Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 27, 2012

The "Permanent War" Will Just Create More Enemies

The Post's three parts series about the "permanent war", the institutionalization of the assassinations by drones, currently especially in Yemen, is largely election propaganda for the Obama administration: "Look how tough we are."

But to me it expresses something different. The people described in it, especially White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennen, are amoral ruthless servants of an ideology of almightiness that strives for global hegemony.

While they claim that their killing program is somehow reducing the risks of attacks on the United States they must know, as it is obvious, that this is not the case:

[I]n many ways since the US started bombing there in December 2009, Yemen has been a laboratory for the US to try out different approaches in its war against al-Qaeda. But I'm not so sure the results are as positive as Brennan and many of the other anonymous officials quoted suggest.

To begin with, I'm not sure how Yemen can be viewed as a model - at least in the positive sense Brennan seems to indicate - when AQAP has tripled in size since the US started bombing.
...
Additionally, I would argue that events from this spring - when an undercover agent came away with AQAP's latest underwear bomb - shows a couple of things: 1. despite the US bombing campaign in Yemen, which has been partially designed to keep AQAP on its heels so that it can't plot attacks against the US, the organization is still actively plotting and attempting to launch new attacks. 2. The more recruit AQAP gains the bigger of a talent pool it has upon which to draw.
...
[W]hen the US has carried out at least 36 attacks this year in Yemen in an effort to kill 10-15 men something is wrong.

Mass assassinations by drones, as the U.S. practices in Pakistan and in Yemen, have in both countries increased antipathy towards the U.S. and the number of people willing to actively fight against it. Currently U.S. drones also create new enemies in east Libya:
Locals considered the drones they now hear buzzing overhead “a form of occupation,” he said, and Libyans would wage “jihad” to force them out.
Obama and Brennen must know of this effect of their assassination campaign.

There is another danger in this war by drones. They are complicated machines and the software they use, which will make drones increasingly autonomous, is faulty and will always be so. As someone who has worked developing and implementing information technology this doesn't surprise me at all:

In March 2011, a Predator parked at the camp started its engine without any human direction, even though the ignition had been turned off and the fuel lines closed. Technicians concluded that a software bug had infected the “brains” of the drone, but never pinpointed the problem.
Currently software is getting developed that automatically scans through drone reconnaissance videos to find the "signature" of "terrorist behavior". That guy is loading the trunk of his car? Now that might be a car bomb. The visual recognition software will pick that out and when further bits of circumstantial "evidence" gets added it may well recommend the assassination of that person in a "signature strike".

Aside from the incredible stupid believe in the existence of any "terrorist signature", how many bugs will such a software have? Would their users even be able to identify a software mistake? Would they find its cause? Of course not.

No one with any bit of moral left in them should argue for the "permanent war" the Obama administration is implementing here. What it really creates is a permanent growing number of enemies and certain blowbacks to come. Drone assassinations and harassing drone critics create more terrorism. They are a problem, not a solution. As the people in the White House are not all stupid the must know this and their motivation to wage a permanent war must be a different one than the one they claim.

Posted by b on October 27, 2012 at 01:07 PM | Permalink

Comments

The search "drone AND coward site:moonofalabama.org" (and restricting the results to the past 12 months) comes up with 24 hits, which is surprisingly small.

On the other hand, any type of air war is inherently cowardly and despicable because it always kills large numbers of innocents.

What seems more shocking, although perhaps it shouldn't, is the idea that you can terrorize a population into submission though random murder by air. Even if it were possible, in another generation you would have the survivors of the fallen to deal with, all over again.

Perpetual War, indeed.

Posted by: buncombe | Oct 27, 2012 2:03:52 PM | 1

the must know this and their motivation to wage a permanent war must be a different one than the one they claim.

