Cutter: No, Benghazi was not a foreign-policy failure

posted at 11:21 am on October 22, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Stephanie Cutter insisted this morning on NBC that the attack on our consulate in Benghazi was not a “foreign policy failure,” and that the only reason people might think it was is because Republicans are “politicizing” a tragedy that could have happened anywhere in the world American diplomats serve.  That’s true only if one considers the Benghazi attack completely without the context of the last two years of Barack Obama’s foreign policy, in general dealing with the so-called “Arab Spring” and specifically in Libya.  In truth, we created the conditions for this attack, and then ignored the risks:

It’s true that American diplomatic missions are always under threat; the twin embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998 was a reminder of that, as was the sacking of our Tehran embassy in 1979.  All of these, by the way, have a common thread: radical Islam.  The two 1998 embassy bombings have an even closer tie to the Benghazi attack: all three were committed by terrorist networks, quite possibly al-Qaeda in all three instances.

The threat in eastern Libya, however, came from the direct action launched by Obama against the previous Qaddafi regime.  Terrorist networks have operated in eastern Libya for years, perhaps decades, although the Qaddafi regime kept a lid on them as best it could, seeing them as a threat to power.  Obama decided to decapitate the Qaddafi regime in the spring of 2011 in order to accelerate the “Arab Spring” and demonstrate solidarity with the Arab “street.”  He decided to limit this involvement to merely an air war against Qaddafi’s air and ground forces, and induced NATO to join us and eventually take over for us.  When Qaddafi fell, the Obama administration hailed it as the proper model for intervention, taking a victory lap for not having boots on the ground for years afterward as we did in Iraq.

Well, this is what happens when one decapitates a tyrannous regime in the Arab world without any boots on the ground.  In doing so, we provided a massive opportunity for the very terrorist networks we have fought for the last eleven years. Obama’s foreign policy decision opened a huge vacuum of power in eastern Libya, which has been filled by the radical Islamist terror networks that can now operate freely.  The central government has little effective control in the Benghazi region.  That’s why all of the other Western nations closed their diplomatic missions in Benghazi months before the attack, and even the Red Cross left before we did.  Rather than take a lesson from that exodus, or at least beef up security in Benghazi in response to the growing threats, we ignored the threats entirely and shrugged it off as business as usual — much as Cutter does in this response here.

This is most certainly a foreign policy failure, as well as a stunning display of incompetence.

Note: This post was accidentally published while still a draft, which is why the comment timing will look a little off.

Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air



Trackback URL


November 1, 2011: al-Qaeda flag flown above Benghazi courthouse.

Evidently, Democrats can’t buy a clue to save our ambassador’s life. Heck, they wouldn’t get it, even if the black flag flew above the Capitol building or the White House.

Willfully clueless children, the lot of ’em.

Christien on October 22, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Here’s the link: AQ flag over Benghazi courthouse

Christien on October 22, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Stephanie Cutter is going to have to file for unemployment in 2 weeks.

paulsur on October 22, 2012 at 12:14 PM

5 will get you 10…She shows up on MSNBC smoewhere.
She fits their low journalistic standards perfectly.

FlaMurph on October 22, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Whew! I’m sure glad Cutter clarified this as I and many others thought the Obama admin totally screwed the pooch on the Benghazi attack!

I feel so much more convinced it wasn’t a total cluster fark!/

Liberty or Death on October 22, 2012 at 12:23 PM

For years now after 9/11 we were told that Bush ignored foreign policy and warnings about terrorism/terrorists in the US. The Democrats used everything they could to undermine Bush and the US while we had troops in combat.

Now, we are told that poor Obama couldn’t help it if the intelligence was not there.

Don’t all the Muslim countries love Obama? Hasn’t improved our image throughout the world? How could they put him in such an awkward position?

Benghazi is a foreign policy failure borne out of utter and complete incompetence.

Jvette on October 22, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Yeah, Ambassador Jacobsen in Ottawa is shaking in his boots!

MochaLite on October 22, 2012 at 12:25 PM

“Failure”, like “recovery”, “transparency”, “unity”, etc, etc, is just another word nobody in the Obungler Administration seems to understand the definition of.

Marxism is for dummies on October 22, 2012 at 12:26 PM

She’s probably getting paid very well to lie on behalf of this administration. She’ll be gone come Nov 6 and will find a job on MSNBC as a douche, I mean contributor.

rollthedice on October 22, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Cutter: No, Benghazi was not a foreign-policy failure

Right. It was a great success. All went as planned. The Obama admin is happy with this success and the way things have turned out.

These people are disconnected from reality. But then, all Lefties are by practically by definition disconnected from reality. The do not understand the real world and how real people think and behave

farsighted on October 22, 2012 at 12:28 PM

If your consulate is overrun and your ambassador executed, there’s a failure. I think that should be fairly non-controversial.

besser tot als rot on October 22, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Did she actually say “TRANSPARENCY”? LOL

jammlbts on October 22, 2012 at 12:31 PM


a success

Embassy over run secret intelligence taken
all killed in unsafe room

Benghazi was not a foreign-policy failure

United States
a failure

Embassy over run secret intelligence taken
all killed in unsafe room

Just who’s side is Obama on?

jpcpt03 on October 22, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Republicans are “politicizing” a tragedy that could have happened anywhere in the world American diplomats serve

Yes. Of course. It’s just as likely this could have occurred in Luxembourg. Our Ambassador to Luxembourg lives daily in fear for his life, fearful of am unpredictable spontaneous fatal attack from enraged Luxembourgers.

farsighted on October 22, 2012 at 12:34 PM

What a twit…Keep talking, Cutter.

Battlecruiser-operational on October 22, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Unfortunately, she’s not quite as alienating as the “lifelike talking points robot” DWS.

thuja on October 22, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Lowered expectations is the new normal. Recalibrate, Barky.

Philly on October 22, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Stephanie Cutter is going to have to file for unemployment in 2 weeks.

paulsur on October 22, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Every time she speaks, Obama’s numbers must go down. Why would anyone use a woman like that as their “public face”?? She’s the definition of fingernails on the blackboard.

BettyRuth on October 22, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Lies, damned, lies, statistics, and Cutters.

profitsbeard on October 22, 2012 at 12:47 PM

If your consulate is overrun and your ambassador executed, there’s a failure. I think that should be fairly non-controversial.

besser tot als rot on October 22, 2012 at 12:29 PM

“It’s not optimal
.”- Barack Unemployed Shortly Obama.

profitsbeard on October 22, 2012 at 12:51 PM

I hear David Jacobson, the United States Ambassador to Canada, is living in daily fear of those radical Ottawans.

AverageJoe on October 22, 2012 at 12:53 PM

In the Issa hearing Lamb made it clear that she was implementing a policy decision, namely to turn security over to the Libyan’s, when she denied requests from Nordstrom and Wood to increase or even maintain the current level of American security forces. The inadequate security is thus clearly a policy failure and the policy must have been set by those in highest positions of authority.

John E. on October 22, 2012 at 12:56 PM

So, you’re implying that an alert and in-charge Reagan orchestrated Iran Contra? Or admitting that a tired and aging geezer just wasn’t paying attention?
urban elitist on September 30, 2012 at 6:19 PM

rogerb on October 22, 2012 at 12:56 PM

I guess it was a success then

Conservative4ev on October 22, 2012 at 12:57 PM


I weary of this beyotch!

The War Planner on October 22, 2012 at 12:57 PM

the twin embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998 was a reminder of that, as was the sacking of our Tehran embassy in 1979. All of these, by the way, have a common thread: radical Islam and Democrat US presidents.

mwdiver on October 22, 2012 at 12:59 PM

What a dirtbag thing to say. I mean, seriously. How does one refer to a situation in which four of our State Dept. personnel were murdered as anything other than “a foreign policy failure”?

I’ll be so glad when these people are put out of the White House for good. The lies and deceit have become grossly outrageous.

Murf76 on October 22, 2012 at 1:04 PM

Yes. Of course. It’s just as likely this could have occurred in Luxembourg. Our Ambassador to Luxembourg lives daily in fear for his life, fearful of am unpredictable spontaneous fatal attack from enraged Luxembourgers.

farsighted on October 22, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Luxembourgers are rich and high fat (very dangerous!), which is why we’re sending Michelle Obama over there to redistribute their stuff. For safety, and the children, of course.

