US-Libya: Update: The British news outlet, The Independent, today published a detailed list of the extent of the security disaster in Benghazi, which goes beyond the tragic murders. According to The Independent, laptops were stolen that contain lists of Libyans who cooperate with the Americans, classified papers were taken and classified data was compromised.
NightWatch cannot corroborate the statements in the article in The Independent. However, NightWatch can attest that anytime a sensitive US facility or asset is seized, secrets are compromised. An organized and carefully planned penetration of any diplomatic facility anywhere could afford a disciplined attacker access to sensitive information that jeopardizes far more lives than the four Americans killed this week.
Finally, for the record, Readers should know that the authoritative source for information on the security arrangements at US embassies around the world is the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security.
Exclusive: America ‘was warned of embassy attack but did nothing’
The killings of the US ambassador to Libya and three of his staff were likely to have been the result of a serious and continuing security breach, The Independent can reveal.
American officials believe the attack was planned, but Chris Stevens had been back in the country only a short while and the details of his visit to Benghazi, where he and his staff died, were meant to be confidential.
The US administration is now facing a crisis in Libya. Sensitive documents have gone missing from the consulate in Benghazi and the supposedly secret location of the “safe house” in the city, where the staff had retreated, came under sustained mortar attack. Other such refuges across the country are no longer deemed “safe”.
Some of the missing papers from the consulate are said to list names of Libyans who are working with Americans, putting them potentially at risk from extremist groups, while some of the other documents are said to relate to oil contracts.
. . . . . . . .
According to security sources the consulate had been given a “health check” in preparation for any violence connected to the 9/11 anniversary. In the event, the perimeter was breached within 15 minutes of an angry crowd starting to attack it at around 10pm on Tuesday night. There was, according to witnesses, little defence put up by the 30 or more local guards meant to protect the staff. Ali Fetori, a 59-year-old accountant who lives near by, said: “The security people just all ran away and the people in charge were the young men with guns and bombs.”
Phi Beta Iota: Alternative “spin” stories will now proliferate. The security staff “health check” and okay for visit is completely at odds with the 48 hour warning, ostencibly from the US Intelligence Community. Most likely is that there was no warning at all, and the staff “health check” was perfunctory. The complacency of State senior staff cannot be under-estimated. They live in a dream world. However, the ineptitude of the CIA in a country with no cocktail parties, can also not be under-estimated. The death of the Ambassador, evidently from smoke inhalation while trapped in an improperly designed safe room, rather than from sniper bullets, is one more black mark of Department of State operations security. The compromise of the “safe house” where 48 Embassy staff went to hide, and the attack on the small rescue team as it approached the “safe house” positively reeks of Israeli preparation and perhaps a dual US-Israeli citizen or a “sayonim” on the Embassy staff betraying the location to the Mossad. The reported loss of one or more laptops with the names of Libyan collaborators is one more indication that the US Government is severely irresponsible with respect to the protection of sources–to have such information, unprotected and in one place, is an excellent indicator of a complete lack of competency by the Department of State across multiple fronts. In combination with the extraordinarily effective dissemination of the high school video “Muslims Innocence,” and the total orchestration of riots across multiple countries, this looks very much like a false flag campaign with serious money behind it–Israel is the primary suspect. There should an immediate investigation that includes a careful analysis of the who, what, why, and how the tape entered each country, and the who, what, why of its local translation and broadcast in each country, as well as a network analysis, inclusive of all foreign contacts, for each group acting on the 11th of September. It should be a public investigation, rapidly concluded.
Below is the NIGHTWATCH summary of the regional and global protests:
Anti-US protests: A compilation of reporting from news services shows there were anti-American protests and demonstrations in more than 22 countries and territories. Reporting from Islamic states in Africa has been slow, and might increase the final tally.
Burnings of American flags occurred from Morocco to Indonesia, including Kashmir in India and Niger, in northern Africa. Only Turkey and Saudi Arabia experienced no significant disorders. Turkey is not an Arab country and Saudi Arabia imposed security restrictions so tight that no demonstrations were permitted.
This was a spasm of anti-American sentiment unlike any since the attack at the Ka’aba in 1979 in Mecca. That was the year the US Embassy was burned in Islamabad and the last time a US Ambassador was assassinated, in Kabul, Afghanistan.
The most sensational attacks occurred in Tunisia, Sudan and Lebanon. In Tunis, the US Embassy compound was breached and a US school was burned. A US employee told the media that he never thought that Tunisian security and police would walk away and allow the demonstrators to break into the US Embassy compound.
In Sudan the US, German and British embassies in Khartoum were attacked. The German Embassy was breached and burned.
In Tripoli, Lebanon, two US fast food restaurants were torched. In Beirut, one person was killed and 25 wounded in clashes near the US Embassy. Eighteen of the wounded were Lebanese policemen.
In Egypt, demonstrations continued for a fourth day in Cairo. They also occurred in Alexandria for the first time. In Sinai, Bedouin militants attacked a UN peacekeepers’ camp in the name of protesting the anti-Muslim video.
In Afghanistan, a large demonstration occurred in Jalalabad, near the border with Pakistan. Protestors burned President Obama in effigy. Demonstrations also occurred in Kabul, but were not reported in mainstream press.
In Iraq, non-violent protests occurred in Baghdad, Hilla, Kufa, Samarra and Tikrit.
In Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei continued to stoke anti-American sentiment in Tehran. It was echoed in Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Palestine and Yemen
In Pakistan, anti-American demonstrations occurred in multiple cities, but no clashes have been reported.
In India, Muslim anti-American militants demonstrated in Kashmir and in Chennai.
Anti-American demonstrations also occurred in Jakarta, Indonesia; Somalia; Jordan; London; Oman and Bangladesh, for a second day.
Comment: One difference from past eruptions of Islamic ire is that in some Arab countries demonstrators not only denounced the US and Israel, they also denounced President Obama by name, calling for his death. This is the first time that anti-American sentiment was personified.
Readers need to know that these protests were uniformly anti-American. Equally significant is that local security forces were prone to not oppose the demonstrators in multiple cases.
Four US diplomatic facilities have been breached, if not burned. All occurred in states touched by the so-called Arab Spring – Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen.