UPDATE 2 Dec 2012: Added two Face the Nation links. The discussion continues to avoid the probability that this was an organized paid attack to slam down the CIA base known to be engaged in acts of war against Syria, still a legitimate governement, and that US assets 1-2 hours from Benghazi were not only not mobilized, they were told to stand down for seven hours — the first two US citizens did not die for seven hours from the time the full alarm reached White House.
UPDATE 28 Nov 2012: Ambassador Rice should not be blamed for the manipulation of the talking points, a manipulation that was directly sanctioned by the Secretary of State, whose decision to not speak to the matter herself was assuredly calculated–the suffering inflicted on Ambassador Rice is no doubt very satisfying to the Secretary of State, not only because she herself avoided doing a Colin Powell, but because Rice, in switching from Clinton to Obama in the primaries, has been a grudge factor for the Secretary of State ever since. We continue to maintain that this was not a terrorist attack — it was a hired militia attack, probably funded by Syria if not Russia, and the US Intelligence Community was deaf, dumb, and blind throughout. If CIA did have a couple of prisoners and it was a rescue attempt, this will come out eventually. DoD lost its nerve at the highest levels, perhaps intuiting that it was a state-sponsored attack, and chose not to reinforce the CIA base (it was never, ever, a consulate). Everyone has blood on their hands except Ambassador Rice — she’s merely the fall gal. Right now, what we would be asking for is the NSA transcripts, the FBI witness debriefs, and volunteer testimony from relevant foreign services with no CIA interference.
Phi Beta Iota: Pending a national IG investigation in the public interest, Benghazi appears to have been a six part failure: a) CIA did a Khost Kathy — obliviousness ruled; b) State felt no responsibility for a CIA base under official cover, never mind Ambassador being at risk; c) JCS lost sight of why a Marine Corps-Navy team should be on call everywhere and left the Med without a MEU; d) Secretary of Defense misplaced his center; e) White House chose to waste seven hours during which any of a variety of assets could have swept in within 1-2 hours to stabilize the situation; and f) General Ham’s deputy was all too eager to relieve his boss. The safety of US personnel is an inherent responsibility of Command that cannot be delegated, only shared. Benghazi appears to be a microcosm of everything that is wrong with both our political system and our bloated confused military chains of command.
Note: this is a perfect example of why Inspectors General need to rise to a new standard, working together to find and seal — in a constructive manner, not a punitive manner — the seams between and among the disparate cultures and capabilities of the various and generally isolated pieces of the larger enterprise of governance.
This remarkable eyewitness account of the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi was broadcast the day after it took place. Given the current controversy over who knew what and when about the attack in the Obama administration, the interview is even more remarkable. The speaker is named as Mohamad Al-Fitouri, who says he lives next door to the consulate and witnessed the deadly attack on the night of September 11. Crucially, Mr Al-Fitouri says there was no demonstration at the consulate. A large fleet of cars arrived flying black flags and shouting Takbeers arrived; the street was closed off; and the attackers launched a rocket propelled grenade at the facility. This began the attack. [Tip of the Hat to Theo166 at The Daily Beast]
At home: Thomas Burke “After the attack there were cries back home that we needed to attack Libya – many Americans were assuming that all Libyans are extremists. But the Libyans were incredibly welcoming. The day before the attack, I went out for walks and people would wave, jump out of cars to greet me, hold my hands. And what was hardly publicised was that after the attack, there was a pro-democracy, pro-ambassador march with thousands of people disbanding extremist militias. The American ambassador was a popular local figure.”
Attaque de Benghazi : des questions demeurent TRANSLATED: FBI Assistant Director Kevin Perkins, also confirmed lip that they had telephone intercepts revealing repeated contacts between members of the branch of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the local Islamic group Ansar al-Sharia, the day of the attack. . . . . . Known for his strong religious beliefs, Mohammed Boussidra who advised President Moustapha Abdeljalil since the beginning of the revolution, is perhaps the most familiar leaders of Ansar al-Sharia. “They are not as bad as they say,” says he. As its name suggests, Ansar al-Sharia (“Partisans of Sharia”) has only one policy objective. “But all Libyans want Sharia law is the fundamental law of Libya,” he says calmly in his apartment in Benghazi.
Benghazi : le récit de l’assaut anti-américain TRANSLATED: Both Ali and fifties Falih took the charge on their doorsteps, twenty meters from the U.S. consulate when they saw a hundred men to take part, around 20: 30 pm, police stationed who quickly packed up. “A man, dressed in a tunic and a long beard, shot with an RPG, they said. Others threw loaves explosive. Around 22:30, a pick-up in the February 17 Brigade took position and fired anti-aircraft weapon, then left. ” Ahmed, another witness, said: “There were hundreds of men, the Afghan extremists dressed and wearing long beards. They were all armed with AK47 and RPG. There were also several men whose face was hidden. Around 22:30, they left, we thought it was over. I heard someone say that there were people in them inside the embassy. The fighting became more violent. The police did something stupid by pulling out at 14.5. I saw a big black 4 × 4 out of the consulate. At one in the morning, everything is calm again. “