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April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘State Department’

Morsi’s Goon Squads Kill 2 Activists; US ‘Disturbed’

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

The U.S. State Department has told Egypt it is “extremely disturbed” by the video of Egyptian police brutally beating and dragging a naked activist near the presidential palace as the Muslim Brotherhood makes the Obama administration’s enthusiastic welcome of the regime more problematic.

While the State Dept, omitted any terms such as “outrage” or “barbaric” in order not to offend Cairo, Egyptian media reported there have been at least two death-by-torture incidents. Many others are “missing.”

The State. Dept. was “extremely disturbed” only after a video was shown of the beating of the naked activist, Hamda Saber, but there has been no lack of evidence of previous brutality, similar if not worse than that imposed by Mubarak’s police force.

More than 60 people were killed in clashes against the Morsi regime the past several weeks.

The “new” Egypt now has to explain the death of Popular Current party activist Mohammed El-Gendy, 28, who was at Cairo’s Tahrir Square eight days ago. He died Monday following multiple fractures and brain damage, and Morsi has gone through the motions of ordering an investigation.

Also on Monday, 20-year-old Amr Saade died after clashes with the police outside the presidential palace.

“While many have been shocked by El-Gendy’s death, he is not the first to die of torture during Morsi’s rule,” human rights activist Hossam Bahgat said via Twitter. “You only know his name because he’s a political activist.”

The April 6 Youth Movement said on Sunday asserting that one of its members, Hossam El-Din Abdel-Hamid, was missing after having been detained by police.

“Abdel-Hamid was brutally beaten and is suffering from a severe injury and has not been referred to the prosecution until this minute,” April 6 stated. ”

“Most of those arrested [estimated at more than 600 since 25 January] are now being detained in… camps that are not made or equipped for detention,” Malek Adly, a rights lawyer told Ahram Online. “Unlike prisons or police stations, these camps aren’t equipped to provide prisoners with meals, so detainees are often left without food or water for long periods.”

With Egypt facing bankruptcy and political chaos, two years after the Arab Spring revolution that deposed Hosni Mubarak, Morsi faces increased opposition as Egyptian media leak details of police brutality against those who oppose him. The United States applauded the results of last year’s election because it was “democratic.”

The first American venture into making democracy safe for the Middle East was then-Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice’s excitement over the first – and last – democratic elections in the Palestinian Authority eight years ago. Hamas won.

The State Department of What Planet?

Monday, February 4th, 2013

The two-day old tenure of Secretary of State John Kerry got off to a flying start today with an astonishing statement from his ambassador to Egypt, Anne W. Patterson, at a joint ceremony in Cairo to mark the delivery of four American-made F-16 aircraft:

Today’s ceremony demonstrates the firm belief of the United States that a strong Egypt is in the interest of the U.S., the region, and the world. We look to Egypt to continue to serve as a force for peace, security, and leadership as the Middle East proceeds with its challenging yet essential journey toward democracy. … Our thirty-four year security partnership is based upon shared interests and mutual respect. The United States has long recognized Egypt as an indispensible [sic] partner.

Is not anyone in the Department of State aware that Egypt is now run by an Islamist zealot from the bowels of the Muslim Brotherhood whose goals differ profoundly from those of Americans?

Willfully ignorant, head-in-the-ground statements like this are the embarrassment and ruin of American foreign policy.

What a launch for Kerry, whose mental vapidity promises to make Hillary Clinton actually look good in retrospect. (February 3, 2013)

Originally posted at National Review Online and Daniel Pipes.org, February 3, 2013, under the title, “What Planet Does John Kerry Live On?”

State Dept Recruits at Conference with Reportedly Islamist Groups

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Visit Atlas Shrugs.

Get your arms around this one, Americans. Obama’s Deputy Special Coordinator in the State Department’s Office of Middle East Transition, Mark Ward, held a seminar with two notorious Muslim Brotherhood groups, the Muslim American Society (MAS) and the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA). Ward stood side by side with speakers who advocate violent jihad. What was he doing there? Recruiting.

This is beyond infiltration. This is a stealth coup.

