit' part, which they're pretty close to, what do they do about that?" Miller said. "There isn't a criminal justice system in Libya that can really handle an arrest and trial, and bringing them to the United States is fraught with its own issues. They are in the decision-making process: Once we nail them down, what do we do with them?"
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    Default Re: Is Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Libya Facing Real Unrest or a Manufactured Crisis?

    October 4th, 2012
    07:21 PM ET


    U.S. military official: Special Ops helping gather intel on Libyan militia

    By Barbara Starr



    U.S. Special Operations forces are in Libya and nearby countries aiding in the collection of intelligence regarding suspected Libyan militia who were part of the deadly assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, a U.S. military official told CNN.


    The intelligence gathering effort is just part of a broader involvement by the American military in the aftermath of the September 11 attack, including providing security on Thursday to an FBI investigative team that traveled to Benghazi.


    The special operations units are employing various methods to investigate, including communications intercepts, satellite and drone imagery and face-to-face meetings with those who may have information, the official said.The official declined to be identified due to the sensitive nature of the information.

    The gathered information is being used to assemble proposed targeting packages for military action if ordered by the president. Those targeting packages have to include the latest intelligence demonstrating why a target would be attacked, what weapons would be used, and how the military would limit civilian casualties.


    A U.S. military strike, or capture of suspects in Libya, still remains highly problematic as the Libyan government has opposed U.S. intervention.


    In the immediate days following the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, the military quickly prepositioned aircraft and military teams in Sigonella, Italy, to conduct a full evacuation of Americans from Libya had it become necessary, according to a U.S. military official. Those movements were in addition to the 50-person Marine security team that was flown into Tripoli, the capital, the day after the assault.


    Although Americans were able to leave the country via commercial air, the quick response is an indication of just how unsure the U.S. military was about the security situation on the ground and whether American citizens could be kept safe.


    In addition, as CNN has previously reported, two Navy warships capable of firing Tomahawk missiles were quickly positioned off the coast of Libya, and surveillance of known militant strongholds by drones was stepped up. All of this is just part of an undisclosed, multifaceted effort by the Pentagon to position assets off Libya to protect Americans until they could leave Libya, be in position to conduct a military strike if ordered by the president, and collect constant intelligence on possible perpetrators of the attack and the militia movements they may have belonged to.


    Those warships had moved away from Libyan waters in recent days, but CNN has learned one ship was sent back and was close offshore during the entire time the military was securing the area around the Benghazi compound on Thursday, while the FBI conducted an investigation of the site.
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