Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 29, 2012

Obama Administration Finally Acknowledges Benghazi Attack

On September 12, a few hours after I happened, I determined that the killing of the U.S. ambassador in Benghazi was an AlQaeda related operation in revenge for the earlier killing of the Al Qaeda leader Abu Yahya al-Libi in a U.S. drone strike in Waziristan:
Yesterday's confirmation of Abu Yahya al-Libi's death seems to be a much better explanation for yesterday's raising of al-Qaeda's flag in front of the U.S. embassy in Cairo and the deadly attack on the consulate in Bengahzi. The AQ people in the area certainly had an urge and a plan to avenge al-Libi (the Libyan). That this happened on the anniversary of 9/11 is, as the Zahwahiri tape demonstrates, NOT a coincidence! These people used the movie story only to raise additional rabble to cover for them.
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, thought differently:
“Our current best assessment, based on the information that we have at present, is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous – not a premeditated – response to what had transpired in Cairo,” Rice told me this morning on “This Week.”
...
“We believe that folks in Benghazi, a small number of people came to the embassy to – or to the consulate, rather, to replicate the sort of challenge that was posed in Cairo,” Rice said. “And then as that unfolded, it seems to have been hijacked, let us say, by some individual clusters of extremists who came with heavier weapons… And it then evolved from there.”
Susan Rice was one of the three furies in the State Department that had urged for the destruction of the Libyan state. They misread of, or pretended to misread, the tribal insurgency against Gaddhafi as some kind of liberation movement.

Susan Rice wants to become Secretary of State when, in January, Hillary Clinton will leave the job. She therefore could not admit that her signature project in foreign policy, the war on Libya, turned out to be a disaster.

But after more than two weeks of dancing around the subject the Obama administration finally had to acknowledge what was obvious from the very beginning:

The top U.S. intelligence authority issued an unusual public statement on Friday declaring it now believed the September 11 attack on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, was a "deliberate and organized terrorist attack."
Still missing is the recognition that the rising of the Al Qaeda flag at the U.S. embassy in Cairo by some Salafists was part of the plot.

The false pretension about the attack brings the Obama administration into well deserved political trouble:

The Obama administration’s shifting accounts of the fatal attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, have left President Obama suddenly exposed on national security and foreign policy, a field where he had enjoyed a seemingly unassailable advantage over Mitt Romney in the presidential race.
As Mitt Romney has no viable foreign policy program the issue is unlikely to endanger Obama's reelection but it may cost the democrats some points in the House and the Senate races. Acknowledging the true nature of attack from the very beginning would have done less political harm.

Susan Rice should be fired. True to the Peter principal she has reached a position where her incompetence is at full display. Senator Kerry, who heads the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and has a more realist than interventionist agenda, should become the next Secretary of State.

But in Washington being wrong only reenforces ones standing and no bad deed is left unrewarded. It  is therefore likely that Obama will stick with Susan Rice as his next Secretary of State.

Posted by b on September 29, 2012 at 06:52 AM | Permalink

Comments

problem is they do not want to continue the "war on terror" which is what the embassy attack is aiming for ...

Posted by: somebody | Sep 29, 2012 7:06:36 AM | 1

On whether the US wants to continue the war on terror.

It's difficult to say one way or another. The US government is not some monolithic organisation that speaks with one voice. Obviously the Neo-Con faction wants to continue the war on terror (in Iran and Syria mainly). The Neo-Wilsonian faction wants to keep the "humanitarian interventions" going as well. The US military probably want an end to the "war on terror" so they can move onto the Asia Pivot of containing China.

But at the end of the day it doesn't even matter what the US government "wants". They are stuck in quicksand over the entire Middle East. They can't just start a Clash of Civilisations and then pack up and go home when they get bored. To much promises have been made, to protect Israel, to protect Saudi, to take out Assad, and stop Iran. They can't just walk away now. They're stuck eith it.

