Gregory Hicks: Benghazi and the Smearing of Chris Stevens

345WSJ, By GREGORY N. HICKS:

Last week the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence issued its report on the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya. The report concluded that the attack, which resulted in the murder of four Americans, was “preventable.” Some have been suggesting that the blame for this tragedy lies at least partly with Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was killed in the attack. This is untrue: The blame lies entirely with Washington.

The report states that retired Gen. Carter Ham, then-commander of the U.S. Africa Command (Africom) headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, twice offered to “sustain” the special forces security team in Tripoli and that Chris twice “declined.” Since Chris cannot speak, I want to explain the reasons and timing for his responses to Gen. Ham. As the deputy chief of mission, I was kept informed by Chris or was present throughout the process.

On Aug. 1, 2012, the day after I arrived in Tripoli, Chris invited me to a video conference with Africom to discuss changing the mission of the U.S. Special Forces from protecting the U.S. Embassy and its personnel to training Libyan forces. This change in mission would result in the transfer of authority over the unit in Tripoli from Chris to Gen. Ham. In other words, the special forces would report to the Defense Department, not State.

Chris wanted the decision postponed but could not say so directly. Chris had requested on July 9 by cable that Washington provide a minimum of 13 American security professionals for Libya over and above the diplomatic security complement of eight assigned to Tripoli and Benghazi. On July 11, the Defense Department, apparently in response to Chris’s request, offered to extend the special forces mission to protect the U.S. Embassy.

However, on July 13, State Department Undersecretary Patrick Kennedy refused the Defense Department offer and thus Chris’s July 9 request. His rationale was that Libyan guards would be hired to take over this responsibility. Because of Mr. Kennedy’s refusal, Chris had to use diplomatic language at the video conference, such as expressing “reservations” about the transfer of authority.

Chris’s concern was significant. Transferring authority would immediately strip the special forces team of its diplomatic immunity. Moreover, the U.S. had no status of forces agreement with Libya. He explained to Rear Adm. Charles J. Leidig that if a member of the special forces team used weapons to protect U.S. facilities, personnel or themselves, he would be subject to Libyan law. The law would be administered by judges appointed to the bench by Moammar Gadhafi or, worse, tribal judges.

Chris described an incident in Pakistan in 2011 when an American security contractor killed Pakistani citizens in self-defense, precipitating a crisis in U.S.-Pakistani relations. He also pointed out that four International Criminal Court staff, who had traveled to Libya in June 2012 to interview Gadhafi’s oldest son, Saif al-Islam al-Qadhafi, were illegally detained by tribal authorities under suspicion of spying. This was another risk U.S. military personnel might face.

During that video conference, Chris stressed that the only way to mitigate the risk was to ensure that U.S. military personnel serving in Libya would have diplomatic immunity, which should be done prior to any change of authority.

Chris understood the importance of the special forces team to the security of our embassy personnel. He believed that by explaining his concerns, the Defense Department would postpone the decision so he could have time to work with the Libyan government and get diplomatic immunity for the special forces.

According to the National Defense Authorization Act, the Defense Department needed Chris’s concurrence to change the special forces mission. But soon after the Aug. 1 meeting, and as a complete surprise to us at the embassy, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta signed the order without Chris’s concurrence.

The SenateIntelligence Committee’s report accurately notes that on Aug. 6, after the transfer of authority, two special forces team members in a diplomatic vehicle were forced off the road in Tripoli and attacked. Only because of their courage, skills and training did they escape unharmed. But the incident highlighted the risks associated with having military personnel in Libya unprotected by diplomatic immunity or a status of forces agreement. As a result of this incident, Chris was forced to agree with Gen. Ham’s withdrawal of most of the special forces team from Tripoli until the Libyan government formally approved their new training mission and granted them diplomatic immunity.

Because Mr. Kennedy had refused to extend the special forces security mission, State Department protocol required Chris to decline Gen. Ham’s two offers to do so, which were made after Aug. 6. I have found the reporting of these so-called offers strange, since my recollection of events is that after the Aug. 6 incident, Gen. Ham wanted to withdraw the entire special forces team from Tripoli until they had Libyan government approval of their new mission and the diplomatic immunity necessary to perform their mission safely. However, Chris convinced Gen. Ham to leave six members of the team in Tripoli.

When I arrived in Tripoli on July 31, we had over 30 security personnel, from the State Department and the U.S. military, assigned to protect the diplomatic mission to Libya. All were under the ambassador’s authority. On Sept. 11, we had only nine diplomatic security agents under Chris’s authority to protect our diplomatic personnel in Tripoli and Benghazi.

I was interviewed by the Select Committee and its staff, who were professional and thorough. I explained this sequence of events. For some reason, my explanation did not make it into the Senate report.

To sum up: Chris Stevens was not responsible for the reduction in security personnel. His requests for additional security were denied or ignored. Officials at the State and Defense Departments in Washington made the decisions that resulted in reduced security. Sen. Lindsey Graham stated on the Senate floor last week that Chris “was in Benghazi because that is where he was supposed to be doing what America wanted him to do: Try to hold Libya together.” He added, “Quit blaming the dead guy.”

