Al Qaeda Involved in Benghazi Attack

For a story that the White House (“happened a long time ago“) and our last two Secretaries of State (“what difference does it make?” / “more important things to worry about“) insist is basically over, the Benghazi attack continues to make headlines.  CNN is reporting that at least three Al Qaeda operatives took part in the 9/11 raid.  The administration knew within the first few hours of the assault that it was the work of radical Islamist terrorism.  How long have they known that the specific organization that attacked America in 2001 was directly involved?

Several Yemeni men belonging to al Qaeda took part in the terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi last September, according to several sources who have spoken with CNN. One senior U.S. law enforcement official told CNN that “three or four members of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula,” or AQAP, took part in the attack. Another source briefed on the Benghazi investigation said Western intelligence services suspect the men may have been sent by the group specifically to carry out the attack. But it’s not been ruled out that they were already in the city and participated as the opportunity arose. If the AQAP members were dispatched to Benghazi, it would be further evidence of a new level of co-operation among jihadist groups throughout the Middle East and North Africa, counterterrorism analysts say.  According to one source, counterterrorism officials learned the identity of the men and established they had spent two nights in Benghazi after the attack. Western intelligence agencies began trying to track the men in the aftermath of the terrorist attack, but were always behind in their manhunt.

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A Beltway Moderate Speaks

By: Robert Bowen

With comments by the Common Constutionalist [ ]

Wall Street Journal columnist and former Reagan staffer Peggy Noonan said in a Wall Street Journal video released Thursday that Mitt Romney “looked Weak today.” She added, “At one point, he had a certain slight grimace on his face when he was taking tough questions from the reporters. And I thought, ‘He looks like Richard Nixon.’ ”

Noonan was referring to Romney’s news conference Wednesday morning were he doubled down on his attacks on President Obama after the killing of a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Libya.

On Fox News Wednesday Noonan said “I don’t feel that Mr. Romney has been doing himself any favors, say in the past few hours, perhaps since last night,” She added, “Sometimes when really bad things happen, when hot things happen, cool words or no words is the way to go.” [ And sometime things just have to be said, whether moderates recoil from it or not ]

She tried to give Romney some advice saying “I think… that in times of great drama and heightened crisis, and in times when something violent has happened to your people, I always think discretion is the better way to go,” Noonan said. “When you step forward in the midst of a political environment and start giving statements on something dramatic and violent that has happened, you’re always leaving yourself open to accusations that you are trying to exploit things politically.” [ Hey Peggy; news flash. Romney will not get a fair hearing from the press, no matter what he says or does not say, as plainly demonstrated by last weeks audio of reporters colluding against him. ]

Noonan knows what she is saying. She worked for Ronald Reagan. In 1980 when the effort to free the hostages in Iran failed because U.S. helicopters crashed in the desert, Reagan did not come out blasting President Carter. Instead, he said that “this is a time for all Americans to come together and mourn the dead Americans and pray for the hostages.” [ There is a difference. Carter was just wholly inept. Obama doesn’t care, nor, it appears, does Hilary Clinton.]

It was not until six full days later that Ronald Reagan made a political statement about how he disagreed with President Carter’s policies. Reagan is Romney’s hero but perhaps not a role model.

Romney came out Tuesday night with a political statement blasting Obama before he knew any of the facts. The next morning after he knew the identity of just one of the victims, he doubled down on his attacks. [ Yes, and it was much worse after just some of the facts were revealed. Frankly he should’ve heve triple-downed, if there is such a thing. ]

When asked about Romney’s statements, President Obama told CBS’s Steve Kroft “Governor Romney has a tendency to shoot before he aims, and as President I learned you can not do that.” [ Really Mr. President? Not like the time when you’re buddy, the professor from Cambridge was arrested, and before anything was known of the incident, you claimed the police acted stupidly. That was a calculated and thoughtful response.]  

Most Republican leaders and politicians have taken a muted posture on the Embassy killings focusing instead on sending condolences and prayers to the families of the slain. However, Romney’s and his running mate Paul Ryan have continued to double down on criticism of the President. [ Well goody for them. We all know, most of the republican leaders are afraid of their own shadows.]

Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and Ann Coulter have come to Romney’s defense, however. The problem with that is that the people that listen to Coulter, Palin, and Limbaugh would vote for Romney over Obama even if Mitt were arrested nude on the Capitol steps for a sex crime, high on drugs, shooting at the police.

The people that listen to Peggy Noonan and other sane and thoughtful voices are independents and persuadable voters that Romney needs. He already has the anti-Obama far right wing and the anti-Islam faction. [ Ah yes. Here we go with the beloved independents. That’s where the election is won. NOT! If old Peggy was such an expert on Reagan she would know that’s not what Ronaldus Magnus did. He boldly proclaimed his

The Number of Great Moderates in History

conservative ideals and ideas and the people followed him, because they knew he meant it. He did not try to couch his speech or move to the beloved center. Ms. Noonan, you may have been a conservative once upon a time, but you’ve been inside the beltway for too long. You, my dear, are a moderate, which is simply a liberal without the courage to admit it.] 