That's the problem with being the "World's Policeman". Every fight is your fight. And eventually it will drain the US Empire to collapse.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Sep 29, 2012 8:38:00 AM | 2

whether it's an angry mob or it's AQ, it's always the WOT that is evoked, in the sense that it's their fault, there's a problem with them

any alternative narrative entails recognition of the fact that we are the problem

there's a symmetry between this group of belligerent females in the Democratic Party, and the "crazies" in the Republican Party a few years ago

Posted by: claudio | Sep 29, 2012 8:59:05 AM | 3

Defense Budget Priorities
I. Rebalance force structure and investments toward the Asia-­‐Pacific and Middle East
regions while sustaining key alliances and partnerships in other regions
II. Plan and size forces to be able to defeat a major adversary in one theater while
denying aggression elsewhere or imposing unacceptable costs
III. Protect key investments in the technologically advanced capabilities most needed for
the future, including countering anti-­‐access threats
IV. No longer size active forces to conduct large and protracted stability operations while retaining the expertise of a decade of war

Posted by: somebody | Sep 29, 2012 10:06:53 AM | 4

The weapons that killed the US envoy was supplied to the radicals by the USA, who took credit for ousting Gaddafi. Calmer heads warned the West that the path they choose to ouster Gaddafi will open the flood gates of Militant Islamist. The USA and its western allies should have listened to Russia, China, South Africa, who warned of this. I hope they will learn the lesson now, and avoid similar actions in Syria. They have turned Libya, a once-rich and prosperous nation, into a den of radicals.

Posted by: Cynthia | Sep 29, 2012 10:08:44 AM | 5

The Corporatocracy, which the West has largely become, will dictate what the US does, or doesn't do with their military interventionism around the globe.

Posted by: ben | Sep 29, 2012 10:42:28 AM | 6

There have been suggestions that the CIA was using the Benghazi consulate to recruit and funnel Libyans to fight Assad in Syria. If true, the irony would be just too great--CIA recruits Al Qaeda, who kills ambassador--an insider attack, just like what's happening in Afghanistan.

Posted by: JohnH | Sep 29, 2012 10:44:33 AM | 7

Rice won’t get that job imho. She oversteps the toady-spokesperson role, lacking, any intelligence to go beyond or sideways. Also ppl at the UN...don’t like her to put it mildly.

---------

Obama could easily have announced we can’t say anything until a proper investigation has taken place.

-- If it ever does...read today that the FBI is still blocked in Tripoli. Also that the embassy post attack was unguarded and ppl wandered in and out stealing things...? What about all the documents there?

We get all these fake terrorist attacks, and when there is a real one, it is called ‘an attack’ or ‘an assault’ > consulate attack, Benghazi attack, with perhaps at most a sort of footnote mentioning ‘linked to AlQ’...

So it is the media who frame the agenda. :: Crazy ordinary ppl in a demo go postal and kill ambassador! Not islamic terrorism but muslim madness. Of course, Lybia is now supposed to be all peachy cool, which is the reason why it shouldn’t have terrorism.

Posted by: Noirette | Sep 29, 2012 12:09:33 PM | 8

There are many unanswered questions.
* Stevens arrived in Benghazi in April 2011 to coordinate regime change in Libya. What relationship did he have with Ansar al-Sharia, the jihadist militia accused now of killing him?
* The CIA was already in Libya when Stevens arrived, and there are reports that the "consulate" in Benghazi was really a CIA base with a dozen operatives. True?
* The CIA was supposedly there to track down war materiel especially MANPADS. News reports from Sep 15: Ship with 400 tons of cargo included ´SAM-7 surface-to air anti aircraft missiles and rocket-propelled grenades (RPG`s) has arrived in Turkey from Libya. ´The Intisaar´(victory), is berthed at the Turkish port of Iskenderun, in Hatay province next to Syria, and had been given “papers stamped by the port authority by the ship´s captain, Omar Mousaeeb who is a Libyan from Benghazi and the head of an organization called the Libyan Council for Relief and Support,” which is delivering supplies to the armed groups in Syria. Did the CIA arrange the arms shipment to Turkey?
*In early September Ambassador Stevens took a trip to Stuttgart, Germany, probably to visit AFRICOM, and then attended a wedding in Sweden and visiited Vienna before returning to Libya. In an email to his brother Stevens said he was returning to "a ton of work." There were a new Libyan president and prime minister to coordinate with, and other work. But Stevens didn't stay in well-guarded Tripoli for 9/11, he went to the CIA nest in Benghazi -- "to review plans to establish a new cultural center and modernize a hospital?" (per Obama at the UNGA) Why did Stevens really go to Benghazi on 9/11 after security warnings?
*The consulate attack on 9/11 was by a mob. Then there were mass demonstrations supporting the new Libya and the US, with many signs in English. But it's not safe enough for the FBI to come to Benghazi, and there have even been evacuations from the Tripoli US embassy. What's going on?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 29, 2012 12:28:09 PM | 9

For me the question is - why wasn't US Military guarding the Benghazi consulate? Maybe because Stevens was well-loved by the anti-Gadhafi segment of the populace. But in the face of reports of the planned 9/11 attack on the weakly guarded consulate, why was extra security not provided? Why were we kept in the dark about a foreign private firm being hired for security?