BKennedy on October 22, 2012 at 1:05 PM

Well, that certainly says how little they think of people! So, the MURDER and Rape of an America Emb. & 3 other Americans is not a Failure. What a POS! On top of all that, these POS monsters watched what happened in real time and did nothing! IMPOTENT and INCOMPETENT Foreign policy, but not a Failure> Sure, in the psychotic mind of a desperate Lib/America Hater, maybe, but to the rest of the world, it was an EPIC FAILURE!
Update on how to take on the Obama Enemy media & Win:

God Bless America!

paratisi on October 22, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Last night on the special broadcast of The Five, Beckel said that there was no proof that Al Quaeda was behind the attack or that the group was capable of planning and pulling off such an attack.

I think we will hear that tonight in the debate.

Jvette on October 22, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Is Romney smart enough to confront The Dog Eater with Cutter’s claim in the debate? He would have no answer, not even a non-answer will do. But, based on past performance, I doubt Romney will do it.

edshepp on October 22, 2012 at 1:15 PM

These people destroy what they are trying to achieve by just talking about it… put a microphone in front of them and they destroy themselves. Don’t any of these operatives actually have any capacity to talk realistically without a teleprompter?

ajacksonian on October 22, 2012 at 1:21 PM

Bumps in the road…4 American deaths not optimal…Bengazi not a foreign policy failure…


workingclass artist on October 22, 2012 at 1:23 PM

There often are no easy answers in foreign policy.

Old Fritz on October 22, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Easy answer: As long as they’re killing each other, leave them alone and let them have at it.

Easy answer #2: Kadaffi was killing terrorists and assorted radicals/militants. Doing a fine job of it, too…which means less that we’ll have to kill later.

Solaratov on October 22, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Is Romney smart enough to confront The Dog Eater with Cutter’s claim in the debate? He would have no answer, not even a non-answer will do. But, based on past performance, I doubt Romney will do it.

edshepp on October 22, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Much as I hate to agree with RINO Bill Kristol, Romney can’t come off sounding as the prosecutor making the case against the administration’s failures at Benghazi. It looks too much like meddling. IMO, Romney needs to stick to the larger issue like the fact that the Arab Spring is a failure largely due to the way the administration has dealt with the various nations. He needs to talk about the need to supporting our allies better than Obama has- especially Israel. In short he needs to look like a President since the President looks like an ignorant little boy.

Happy Nomad on October 22, 2012 at 1:25 PM

What most distinguishes Benghazi from the other attacks Ed references is is that this happened within the final weeks of a presidential campaign. Romney has been unable to find any edge, or any way to an edge, on FP. He wants to suggest he differs from Obama – but when pressed can’t really say how.
He rushed out an inept statement within hours of the attack. His campaign saw – and continues to see – and opportunity here.
This is all they got – and they’ll be slinging this mud right up to election day.

verbaluce on October 22, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Sally Kohn, Julie Roginsky, Jehmu Whatever, this chick.

vityas on October 22, 2012 at 1:28 PM

verbaluce on October 22, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Your president has lied his posterior off for 5 weeks…and the evidence against him conues to mount.

And, that’s all you’ve got…is to try and impune the Republican Candidate? The murder of those 4 Americans was not Romney’s responsibility. The responsibility lies at the feet of President Barack Hussein Obama.

kingsjester on October 22, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Facts? Facts? We don’t need no stinking facts! Four Americans dead, including the US Ambassador? It was all Bush’s fault and if you don’t believe me, check out the dialogue between Rudy Giuliani & Soledad O’Brian: You cannot win an argument with a liberal, the facts get in the way!

Boats48 on October 22, 2012 at 1:43 PM

They can relax…….is Bob Schieffer going to hold Obama accountable for anything?

…….mmmmmm, no.

PappyD61 on October 22, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Your president has lied his posterior off for 5 weeks…and the evidence against him conues to mount.

And, that’s all you’ve got…is to try and impune the Republican Candidate? The murder of those 4 Americans was not Romney’s responsibility. The responsibility lies at the feet of President Barack Hussein Obama.

kingsjester on October 22, 2012 at 1:35 PM

No…it’s all you got.
And that’s my point. You’re the one impugning with the ‘president has lied his posterior off for 5 weeks’. It’s a baseless charge, but it works with the base.
I’m ‘charging’ that the Romney campaign has seized on this attack as a political opportunity. Just silly to try and claim they haven’t. What you need to be thinking about – as they are – is will it work. I know you want it to…but will it?
Mitt had a hard time pontificating on all this at the last debate. I’m sure he’s prepped for tonight to try some new angles. And yes, they will be new ones.

verbaluce on October 22, 2012 at 1:45 PM

This is most certainly a foreign policy failure, as well as a stunning display of incompetence.

How is it that a lying whore like Stephanie Cutter can keep her job. She has no credibility and after Nov. 6th she will have no job.

Happy Nomad on October 22, 2012 at 10:46 AM

mmmmm, no she’ll prolly have her own show on cable and will make even more money.

FAILURE will just enhance her resume in the Leftysphere.

PappyD61 on October 22, 2012 at 1:47 PM

verbaluce on October 22, 2012 at 1:45 PM

So, you believe a youtube video which the Radical Islamacists never even saw, incited them to kill those 4 Americans, which just happened to occur on 9/11?

Hold on. I’ve got the deed to 2 bridges over the Mississippi River at Memphis I want you to sign.

kingsjester on October 22, 2012 at 1:52 PM

She has a cute face, but is woefully warped. There’s only one purpose for a head like that, and something needs to be shoved in that mouth to shut her up…

stacman on October 22, 2012 at 1:58 PM

Cutter is pushing a line of defense that is one of the most infuriating I’ve heard coming out of this administration. It can be summarized as the “Sh!t Happens” defense. It’s always presented with a lot of chin stroking and sage observations about how dangerous the world is. But even this appalling logic is no defense at all!

If I could retort to Ms. Cutter I’d ask her – if the world is as nasty as you say it is – then why the #3LL did we only have a couple of locals with tasers and handcuffs guarding our ambassodor? Such a massive failure to protect our people is either gross incompetence or reckless disregard for their lives. . . and your candidate was supposed to be at the helm when this shipwreck happened!

The Ritz on October 22, 2012 at 2:00 PM

So the HA headline says “Benghazi residents not thrilled with drones buzzing overhead”.

President Strozek would fix that with a bang.

A big, hot bang.

Bruno Strozek on October 22, 2012 at 2:00 PM


There’s only one purpose for a head like that…

Either grow up or move to Huffpo where comments like yours are in good company. Nothing funny or worthwhile in what you said.

The Ritz on October 22, 2012 at 2:02 PM

verbaluce on October 22, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Here ya go!

a capella on October 22, 2012 at 2:08 PM

if your consulate is overrun and your ambassador executed, there’s a failure. I think that should be fairly non-controversial.

besser tot als rot on October 22, 2012 at 12:29 PM

In “Obamaland”:
Your consulate is overrun and your ambassador executed = SUCCESS!!!111!!!
Your wife owns a horse = FAILURE!!!!!!!!1111!!!

Honestly, you can’t make this stuff up…LOL

Strike Hornet on October 22, 2012 at 2:21 PM

I’m embarassed by this administration, and their ridiculous statements. For most of my life, I’ve lived outside the US. I know exactly how and why the US wields power, to keep the peace. But now we’ve become the laughingstock of the brutal world. If we lose a citizen, the world knows that we’ll investigate and at the same time, demand an answer. Now, we lose an AMBASSADOR, and the world sees us bickering amongst ourselves. In ordinary course of events, it would be grounds for war. In my opinion, BHO has weakened us internationally more than any other Preezy.

tommy71 on October 22, 2012 at 2:50 PM

This is all they got – and they’ll be slinging this mud right up to election day.

verbaluce on October 22, 2012 at 1:28 PM

“Oh, yeah, big fluking deal. Four Americans slaughtered in the Middle East? Is that all you got? And it was because the Republicans cut security! Racists. Islamophobes! Is that all you got, Mitt?”

spiritof61 on October 22, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Perspective here, my friends! Try to take away your liberty and freedom and strength and accountability agendas…for just a moment, please!

What she means is that it can’t be termed a “foreign policy failure” because “those people” don’t negotiate the right way. The right way is the way they teach us in International Baccalaureate programs, Political Science, International Relations degree programs, and these people weren’t playing ball. We were throwing the ball…putting unarmed and undermanned diplomats on the ground, bringing money and arms, opening hospitals and “cultural exhibits” (!!!) we showed them our bare underbellies!…and these people…we all know they don’t have the same intellectual capabilities and social je ne c’est quoi required to come to a pleasant conclusion to the matter at hand, really. They interrupted our efforts!