Mr. Hicks served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli from July 31 to Dec. 7, 2012.

Sharia’s Protector

569By Mark Steyn:

Rohullah Qarizada is one of those Afghans you used to see a lot on American TV in the immediate aftermath of the Taliban’s fall. Trimly bearded, dapper in Western suit and tie, he heads the Afghan Independent Bar Association in Kabul. Did you know Kabul had a bar association? A few years back, I ran into one of the U.S. prosecutors who helped set it up, with a grant from the Swedish foreign ministry. Mr. Qarizada currently sits on a committee charged with making revisions to the Afghan legal code. What kind of revisions? Well, for example: “Men and women who commit adultery shall be punished based on the circumstances by one of the following punishments: lashing, stoning.”

As in stoning to death. That’s the proposed improvement to Article 21. Article 23 specifies that said punishment shall be performed in public. Mr. Qarizada gave an interview to Reuters, explaining that the reintroduction of stoning was really no big deal: You’d have to have witnesses, and they’d better be consistent. “The judge asks each witness many questions,” he said, “and if one answer differs from other witnesses then the court will reject the claim.” So that’s all right then.

Stoning is making something of a comeback in the world’s legal codes — in October the Sultan of Brunei announced plans to put it on his books. Nevertheless, Kabul has the unique distinction of proposing to introduce the practice on America’s watch. Afghanistan is an American protectorate; its kleptocrat president is an American client, kept alive these last twelve years only by American arms. The Afghan campaign is this nation’s longest war — and our longest un-won war: That’s to say, nowadays we can’t even lose in under a decade. I used to say that, 24 hours after the last Western soldier leaves Afghanistan, it will be as if we were never there. But it’s already as if we were never there: The last Christian church in the country was razed to the ground in 2010.

At this point, Americans sigh wearily and shrug, “Afghanistan, the graveyard of empire,” or sneer, “If they want to live in a seventh-century s***hole, f*** ‘em.” But neither assertion is true. Do five minutes’ googling, and you’ll find images from the Sixties and early Seventies of women in skirts above the knee listening to the latest Beatles releases in Kabul record stores. True, a stone’s throw (so to speak) from the capital, King Zahir’s relatively benign reign was not always in evidence. But, even so, if it’s too much to undo the barbarism of centuries, why could the supposed superpower not even return the country to the fitful civilization of the disco era? The American imperium has lasted over twice as long as the Taliban’s rule — and yet, unlike them, we left no trace.

Seven years ago, in my book America Alone, I quoted a riposte to the natives by a British administrator, and it proved such a hit with readers that for the next couple of years at live stage appearances, from Vancouver to Vienna, Madrid to Melbourne, I would be asked to reprise it — like the imperialist version of a Beatles cover band. The chap in question was Sir Charles Napier, out in India and faced with the practice of suttee — the Hindu tradition of burning widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands. General Napier’s response was impeccably multicultural: “You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: When men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours.”

Read more at Steyn Online

 

U.S. Appeals Court Allows Citizens to Sue Saudi Arabia for 9/11

twin towers impactClarion Project:

In a  landmark decision, a federal court overturned a previous court decision that had banned  private citizens from suing Saudi Arabia directly for damages incurred during the 9/11 terrorist attack.

A previous federal court ruling had denied any lawsuits against the kingdom in a 2002 ruling that said the kingdom had sovereign immunity.

The new ruling, made by a three-judge panel from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, overturned that ruling saying that lawsuits against Saudi Arabia were in the “interest of justice” due to the fact that much of the funding for the hijackers (the majority of whom were from Saudi Arabia) came from the Saudi Arabia.

The new ruling means that families who lost loved ones in the September 11, 2001 attack on New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon, as well as those who insured businesses that were destroyed in the attack, will be able to sue Saudi Arabia directly for monetary damages.

“I’m ecstatic…. For 12 years we’ve been fighting to expose the people who financed those [killers],” said William Doyle. Doyle’s son, Joseph Doyle was just 25 when he was killed in the North Tower of the World Trade Center while working for Cantor-Fitzgerald.

The original lawsuit, filed ten years ago by Cozen O’Conner (a firm out of Philadelphia) accused members of the Saudi government as well as the royal family of serving on charities that bankrolled Al Qaeda operations. The suit alleges that these government officials and royals knew the money from these “charities” would be used for terrorism.

“We conclude that the circumstances of this case are extraordinary,” the judges said in the new ruling. The judges further concluded that the lower court judge who made the original ruling “rested on an error of law” when he originally disallowed law suits against the kingdom.

The lawyer for the plaintiffs, Jerry S. Goldman, commented, “This is a big step forward in the process of obtaining fair justice for the victims of this tragedy.” Goldman added that the decision was “soundly grounded and restores this case to the proper procedural posture.”

