Archive for Libya

More Obama Foreign Policy Successes

Remember Libya?

Western countries voiced concern on Thursday that tensions in Libya could slip out of control in the absence of a functioning political system, and they urged the government and rival factions to start talking.

Two-and-a-half years after the fall of former leader Muammar Gaddafi, the oil-rich North African state is struggling to contain violence between rival forces, with Islamist militants gaining an ever-stronger grip on the south of the country.

“The situation in Libya is very worrying,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters on the margins of a conference in Rome to discuss the Libyan crisis.

He said the uncertain security position, especially in the south, worsened an unstable political situation which required Libyan political forces to come together to reach a solution.

“We are asking the Libyans to talk to each other and to find a stable solution,” he said.

Just to refresh our memory, Obama invaded Libya in support of the “rebels” and Moammar Khadafi was killed. Now there is no leadership in Libya and Obama and our State Dept. are silent. Are we intentionally trying to establish al-qaeda across the Middle East? I would also point out that this article fails to mention the US military action in Libya.

- Aggie

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Now, This is How You Project American Power

There. Now, that wasn’t so hard, was it?

In two operations nearly 3,000 miles apart, U.S. military forces went after two high-value targets over the weekend. And while officials have yet to say whether the operations were coordinated or directly related, they show Washington’s reach, capability and willingness to pursue alleged terrorists.

One operation took place Saturday in the Libyan capital of Tripoli, when U.S. forces captured Abu Anas al Libi, an al Qaeda leader wanted for his role in the deadly 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa.

As al Libi was leaving his house for morning prayers, a group of 10 masked men surprised him, a source close to Libyan intelligence said. Citing al Libi’s wife, the source said the al Qaeda leader tried to reach into his car to grab his gun — but the U.S. forces quickly snatched him.

In the second raid, a team of U.S. Navy SEALs in southern Somalia targeted a top leader of Al-Shabaab, which was behind last month’s mall attack in Kenya. The SEALs came under fire and had to withdraw before they could confirm whether they killed their target, a senior U.S. official said.

“One could have gone without the other,” said retired Lt. Col. Rick Francona, CNN’s military analyst. “But the fact that they did them both, I think, is a real signal that the United States — no matter how long it takes — will go after these targets.”

The operations were carried out even as polls show Americans are skittish about U.S. military involvement in overseas conflicts. This means, Francona said, that others who might be in the U.S. government’s cross hairs could have more reason to worry.

Speaking to reporters at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Bali, Indonesia, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the raids ought to make clear that the United States “will never stop in its effort to hold those accountable who conduct acts of terror.”

“Those members of al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations literally can run,” he said, “but they can’t hide.”

In other words, you were for the projection of American military power after you were against, Mr. Secretary?

I’ll keep my snarkiness to a minimum because I couldn’t approve more strongly if Israel conducted a successful raid on Iran’s nuclear installations. Bravo.

I’ll just add that if I woke up one morning six weeks ago to learn that US forces had pounded Syrian government military facilities after concluding that they were responsible for the war crime of gassing their own people—rather than the embarrassing humiliation of letting “I dare not wait upon I would” that happened—I would have stood and applauded (with some snarkiness) rather than blow the raspberries I blew.

I’ll have to leave it to wiser minds than mine to know the difference between the two situations.

Congratulations—and thanks—to all involved.

PS: And thanks to President Obama for implicitly sanctioning Israel’s projection of military power in its own defense as well. Win-win.

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Just When You Thought Things Couldn’t Get Any Worse in Libya

You were right: the deaths of four Americans at the hands of Islamic terrorists is about as bad as it gets.

But this is pretty bad, too:

EXCLUSIVE: The recent theft of massive amounts of highly sensitive U.S. military equipment from Libya is far worse than previously thought, Fox News has learned, with raiders swiping hundreds of weapons that are now in the hands of militia groups aligned with terror organizations and the Muslim Brotherhood.

The equipment, as Fox News previously reported, was used for training in Libya by U.S. Special Forces. The training team, which was funded by the Pentagon, has since been pulled, partly in response to the overnight raids last August.

According to State Department and military sources, dozens of highly armored vehicles called GMV’s, provided by the United States, are now missing. The vehicles feature GPS navigation as well as various sets of weapon mounts and can be outfitted with smoke-grenade launchers. U.S. Special Forces undergo significant training to operate these vehicles. Fox News is told the vehicles provided to the Libyans are now gone.