They just aren’t our sort of people. So it’s not a failure…we just haven’t met the people yet who are going to be the sort who make the country (just like the other ones since they’re all the same) just settle down and be calm and farm and be very quiet over there in Africa. What’s their problem anyway? Anyway, it’s not Obama’s fault. It’s Romel’s fault, but who’s counting? What do you want from us?

winoceros on October 22, 2012 at 3:01 PM

I think back to the Reagan Administration, and Jeane Kirkpatrick; and to Bush-41 and Bush-43 with Condoleezza Rice, and other notable, capable women in those administrations; and look at Cutter, Hillary, Jarrett, Rice, etc., and think:
Is this the best the Left can do?
What a sad, sorry state of affairs we have allowed ourselves to descend to.

Another Drew on October 22, 2012 at 3:10 PM

verbaluce on October 22, 2012 at 1:45 PM

So, you believe a youtube video which the Radical Islamacists never even saw, incited them to kill those 4 Americans, which just happened to occur on 9/11?

Hold on. I’ve got the deed to 2 bridges over the Mississippi River at Memphis I want you to sign.

kingsjester on October 22, 2012 at 1:52 PM

It’s fine that you’re not following –
but no…I don’t think that.
But – be honest – how quickly and fully did YOU believe that when it was first reported?

verbaluce on October 22, 2012 at 3:11 PM

verbaluce on October 22, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Actually, dimples. I always believed it was a Terrorist attack. Unlike you and your messiah, I’m not that naive.

kingsjester on October 22, 2012 at 3:14 PM

What the matter with this crapweasel, not enough citizens killed?

Wade on October 22, 2012 at 3:20 PM

Is this the best the Left can do?

Another Drew on October 22, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Sadly yes. Think what the other lib veejay thinkers must be like.

Wade on October 22, 2012 at 3:23 PM

I always believed it was a Terrorist attack. Unlike you and your messiah, I’m not that naive.

kingsjester on October 22, 2012 at 3:14 PM

Well, I’ll take you on your word on that.
But you’re one of the exceptions then.

verbaluce on October 22, 2012 at 3:29 PM

verbaluce on October 22, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Actually, it was just you and your fellow Liberals (21%) that believed that whole video garbage.

kingsjester on October 22, 2012 at 3:38 PM

the twin embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998 was a reminder of that, as was the sacking of our Tehran embassy in 1979. All of these, by the way, have a common thread: radical Islam. The two 1998 embassy bombings have an even closer tie to the Benghazi attack: all three were committed by terrorist networks, quite possibly al-Qaeda in all three instances, and a Democrat in the White House.

txmomof6 on October 22, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Man. There’s political spin, and then there’s dancing on the graves of dead Americans. (Total indifference to their loss might as well be celebrating their deaths.)

But, I will give Obama credit: He makes his indifference one hundred percent clear. I said if he were to be honest here, then Stephanie Cutter would keep her job. Lo and behold, she has.

It’s only a tragedy insofar as it hurts Obama’s reelection chances. That’s his view in a nutshell. Right there, in your face, there it. Is. Bump in the word. Not optimal.

Those dead Americans are like the rest of us: all acceptable broken eggs for his omelet.

…I feel gross just looking at these people. We’ve crossed a real nasty line with this admin. Several of them. This isn’t natural for people in power to speak in this fashion. Thus is just bad.

Hawkins1701 on October 22, 2012 at 4:05 PM

verbaluce? is it?
Do you think it was some VIDEO that caused the attack?
Really, do you?

If so, you are as simple minded as your messages struggle to communicate.

Missilengr on October 22, 2012 at 4:05 PM

verbaluce go read the Bing West story from:
a capella on October 22, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Nothing like a thunder buzz from a pair of F-18 SuperHornet to get your attention. Would have added many hours to the shrinking response time for some Delta or Green Team trigger pullers to come over the horizon.

But King Putt had other issues to deal with … you know real important things like … makin his way to Vegas and doin’ some fun-fund raising.
This leadership thing is just too demanding for the ‘Smartest President Eva’
Right, verbaluce?

Missilengr on October 22, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Don’t kid yourself, Steph. It was not only a failure in foreign policy, it was a full five star catastrophe.

hachiban on October 22, 2012 at 4:47 PM

Well, I’ll take you on your word on that.
But you’re one of the exceptions then.

verbaluce on October 22, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Count me in on the exceptions. On Sept 12, on the way to work (so around 7:30 a.m. or so), I called in to the local conservative radio show to ask “so we are supposed to believe that on the anniversary of September 11th, they just happened to get mad at a video?”

cptacek on October 22, 2012 at 5:03 PM

Either grow up or move to Huffpo where comments like yours are in good company. Nothing funny or worthwhile in what you said.

The Ritz on October 22, 2012 at 2:02 PM

What are you? The morality police? You twit. There was nothing vulgar or offensive in my post. It’s only your simple, little brain interpreting it your way…

stacman on October 22, 2012 at 5:14 PM

induced NATO to join us and eventually take over for us.

All the accuracy of the MSM. Obama “induced” nothing, it was France especially who drew US into Libya, a major source of oil for Europe.

Adjoran on October 22, 2012 at 5:19 PM

ROS-LEHTINEN: Obama still trying to sweet-talk Iran out of building the bomb

Weak foreign policy poses serious threat
Fri Oct 19 2012
By Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

Just a few days ago, Mansour J. Arbabsiar pleaded guilty to working with Iran’s Quds force to carry out an attack on U.S. soil and assassinate a foreign diplomat stationed in Washington. Earlier this month, Hezbollah, a terrorist proxy of the Iranian regime, reportedly launched an Iranian-supplied drone that penetrated Israel’s airspace before being shot down. Late last month, the Iranian navy launched four missiles as a show of force and its capacity to shut down access to the Persian Gulf. These are just a few examples of how the Iranian threat has become more dangerous since the Obama administration took office.

Unfortunately, despite its rhetoric to the contrary, the administration has not done what is necessary to effectively address the threat from Tehran. Iran’s nuclear program, particularly its ability to produce enriched uranium, has expanded exponentially since President Obama took office in 2009. Yet the president continues to embrace engagement and meaningless negotiations with Tehran while refusing to set clear red lines with respect to Iran’s nuclear program. The administration’s behavior has sent a clear message to our allies and the Iranian regime: The United States is not willing to do what it takes to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capability.

Nonetheless, sanctions spearheaded by Congress — even with the administration fighting us every step of the way — have made an impact. Iran’s oil revenues are falling and could drop much lower as the embargo on Iranian oil expands and investment in Iran’s oil sector dries up. Economic sanctions also are inflicting increasing damage on Iran’s long-term oil-production potential. Concurrently, Iran is experiencing a currency crisis that could threaten the stability of the regime. The Iranian regime also reports that consumer prices rose more than 40 percent from spring 2010 to spring 2012. Updated data have not been published in recent months, presumably because the data show further hyperinflation. We must exploit this vulnerability. To do so, the president must make full and immediate use of the tools Congress has provided him. Sanctions on Iran’s oil industry and banking system are curtailing the foreign partnerships on which Iran’s oil industry has relied. Given these trends, it is not unreasonable to contemplate the end of oil exports from Iran, with resulting damage to government finances, foreign exchange earnings and the larger Iranian economy.

However, incremental, a la carte implementation of sanctions limits the potential impact on the Iranian regime’s ability to pursue its dangerous activities. The effectiveness of these foreign-policy tools has been further undermined by the Obama administration’s naive view that if we keep “talking” to the Iranians and convince them to return to the negotiating table, Iran will stop its drive for nuclear capability.

The Iranians in the past have agreed repeatedly to discussions over their nuclear program, in some cases even giving the impression that a deal was in place before reneging. Thus, Tehran’s tactics have another, more fundamental purpose: Iran benefits from dragging out the negotiations as long as possible in order to provide its nuclear program extra time to keep refining uranium, getting Iran its goal of a bomb. Again, if the Iranians can convince the P5+1 countries that negotiations are leading toward an agreement, it is possible the European Union and the administration will quietly ease sanctions, as part of the “flexibility” Mr. Obama thinks he will have in his second term.

There is a growing disconnect between the president’s public rhetoric and the process by which U.S. diplomatic efforts have allowed Tehran to do the stalling that he claims he opposes.

We need an administration that will implement a coherent policy to compel the Iranian regime to abandon its nuclear program and other dangerous activities. America and our ally Israel cannot afford another four years of failed Obama administration policies on Iran, policies that will not produce a deal but only buy Tehran more time to cross the nuclear finish line.

canopfor on October 22, 2012 at 6:43 PM

Cutter is on my unwatchable list. I just can not listen to these a-holes, they are all “unusually good liars.”

