Foreign Policy Competence in General

Now the facts underlying the attacks on our embassy in Egypt and consulate in Libya, together with the murders of our personnel, are starting to emerge into the light.  Intelligence is now conceding that [emphasis mine]

the deadly attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, was directly tied to Al Qaeda—with a former Guantanamo detainee involved.

In fact, it’s entirely possible that the erstwhile Gitmo prisoner, Sufyan Ben Qumu, may have led the attack on our consulate.  This was a terrorist that was transferred from Gitmo to Libyan custody—with the proviso that he be jailed there—during the Bush the Younger administration, and who then was promptly released by Libya’s then-MFWIC Muammar Qaddafi.

Moreover, Matt Olsen, National Counterterrorism Center Director, told the Senate’s hearing on the matter last Wednesday,

Yes, they [our Ambassador and three of his staff] were killed in the course of a terrorist attack on our embassy.

Note that Wednesday testimony by Olsen.  That comes on the heels of Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama’s claim, made through his press rep, Jay Carney, and his UN Ambassador, Susan Rice, of “do what?”  Just a short while prior to Olsen’s sworn testimony, ObamaCarney claimed that there was

no evidence of a preplanned or pre-meditated attack.  I made that clear last week, Ambassador Rice made that clear Sunday.

Indeed, Rice had busily made the rounds of the Sunday morning talk shows claiming that the attack in Benghazi was “spontaneous” and triggered by the Egyptian attack on our embassy there, which ostensibly was over a movie trailer that had been on YouTube for some months prior to this “spontaneity.”  See below concerning the Egyptian attack.

It was a reaction to a video that had nothing to do with the United States.  The best information and the best assessment we have today is that this was not a pre-planned, pre-meditated attack. What happened initially was that it was a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired in Cairo.

But was this apparent contradiction simply the result of a continuing development of information?  Not so much.  State knew this much in real time: the Libyan president and his intelligence facility had already said the attack was premeditated.  Additionally, there was no major protest in Benghazi in the hours (!) before the attack—which went in from three different directions simultaneously.

Apparently, when the facts contradict your pre-determined outcome, it’s necessary to disregard those facts for as long as possible.

Meanwhile, over in Egypt….

The Department of Homeland Security knew two days before the attack on our Cairo embassy why it was going to occur and that it had nothing to do with a movie trailer.  And so, because DHS and State of course coordinate on such matters, State knew this two days ahead of the attacks, also.

DHS’ intel report, of which Fox News says they’ve obtained a copy, cites a Web site carrying a call to “sons of Egypt.”  DHS has also called this source fairly reliable.  The call demands the following:

Starting now, let the faithful among you form follow-up committees in charge of taking the necessary measures to force America to release the sheikh [the Blind Sheik, convicted and, so far, jailed for a separate terrorist attack]—even if it requires burning the embassy down with everyone in it.

But no actionable intelligence existed, Obama has said.

Oh, and on the matter of the Blind Sheik’s release by our government, there’s this:

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland has denied the possibility.

Let me say as clearly as I can there is no plan to release the blind sheikh, there is no plan. To my knowledge we have not been approached about it recently by any senior Egyptians.

Leaving aside the careful parsing in this claim, as Chancellor Otto von Bismarck is reputed to have said,

In statecraft, never believe anything until it’s been officially denied.

The potential for this terrorist’s release is especially disturbing since he’s in the hands of a President who began his administration with a World Apology Tour, and whose State Department preceded the attacks on our Egyptian embassy with an apology for a man exercising his free speech rights.

This is a shocking failure to perform.

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  1. Pingback: First, the Official Denial | A Plebe's Site

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