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/09/contractors-benghazi/

It's enough to make one wonder if Stevens was not sacrificed for a greater purpose.

The people of Libya had just democratically elected a somewhat liberal and west-friendly government. That may be not in keeping with the Bankster plans for Libya. It is, after all, more consistent with a foreign policy favorable to the Corporatocracy, to spread the meme that Muslims are all backward, ignorant, and at war with Western values, so as to justify approval from the public to keep on bombing, droning, thereby creating new and more terrorists to supply fodder for the ceaseless war on terror.

Posted by: Cynthia | Sep 29, 2012 12:31:46 PM | 10

"It's enough to make one wonder if Stevens was not sacrificed for a greater purpose."

FINALLY someone at MOA almost gets it

Posted by: TheCorinthians | Sep 29, 2012 12:49:59 PM | 11

Why did Stevens really go to Benghazi on 9/11 after security warnings? - Don at 9. 


Because he was an important player, had good contacts, felt safe, and enjoyed being dutiful, involved, active, in the groove, accomplishing whatever.

Because security warnings are over-played, therefore often judged specious, and ignored.

E.g. Don’t drive when there is a snow storm / seal yr house with duct tape to protect yself from a bio attack / watch out if you are on a train there might be terrorists around...etc.

Powerful ppl who can command dedicated transport with accredited drivers and goon guards at their command feel insulated.

Specially if they have a sort of matey relationship w. them, and all appears to be going well.

In any case the warnings are for the plebs to scare them or (hypocritically) to protect them, the top ppl know it is pretty much alarmist / fake.

I know nothing specific about Stevens, all this is just general guff.

Posted by: Noirette | Sep 29, 2012 1:57:00 PM | 12

I think Libya actually restricted foreign security company operations. So the US consulate in Benghazi was guarded by a pro governement militia which melted away in the event.
The US is well informed on the situation in Libya whatever they claim, there is not much they can do, however, as the internationally recognized government does not have the monopoly of power, actually does not have any power, and Libyans are still fighting it out amongst themselves. Stevens would have had no way to decide on what weapons and fighters Salafis or others were sending or not to Syria.
Libya will be dead for most Western businesses for quite a while. Nato would have to send an occupation force to get the oil - Libya is a vast country with a few inhabitants and unsecured borders - with all that entails. Russia and China will not agree in the Security Council so it would be another illegal war, it would be another quagmire and it probably might be the end of NATO or European are sheep (maybe they are).
So yes, the murder of ambassador Stevens was a targeted attack and the strategy presumably is to cause zugzwang.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 29, 2012 2:19:18 PM | 13

my #9
The CIA was already in Libya when Stevens arrived, and there are reports that the "consulate" in Benghazi was really a CIA base with a dozen operatives. True?
Clarification: I'm (confusingly) mixing two time periods here, April 2011 and then September 2012.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 29, 2012 2:25:08 PM | 14

so many questions
from wired:
Feds Hired British Security Firm to Protect Benghazi Consulate

The State Department signed a six-figure deal with a British firm to protect the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya just four months before a sustained attack on the compound killed four U.S. nationals inside.
Contrary to Friday’s claim by State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland that “at no time did we contract with a private security firm in Libya,” the department inked a contract for “security guards and patrol services” on May 3 for $387,413.68. An extension option brought the tab for protecting the consulate to $783,000. The contract lists only “foreign security awardees” as its recipient.

The State Department confirmed to Danger Room on Monday that the firm was Blue Mountain, a British company that provides “close protection; maritime security; surveillance and investigative services; and high risk static guarding and asset protection,” according to its website. Blue Mountain says it has “recently operated in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, the Caribbean and across Europe” and has worked in Libya for several months since last year’s war.


British Security Firm? For a CIA nest?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 29, 2012 2:32:39 PM | 15

Libya is the prototype for Syria. Gaddafi warned about it. So did Gates.
Now the US even describes it for us!
Did Stevens get in the way?
from Long War Journal
Al Qaeda's plan for Libya highlighted in congressional report

An unclassified report published in August highlights al Qaeda's strategy for building a fully operational network in Libya. The report ("Al Qaeda in Libya: A Profile") was prepared by the federal research division of the Library of Congress (LOC) under an agreement with the Defense Department's Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office.

