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Tuesday, September 10, 2013


US consulate attack in Benghazi: the "official version" vs. reality.

Via the UK Guardian.  Read the whole thing and then wonder how Team Obama manages to keep the US media in line.  It may have something to do with Ed Asner's comment as to where the Hollywood anti-war celebrities are: they don't want to be called racist. 

Event Staff at the US special mission in Benghazi woke on 11 September to the sight of a Libyan policeman, deployed to guard them, filming the compound from a neighbouring rooftop. When challenged, he vanished. Later, an unmarked car made lazy circles around the compound, a walled redoubt rented in the southern suburbs of the Libyan city.

US version The state department says there were no warning of impending attack, a spokesman insisting there was "nothing unusual during the day at all".

Conflicting evidence Two days earlier, the ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, had received a veiled warning. According to one of his cables, one of his diplomats had a meeting with two Islamist militia leaders in which they complained that the US was supporting a secular leader, Mahmoud Jibril, in a vote for prime minister due on 12 September. If Jibril won, they warned, they would "no longer guarantee security". The consulate was already relying on one of the militias, the February 17th Martyrs Brigade, for armed protection.

In the words of a subsequent report by the US Senate's homeland security committee, warning lights were "flashing red". As the day went on, news came in of attacks by radicals on the US embassy in Cairo, a response to a film, the Innocence of Muslims, released in America which mocked Muhammad. The CIA sent a cable to its foreign stations warning of possible copycat incidents.

The anniversary of the 9/11 attacks also preyed on the minds of compound staff in Benghazi. In a letter found in the ruins by the Guardian, Stevens wrote: "For security reasons, we'll need to be careful about limiting moves off compound and scheduling as many meetings as possible in the villa."

At least one man inside the compound was anxious. Sean Smith, a 34-year-old information management officer accompanying the ambassador on the visit, emailed a friend: "Assuming we don't die tonight. We saw one of our 'police' that guard the compound taking pictures." Hours later, he was dead.

Read the rest.

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