Posts Tagged ‘Libya’

13 Hours At Benghazi

Posted: September 7, 2014 by ShortTimer in Government, Middle East, Obama administration, terrorism
Tags: ,

HT Jawa Report, via Soopermexican at Right Scoop & Mass Tea Party, from FOX News:

As a reminder, Benghazi has been hushed up since the beginning by the Obama administration, even going so far as to have the CIA was moving personnel and changing names of their people so they couldn’t be found by investigators:

I’ve been reading about this and listening to this for a while, and as someone who’s had to fight in the Middle East before, I’m hearing a replay of 2002-2003, but a much worse one, with an imperial president who ignores the law as opposed to a neocon president who even his staunchest critics when confronted with the data can see at least jumped through the required hoops.

So far, it’s heavily suspected that Syria has used chemical weapons on its own rebels and population, though it’s also possible that the rebels themselves (who are affiliated with Al Qaeda) may have used them to garner international sympathy – mideast terrorist groups and their allies do use propaganda, after all.   Reuters even has rebels saying it was rebels (but Reuters in the mideast isn’t exactly trustworthy, as is evidenced one link ago). The use of chemical weapons is pretty much accepted, but by whom isn’t wholly decided.

The Obama administration has attacked Bashar Assad’s credibility when asked for proof.  If you’ve heard the audio (Charley Jones on 1080 KRLD played some of it last night), you know it starts off with a question asking about where the proof is that chemical weapons were used by the Assad regime, and sounds even less convincing when spoken than written.

Q:   But based on the President’s own criticism of the previous administration, not being able to clearly establish the use of WMD — if you’re now acknowledging the U.N. doesn’t have the mandate to determine that anyway, what will the President use to decide whether or not to take U.S. military action –

MR. CARNEY:  Again, we are continuing to assess the matter of culpability.  We believe, and I think the evidence is overwhelming, that there is very little doubt that the Syrian regime is culpable.  But we will continue to establish, or assess the incident, and we’ll have more information for you, as Secretary Kerry mentioned, in the coming days about that matter.

But, in the meantime, we should make clear from here and from the State Department and elsewhere, and in capitals around the world, that the Syrian regime has very little credibility on this matter.  If the Syrian regime had any interest, as Secretary Kerry said earlier, in proving that they were not culpable, they had the opportunity to allow that U.N. inspection team to visit the site immediately.  Instead, they blocked access for five days while they shelled the neighborhood, killing more innocent civilians, in an attempt to destroy evidence.

And even today, when the inspection team began its trip to the region where the attack occurred, its convoy was attacked.  They had to turn back.  And then they were able to make it later into the region.  After they left, the Syrian regime started shelling again.  The credibility here does not exist.

Except saying Assad is an uncooperative liar doesn’t mean Obama has definitive proof.  Saying “we have evidence from sources on the ground and from surveillance” would be a point.  Saying “we are assessing culpability” isn’t the same.  Considering the numerous resolutions against Saddam Hussein’s WMDs and ultimately action taken because of them, Obama is setting us up for the very same thing he railed against and ran on as a presidential candidate and president.  But Democrats are always against terrorist regimes before they’re for giving up and abandoning the efforts against terrorist regimes:

The Syrians have allies in Iran and Russia and Hezbollah, and the rebels are allied with and often part of Al Qaeda.  There are arguments by interventionists that some rebels are regionally different, but ultimately it doesn’t matter.  All sides involved are villainous.  There’s no reason for the US to get involved.  Neither side winning is good for the US.

If Syria wins, America’s adversaries in Russia, Iran, and China as well get strengthened in the region.  If the rebels win, Al Qaeda and other extremist forces will take over… just like happened in Egypt and much of Libya.  Either way, non-combatants in Syria suffer.

But speaking of Libya, the reason Ambassador Chris Stevens is dead is most likely because he was out in the middle of nowhere in Benghazi trying to secure weapons for the Syrian rebels.

Lawmakers also want to know about the weapons in Libya, and what happened to them.

Speculation on Capitol Hill has included the possibility the U.S. agencies operating in Benghazi were secretly helping to move surface-to-air missiles out of Libya, through Turkey, and into the hands of Syrian rebels.

That’s from a while ago.  Realistically, we’ve probably been supporting Syrian rebels since then.

The problem is that as we’re supporing the Free Syrian Army, we’re supporting the same allies of Al Qaeda that we’ve been fighting since at least the 1993 WTC bombing, and for no particular reason.

One question that hasn’t been answered adequately is that if we intervene, who will end up with those 1000 tons of chemical weapons that Syria has?  If the rebels win, are we handing Al Qaeda 1000 tons of sarin or VX?

If we act against Syria, will they use chemical weapons on their neighbors in Israel and Jordan and Turkey?  Is that part of why Turkey, who got involved in Syria a bit, stopped getting involved?