Ward stood with Jamal Badawi. At interfaith events Jamal Badawi is presented as a scholarly visitor from Canada – a Professor of Business Mathematics at St Johns University in Halifax. My sources tell me he is the chief Hamas honcho in North America.

Here’s the article from Judicial Watch:

State Dept. Recruits Muslim Foreign Service Officers at Jihadist Conf. Judicial Watch, January 30, 2013 (thanks to Todd)

Now comes news of a secretive State Department campaign, discovered in the course of a Judicial Watch investigation, to add Muslims to its roster. Presumably, the new recruits will be deployed around the globe to help the agency fulfill its mission of promoting the country’s international relations. The campaign seems to be headed by Mark Ward, the Deputy Special Coordinator in the State Department’s Office of Middle East Transition.

Ward held a 90-minute seminar at a recent convention sponsored by two groups—Muslim American Society (MAS) and the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)—with known ties to radical Islam. Both nonprofits are associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, which is known as the parent organization of Hamas and al Qaeda. In fact, the Investigative Project on Terrorism reports that MAS was founded as the U.S. chapter of the Muslim Brotherhood which strives to indoctrinate the world with Islamic Sharia law.

Yet there was a U.S. State Department official, side by side at a radical Islamic powwow in Chicago with a number of speakers who advocate violent jihad. Among them was Kifah Mustapha, a fundraiser at terrorist organization (Holy Land Foundation) convicted of funneling millions to Hamas and Jamal Badawi, a MAS founder who praised the jihad of Gaza terrorists during a speech titled “Understanding Jihad and Martyrdom.”

The conference that Ward conducted focused on career opportunities for Muslim youth. Here is how the event was billed: “Besides being a citizenship duty, there are benefits that Muslims can add to the American Muslim community and the global Muslim world by joining the US Foreign Services. This session will shed light on the different career opportunities for Muslim youth in the U.S. Foreign Services Department. It will also clear any concerns that many people have feared about   pursuing in this career.”

Joining Ward at the podium in the recruitment seminar were Ayman Hammous and Oussama Jammal.  Hammous is the Executive Director of the New York chapter of MAS and Jammal is the president of the Mosque Foundation, a conservative mosque in Bridgeview, Illinois that gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Holy Land Foundation and other Islamic charities accused of financing terrorism.

Israel Haters Around the World, Unite!

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

While there has been an outpouring of individual support, and a trickle of international support (from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Germany) for Israel’s self-defensive operation, “Amud Anon” or as it is called in English, Pillar of Defense, not everyone is supportive.

Many Jewish day school students in the U.S. and around the world today wore either red, or blue and white to show support for Israel.  Still, there are those who are determined to cast Israel as the aggressor.

For example, at the University of California, Los Angeles, students are being urged to wear black, in solidarity with their “brethren” in Gaza. From 11:30 am – 1:00 pm PST, there will be an Emergency Rally for Gaza in Meyerhoff Park.

Wednesday evening, hundreds of Turks crowded into a square in Istanbul City to protest Israel’s military response to the hundreds of rockets fired at her citizens from Gaza.  The chair of the Turkish “relief foundation,” IHH,  Fehmi Bulent Yildirim, said that the Islamic world is in “extreme anger over the Israeli attack on Gaza” and praised Egypt for withdrawing its ambassador to Israel.  Yildirim called on the Turkish government to throw out Israel’s Ambassador to Ankara.

There are some rallies of support being organized by pro-Israel groups.  At least two are planned for today, in New York City, 5:00 pm ET today, Support Israel’s Right to defend her children! 42nd & 2nd Ave in front of the Israeli Consulate, and one was held this morning outside of TKTS, “Tehilim in the Square in Support of Israel! Duffy Square in New York, New York.

At the University of Florida, Gainesville, nearly 100 people showed up at noon today to sing HaTikva and show support.  A rally is scheduled for tonight in Toronto, outside the Consulate, 180 Bloor Street, West, and one on Friday at noon, in Philadelphia, on the Southwest corner of 19th Street and JFK Boulevard. In a Philadelphia suburb tonight, the Modern Orthodox Lower Merion Synagogue invited the local Israeli Consul General to give them an update on the war, and congregants will be saying tehillim there, for klal Yisrael in Eretz Yisrael.