This is the key point. The continual upward spiralling of this permanent war programme will inevitably lead to apocalyptic consequences. Some of the countries and peoples under attack are now getting their own drones, though so far only using them for intelligence. Cyberwar and counter-attack technologies are advancing rapidly and their use is accelerating (particularly by the US and Israel). US bellicism is ever increasing and creating more and more enemies (of both peoples and countries), while becoming less and less effective.

Extrapolate 5 or 10 years into the future: the US will inevitably resort to nukes against the enemies it has created.

Posted by: JohnE | Oct 27, 2012 2:05:11 PM | 2

The drone war is beyond stupid, I guess they like it because they want to "retain the ability to
project power into distant, anti-access environments
"

As you said, b. drones are pretty blind all in all. In addition to that they are based on contractors and electronics ensuring they are prone to hacks, no trade secret and the price of production will decrease continuously.

In the meantime there are silly stories like the following in the national press, Imran Khan who features in it, is Pakistan's most popular politician and - quoting Wikipedia - "was Pakistan's most successful cricket captain[citation needed], leading his country to victory at the 1992 Cricket World Cup, playing for the Pakistani cricket team from 1971 to 1992, and serving as its captain intermittently throughout 1982–1992.[1] After retiring from cricket at the end of the 1987 World Cup in 1988, due to popular public demand he was requested to come back by the president of Pakistan to lead the team once again. At 39, Khan led his team to Pakistan's first and only World Cup victory in 1992. He has a record of 3807 runs and 362 wickets in Test cricket, making him one of eight world cricketers to have achieved an 'All-rounder's Triple' in Test matches.[2] On 14 July 2010, Khan was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.[3]"


US questions Imran Khan on drones

Khan, leader of the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI), was headed to New York to attend a fund raiser organised by his party when he was stopped by US officials in Toronto on Friday, he said.

“I was taken off from plane and interrogated by US Immigration in Canada on my views on drones. My stance is known. Drone attacks must stop,” he wrote on Twitter.

Officials from Khan’s party said the delay meant he missed his flight and was late for the party fundraising event in New York, but he insisted “nothing will change my stance”.

“My stand on drones is very clear. I did not say sorry to them,” Khan said after arriving in New York, according to a local news channel.

“I still couldn’t understand why they did this. The official was questioning me about drones but I think he himself didn’t understand what he was talking about,” he added.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 27, 2012 2:16:06 PM | 3

... and yes I do believe that Hezbollah was able to send a crude drone over Israel.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 27, 2012 2:18:16 PM | 4

"As the people in the White House are not all stupid they must know this and their motivation to wage a permanent war must be a different one than the one they claim."

Well, if you're looking for an all-inclusive ailment, I'm sure insane works better than stupid, for everyone here except the trolls. This is an unhealthy example of Neocon 'projection' (of claptrap). You have only to recall some of Daniel Pipes' anti-Islam gutter-insanity (eg "brown-skinned peoples cooking strange foods") to see that anything derogatory about sub-humans can be uplifting for people living in a 24/7 intellectual sewer.

One imagines they spend too much time sitting around like 8-year olds, dreaming up anti-arab stuff - and believing it themselves. One of the things I reckon they believe is that US-NATO-style terrorism causes people with the wrong-colored skin and/or religion to panic and lose the plot.
Once elitists have decided a whole ethnic group are Untermention there's no limit to the flawed logic they can be accused of.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents worth.
The stupid part is, in all likelihood, that there is NO grand plan. It's just old-fashioned, abusive, unaccountability. They do these barbaric things because WE let them get away with it.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 27, 2012 2:58:42 PM | 5

the word is Untermenschen hoarsewhisperer. I agree with what you are saying.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 27, 2012 3:32:39 PM | 6

@6 disagree, does complexion confer resistance to bribery? Plenty of Africans, blackety, black, black, black are down with the imperial project, eg.

Posted by: ruralito | Oct 27, 2012 4:47:06 PM | 7

@8 I agree.

If the US/UK/NATO decide that white skinned folks need to be sorted out, they will be bombed. It'll come.

