Why was Ambassador Stevens left alone at the consulate?
Two days before the deadly Sept. 11 attack on Americans in Libya, three U.S. officials met pro-government militias working to provide security in the city of Benghazi.
In that meeting, which included the American economic and political counselors, Mohammed el Gharabi, a leader of a prominent militia, says he warned the Americans that the security situation in Benghazi was deteriorating.
Assassinations are becoming rampant; no one is safe, including militiamen like himself, he says he told the Americans.
He asked for help to secure Benghazi and suggested scaling back or possibly closing diplomatic missions until conditions were more secure. He didn’t cite any specific threat, but reminded the Americans that there had been an attack in June on the fortified U.S. Consulate, which is enclosed by a high wall, topped with concertina wire. They didn’t heed his warning.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday she was forming a panel to investigate the attack. Much of the current debate centers around whether the attack was spontaneous or planned.
Libya’s President Mohammed el-Megarif says he believes the attack was planned, but U.S. officials have said they have not seen any such evidence so far.
Clinton has also said that the mission in Benghazi was secured properly and that there was no indication of an imminent threat.
“Let me assure you that our security in Benghazi included a unit of host government security forces, as well as a local guard force of the kind that we rely on in many places around the world,” she said.
But Libyan witnesses are asking why Stevens was apparently left alone at the consulate. When the attack by heavily armed men was over, fires raged and people looted the compound.
Libyan Fahed al Bakkosh took video of events that night and has posted the footage on YouTube. His video shows Libyans pulling a man — who appears to be Stevens — from a room at the consulate.
Bakkosh says he walked into the consulate after midnight. There were no Americans and no visible security as Libyans looted the compound. He then heard a young man scream, “Dead body.”
Libyans were pulling the man out of a smoke-filled room, and the man was still breathing, Bakkosh says. The Libyans took him to the hospital, and only later, Bakkosh says, did they discover it was Stevens. But was it Stevens?
The doctor who treated Stevens says he died of asphyxiation, and his heart had stopped by the time he reached the hospital.
In another report – Arab television station Al Jazeera reported that Ambassador Stevens died of smoke inhalation, while the doctor who treated him said he died of severe asphyxiation, which caused stomach bleeding. He said Stevens had no other injuries.
The doctor, Ziad Abu Zeid, said Stevens was brought to the Benghazi Medical Center by Libyans on Tuesday night with no other Americans and that initially no one realized he was the ambassador. He tried for 90 minutes to revive him.
Where were the bodyguards? Bakkosh asks. There wasn’t even an ambulance, he says.
Hours after the consulate attack, Libyan authorities sent security forces to the Benghazi airport to meet a U.S. team sent to evacuate the Americans.
One of those Libyans, Fathi Obeidi, described the U.S. group as seven Marines in civilian clothes. Using a GPS, they went to a secret safe house inside a walled compound.
There, they found three villas, one of which was occupied by more than 20 Americans who had fled the consulate, says Obeidi.
Within 15 minutes, that house came under fire by either RPG or mortar fire, he said. The assailants, he said, appeared to have been lying in wait. They fired from a distance, and it was impossible to identify them.
After the attack stopped, the U.S. rescue team and the Libyans evacuated the Americans to the Benghazi airport. They asked the Libyan security forces to bring Stevens’ body from the hospital, but was Stevens body brought to the airport?
Obeid says it took two planes to evacuate all the Americans from Benghazi.
Officials also reportedly voiced their concern that the attack was timed for the 11th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
‘We’ve been talking for years about the desire of Al Qaeda, radical jihadists to celebrate the anniversary of 9/11,’ Pete Hoekstra, former chairman of the House intelligence committee. ‘All my background, all of the conversations that I’ve had over the last 18 hours lead many people to believe that this was just more than a mere coincidence.’
He added that Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahri recently released a video calling on militants to attacks Americans for revenge for the death in Pakistan – and that the anti-Mohammed film could have been a cover.
Ambassador Chris Stevens feared he was on an al Qaeda hit list.