 

 

Lessons of Iraq and A-Stan: Infidel Armies Can’t Win Islamic Hearts and Minds

Karzai and Rohani in Tehran, December 8, 2013

Karzai and Rohani in Tehran, December 8, 2013

by Diana West:

I am reposting a couple of columns below from 2009, written at a time before the Obama “surge” in Afghanistan, based on Bush’s “surge” in Iraq, was in full swing.

I have long argued that the Bush surge failed (explanation in three parts here). TheObama surge has failed, too, and for the same basic reason that has nothing to do with leaving Iraq “too soon,” or, I deeply hope, “leaving Afghanistan” in 2014. It is vital to stress that these failures are not due to the bravery and sacrifice and skill of our military forces. These forces have resolutely fufilled their impossible missions, to say the very least. The failures lie in war-planning and political strategy, ignorance and fecklessness, at the highest levels of the Bush and Obama White Houses, in the Pentagon, and in the Congress that failed to check them.

(To such ignorance and fecklessness we may also add an epic show of institutional callousness.)

The simple fact is that an army from Judeo-Christian lands cannot fight for the soul of an Islamic land.

This is the obvious but untaught and thus unlearned lesson of these past twelve years of tragic, costly wars. They call us “infidel.” We think that doesn’t matter. The Koran is their guide and they build their constitutions upon its laws. We help them do so and order our soldiers to risk their lives upholding theses sharia-supreme documents in the fantasy-name of  “universal” rights that exist nowhere but in the West. (See the madness begin here back in 2004). Meanwhile, sharia norms and masked Marxism are eroding liberty in the West while 99 percent of our political leaders do nothing.

They learn nothing, too. They set post-9/11 strategy in Iraq without seeing sharia norms and jihad doctrine as obstacles to “nation-building” on a (flawed) Western model — as though sharia and jihad can be eliminated as the authoritative foundations of Islamic culture by wish or denial. Such a  see-no-Islam strategy was doomed to fail, and so it did. But instead of retooling this failed strategy (which served mainly to the benefit of Iran, China and other enemies), they turned around and implemented it in Afghanistan.

We must win the people’s “hearts and minds,” Gen. Petraeus urged his men back in Iraq.

We must win the Afghans’ “trust,” Adm. Mullen and others   stressed (or buy it).

Thus, our soldiers were ordered to take hills of the Islamic mind-world that infidel armies can never attain.

We must respect their culture, the generals insisted, seeking more and more common ground, but ceding ground (metaphorical and real) instead. Vital ground.

We must protect the Afghan people (at the expense of our own), ordered the COIN corps generals, led by Petraeus, who infamously ordered:

“Walk. Stop by, don’t drive by. Patrol on foot whenever possible and engage the population. Take off your [ballistic] sunglasses. Situational awareness can be gained only by interacting face to face, not separated by ballistic glass or Oakleys.

Such “situational awareness” came at a great and tragic cost – but with little if any lasting benefit. Neither “protecting the population,” nor restricting ROEs, nor insanely profligate public works projects have permitted the infidel counterinsurgency to achieve its goals — winning Islamic hearts, minds or trust.

Cultural prostration hasn’t worked either, but not for want of trying.

We must respect their culture (no matter how barbaric). We must uphold their culture (no matter how vile). We must protect Islam, too. We must submit to its laws, and punish Americans who don’t. And punish Americans.

“Handle the Koran as if it were a fragile piece of delicate art,” a memo to Joint Task Force Guantanamo ordered in January 2003. That wasn’t enough. “We will hold sacred the beliefs held sacred by others,” ISAF declared in 2012.

Soon we will have new and enduring allies in the war on “terror.” What difference will it make if we can only fight together for the other side?

From April and August 2009 — over one thousand combat dead and thousands of combat wounded ago.

From April 3, 2009:

“What Do You Mean: If We Ever Want to Leave Afghanistan?”

From August 14, 2009:

“All Those Boots on the Ground and No Imprint.”

SHUTTING DOWN NATIONAL SECURITY

obama-soldiers-afpby FRANK GAFFNEY:

On October 15th, our military personnel will receive their paychecks as usual, thanks to a last-minute act of Congress passed in spite of the government shutdown affecting much of the rest of the government.

But our servicemen and women are being paid to work in a military that is rapidly being hollowed out to the point where it may be incapable of winning the nation’s wars. The federal government will not be shut down for long. The same can’t be said of those we expect to keep us safe and free.

In fact, the “fundamental” transformation promised by candidate Barack Obama in 2008 is arguably manifesting itself most dramatically in the systematic dismantling of our military capabilities. It has lately become so severe that, on September 18th, the nation’s senior officers testified to Congress that the armed services are at risk of being unable to meet even this administration’s sharply scaled-back requirements.

Recall that the President had justified the first nearly half a trillion dollars he cut from the defense budget by claiming that we no longer needed to be able to fight two wars nearly simultaneously. But at least they were supposed to be able to win one.

