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Friday, September 14, 2012

America 'was warned of embassy attack but did nothing'

By Susan Duclos

The title is the sub-header from UK's The Independent and the key quotes are shown below:

According to senior diplomatic sources, the US State Department had credible information 48 hours before mobs charged the consulate in Benghazi, and the embassy in Cairo, that American missions may be targeted, but no warnings were given for diplomats to go on high alert and "lockdown", under which movement is severely restricted.


 Senior officials are increasingly convinced, however, that the ferocious nature of the Benghazi attack, in which rocket-propelled grenades were used, indicated it was not the result of spontaneous anger due to the video, called Innocence of Muslims. Patrick Kennedy, Under-Secretary at the State Department, said he was convinced the assault was planned due to its extensive nature and the proliferation of weapons.


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."

Wissam Buhmeid, the commander of the Tripoli government-sanctioned Libya's Shield Brigade, effectively a police force for Benghazi, maintained that it was anger over the Mohamed video which made the guards abandon their post. "There were definitely people from the security forces who let the attack happen because they were themselves offended by the film; they would absolutely put their loyalty to the Prophet over the consulate. The deaths are all nothing compared to insulting the Prophet."

Via The Politico, the Obama administration denies The Independent's report:

Shawn Turner, spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, emailed: “This is absolutely wrong. We are not aware of any actionable intelligence indicating that an attack on the U.S. Mission in Benghazi was planned or imminent.”

What makes this more devastating for the Obama administration, is that just one day before the second 9/11 attacks and the murder of  U.S. Ambassador Stevens and other Americans, the Washington Post's Marc Thiessen had just reported that after Obama's schedule had been examined, it was found that he only attended 43.8 percent of his daily intelligence briefings.

The Government Accountability Institute, a new conservative investigative research organization, examined President Obama’s schedule from the day he took office until mid-June 2012, to see how often he attended his Presidential Daily Brief (PDB) — the meeting at which he is briefed on the most critical intelligence threats to the country. During his first 1,225 days in office, Obama attended his PDB just 536 times — or 43.8 percent of the time. During 2011 and the first half of 2012, his attendance became even less frequent — falling to just over 38 percent. By contrast, Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush almost never missed his daily intelligence meeting.

I asked National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor about the findings, and whether there were any instances where the president attended the intelligence meeting that were not on his public schedule. Vietor did not dispute the numbers, but said the fact that the president, during a time of war, does not attend his daily intelligence meeting on a daily basis is “not particularly interesting or useful.” He says that the president reads his PDB every day, and he disagreed with the suggestion that there is any difference whatsoever between simply reading the briefing book and having an interactive discussion of its contents with top national security and intelligence officials where the president can probe assumptions and ask questions. “I actually don’t agree at all,” Vietor told me in an e-mail, “The president gets the information he needs from the intelligence community each day.” 

Mr. Thiessen followed up on September 13, 2012:

According to the public schedule of the president, the last time the Obama attended his daily intelligence meeting was Sept. 5 — a week before Islamist radicals stormed our embassy in Cairo and terrorists killed our ambassador to Tripoli. The president was scheduled to hold the intelligence meeting at 10:50 a.m. Wednesday, the day after the attacks, but it was canceled so that he could comfort grieving employees at the State Department — as well he should. But instead of rescheduling the intelligence briefing for later in the day, Obama apparently chose to skip it altogether and attend a Las Vegas fundraiser for his re-election campaign. One day after a terrorist attack.

Back up to The Independent story as a reminder that the credible information on a possible attack was 48 hrs before the actual attack.

Put aside the credible information 48 hours before mobs charged the consulate in Benghazi, and the embassy in Cairo and put aside the fact that it was 9/11 so anybody using common sense would heighten security around embassies, consulates and American interests, according to Politico on September 12, 2012, "the consulate where the American ambassador to Libya was killed on Tuesday is an “interim facility” not protected by the contingent of Marines that safeguards embassies."

From the missed intelligence briefings, the lack of security where a U.S. Ambassador was, the apologetic tweets from the U.S. embassy in Cairo which apologized to the attackers and condemned the right of American free speech, which were later deleted after the White House disavowed those tweets, then Obama's tepid response to the attacks and murders, Obama heading to Vegas for a fundraiser the day after a U.S. Ambassador and other Americans were slaughtered while attacks were still being conducted against other embassies, then jumped on over to Colorado for a campaign event, and finally Obama's amazing public statement saying Egypt was not an ally to which his administration had to walk back, has all been a show of the most extreme incompetence, fumbling, bumbling and flailing seen from an American administration in recent history.

Imagine if all the above had happened during Bush's presidency.

The media would have been having a field day. Yet the Obama media, was too busy focusing on ways to attack Mitt Romney, who by the way, is the only one that has said clearly "America will not tolerate attacks against our citizens and against our embassies. We will defend also our constitutional rights of speech and assembly and religion. We have confidence in our cause in America. We respect our Constitution. We stand for the principles our Constitution protects. We encourage other nations to understand and respect the principles of our Constitution because we recognize that these principles are the ultimate source of freedom for individuals around the world."

 There is no excuse for the way Obama and his administration has handled this who crisis.