U.S. official Matthew Olsen told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that the attack on Stevens was likely “opportunistic.”
“What we don’t have at this point is specific intelligence that there was a significant advanced planning or coordination for this attack,” Olsen said.
To date, U.S. officials and the Libyan government have offered different — though perhaps not contradictory — accounts of whether or not the deadly U.S. consulate attack was planned.
The attack came amid violence in Libya and Cairo, which had been sparked by a 14-minute trailer for a film called The Innocence of Muslims posted on YouTube.
In an original English version and another dubbed into Egyptian Arabic, Mohammed is depicted as a fraud, a womaniser and a madman, showing him having sex and calling for massacres.
It was made by Sam Bacile, a 56-year-old California real estate developer who identifies himself as an Israeli Jew – but who has reportedly been using a pseudonym. ‘Bacile’ said he had produced, directed and written the two-hour film which had only been shown once to a mostly empty theater in Hollywood earlier this year.
‘Islam is a cancer, period,’ he said in an interview yesterday, speaking after the State Department confirmed the death of an American in Benghazi.
He was apologetic about the killing but blamed lax embassy security and the perpetrators of the violence. ‘I feel the security system (at the embassies) is no good,’ said Bacile. ‘America should do something to change it.’
As speculations over what led to the attack intensify, President Barack Obama has deployed a team of 50 marines to the compound in Benghazi which was left ravaged by firebombs during the attack.
He could also command unmanned surveillance drones to fly over Benghazi in search of jihadi encampments possibly tied to the deadly attack, a U.S. official said. The drones, which would pass gathered information to Libyans, are expected to be approved by the Pentagon and White House shortly.
U.S. officials say the Pentagon is positioning two warships near the Libyan coast following a bloody attack on the U.S. consulate there that left American ambassador Christopher Stevens, two marines and a communications officer dead.
Officials say one destroyer, the USS Laboon, moved to a position off the coast Wednesday, and the USS McFaul is en route and should be stationed off the coast within days.
The officials say the ships, which carry Tomahawk missiles, do not have a specific mission. But they give commanders flexibility to respond to any mission ordered by the president.
The destroyers have crews totaling about 300. There have been four destroyers in the Mediterranean for some time. These moves will increase that to five. Officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss troop movements.
Hillary Clinton: ‘It has been a difficult week’ “It has been a difficult week for the State Department,” Clinton says. She again condemns the video, “which we had NOTHing to do with,” emphasis hers.
“The people of Egypt, Yemen, Libya and Tunisia did not trade the tyranny of a dictator for the tyranny of a mob,” she says. Clinton calls on “reasonable people” in every country to do everything they can to destroy security.
Clinton says the US must continue to lead the world. She pays tribute to all state department staff.
Libyan politician who had breakfast with Mr. Stevens at the mission the morning before he was killed described security as sorely inadequate for an American ambassador in such a tumultuous environment, consisting primarily of four video cameras and as few as four Libyan guards.
“This country is still in transition, and everybody knows the extremists are out there,” said Fathi Baja, the Libyan politician.
I’ll say. Everybody but our State Department, evidently.
A “string of assassinations”… “awash in guns” …planted bomb… something’s wrong here. It borders on criminal negligence, indeed it crosses that border, that Ambassador Stevens would be left with such paltry security in a country so unsettled and riddled with violence as Libya. The fact these events may now be tied to al-Qaeda makes this negligence all the more unconscionable.
Let us not forget just what al-Qaeda, is. Hillary, in her own words –
In this video Hilary Clinton admits that the US government created and funded Al-Qaeda in order to fight the soviet union, and she even considers that as a good thing. But she claims that the Americans are fighting Al-Qaeda nowadays. If you really fighting Al-Qaeda, then who are the scums and terrorists you used in order to topple the government of Qaddafi in Libya… The American media describes “Aldel Hakim Belhaj” as an x-terrorist or as an x-jihadist. How funny and hypocrite!