Bill Burton, Stephanie Cutter, DW Schultz, Anthony Weiner, Alan Grayson, Elizabeth Warren and of course President Barry.

PC14 on October 22, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Benghazi, US-NATO Sponsored Base of Operations for Al Qaeda

Late US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens documented the transformation of Benghazi into overt base of operations for Al Qaeda.

Global Research, October 21, 2012

Late US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens documented the transformation of Benghazi, Libya into overt base of operations for Al Qaeda.

“I have met with these brave fighters, and they are not Al-Qaeda. To the contrary: They are Libyan patriots who want to liberate their nation. We should help them do it.” – Senator John McCain in Benghazi, Libya April 22, 2011.

The Washington Times, in an article titled, “Ambassador Stevens warned of Islamic extremism before Benghazi attack,” reported:

Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, in a diplomatic cable from Libya last June, cited the apparent rise of “Islamic extremism” and the spotting of “the Al Qaeda flag” over buildings outside the city of Benghazi, where he and three other Americans were ultimately killed in an attack on Sept. 11.

The Washington Times would quote Stevens as writing:

“A number of local contacts agreed, noting that Islamic extremism appears to be on the rise in eastern Libya and that the Al Qaeda flag has been spotted several times flying over government buildings and training facilities” in a small Libyan city about 100 miles east of Benghazi.”

While all of this is depicted by the Western media as a recent revelation made only after the death of Ambassador Stevens, journalists around the world had documented and warned of the dangers of arming “pro-democracy protesters” who were clearly militant extremists, actively carrying out terrorism for at least three decades in the Cyrenaica (eastern Libya) region. These warning came just as NATO bombs began to fall on Libya in 2011, and were reiterated many times before the bombing concluded.

Video: March, 2011, shortly after NATO began bombing Libya, journalists the world over were warning that the so-called “pro-democracy” protesters the West was purportedly protecting were in fact notorious extremist groups with a 30 year history of terrorism in Libya and abroad. Dr. Webster Tarpley provided documented evidence collected from the US Army’s own West Point study, indicating the the epicenter of the so-called “revolution,” was in fact the global epicenter of Al Qaeda recruitment. It would be in this epicenter that John McCain would give his speech, and where Ambassador Stevens would later be killed.….

Geopolitical analyst Dr. Webster Tarpley, in March of 2011, published a report titled, “The CIA’s Libya Rebels: The Same Terrorists who Killed US, NATO Troops in Iraq,” where a 2007 West Point study implicated Libya’s Cyrenaica region as the global epicenter for Al Qaeda recruitment. The most prominent militant group in the region was the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), listed by the US State Department, United Nations, and the UK Home Office (page 5, .pdf) as an international terrorist organization.

The United Nations, in addition to labeling LIFG as a terrorist organization, designated it as being in association with Al Qaeda, a designation that was made in 2001, a decade before NATO’s military intervention.

While the Western press and State Department officials attempt to claim the extremists operating in Benghazi are merely “affiliated” with Al Qaeda, this is an understatement. LIFG is Al Qaeda, and has been officially since 2007. The West Point report titled, “Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq” stated:

The apparent surge in Libyan recruits traveling to Iraq may be linked the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group’s (LIFG) increasingly cooperative relationship with al‐Qa’ida, which culminated in the LIFG officially joining al‐Qa’ida on November 3, 2007. (page 9, .pdf)

To this day, LIFG leaders are alleged to occupy the highest echelons of Al Qaeda, with the recently deceased Abu Yahya al-Libi (the Libyan) having played a role in both terror outfits. With West Point’s 2007 report and the UN’s 2001 official designation, it is clear that NATO’s decision to arm these groups was an act of unprecedented, blatant state sponsorship of terrorism. That the UN mandated NATO’s intervention, undermines entirely the “primacy of international law.”

Warning Signs Were Covered Up, Not Ignored.

While the Western press glossed over stories covering the hoisting of Al Qaeda flags described by Ambassador Stevens in his cables, the development was covered across the alternative media, including in, “John McCain: Founding Father of the Terrorist Emirate of Benghazi,” where the full implications and genesis of these prevailing extremists forces were examined in detail. Alternative analysis was quickly dismissed as “conspiracy theories,” even as Ambassador Stevens was sending his cables to Washington conveying exactly the same information.

The West did not “ignore” these warnings. It covered them up intentionally through a concerted campaign of deceit, cognitive infiltration, and ridicule. The intelligence services of Washington and London had been supplying weapons and aid to the terrorists of Benghazi for 30 years, fought along side them in Afghanistan against the Soviets in the 1980′s, armed and unleashed them in Kosovo in the 1990′s, and willfully bolstered their numbers, armament, and operational capacity in 2011 in order to overthrow the Libyan government.

The terror emirate of Benghazi that consumed Ambassador Stevens is a monster of the West’s own willful, premeditated creation – the West fully cognizant of the implications – and a monster the West is currently still arming, funding, and supporting, this time along the Turkish-Syrian border.

US, NATO, and “International Community” to Willfully Repeat “Mistake” in Syria.

Indeed, the very terrorists that have turned Benghazi into a terror emirate, with Al Qaeda flags waving freely over government buildings, and responsible for the death of a US Ambassador, are being sent to the Turkish-Syrian border where NATO member Turkey is harboring them while the US arms them with Saudi and Qatari purchased weapons.

In November 2011, the Telegraph in their article, “Leading Libyan Islamist met Free Syrian Army opposition group,” would report:

Abdulhakim Belhadj, head of the Tripoli Military Council and the former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, “met with Free Syrian Army leaders in Istanbul and on the border with Turkey,” said a military official working with Mr Belhadj. “Mustafa Abdul Jalil (the interim Libyan president) sent him there.”

Another Telegraph article, “Libya’s new rulers offer weapons to Syrian rebels,” would admit

Syrian rebels held secret talks with Libya’s new authorities on Friday, aiming to secure weapons and money for their insurgency against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, The Daily Telegraph has learned.
At the meeting, which was held in Istanbul and included Turkish officials, the Syrians requested “assistance” from the Libyan representatives and were offered arms, and potentially volunteers.

“There is something being planned to send weapons and even Libyan fighters to Syria,” said a Libyan source, speaking on condition of anonymity. “There is a military intervention on the way. Within a few weeks you will see.”

Later that month, some 600 Libyan terrorists would be reported to have entered Syria to begin combat operations and more recently, CNN, whose Ivan Watson accompanied terrorists over the Turkish-Syrian border and into Aleppo, revealed that indeed foreign fighters were amongst the militants, particularly Libyans. It was admitted that:

Meanwhile, residents of the village where the Syrian Falcons were headquartered said there were fighters of several North African nationalities also serving with the brigade’s ranks.

A volunteer Libyan fighter has also told CNN he intends to travel from Turkey to Syria within days to add a “platoon” of Libyan fighters to armed movement.

CNN also added:

On Wednesday, CNN’s crew met a Libyan fighter who had crossed into Syria from Turkey with four other Libyans. The fighter wore full camouflage and was carrying a Kalashnikov rifle. He said more Libyan fighters were on the way.

The foreign fighters, some of them are clearly drawn because they see this as … a jihad. So this is a magnet for jihadists who see this as a fight for Sunni Muslims.

CNN’s reports provide bookends to 2011′s admissions that large numbers of Libyan terrorists flush with NATO cash and weapons had headed to Syria, with notorious terrorist LIFG commanders making the arrangements.

In essence, Syria has been under invasion for nearly a year by Libyan terrorists – the very same terrorists who have overrun Benghazi and killed a US ambassador, fully facilitated by NATO. In addition to these terrorists, Turkey and the United States are also arming and funding Muslim Brotherhood militants as well as fighters from US State Department-listed Ansar al-Islam.

To explain this to the public, the Western press is claiming that the weapons are inadvertently ending up in the hands of extremists, despite the CIA operating along the border allegedly steering weapons into the hands of “more secular” militants.

In June of 2012, the New York Times in an article titled, “C.I.A. Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Opposition,” claimed:

A small number of C.I.A. officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey, helping allies decide which Syrian opposition fighters across the border will receive arms to fight the Syrian government, according to American officials and Arab intelligence officers.

The weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the officials said.

The C.I.A. officers have been in southern Turkey for several weeks, in part to help keep weapons out of the hands of fighters allied with Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups, one senior American official said.