But now, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, if the sequestration process is permitted to continue to reduce Pentagon budgets over the next ten years by another half a trillion dollars, the uniformed leaders of three of the four services say they will not be able to execute even a one-war mission. And the Marine Commandant says his would have difficulty in doing so.

These dire predictions are the predictable – and predicted – results of both the sheer magnitude of the cuts themselves, compounded by the inherent, across-the-board nature of the sequestration mechanism. Insult is added to injury by the fact that the Pentagon has to bear a wildly disproportionate percentage of government-wide sequestration reductions: fifty percent of the total, even though defense represents just twenty percent of federal expenditures.

At present, every aspect of the military budget except for compensation for military personnel – including, in particular, training, operations and maintenance, procurement and research and development – is being ravaged.

What is more, regardless of the outcome of the fights over Obamacare this week, and raising the debt ceiling later this month, the structural damage resulting from the defense budget cuts to the nation’s industrial base is becoming increasingly irreparable.

The production line for the Free World’s only large military air transport aircraft, the C-17, is the latest to be threatened with termination. As with the supply chains associated with other critical weapon systems and components – from fighter aircraft to combatant warships to armored vehicles – we are seeing disruptions and, in some cases, the outright elimination of the required manufacturing capacity, especially among second- and third-tier subcontractors. Over time, such short-sighted behavior will tremendously compound the impact of the other reductions in the military’s resources and make any comeback that much more problematic.

Read more at Breitbart

 

Princeton Professor Embraces 9/11 Conspiracy Movement at Million Muslim March Event

IPT News
September 12, 2013

 

Fort Hood Trial: Don’t Say the “T” Word

fort_hood_trial-450x337By Deborah Weiss:

(excerpt)

An independent commission conducted an investigation of the Fort Hood shootings. DoD released its report in January 2010.  It found that the Pentagon was unprepared to defend itself against internal threats.  DoD and other government agencies have characterized the massacre as “workplace violence” and omitted any mention of Islamist ideology or terrorist behavior.

The leaders of the investigation stated that their concern was “actions and effects, not necessarily motives”.  And, Army Chief of Staff General George W. Casey proclaimed that “as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.”

The FBI determined that because Hasan had no co-conspirators, further investigation was unnecessary.

In his public address and at the eulogy, President Obama also refused to acknowledge the role of Islamic terrorism in the massacre.

Yet motive is what distinguishes one type of homicide from another.  A homicide victim is equally dead regardless of motive.  But our legal system and moral code mandate that intent be taken into account when determining what, if any punishment should be accorded.

The omission of the terrorist motives in the Fort Hood massacre is resulting in the denial of purple hearts for the fallen soldiers, and a denial of medical benefits and financial compensation for the survivors.

Though the UCMJ does not have terrorism in its code as a possible charge, the military court could have waived jurisdiction, allowing Hasan to be prosecuted in Federal Court where a charge of domestic terrorism would have been in order.

Even if Hasan was not criminally charged with terrorism, the government could make a political determination that this was a terrorist act, allowing the victims to be properly compensated.  DoD officials claimed that Hasan could have argued he couldn’t get a fair trial due to accusations of criminal liability.

However, Hasan has already admitted criminal guilt.  Therefore, it is more likely that the government’s characterization of the massacre as workplace violence was made in line with its pattern of denial regarding Islamist ideology.

This Administration has rewritten all national security training material to delete all reference to Islamic terrorism and has launched an aggressive campaign of interfaith dialogue and  “peer pressure and shaming” to stifle all debate on the issue of Islamism.

The Administration has also formed close alliances with Islamist organizations in a quest to silence all speech critical of Islam, in a manner tantamount to blasphemy codes.

Free speech constitutes a human right and is critical to maintaining the cause of freedom.  It is especially important to allow open debate on the nature of national security threats and their motivational ideology.

Denying the threat of Islamic radicalism has consequences.  Resulting policies hamper America’s ability to defeat those that wish us harm.  Whether the Benghazi attacks, the Fort Hood massacre or other Islamic terrorist attacks, most Americans realize that purging the language does not eradicate threats.

This awareness does not apply to the Administration, however, where the folly continues.

Read it all at Front Page

This article was commissioned by The Legal Project, an activity of the Middle East Forum.

Deborah Weiss, Esq. is a regular contributor to FrontPage Magazine and the Washington Times.  She is a contributing author of “Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Terrorist Network” (Palgrave MacMillan, 2011).  A partial listing of her work can be found at www.vigilancenow.org.

 

 

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Obama’s Al Qaeda Jailbreaks Help Lead to Al Qaeda Resurgence

download-241-540x346-450x288Front Page, By Daniel Greenfield:

At the New York Post, Paul Sperry makes the very important point that Al Qaeda’s jailbreaks are an inside job, both in Muslim countries and in Gitmo.

Al Qaeda is on the path to defeat,” Obama said last fall, “and Osama bin Laden is dead.” Obama also said the upper ranks of al Qaeda have been “decimated.”

But how many have escaped or been released from custody? Answer: far too many. And now our enemy is making a comeback.