Al Qaeda's senior leadership (AQSL) in Pakistan has overseen the effort. AQSL "issued strategic guidance to followers in Libya and elsewhere to take advantage of the Libyan rebellion," the report reads. AQSL ordered its followers to "gather weapons," "establish training camps," "build a network in secret," "establish an Islamic state," and "institute sharia" law in Libya.

The chart shows that, according to the US military, al Qaeda's operatives in Libya have already completed many of the tasks set forth by AQSL.

"AQSL in Pakistan dispatched trusted senior operatives as emissaries and leaders who could supervise building a network," the report notes. They have been successful in establishing "a core network in Libya," but they still act clandestinely and refrain from using the al Qaeda name.

The report finds that al Qaeda "will likely continue to mask its presence under the umbrella of the Libyan Salafist movement, with which it shares a radical ideology and a general intent to implement sharia in Libya and elsewhere."


also from Long War Journal
Al Nusrah front claims complex suicide assault on Syrian Army HQ
The Al Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant, an al Qaeda-linked jihadist group that is fighting Bashir al Assad's regime in Syria, has claimed credit for the Sept. 26 complex suicide assault on the Syrian Army headquarters in Damascus. The terror group has now claimed credit for 24 of the 31 suicide attacks that have taken place in Syria since December 2011.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 29, 2012 2:51:02 PM | 16

yes, but this is politics now.
I keep wondering on the very few photographs and videos of the death of the ambassador. The few pictures that have come out seem a strange way of rescuing a person. As the administration insists he died from smoke, it would be painful if proven otherwise. There is no mention an autopsy is planned. I also keep wondering how come he was separated from the rest of the embassy staff. Rumour has it that he was led to the "safe house" and then that house was pointed out to the attackers by the people that led him there.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 29, 2012 3:19:12 PM | 17

Yes, the story of how the ambassador -- the ambassador! -- was abandoned in the smoke-filled room by the spooks (I claim) is interesting. Like so what, he's only the ambassador. `Then he was rescued by locals, taken to a hospital and later turned over (dead) to the US at the airport. Quite a story.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 29, 2012 3:39:57 PM | 18

RE: #15

British Security Firm? For a CIA nest?

Obviously the British firm paid a larger bribe bidding fee than Xe (the security firm formerly known as Blackwater).

Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | Sep 29, 2012 3:50:20 PM | 19

Fox News joins b in nailing Obama on the "Evolving Narrative" regarding Benghazi.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 29, 2012 4:42:07 PM | 20

"I also keep wondering how come he was separated from the rest of the embassy staff. Rumour has it that he was led to the "safe house" and then that house was pointed out to the attackers by the people that led him there. "

"It's enough to make one wonder if Stevens was not sacrificed for a greater purpose."

FINALLY someone (not somebody) at MOA almost gets it - they prolly don't pay him to get it

Posted by: SufferingFools | Sep 29, 2012 5:01:27 PM | 21

Well, the whole thing gets even more complicated by the fact that the Libyan government in a miraculous way is headed by a politician whose party won only three seats in the elections and - according to Wikipedia - was the founder of a CIA and Saudi funded Gaddafi opposition group.
Magariaf contradicted the Obama administration from the start by insisting that it was preplanned, by Al Queida, and that foreign fighters from Mali and Algeria took part.
And Susan Rice contradicted him to his face.. At the same time Magariaf publicly stated that the security in Libya was difficult even for Libyans and that the FBI might not be safe in the country.
So one politician had an interest in making it Al Queida and Libya an unsafe place, and the actors Malian and Algerian, and another politician had not. There is now also this interesting difference of opionion on military intervention in Mali between France and the US.


Posted by: somebody | Sep 29, 2012 5:01:47 PM | 22

"Fox News joins b "

try as I might, I can't see that being a point in anyone's favour - in fact if it happened to me, I'd prolly go right back to beginning and start again, figure out where I went wrong in the train of logic

Posted by: SufferingFools | Sep 29, 2012 5:03:33 PM | 23

Is now a bad time to point out that the current head of the CIA is implicated in the distribution of weapons which were intended to be used to kill his own troops - the guy has form

Posted by: SufferingFools | Sep 29, 2012 5:06:04 PM | 24

A blast from the past. US ambassador to Libya Gene A. Cretz speaking at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace on June 4, 2010: (excerpt)

The U.S.-Libya relationship has rapidly expanded to include much more than cooperation in nonproliferation and science and technology. Today, Libya remains a strong ally in countering terrorism in a volatile region. It has fought the expansion of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, has condemned kidnappings, and has taken a position against the paying of ransom to kidnappers.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 29, 2012 5:12:51 PM | 25

blast from the past

"Saif al-Islam Gaddafi
The country is a like a piece of cake for them -- it is rich, it has gas, oil and money, so they must kill my father to get the cake. What they don't understand is that the fighting will not stop if my father goes. Libyans will continue fighting until one day the country will be back to the Libyans"

Posted by: somebody | Sep 29, 2012 5:33:49 PM | 26

It will be interesting to see if the families of Ambassador Stevens and his staff respond to this information the way Pat Tillman's family did. I guess it's asking too much for the media to independently start reporting on the facts of this case.

