Thursday, October 11, 2012

Blame Game: Libyan Embassy Killings!

Okay, we're in the last quarter of the most hostile political election in history. Republican nominee, perennial candidate for president Mitt Romney has pulled slightly ahead in the polls (with likely voters) and President Barack Obama still has the electoral college lead but it's declining.

Tonight, Vice President Joe Biden will debate Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) at their vice presidential debate tonight in Danville, Kentucky. The president needs a bounce back in the polls after two weeks of criticism from the media over his lackluster performance at the first presidential debate.

The Republicans are smelling blood in the water, yet again! They're going to play politics once again over the tragedy in Benghazi, Libya. The U.S. Consulate Embassy was attacked by militants affiliated with the two main factions of al-Qaeda of North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Libyan officials and the FBI are investigating how this happened. Many opportunities for an attack came forth when a filmmaker put on the internet a controversial YouTube video mocking the Prophet Mohammad. The Egyptian press got a hold of the video and it launched it into massive protests across the Middle East and the Muslim world.

September 11, 2012, the U.S. diplomatic mission in Cairo, Egypt was mobbed by protesters  apparently in response to an anti-Islamic online video known as Innocence of Muslims. A group scaled the embassy wall and tore down the American flag to replace it with a black Islamic flag. This incident (and the coinciding armed attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya that was widely misreported as a reaction to the film) launched a series of worldwide demonstrations against the film outside diplomatic facilities of the United States and other Western countries. However, other underlying issues of discontent have fueled the protests in some countries. The protests that continued in the ensuing weeks also expanded to other Western-related locations, some of which turned violent, resulting in dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries.

The protest lays down in the groundwork for a sneak attack to infiltrate the U.S. Embassy compound in Libyan by militants. They ended up killing four Americans which included J. Christopher Stevens, a longtime ally to the president.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.N. Secretary Susan Rice have condemned the attacks and claimed that the American who made that video created a diplomatic mess. President Barack Obama demanded those who committed this act were to be sought and brought to justice.

Caught up in the mixture is the politics of it, did the president mention terrorism or said movie?

At first, many were claiming that Mitt Romney was looking for political gamesmanship when he told the press that he felt that Egyptian embassy and President Barack Obama were apologizing for the uprising over the movie. He was roundly criticized for jumping the gun over the issue. The American press was waiting until the facts were determined. National security advisers and the U.S. Justice Department have determined that it was an act of terrorism.

The Libyan attack happened when protesters were storming the embassy walls. Some members of a local militant group were armed with rocket launchers and they proceeded to the compound. At first, the Ambassador Christopher Stevens and his team were caught by surprised by this. So they escaped. It's was an inside job by some of the members of the Libyan security team.

Republican Party members took issue with the Democratic Party controlled administration, accusing the White House and State Department of overplaying the role of the protests against a trailer for a controversial anti-Islamic movie in the case of Libya and the government's alleged reluctance to label the attack as "terrorist".

Representative Mike Rogers (R-MI), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has questioned whether there were any protests at all in Benghazi, saying: "I have seen no information that shows that there was a protest going on as you have seen around any other embassy at the time. It was clearly designed to be an attack." According to critics, the consulate site should have been secured better both before and after the attack.
Romney and Ryan trying to hang issue around Obama's neck!

On the 20th, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a classified briefing to U.S. Senators, which several Republican attendees criticized as uninformative.

GOP legislators also took issue with delays in the investigation, which CNN attributed to "bureaucratic infighting" between the FBI, Justice, and State. On the 26th, Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia) said he "cannot believe that the FBI is not on the ground yet."

The Washington Post Fact Checker blog reported on September 27 that the Obama administration's response was a "case study of how an administration can carefully keep the focus as long as possible on one storyline [the video] — and then turn on a dime when it is no longer tenable."

During an October 3, 2012 guest appearance on a Fox News national security program hosted by former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs K.T. McFarland, DEFCON3, Congressional counter-terrorism adviser Michael S. Smith II asserted that one area of criticism the Obama administration should prepare to address in the wake of the September 11, 2012 attacks in Libya pertains to its policy of “inaction” when opportunities arose “to go in, especially into Libya during the Arab Spring, and begin to capture, recapture, or kill a lot of jihads like the individual who’s believed to have led the assault on the US consulate in Benghazi.

The policy, however, was one of inaction.” Asked by McFarland if he thought events in Libya like the September 11, 2012 attacks reflect an example of success with al Qaeda’s possible efforts to “hijack” Arab Spring revolutions, Smith stated: “I’m not absolutely certain about that. I think what we see in the post-Arab Spring era is much stronger influence being asserted by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Meanwhile, I think we might want to look upon the September 11, 2012 attacks and similar events in this light: Al Qaeda … has had a much easier time exploiting policy vacuums in Washington than leadership vacuums in the Arab Spring.”

Now here's the kicker, Republicans admit to cutting the security forces for their stupid obsession with trying to stop massive spending. These guys are fucking ridiculous!

Congressman Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, said Wednesday he "absolutely" voted for cutting funding for embassy security.
Pressure's on the president to answer Libyan attack!

Chaffetz, the chairman of the House Oversight subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations, accused the White House of lying about details of the Sept. 11 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, according to The Hill blog.

Chaffetz is leading an investigation into the Libya attack and security preparedness along with fellow Republican, Congressman Darrell Issa of California.

While speaking to CNN, Chaffetz was asked if he had "voted to cut the funding for embassy security."

"Absolutely," he replied. "Look we have to make priorities and choices in this country. We have…15,000 contractors in Iraq. We have more than 6,000 contractors, a private army there, for President Obama, in Baghdad. And we’re talking about can we get two dozen or so people into Libya to help protect our forces. When you’re in tough economic times, you have to make difficult choices. You have to prioritize things."

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has been holding hearings over the attack in Libya, with security officials testifying about the preparedness of the security teams.

The Daily Beast noted that a memo prepared for House Democrats by the committee did not dispute the claims of a fragile security situation, but also pointed out the funding cuts for diplomatic security and embassy construction.

"Since gaining the majority in 2011, House Republicans have voted to reduce embassy security funding by approximately half a billion dollars below the amounts requested by the Obama administration," read the memo.

Chaffetz was the only House member to go on a fact-finding mission to Libya, said the Daily Beast.

Democrats said they were not given enough advance warning about the trip, and as a result no Democratic House members were able to go with Chaffetz.

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