U.S. had early indications Libya attack tied to organized militants | Reuters


An American Ambassador can’t manage all the risks when posted aboard. The late Ambassador Chris Stevens probably knew this more than anyone. But after action reports and reviews are revealing the truth about the attack that led to Ambassador Stevens death.

Reuters reported yesterday, what I had blogged about several weeks ago, that elements of al-Qaeda were involved but the Obama Administration played down that connection.

(Reuters) – Within hours of last month’s attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, President Barack Obama’s administration received about a dozen intelligence reports suggesting militants connected to al Qaeda were involved, three government sources said.

Despite these reports, in public statements and private meetings, top U.S. officials spent nearly two weeks highlighting intelligence suggesting that the attacks were spontaneous protests against an anti-Muslim film, while playing down the involvement of organized militant groups.

It was not until last Friday that Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s office issued an unusual public statement, which described how the picture that intelligence agencies presented to U.S. policymakers had “evolved” into an acknowledgement that the attacks were “deliberate and organized” and “carried out by extremists.”

[…]

The Daily Beast website reported last week that in the hours after the attack, U.S. intelligence agencies monitored communications between members of Ansar al-Sharia and AQIM. Ansar al-Sharia operatives “bragged” about their attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission and acted as if they were “subordinate” to AQIM, it quoted a U.S. official as saying.

It now appears questionable that the anti-Muslim film, which sparked a violent protest against the U.S. Embassy in Cairo earlier on September 11, played a significant role in the Benghazi attack. Some U.S. officials have not foreclosed that possibility.

Read more – U.S. had early indications Libya attack tied to organized militants | Reuters.

Unfortunately, critics are seeking to make UN Ambassador Dr. Susan Rice the scapegoat for her statements denying a terrorist connection. NY Congressman Peter King has called for Dr. Rice’s resignation.

Dr. Rice’s career should not be derailed because she communicated an incomplete assessment of the deadly attack in Benghazi. Many believe that she is in line to become US Secretary of State in a second Obama term.

Conservative firebrand Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), chairman of the powerful House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will hold an oversight hearing next week.

In a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Issa asks that she answer reports of undisclosed threats and attacks against the consulate, Ambassador Stevens and Americans in Libya.

The Hill reports that

The letter from Issa and Chaffetz for the first time reveals an April 6 attack against the consulate in which two former security guards threw homemade improvised explosives over the building’s fence. It also says militants made no secret of their intention to target Americans in Libya.

In a move separate from the Issa hearing, The Hill reported that several Republican chairmen of committees with jurisdiction over national security sent a joint letter to President Obama requesting a briefing on the circumstances surrounding the Benghazi attack.

The letter to Obama requests information about

…“the intelligence leading up to the attack, the security posture of our embassy, the role former Guantánamo Bay detainees may have played, as well as the way forward in Libya and, indeed, the region.”

The issues raised in the Congressional request letter are the same ones I wrote about that needed to be addressed. But it’s beginning to look as though Ambassador Stevens was involved in advising on the security posture of the embassy in Tripoli, the Benghazi consulate, and himself.

I continue to believe that it was no coincidence that the attack occurred on the 11th anniversary of the September 11 attacks on America and five months after the death of Osama bin Laden. I must again recommend MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow’s fine effort at providing context and connecting — at the time — unseen dots. Today, those dots continue to emerge and they will soon be connected. 

Like you, I look forward to next week’s hearing to be revealing. Call me a cynic but I think President Obama’s October surprise will occur within the next two weeks. The AQIM should make their peace with this world and prepare for the next.

Related reading – What Wiki-leaks cables tell us about Abu Qumu Hamoda, Time for President Obama to call in Jack Bauer, Libya attack puts spotlight on Al-Qaeda affiliate

 

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, FoxNews.com 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 MBenjamin9@optimum.net.
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One Response to U.S. had early indications Libya attack tied to organized militants | Reuters

  1. Dale Benjamin Drakeford says:

    Totally agree and that is why I included a special paragraph for the New York congressman way off task:

    THE RIGHT TO VOTE IS NOT THE RIGHT TO BE STUPID
    Dale Benjamin Drakeford
    10-2-12

    No doubt a voter can choose to be stupid, but the citizen activity clearly documents a history of expectation and awareness for the social-cultural and economic-political facts. “Stupid” is not to be confused with the bigoted days of discrimination against the illiterate, or non-land owners. The term, in this context, is reserved for those who deliberately fail to do their homework, or decide to ignore the objective findings from it. Stupid (in my operational definition) pertains to deliberate ignorance, passivity, selfishness or stubbornness. For example, when a sanitation inspector decided to ticket my property for litter and a judge upheld his decision in my rebuttal, they had to cope with my appeal written on the fine check that documented my intention to find their residences and scan their front for debris; and if I should find garbage be prepared for a citizen summons. Still, my argument of wind and inconsiderate pedestrians being the culprits falling on their disinterested bureaucratic ears did not make them stupid, because they were not deliberately ignorant. They were only over-zealous in their jobs ignorant.