ALL OF THE FOLLOWING ARE ANTI-ISRAEL DEMONSTRATIONS PLANNED TO DEMONIZE ISRAEL. Cities and as much identifying information as is currently available is provided, as are times and, in many cases, links to the hosts.

THURSDAY, 15 November

Alexandria (Egypt) Qaid Ibrahim, 12:00 p.m. Amsterdam (Holland)  Zuidelijke Wandelweg 41, 6:45 p.m. [link]

Ann Arbor (USA)  Campus Diag, in front of Hatcher Graduate Library, 3:00 p.m. [link]

Austin (USA)  I-35 and 12th Street (overpass), 2:00 p.m. [link] Atlanta (USA)

Israeli Consulate, 4 p.m. [link] Beirut (Lebanon)

Cola, 10:00 a.m. Belfast (Ireland)  City Hall, 7:00 p.m.

Boston (USA) 4:30 p.m., Copley Square [link]

Bradford (UK) | 4.30 p.m. [link]

Brighton (UK) | Outside EcoStream HQ, 12:00 p.m. [twitter]

Brighton (UK) | Victoria Gardens, 5:30 p.m. [link]

Cairo (Egypt) | Omar Makram, 12:30 p.m.

Cairo (Egypt) | Arab League, 4:00 p.m.

Chicago (USA) | Outside Obama HQ, 130 E Randolph Street, 4:00 p.m. [link]

Cork (Ireland) | Daunt sq 6:00 p.m. [link]

Dublin (Ireland) | Israeli Embassy, 5:30 p.m.

Durham (UK) | Market sq, 4:00 p.m. [link]

Florence (Italy) | Piazza della Repubblica (flash mob), 6:00 p.m. [link]

George Mason University (USA) | The North Plaza, 1:30 p.m. [link]

Glasgow (Scotland) | Ahl al Bayt Centre, 6 p.m. [link]

Haifa | Karma House, 7:00 p.m. [link]

Jerusalem | Outside Hebrew University, 12:00 p.m. L’Aquila (Italy) | Fontana Luminosa, 6:30 p.m. [link]

Leeds (UK) | Parkinson Steps, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT, 1:00 p.m. [link]

London (UK) | Israeli Embassy, 5:30 p.m. [link]

Los Angeles (USA) | UCLA, Meyerhoff Park, 11:30 a.m. [link]

Los Angeles (USA) | Israeli Consulate, 11766 Wilshire Boulvard, 4:00 p.m. [link] [link]

Manchester (UK) | Piccadilly Gardens, 5:00 p.m. [link]

Memphis (USA) | Poplar and Highland, 5:00 p.m. [link]

Mexico City (Mexico) | Israeli Embassy, 4:00 p.m.

Montreal (Canada) | Hall Building, Concordia University, 5:00 p.m. Nashville (USA) | Centennial Park, 3:00 pm [link]

Nazareth  | Kassarat Crossroad, 6:30 p.m. [link]

New York (USA) | Israeli Consulate, 42nd Street & 2nd Ave, 5:00 p.m. [link]

Nottingham (UK)| Nottingham Market Square, 5:30 p.m. [link]

Olympia (USA) | Red Square at Evergreen State College, 12:00 p.m. [link]

Ontario (Canada) | University of Windsor, CAW Student Centre, 12:00 p.m. Oxford (UK)  | Cornmarket Street, 4:00 p.m. [link]

Paris (France) | Ministry of Justice, 6:00 p.m. [link]

Princeton (USA) | Princeton University, outside of Frist Campus Center, 12:30 p.m.

San Diego (USA) | US Federal Building, 880 Front Street, 4:30 p.m. [link]

San Francisco (USA) | Israeli Consulate, 5:15 p.m. [link]

Santiago (Chile) | Croatian Stadium (Vitacura 8049) to Israel Stadium, 8:00 p.m. [link]

Seattle (USA) | Henry Jackson Federal Building, 915 2nd Avenue, 4:00 p.m. [link]

Sydney (Australia) | Parmatta Town Hall, 6:00 p.m. [link]

Tel Aviv | Main Entrance, Tel Aviv University 11:30 a.m. [link]

Toronto (Canada) | Israeli Consulate, 180 Bloor Street (E. of St. George TTC), 6:00 p.m.

