Semantics Or Something Deeper?
In the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks in Libya, UN Ambassador Susan Rice may have deliberately misled the public when she went on multiple television shows and called the facility that had been targeted a “consulate.”
The difference between branding the Benghazi facility a “mission” or a “consulate” may be crucial in determining what was really going on in the building.
As this column was first to report, the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi actually served as a meeting place to coordinate aid for the rebel-led insurgencies in the Middle East, according to Middle Eastern security officials.
Many rebel fighters are openly members of terrorist organizations, including al Qaeda.
A good deal of media attention and political criticism has been focused on Rice’s other statements immediately after the Benghazi attacks, primarily her blaming of an obscure YouTube film vilifying Muhammad for what she claimed were popular protests that took place outside the U.S. mission.
In defending itself, however, against new claims that the White House may have scrubbed the CIA’s initial intelligence assessment on the Benghazi attacks of references to al Qaeda, Obama administration officials may have unintentionally implicated themselves in another, until now unnoticed scandal.
Over the weekend, deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes contended that the White House made only small, factual edits to the CIA’s intelligence assessment, referring to one edit in particular.
“We were provided with points by the intelligence community that represented their assessment,” Rhodes said aboard Air Force One en route to Asia. “The only edit made by the White House was the factual edit about how to refer to the facility.”
Rhodes said the White House and State Department changed a reference in the CIA report from “consulate” to “diplomatic facility.”
Further, Politico reported that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, was adamant that the White House only changed the reference to the Benghazi facility.
“There was only one thing that was changed … and that was, the word ‘consulate’ was changed to ‘mission,’ ” Feinstein said. “That’s the only change that anyone in the White House made, and I have checked this out.”
If the White House intentionally changed the reference to the Benghazi facility from “consulate” to “mission,” why did Rice repeatedly refer to the facility as a “consulate” when she engaged in a media blitz in the immediate aftermath of the Benghazi attacks?
In a September 16 interview on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” Rice twice labeled the facility a “consulate.” In a subsequent interview on CBS’s “This Morning,” she again referred to the facility as a “consulate.”
Islamic Jihad Warns Fears Mossad
The Gazan-based Islamic Jihad terror group is apparently concerned Israeli intelligence agents disguised as good looking girls on Facebook are attempting to infiltrate Palestinian computers.
During intense fighting in Gaza that reportedly has most jihadist leaders in hiding, members of the Islamic Jihad’s so-called military wing, the Al Quds Brigades, found time today to post a lengthy article on their official website warning Palestinian Facebook users of potential Israeli intelligence hackers.
Islamic Jihad has taken responsibility for firing hundreds of rockets from the Gaza Strip aimed at nearby Jewish population centers. It also claimed credit for firing at least one Fajr-5 long range missile toward Tel Aviv.
“How do you know if Mossad became your friend on Facebook,” is the title of the piece, posted at Saraya.ps, Islamic Jihad’s main website. In Arabic, Saraya al-Quds means the Al Quds Brigades.
“Do you feel proud because your Facebook account boasts 5,000 friends? Well, here are ten steps to expose whether intelligence agents transplanted themselves inside your friends list,” reads the article.
The piece warns of friend invites from Facebook users who are unknown, “especially from a beautiful girl.”
Iran And Hizbullah Attempt
To Resupply Hamas
Iran and Hizbullah are furiously trying to resupply Hamas in the Gaza Strip with long range missiles to fire into Israel, according to Israeli defense sources.
Informed Middle Eastern security officials further told this column that advisers from Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Units are in the Gaza Strip helping to oversee the firing of long range rockets by jihadist groups there.
The information comes as Alaeddin Boroujerdi, head of the Iranian parliament’s national security and foreign policy committee, denied Israeli claims that his country was supplying rockets to Gazan groups, according to a report posted on Iran’s Al Alam’s television website.