    Years ago when an elementary student exposed to a business talk and then the opportunity to buy McDonalds stock with my $30.00 of saved allowance, but didn’t, I was not stupid because I was not deliberately ignorant. I was just $30.00 rich in my hand ignorant.

    When people bought Facebook stock, a company that produces absolutely nothing (accept for, indirectly, my highly qualitative blog comments, thank you and you are welcome) it was not stupid, because it was not deliberate ignorance, it was rush to the greed instinct ignorance. I wrote in 2011 as I was planning to exit the network (before I found blog incentive to stay):

    Keep your face clean and your book clear of tarnish

    I wrote that as parting warning gesture because I was seeing and hearing of so many questionable transactions on the network. My analysis was subjective, granted tarnished by the spectacle of young people jeopardizing their futures with flashes of indiscretion that tickled them. These young people were not stupid, because they were not deliberately ignorant. They were just young ignorant like the present that time forgot. That kind of ignorance can be individually devastating, but does not rate with the other kinds of ignorance that ensue all of earth. For example, politicians that claim global warming is a hoax are deliberately ignorant.

    Two adults fighting a cab is not deliberately ignorant, it is just too lazy to walk, too lazy to think, too lazy to be civilized ignorant. Deliberate ignorance requires thinking and once thinking engages it is difficult to be lazy or uncivilized. In fact, thinking will more often lead to energized civility rather than organized emotional devastation. When it does, however, we have dangerous deliberate ignorance; more commonly called studied stupidity. Politicians that claim social security is ill are studied stupidity because they have the facts and figures and know better than any that if they did not raid the funds to finance other things, did not reward the funds to cheats and liars and did not gift the funds to the idle rich that do not need social security, there would be no illness.

    At a time when people are putting their own revolutions to the path of human elevation, you have to wonder about governments that hold to military invasion as the way to do the same. That is not deliberate ignorance, but can’t get out of my own way to keep doing what I’ve always done ignorance. We therefore on this date, hold to a government that is trying to correct itself in withdrawing “the surge troops” from Afghanistan, keeping a promise on time, that opportunists with war stocks and imbeciles with warped thinking would have broken as deliberate ignorance.

    Hey, I remember when
    even the slowest student brought two number two pencils to school
    Bazooka was the stuff of recess
    No corporate giant made more for producing less
    Unions were good for the common man
    because they forced communion of uncommon ideas
    When the middle class was growing strong with labor, not weak with old
    and the disparity between top to bottom salary was at worst ten-fold
    When the sitting president would never have to stand for network embarrassment
    And while no one had to like the occupant,
    they did the office and acted to show the world how “United” meant to love it!
    Hey, I remember
    When a special worker could make a 400 foot homer call
    and a break starved bleacher bum could make a branded catch
    of a $400 signature heavy ball
    When the lines of integrity clearly marked the First, Second, Third and Fourth Estates
    not as they are blurred now to the entertainment, shame, fame and character mistakes
    when civil rights had something to do with being civilized
    and sticking your own finger in your own eye was not grounds to sue
    When sue could mass debate in public and only her parents knew!
    How accomplished we were at accumulating dust
    desperately trying not to wash mess in tongues
    When nightmares perished with the light of day
    How after making that first million net
    Thinking I had it made
    Then sitting with my sick benjamins
    Realizing to stay well would mean that only the undertaker would get paid!
    Hey, I remember when
    a group of old flat-headed forward-thinking men could
    fagot a bunch of gifted girls
    and burn them at the crucifixion because they claimed the world was round…
    When Jesus Christ was a superstar bachelor
    The hula hoop wasn’t symbolism for the vicissitudes of vicious circles
    of the appointed by the anointed
    When you had to do more than urinate straight to get a merit badge
    when suffering imbecilities wasn’t an epidemic of global proportion
    when apple was something you ate not something you buy to stop traffic and out-
    source slavery so that privileged folks can afford to gossip
    When texting while talking and sexing while walking
    was something out of a cartoon character’s warped imagination that never aired
    When junk food was the delicious plumbing clogging cheese doodles
    not a bloom berg righteously out of its element with schooled dinosaur gas fueling
    that which the john come later don’t
    Hey, I remember when
    wearing your pants low was obscene (not fodder for my best pop poetry)
    calling Negros ebony proud and talking to yourself in curses taboo:
    the world was destined oval to match your face gunk and book junk in your pocket
    before all that foul stuff that were pugnaciously precious became peaches with you