Then, apparently right under the nose of the CIA and NATO, the New York Times reported on October 14, 2012 in their article, “Rebel Arms Flow Is Said to Benefit Jihadists in Syria,” that:

Most of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply Syrian rebel groups fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, and not the more secular opposition groups that the West wants to bolster, according to American officials and Middle Eastern diplomats.

Clearly, there are only two explanations. The CIA is inept and should be held accountable for its profound and repeated failures, or the same verified lies told by the West in regards to Libya are being repeated in Syria.

Either way, the West, though its demonstrable actions, has forfeited its self-proclaimed authority to intervene beyond its borders, based on “international law” it willfully, openly, and repeatedly violates, selectively enforces, and otherwise manipulates to achieve its extraterritorial ambitions – and must be excluded entirely from any solution implemented to resolve the violence unfolding in Syria.

canopfor on October 22, 2012 at 6:48 PM

The CIA’s Libya Rebels: The Same Terrorists who Killed US, NATO Troops in Iraq

2007 West Point Study

Shows Benghazi-Darnah-Tobruk Area was a World Leader in Al Qaeda Suicide Bomber Recruitment

“Serpents, thirst, heat, and sand … Libya alone can present a multitude of woes that it would beseem men to fly from.”
Lucan, Pharsalia

Webster G. Tarpley, Ph.D.
March 24, 2011

Washington DC, March 24, 2011 — The current military attack on Libya has been motivated by UN Security Council resolution 1973 with the need to protect civilians. Statements by President Obama, British Prime Minister Cameron, French President Sarkozy, and other leaders have stressed the humanitarian nature of the intervention, which is said to aim at preventing a massacre of pro-democracy forces and human rights advocates by the Qaddafi regime.

But at the same time, many commentators have voiced anxiety because of the mystery which surrounds the anti-Qaddafi transitional government which emerged at the beginning of March in the city of Benghazi, located in the Cyrenaica district of north-eastern Libya. This government has already been recognized by France and Portugal as the sole legitimate representative of the Libyan people. The rebel council seems to be composed of just over 30 delegates, many of whom are enveloped in obscurity. In addition, the names of more than a dozen members of the rebel council are being kept secret, allegedly to protect them from the vengeance of Qaddafi. But there may be other reasons for the anonymity of these figures. Despite much uncertainty, the United Nations and its several key NATO countries, including the United States, have rushed forward to assist the armed forces of this rebel regime with air strikes, leading to the loss of one or two coalition aircraft and the prospect of heavier losses to come, especially if there should be an invasion. It is high time that American and European publics learned something more about this rebel regime which is supposed to represent a democratic and humanitarian alternative to Gaddafi.

The rebels are clearly not civilians, but an armed force. What kind of an armed force?

Since many of the rebel leaders are so difficult to research from afar, and since a sociological profile of the rebels cannot be done on the ground in the midst of warfare, perhaps the typical methods of social history can be called on for help. Is there a way for us to gain deeper insight into the climate of opinion which prevails in such northeastern Libyan cities as Benghazi, Tobruk, and Darnah, the main population centers of the rebellion?

It turns out that there is, in the form of a December 2007 West Point study examining the background of foreign guerrilla fighters — jihadis or mujahedin, including suicide bombers — crossing the Syrian border into Iraq during the 2006-2007 timeframe, under the auspices of the international terrorist organization Al Qaeda. This study is based on a mass of about 600 Al Qaeda personnel files which were captured by US forces in the fall of 2007, and analyzed at West Point using a methodology which we will discuss after having presented the main findings. The resulting study1 permits us to make important findings about the mentality and belief structures of the northeastern Libyan population that is furnishing the basis for the rebellion, permitting important conclusions about the political nature of the anti-Qaddafi revolt in these areas.

Darnah, northeast Libya: World Capital of Jihadis

The most striking finding which emerges from the West Point study is that the corridor which goes from Benghazi to Tobruk, passing through the city of Darnah (also transliterated as Derna) them represents one of the greatest concentrations of jihadi terrorists to be found anywhere in the world, and by some measures can be regarded as the leading source of suicide bombers anywhere on the planet. Darnah, with one terrorist fighter sent into Iraq to kill Americans for every 1,000 to 1,500 persons of population, emerges as suicide bomber heaven, easily surpassing the closest competitor, which was Riyad, Saudi Arabia.

According to West Point authors Joseph Felter and Brian Fishman, Saudi Arabia took first place as regards absolute numbers of jihadis sent to combat the United States and other coalition members in Iraq during the time frame in question. Libya, a country less than one fourth as populous, took second place. Saudi Arabia sent 41% of the fighters. According to Felter and Fishman, “Libya was the next most common country of origin, with 18.8% (112) of the fighters listing their nationality stating they hailed from Libya.” Other much larger countries were far behind: “Syria, Yemen, and Algeria were the next most common origin countries with 8.2% (49), 8.1% (48), and 7.2% (43), respectively. Moroccans accounted for 6.1% (36) of the records and Jordanians 1.9% (11).”2

This means that almost one fifth of the foreign fighters entering Iraq across the Syrian border came from Libya, a country of just over 6 million people. A higher proportion of Libyans were interested in fighting in Iraq than any other country contributing mujahedin. Felter and Fishman point out: “Almost 19 percent of the fighters in the Sinjar Records came from Libya alone. Furthermore, Libya contributed far more fighters per capita than any other nationality in the Sinjar Records, including Saudi Arabia.” (See the chart from the West Point report, page 9)3

But since the Al Qaeda personnel files contain the residence or hometown of the foreign fighters in question, we can determine that the desire to travel to Iraq to kill Americans was not evenly distributed across Libya, but was highly concentrated precisely in those areas around Benghazi which are today the epicenters of the revolt against Colonel Gaddafi which the US, Britain, France, and others are so eagerly supporting.

As Daya Gamage of the Asia Tribune comments in a recent article on the West Point study, “…alarmingly for Western policymakers, most of the fighters came from eastern Libya, the center of the current uprising against Muammar el-Qaddafi. The eastern Libyan city of Darnah sent more fighters to Iraq than any other single city or town, according to the West Point report. It noted that 52 militants came to Iraq from Darnah, a city of just 80,000 people (the second-largest source of fighters was Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which has a population of more than 4 million). Benghazi, the capital of Libya’s provisional government declared by the anti-Qaddafi rebels, sent in 21 fighters, again a disproportionate number of the whole.”4 Obscure Darnah edged out metropolitan Riyadh by 52 fighters to 51. Qaddafi’s stronghold of Tripoli, by contrast, barely shows up in the statistics at all. (See chart from West Point report, page 12)

What explains this extraordinary concentration of anti-American fighters in Benghazi and Darnah? The answer seems related to extremist schools of theology and politics which flourished in these areas. As the West Point report notes: “Both Darnah and Benghazi have long been associated with Islamic militancy in Libya.” These areas are in theological and tribal conflict with the central government of Colonel Gaddafi, in addition to being politically opposed to him. Whether such a theological conflict is worth the deaths of still more American and European soldiers is a question which needs urgently to be answered.


Felter and Fishman remark that “The vast majority of Libyan fighters that included their hometown in the Sinjar Records resided in the country’s northeast, particularly the coastal cities of Darnah 60.2% (52) and Benghazi 23.9% (21). Both Darnah and Benghazi have long been associated with Islamic militancy in Libya, in particular for an uprising by Islamist organizations in the mid-1990s. The Libyan government blamed the uprising on ‘infiltrators from the Sudan and Egypt’ and one group—the Libyan Fighting Group (jama-ah al-libiyah al-muqatilah)—claimed to have Afghan veterans in its ranks. The Libyan uprisings became extraordinarily violent.”5

Northeastern Libya: Highest Density of Suicide Bombers

Another remarkable feature of the Libyan contribution to the war against US forces inside Iraq is the marked propensity of the northeastern Libyans to choose the role of suicide bomber as their preferred method of struggle. As the West Point study states, “Of the 112 Libyans in the Records, 54.4% (61) listed their ‘work.’ Fully 85.2% (51) of these Libyan fighters listed “suicide bomber” as their work in Iraq.”6 This means that the northeastern Libyans were far more apt to choose the role of suicide bomber than those from any other country: “Libyan fighters were much more likely than other nationalities to be listed as suicide bombers (85% for Libyans, 56% for all others).”7

The anti-Qaddafi Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) Merges with al Qaeda, 2007