Posted by: Billyboy | Oct 27, 2012 5:33:31 PM | 8

they already have done so - Yugoslavia

Posted by: Star69 | Oct 27, 2012 6:03:45 PM | 9

Justice raining down from the air was once a job upheld by some vague deity. It seems Obombi's sense of justice is on par with a low-level predator's instinct of 'shit-on-yer-plate', amoral hooliganism. From the gitgo I've been against Obambi's altruistic halo of 'do-gooder.' He's a frigging lawyer, for g-d's sake and he surely acts like one. No more years! Did I get that wrong?!

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Oct 27, 2012 6:28:40 PM | 10

thats the idea...if US had no enemies the empire would collapse! its necessary to make them

Posted by: brian | Oct 27, 2012 9:01:20 PM | 11

those who call the drone war 'stupid' treat is a a miscalculation and not what it is: a means to manufacture enemies with the least cost to ones own side...it also saves on the use of US troops and so blowback at home.
The US war machine could not use drones if it first didnt have local rulers subservient to the empire....US fears Khan and will do all it can to keep him out of office if it cant corrupt him.

Posted by: brian | Oct 27, 2012 9:04:22 PM | 12

I agree with Hoarsewhisperer @6 - there is an obvious anti-Arab prejudice (to put it mildly) operating; and I also think "there is NO grand plan"

but this doesn't answer b's question: "their [the people in the White House] motivation to wage a permanent war"

in a previous post, b seemed to think that they were using drones for the very purpose of creating more "terrorists", since this was so evidently their only effect; now he is looking for a different answer;

of course these people are out of control, and some lobbies and bureaucracies are happy with the results, racism and unaccountability permit such homicidal tactics, plus brian's arguments (need for enemies, no risks for Us soldiers), but b's question is: "just what are they thinking they are doing?"

could it be they believe in "terrorist signatures" after all? this would be the most ominous answer; "criminal signatures", and then "dissident signatures" would be next in line, with Homeland Dept. and local police already equipping themselves with "surveillance" drones ...

but are there other answers?

Posted by: claudio | Oct 27, 2012 9:20:21 PM | 13

wasn't there some guy that used to post here months back that all the time used the phrase "stated aims versus real aims"?

Can't recall the name, but I remember the phrase. Don't think b liked him much, but seems he might have been onto something

Posted by: unohu | Oct 27, 2012 10:02:25 PM | 14

unohu, if you think a balance of terror can be anything other than lose lose you are welcome to explain. In the meantime Chinese, Indians, Russians, Iranians are winning worldwide influence without using a single drone. The use of drones is already returning to the US threatening the freedom of the very people who subscribe that policy.

However, the people in Washington are highly intelligent or they would not survive in that fish bowl. So of course there is a reason for the prominent featuring of the drone wars. It is Obama's way of triangulation, that way he can distance himself from the "weak on security" image of Democrats, piss off the left and occupy the middle "moderate" ground of politics.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 27, 2012 10:50:59 PM | 15

I think the words "stated aims versus real aims" are actually simple enough to understand.

Can't imagine why you'd need it explained any further.

I also can't imagine what it could be about those 5 simple words, "stated aims versus real aims", that you might have difficulty with. Maybe it's because sometimes there seem to be a bit of a gap between your stated aims and your real aims? Maybe that's it?

Perhaps the ever-constant cognitive dissonance you engage in has finally fried your synapses?

Unless of course that's just you up to your usual trolling

Posted by: unohu | Oct 27, 2012 11:07:52 PM | 16

just to explain, how stupid the drone war policy is on an international scale is that it is clearly against international law. The US has no way to fall back on any recourse to that law to support their politics now. All the supposed "soft power" is gone. Russia and Iran are using this weakness in an increasingly active way - and they have the moral high ground. Like here
Russia wants ICC to probe post gaddafi war crimes in Libya
"Russia has demanded that “war crimes” in Libya committed since the fall of the Qaddafi regime be investigated by the International Criminal Court.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday that Moscow believed that all those responsible for killing civilians had to be held accountable.