I'd ask why the GOP isn't making hay out of this. But then, these are the same people who picked (1) Romney as their candidate and (2) revel in any story that portrays Muslims as mindless savages.

Posted by: Cynthia | Sep 29, 2012 6:53:18 PM | 27

The Repubs are all over it.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 29, 2012 7:07:47 PM | 28

Hey, one expects the Repubs, but how about them Dems,

like Pat Caddell, Dem pollster

“First of all, we’ve had 9 days of lies…If a president of either party…had had a terrorist incident and gotten on an airplane [after remarks] and flown off to a fundraiser in Las Vegas, they would have been crucified…it should have been, should have been, the equivalent, for Barack Obama, of George Bush’s “flying over Katrina” moment. But nothing was said at all. Nothing will be said. [...] It is [unacceptable] to specifically decide that you will not tell the American people information they have a right to know. [The MSM] has made themselves the enemy of the American people. It is a threat to the very future of the country; we’ve crossed a new and frightening line on the slippery slope, and it needs to be talked about.”

and Dem pundit Kirsten Powers
After dancing on Osama bin Laden’s grave for a week in Charlotte, the administration was faced with the reality that the war on terror is still quite on. Rather than acknowledging this, they went into spin mode with the claim that a goofy video posted on YouTube caused the Sept. 11 attack that killed four Americans, including a U.S. ambassador. U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice took to the Sunday shows to assert: “What happened in Cairo, in Benghazi, in many parts of the region … was a result—a direct result of a heinous and offensive video that was widely disseminated.” She claimed the attack in Libya was “spontaneous” and not preplanned. It just happened to be on the anniversary of 9/11. No reason to read anything into that. . . Also, has the administration noticed that the mob in Cairo, so spontaneously upset about the video, just happened to be carrying an Islamist flag to hoist over our embassy?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 29, 2012 7:34:05 PM | 29

Don Bacon,

I believe that the Republicans would actually like to get Obama re-elected so that they can come up with something even worse -- both in terms of foreign and domestic policy. We saw Snow White, err Michele Bachmann, and the Seven Dwarfs, and they distilled it down to Mitt. We remain in a tenuous economic cycle and they, the Republicans, don't want to be in the office because they saw the ship go down with Dubya at the helm. The economy probably won't get any better in the next four years. So let O, who goes along with most of their policies anyway and is red meat for right wing contributors, take the heat. That is what I believe, Don.

Posted by: Cynthia | Sep 29, 2012 9:19:22 PM | 30

Muammar Gaddafi was taken down with the help of US bombing, not because he was an evil dictator, but because he was too much of a socialist for spreading the oil wealth among the Libyan population, giving them assisted housing, free education to university level and free healthcare. Hugo Chavez of Venezuela is also demonized by the US for much the same reasons.

In addition he proposed selling Libyan oil in a gold backed Arab Currency, thus threatening the almighty US dollar and its banking interests.

Osama bin Laden was assassinated by US forces in order to shut him up about the real truth behind the attack on New York. Dumping his body at sea also removes all forensic evidence.

Posted by: Cynthia | Sep 29, 2012 9:22:48 PM | 31

Don Bacon, yes, the dynamics of the "attack" just don't make sense, and it's worthwhile to start collecting the scarce facts and clues we have

the "sacrificed for a higher cause" thing seems off the mark, because the attack clearly wasn't aimed at killing him, but intended as a political-military statement; I say this for four reasons: (1) after all, Stevens reached the hospital alive; (2) the ambush at the "safe house", whether the attackers knew or not Stevens wasn't there, seems directed at inflicting pain and casualties, not killing anyone in particular; (3) there were easier, cheaper and more sure ways to kill Stevens, if this was the aim; (4) part of a planned operation should be its spinning to the media, instead the administration was caught off-guard; this last point is weaker than the first three, since the WH couldn't manage even the after-OBL assassination, and because after all WH and State might have been left in the dark

