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December 5, 2016 / 5 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Benghazi’

The Benghazi Scandal You Always Knew

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

{Originally posted to the Commentary Magazine website}

If the results of a two-year investigation into the Benghazi attacks feel politically charged, it is because this is a scandal about the administration’s response in Washington to a deadly attack on a diplomatic compound and CIA annex. For this, Barack Obama’s administration only has itself to blame. That hasn’t stopped Democrats from casting about in a frenetic effort to portray the fruitful and disturbing Republican-led investigation into these attacks as a partisan witch hunt.

The report from House Republicans on the Benghazi Committee is straightforward. The committee found that the U.S. military made no effort to intervene on behalf of the besieged Americans under attack in Benghazi over the course of that 13-hour assault. “Despite President Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s clear orders to deploy military assets,” the GOP report read, nothing was done to save the lives of the Americans who died only after hours of combat. It found that the White House relied on its political advisors and not its national security team to frame public perceptions of this attack so as to preserve the impression that the threat of Islamic terrorism overseas was on the decline.

The committee found that then-United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice, who led the charge to exculpate the White House in the wake of that attack, contradicted and humiliated the State Department. Her appearance on the Sunday morning news programs following that attack betrayed what the Deputy Director of the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs said was the fact that the White House was  “very worried about the politics” of Benghazi. While the White House remains selective about what it divulges regarding the president’s activities and whereabouts on the night of the attack, the committee learned that Obama declined his daily intelligence briefing the day after. Finally, the investigations uncovered that administration officials, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, were convinced of the terroristic nature of the attack even while they were relating something very different about its character to the American people.

That seems simple enough. In the press, however, the race is on to transform the findings of this investigation into something far more complex.

To gauge the level of media investment in the Democratic narrative regarding this investigation, all one has to do is read the second paragraph of NBC News’ dispatch on the subject.

“The 800-page document represents the end of a costly, politically charged investigation led by House Republicans who sought to highlight Clinton’s role in the slipshod response to the attack,” read the report authored by Andrea Mitchell, Alex Moe, and Abigail Williams. “But after more than two years, the report, released Tuesday, instead paints a more nuanced portrait of incompetence.”

One of the reasons the press has deemed this investigation a failure for the GOP is they are committed to the view that the Republicans were engaged in a purely partisan exercise. They are judging it as they would judge a debate—by assessing winners and losers. From that rigid construct, reporters permit themselves to declare the GOP’s presumed target, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a survivor and their efforts a waste.

First, if this were a political fishing expedition designed to harm Hillary Clinton’s image, the idea that the Benghazi Committee’s investigation turned up nothing of note is simply delusional. It was the work of this committee that uncovered the existence of Hillary Clinton’s homebrew email server and the scandalous conduct of a State Department that allowed this breach of protocol and colluded in covering up its existence. Considering the time Clinton has spent defending herself on this issue, the legal jeopardy in which it has thrust her staff, and the damage it has done to her political image, to declare the committee’s investigation both a political exercise and a failure is an example of the wish fathering the thought.

That’s why the Benghazi investigation should not be seen as a political event. Like Hillary Clinton’s secret server, which quite possibly exposed classified American diplomatic cables to foreign governments, the attack was a national security failure. The administration’s response to that national security failure, not this later investigation of it, is the scandal. What’s more, it is a scandal that is intuitively understood by just about anyone of modest political competence. That is, six weeks out from an election, Barack Obama’s White House was more concerned about the politics of the Benghazi attack than they were the security implications.

Democrats can rend garments over the political nature of the House GOP’s report all they want. They can call dub the results of the investigation a “conspiracy theory on steroids,” and go off on bizarre fundraising-friendly tangents about Donald Trump in their report on the committee’s findings. Their panicked reaction betrays a justified fear. The investigation paints a pretty clear picture of politicized behavior of the worst variety—one that the public can very easily comprehend. Republicans have Occam’s razor on their side. The very simplest explanation for the White House’s behavior suffices. It is a story of an administration more concerned with winning elections than relating a full and unvarnished account of the deadly attack in Benghazi. Despite all the bluster from Democratic partisans, that’s not “nothing.”