The specific institutional basis for the recruitment of guerrilla fighters in northeastern Libya is associated with an organization which previously called itself the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). During the course of 2007, the LIFG declared itself an official subsidiary of al Qaeda, later assuming the name of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). As a result of this 2007 merger, an increased number of guerrilla fighters arrived in Iraq from Libya. According to Felter and Fishman, “The apparent surge in Libyan recruits traveling to Iraq may be linked the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group’s (LIFG) increasingly cooperative relationship with al-Qaeda, which culminated in the LIFG officially joining al-Qaeda on November 3, 2007.”8 This merger is confirmed by other sources: A 2008 statement attributed to Ayman al-Zawahiri claimed that the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group has joined al-Qaeda.9

Terrorist “Emir” Touts Key Role of Benghazi, Darnah in al Qaeda

The West Point study makes clear that the main bulwarks of the LIFG and of the later AQIM were the twin cities of Benghazi and Darnah. This is documented in a statement by Abu Layth al-Libi, the self-styled “Emir” of the LIFG, who later became a top official of al Qaeda. At the time of the 2007 merger, “Abu Layth al-Libi, LIFG’s Emir, reinforced Benghazi and Darnah’s importance to Libyan jihadis in his announcement that LIFG had joined al-Qa’ida, saying: ‘It is with the grace of God that we were hoisting the banner of jihad against this apostate regime under the leadership of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, which sacrificed the elite of its sons and commanders in combating this regime whose blood was spilled on the mountains of Darnah, the streets of Benghazi, the outskirts of Tripoli, the desert of Sabha, and the sands of the beach.’”10

This 2007 merger meant that the Libyan recruits for Al Qaeda became an increasingly important part of the activity of this organization as a whole, shifting the center of gravity to some degree away from the Saudis and Egyptians who had previously been most conspicuous. As Felter and Fishman comment, “Libyan factions (primarily the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group) are increasingly important in al-Qa’ida. The Sinjar Records offer some evidence that Libyans began surging into Iraq in larger numbers beginning in May 2007. Most of the Libyan recruits came from cities in northeast Libya, an area long known for jihadi-linked militancy.”11

The December 2007 West Point study concludes by formulating some policy options for the United States government. One approach, the authors suggest, would be for the United States to cooperate with existing Arab governments against the terrorists. As Felter and Fishman write, “The Syrian and Libyan governments share the United States’ concerns about violent salafi-jihadi ideology and the violence perpetrated by its adherents. These governments, like others in the Middle East, fear violence inside their borders and would much rather radical elements go to Iraq rather than cause unrest at home. U.S. and Coalition efforts to stem the flow of fighters into Iraq will be enhanced if they address the entire logistical chain that supports the movement of these individuals—beginning in their home countries — rather than just their Syrian entry points. The U.S. may be able to increase cooperation from governments to stem the flow of fighters into Iraq by addressing their concerns about domestic jihadi violence.”12 Given the course of subsequent events, we are on firm ground in concluding that this option was not the one selected, neither in the closing years of the Bush administration nor during the first half of the Obama administration.

The West Point study also offers another, more sinister perspective. Felter and Fishman hint that it might be possible to use the former LIFG components of Al Qaeda against the government of Colonel Qaddafi in Libya, in essence creating a de facto alliance between the United States and a segment of the terrorist organization. The West Point report notes: “The Libyan Islamic Fighting Group’s unification with al-Qa’ida and its apparent decision to prioritize providing logistical support to the Islamic State of Iraq is likely controversial within the organization. It is likely that some LIFG factions still want to prioritize the fight against the Libyan regime, rather than the fight in Iraq. It may be possible to exacerbate schisms within LIFG, and between LIFG’s leaders and al-Qa’ida’s traditional Egyptian and Saudi power-base.”13 This suggests the US policy we see today, that of allying with the obscurantist and reactionary al Qaeda fanatics in Libya against the Nasserist modernizer Qaddafi.

Arming the Rebels: The Experience of Afghanistan

Looking back at the tragic experience of US efforts to incite the population of Afghanistan against the Soviet occupation in the years after 1979, it should be clear that the policy of the Reagan White House to arm the Afghan mujahedin with Stinger missiles and other modern weapons turned out to be highly destructive for the United States. As current Defense Secretary Robert Gates comes close to admitting in his memoirs, Al Qaeda was created during those years by the United States as a form of Arab Legion against the Soviet presence, with long-term results which have been highly lamented.

Today, it is clear that the United States is providing modern weapons for the Libyan rebels through Saudi Arabia and across the Egyptian border with the active assistance of the Egyptian army and of the newly installed pro-US Egyptian military junta.14 This is a direct violation of UN Security Council resolution 1973, which calls for a complete arms embargo on Libya. The assumption is that these weapons will be used against Gaddafi in the coming weeks. But, given the violently anti-American nature of the population of northeast Libya that is now being armed, there is no certainty that these weapons will not be soon turned against those who have provided them.

A broader problem is represented by the conduct of the future Libyan government dominated by the current rebel council with its large current majority of northeastern Islamists, or of a similar government of a future Cyrenaica rump state. To the extent that such regimes will have access to oil revenues, obvious problems of international security are posed. Gamage wonders: “If the rebellion succeeds in toppling the Qaddafi regime it will have direct access to the tens of billions of dollars that Qaddafi is believed to have squirreled away in overseas accounts during his four-decade rule.”15 Given the northeast Libyan mentality, we can imagine what such revenues might be used for.

What is al Qaeda and Why the CIA Has Used It

Al Qaeda is not a centralized organization, but rather a gaggle or congeries of fanatics, dupes, psychotics, misfits, double agents, provocateurs, mercenaries, and other elements. As noted, Al Qaeda was founded by the United States and the British during the struggle against the Soviets in Afghanistan. Many of its leaders, such as the reputed second-in-command Ayman Zawahiri and the current rising star Anwar Awlaki, are evidently double agents of MI-6 and/or the CIA. The basic belief structure of Al Qaeda is that all existing Arab and Moslem governments are illegitimate and should be destroyed, because they do not represent the caliphate which Al Qaeda asserts is described by the Koran. This means that the Al Qaeda ideology offers a ready and easy way for the Anglo-American secret intelligence agencies to attack and destabilize existing Arab and Muslim governments as part of the ceaseless need of imperialism and colonialism to loot and attack the developing nations. This is precisely what is happening in Libya today.

Al Qaeda emerged from the cultural and political milieu of the Moslem Brotherhood or Ikhwan, itself a creation of British intelligence in Egypt in the late 1920s. The US and the British used the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood to oppose the successful anti-imperialist policies of Egyptian President Nasser, who scored immense victories for his country by nationalizing the Suez Canal and building the Aswan High Dam, without which modern Egypt would be simply unthinkable. The Muslim brotherhood provided an active and capable fifth column of foreign agents against Nasser, in the same way that the official website of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb is trumpeting its support for the rebellion against Colonel Qaddafi.

I have discussed the nature of Al Qaeda at some length in my recent book entitled 9/11 Synthetic Terrorism: Made in USA, and that analysis cannot be repeated here. It is enough to say that we do not need to believe in all the fantastic mythology which the United States government has spun around the name of Al Qaeda in order to recognize the basic fact that militants or patsies who spontaneously join al Qaeda are often sincerely motivated by a deep hatred of the United States and a burning desire to kill Americans, as well as Europeans. The Bush administration policy used the alleged presence of Al Qaeda as a pretext for direct military attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq. The Obama administration is now doing something different, intervening on the side of a rebellion in which Al Qaeda and its co-thinkers are heavily represented while attacking the secular authoritarian government of Colonel Gaddafi. Both of these policies are bankrupt and must be abandoned.

Rebel Leaders Jalil and Younis, Plus Most of Rebel Council are Members of the al Qaeda-linked Harabi Tribe

The result of the present inquiry is that the Libyan branch of Al Qaeda represents a continuum with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group centered in Darnah and Benghazi. The ethnic base of the Libyan Islamic fighting group is apparently to be found in the anti-Qaddafi Harabi tribe, the tribe which makes up the vast majority of the rebel council including the two dominant rebel leaders, Abdul Fatah Younis and Mustafa Abdul Jalil. The evidence thus suggests that the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, the elite of the Harabi tribe, and the rebel council supported by Obama all overlap for all practical purposes. As the late Foreign Minister of Guyana Fred Wills, a real fighter against imperialism and neo-colonialism, taught me many years ago, political formations in developing countries (and not just there) are often a mask for ethnic and religious rivalries; so it is in Libya. The rebellion against Qaddafi is a toxic brew compounded of fanatical hatred of Qaddafi, Islamism, tribalism, and localism. From this point of view, Obama has foolishly chosen to take sides in a tribal war.