Cynthia advanced this as an hypothesis, but TheCorinthians and SufferingFools seem to be in the know, maybe they have evidence they can provide us for their certainty;

many interesting points have been raised:
- Cynthia regarding the use of foreign contractors for a Us consulate
- somebody regarding the absence of an autopsy
- Noirette points to maybe the strangest thing of all: the Fbi still can't enter Benghazi; as if this attack really signaled the emergence of some unexpected player and upset the situation still not under control; maybe AQ, but I'd love to think that brian's thesis, that the Green resistance did it, is true; it would also explain some of the mysteries that surround the event

two final notes on Don Bacon's list:
- it's not at all sure Tripoli was safe, maybe Benghazi was thought to be safer
- the consulate wasn't attacked by a mob, it was a military operation


Posted by: claudio | Sep 29, 2012 9:42:58 PM | 32

@Cynthia So let O. . . take the heat.
I agree with you. It would only be right for Obama to have all this, and more to come, hanging around his neck for four more years. He earned it. Tell Michelle I'm in. (ha)

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 29, 2012 10:47:17 PM | 33

Who can forget Condi Rice's "we had no idea they'd use planes as weapons" (that was the gist of it, not a direct quote) horseshit.

Fact is, these lying inept phlegm buckets in DC enjoy no partisan monopoly on ineptitude and sheer arrogant assholishness.

Fire Susan Rice?? WTF for? Some equally incompetent human hemmoroid would just ooze into the empty post, earning his/her rightful place in the Hall Of Shame that these DC snakes seem to aspire to.

Shit man, give her the fuckin' Presidential Medal Of Freedom. She's doing what these sacks of shit do, and she's doin' it perfect. She's awesome. Everything we should expect of someone that has clawed and slithered their way to the top of the dung pile.

Posted by: PissedOffAmerican | Sep 29, 2012 11:39:43 PM | 34

Nope, the Green resistance is a myth. It is all about tribes in Libya. Some are pro-Gaddafi. But it is tribal. And there are Islamists and Al Queida.

I guess the manpads explain it. And Stevens might have been too serious about controling the weapons flow. Or someone had a different opinion from who should get the weapons.

This here is Daily Kos

"A major story about the escalating war in Syria was overshadowed by news of the al Qaeda attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi. Three days after that attack, The Times (UK) carried a story that a Libyan freighter loaded with stolen SA-7 antiaircraft missiles had offloaded at a Turkish port.

That September 14 article was captioned,“Syrian rebels squabble over weapons as biggest shipload arrives from Libya.”

Meanwhile, ABC has reported that one of three Americans killed with Ambassador Stevens was part of group assigned to locate these looted Libyan MANPADS, shoulder-fired missiles that can be used to shoot down airliners.

The Times report states that a Libyan ship, 'The Intisaar', docked at the Turkish port of Iskenderun after "papers stamped by the port authority” were issued to “the ship's captain, Omar Mousaeeb." Mousaeeb is identified as "a Libyan from Benghazi and the head of an organization called the Libyan National Council for Relief and Support," reportedly delivering supplies to armed opposition groups in Syria.

If accurate, that account provides some of the most solid, detailed evidence yet of how the Eastern Libyan city of Benghazi has become the North African supply hub for weapons and foreign fighters arriving for regime change operations in Syria. This has been happening right under the nose of U.S. diplomatic and intelligence officers posted in Benghazi. The late Ambassador, Chris Stevens, arrived in Benghazi aboard a freighter in April 2011, and promptly set up shop coordinating Islamic militia groups in the overthrow of Muammar Gadhaffi’s regime.

According to the article, there were 400 tons of weapons, including an unspecified number of hand-held anti-aircraft missiles, aboard the ship. This is merely the largest in a number of weapons shipments that have arrived in Turkey with the seemingly coordination and complicity by Turkish authorities."