    I remember when I used to throw eggs at moving vehicles on Halloween, but I out-grew that and out-smarted that. It is time that we out-grew and out-smarted congress and pick another. I remember writing a musical, MY Welfare, where one song, HEY! HEY! fondly recalled the good moments and the miserable years of systemic poverty. That was balance. Obama-Biden is balance. Romney-Ryan is madness. The congress they will inspire will not balance even to the extent of the polarity we presently must overcome.

    As a political scientist I recognize the minority that still prefer founder Jackson’s demarcation democracy (advocating for the elevation of “the common man” literally as in White Anglo-Saxon Protestant male) over founder Lincoln’s responsive republicanism (advocating an emancipation proclamation for all people, regardless of individual identification of nature or deliberate affiliation, from all circumstances and conditions of enslavement and dehumanizing engagement). Romney-Ryan will not return us to ethnic cleansing, plantation co-existence and divisionism in the Jacksonian sense, but will certainly turn back any movement for inclusion, transparency and shared wealth. When I started this piece on September 22, 2012 I had to recall one hundred fifty years ago the rules changed for humanity and the world documented the uncommon sense of The Emancipation Proclamation in all matters of people from the insanity of war to the precious promise of peace, from employment and deployment, from preparation of resources to post-distribution of great enterprise.

    For those that failed to mark the anniversary of the great document of earthling existence, there is not ridicule for it is not deliberate ignorance, that is just plain ignorant like when the world was flat and Columbus discovered “Indians” for the Europeans. If we was to get upset about everything all the time that is forgotten, overlooked or even wrong, our stupid head would explode from the ignorance we ingest. We must pick our fights carefully, but we need to pick something (just not Romney-Ryan because that would be deliberate ignorant and we don’t want to be called stupid).

    Ten years ago the members of congress voted almost unanimously (and that included my delegation from New York) to First Strike Iran and the question still circulates as to if it was deliberate ignorance or just simple too hard to study the facts and argue against the popular emotions ignorance. That done and the truth of wrong headedness clear, voters still rewarded the “yea” voters (that included the presidential campaign of John McCain and former Vice-President hopeful Joe Lieberman with a return to the senate). With hundreds of thousands killed, maimed and homeless, voters elevated those responsible and rewarded the Bush-Cheney team with a second term. Was their horror vote of less importance than subordinates breaking into a competitor’s headquarters to retrieve strategy plans (that forced the resignation of Richard M. Nixon)? Was the result of their “preemptive” vote of less importance than Thomas Eagleton’s history of depression (resulting in him being dropped from the 1972 national ticket)? The question is how can such people responsible for such catastrophic wrong decisions be returned to favor by voters? Are the voters deliberately ignorant or just human frailty, irresponsible, insensitive and uncaring ignorant?

    Midway through this piece, wide reports came in that New York Congressman Peter King (R-S.I.) is calling for the resignation of Ambassador Susan Rice who reported “Our current best assessment…” regarding the attack on the Libyan embassy (e.g., New York Times, September 28, 2012). Since her initial comments newer best assessments have come in and now the attack is thought of as planned as opposed to “spontaneous reaction” to crazies that dot our globe. The question booms, what part of “current best assessment” does King not understand? Is he deliberately ignorant in his reactions or is it just run-of-the-mill partisan politics ignorance? King calls for Rice’s resignation, but he didn’t call for Bush’s after he was sucker punched into Iraq. He didn’t resign when he exhibited “gross negligence” when he supported the attack to rid Iraq of “weapons of mass destruction” that never existed. Rice’s qualifying statement excuses her, but what excuses him of death, dying, crippling and misery? The answer to that last question is apparently the voters that return him to office. As the chair of Homeland Security how come he wasn’t up to task of protecting Americans off the mainland, if he really believes such can be done? As chair, how come he hasn’t solved the unsafe airports that as recent as a few weeks ago had a senior citizen nun and her friends infiltrate the cargo passages? She demonstrated with a left behind message how easy it is for would-be terrorists to deliver terror. Almost daily we hear of airport lapses, so where is his resignation? Is he really that ignorant or is this just “Hey mom look at me I’m on top of the world getting attention,” stupid? Perhaps Peter King can learn from Dr. King (no relation as far as I know from current information) asking the skilled in the process to date the ink on old parchment that speaks of “wife” as in a woman decibel of Jesus Christ. It is a matter of what we can know now as opposed to what we might know then. Perhaps another piece in that New York Times edition can help him be less stupid. Many thought that wolves have no purpose. They were simply predators. Now researchers have discovered that as predators they keep down deer population that tend to eat too much grass. When predators are around deer eat less grass. The grass left is used by beavers to make their dams. The dams… the point is, the predators of nature have a purpose that serves earthlings and the natural environment in a chain of social interconnectedness. Of course, I suspect Peter King (a predator with as of yet no documented purpose) is not interested because his record on supporting the environment is no better than his record as chair of Homeland Security.