Referring to last year’s decision by the Security Council to refer Libya to the ICC, he said: “All the decisions were made that those responsible for bloodshed, murders of civilians, violation of the laws of war and international humanitarian rights must be punished. We don’t hear any news on how this has been doing upon the crisis in Libya.”

He was speaking at a press conference with visiting Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter.

Explaining Moscow’s position, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich later said that such a probe had to focus on crimes committed since end of the Qaddafi regime in October last year.

The call follows a move by Russia in the UN Security Council on Tuesday to table a motion about the crisis in Bani Walid. The draft, which was blocked by the US, would have expressed “grave concern” about the situation in the town and what it called the growth of violence towards the civilian population, and called on the Libyan government to take urgent action to resolve the situation by peaceful negotiations."

It is not featured much in the main stream media - the last couple of days refugees from Libyan Bani Wali, Red Cross, press have been blocked from entering Bani Wali, fears are militias are running wild in there.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 27, 2012 11:16:14 PM | 17

@ 16 - "The use of drones is already returning to the US threatening the freedom of the very people who subscribe that policy."


personally I haven't noticed any recent erosion of, or threat to, the freedoms of the US Military-Industrial-Complex and it's owner/operators. As far as I can tell they are the ones that subscribe to that policy

Posted by: Star69 | Oct 27, 2012 11:20:56 PM | 18

It's American Exceptionalism (AE), which can only be claimed by those who were wise enough to be born in the USA. With AE comes a disdain and a complete lack of empathy for anyone else in the world. It's AE which transformed the liberators of Iraq into brutal occupiers, thus creating an armed resistance. And elsewhere, in places like Somalia Yemen and Pakistan, AE creates enemies where none need exist, and AE blinds those driving such wrongful policies to continue to believe in their own correctness despite the evidence. Look, they say, all these enemies are Moslems! It must be their religion! and they won't connect to the Judeo-Christian atrocities in Moslem lands that converted a proud people into enemies of the perpetrators.

That's the situation, IMO. One also hears a less-refined, more crudely-put description which while it is disrespectful of those affected it nevertheless has a certain accuracy: whack-a-mole.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 27, 2012 11:24:06 PM | 19

@18 - see definition 2

Posted by: unohu | Oct 27, 2012 11:27:03 PM | 20

It looks increasingly like the US government is completely clueless. So it may well be that the Obama administration's inconsistent and contradictory handling of Chris Stevens' assassination reflects nothing more than how clueless they are.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/witnesses-libya-consulate-attack-seemed-planned-may-have-used-anti-islam-film-as-cover/2012/10/27/cb0241a0-2083-11e2-8817-41b9a7aaabc7_print.html

Of course, being clueless is considered totally unacceptable. We pay intelligence agencies tens of $billions to provide the answers. And yet, more than a month after the events, they still seem just as clueless!!!

So the administration's public relations fiasco was an attempt to show that they had the answers--that they were in control--even though they had no clue.

Of course, they didn't have a clue in Iraq or Afghanistan, either, and that is exactly what got them into those quagmires. (During the height of the Iraq invasion, there were only a handful of Americans in the Green Zone who knew a decent amount of Arabic!) And the blind continued to lead the blind into Libya, this time under the pretense of R2P.

The Washington Post article claims that the attackers had trucks bearing the logo of Ansar al-Shariah. That claim is ludicrous. First, why would the attackers publicize their identity and risk their assets, which could be easily targeted? Second, I understand that the name "Ansar al-Shariah" is not actually the name of any particular group at all. Rather, it is shorthand coined by outsiders to lump together various militant groups operating in eastern Libya.

The term "Ansar al-Shariah" itself is weird, because 'ansar' means a race or a breed, which is probably not how a heterogeneous set of groups would choose to self identify. Those who created the label intend it to mean 'partisans of shariah law,' or legitimacy based on Koranic principles, the best explanation clueless bureaucrats can think of for why someone might choose to oppose an American puppet government.