Posted by: somebody | Sep 30, 2012 1:59:29 AM | 35

This part here of the Daily Kos article

"The late Ambassador, Chris Stevens, arrived in Benghazi aboard a freighter in April 2011, and promptly set up shop coordinating Islamic militia groups in the overthrow of Muammar Gadhaffi’s regime."

glosses over the fact that Stevens was coordinating Islamic militia groups with NATO

Posted by: somebody | Sep 30, 2012 2:03:01 AM | 36

one hypothesis I'm considering, exercising my imagination, is that the attack wasn't related to Stevens nor to a Us diplomatic site (it has already been pointed out in a previous thread that maybe a Us consulate in Benghazi doesn't even exist), but should be related to the subsequent storming by a mysterious armed group/mob of another militia's warehouse

so maybe Stevens went to a meeting with a local allied militia, thereby escorted by them; that militia's base was attacked with the aim of looting its weapons, just as happened again a few days later elsewhere; the local militia, which wasn't paid for providing security to Stevens, melted, leaving Stevens alone; Stevens was later found and brought to a hospital

this hypothesis could explain some of the more greatest mysteries:
1) Steven's casual retrieval by an unwitting group of looters
2) the nonexistent security
3) Us subsequent disinterest in securing the site, recover documents, search for evidence: they know there wasn't a consulate there ...

it's also well compatible with someone's thesis that at the core of the affair is the control of the weapons flow

as for the obstacles the Fbi finds in getting to Benghazi, they might well be due to usual inter-agency rivalries, with Cia having just too many secrets and blunders to hide from an investigation, and too much profitable business to hide from competitors

in this case the real mystery would concern the nature of the inter-militias conflict

Posted by: claudio | Sep 30, 2012 6:21:15 AM | 37

well if Sibel Edmonds is right US officials/contractors/CIA are part of the drug trade working into their own pockets. Weapons is huge business, comparable to drugs.

Posted by: somebody | Sep 30, 2012 7:30:07 AM | 38

@somebody #35 & #36
Why read DKos when you can read me and not have to type anything?
I covered the Libyan ship and Stevens April 2011 in my #9.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 30, 2012 11:20:17 AM | 39

With everything that's been going on in Libya, including a new president and prime minister, and with Stevens having been away on a "pleasure trip to Europe" before his recent return to Libya, only a fool would believe what Obama said in his UNGA speech: ". . . he traveled to Benghazi to review plans to establish a new cultural center and modernize a hospital."

Stevens, from all reports, was a doer who didn't screw around. He was a results-oriented operator. He hopped a Greek freighter to get to Benghazi in April 2011 in orde3r to coordinate the jihadist resistance. He would not have been on a pleasure trip in early September and he would not have been reviewing plans to establish a new cultural center and modernize a hospital in Benghazi, home of a CIA nest, on 9/11.

Obama - "Liar Liar Pants On Fire"

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 30, 2012 11:30:28 AM | 40

Drugs! Now there's an area of interest involving the CIA. In Afghanistan, the Taliban wiped out opium production in the areas it controlled; the US (CIA?) brought Afghan opium back to #1 in the world.

1996 - "For the better part of a decade, a Bay Area drug ring sold tons of cocaine to the Crips and Bloods street gangs of Los Angeles and funneled millions in drug profits to a Latin American guerrilla army run by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, a Mercury News investigation has found." -- That was based on articles by Gary Webb in his "Dark Alliance" series. Webb is deceased.

In Libya, last year, "Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi blamed the uprising in his country on al-Qaida followers who give young Libyans hallucinogenic pills in their coffee to get them to revolt." Perhaps he was onto something.

Much more on CIA here.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 30, 2012 12:40:04 PM | 41

39 :-)) maybe to confirm it ...

Posted by: somebody | Sep 30, 2012 1:31:08 PM | 42

Why did the US attempt to cover up the incident with the bogus video story?

Two U.S. intelligence officials told The Daily Beast that the intelligence community is currently analyzing an intercept between a Libyan politician whose sympathies are with al Qaeda and the Libyan militia known as the February 17 Brigade—which had been charged with providing local security to the consulate. In the intercept, the Libyan politician apparently asks an officer in the brigade to have his men stand down for a pending attack. -9/21

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 30, 2012 3:36:53 PM | 43

I've been calling the place in Benghazi a 'CIA nest' and not a consulate. Does the US even have a consulate in Benghazi? If it does then why isn't it on this State Department list of all the US embassies and consulates in the world?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 30, 2012 3:48:21 PM | 44

Did the US attack itself, with Stevens getting caught? Check this out.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 30, 2012 3:55:32 PM | 45

In June Benghazi was a "diplomatic mission."