Noah Rothman

ISIS Islamic Law on Libya that Obama Invaded to Save It from Radicals

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

The Islamic State (ISIS) is deepening its stake in Sirte, Libya and has posted billboards that warn women to wear the burka and get rid of sins, such as perfumed clothes and garments that bear brand names.

Violation of the ISIS orders could result in barbaric punishment.

The ISIS explains that Sharia law helps women so that do not descend into the pit of vulgarity by attracting lurid eyes of the opposite sex.

Some shopkeepers in ISIS-held cities have been ordered to put veils on their mannequins.

The billboards, in Arabic, warn women against see-through and loose-fitting clothes, and to cover all body parts. They may not wear clothes with name brands or clothes worn by men or non-believers in Islam. Designs on clothes also are forbidden lest they attract attention. Ditto for perfumed clothes.

This is the same Sirte that is the hometown of Muammar Qaddafi, who was in the cross hairs by President Barack Obama when he invaded Libya in 2011. He got rid of Qaddafi, and now what is left of Libya is trying to get rid of the Islamic State. Seven more civilians and soldiers were killed in Benghazi on Tuesday.

Remember Benghazi? Hillary Clinton wishes you don’t remember. That is where terrorists murdered U.S.  Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in an attack. Clinton has hidden her Benghazi-related e-mails under her private account.

Benghazi now is a theatre of street warfare between the army and the ISIS.

President Barack Obama also might want to forget about Libya. After criticizing  previous American invasions, here is what he said in 2011 when he ordered the invasion into Libya:

In just one month, the United States has worked with our international partners to mobilize a broad coalition, secure an international mandate to protect civilians, stop an advancing army, prevent a massacre, and establish a no-fly zone with our allies and partners.

To lend some perspective on how rapidly this military and diplomatic response came together, when people were being brutalized in Bosnia in the 1990s, it took the international community more than a year to intervene with air power to protect civilians.  It took us 31 days.

It took the United States only 31 days to “protect” civilians and clear the way for anarchy, followed by the Islamic State (ISIS), a carbon copy of the ouster of Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak. His exit was encouraged by President Obama and followed by anarchy and the brutal rule of the Muslim Brotherhood, now replaced by the equally brutal Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi regime.

ISIS no longer is a local terrorist group redistricted to Iraq and Syria. Besides its affiliate in the Sinai, it has established a strong army in Libya.

One Benghazi-based activist, speaking on condition of anonymity, told IBTimes that many jihadi groups “have given allegiance to the Islamic State because there is virtually no Ansar Al-Sharia now; they have all converted to become Islamic State.

“Islamic State has franchised its ideology and fighters began joining it here at the beginning of this year. As the period of this conflict has worn on, more foreign fighters have come to Benghazi.”

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

10 Taken Hostage in Terror Attack on Tunisian Consulate in Libya

Friday, June 12th, 2015

Ten people have been taken hostage in a terror attack Friday on the Tunisian Consulate in the Libyan capital, Tripoli. Libyan officials were not available for comment, Reuters reported.

The Tunisian Foreign Ministry issued a statement Friday calling the incident a “blatant attack on Tunisian national sovereignty and a flagrant violation of international laws and diplomatic norms. The ministry said it is monitoring the situation and working to secure release of the consulate workers.

An Al Qaeda terror affiliate group attacked the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012, murdering Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three U.S. diplomats. A number of other foreign diplomats and consulates in the country were also attacked, leading most nations around the world to withdraw their personnel from Libya.

Tunisians have been warned by the ministry not to travel to Libya due to the current situation; at least 60,000 Tunisians are employed in the country.

Tripoli is currently under the control of a government not recognized by the international community. Libya itself is in utter turmoil, having been torn apart in a brutal revolution in the 2011 Arab Spring.

After rebel forces deposed 40-year dictator Muammar Qaddafi, the nation went through two weak governments and battles between hundreds of militias that left the country ripe for seizure by terrorist forces.

At present, Libya’s internationally-recognized parliament convenes in the eastern city of Tobruk after having been forced out of Tripoli by the Islamist government backed by militas who seized the capital last August.

Much of the country, however, is already under the control of the radical Islamist Da’esh (ISIS) terror group. Da’esh has captured Sirte, the former hometown of Qaddafi, the nearby electricity power plant and Libya’s sole international airport.