Tunis (Tunisia) | In front of the National Theatre, 11:00 a.m.

Tunis (Tunisia) | Front of all Trade Association Buildings (Sa7et Mohamed Ali) 1:00 p.m.

Vancouver (Canada) | The Art Gallery, Hornby and Robson Streets, 5:00 p.m. [link]

Washington D.C. (USA) | March from State Department, 6:00 p.m. [link]

Vice President…Or Chuckles The Clown?

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

While it is still unclear whether the clear victory by Mitt Romney in the first presidential debate two weeks ago will amount to a more than a mere bump in terms of his popularity, or whether Vice President Joe Biden’s aggressiveness in last week’s vice presidential debate stanched the bleeding, we certainly have been witness to some troubling developments over the past couple of weeks.

We fully understand why President Obama would have wanted to take a different approach this week in his second go-round with Mr. Romney, but was that the most significant issue facing the free world in the past two weeks? Is that the message we want to send?

One would think so, at least from the scope of the media attention devoted to the nuts and bolts of the president’s debate preparation – attention eagerly abetted by an administration eager to portray the president as training hard for the second bout.

One is almost embarrassed to ask this, but how could the president of the United States have functioned these past several days as leader of the free world if he has been devoting all his time and energy to cramming for his encounter with Gov. Romney? Does he really require that much preparation? What will world leaders think of our president the next time he sits opposite them?

And then there was the matter of Vice President Biden’s performance in his debate with Congressman Paul Ryan. There was much politicking by both of them on the issues, as would be expected. Yet certain things emerged that seemed beyond politics.

First and foremost, Mr. Biden’s odd demeanor did nothing to enhance the image of the office of the vice president of the United States. His odd gesticulations, strange grins, wild head-shakes and countless interruptions made us wonder if this is someone who can be taken seriously – or whom we should feel comfortable with a heartbeat away from the presidency.

But it was not just the theatrics that were troubling, though troubling they certainly were. He made statements that he had to know were at best inconsistent with the public record.

Mr. Biden lambasted Mr. Ryan for having voted for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and said that he himself voted against them:

And by the way, they talk about this great recession like it fell out of the sky, like, oh my goodness, where did it come from? It came from this man [Cong. Ryan] voting to put two wars on a credit card, to at the same time put a prescription drug plan on the credit card, a trillion-dollar tax cut for a – very wealthy. I was there, I voted against them. I said no, we can’t afford that….

Yet the Congressional Record lists one Joseph Biden as having voted on September 14, 2001, for the resolution that authorized “the use of United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States.”

And on October 11, 2002, then-Sen. Biden is listed as having voted for the resolution authorizing unilateral military action in Iraq.

When asked about the president’s relationship with Israel’s prime minister, Mr. Biden waxed effusive, despite the fact that Mr. Obama’s periodic snubbing of Mr. Netanyahu has been widely reported:

Now, with regard to Bibi, he’s been my friend for 39 years. The president has met with Bibi a dozen times. He’s spoken to Bibi Netanyahu as much as he’s spoken to anybody. The idea that we’re not – I was in a – just before he went to the UN, I was in a conference call with the – with the president, with him talking to Bibi, for well over an hour in-in-in-in-in stark relief and detail about what was going on….

At one point Mr. Biden responded to Mr. Ryan’s charge that a requirement in Obamacare – that employers other than churches provide coverage for contraception – infringed on the rights of church-affiliated institutions:

With regard to the assault on the Catholic Church, let me make it absolutely clear. No religious institution, Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic Social Services, Georgetown Hospital, Mercy – any hospital – none has to pay for contraception. None has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact. That is a fact.

The real fact, however, is that a number of Catholic institutions are currently suing the federal government over this very issue. Indeed, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement the day after the debate saying Mr. Biden’s claim “is not a fact.”

Clinton Takes ‘Responsibility’ for Benghazi, But Not Blame… (Video)

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton told CNN during an interview in Lima, Peru on Tuesday, Oct. 16, that she takes “responsibility” for what happened at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on the evening of September 11, 2011.  But, she said, “what I want to avoid is some kind of political gotcha or blame game.”