Knowing thy enemy is key to warfare, but the US government consistently refuses learn anything. Yet it demands that the public support it as it wastes $trillions on ill-conceived adventures.

Posted by: JohnH | Oct 28, 2012 1:13:15 AM | 21

John H, that is a good analysis. American intelligence (is that another oxymoron like "military intelligence" in general) does not have a clue as to developments in Eastern Libya.

Within a week of the the Libyan people's nonviolent uprising against Khadaffi last year there were military attacks by extremely well led and experienced militias that over ran the Benghazi military garrison. These were almost certainly militias that had veterans from the wars against the US in Iraq.

Stevens showed up there and began coordinating military operations with these same forces that were killing US troops in Iraq a few years earlier. I guess they believed these militias could be co-opted towards US policy.

After the fall of Khadaffi it seems that the US sent in many CIA agents, contractors, whatevers to work with these militia forces. I guess the US movers and shakers in Washington believed these forces could be co-opted to work for the US, not against the US.

I would make a guess here and posit that these militia forces entered into a series of "agreements" with US agents letting them believe that they were now US allies. Except one small problem, those people talking to US agents were also reporting back to the Al qaida groups from whence they came.

When they learned that the US ambassador to Libya was going to be at the poorly defended consulate in Benghazi the temptation was just too big. They had an opportunity to take out a big honcho from the biggest Satan of them all. Irresistable target to be sure.

So they pick that plum. And what happens? The US policy makers in Washington totally panic and immediately recall all of those CIA agents out of Benghazi. Now why did they do that? Because these Washington fools suddenly realized that they had been working with US enemies and it would be impossible to figure out who was a reliable asset from who was a double agent. Net result: the US does not have any reliable intelligence sources on the ground in Benghazi today. Not only that, but any potential source that had any sympathies towards the West, can only see the US panicked and quickly withdrew all of our agents at the first sign of trouble, talk about cut, run and abandon your assets. What was the number? Two plane loads of CIA agents were quickly flown out of that town when Stevens was killed.

Anyway, JohnH all of this to support your final paragraph: Knowing thy enemy is key to warfare, but the US government consistently refuses learn anything.

Given that our intelligence in Libya in now in total shambles, it is only natural that the US will embark on drone attacks to make the American people think those who rule us are doing something. Even though they have no more idea of what they are doing today then they did last month.
John H, that is a good analysis. American intelligence (is that another oxymoron like "military intelligence" in general) does not have a clue as to developments in Eastern Libya.

Within a week of the the Libyan people's nonviolent uprising against Khadaffi last year there were military attacks by extremely well led and experienced militias that over ran the Benghazi military garrison. These were almost certainly militias that had veterans from the wars against the US in Iraq.

Stevens showed up there and began coordinating military operations with these same forces that were killing US troops in Iraq a few years earlier. I guess they believed these militias could be co-opted towards US policy.

After the fall of Khadaffi it seems that the US sent in many CIA agents, contractors, whatevers to work with these militia forces. I guess the US movers and shakers in Washington believed these forces could be co-opted to work for the US, not against the US.

I would make a guess here and posit that these militia forces entered into a series of "agreements" with US agents letting them believe that they were now US allies. Except one small problem, those people talking to US agents were also reporting back to the Al qaida groups from whence they came.

When they learned that the US ambassador to Libya was going to be at the poorly defended consulate in Benghazi the temptation was just too big. They had an opportunity to take out a big honcho from the biggest Satan of them all. Irresistable target to be sure.