Tunisia, which borders Libya, is one of the few countries that had still maintained a mission in the country.

Hana Levi Julian

U.S. Lied, Americans Died, According to Official Documents

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Confidential documents obtained from the U.S. government appear to confirm that the American public was lied to repeatedly by this U.S. administration regarding the September 11, 2012 attack on an American government compound in Benghazi, Libya.

Documents obtained through legal channels by the watchdog organization Judicial Watch and discussed on Fox News revealed several significant facts about what government officials knew and when they knew it.

One fact revealed by the legally-obtained documents is that within days of its occurrence, the U.S. intelligence agencies knew that the attack in Benghazi was planned to coincide with the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack on U.S. soil. This information was contained in a September 16 memo which was sent to the National Security Council, the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency.

In other words, the U.S. government knew when it blamed an amateurish video for the rioting and murder of U.S. citizens, including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, that Islamic terrorists and not American videographers, were to blame.

“The Obama administration says it was a coincidence that [the Benghazi attack] occurred on 9/11. In fact, their intelligence said it wasn’t a coincidence, and in fact, specifically the attack occurred because it was 9/11,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said.

In addition, it was learned that an internal Defense Intelligence Agency memo “predicted the rise of ISIS and the establishment of a caliphate 17 months before U.S. President Barack Obama called ISIS ‘jay-vee.'”

How the administration will explain the long delay in response to a global threat its own experts predicted is not yet clear.

No doubt Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign is in for a bumpy ride.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Clinton Said She Will Speak on Benghazi but Only Once

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

The Select Congressional committee on Benghazi requested that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton agree to appear twice before the committee.

Mrs. Clinton has rejected that request, and instead said through her lawyer, David E. Kendall, that she will only appear before the committee once. That rejection was made public through the release of the Kendall letter by congressional Democrats.

“The committee has consistently shown it is interested in getting the facts and doing so in a deliberate and diligent manner,” said Jamal Ware, the committee’s spokesperson. “As a result of the Benghazi Committee’s efforts, the American people now know about Secretary Clinton’s unusual email arrangement with herself, something that would not be known had the committee rushed to call the former secretary in November as committee Democrats pushed.”

Rep. Trey Gowdy, the head of the Benghazi probe, said the probe could have been finished more quickly had Clinton and the White House cooperated more fully.

Kendall said Clinton could appear as soon as May 18, if that is the wish of the committee.

The committee is seeking to determine what actually happened on September 11, 2012, when the American government compound in Benghazi, Libya was attacked and four Americans were killed, including the American Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens.

The administration, including then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, initially blamed the violence on a small budget American film that was critical of Mohammad, the Muslim prophet. It was only after facts began to mount that the assault was not a spontaneous riot, but a planned attack, that Clinton and others finally admitted it was an orchestrated attack.

It has since been revealed that American officials in Libya, including Amb. Stevens, had requested additional security for the compound, but that had been rejected. Also, no military efforts were undertaken to rescue the Americans caught in the Sept. 11 Benghazi rampages.

An earlier State Department review into the episode, headed by former Amb. Thomas Pickering, never spoke with Clinton. Instead, the Pickering probe limited its investigation to lower-level employees, and it was upon those lower-level employees that it placed the blame.

The congressional committee wanted Clinton to testify at one time about the Benghazi matter and a second time about her unauthorized use of a personal email server, rather than the government server, during the time she served as Secretary of State.

Nearly two years after she left office, Mrs. Clinton turned over about 30,000 emails she said she had determined were government business. Another 32,000 emails were discarded by her because, she claimed, they were her private emails. She said she then wiped her server clean.

Clinton has refused requests to turn over the server to a neutral third party.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Obama’s Chief of Staff at J St Conference, as with Benghazi, Pointing Right Instead of Left

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

Denis McDonough, U.S. President Barack Obama’s chief of staff, gave the Keynote Address at J Street’s fifth annual conference.

J Street was created to be “Obama’s blocking back” as he and it seek to bludgeon Israel into creating a Palestinian State immediately if not sooner, claiming that unless that happens, Israel cannot remain both a Jewish and a democratic state.

McDONOUGH’S CONNECTIONS TO BENGHAZI COVER-UP AND SOROS THINK TANK

What has largely been ignored is the connection between this chief of staff and one of the greatest catastrophes of the first Obama administration.

