Barack Obama’s Libya intel failure—Editorial –

I’m pleased that the Obama Administration has come around to my conclusion that terrorists planned the assassination of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Benghazi, Libya. No one, however, has said that the alleged pretext for the Muslim protests was a planned distraction to cover the pending attack.

Today’s NY Post editorial claims that US intelligence agencies and the State Department ignored warnings about a growing terrorist threat in Benghazi emanating from a desert town called Derna. Surprisingly, Rachel Maddow first spoke about Derna as a hotbed for terrorism and began to connect the scattered dots.

While the Post blames the Obama Administration for not taking steps to protect Ambassador Stevens, they don’t castigate the Bush Administration for transferring Abu Sufian bin Qumu — the alleged mastermind of the Stevens plot — from Gitmo to Libyan custody in 2007. It should be noted that the Bush Administration restored full diplomatic ties to Libya in May 2006.

Fox News reports that the seasoned Libyan terrorist Abu Sufian bin Qumu is believed to have led, if not planned, the bloody assault.

Who is Qumu? The Libyan government called him a “dangerous man with no qualms about committing terrorist acts.” And the United States considered him “likely to pose a threat to the US, its interests and allies” if he were ever released from Gitmo.

So why was he free to kill again? In 2007, the US transferred him to Libyan custody; the next year, Libyan dictator Moammar Khadafy released him in a blanket amnesty for Libyan terrorists.

The presence of jihadists in Libya shouldn’t have surprised the White House. Qumu’s home of Derna, 180 miles from Benghazi, is a one-industry town: It produces suicide bombers by the busload.

Read more: Barack Obama’s Libya intel failure—Editorial –

It’s not surprising that the Post and Fox News would blame the Obama Administration (“heavy is the head that wears the crown”) but had the Bush brain trust not released Qumu, Ambassador Stevens would probably be alive today. Yes, the government of Moammar Khadafy released Qumu. Americans certainly should question the Bush team’s judgment in transferring a terrorist (presumably captured on the battlefield in Iraq/Afghanistan) into the hands of the same Khadafy government that planned and financed the Lockerbie and LaBelle Disco bombings, plus other acts of terrorism targeting Americans.

The Bush Administrations rehabilitation of Libya was remarkable and breathtaking in its speed and depth. Within weeks of Abu Qumu’s repatriation, the US ceased blocking Libya from a seat on the UN Security Council, began normalizing relations, spoke of sending Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice to Tripoli, and the Libyan government talked about investing in US markets and granting oil drilling concessions to US companies. Hmm.

Investors Business Daily’s editorial offered more details that the Post’s editorial.

Qumu was transferred on Sept. 28, 2007, to Libyan custody on the condition that he be held in a Libyan prison. Instead, Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2010 freed him from the notorious Abu Salim prison in Tripoli, along with 37 other prisoners, to celebrate the dictator’s 41st year in power.

There are many questions that need to be asked and fully answered. Many of those questions will be uncomfortable and disquieting. I suspect that Ambassador Stevens didn’t want a beefed up security team, preferring instead to trust his Libyan allies.

Regarding the presence of US Marines at the US Consulate in Benghazi, Marines are assigned to guard US Embassies, not consular offices. The US State Department has a security service and contractors to provide protection as needed. Unfortunately on the anniversary of 9/11, the need to cultivate good relations and Ambassador Stevens naivete trumped his personal safety.

I hope that we get to the bottom of the decision to release Qumo to kill Americans. As I type these thoughts, I am confident that President Obama’s ‘Jack Bauer’ is closing in on Abu Qumu and his gang.


The US State Department is airing a message from Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on Pakistani TV disavowing the anti-Islamic film that triggered worldwide riots.

Read more:

See WikiLeaks cable say about Abu Qumu Hamoub

About SquarePegDem

A former state legislator turned NY Post editorial board member, thought-leader, public affairs consultant and commentator, columnist and blogger. Michael has appeared on Al Jazeera America Tonight, NY1/Inside City Hall, LIVE, YNN/Capital Tonight, The Brian Lehrer Show, The Fred Dicker Show, The Capitol Press Room, and The Daily Show. His op-eds have appeared in the NY Post, City and State, The Legislative Gazette, Bronx Times, The Troy Record, Buffalo News, and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. To schedule speaking engagements, email FOMB08@GMAIL.COM.
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3 Responses to Barack Obama’s Libya intel failure—Editorial –

  1. Dale Benjamin Drakeford says:

    Agreed! Agreed! Agreed! It is so telling how those with an opposing agenda can conveniently discard the history of facts. At the bottom line, no amount of “protection” can forever guard against a patient, free and active terrorist mind. When blame is placed in such an impossible situation, it is the blamer that should look in the mirror, for if anyone is so gifted and knowledgeable anyone need to say so and do accordingly before the fact.


  2. Victor B. Tosi says:

    Michael, Michael, Michael….. you have been reciting the Dem “talking points”.  It’s Bush’s fault once again – the fact that the administration for almost four years has been ignoring all the warning signs, all the intelligence which resulted in this disaster had nothing to do with the results?????

    Funny, but I do not remember “W” blaming Clinton for whatever problems he enountered even in his first year.    Deacon Vic Tosi



    • Hey Vic, I missed your comments. “W” couldn’t blame Clinton for OBL because Condi like the Clinton team dismissed OBL as a real and imminent threat to the homeland. Col. K goes on a charm offensive and the US hands a Gitmo prisoner nabbed in Pakistan back to Libya. Oddly, unlike other Libyans this guy welcomes returning home. So much so that the folks at the NY Civil Liberties Union don’t object to his repatriation.

      It’s embarrassing that Chris Stevens is tasked with writing cables about the guys treatment, welfare and family visits while in a Libyan prison. Qumu now believed to have plotted to kill the man who looked after his welfare during his imprisonment. Was Stevens naive enough to believe that Qumu would return the kindness?

      Condi and “W” released Qumu knowing that information that was in the West Point report tying him to terrorism in Libya and elsewhere.

      I believe that I am rightly questioning the judgment of all parties involved, ie, the Bush and Obama Administrations as well as Amb. Stevens. Ultimately, (and I’m reluctant to say this because he’s not alive to respond) local security was his call.


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