So they pick that plum. And what happens? The US policy makers in Washington totally panic and immediately recall all of those CIA agents out of Benghazi. Now why did they do that? Because these Washington fools suddenly realized that they had been working with US enemies and it would be impossible to figure out who was a reliable asset from who was a double agent. Net result: the US does not have any reliable intelligence sources on the ground in Benghazi today. Not only that, but any potential source that had any sympathies towards the West, can only see the US panicked and quickly withdrew all of our agents at the first sign of trouble, talk about cut, run and abandon your assets. What was the number? Two plane loads of CIA agents were quickly flown out of that town when Stevens was killed.

Anyway, JohnH all of this to support your final paragraph: Knowing thy enemy is key to warfare, but the US government consistently refuses learn anything.

Given that our intelligence in Libya in now in total shambles, it is only natural that the US will embark on drone attacks to make the American people think those who rule us are doing something. Even though they have no more idea of what they are doing today then they did last month.

Posted by: ToivoS | Oct 28, 2012 3:31:23 AM | 22

Sorry folks my entire post was duplicated, it is half the size shown. Too bad we don't have an edit function here. This happened because of some expiration clock that gets set while one posts.

Posted by: ToivoS | Oct 28, 2012 3:36:17 AM | 23

agree, ToivoS.

Frankly, I can see neither stated nor unstated aims reached when expensively developed high tech US drones get outdroned by cheap replicas. Where is the market for the US/Israeli military industrial complex? NATO countries are cutting back on public spending ...

Posted by: somebody | Oct 28, 2012 3:37:54 AM | 24

@ ToivoS,

Q: They had an opportunity to take out a big honcho from the biggest Satan of them all. Irresistable target to be sure.

R: Not out to burst yer bubble. Stevens died of severe asphyxia [smoke inhalation] in a secure room inside the consulate. How you conclude they were after him specifically, makes no sense at all. They had no eyes/spies inside that room. Perhaps a symbolic attack against a warmongering nation in a place where it's easy, on 9/11, in which Stevens got caught in the middle?

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Oct 28, 2012 4:10:26 AM | 25

@ToivoS and Daniel Rich: maybe the attack at the "consulate" must be viewed together with the meeting between Stevens and a Turkish emissary a little time before the attack, and the other attack, a few days later, against another militia's depot; I think they were looking for the MANPADs that the CIA had rounded up

I can imagine the Turkish diplomat briefing his jihadis protegees after the unsuccessful attempt to have the MANPADs handed over to them, and their quick decision to simply go and get them by force

Posted by: claudio | Oct 28, 2012 5:43:46 AM | 26

An Arab saying goes "the enemy of your enemy is your friend." The US abandoned Bush's frontal assault on Muslim societies. Now it uses local groups to do the dirty work. But Obama's ilk forgot that when the common enemy gets eliminated, your former friend is free to become your enemy.

I thought this was an "inside job" from the start, in the sense that the perpetrators knew a lot about US "secret" bases and operations in Benghazi, a lot more than the US knew about them. And they probably had inside information about Stevens' whereabouts--it's hard to just fly in and not be noticed. Benghazi's airport is not JFK.

In the aftermath Obama had a choice: he could admit that he didn't know what the f*ck was going on, which wouldn't be presidential. Or he could make it up as he went along. He chose the latter and got caught, though no one in the media will intimate that he was clueless.

The US intentionally created the chaos, and so far Stevens paid the price. Obama has so far barely paid a price for what he did.

Posted by: JohnH | Oct 28, 2012 11:02:29 AM | 27

some trivia-
Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, commonly referred to by State as "former Navy SEALs, were part of a Global Response Staff or GRS that provides security to CIA case officers. Woods and Doherty were part of a four(?) man team located at the Benghazi "annex." They were reportedly killed by a mortar round at 4 am.

Raymond Davis, the man who shot and killed two Pakistani intelligence agents almost two years ago, had worked for the private security contractor Xe, formerly known as Blackwater. Davis was also attached to GRS, in Pakistan.

I can find nothing at the CIA site on "Global Response Staff."