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So far the hypothesis has been that in a few days of air attacks, we could seriously degrade the Syrian air force and reduce Assad’s capability to fight significantly.  If we were to do that, basically providing Al Qaeda the use of our air force, and ultimately leading to an AQ/rebel victory and our actions were to protect the world from chemical weapons… then what do we do once they have those chemical weapons?  The answer ends up being boots on the ground.

There are only a few options in Syria:

  • We don’t get involved.
  • We support Syria’s government and push for stability against AQ.
  • We support Syria’s rebels and push for regime change and a new stable state that magically doesn’t turn into an AQ-state or Egypt redux.
  • We get involved and crush both sides, secure WMDs, and leave with them secured or destroyed.
  • We get involved and crush both sides, secure WMDs, and stay and nation build.

Carl Von Clausewitz stated as his elegant definition of war:

War therefore is an act of violence intended to compel our opponent to fulfill our will.

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So what is our will in Syria?  To stop the use of WMDs?

There have been tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands killed in Syria’s civil war by conventional violence.  Why were those deaths less important than the ones killed by a nerve agent?

To control WMD proliferation and keep WMDs out of the hands of groups that would threaten the US and our allies?  Supporting Syria would lead to stabilization and keep weapons out of terrorist hands – because a regime like Syria is a nation-state with something to lose if it uses WMDs against us.  A stateless organization like Al Qaeda doesn’t care.

Or is our will just so Obama can say his “red line” means something and not look like a complete weakling in front of Putin and China?  Too late, they know our president is weak on US interests and more concerned with instituting self-destructive policies within the US.  Any angry, self-righteous response against Syria is just going to look like Obama going “oh yeah, I’ll show you guys!” and they’ll still think him weak, because he is.  Obama doesn’t care about US interests.  He does care about himself, but that’s not strength, that’s vanity.

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The progressive left is interventionist, though.  They have been since the days when Woodrow Wilson dragged us into WWI, and before then the progressives under Teddy Roosevelt on the right dragged us all into other wars.

Consider this NYT editorial, titled “Bomb Syria, Even if It Is Illegal”:

The latest atrocities in the Syrian civil war, which has killed more than 100,000 people, demand an urgent response to deter further massacres and to punish President Bashar al-Assad.

They don’t want to be the world’s policeman enforcing the law, they want to be the world’s angry disciplinarian out castigating people for things they don’t like.

But there is widespread confusion over the legal basis for the use of force in these terrible circumstances. As a legal matter, the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons does not automatically justify armed intervention by the United States.

There are moral reasons for disregarding the law, and I believe the Obama administration should intervene in Syria. But it should not pretend that there is a legal justification in existing law. Secretary of State John Kerry seemed to do just that on Monday, when he said of the use of chemical weapons, “This international norm cannot be violated without consequences.” His use of the word “norm,” instead of “law,” is telling.

There’s currently a big push by the administration to say that Syria is violating international norms and must be punished.  You’ll hear the word in news reports a lot as a new narrative is made.  Sort of like hearing about the hun.

Syria is a party to neither the Biological Weapons Convention of 1972 nor the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993, and even if it were, the treaties rely on the United Nations Security Council to enforce them — a major flaw. Syria is a party to the Geneva Protocol, a 1925 treaty that bans the use of toxic gases in wars. But this treaty was designed after World War I with international war in mind, not internal conflicts.

Not only will Russia and China block any UN resolutions, it doesn’t matter, because there is no authority to something Syria isn’t a signatory to.  This is the very unilateralism the left railed against.

What about the claim that, treaties aside, chemical weapons are inherently prohibited? While some acts — genocide, slavery and piracy — are considered unlawful regardless of treaties, chemical weapons are not yet in this category.

Some acts are unlawful regardless of treaties?  What a joke.  Sudan is on the UN Human Rights Commission even though they were and are engaged in genocide.

If there is no law, they are by definition not unlawful.

…if the White House takes international law seriously — as the State Department does — it cannot try to have it both ways. It must either argue that an “illegal but legitimate” intervention is better than doing nothing, or assert that international law has changed — strategies that I call “constructive noncompliance.” In the case of Syria, I vote for the latter.

Since Russia and China won’t help, Mr. Obama and allied leaders should declare that international law has evolved and that they don’t need Security Council approval to intervene in Syria.

This would be popular in many quarters, and I believe it’s the right thing to do. But if the American government accepts that the rule of law is the foundation of civilized society, it must be clear that this represents a new legal path.

This can be summed up simply:

There is no law in this administration, there is only what people in power feel like doing, and whatever complex mental and linguistic gymnastics they can do to justify acting out how they feel.

