Libya:Multiple sources have reported more details on the events that led to the death of Ambassador Stephens. The details suggest this was another case of well-intentioned but misguided hubris by Americans, as to their own safety, and well-aimed and well- targeted attacks by the Muslim attackers. This appears, in fact, to have been a deliberate assassination of an effective diplomat, within the cover of an anti-US demonstration in Benghazi.The reporting indicates that the number of fundamental US security and intelligence lapses, blunders and examples of ineptitude make the efforts of Libyan security and of a local, loyal militia force to protect the US Consulate look heroic by comparison.
Comment: The State Department admitted that the Ambassador and an information management officer – an ex-US Air Force veteran – were killed. Foreign media reported two US Marines also were killed.
The website for gateway pundit carries video images of US Ambassador Stevens’ body being dragged through the streets of Benghazi by his Muslims miscreant murderers. All mainstream US media failed to report that the Muslim miscreants not only killed the US ambassador, they defiled his body.
Note to analysts: It is important for intelligence analysts to never forget that the fundamental purpose of US intelligence, as stated in the legislative history of the US National Security Act of 1947, is to keep the US, its persons, property and its interests safe. Yesterday, US intelligence apparently did none of them.
Egypt-US: The day after the storming of the US Embassy, all day and night on 12 and 13 September, mainstream media aired footage of obviously unemployed Egyptian young men gathering and milling near the US Embassy in Cairo. A single security vehicle was imaged making an occasional and completely feckless foray through the gathering area, during the early morning of 13 September in Cairo. No Egyptian police or military or other security personnel were present.
Comment: The normal time for organized, violent Muslim protests is Friday afternoon, after prayers. Muslim Brotherhood leaders already have called for “non-violent”, anti-US protests on Friday after prayers. Readers should expect more anti-US protests and no Egyptian security forces.
The unemployed and the underemployed in Cairo are amusing themselves by protesting in the name of Islam over just about anything they think is offensive. Much larger and dangerous protests are likely after the miscreants are infused with Islamic fervor after Friday prayers.
Had the Mursi government begun to deliver on its promises of more jobs, theoretically, the unemployed and under-employed youth would have been asleep in anticipation of going to work. The unemployment rate for men under 35 is about 50%.
It is a negative commentary about the job creation accomplishments of the Mursi government to date that so many men have nothing to do in Cairo but vent their frustrations. In Egypt there is no penalty for destroying a foreign embassy, but criticism of President Mursi is a criminal offence. That explains why Egyptian men would judge they could attack the US embassy, when their real target should have been the Mursi government.
The protestors said, in paraphrase, that they understand the US has freedom of speech; the US needs to understand that they have freedom of action. Theirs is a claim to justify lawlessness granted by the Mursi government as long as the violence is not turned against Mursi.
What is important is that the Mursi government has not denounced the violence. The US and the US president are vowing to bring justice to the killers in Libya, but the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood government has made no comment or apology. Instead, Mursi’s reaction is to urge the US to punish the US filmmaker.
Comment: There is only a trailer of the film, no film yet, Mursi has not seen it nor have most of the protestors in Egypt and Libya. The riots are flash mobs, arranged and manipulated by others.
NightWatch Special Comment: Ambassador Anne Patterson’s April Glaspie moment.
Ambassador Anne Patterson, the US Ambassador to Egypt, experienced her ‘April Glaspie’ moment yesterday when she blamed Americans instead of Egyptians for attacking, storming and desecrating the US Embassy in Cairo and the US Flag.
Old hands will remember, April Glaspie, who was a rising star in the State Department’s constellation of diplomats. Her notorious conversation with Saddam Hussein in early 1990 led Saddam to believe that the US encouraged and condoned an Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.
Having worked closely with US officials for a decade in the struggle and war against Iran, Saddam understood that everything after the Glaspie talk was plausible deniability by US President Bush, 41.
Glaspie misunderstood and misjudged the Iraqi leadership and the situation in Iraq. Patterson’s operations at the US Embassy in Cairo bespeak a comparable misjudgment of the Egyptian Arab situation, its volatility and the depth of anti-American sentiment.
She did not permit US Marine guards to carry live ammunition, according to USMC blogs. Thus she neutralized any US military capability that was dedicated to preserve her life and protect the US Embassy.
In this respect, she did not defend US sovereign territory and betrayed her oath of office. She neutered the Marines posted to defend the embassy, trusting the Egyptians over the Marines.
She apparently judges that Egyptian President Mursi spearheads a democracy and a new civil order, despite the mounting evidence that Mursi disregards US interests, cavorts with US enemies, is a budding authoritarian ruler who disdains parliament and does not honor the basic obligations of diplomatic agreements and the Geneva conventions.
Readers, by definition, whenever an embassy of any country is overrun by locals in any country, everyone knows that the ambassador and senior staff must be replaced.
Readers also should remember that by definition the time for an official government protest for an attack on a US embassy is always when rioters attack or deface the embassy compound itself, long before they violate or penetrate the US sovereign territory or deface the US Flag. Not nine hours later and not when the details become clear. Then it is too late to take action to keep an embassy from burning or to protect American diplomats. The objective is safety, more than knowledge.
When foreign TV videos showed rioters on the walls of the US Embassy and tearing apart the US Flag on the early evening of 11 September, the time for a strong US official protest and angry telephone calls to Mursi had already passed.
Every student of international affairs and international diplomacy knows this. Every experienced foreign policy staff and every competent journalist knows this. But not this State Department and not this US administration and not mainstream US news services. The US simply failed to defend itself.
It bears repeating: apologies never mollify criminals. Only law abiding citizens believe such baloney. Criminals consider apologies to be acts of submission, especially in foreign cultures.
O’Reilly at Fox needs to wise up!
