al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri ordered the killing of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens as revenge for the killing of al-Qaeda’s second in command Abu Yahya al-Libi, a Libyan national who died in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan on June 4, in new counterintelligence reports now surfacing. The reports say that the raid on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya was not a “…spontaneous raid by angry Islamists, it was a professionally executed terrorist operation by a professional Al Qaeda assassination team, whose 20 members acted under the orders of their leader Ayman al Zawahri after special training. They were all Libyans, freed last year from prisons where they were serving sentences for terrorism passed during the late Muammar Qaddafi’s rule.”
Ayman al-Zawahiri urged Muslims and particularly Libyans to take revenge for the killing of Libi, in a video that was allegedly recorded during the Muslim fasting period of Ramadan which runs from mid-July to mid-August, but released to coincide with the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks by al-Qaeda on U.S. soil, which took place September 11, 2001. Attackers, numbering as many as 200, raided the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Lybia during Monday evening, killing the U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, information manager Sean Smith, and two former Navy SEALS, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, who were employed as private security specialists for the U.S. government. Doherty’s sister, Katie Quigley of Marblehead, Mass. said the attack on the consulate had to have been extremely violent and well-coordinated, because “Glen was highly trained. He was the best of the best. This was serious, well-planned, well-executed,” she told NBC station KNSD-TV of San Diego. “He was very good at what he did.”
If both of these highly trained U.S. Navy veterans were killed along with the U.S. ambassador, it would seem to call into question an assertion, repeated literally dozens of times from the Obama administration this week, that the attack on the consular office was neither planned in advance, nor the work of al-Qaeda. The administration’s claim that is was not a planned attack seems to ignore the presence of thousands of foreign fighters, linked to al-Qaeda, who maintain a high-visibility presence in Libya. Administration denials that the White House had no warnings in advance of the Benghazi attack runs into conflict with numerous news reports from independent international news organizations that give a differing account of the information that President Obama and his White House team had in the hours and days leading up to the attack. A diplomatic source told CNN that Doherty was in Libya to search for shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles – a mission given high priority after the fall of the former Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi. If al-Qaeda militants were aware that the U.S. was actively searching for some approximately 20,000 Russian manufactured shoulder launched surface to air missiles, which have come up missing from Libya weapon stockpiles, with some reports detailing their transfer to al-Qaeda operatives, that mission, and the people involved in it, would have been a prime target for militants.
In the face of mounting evidence that the Obama administration had advance warning of potential terrorist threats against U.S. diplomatic missions in the Middle East and elsewhere, and that attacks could be launched on Monday, White House spokesman Jay Carney’s explanation did not appear to be credible. Carney avoided any discussion of al-Qaeda fighters who were, according to international news reports, implicated in the killing of the U.S. Ambassador in Benghazi, Libya, claiming that 100% of all unrest at U.S. diplomatic missions overseas is related solely to complaints associated with a film produced by a filmmaker based in California, who had no publicity for his film until it was cited by al-Qaeda as an insult against Islam and the prophet Muhammad. Carney said in today’s White House briefing, “This is a fairly volatile situation, and it is in response not to United States policy, obviously not to the administration, not to the American people. It is in response to a video, a film, that we have judged to be reprehensible and disgusting — that in no way justifies any violent reaction to it. But this is not a case of protests directed at the United States writ large or at U.S. policy, but it is in response to video that is offensive to Muslims,” said Carney. Carney ruled out any other explanation for the violence and attacks against U.S. interests.
It doesn’t appear that the Obama administration or the White House spokesman were listening to the chants heard outside U.S. diplomatic installations over the course of the past three days. Common chants heard were: “Death to Obama”, “Death to America”, and “Death to Jews”. U.S. flags have been torn from multiple embassies and burned, and the black flag of al-Qaeda has been raised above U.S. diplomatic buildings in multiple countries, on sovereign U.S. territory, without any objection or resistance from U.S. State Department personnel. The evidence is that the Obama administration and the U.S. State Department have allowed groups supporting al-Qaeda to instigate riots at U.S. installations, have made no attempt to prevent these groups from damaging or destroying U.S. property, and have permitted the flag of al-Qaeda to be flown above U.S. foreign missions.
An even bigger question, and a concern to U.S. citizens, is whether or not the U.S. government is adequately protecting American interests at home and abroad. The Obama administration has not announced if it intends to increase security levels at U.S. based military installations or with U.S. borders, ports, air traffic, trains, and shipping over water and land. No significant changes to current military strategy have been announced in the wake of the attack in Benghazi. With as many as 20,000 shoulder fired surface to air mobile missiles still unaccounted for, and two dead retired Navy SEALS now casualties of the “Arab Spring”, it is difficult to understand the reluctance of President Obama to raise America’s defensive posture to one of more active engagement of threats to U.S. security.