Reuters, Jun 6, 2012 - A bomb exploded outside the U.S. diplomatic mission in the Libyan city of Benghazi overnight, an attack that could be retaliation for the killing, in a U.S. drone strike, of al Qaeda's Libyan second-in-command.
"We deplore the attack on our diplomatic mission in Benghazi," State Department spokesman Mark Toner told a news briefing.
The bombing will revive concerns about the lack of security in Libya, where last year Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown in an uprising supported by NATO air power.
The fragile government is still struggling to restore stability after the revolt and arms and explosives looted from Gaddafi's arsenals are easily available.
Toner said Washington was awaiting results from an investigation by the Libyan government, but had no reason to suspect the attack was retaliation for Libi's killing.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 30, 2012 4:13:30 PM | 46

The State list linked in #44 also includes 'diplomatic missions' with Benghazi absent.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 30, 2012 4:15:20 PM | 47

So, to be clear, we can conclude that the the US does not have a consulate, nor a diplomatic mission, in Benghazi and that the building with all the CIA agents in it that was attacked on 9/11 was in fact something else. And that helps to explain the minimizing and the covering up of this major incident by Obama and friends.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 30, 2012 4:25:40 PM | 48

There were two men killed besides Chris Stevens and Sean Smith. Their government positions have not been described, to my knowledge. They are just 'former SEALs.'

Former Navy SEALs identified as consulate attack victims

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton identified the two men as 41-year-old Tyrone Woods and 42-year-old Glen Doherty, both decorated military veterans.

Woods, called "Rone" by family and friends according to Clinton, served as a Navy SEAL for over two decades and served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Woods also was a registered nurse and a paramedic, and had worked protecting U.S. diplomatic personnel in dangerous posts all over the world since 2010. Woods lived in Imperial Beach, Calif., Fox 5 reports. He owned a local bar called the Salty Frog Bar before selling in 2011.

Doherty, known as "Bub" according to Clinton, also was an experienced Navy SEAL and paramedic. In a statement obtained by Fox News, Doherty's brother Greg says his brother joined the SEALS in 1995 because he had "a desire to push himself and to use his talents to make genuine change in the world." Doherty was trained as a sniper and medical officer and responded to the attack on the USS Cole, among other missions. He served two tours as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and retired from the SEALS in 2005. He then worked for a private security contracting firm in the Middle East, but also worked as a white-water riving rafting guide and a ski instructor during his life.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 30, 2012 4:55:49 PM | 49

Regarding "consulate"--
On September 12, 2012, SecState Clinton made two statements. She never used the word "consulate."
To describe the place that was attacked in Benghazi she used instead the words 'U.S. diplomatic post, compound, our buildings and our office.'
http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2012/09/197654.htm
http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2012/09/197630.htm
On Sep 12, 2012 President Obama made one statement on Benghazi. Obama didn't use the word "consulate" either. He uses the words 'our diplomatic facility and 'our mission in Benghazi.'
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/election-2012/wp/2012/09/12/obamas-statement-on-benghazi-outrageous-attack/
On Sep 12, 2012 UN Ambassador Susan Rice made a statement in which she didn't use the consulate, or any words about a facility at all, merely saying "in Benghazi."
http://usun.state.gov/briefing/statements/197649.htm

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 30, 2012 6:40:47 PM | 50

I used "consulate" in my #49 just to see if anyone would catch it. heh mea culpa

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 30, 2012 6:42:48 PM | 51

There's a good narrative in the NYTimes today, including:

While the broad outlines of what happened that night have been reported, details continue to emerge that paint a more complete picture of the frantic response to the attack. It began about 9:30 p.m., roughly 15 minutes after Mr. Stevens had finished an evening meeting with the Turkish ambassador, bid him farewell, and chatted briefly with a handful of Libyan guards at the gate of the compound.

The Turkish ambassador at an evening meeting on 9/11 with Ambassador Stevens in Benghazi, just prior to a shipload of weapons disembarking from Benghazi for Turkey. How interesting.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 30, 2012 11:24:21 PM | 52

in other news:
‘Her Majesty the Queen has graciously approved the unrestricted acceptance and wearing by UK personnel of the NATO Non-Article 5 Medal with clasp OUP-Libya/Libye. The medal recognises the service of those who took part in Alliance operations related to Libya from March 23 2011 until October 31 2011.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 1, 2012 4:45:47 PM | 53

Don Bacon, at the list of oddities you should add that it wasn't possible to debrief properly all the people evacuated from Benghazi because "they were now scattered all over Europe", or something like that ... sorry no time for links, but it was mainstream at the time

Posted by: claudio | Oct 1, 2012 6:52:55 PM | 54

it sounded either like a lame excuse for not properly investigating, or else none of them was diplomatic personnel, they were all contractors / special ops on to their missions

Posted by: claudio | Oct 1, 2012 6:54:36 PM | 55

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