What?

If you’ve said you take responsibility for something, there is no “gotcha” or “blame game,” your acknowledgement means that you are the one to be blamed for the failure, that you are responsible for the consequences of the failures that occurred under your watch. So the question may remain whether the Secretary can credibly deflect responsibility from President Obama for the failure that led to the murders of American personnel in the most dangerous part of the world on the anniversary of the single worst attack on our country in history, not whether or not someone is to blame.

Blaming public officials for a failure so colossal that our Ambassador and others who were serving our country were murdered, that the buildings in Benghazi, Libya  – which are the iconic representations of the United States of America – were invaded, looted and destroyed, is exactly the right thing, not a “game” and not to be ridiculed and not to be avoided, even if a national political campaign is taking place.

Has Clinton explained why the U.S. State Department refused to provide additional security when experts involved knew it was needed and made the requests? Has she explained why the man she personally chose to be the U.S. Ambassador to Libya received death threats and yet no additional security was provided? Has she explained why the sensibilities of the Libyans who might be offended if the American security assigned to the Benghazi consulate had bullets in their guns trumped the sensibilities of the American family members whose loved ones died because they were not protected?

Clinton said,

In the wake of an attack like this, in the fog of war, there’s always going to be confusion. And I think it is absolutely fair to say that everyone had the same intelligence. Everyone who spoke tried to give the information that they had. As time has gone on, that information has changed. We’ve gotten more detail, but that’s not surprising. That always happens.

But Clinton’s direct subordinate Charlene Lamb, the person from the State Department with direct responsibility for the consulates, testified at the House congressional Oversight Committee hearing last week that she was in contact with the Benghazi consulate from almost the first minutes of the assault.

That means the State Department knew virtually immediately that there was no protest-gone-wrong outside the consulate, what there was, was a well-planned attack.  As Lamb’s testimony made clear, There was no violence inspired by a movie deemed insulting, there was violence inspired by anti-American hatred.

But despite Secretary Clinton’s efforts to use her claim of responsibility as a shield to block further inquiries and to cast any efforts to do so as electioneering and playing “gotcha,” at least some Republican members of congress have made clear the president is ultimately responsible for both the tragedy and its cover-up.

In a letter released Monday, October 15, U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) stated,

the events of September 11 were preceded by an escalating pattern of attacks this year in Benghazi, including a bomb that was thrown into our Consulate in April, another explosive device that was detonated outside of our Consulate in June, and an assassination attempt on the British Ambassador. If the President was truly not aware of this rising threat level in Benghazi, then we have lost confidence in his national security team, whose responsibility it is to keep the President informed. But if the President was aware of these earlier attacks in Benghazi prior to the events of September 11, 2012, then he bears full responsibility for any security failures that occurred. The security of Americans serving our nation everywhere in the world is ultimately the job of the Commander-in-Chief. The buck stops there.

What’s more, the laying of blame for the tragedy on an American-made film for which this administration repeatedly apologized to the Muslim world also needs to be explained

the separate issue of the insistence by members of the Administration, including the President himself, that the attack in Benghazi was the result of a spontaneous demonstration triggered by a hateful video, long after it had become clear that the real cause was a terrorist attack. The President also bears responsibility for this portrayal of the attack, and we continue to believe that the American people deserve to know why the Administration acted as it did.

To mangle a tag phrase from a popular 1970 movie, responsibility means always having to say you’re sorry.  And in this case there remains much more to be said.

Our Ambassador Died, This Administration Lied (Video)

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

For weeks the story coming out of this administration, from all fronts, was that the assault on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012, was the result of a demonstration by Libyans angered over a movie that insulted their prophet Mohammad, a raucous demonstration which got out of hand.  Over time, different officials began to admit that while the source of the violence may have been terrorists, including even Al Qaeda or its affiliates, those terrorists took advantage of the anti-Innocence of Muslims film demonstrators.

In fact, there was no demonstration outside the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya on 9/11/12.  There was no demonstration against the film that insulted Mohammad, or any other kind of demonstration. There was an assault on our country.  And our government officials knew that, yet repeatedly attempted to spin it away from that conclusion.