Celebrations over the death of former Libyan dictator Colonel Muammar el-Qaddafi last year by the Obama administration have evolved into a brand new media exercise in Washington, D.C. That exercise involves not discussing whether or not the U.S. is less safe now than prior to Qaddafi’s ouster from power in Libya. President Obama’s unwillingness to explore all possibilities into why U.S. property is not being protected sufficiently by the State Department, and why foreign service officers are allowing extremists and terrorists to raise the black flag of al-Qaeda over U.S. consular buildings and offices, has all the hallmarks of a classic failure to lead, and a paralysis regarding how to stop the violence and protect the sovereign territory and property of the U.S. government and citizens. Coupling this with a dangerous failure to distribute all information that would be important to Americans, at home and abroad, is placing all Americans at risk of further attacks, and tempting al-Qaeda to strike the U.S. mainland again.
Has the U.S. State Department decided to reduce the protective role of the Marine Security Guard from providing general security functions and protecting intelligence information and assets to simply protecting intelligence? If so, this would be a major shift in the security strategy within the diplomatic corps, at a time when tensions are high in the Middle East. Victoria Nuland, spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, at the department’s daily briefing today said, “The Marine guard force, I would note, is primarily responsible for the protection of classified information.” She followed up this statement by silencing questions about the attack in Benghazi, and any questions that might call for an answer from her that could be critical of the Obama administration, by informing the press members in attendance, and members of a much larger domestic and foreign audience, that the U.S. State Dept. will not answer further questions on the attack until ongoing investigations are complete, saying, ““I’m going to frustrate all of you, infinitely, by telling you that now that we have an open FBI investigation on the death of these four Americans, we are not going to be in a position to talk at all about what the U.S. government may or may not be learning about how any of this this happened — not who they were, not how it happened, not what happened to Ambassador Stevens, not any of it — until the Justice Department is ready to talk about the investigation that’s its got. So I’m going to send to the FBI for those kinds of questions and they’re probably not going to talk to you about it,” she said.
Washington, D.C. became an eerily quiet place on Friday as Democrats, including President Obama, concentrated on honoring those who died during the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. With so much unrest and property damage occurring, the Obama administration and the U.S. State Department will only be able to sidestep questions regarding shortcomings in U.S. security at it’s diplomatic stations for so long. President Obama shows no sign of suspending his campaign in the face of ever more violent attacks and protests against the U.S. government and U.S. based companies overseas. The President was scheduled to attend a private fundraiser in Washington, D.C. on Friday, as protests spread. Protesters have even burned Israeli and American flags outside the U.S. Embassy in London, UK. President Obama continues to maintain his current campaign and fundraising schedule, while showing no signs of devoting more attention to the investigation surrounding American deaths in Libya this week.
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and other Republican congressional members called the attack in Benghazi a “terrorist act”. Seth Jones, former adviser at U.S. Special Operations Command, connected the attack to a call by Ayman al-Zawahiri to avenge the drone-strike killing of a terror operative in Pakistan. “This was not just about any sort of a spontaneous revolt. This was an organized attack,” he said. Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan accused the White House of sending “mixed signals”, and said today at the Value Voters Summit in Washington, “In the days ahead, and in the years ahead, American foreign policy needs moral clarity and firmness of purpose. Only by the confident exercise of American influence are evil and violence overcome. That is how we keep problems abroad from becoming crises. That is what keeps the peace. And that is what we will have in a Romney-Ryan administration.”
The Obama campaign was thought to have an insurmountable edge in foreign policy matters over the Republican ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, but all of that is changing, and rather quickly as each day passes. The failure of the President to formally address the nation, in regards to the U.S. deaths in Libya, the missing Libyan missles, al-Qaeda operatives in Syria, less protection at U.S. diplomatic installations, adds to the conspiracy of silence among Democrats right now. President Obama is refusing to recognize that few of the several thousand worldwide protesters have not participated in chanting “death to America”, and most have answered calls by radical clerics to actually protest against the U.S., and Barack Obama himself. All this is increasing the size of the widening credibility gap between what is known about the Benghazi attack, and what the American people are being told about the attack through the Obama administration; and the two different perspectives are as different from each other as misinformation is from truth.
Most U.S. television networks are not pressing the Obama administration on the lack of urgency in the administration’s response to the Benghazi attack. When embassies are burning in several countries, and the administration chooses as it’s response to order just 100 U.S. Marines and two guided missle destroyers with U.S. drone capabilities to two countries as the only publicized military response to the ongoing crisis, it does speak volumes to the administration’s desire to end the ongoing threat to U.S. diplomatic missions worldwide. One thing is certain: al-Qaeda is also watching the slow response of the Obama administration to the unfolding foreign policy crisis resting in the hands of President Obama.