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 28, 2012 11:20:01 AM | 28

according to the document dump - stevens reporting on 9/11 on a meeting with Benghazi militia leaders page 57
1) they explained to him that they were not working for a fixed brigade but joined different groups according to occasion
2) disagreed on what differently named groups stood for
3) threatend to stop policing Benghazi if the US supported Mahmud Jibril - whose grouping had won the elections - was voted in as president - and not a Muslim Brotherhood candidate who would put them in official positions of defense

1) and 2) suggests to me they intended not to give any real information
3) suggest they tried to pressure the US to support their candidate

Posted by: somebody | Oct 28, 2012 1:32:42 PM | 29

Was Benghazi Attack on U.S. Consulate an Inside Job?

Posted by: somebody | Oct 28, 2012 6:02:14 PM | 30

@ 30

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teaching_grandmother_to_suck_eggs

Posted by: Star69 | Oct 28, 2012 6:43:14 PM | 31

There was a CIA agency office of 25-30 people in dangerous Benghazi. It was involved in shipping arms to Turkey. State wouldn't provide security for it. Defense wouldn't provide military aid when the CIA office was besieged. Nobody would help the CIA agency office; it was on its own. Boo-hoo.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 28, 2012 11:45:28 PM | 32

in fact there are recent reports that after the start of the attack the CIA local-station guys asked their HQ what should they do now that the "consulate" was being attacked. HQ told them to stand down. HQ was in contact with US Mil throughout the attack.

Also there was a report that the US had an unarmed drone in the air above the consulate at the time of the attack. If true, then the US Mil knew in real-time what was happening there. So most likely did CIA HQ.

Yet CIA HQ told the Local Station to stand down and offer no help.

Almost as if someone at HQ wanted Stevens dead, ain't it?

Posted by: ahem | Oct 29, 2012 8:50:57 AM | 33

ahem, yeah, just that it is election time in the US, just that the report is by Fox News quoting unnamed sources.

"Fox News has learned from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that an urgent request from the CIA annex for back-up during the attack on the U.S. Consulate and subsequent attack several hours later was denied by U.S. officials — who also told the CIA operators twice to “stand down” rather than help the ambassador’s team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11."

When you read the report linked above with an identified and named eye-witness about an "inside job" - meaning a Libyan inside job - then it is clear confusion reigned and nobody knew who was friend or foe. How should a drone have known when the people on the ground did not.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 29, 2012 9:15:06 AM | 34

How armoured is a drone? I knew about the raptor and reaper but those just army ones and the airforce and marines have their own. just wondering how effective they are v someone with say a decent large calibre hunting rifle.

Posted by: heath | Oct 29, 2012 10:07:58 AM | 35

@ 34

that post is pretty much the opposite of what you were claiming 10 -14 days ago. You were very very insistent that it was a sure thing that Stevens was there for that reason and was killed for that reason. No you're now saying that since it is all based on a Fox News Anonymous source that it is not really reliable - but of course you KNEW that at the time you made the original claim. - how DO you keep track of the lies? Do you have a wall-planner with a cross-referenced list of them, or what?

Posted by: ahem | Oct 29, 2012 12:30:28 PM | 36

The Pentagon offered no support for Benghazi over the six hour period, although resources were available in Italy. Communicating would be just one of the problems.

The question of US military support of mercs will be increasingly strident. There are now more civilian contractors than US military in Afghanistan.

According to the most recent quarterly contractor census report issued by the U.S. Central Command, which includes both Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as 18 other countries stretching from Egypt to Kazakhstan, there were approximately 137,000 contractors working for the Pentagon in its region. There were 113,376 in Afghanistan and 7,336 in Iraq. Of that total, 40,110 were U.S. citizens. According to the Department of Labor’s Defense Base Act Claim Summary Reports (which are understated) there were at least 121 Civilian Contractor Deaths filed on in the third quarter of 2012.

Experts who have studied the phenomenon say that because many contractors do not comply with even the current, scanty reporting requirements, the true number of private contractor deaths may be far higher.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 29, 2012 1:12:57 PM | 37

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