US embassies are closed today across the Middle East, and travel alerts have been issued, because of threats from a resurgent al Qaeda.

That’s because, across the Muslim world, al Qaeda and even our own allies are springing terrorists from jail at an alarming rate. As they regain their freedom, they’re rejoining the jihad, forcing us to refight them another day.

AFGHANISTAN: All told, the US so far has transferred about 4,000 terrorist detainees to the Afghans, who in turn have freed at least 1,376 of them — including many former Gitmo alumni. In fact, most of the 46 Taliban prisoners repatriated from Gitmo already have been released. And as many US commanders warned, several have returned to the battlefield as high-level Taliban commanders leading attacks on US troops. They include Abdullah Ghulam Rasoul, Maulavi Said Khail, Maulavi Shaheer and Maulavi Raouf.

Despite the high recidivism rate, the administration plans by 2014 to turn over all its prisoners to the Afghan government — including high-value al Qaeda foreigners from Pakistan, Yemen and Saudi Arabia; and possibly even the 22 known suspects in insider attacks on our troops who have been captured. Since 2007, Afghan soldiers and police have launched at least 70 attacks on American troops, killing 92 and wounding another 134, according to an unclassified Pentagon report released last week.

The Obama administration is even sponsoring a de facto amnesty program for Taliban and al Qaeda fighters.

Through what is known locally as the Afghan Peace and Reintegration Program, the Pentagon is actually paying insurgent fighters to walk off the battlefield. All they have to do is sign an “intent to reintegrate” form vowing to “cease violence (and) live within the laws of Afghanistan;” and in exchange, they’ll receive monthly payments and even get to keep their weapons if they request them for “personal protection.” Local tribal leaders and clerics do the security vetting and vouch for their reintegration as part of a High Peace Council.

Since its 2010 launch, the program has enrolled 6,277 insurgents at a cost to US taxpayers of $72 million. Total five-year funding for the reintegration program is $175 million. The Pentagon has provided no data on the number of enrollees who have returned to the battlefield.

SAUDI ARABIA: A similar reintegration program we’ve entrusted the Saudis to run for Saudi terrorists released from Gitmo has been a disaster. By one account, the recidivism rate for its “jihad rehab” exceeds 40%. According to the Saudis themselves, some 25 of the 120 ex-Gitmo detainees repatriated to the kingdom have rejoined the jihad for a recidivism rate of 21%.

At least a dozen of these Saudi recidivists have reunited with al Qaeda in Yemen, taking high-ranking positions in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which has launched attacks on the American homeland.

EGYPT: After now-deposed Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi took the reins of power in Cairo last year, with the backing of the Obama administration, he pardoned 572 suspected terrorists and militants, including 25 leaders of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and Jama’a al-Islamiya. He even released a handful of terrorists the CIA had interrogated after 9/11 for ties to the plot.

Another prisoner Morsi freed in 2012 was none other than Mohammad Zawahiri, brother of current al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri, who founded Islamic Jihad.

GITMO: Our own commander in chief is planning perhaps the biggest break for al Qaeda. Obama wants to shut down Gitmo and repatriate all but the 9/11 planners.

Already, nearly 30% of the 600 detainees transferred or released from Gitmo have re-engaged in terrorist activities, according to a recent Pentagon report. Emptying the prison is just asking for more trouble.

Clearly more trouble is what Obama wants.

Hostage Crisis: The Blind Sheikh, Benghazi and Smoking Guns

images (64)By Walid Shoebat, Ben Barrack and Keith Davies:

A Libyan intelligence document has been produced that directly implicates Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood president Mohammed Mursi in the attacks on American installations in Benghazi on 9/11/12. Those who attempt to discredit this document run into trouble when it is coupled with real-time video we uncovered on 9/13/12. In that video, gunmen at the scene of the attack can be heard declaring that they were sent by Mursi.

After weeks of attempting to push the narrative that a video was responsible, the Obama administration ultimately had to concede that the attacks in Benghazi were terrorist in nature. A few months after 9/11/12, the top lawyer for the Pentagon stated that the war on terror should be wagedby “law enforcement and intelligence agencies”.

Based on the Obama administration’s standard, the Benghazi attacks should be treated as a crimeinstead of as an act of war. Therefore, let us bring forth the evidence, which implicates the leader of a nation state (Egypt) in the attack and warrants a grand jury (House of Representatives) investigation to decide if administration officials should be indicted (impeached).

Since we’re deciding who to indict, we must look at evidence of involvement in the attack. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood President – Mohammed Mursi – is a good place to start. Our first two exhibits are both damning but when taken together, may just constitute a ‘smoking gun’. EXHIBIT A is a video shot from a cell phone at the scene of the attacks. In this video, gunmen are seen running toward the camera, toward other gunmen. At one point – in Arabic which we have confirmed – one approaching gunman says, “Don’t Shoot us! We were sent by Mursi!”. Even though the video is in Arabic, you can discern the word “Mursi”.