When Hillary Clinton went to Paris to be introduced to the Libyan rebels by French President Sarkozy, she met the US-educated Libyan opposition leader Mahmoud Jibril, already known to readers of Wikileaks document dumps as a favorite of the US.16

While Jibril might be considered presentable in Paris, the real leaders of the Libyan insurrection would appear to be Jalil and Younis, both former ministers under Qaddafi. Jalil seems to be the primus inter pares, at least for the moment: “Mustafa Abdul Jalil or Abdul-Jalil (Arabic: مصطفى عبد الجليل, also transcribed Abdul-Jelil, Abd-al-Jalil, Abdel-Jalil or Abdeljalil; and frequently but erroneously as Abud Al Jeleil) (born 1952) is a Libyan politician. He was the Minister of Justice (unofficially, the Secretary of the General People’s Committee) under Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi…. Abdul Jalil has been identified as the Chairman of the National Transitional Council based in Benghazi… although this position is contested by others in the uprising due to his past connections to Gaddafi’s regime.”17

As for Younis, he has been closely associated with Qaddafi since the 1968-9 seizure of power: “Abdul Fatah Younis (Arabic: عبد الفتاح يونس) is a senior military officer in Libya. He held the rank of General and the post of Minister of Interior, but resigned on 22 February 2011….”18

What should concern us most is that both Jalil and Younis come from the Haribi tribe, the dominant one in northeast Libya, and the one that overlaps with al Qaeda. According to Stratfor, the “…Harabi tribe is a historically powerful umbrella tribe in eastern Libya that saw their influence wane under Col. Gadhafi. The Libyan leader confiscated swaths of tribal members’ land and redistributed it to weaker and more loyal tribes…. Many of the leaders now emerging in eastern Libya hail from the Harabi tribe, including the head of the provisional government set up in Benghazi, Abdel Mustafa Jalil, and Abdel Fatah Younis, who assumed a key leadership role over the defected military ranks early in the uprising.”19 This is like a presidential ticket where both candidates are from the same state, except that Libya’s ferocious tribal rivalries make the problem infinitely worse.

The Rebel Council: Half the Names Are Kept Secret; Why?

This picture of a narrow, sectarian tribal and regional base does not improve when we look at the rebel council as a whole. According to one recent version, the rebel council is “chaired by the well-spoken former justice minister for Libya, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, [and] consists of 31 members, ostensibly representatives from across Libya, of whom many cannot be named for “security reasons”…. “The key players on the council, at least those who we know about, all hail from the north-eastern Harabi confederation of tribes. These tribes have strong affiliations with Benghazi that date back to before the 1969 revolution which brought Gaddafi to power.”20 Other accounts agree about the number of representatives: “The council has 31 members; the identities of several members has not been made public to protect their own safety.”21 Given what we know about the extraordinary density of LIFG and all Qaeda fanatics in northeast Libya, we are authorized to wonder as to whether so many members of the council are being kept secret in order to protect them from Qaddafi, or whether the goal is to prevent them from being recognized in the west as al Qaeda terrorists or sympathizers. The latter seems to be a more accurate summary of the real state of affairs.

Names released so far include: Mustafa Abduljaleel; Ashour Hamed Bourashed of Darna city; Othman Suleiman El-Megyrahi of the Batnan area; Al Butnan of the Egypt border and Tobruk; Ahmed Abduraba Al-Abaar of Benghazi city; Fathi Mohamed Baja of Benghazi city; Abdelhafed Abdelkader Ghoga of Benghazi city; Mr. Omar El-Hariri for Military Affairs; and Dr. Mahmoud Jibril, Ibrahim El-Werfali and Dr. Ali Aziz Al-Eisawi for foreign affairs.22

The State Department needs to interrogate these figures, starting perhaps with Ashour Hamed Bourashed, the delegate from the terrorist and suicide bomber stronghold of Darnah.

How Many al Qaeda Members, Veterans, or Sympathizers are on the Rebel Council?

Seeing as clearly as we can in the fog of war, it looks like slightly more than a dozen of the members of the rebel council have had their names officially published — in any case, not more than half of the reported 31 members. The US and European media have not taken the lead in identifying for us the names that are now known, and they above all have not called attention to the majority of the rebel council who are still lurking in the shadows of total secrecy. We must therefore demand to know how many LIFG and/or al Qaeda members, veterans, or sympathizers currently hold seats on the rebel council.

We are thus witnessing an attempt by the Harabi tribe to seize dominance over the 140 tribes of Libya. The Harabi are already practically hegemonic among the tribes of Cyrenaica. At the center of the Harabi Confederation is the Obeidat tribe, which is divided into 15 sub-tribes.23 All of this might be of purely academic ethnographic interest, were it not for the fact of the striking overlap between the Harabi tribe and the LIFG and al Qaeda.

The Senussi Movement of Libya — Monarchist Democracy?

The political-religious tradition of northeast Libya makes this area such fertile ground for the more extreme Muslim sects and also predisposes it to monarchism rather than to the more modern forms of government favored by Qaddafi. The relevant regional tradition is that of the Senussi or Sanussi order, an anti-western Moslem sect. In Libya the Senussi order is closely associated with monarchism, since King Idris I, the ruler installed by the British in 1951 who was overthrown by Gaddafi in 1969, was also the leader of the Senussi order. The Senussi directed the rebellion against Italian colonialism in the person of Marshal Rodolfo Graziani and his army in the 1930s. Today, the rebels use the monarchist flag, and may advocate the return to the throne of one of the two pretenders to the Idris line. They are far closer to monarchism than to democracy

King Idris, Revered by the Libyan Rebels of Today

Here is the Stratfor view of King Idris and the Senussi: “King Idris came from a line of rulers of the Sanussi order, a Sufi religious order founded in 1842 in Al Bayda, that practices a conservative and austere form of Islam. The Sanussiyah represented a political force in Cyrenaica that preceded the creation of the modern state of Libya, and whose reverberations continue to be felt to this day. It is no coincidence that this region is the home of Libyan jihadism, with groups like the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG). The Gadhafi family has thus been calling the current uprising an elaborate Islamist plot….”24 Under the monarchy, Libya was by some estimates absolutely the poorest country in the world. Today, Libya ranks 53 on the UN Human Development Index and qualifies as the most developed country in Africa, ahead of Russia, Brazil, Ukraine, and Venezuela. Qaddafi’s stewardship has objective merits which cannot be seriously denied.

Glen Ford’s Black Agenda Report has correctly sought to show the racist and reactionary character of the Libyan insurrection. The tribes of southern Libya, known as the Fezzan, are dark skinned. The tribal underpinning of the Gaddafi regime has been an alliance of the tribes of the West, the center, and the southern Fezzan, against the Harabi and the Obeidat, who identify with the former monarchist ruling class. The Harabi and Obeidat are known to nurture a deep racist hatred against the Fezzan. This was expressed in frequent news reports from the pro-imperialist media at the beginning of the rebellion evidently inspired by Harabi accounts, according to which black people in Libya had to be treated as mercenaries working for Gaddafi — with the clear implication that they were to be exterminated. These racist inventions are still being repeated by quackademics like Dean Slaughter of the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton. And in fact, large numbers of black Africans from Chad and other countries working in Libyan have been systematically lynched and massacred by the anti-Gaddafi forces. The Obama White House, for all its empty talk of not wanting to repeat the massacre in Rwanda, has conveniently ignored this shocking story of real genocide at the hands of its new racist friends in Cyrenaica.

Against the obscurantism of the Senussi, Qaddafi has advanced the Moslem equivalent of the priesthood of all believers, arguing that no caliphate is necessary in order to discover the meaning of the Koran. He has supplemented this with a pan African perspective. Gerald A. Perreira of the Black Agenda Report writes the following about the theological division between Gaddafi and the neo-Senussi of northeast Libya, as well as other obscuranitsts: “Al Qaeda is in the Sahara on his borders and the International Union of Muslim Scholars is calling for [Qaddafi] to be tried in a court…. [Qaddafi] has questioned the Islam of the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda from a Quranic/theological perspective and is one of the few political leaders equipped to do so…. Benghazi has always been at the heart of counter-revolution in Libya, fostering reactionary Islamic movements such as the Wahhabis and Salafists. It is these people who founded the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group based in Benghazi which allies itself with Al Qaeda and who have, over the years, been responsible for the assassination of leading members of the Libyan revolutionary committees.”25 And what would be for example the status of women under the neo-Senussi of the Benghazi rebel council?