    There are those (I fully understand this thinking) that would argue Obama was stupid for not meeting with at least one of the “one hundred and twenty-one United Nations national leaders” on the day he chose The View of popularity and the proverbial football referee of the majority. I would have preferred that he used this time for a UN delegate, but that was not stupid because it was not deliberate ignorance. It was not even unintentional ignorance. It was intentional get in your face-click with your mind-keep the sky is falling opportunists off guard-educate the world that I talk with national leaders everyday and don’t need a club gathering to do so–smart. Especially smart in hindsight when we recognize that the UN had a hater speak on Yom Kippur. Was that UN deliberate ignorance or right-to-speak, misfortune of the draw, procedural happenstance or unconscious ignorance. We must be smart in thinking this through just as haters and lovers alike have a right to speak, but voters not the right to be stupid.

    Nearing the end of this piece I am distracted by hearing that “!9 thousand tickets buyers attend Barclay Center opening on September 28, 2012. Is that deliberate ignorance of a financial institution credited with deliberately robbing and cheating or just hip hop to the hype because it makes me feel alive ignorance? Is that I’ll rather be there than eat ignorance or that nonsense about a recession just nonsense ignorance? Do not share such ignorance with the protesters outside Barclays screaming for jobs, affordable housing and a return on a banking deposit better than 0.5%. None of the performers thought of the audience or performers as ignorant as much as selfish and disinterested in the real struggles of real people (and that included an opinion on “Rhiana” rumored to be making music with “her pot loving abuser Chris Brown recently busted in Virginia” for possession). Perhaps “Rhiana” is just representing the socially unconscious (hello Lindsay Lohan you got company kind of ignorance). For the protesters, Barclays represented more of the Haves (e.g., Magic Johnson, Avery Johnson and Victor Cruz was there in big smiles) and Have-nots reality (e.g., small store owners venting concern that the franchise chains housed at Barclays will soon run them out of business). It begs the question, when we vote will we be voting for big business or small shops, or for a solution to how they can co-exist?

    As I end this piece on the eve of the first presidential debate between Obama and Romney, we should address how voters can assess. A simple one I use is of my own making and is called CAR (with a stamp of long standing approval from children of elementary importance throughout the NYC Department of Education from which I nursed it). It can work just as well for adults screening peers for know-how, wisdom and the capacity to think on the feet, adapt and adjust. In this context, this measurement tool stands for: Did the debaters identify Clear expectations to accomplish needed changes with details of how changes would be achieved? Did the debaters engage Accountable talk on important issues with specifics such as action steps to attack them? Did the debaters apply Rigorous academics relating to facts as we now know them in support of their rhetoric? For example, among the issues I will be scoring for are transparency in government (and an action step in that direction would be a cease and desist order on the harassment of people like Julian Assange, organizations like Gawker), the cease and desist order on misuse of social security and the cease and desist order on the discrediting of unions.

    To approach debates lacking a sense and appreciation for the quality of argumentation is not deliberate ignorance, but it is the stuff of rah rah conventions (where flying fluff lacking feathers and wings is all that is expected) selective hearing (where the truth need not attend) poor background knowledge (so you cannot understand the discussion) taking up the space of freedom (so that you cannot advance the experience) citizenship ignorance. Debates, like ignorance, must be qualified beyond what presents on the surface (such as perceived credentials for high office or the bartering of those credentials).

    When we cast our vote come November take not with us the illusion that we have the right to be stupid. We have the right to be responsible and the opportunity to be smart about who will best deal with the stupidity of our past, energize the possibilities of our now and position us for a better future. We will be smart to remember The Emancipation Proclamation (beyond its immediate and obvious declaration), the perfected forward view of our constitution (that needed amendments to clearly identify the long range intention of national life in America) and so many other documents that not only withstand the test of time, but the test of prophecy and manifest destiny as well. Be not confused by the moments of period ignorance each may unfold, but be motivated to homework and community work that the genius of each will deliver behind the power of a well researched vote.

    Like

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