Read more at Shoebat.com

Benghazi, Agency Scandals and Syria: The Most Perverted Shell Game Yet

20130617_SHELL_GAME_SCANDAL_LARGEby JOHN BERNARD:

The stories of government agency corruption and the blurring of Constitutional guidelines have certainly caused a storm of consternation and outright anger in the past many weeks. It seems each day has provided us with yet one more glimpse into the seedy world of a government that has clearly lost its way, and shed even the appearance of concern for maintaining the public trust.

While the debacle in Benghazi had dominated the national media stage for a few months, it was quickly shifted to the back burner to make room for far more salacious tales starring State Department appointees and prostitution as well as a litany of stories detailing every manner of corrupt behavior.

Learning that the IRS abused its power and deliberately targeted groups with a very specific political leaning was just one more.  Certainly the American public has a right to be concerned when the single most powerful agency in government shamelessly exerts its influence and authority against the very Americans it collects money from in order to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States”.

It was as disconcerting to learn that the Department of Justice was gleaning Associated Press documents for who knows what purpose, as it was ironic that the media which has acted as a pro-bono ad agency for this Administration and its agencies should take issue with this particular infringement on our Constitutional “Rights”.

The NSA digital surveillance program really isn’t news except to those who haven’t been concerned about it since the last time it was discussed some 6 or 7 years ago. The fact is, that program really hasn’t changed, it just happened to come to light again but this time in the midst of a list of other abuses of authority and power, levied during this seemingly Teflon coated administration’s second term.

There is no doubt that all of these things give reason for concern. It does however remain to be seen which, if any, of these things will be deemed to be truly illegal or unconstitutional if not arrogantly applied.

The real problem is, these things, while troubling have served a much darker purpose and it appears that purpose is now all but accomplished; Weapons to the Syrian Rebels.

It seems just a little too convenient that all of these “scandals” should appear on the scene right in the middle of Congressional hearings to determine exactly what happened in Benghazi. And being as Congress has yet to learn how to multi-task, they have been oh so easily side-tracked from that most important investigation to these sideshows. What this has managed to do is take the spotlight from Benghazi and away from any suggestion of Administration guilt in order to focus on what may be determined to be not much more than poor judgment in some cases and horrible supervision in others.

Since September 11, 2012, Benghazi has been a mine filled with potential evidence of wrong-headed vision, Administration malfeasance, upper echelon military incompetence, Pentagon and Administration collusion, Administration protectionism and a list of bald face lies.

Read more: Family Security Matters

 

Benghazi Investigation Still Very Much Ongoing

5829917074_8c9c57e0e8_zHeritage Foundation, May 29, 2013

By :

Benghazi is back in the headlines with a vengeance as investigations continue on several congressional fronts:

  • Representative Darrell Issa (R–CA) subpoenaed the State Department to deliver more email threads on the Benghazi talking points;
  • The House Government Reform and Oversight Committee threatened to subpoenaAmbassador Thomas Pickering regarding the Accountability Review Board’s inadequate investigation; and
  • The House Armed Services Committee is probing the absent military response on the night of September 11, 2012.

While many aspects of the Benghazi scandal are troubling, the lack of information on the military front is particularly serious. Getting information out of the Pentagon has been like pulling teeth. The Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in February revealed that former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey had briefed President Obama at 5:00 p.m. on the day of the Benghazi terrorist attack, and unbelievably had had no communication after that.

Dempsey then informed the committee that there were no assets available that could have reached Benghazi in time to assist the American diplomats and CIA personnel under attack there — a statement that was contradicted directly by Gregory Hicks, second in command at the U.S. embassy in Libya, in highly emotional testimony. As Hicks revealed, a military support team was ready to take off from Tripoli to Benghazi on the night of the attack, but was told to stand down. By whom we don’t yet know.

Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Buck McKeon (R–CA), has been vigilant in seeking answers and has told Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel that he is “deeply concerned” about the lack of answers, reported The Washington Examiner’s Byron York. Last week, McKeon’s committee received a briefing from Pentagon officials, the content of which unfortunately remains largely classified, as does far too much of the information relating to Benghazi. Among McKeon’s questions are:

What aircraft the U.S. had in the region that might have come to the Americans’ aid; where those planes were; whether they were armed or could have been armed; whether they would have needed refueling; the presence of un-manned aircraft, armed and unarmed; the status of various U.S. emergency response teams; and the decisions commanders at all levels made in deciding to deploy or not deploy those assets.

The congressional committees involved in the investigation are doing yeoman’s work. Their stubborn persistence will eventually unearth the truth about Benghazi. The future safety of U.S. diplomatic and military personnel serving overseas depends on it.

Muslim beheads two Coptic Christians in Koranic ritual – in New Jersey!

Yusuf Ibrahim

Yusuf Ibrahim

BY :

Here we have another “silent” story about Islamic violence in our country with nary a word from the mainstream media about it. The country goes gaga over a beautiful model’s murder at the hands of an international legless sports hero, but the beheading of two Egyptian Coptic Christian men in New Jersey by a Muslim gets a pass. Why?

