Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter
  3
Share on Facebook
  1
Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on StumbleUpon
  30
Tell A Friend
  4
38 Shares     
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Article Stats
1 comment

General News

Libya Is In Play

By (about the author)     Permalink
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) ; , Add Tags  (less...) Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

Become a Fan
  (25 fans)

opednews.com

WAS AMERICA WARNED ON LIBYA, AND DID NOTHING?  IS THERE ANY EVIDENCE? 

   By William Boardman   Email address removed"> Email address removed  

"Exclusive: America "was warned of embassy attack but did nothing'" reads the sensational and misleading sub-headline on a story in The Independent in London, which goes on to provide no corroboration for this claim beyond an anonymous source.   Like a number of partisan groups, CNN also used this meme in a follow-up story headlined "Romney adviser blames Obama for Libya, Egypt attacks. 

In response to the early warning story, Politico reported that: "Shawn Turner, spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, emailed: 'This is absolutely wrong. We are not aware of any actionable intelligence indicating that an attack on the U.S. Mission in Benghazi was planned or imminent.'"  USA Today quotes White House spokesman Jay Carney using almost identical language. 

Even the Independent did not claim there was any "actionable intelligence" two days before September 11, when attacks to commemorate the anniversary have been expected for years by American outposts around the world.  Moreover, the consulate (not embassy) in Benghazi had been attacked before and the region was well known to have a numerous armed groups hostile to the U.S. as well as the Libyan government in Tripoli and each other. 

Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who died in the September 11 attack on the consulate in Benghazi, was well aware of the dangers of the region, having reported on the area in a State Dept. memo in 2008, when he was deputy chief of mission in Libya.  His cable was made public by Wikileaks in 2010-11.  At the time, Stevens wrote at length about the radicalization of the region, which supplied a large number of jihadis to fight in Iraq, disproportionate to the region's population. 

Leaving out any context, the Independent made its claim in a single, unelaborated sentence:  "According to senior diplomatic sources, the US State Department had credible information 48 hours before mobs charged the consulate in Benghazi, and the embassy in Cairo, that American missions may be targeted, but no warnings were given for diplomats to go on high alert and "lockdown', under which movement is severely restricted." 

Suggesting that "American missions may be targeted" is a far cry from having anything like actionable intelligence.  It's more a description of daily life for the American diplomatic corps throughout the Middle East.   It is equally accurate to suggest, on the basis of the Stevens cable, that Americans had credible information that they might be targeted in Libya at least four years before the recent attack in Benghazi. 

Although the substance of the Independent's story is both unreliable and, in context, almost meaningless, outlets like GOPUSA.com picked it up as if was true and meaningful "information" that the Obama Administration is running away from.  The Drudge Report headlined the report in red, bold-faced capital letters, while others like Glenn Beck's The Blaze gave it similar weight while adding "there are shocking reports about the Ambassador possibly being sexually assaulted before being killed," for which he offered no source whatsoever. 

Contrary to the implications of the headline Obama-was-warned-but-did-nothing, an  editorial in the Independent just the day before had commented: "Thus far, the statements from the White House have remained measured. With the presidential election fast approaching, Mr. Obama may be inclined to let domestic political gain be his guide. Given that the stability of much of the Middle East is at stake, he must resist the temptation. "

Similarly the paper ran columns by Patrick Cockburn (Sept. 12) and Robert Fisk (Sept. 13), both of which discussed the events in North Africa with far greater nuance and complexity than the Romney campaign and many of its supporters. 

Likewise, the International Crisis Group on Sept. 14 issued a report on Libya that takes a sober, in-depth look at the fragility of a tribal country with a weak central government.  The report concludes with 18 recommendations, following this observation:  "There is much to celebrate in post-Qadhafi Libya but also reason to worry. The battle between central government and armed groups is not yet won, yet of late the latter have been acting as if they enjoyed the upper hand. If steps are not swiftly taken, reversing this trend is only going to get harder -- and what has been a relatively good news story could turn depressingly sour."

For the most part the mainstream media have ignored the specific but undocumented claim of an attack warning, but Jake Tapper on ABC Good Morning America came close, commenting raising in passing with 20-20 hindsight that "many questions remain about insufficient security at those diplomatic posts on the anniversary of 9/11." 

At a White House press conference, in an argumentative eight-minute exchange,  Tapper pressed Jay Carney on the intelligence issue, asking if there was "any intelligence," not just actionable intelligence, coming close to challenging whether Carney was answering truthfully.  Tapper comments that the attacks of 9/11 was "a failure of imagination," and asks whether the Obama administration "messed up"? 

Given the historical record in its present state, there is little basis for concluding yet that the Obama administration failed to do due diligence.  There is there is much more evidence, both testimonial and documentary, to support a headline to the effect: "President Bush was personally warned before 9/11 but did nothing."    

 

Vermonter living in Woodstock: elected to five terms (served 20 years) as side judge (sitting in Superior, Family, and Small Claims Courts); public radio producer, "The Panther Program" -- nationally distributed, three albums (at CD Baby), some (more...)
 
Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Submit to Stumble Upon

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Nuclear Perceptions Fight Reality

Fukushima Spiking All of a Sudden

Vermont Asks: "What the Fukushima"?

Fukushima Meltdowns: Global Denial At Work

Military-Industrial Complex Owns Vermont

Accountability in Vermont?

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
1 people are discussing this page, with 1 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

 The US is destabilizing the Middle East. The... by chuck McCormick on Sunday, Sep 16, 2012 at 10:41:15 AM