Nearly a full month after the tragedy in Benghazi, senior State Department officials provided a briefing Tuesday evening, October 9, about the events that transpired in Libya on September 11, 2012. Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA 49th District), chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, which held a previously-scheduled hearing on the security situation in Libya the next day, said of that briefing that finally, the “State Department began the process of coming clean on what occurred in Benghazi.”

What actually happened, 11 years to the day after the greatest assault on U.S. icons ever – our financial district, our military headquarters, and an effort to attack the very heart of our government which fell short, but still killed dozens of civilians on that third plane – was a carefully planned blow at the heart of the U.S. government in a Muslim country which this government helped save from a brutal dictator.

The official U.S. representative to Libya, the very symbol of our country, U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, was murdered on 9/11/12 – we still do not know exactly how or when.  Three other Americans were also murdered in Libya that day – their deaths were not accidental byproducts of a demonstration that spun out of control.

What we learned from Congressman Darrell Issa, (R-CA 49th District) is that

The State Department news conference made very clear it had never been the State Department’s position, I repeat, never been the State Department’s position that in fact this assault was part of a reaction to a video or the like.  This has been corroborated by numerous witnesses and whistleblowers.

What’s more, Issa explained

Contrary to early assertions by the administration, let’s understand, there was no protest, and cameras reveal that, and the State Department and the FBI have that video.

And speaking of that video, the one in California, made by an individual , also clearly had no direct effect on this attack.  In fact, it was September 11th, the anniversary of the greatest terrorist attack in U.S. history, it was that anniversary that caused an organization aligned with Al Qaeda to attack and kill our personnel.

And yet, week after week, this administration at its highest levels – our president, our secretary of state, our Ambassador to the United Nations, repeated the same excuse, blaming a cheap and poorly-made movie that dared to criticize Islam’s historic leader, for which we officially apologized, over and over again, when in fact it was cold hatred of this country that resulted in the four American deaths on that day.

Furthermore, according to Cong. Issa, while it is still far from clear whether additional security reinforcements which had been requested but denied by the State Department would have saved the lost American lives on this year’s September 11th, this administration “seemed preoccupied with the concept of normalization.”  By that, the congressman explained, the administration was creating “artificial timelines,” to reduce the U.S. presence and replace them with local Libyans.

This is consistent with this administration’s efforts in regard to other hot spots around the globe, as we learned from Lara Logan, the CBS correspondent who was repeatedly physically and sexually brutalized by Egyptians in Tahrir Square last spring.

On October 2, Logan let loose in a speech to the Chicago’s Better Government Association’s annual luncheon, in which she accused the administration of downplaying the number of Al Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan in an effort to speed up its reduction in forces there. She also claimed Washington acts as apologists for the Taliban by downplaying their links to Al Qaeda and the strength of their organization.

Logan was clearly fed up by what she described as misinformation coming out of Washington over the past two years.  She said she decided to finally speak out because, “I can’t stand that there is a major lie being propagated.” That lie, she explained, is that the American military has weakened the Taliban.  The statements that there are different aspects of the Taliban, and that what we are now seeing in Afghanistan is “the poor moderate, gentler, kinder Taliban. … It’s such nonsense.”

White House spokesperson Jay Carney responded to questions raised by the State Department briefing and the Congressional Oversight hearing that “from the beginning, we have provided information based on the facts that we knew.”

While this has been the party line, it is difficult to square Carney’s statement with the testimony provided by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Diplomatic Security, Charlene R. Lamb, at the Oversight hearing.

Lamb testified on Wednesday that on September 11, State Department officials immediately activated the Imminent Danger Notification System just after 9:40 p.m., which is when loud voices followed by gunfire and explosions were heard within the compound.  She said that from that moment forward, she could follow the events as they occurred “almost in real time.”  There was no demonstration, there was an attack on the U.S. Consulate.  There were no facts upon which the statements blaming a video or a demonstration gone amok could have been based.

There appears to be a pattern emerging of efforts on the part of this administration to provide a false sense that tensions within global hot spots in the Islamic world are easing.  Based on actual available evidence at least in Libya and, according to Logan in Afghanistan, the U.S. forces cannot leave those areas to competent, secure local forces.  And it is not true that when there are outbursts of violence, the sources for that violence are insensitive assaults on the dignity of the local sensibilities, such as blaming westerners for daring to insult Islam’s prophet Mohammad.