Al Qaeda from Demon to US ally in Libya

For those who attempt to follow the ins and outs of the CIA’s management of its various patsy organizations inside the realm of presumed Islamic terrorism, it may be useful to trace the transformation of the LIFG-AQIM from deadly enemy to close ally. This phenomenon is closely linked to the general reversal of the ideological fronts of US imperialism that marks the divide between the Bush-Cheney-neocon administrations and the current Obama-Brzezinski-International Crisis Group regime. The Bush approach was to use the alleged presence of Al Qaeda as a reason for direct military attack. The Obama method is to use Al Qaeda to overthrow independent governments, and then either Balkanize and partition the countries in question, or else use them as kamikaze puppets against larger enemies like Russia, China, or Iran. This approach implies a more or less open fraternization with terrorist groups, which was signaled in a general way in Obamas famous Cairo speech of 2009. The links of the Obama campaign to the terrorist organizations deployed by the CIA against Russia were already a matter of public record three years ago.26

But such a reversal of field cannot be improvised overnight; it took several years of preparation. On July 10, 2009, The London Daily Telegraph reported that the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group had split with Al Qaeda. This was when the United States had decided to de-emphasize the Iraq war, and also to prepare to use the Sunni Moslem Brotherhood and its Sunni Al Qaeda offshoot for the destabilization of the leading Arab states preparatory to turning them against Shiite Iran. Paul Cruikshank wrote at that time in the New York Daily News about one top LIFG honcho who wanted to dial back the relation to al Qaeda and the infamous Osama Bin Laden; this was “Noman Benotman, a former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. While mainstream Muslim leaders have long criticized Al Qaeda, these critics have the jihadist credentials to make their criticisms bite.”27 But by this time some LIFG bosses had moved up into al Qaeda: the London Daily Telegraph reported that senior Al Qaeda members Abu Yahya al-Libi and Abu Laith al-Libi were LIFG members. Around this time, Qaddafi released some LIFG fighters in an ill-advsided humanitarian gesture.

Northeast Libyan Jihadis Killing US, NATO Forces in Afghanistan Right Now

One of the fatal contradictions in the current State Department and CIA policy is that it aims at a cordial alliance with Al Qaeda killers in northeast Libya, at the very moment when the United States and NATO are mercilessly bombing the civilian northwest Pakistan in the name of a total war against Al Qaeda, and US and NATO forces are being killed by Al Qaeda guerrillas in that same Afghanistan-Pakistan theater of war. The force of this glaring contradiction causes the entire edifice of US war propaganda to collapse. The US has long since lost any basis in morality for military force.

In fact, terrorist fighters from northeast Libya may be killing US and NATO troops in Afghanistan right now, even as the US and NATO protect their home base from the Qaddafi government. According to this account, a top Al Qaeda commander in northwest Pakistan was killed by US action as recently as October 2010: “A senior al Qaeda leader who serves as al Qaeda’s ambassador to Iran, and is wanted by the US, is reported to have been killed in a Predator air strike in Pakistan’s Taliban-controlled tribal agency of North Waziristan two days ago…. [This was] Atiyah Abd al Rahman, a Libyan national who has been based in Iran and served as Osama bin Laden’s ambassador to the mullahs. Unconfirmed press reports indicate that Rahman was killed in an airstrike….”28 The US State Department’s Rewards for Justice page for Atiyah Abd al Rahman notes that he was al Qaeda’s “emissary in Iran as appointed by Osama bin Ladin.” Atiyah “recruited and facilitated talks with other Islamic groups to operate under” al Qaeda and was “also a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and Ansar al Sunna.”29 Rahman was ranked high enough in al Qaeda to be able to give orders to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the head of al Qeada in Iraq, in 2005.

Also killed in Pakistan was another apparent northeast Libyan going by the name of Khalid al Harabi, whose choice of a nom de guerre may well link him to the jihadi farm among the Harabi tribe in Cyrenaica. According to one account, “Khalid al Harabi is an alias for Khalid Habib, al Qaeda’s former military commander who was killed in a US Predator strike in October 2008.”30

The Scenario Uncovered by the 1995 Shayler Affair is Operative Today

In 1995, David Shayler, an official of the British counterintelligence organization MI-5, became aware that his counterpart at the British foreign espionage organization MI-6 had paid the sum of £100,000 to an Al Qaeda affiliate in exchange for the attempt to assassinate Qaddafi. The assassination attempt did occur, and killed several innocent bystanders, but failed to eliminate the Libyan ruler. As Shayler understood the MI-6 scenario, it included the liquidation of Gaddafi, followed by the descent of Libya into chaos and tribal warfare, with a possible option for a direct seizure of power by al Qaeda itself. This situation would then provide a pretext for Britain, probably but not necessarily acting together with the United States or other countries, to invade Libya and seize control of the oil fields, probably establishing a permanent protectorate over the oil regions, the pipelines, and the coast.31 This remains the goal today.

Timed to coincide with the attempt to assassinate Qaddafi, MI-6 and other Western secret intelligence agencies fomented a considerable insurrection in northeast Libya, almost precisely in the same areas which are in rebellion today. Its insurrection was successfully crushed by Qaddafi’s forces by the end of 1996. The events of 2011 are simply a reprise of the imperialist attack on Libya 15 years ago, with the addition of outside intervention..

The War Against the Nation State

Today’s attack on Libya comes in the context of a broad attack on the institution of the sovereign nation state itself, as it has existed since the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. The United States and the British are deeply concerned by the large number of nations which are seeking to escape from Anglo-American hegemony by actively pursuing large-scale cooperation with Russia on security, with China on economic questions, and with Iran for geopolitical considerations. The CIA/MI-6 response has been a wild orgy of destabilizations, people power coups, color revolutions, and palace putsches, signaled by the document dumps by the CIA limited hangout operation known as Wikileaks, which has targeted names of the CIA hit mist from Ben Ali to Qaddafi. The Obama strategy would have preferred an exclusive reliance and the illusion that the Arab Spring was really a matter of youthful visionary idealists gathering in the public square to praise democracy, the rule of law, and human rights. This was never the reality: the actual decisions were being made by brutal cliques of generals and top officials bribed or blackmailed by the CIA who were moving behind the scenes to oust such figures as Ben Ali or Mubarak. Whatever else Qaddafi has done, he has undoubtedly forced the CIA and NATO to drop the pleasant mask of youthful idealism and human rights, revealing a hideous visage of Predator drones, terror bombing, widespread slaughter, and colonialist arrogance underneath. Qaddafi has also ripped the mask of “Yes We Can” off Obama, revealing a cynical warmonger intent on the continuation of Bush’s infamous “Dead or Alive” and “Bring it on” policies, although by other means.

A Distant Mirror for Imperialists in Libya: Lucan’s Pharsalia

Modern imperialists eager to rush into Libya should ponder Lucan’s Pharsalia, which treats of warfare in the Libyan desert during the contest between Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great at the end of the Roman Republic. A critical passage in this Latin epic is the speech by Cato of Utica, a follower of Pompey, who urges his soldiers to undertake a suicide mission into Libya, saying: “Serpents, thirst, heat, and sand … Libya alone can present a multitude of woes that it would beseem men to fly from.” Cato goes forward, and finds “a little tomb to enclose [his] hallowed name, Libya secured the death of Cato….”32

Let us not imitate this folly.

Investigative leads from the West Point Study: An Appeal to Scholars

The West Point study, as noted, was conducted on the basis of almost 700 Al Qaeda personnel files captured by coalition forces in Iraq.33 The authors of the study have promised to keep available online the documentary basis of this investigation, both in the form of the raw Arabic language al Qaeda personnel files34, and also of the same file cards in English translation.35 Assuming that this material remains available, it might be possible for researchers and reporters, and especially those with capabilities in Arabic not possessed by the present writer, to investigate the Libyan fighters who went into Iraq with a view to determining whether any of them are family members, neighbors, or even political associates of the known members of the Benghazi rebel council or of other anti-Qaddafi forces.

Such a procedure could contribute to allowing the European and American public as well as others around the world to better understand the nature of the military adventure

currently unfolding in Libya by gaining a more specific knowledge of who the Libyan rebels actually are,

as distinct from the hollow panegyrics purveyed

by the controlled Western media.


canopfor on October 22, 2012 at 7:03 PM

She’ll be first in line to take Tingle’s job once he has an on-the-air meltdown on election night on MSNBC.

Decoski on October 22, 2012 at 7:22 PM

What does a maroon look like?

tarpon on October 22, 2012 at 8:26 PM

Cutter: No, Benghazi was not a foreign-policy failure

Actually I am inclined to think she may be right. Benghazi may have been one of Obama’s few foreign-policy successes. That would be true if his foreign-policy favored America’s decline.

MikeA on October 22, 2012 at 10:54 PM