The NightWatch Chronology
When NightWatch wrote last night, every news channel carried video footage of the violation of the US Embassy; the destruction of the Embassy’s US flag; the raising of the Islamic flag – not the al Qaida flag, mind you – and the burning of the US flag.
AFTER those events, the news services carried Ambassador Patterson’s denunciation of Americans at fault. Ambassador Patterson at no time denounced in public the Islamists who violated her Embassy.
When the NightWatch ended, details about the Benghazi atrocity had not yet been reported by any major news services.
Subsequently, Twitter and Facebook postings by the Cairo embassy, after the Libyan catastrophe was reported in the press, insisted that the Americans were wrong for hurting the feelings of the Muslims, despite the loss of life in Benghazi. Patterson’s embassy astonishingly continued to try to minimize the loss of American life and to justify the acts of the Egyptian and Libyan crazies by blaming Americans.
In an earlier era, less politically correct, old time professionals would have called this clientisis – falling in love with one’s client. It is similar to Stockholm syndrome and is an occupational hazard of US diplomats. The US Embassy staff in Cairo has it, based on public, twitter and facebook postings.
The bottom line is that some deferential, weak US diplomats have done more to encourage anti-American outbursts and to promote the perception of US weakness and subservience to Muslims than US citizens exercising free speech. They need to be vetted and replaced because they do not speak for us.
Final note, in most less-developed countries of the world, from Morocco to Indonesia, no one believes the press is free of government control. There is no free press in any of those countries. Thus their leaders, analysts and others disbelieve the US press is free of government control. They mirror-image their own conditions and project them onto the US.
NightWatch has talked with senior foreign officials who simply refuse to believe the American press is free of US government control and manipulation. US official apologies for the actions of private citizens reinforce this astonishing misperception, around the world.
Russia:Russia and the United States should cooperate in the fight against terrorism, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on 12 September. The death of US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens highlights the need for joint efforts between the two countries, along with the entire international community, in combating terrorism in all its manifestations, Lavrov said.
Comment: The Russians believe that the threat of Muslim terrorism is genuine, persistent and global. TThey judge that lapses in vigilance, as reflected in declarations that the war on terrorism is ended, lead to the death of almost irreplaceable American diplomats and their staff.
Russian tactics are not the same as US tactics, but Russian tactics against terrorists also work. The Russians tend to focus on behavior as much as on religion and ethnicity. They are equal opportunity anti-terrorists-they kill them all. Their approach is based on ancient wisdom.
End of NightWatch for 12 September.
Phi Beta Iota: NIGHTWATCH is angry, very angry, and rightly so. While not addressing the FACT that Libya disintegrated in part because of US militarism and use of NATO well beyond any authorization of Congress of the United Nations, NIGHTWATCH connects a couple of dots: gerbils ordering Marines to not carry live ammunition should be grounds for impeachment [this has been a problem going back to El Salvador in the late 1970’s–the USMC has never had the spine to say “no ammo, no Marines”]; and Russia and the US do have common cause against subversive elements (they are NOT terrorists), but we would add the standard 80-20 rule that seems to have escaped the politicized higher elements of the US Government: you cannot be effective against the 20 percent who are armed and dangerous unless you first create a moderately prosperous world at peace for the other 80%. The ignorance, selfishness, and general ineptitude of US foreign policy, and the militarization of US foreign policy these past few years, can be traced to multiple elements:
01) Assassination of JFK and cover-up by LBJ. Thereafter, every President was neutered and less able to oppose special interests.
02) Neutering of Congress by Newt Gingrich and the two-party tyranny — abdication of their Article 1 responsibility and loss of all bi-partisan moderation and common sense. Combined with the corruption of the electoral process and the exclusion of Independents, Constitution, Green, Libertarian, and Reform party candidates from the ballot and from office, along with massive electoral fraud starting in Florida in 2000, the US Congress is not only not representative of the US public, it is in its very being antithetical to the public interest.
03) Gerbilization of the Department of State, deepend by Madeline Albright. She described herself as a “gerbil on a wheel.” Exactly right – State has forgotten how to think.
04) Hollowness and loss of integrity within the U.S. Intelligence Community (more like a scatterd mob) — there is no national estimative process, no national strategy process worthy of the name, and neither CIA nor DIA (and certainly not SOCOM and DHS) have learned how to do full-spectrum Human Intelligence (HUMINT).
05) Vanishing of the M in OMB – the Office of Management and Budget does not manage, it just runs numbers and falsifies assumptions to suit political mandates that are not evidence-based
06) The well-intentioned but totally inappropriate confusion of loyalty to the chain of command with the Oath to defend and support the Constitution. Between budget share battles, the military-industrial complex, the revolving door, the excess of flag officers and senior executive officers, and the general loss of integrity in planning, acquisition, and operations, mission creep and unanticipated consequences prevail.
07) An inert public, dumbed down across the board, gullible in the extreme, unable to discern “big lies” that lead to the loss of blood, treasure, and spirit for no ethical national purpose.
The solutions are obvious and from four possible apporaches, only one of which is immediately applicable. Electoral Reform, Governance Reform, and National Security Reform are all nascient movements that will probably not achieve mainstream status for another 4-8 years. Intelligence Reform is ripe — this is the ONE area where well-intentioned senior officers can come together and decide to start doing the right thing so as to educate the public, media, Congress, and the White House, while churning the staff to re-boot the quality of intelligence and restore integrity to intelligence. Multinational clandestine stations and regional multinational information-sharing grids and small operations centers are in our view essential. An Open Source Agency on the South-Central Campus, with independence from political pressures and the freedom to educate the public, is a small step with big potential. Of course it will not work if they current mis-directed OSINT mandarins are simply given more money–they literally have no clue how to proceed to the point that the time may have come to remove OSINT from the intelligence community and put it under policy instead.