During the fall of 2012, a mob later revealed to be al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists took over an American mission in Benghazi, Libya and murdered four Americans, including the American Ambassador Chris Stevens. Initial reports crafted by the administration blamed a low quality video critical of Muhammad for the “demonstration” that “got out of hand.”

At the time of the Benghazi debacle, the current chief of staff was the Deputy National Security Advisor. It was to him and the other three members of what is called the National Security Council Deputies Committee, that the House Intelligence Committee traced the changes in the infamous “talking points” to minimize the fact that terrorists and not simply an outraged crowd of Muslims responding to a low-budget video, “The Innocence of Muslims” was behind the attacks on the American outposts in Benghazi.

Of the four members of the Deputies Committee, McDonough was the one who most vociferously and publicly condemned the “truly abhorrent video.”

Other than being Obama’s chief of staff and a former deputy national security advisor, who is Denis McDonough? Prior to his positions in the executive branch, MdDonough did a stint at the George Soros-created Center for American Progress. Who else was integral to the creation of CAP? Morton Halperin, who was also a co-creator and is now the chair of J Street’s board of directors.

Back to this year’s J Street Conference.

McDonough spoke on Monday, March 23, about the accomplishments of Team Obama over the past six years. McDonough knew full well he was speaking to a crowd that fervently embraces many of those changes.

McDonough has long been extremely close with Obama. The chief of staff channeled his boss by chiding Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over a statement  made just before last week’s election in Israel.

McDonough verbally glared at Netanyahu for audaciously suggesting that the present was not the right time to create a Palestinian State in the Middle East. Netanyahu had gone even one step further and said that the creation of such a state at any time in the near future would be not just unwise but calamitous, given the ever-expanding presence of radical Islamic organizations such as ISIS, which have been consolidating power and asserting control over weak governments in the region.

The nerve of Netanyahu to rely on his own assessments of what would be catastrophic for the Middle East rather than accept the U.S. administration’s view of how things should go down in the region, especially given this administration’s foreign policy track record over the past six years: Iran’s Green Party, Egypt’s Mubarak, then Egypt’s Morsi, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, the re-set with Russia, ISIS, Yemen and a host of others.

But McDonough knew he was in friendly territory at the J Street Conference and knew there would be a warm reception for an attack on Netanyahu for daring to say out loud that it was unwise to create a Palestinian State now.

“That is why the Prime Minister’s comments on the eve of the election – in which he first intimated and then made very clear in a response to a follow up question that a Palestinian state will not be established while he is prime minister – were so troubling,” McDonough said.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

American Among the Dead in Terrorist Attack on Libyan Hotel

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

The terrorist attack on Tuesday, Jan. 27, at the luxury Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli, Libya, carried out by an ISIS-affiliate, resulted in the death of at least 10 people. The dead included a former U.S. Marine.

The American, David Berry, was a contractor with Crucible, a security firm. Berry served as a U.S. Marine from 2000 until 2012. A report on social media states that Berry was shot.

The Islamic State in Tripoli Province, a Libyan branch of ISIS, claimed responsibility for the attacks. It named the terrorists: Abu Ibraheem Al-Tunsi and Abu Sulaiman Al-Sudani. Those last names indicate one was of Tunisian background and the other Sudanese. Both were reportedly Libyan nationals.

The attack was believed to be carried out to avenge the capture of an alleged al Qaeda operative, Abu Anas al-Libi, who had been accused of playing a role in the bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. Al-Libi died in U.S. captivity, awaiting trial.

The terrorists shot their way into the hotel, according to CNN. A car bomb was also detonated in the parking lot of the hotel during the attack. The two terrorists blew themselves up when security forces began closing in on them.

In addition to Berry, one French citizen and three Tajikistanis were killed in the attack, according to preliminary reports. The remaining five dead are all believed to have been Libyans.

The Prime Minister of Libya, Omar al-Hassi, was staying in the hotel, just two floors away from where the focus of the attack took place. Al-Hassi was hustled out of the building and escaped harm.

This is the first major attack on foreign nationals in Libya since the September 2012 Benghazi attack in which four Americans were killed.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/american-among-the-dead-in-terrorist-attack-on-libyan-hotel/2015/01/28/

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