Romney does not look like he is ready for prime time. He looks amateurish and insensitive. He has an empathy problem and this just reinforced that. Obama is President and he is looking Presidential. Romney and Ryan look desperate, political, opportunistic, and unsteady. Romney has failed a test on national TV, in prime time, but he keeps on digging in deeper. [ Wow. Romney is one the most caring and sensistive people in public view that I know of. Here is just one example. From what I understand there are dozens more like it that the general public knows nothing of. ]

Romney’s statement was not a spur of the moment event. He and his campaign had over 12 hours to think it over before he issued the first statement. The reason is conservatives like Limbaugh, Coulter, Palin, and Laura Ingram have been screaming at Romney to “get ideological on Obama.” They want him to attack, attack, and attack–with gloves off. So, that is what he is doing. [ And good for him. Someone needs to call the president out for who he really is.]

Time will tell, but it looks like Romney is getting bad advice. A strong leader would get that advice, but have the wisdom to ignore it given the nature and gravity of the situation. It does not appear right now that Romney is winning hearts and minds with his approach.

[ Peggy, my advice to you is to check in at the nearest moderates nursing home and leave the real conservative thought to those of us that see this country is in real trouble and Romney is our best hope for possibly taking it back from radicals that have taken over.  Maybe the home will give you a group discount if you bring some others with you, like John McCain, John Boehner, Bill Kristol, Mitch McConnell, et al.]

They Said We Were Safer

The Huffington Post, just last week (Sept. 8, 2012), wrote the following glowing article about how Barack “George Patton” Obama has kept his flock safe from terror.

Lolita C. Blador of the Huff Post writes, “As Americans debate whether they are better off now than they were four years ago, there is a similar question with a somewhat easier answer: Are you safer now than you were when President Barack Obama took office? By most measures, the answer is yes.”

“…Americans have stopped fretting daily about a possible attack or stockpiling duct tape and water…”

“While the threat of a terrorist attack has not disappeared, the combined military, intelligence, diplomatic and financial efforts to hobble al-Qaida and its affiliates have escalated over the past four years and paid off. Terrorist leaders, including Osama bin Laden, are dead and their networks in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia disrupted.”

“…Obama pursued a more aggressive drone campaign to target terrorist leaders, broadening efforts to help at-risk nations bolster their own defenses, and put in place plans to end the war in Iraq and bring troops out of Afghanistan.”

“As a result, terrorism worries have taken a back seat to the nation’s economic woes. Unlike previous elections, national security is not a big campaign issue this year.”

Phil Mudd, a senior research fellow at the nonpartisan New America Foundation said, “But I would say today that al-Qaidaism is on the decline. By any balance, the number of places where people want to come after us has declined in the past four years.”

James Lewis, with the Center for Strategic and International Studies claimed, “through diplomatic efforts by the Obama administration that level of fear has been tamped down. The global perception of the U.S. is better.”

Tommy Vietor, spokesman for the National Security Council stated, “The U.S. is absolutely safer now than four years ago.”

We were apparently so safe, the U.S. Marines defending the American embassy in Egypt were not permitted by the State Department to carry live ammunition, limiting their ability to respond to attacks like those this week on the U.S. consulate in Cairo.

Yes!! You read that correctly. The Ambassador to Egypt, Anne Patterson “did not permit U.S. Marine guards to carry live ammunition,” according to multiple reports on U.S. Marine Corps blogs spotted by Nightwatch. “She neutralized any U.S. military capability that was dedicated to preserve her life and protect the US Embassy.”

I’m sure she figured diplomacy would always be more effective than bullets.

As I’ve stated many times, diplomacy never has and never will work. Especially when dealing with an enemy that doesn’t mind dying, or at least encourages others to die for them. 

What makes this tragedy even worse is that it may have been prevented.

Sources have recently come forth, claiming the U.S. State Department knew of the potential for attacks up to 48 hours prior to 9-11.  They evidently did nothing about it. They took no precautions, no heightened security.

The threat was apparently not specific to any location.   Well, you say, if that’s the case, how could anyone be held responsible? Do you how many consulates and embassies we must have? How can one blame the Obama administration for such a vague threat?

Easy! Here’s how. The State Department receives notice of a threat on consulates and embassies. The threat is of  possible terrorist attacks corresponding to the 9-11 anniversary. The State Department alerts the The White House. The White House looks at the embassies around the globe. They then ask themselves where a terror threat is most eminent or more likely to occur. Then, by deductive reasoning, they eliminate all but those in suspected terror hotspots.

So the embassies in Barbados and Fiji are probably safe, where as the ones in, say Egypt, Libya, Jordan, Syria, etc. are more at risk.

The Commander-in-Chief would then bid David Letterman adieu, leave the campaign trail, rush back to the White House and send out orders to beef up security at those embassies deemed high risk. He might even order that they be issued ammunition.

I’m not saying that these attacks and subsequent deaths could have been prevented or even lessened. Yes I am. I’m saying exactly that. These poor souls were not even given a fighting chance. That’s the real tragedy here.

With this information of prior notification coming to light, might this be the reason the Administration and the cheer squad in the media keep harping on the dopey YouTube video as the sole cause of mayhem, when any reasonable person knows it had nothing to do with it? Of course it is!

If the mainstream media actually did their job and reported that the Obama State Department had prior notice and didn’t act, there would be hell to pay. If this happened during a Romney administration, you know they would shouting it from the tree tops.

Attribution: PJ Media, Huff Po, Daily Mail