Along with the GMV’s, hundreds of weapons are now missing, including roughly 100 Glock pistols and more than 100 M4 rifles. More disturbing, according to the sources, is that it seems almost every set of night-vision goggles has also been taken. This is advanced technology that gives very few war fighters an advantage on the battlefield.

“It’s not just equipment … it’s the capability. You are giving these very dangerous groups the capability that only a few nations are capable of,” one source said. “Already assassinations are picking up in Tripoli and there are major worries that the militias are using this stolen equipment to their advantage. All these militias are tied into terrorist organizations and are tied to (salafists).”

This is “exclusive” to Fox News at the moment, so there’s no confirmation. But if it’s even half true, it’s a catastrophe:

[S]pecial operators told Fox News that training camps throughout eastern Libya continue to train terrorists, and border controls right now around the country are non-existent in most areas.

“The theft of these weapons and the open borders are feeding Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood and threatens Libya’s neighbors as well. It’s already bad. … and now it’s really bad.”

What happened to a “time-limited, scope-limited” operation that would take “days, not weeks”?

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Benghazi One Year On

Most of the media will lay it on thick with the 12th anniversary of 9/11/01. Nothing wrong with that, of course.

But it wouldn’t hurt them to look into another anniversary, more recent [hat tip: Yerushalimey]

The attack on the US consulate in Benghazi was striking for a number of reasons: the date, 11 September, the toll – four diplomats killed, including an ambassador – and the knock-on effects on the careers of senior American politicians.

But what is perhaps most striking is the inconsistencies: the US version of events compared with those of witnesses and the facts on the ground. The two do not tally. And so, a year later, there remain pressing questions about what happened that night – and what the Americans say happened.

6:43am

Event
Staff at the US special mission in Benghazi woke on 11 September to the sight of a Libyan policeman, deployed to guard them, filming the compound from a neighbouring rooftop. When challenged, he vanished. Later, an unmarked car made lazy circles around the compound, a walled redoubt rented in the southern suburbs of the Libyan city.

US version
The state department says there were no warning of impending attack, a spokesman insisting there was “nothing unusual during the day at all”.

Conflicting evidence
Two days earlier, the ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, had received a veiled warning. According to one of his cables, one of his diplomats had a meeting with two Islamist militia leaders in which they complained that the US was supporting a secular leader, Mahmoud Jibril, in a vote for prime minister due on 12 September. If Jibril won, they warned, they would “no longer guarantee security”. The consulate was already relying on one of the militias, the February 17th Martyrs Brigade, for armed protection.

In the words of a subsequent report by the US Senate’s homeland security committee, warning lights were “flashing red”. As the day went on, news came in of attacks by radicals on the US embassy in Cairo, a response to a film, the Innocence of Muslims, released in America which mocked Muhammad. The CIA sent a cable to its foreign stations warning of possible copycat incidents.

The anniversary of the 9/11 attacks also preyed on the minds of compound staff in Benghazi. In a letter found in the ruins by the Guardian, Stevens wrote: “For security reasons, we’ll need to be careful about limiting moves off compound and scheduling as many meetings as possible in the villa.”

At least one man inside the compound was anxious. Sean Smith, a 34-year-old information management officer accompanying the ambassador on the visit, emailed a friend: “Assuming we don’t die tonight. We saw one of our ‘police’ that guard the compound taking pictures.” Hours later, he was dead.

There are many more, recounted chronologically, but this one stands out:

Events
When the CIA team abandoned the consulate, crowds of local men and boys gathered at the edge of the fighting moved inside. The fires had died down and they gingerly explored, finding the unsecured window into the safe room. Inside they found Stevens, lying in shirtsleeves on the floor. A video, timed at quarter-past midnight, shows them carrying the ambassador outside on to the patio. When he shows signs of life there are cries of Allahu Akbar – God is Great – and bystanders discuss getting him to hospital.

US version
Washington maintains that every possible effort was made to locate Stevens in the hours after the attack.

Conflicting evidence
Bystanders put Stevens into a private car. A wounded Libyan guard who left his bloody handprint by the front gate was located and put into a second car. The two cars raced to the city’s main casualty hospital, Benghazi Medical Centre. Its director, Dr Fathi al-Jerami, said staff were astonished when the two casualties arrived at the emergency ramp, with the Libyan guard insisting his companion was the ambassador. Medics could not imagine the ambassador would be left unguarded, nor that, if he was missing, no official would try to contact the hospital. He was rushed inside and doctors fought for 90 minutes to revive him before declaring him dead.