Under Bush, the administration went through the processes that were necessary, getting approval along the way before acting on a perceived threat, regardless of the haste or individual opinions on the wisdom of those actions.  Under Obama, we have leftists actively advocating for ignoring laws they agree to with their wonderful UN-consensus ideals because it’s now magically moral to break the law, to do what feels good even though it’s illegal.

The rule of law is the foundation of a civilized society, but we have the rule of men, and of a man who feels what he’s doing is right means more than the law.  I’m sure Assad would agree with the decisions to ignore legality and do what you want as a ruler.

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As a final note, I heard or read this story not too long ago:  A bartender saw a boyfriend and girlfriend fighting across the bar and saw the boyfriend slapping the girlfriend.  The bartender decided this was wrong, and he had to get involved and separate the two.  He stepped around the bar and got them apart, and the girlfriend then broke a beer bottle over the bartenders head.

As of right now, with no real evidence of a threat to the US or US interests, there’s no reason to get involved.

This is a cluster of our enemies fighting each other.  It’s tragic what’s happening to the non-combatants, but unless we want to wage a massive, all out campaign to suppress the rest of the world and pacify them, we can’t change that.

Away from wartime, we can change things through trade and commerce, but in wartime, there’s little we can do unless we go all-out.  And there’s while there may be some broader humanitarian desire to act, there’s really little reason to get involved, as both potential victors in the only likely outcomes are villains.

Trey Gowdy explains that CIA operatives are being moved and having their names changed so they can’t talk to congress.

Via HotAir, from CNN:

Since January, some CIA operatives involved in the agency’s missions in Libya, have been subjected to frequent, even monthly polygraph examinations, according to a source with deep inside knowledge of the agency’s workings.

The goal of the questioning, according to sources, is to find out if anyone is talking to the media or Congress.

It is being described as pure intimidation, with the threat that any unauthorized CIA employee who leaks information could face the end of his or her career.

In exclusive communications obtained by CNN, one insider writes, “You don’t jeopardize yourself, you jeopardize your family as well.”

Among the many secrets still yet to be told about the Benghazi mission, is just how many Americans were there the night of the attack.

A source now tells CNN that number was 35, with as many as seven wounded, some seriously.

While it is still not known how many of them were CIA, a source tells CNN that 21 Americans were working in the building known as the annex, believed to be run by the agency.

A “phony” scandal according to Obama, with seriously wounded operatives being moved around the country, having their names changed, and being hidden from congress.  Most transparent administration ever.

Remember a few months back, Bob Woodward criticized the White House about the sequester limiting military movements, and then was threatened?

Of course, Woodward was blasted by his fellows in the media for criticizing Obama, and it’s not like Woodward was actually going to say anything serious, since Woodward never thought there were any questions worth asking about Benghazi or Fast and Furious.  He made one comment that wasn’t wholly in lock-step with the Obama-loving media and was verbally attacked and threatened for it.

Now today, Carl Bernstein is calling out Obama for targeting Associated Press reporters.

He’s not targeting the White House’s actual activities.  He’s not calling them out for suppressing Fast and Furious and targeting whistleblowers for retaliation.  Bernstein’s only mad because reporters who need to be monitored for party loyalty are now targets.

Bernstein said “the president should long ago have put a stop to this in his administration”.  Apparently he doesn’t understand or refuses to acknowledge that the president is a Chicago street organizer who was raised by Alinskyite communist thugs and terrorists.  This president does not favor freedom, he does not favor free speech.  His political agenda is one that would criminalize unpopular speech, and would actively targets opposition speech.  This is not a surprise to Country Class Americans.

Bernstein:

“There is no reason that a presidency that is interested in a truly free press and its functioning should permit this to happen.”

Y’know what that means, Carl?  Y’know what you should be able to get from that without having Mark Felt spoon-feed it to you?  It means this presidency DOESN’T favor a free press.

From the Obama administration targeting FOX news and calling it “destructive” for having a viewpoint that opposes his to Obama specifically blaming Rush Limbaugh for all the problems in America, to calling anyone who is opposed to the socialist manifest destiny an “obstructionist” or “destructive”, this administration, from the President down through all of his true-believer lackeys, are on the same page.  If you oppose them and their autocratic mania to tell you how to live, you must be destroyed.

Bernstein is a dinosaur.  He’s in the tank for the Democrats, but he still thinks they’re the same silly Democrats of yesteryear.  He’s still got some smidgen of journalistic integrity left, too, and he’s wondering why the Democrats are trying to crush and control journalists now.  He doesn’t understand what he’s dealing with, and he doesn’t understand that the ruling Democrats are tyrants.

He sounds mad because he can’t figure out why Obama’s doing these horrible things.  He’s like a battered wife who still thinks her abusive husband who just molested their children is a good guy, and she doesn’t understand all these horrible things that surely can’t be the truth.  The facts stare him in the face, but he refuses to understand.