Did his brain develop suddenly? or what are the marks that made him an x-Jihadist? There is only one reason… The American needed him, so they whitened his page and he became suddenly an x-Jihadist… Wait a couple of years to see him again an active jihadist when the Americans don’t need his services…
Al-Qaeda didn’t leave the US government bed… Let us review the history and see that Al-Qaeda acts served only the US foreign policy… Al-Qaeda terrorists are multipurpose fighters who are being used efficiently by the US government…
Of course the US government is keeping the focus on the film as the protest motivator and never question the wrongful US policies that create anti-Americanism and provide the proper environment for protests. So Clinton’s frequent declarations, regarding the protests, that the US had nothing to do with the film. But what about the rest, Hillary? The killing. The deformed babies in Fallujah. Arabs, and Muslims in general, aren’t stupid nor misinformed. They get it.
There have no protests in Saudi Arabia? What does this tell you?
Client states know not to offend their protectors too much..There’s been no protests in Turkey, Qatar, UAE, Kuwait…
What do they all have in common? They all have US BASES on their soil..In short, a US trap…
I think the recent attacks on US embassies in Egypt & Libya on Sept-11-2012 may have been orchestrated by Republican Party and/or its supporters, for political gains before election as part of their October-Surprise (OS) mission, similar to the one they did back in 1980 for Reagan/Bush against President Carter, & made a deal behind curtains, behind State department, CIA, etc. with hostage takers & government of Iran (& again in Iran-Contra/Irangate). The immediate question is the coincidence of all these activities & events:
1- This video (which everyone in universe, before even its production, could clearly predict it’d provoke & upset Muslims) was produced & put on internet just weeks before election & debates. Note: Production time & Release time.
1.a- Was this some Republicans idea to write & produce this film?
1.b- And release it at such a critical time?
1.c- Involving the famous Christian priest who burned Quran, which everyone in Muslim world knows him?
1.d- Produced by an Israeli-Jew filmmaker & 100s of Jewish donors? While we know how sensitive are Muslims to Israel & Jews & Christians. Such a perfect combination! Was this planned as part of Romney’s recent trip to Israel & recent close relation to Jews?
2- Before even Americans see this clip, radicals in Egypt & Libya (where most people don’t even have computer or internet, & very slow internet (which is very hard to see a video)), quickly saw it & quickly stormed to embassies in a very organized & sophisticated way. Did they know this in advance, & know it coming? Was this already planned?
3- Compare this with many similar past incidents (priest’s Quran burning, military Quran burning in Afghanistan, articles & caricatures about Islam or Muhammad, etc.) & reaction time/magnitude/sophistication in Muslim world (e.g., in Afgh., Pakistan, etc.). This was unprecedented.
4- Mr. Romney’s complain, press conference, etc. was very quick. Did he know this is coming in advance & planned for it? Did he write his complain statements & speech in advance, leaving some parts empty to see how things would fold, how US embassy, white-house, Pres. Obama would respond, etc.? He was surprisingly very prepared for Q&A, which he usually doesn’t. Please forgive me: the person who farts, usually is the 1st one who senses & complains about the smell.
5- Recently Mr. Romney & Republicans, strangely & suddenly, have got very close to Israel & Jews: Israel trip, meetings w/Bibi & other officials in Israel & US, a lot of statements about Israel security, friendship, support, etc.
6- A lot of harsh statements against Iran, exaggerate its threat, military attack option, Israel right to attack, etc.
7- Strong statements & position by Netanyahu & others, in Israel & US against Pres. Obama about Iran which has been intensifying more & more since last year as we get closer & closer to election. Obviously, Mr. Netanyahu has been using this election opportunity as leverage to get a promise from Pres. Obama Re. Iran & Palestine after election but has not getting it. Has he been preparing an OS together with Republicans before election? To further delay Palestine statehood discussion! His speech & complain the day before!
8- 32 years ago, same Likud Party, distance itself from Pres. Carter & positioned itself against him which cost him to lose election to Reagan/Bush. This happen when Pres. Carter was pushing Prime Minister Menachem Begin (from same Likud Party) to accept 2 states solution w/Palestinian. PM Begin was worry that if Pres. Carter got elected, he’d pushed him to accept Palestinian state (like what he did during Egypt-Israel negotiation over Sinai, which PM Begin wasn’t happy about it.)