Still with no communication from US officials, a hospital official found a mobile phone in Stevens pocket and began punching out dialled numbers. One of these was the phone of an agent now in the CIA base, but the official’s English was too rudimentary.

Only in the morning, with US officials being evacuated to the airport, did Americans go to the hospital, to be given Stevens’ body. Pictures of the dead ambassador uploaded by Libyans spread across the internet.

I am speechless (but not wordless) at these and other revelations of deceit, reckless endangerment, dereliction of duty—not by the brave men on the scene, but back in Washington. I cannot get my head around how Hillary and Barack have skated from responsibility.

Finally, someone in the media did his job. Figured not to be an American paper.

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This Won’t Hurt a Bit

Like the novocaine shots your dentist inflicts before drilling, cutting, chiseling inside your head, you won’t notice a thing:

Kerry said the Americans were planning an “unbelievably small” attack on Syria. “We will be able to hold Bashar al-Assad accountable without engaging in troops on the ground or any other prolonged kind of effort in a very limited, very targeted, short-term effort that degrades his capacity to deliver chemical weapons without assuming responsibility for Syria’s civil war. That is exactly what we are talking about doing – unbelievably small, limited kind of effort.”

How small?


This small!

Stop me if you’ve heard this before:

President Obama told a bipartisan group of members of Congress today that he expects the U.S. would be actively involved in any military action against Libya [Syria] for “days, not weeks…”

“We are not going to use force to go beyond a well-defined goal, specifically the protection of civilians in Libya [Syria],” he said.

The president is mindful that the American public is weary of war, and that the world community casts a skeptical eye at American plans to take military action against yet another Muslim country.

Again, that was Libya two and a half years ago!

So was this:

Here’s Carney’s exchange with reporters over what to call the Libya unwar/action:

REPORTER: What is this military action? We’ve been asking. Is it a
war, and if it is not a war —

MR. CARNEY: It is a time-limited, scope-limited military action,
in concert with our international partners, with the objective of
protecting civilian life in Libya from the — from Moammar Gadhafi and his forces.

REPORTER: But not a war?

MR. CARNEY: I’m not going to get into the terminology. I think
what it is certainly not is, as others have said, you know, a large-
scale military — you know, open-ended military action that — the
kind of which might otherwise be described as a war. There’s no
ground troops, as the president said. There’s no land invasion.

Tell that to Chris Stevens, Tyrone Woods, Sean Smith, and Glen Doherty.

Again, I’m sick to death (ha!) of the debate. It’s absurd and a waste of time, just like the idea of an “unbelievably small, limited kind of effort.” I grow more opposed every day.

Obama lies, people die(s)!

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Hey, How’s Obama’s Most Excellent Libyan War Working Out?

Is Libya a better place today?

A little under two years ago, Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, urged British businessmen to begin “packing their suitcases” and to fly to Libya to share in the reconstruction of the country and exploit an anticipated boom in natural resources.

Yet now Libya has almost entirely stopped producing oil as the government loses control of much of the country to militia fighters.

Mutinying security men have taken over oil ports on the Mediterranean and are seeking to sell crude oil on the black market. Ali Zeidan, Libya’s Prime Minister, has threatened to “bomb from the air and the sea” any oil tanker trying to pick up the illicit oil from the oil terminal guards, who are mostly former rebels who overthrew Muammar Gaddafi and have been on strike over low pay and alleged government corruption since July.

As world attention focused on the coup in Egypt and the poison gas attack in Syria over the past two months, Libya has plunged unnoticed into its worst political and economic crisis since the defeat of Gaddafi two years ago. Government authority is disintegrating in all parts of the country putting in doubt claims by American, British and French politicians that Nato’s military action in Libya in 2011 was an outstanding example of a successful foreign military intervention which should be repeated in Syria.

Hehehehehe. Let’s start another war!

- Aggie

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Benghazi Sheiks Say the Darnedest Things!

What channel is the Libyan women’s soccer team on? Sound like must-see TV!

Following are excerpts from a Friday sermon delivered by Sheik Salem Jaber, in Benghazi, Libya, which aired on Libya Al-Hurra TV on June 7, 2013:

Every day, I hope to hear on TV that from now on, anybody who drinks wine will receive 40 or 80 lashes, or that a fornicator – male or female – will receive 100 lashes, in accordance with the explicit word of the Koran.