Simple. The gruesome beheading invokes the Muslim ritual, called for in the Koran. Koranic verse 8:12 reads: “I will instill terror into the hearts of unbelievers: smite ye above their necks and smite all their fingers off.”

Our media shuts its eyes, turns its head and stuffs its ears when anything negative about the primitive actions of Muslim occur.

Maj. Nidal Hasan, who brutally slaughtered 13 of his fellow troops at Fort Hood, Texas, and wounded 22 others, was said to have shouted, “Allahu Akhbar”  during his shooting spree. He was just following Koranic orders to kill infidels. By the way, “Allahu Akhbar” is Arabic for “God is great.” The Pentagon’s “thorough” investigation into Hasan’s murderous assault never mentioned Islam, the Koran or the major’s religion in its final report. It was considered a workplace act of violence.

We are giving Islamic radicals a free pass to ritually murder those considered infidels, or non-believers in “the religion of peace,” and Muslims considered violators of Islam. May God help us!

Are We Really Back to Relying on the Egyptian Military to Save the Day?

By Andrew C. McCarthy:

Back when Mubarak was clinging to power and the Tahrir Square rioting was intensifying, I cautioned that it would be foolish for the West to assume that the Egyptian military — principal recipient of tens of billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars over the last 40 years — would step in and stop the country from falling into the grip of Islamists. The Egyptian military is a reflection of Egyptian society which, as we have now seen in election after election, is dominated by Islamists. Indeed, despite the good relations some top Egyptian military brass have had with the Pentagon, the fact is that some of the most important members of al Qaeda and other jihadist organizations have served in the Egyptian armed forces.

It is thus remarkable to hear commentators now speculating that, as Egypt is imploding, the armed forces may finally be poised to step in and save the day — perhaps even oust the Muslim Brotherhood government of President Mohamed Morsi. This supposition is based on a warning just issued by General Abdel Fatah El Sissi, the defense minister: “The continuation of the conflict between the different political forces and their differences over how the country should be run could lead to the collapse of the state and threaten future generations.”

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Understand: Gen. Sissi is Morsi’s guy. As I observed here back in August, when Morsi succeeded in sacking the military’s Mubarak-era leaders, Sissi is well known in Egyptian military ranks as a Brotherhood supporter. Moreover, Sissi’s elevation was not Morsi’s only move to tame the military. As recounted in another column at the time, Morsi installed Gen. Sedky Sobhi as army chief of staff. Sobhi is an Islamist who has called for the permanent withdrawal of U.S. forces from the Middle East, deriding what he takes to be American hostility to sharia and American creation of the “popular grievances” that fuel al Qaeda’s popularity.

Read more at National Review

Contracted: America’s Secret Warriors

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If truth is the first casualty of war, author Kerry Patton has ably attempted to correct that dictum in his highly entertaining novel, Contracted: America’s Secret Warriors, a fictionalized account of the heroic but overlooked work performed by civilian contractors in Afghanistan.

As a military veteran and expert in intelligence, security and counter-terrorism who has worked at the highest levels of government, including the Department of Defense and Homeland Security, Patton initially began Contracted as an autobiography.

However, fear of breaching intelligence secrets led Patton to switch gears, writing a fictionalized story instead, one based on true events, but told through the voice of Declan Collins, a former military man recruited out of civilian life by the CIA for intelligence work in Afghanistan.

There, Declan and his civilian partner, Rex Browhart, himself a former military vet, find themselves assigned as military advisors at a Forward Operating Base in eastern Afghanistan.

At the FOB, Collins and Browhart form a working alliance with a varied group of officers and enlisted men on a plan to arm Afghan warlords eager to fight the Taliban, a plan Collins believes will save American lives.

Most of the men aiding Collins in this task are a mixture of Special Forces, including Delta Force, Navy Seals and Army Rangers and Green Berets. To Collins, these men are modern day warriors, part of a dying breed, driven to sacrifice their lives for God, family and country.

It’s a patriotic theme Patton employs throughout his book, one in which money isn’t the primary motivating factor driving these contractors — most of whom are former military — but rather a deep love of country further fueled by an abiding loyalty to aid their brothers-in-arms.

Unfortunately, the press has helped to paint a picture of civilian contractors as either nothing more than mercenaries in search of a quick paycheck or out-of-control homicidal maniacs, such as those in Blackwater, the private security consulting firm employed by the US government during the Iraq war.

Not surprisingly, that negative portrayal tends to overlook the heroism and sacrifices that many contractors have performed and endured once they have left the comfort and safety of the civilian world for life in a combat zone.

In fact, it is to that point that Patton reportedly wrote Contracted, noting it is “truly meant for those unsung heroes who never get recognized yet often get chastised.”

Patton also doesn’t neglect the hardships faced by the family and loved ones left behind, weaving into his book the struggles and fears faced by Collins’ new young wife, Brannagh. As Patton has noted, “This book is not just for them (the contractors) but for their friends and family as well. They too deserve some recognition.”