9- Republican know that one of Pres. Obama’s winning cards is his foreign policy, & their & Romney’s weakness, & they have been trying heavily to undermine that.
10- Exact date of this attack (9/11): Since Pres. Obama is depictured as the champion of bringing 9/11 mastermind (Osama B.) to justice, this may have been planned on exactly 9/11 to diminish that. Note: Romney’s quick & immediate speech after this incident also reflected that.
11- Location of this attack: Why this didn’t happen in Afgh. or Pakistan (usual places – usual suspect)? Egypt: where Pres. Obama had speech, Mubarak, Morsi, etc. Libya: where Pres. Obama helped without 1 American casualty (despite all Republicans’ initial complains). If US embassy were open in Syria & Iran, surely it’d happen there too.
Republicans probably are doing OS again, using the same square: US, Israel, Iran, Palestine. I don’t think they intended any American to die – they may have miscalculated. Some people, like Robert Parry have been talking about another OS since some time ago (see: “An Israeli October Surprise for Obama?
” at http://consortiumnews.com/2012/08/18/an-israeli-october-surprise-for-obama
). Republican know very well since long time ago that beside the 1%, they have no winning card in this election (women, Af-Am, Latin, LGBT, youngs, any minority, environmentalist, elderly, pro SS, pro health care/Medicare/Medicaid, the 99%,… nada). They needed something big. This may not be the last – they may have more.
These are just my thoughts. I’ve no proof. I’m writing this, not much for its impact on election but for much more serious matter: these types of activities, jeopardize the security of US, Americans, & assets, inside & abroad; as well as allies, innocent people, US foreign relation w/other countries, war, etc. The people who did this operation should be captured alive to find the main architect behind it.
It might sound far fetched to some who aren’t familiar with Rove and his dirty deeds, but a reliable source told me that on the eve of the first Presidential debate, Karl Rove was assuring his Republican financiers that Romney’s win “was a slam dunk” b/c he had orchestrated “CIA forces to set up the ultimate Middle East attack to discredit Obama on security.”
Take it for what you will, but as we all know, Rove has been down this road before and is certainly capable of arranging assassination plots. I believe Karl Rove orchestrated and dispatched the CIA to murder ambassador Stevens to make Obama look weak on security, which Romney has taken full advantage of.
The prime suspect in the death of Ambassador Stevens and his three colleagues is Sufyan Bin Qumu, an obvious US double agent who spent several years in Guatnanmo and who doubtless swore eternal obedience to the CIA to get released. Reports have now emerged of a 12-person CIA security team stationed near the US consulate in Benghazi which failed to intervene to defend US diplomats.Another force that was supposed to be available to defend the Benghazi consulate was a unit of the February 17 Martyrs Brigade, an armed militia which fought against the government of Col. Qaddafi. Last summer, there was a power struggle for control of the Libyan rebel forces between the faction of General Abdul Fath Younes and the faction of Khalifa Hifter. Khalifa Hifter defected from the Gaddafi regime and created his own militia with money from the CIA, according to his own 2001 book Manipulations africaines, published by Le Monde Diplomatique. Hifter came to the United States and lived for about 20 years in Vienna, Virginia, only 5 miles from CIA headquarters.Hifter was the CIA candidate to take over the Libyan military. In July 2011, Younes was assassinated by the February 17 Martyrs Brigade, which must thus be seen as a CIA asset.The Benghazi killings represent:
1. A US Ambassador killed by a CIA asset, while a CIA team and another group of CIA assets conveniently fail in their mission to provide security.
2. More significantly, is how Karl Rove orchestrated the assassination of Stevens to give Romney “a sure win.” Rove had 6 million invested in Romney and would “by any means necessary,” get Romney into the White House. At the first presidential debate, Rove assured investors “a slam dunk win for Romney to make Obama look weak on security.” However, much to Rove’s surprise as well as “big bucks” Republican supporters, that didn’t happen.