So it came as a surprise to me to hear the news that a sports team was being established at the university. Is it for youth who are failing in their studies? Or is it for outstanding youth? No, it is for neither. Tall, young, and beautiful girls were picked for the team. Just what our country needed… A woman’s soccer team.

Is this what our country needs? What about Islamic universities? What about Islamic punishments? What about judges? What about rights and duties? What about the fear of Allah? What about implementing the punishments decreed by Allah?

Whose daughters are these? Are they the daughters of Jews, of Christians, or of Zoroastrians? Are they the daughters of heretics? Of Communists? It is written in their fathers’ ID cards that they are Muslim.

But today, these girls are exposing their heads. Is this to be allowed? In a few months’ time, they will be exposing their legs. The day they joined [the soccer team], exposing what should be hidden, these girls sold out their honor, and soiled the honor of their families with the filth of nudity and shamelessness.

Sounds like he’s getting a little steamed up. I know I am.

BTW, I don’t think he knows the half of it:

Legs are just the beginning, Salem. And praise God for it. If you can’t beat them (literally), enjoy them.

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Dear Diary

The late Ambassador Chris Stevens reveals his inner angst to his Hello Kitty journal:

Untitled

Stevens’ diary has never been made public, until now. It was first discovered and reported on, in brief, by CNN, but the news network soon caved in to outside pressure, most likely from President Obama’s staff, and ceased reporting on it all together.

When we received a copy of Ambassador Chris Stevens’ Benghazi diary, the Editors of SOFREP made a conscious decision to post it because the professional journal has clear journalistic value and contains important information relating to a clear and intentional cover up. Our bias in all of this is to shed light on the truth with regards to the Benghazi attack.

The revelations contained within the last five days of Chris Stevens’ working diary are nothing earth shattering to those of us who have been closely investigating the circumstances around the 9/11/12 Benghazi incident. However, it does shed critical light on Ambassador Stevens’ information on the matter, and his actions in the run up to the attack.

Written in the format of short hand notes, he wrote, “Militias the prime power on the ground. Weak state security institutions. As a result, dicey conditions.”
More pressing for Stevens personally, he wrote “Islamist ‘hit list’ in Benghazi. Me targeted…” … “Never ending security threats…”

There was an end, of course. To the threats, to Chris Stevens, to Tyrone Woods, to Sean Smith, to Glen Doherty.

I began this post intending to write a faux diary entry lamenting that Hillary won’t return his calls, answer his texts. But it’s not funny after reading this. Stevens was under no illusions, even if his superiors were under nothing but.

The old bag is anything but.

PS: CNN discovered the diary, but as yet is curiously silent on these revelations.

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The Twelve Talking Points of Benghazi

Five deadbeat networks!
Four murdered Americans,
Three whistleblowers,
Two lying scoundrels,
And a bogus video!

When it became clear last fall that the CIA’s now discredited Benghazi talking points were flawed, the White House said repeatedly the documents were put together almost entirely by the intelligence community, but White House documents reviewed by Congress suggest a different story.

ABC News has obtained 12 different versions of the talking points that show they were extensively edited as they evolved from the drafts first written entirely by the CIA to the final version distributed to Congress and to U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice before she appeared on five talk shows the Sunday after that attack.

White House emails reviewed by ABC News suggest the edits were made with extensive input from the State Department. The edits included requests from the State Department that references to the Al Qaeda-affiliated group Ansar al-Sharia be deleted as well references to CIA warnings about terrorist threats in Benghazi in the months preceding the attack.

That would appear to directly contradict what White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said about the talking points in November.

No-o-o-o!

Within hours of the initial attack on the U.S. facility, the State Department Operations Center sent out two alerts. The first, at 4:05 p.m. (all times are Eastern Daylight Time), indicated that the compound was under attack; the second, at 6:08 p.m., indicated that Ansar al Sharia, an al Qaeda-linked terrorist group operating in Libya, had claimed credit for the attack. According to the House report, these alerts were circulated widely inside the government, including at the highest levels. The fighting in Benghazi continued for another several hours, so top Obama administration officials were told even as the fighting was taking place that U.S. diplomats and intelligence operatives were likely being attacked by al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists. A cable sent the following day, September 12, by the CIA station chief in Libya, reported that eyewitnesses confirmed the participation of Islamic militants and made clear that U.S. facilities in Benghazi had come under terrorist attack. It was this fact, along with several others, that top Obama officials would work so hard to obscure.