Ironically, there are those in the Obama campaign who are currently engaged in an effort to represent Governor Romney as a liar.

As Daniel Henninger of the Wall Street Journal pointed out in today’s paper,

Speaking the day after the debate in the press cabin of Air Force One, top Obama adviser David Plouffe said, “We thought it was important to let people know that someone who would lie to 50 million Americans, you should have some questions about whether that person should sit in the Oval Office.”

The Democratic National Committee’s Brad Woodhouse said, “Plenty of people have pointed out what a liar Mitt Romney is.” Deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter says Republicans “think lying is a virtue.”

A lie is a conscious untruth known to be untrue when spoken.  The revelations made by the State Department and the Oversight Committee hearings this week regarding the source of the tragedy in Benghazi support the view that there may indeed by those who think “lying is a virtue,” but it isn’t Governor Romney.

Investigating Benghazi

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Even before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee announced it would begin hearings on last month’s terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, it was clear to many that important questions needed to be answered.

The initial spin from the Obama administration was that the attack was a spontaneous protest by devout Muslims angered by an anti-Muhammad video. This protest, we were told, was co-opted by al Qaeda terrorists who joined the fray with grenade launchers and bazookas (apparently kept available for use on just such occasions).

But this was all so inconsistent with what was known early on that it seemed to make no sense, and the perception quickly spread that the administration was going out of its way to portray the attack as something that could not have been expected and therefore not a reflection of any systemic failure of the president’s foreign policy.

To be sure, the State Department, in a break with the administration’s line, is now saying it never really believed the attack was unplanned after all. But the bottom line is that an American ambassador was killed, as were several other Americans, and this cannot be left unexplored.

It is hard to understand the mindset of governmental officials who, when confronted with the reality of the attack, seriously believed it was basically a reaction to the video.

For one thing, it happened on September 11. We daresay the first thought any thinking person would have had was that it was timed to coincide with the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. To believe otherwise would necessarily require some reason to consciously dismiss the obvious. Yet while many are now contending, weeks later, that they initially relied on intelligence available at the time, others to this day are insisting the initial reaction was the correct one.

For another thing, it could not have taken more than a few hours for the U.S. government to determine the video had been circulating for months before the attack, undermining any notion that the riot was ever a spontaneous response to an insult on the honor of Muhammad. Yet that notion persisted at the highest levels of government for several weeks.

Indeed, UN Ambassador Susan Rice gave a series of interviews five days after the attack in which she referred to the attack as having been spontaneous. She maintained that the violence was unplanned and was only later “hijacked” by terrorists that this came from the best information available. But a CIA memo obtained by the Associated Press referred to intelligence information that suggested the demonstrations in Benghazi “were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo” and “evolved into a direct assault on the consulate” by “extremists.”

Significantly, Eric Nordstrom, the former chief security officer in Libya, told House committee investigators that his pleas for increased security prior to the attacks were blocked because of a State Department policy to “normalize operations and reduce security resources” and to keep the number of security personnel artificially low.

In this context, though we are in the midst of a presidential election campaign, we cannot simply dismiss as politics the accusation of the committee’s Republican chairman, Darrell Issa, that the State Department willfully ignored requests from diplomats in Libya to increase security in the months and weeks before the Benghazi attack.

Mr. Issa and other Congressional Republicans say the Obama administration has attempted to discredit the idea that al Qaeda or terrorist groups with ties to al Qaeda were a force to be reckoned with in Libya because it would contradict the administration’s claim that its policies had weakened the terrorist group, especially in the aftermath of the Navy SEAL operation in Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden. The elimination of bin Laden, of course, has been a centerpiece of President Obama’s claim to foreign policy effectiveness.

We can only hope that Congress will work relentlessly to pinpoint responsibility for the failure to protect the safety of American diplomats and workers in Libya. In addition, the American people are entitled to know whether Americans were sacrificed on the altar of political expediency. And we should know whether there was an intentional misrepresentation of what happened in Benghazi designed to protect the president’s political flank in his bid for reelection.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/investigating-benghazi/2012/10/11/

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