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As just one more example, Sharyl Attkisson has been yelled at for being a journalist and actually reporting on a big story – gunrunning by the US DOJ/ATF, and the subsequent coverup by the Obama administration.  The media has already hushed up a few hundred murders in Fast and Furious, and hushed up Benghazi as much as they can, and they’re going to spin the IRS story as either justified because conservative=evil or as an accident.  They’ve been accomplices to tyranny for so long, are they just so blind that they’re now surprised when they’re the targets?

Somewhere, Solzhenitsyn and Shalamov are sharing a joke at the US media’s expense.

Via Drudge, from Breitbart:

NBC News “spiked” the story this week, prior to Hicks’ dramatic testimony before Congress.  

Toensing appeared on WMAL-FM in Washington DC Saturday with host Steve Malzberg.

“He voted for Hillary in the primary and Obama twice. NBC spiked the story where I told it before the hearings…

…It’s just amazing what the press is still trying to do to cover this up. So they try to make this partisan because of the lawyer. Well I’m not the messenger, he’s the messenger! The modus operandi is to find anything they can do to just attack.”

Thing is, if Hicks were reported as a Democrat supporter who votes Democrat all the time, it goes to show that there is actual bipartisanship – that people as Americans are saying something’s wrong, that this was a criminal coverup.  There are actual Democrats who recognize that what happened at Benghazi is wrong, and there are actual Democrats who are critical of the Obama administration.

That would go against the narrative that this is just a right-wing fiction, a right-wing kooky conspiracy theory that’s all about editing a document that gets edited anyway and nobody died and nothing happened and it was all a protest against a reich-wingnut who made a video on youtube to offend the arab world because he’s out to offend them so much.

It’s only natural that people take RPGs and mortars to protests, because right-wingers make people that mad, and they deserve it.  So it’s the right’s fault… according to the left.

That part really is key, in case someone isn’t getting how the White House story of a spontaneous protest doesn’t fit with reality.  In the leftist worldview, it’s somehow “normal” that people take fire support to protest, and a “protest” with mortar support is a perfectly acceptable explanation for an attack on a 9/11 anniversary.

Yes on proposition 19!

Yes on proposition 19!

http://www.c-span.org/Live-Video/C-SPAN3/

Goes for a few hours yet.

If you have the time, much like the Fast and Furious hearings, it’s worth watching.  It’s fascinating to see exactly what happens and is discovered versus what the media will report afterwards.

Nope.

Bob Woodward says the White House is warning “you’ll regret this” because he’s saying Obama’s sequester response is “madness”.

Drudge had it as his headline today.  From Business Insider:

Bob Woodward said this evening on CNN that a “very senior person” at the White House warned him in an email that he would “regret doing this,” the same day he has continued to slam President Barack Obama over the looming forced cuts known as the sequester.

Real Clear Politics has some video of an exchange with Wolf Blitzer where he discusses it as well.

This started because Woodward said Obama’s sequester strategy was “madness”HotAir has a good roundup of it and the reactions.

So why is this a story?  Because it’s a historical footnote for reporters.

Woodward wasn’t asking questions about Fast and Furious.  Woodward didn’t think there was anything worth asking about Benghazi.

In Fast and Furious, the Attorney General authorized smuggling guns to narcoterrorist cartels in Mexico with the express outcome of finding guns at crime scenes.  We have Congressional testimony of ATF agents who ran the operation discussing that.  Heck, CBS’s Sharyl Attkisson even managed to get the story moving a little bit.

John Dodson during an interview with Sharyl Atkisson

The Justice Department hid it, hushed it up, and refused to turn over documents.  What they did turn over was a joke.

That's not a print of Malevich's "Black Square".

And Obama exerted executive privilege over things he claims he had no knowledge of (which isn’t how EP works), and it all went away because the media doesn’t ask questions.  If Woodward had wanted to, he could’ve run with it and taken down two administrations.  But he’s in the tank for Obama just like the rest of the complicit media, he’s just upset that he’s being threatened.

With Benghazi, we had questions of an admiral being relieved because he wanted to go and help our ambassador & embassy personnel.  There were questions of what the ambassador was doing in Benghazi anyway – and what about the MANPADS in Libya going to SyriaWoodward blew it off.

This isn’t really a story.  It’s journalists looking at one of their heroes and saying “yeah, he’s taking a stand”.  No, he’s not.  He’s an irrelevant old man who 5 years into an administration that’s had plenty of scandals hushed up by the media, is just now realizing that they’re not the people he and the rest of the media have been carrying water for.  But he’s old, and just a curiosity today, and he’ll be forgotten just as quickly as Geraldine Ferraro was when she questioned misogynistic Democrat attacks on Palin during the 2008 elections.