The notion that the US could have done nothing is insulting to our intelligence. The drone pictures of the attack alone are proof that we were able to get at least some assets to the scene(s). Ambassador Stevens and Sean Smith may have been dead ducks from the beginning. But the woeful shortcomings of their security—on 9/11, no less!—is another chapter of this scandal. The inept, even corrupt, response to this terrorist attack, and the criminal cover-up of their ineptitude and corruption, aided and abetted by the press, is the story for today. And for many tomorrows to come.

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Your Terrorist Atrocity is Very Important to Us…

Your wait is approximately… eight… months:

A source familiar with the creation of the ad says the RNC leadership approved the ad but it was scrapped at the last minute because of objections from the Romney campaign, which was concerned the ad would distract from Romney’s efforts to focus on the economy.

“White House Situation Room, this is Terri, how may I direct your call?”

The ad certainly issues a challenge, stakes a claim. It can’t be ignored. Romney was wrong to kill it. But while we can agree that he could have handled the situation better, he probably couldn’t have handled it successfully. The media not only stonewalled the story, they pushed back. Candy Crowley shut him down in the debate (later “regretting” it); any discussion of the story was met with derisive snarls of politicization; details were denied, cover stories adhered to.

It was not Romney’s place to conduct a review, or even demand one—it was the responsibility, the duty, of the press. Instead of doing their duty, they did diddly. With few exceptions (C-Span 3??? Who knew there was one?), they’re still doing diddly.

But it happened a long time ago. And Chris Stevens, Tyrone Woods, Sean Smith, and Glen Doherty are still dead.

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Someone With Heart!

Albeit not his own:

‘They should have been ready before anything ever happened,’ Cheney told MailOnline exclusively during a party in Georgetown celebrating the launch of a new book by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

‘I mean, it’s North Africa – Libya, where they’ve already had major problems,’ Cheney said. ‘You know that al-Qaeda is operating there, and you have some of the other al-Qaeda-affiliated groups there like Ansar al-Sharia and others.’ …

‘When we were there, on our watch, we were always ready on 9/11, on the anniversary,’ he recalled. ‘We always anticipated they were coming for us, especially in that part of the world.’

‘I cannot understand why they weren’t ready to go,’ the former two-term vice president said of the Obama administration.

‘You’ve got units in the Defense Department that are superb. They practice for this contingency. And they didn’t have anybody in the area[.]‘

Cheney is describing the criminal malfeasance that led inevitably to the deaths of Chris Steven and Sean Smith in the first assault. Given the complete misconduct by State Department security, those two were goners from the beginning.

But Doherty and Woods died scrambling to save those under attack. They assumed they would have support from the greatest fighting machine the world has ever known. But you know what happens when you assume: you die in Libya. President Obama was due in Las Vegas the next day for a fundraiser. He stopped taking calls.

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From Your Lips To God’s Ears

Bolton thinks Benghazi testimony could bring down Obama administration

Think Nixon.

The Benghazi scandal could be the final “hinge point” that brings down the Obama administration, former U.N. Ambassador John R. Bolton said.
“This could be the hinge point,” he said to Newsmax. “It’s that serious for them.”

Mr. Bolton is now a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

His comments came as Congress is readying to hear testimony from several witnesses about the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. Witness Greg Hicks already has stated publicly that the administration was aware that the attack was terrorist in nature, and not related to protests of a YouTube film about Muslims, as originally stated.

Mr. Bolton said these witnesses’ testimonies could prove explosive.
“The three witnesses who have been identified are not bystanders,” he said in the Newsmax report. “These are not people who are going to report on hearsay of what somebody in Tripoli told somebody that they heard from. These are people who are directly involved in different capacities before, during and after the attack.”

Committee staffers have hinted that the witnesses’ statements are going to prove “devastating,” especially for then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. And “you’ve already seen some Democratic members of Congress … beginning to run from this,” Mr. Bolton said in the Newsmax report.

If you think about it, Bolton is wrong for a number of reasons. First of all, the President will hide behind: “I didn’t know.” And even if he were removed, we’d be stuck with Joe Biden. I’m not sure that would be any worse, and it might be better, but he is a strange dude. But before any of that, you have to consider the fact that the news media would have to cover the testimony. And most of them won’t. Digging deeper, I doubt that the testimony will be as explosive as Bolton and others believe, because I buy into the idea that there are job or personal pressures being applied to the so-called whistleblowers and they will probably either wimp out or have their credibility destroyed.

But I’m a cynic. Bolton has more respect for the country than I do.

- Aggie

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