That recognition comes at the same time as the use of civilian contractors in combat zones by American corporations, defense contractors, and governmental agencies — including the DOD, State Department and CIA — is growing in both prominence and danger.

Specifically, in 2012 American civilian contractors constituted 62 percent of the US presence in Afghanistan. These contractors are used in many unarmed roles, including transporting supplies, staffing food services, building homes and commercial facilities and serving as interpreters.

However, they are also employed in armed capacities, jobs which include providing security for State Department and Pentagon officials, guarding US installations, gathering intelligence and training the Afghan army and police.

Still, whether operating in armed or unarmed roles, the risks these civilian contractors face are great. In 2011, 430 American contractors were reported killed in Afghanistan — 386 who worked for the Defense Department — and 1,777 injured or wounded.

Read more at Front Page

Frank Crimi is a San Diego-based writer and author of the book Raining Frogs and Heart Attacks. You can read more of Frank’s work at his blog,www.politicallyunbalanced.com.

American isolationism: Obama’s unfolding signature policy

Al Qaeda in Mali armed with Grad missiles from Libya

Al Qaeda in Mali armed with Grad missiles from Libya

Debka:

Whereas in his first term as president, Barack Obama opted for “leading from behind,” in international military operations, he enters his second term – even before being sworn in this week – by expanding this step-back precept into American isolationism proper – even when it comes to countering Islamist terrorism. debkafile’s analysts note that this stance was heralded in December 2012 by his abrupt order to the USS Eisenhower strike group and the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group to withdraw from stations opposite Syria. Washington had already then decided to ignore the Syrian chemical war threat, and brush aside the report from the US consul in Istanbul that the Syrian ruler Bashad Assad had already fired chemical bombs against rebels. And so French military intervention in Mali on Jan. 12 and Al Qaeda’s massive attack on an international Algerian gas field four days later found the United States without a single carrier, landing vessel or marine force anywhere in the vicinity, to be available for aiding in the rescue of scores of Western hostages from ten countries, including the United States.

The USS John Stennis carrier is the only vessel left at a Middle East battle station. It is tied down at the Strait of Hormuz to secure the flow of Gulf oil to the West. It is therefore hardly surprising to find Pentagon and top US military experts leveling sharp criticism at the White House’s policy of non-intervention in the Mali conflict, where France is fighting alone, or in Algeria’s In Amenas gas field, where Algerian forces are battling a multinational al Qaeda assault and multiple hostage-taking raid for the third day. The Los Angeles Times reported Saturday, Jan. 20 that the sharp debate between the Pentagon and White House is over the “danger posed by a mix of Islamist militant groups, some with murky ties to Al Qaeda that are creating havoc in West Africa” and whether they present enough of a risk to US allies and interests to warrant a military response.

Many of Obama’s top aides say “it is unclear whether the Mali insurgents, who include members of the group Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, or AQIM, threaten the US.” As to the question, “What threat do they pose to the US homeland? The answer so far has been none.”

Some top Pentagon officials and military officers warn that without more aggressive US action, Mali could become a haven for extremists, akin to Afghanistan before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

debkafile’s counterterrorism sources report that these assertions are misleading.

Whereas the US homeland may not be in immediate peril from the Mali and Algeria episodes, it is important to remember the far-reaching interconnectivity of al Qaeda’s operations. Seven years ago, the suicidal jihads who on July 7, blew up London trains and a bus, used explosives provided by the same Al Qaeda cells of Sahel Desert which are now threatening Mali and which struck the Algerian gas field.

No US official can guarantee that such explosives from the same source won’t be used in 2013 against American targets in Europe or be smuggled into the American homeland by al Qaeda cells in Europe. The Algerian gas field hostage siege was carried out after all by a multinational group that included Algerians, Egyptians, Tunisians, Libyans, a Frenchman and a Malian.

It is true that Al Qaeda terrorists are engaged in vast smuggling rackets – especially of drugs and cigarettes – across Europe, Africa and the Middle East, as well arms trafficking through networks covering Egypt, Sinai, Arabia, the Gulf, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Sudan – all of which are direct threats of US national security. But to write them off as criminals and smugglers is simplistic: “… some are diehard terrorists with more grandiose visions,” as Pentagon officials point out.

The way the Al Qaeda menace is being handled by Washington has a ripple effect in the wider context. Tehran and Damascus are avidly watching the Obama administration’s stand-aside stance on military involvement in external crises – even emergencies posed by the Al Qaeda terrorist threat encroaching on continental Europe and Africa and the Middle East up to and including the Persian Gulf. Washington should therefore not be surprised when its diplomatic efforts – overt and secret – to rein in Iran’s military nuclear ambitions run into the sand. The Iranians know they have nothing to fear from the Obama administration. The next surprise, our Middle East sources are now reporting, will come from Damascus where, according to a hint President Bashar Assad threw out this week to his intimates.

CNN links Obama’s disaster in Libya with the terrorist attack in Algeria: