3 Reasons the Obama Administration Didn't Want to Admit Benghazi was a Terrorist Attack

Eli Lake of Newsweek/The Daily Beast has been a one-man wrecking crew when it comes to demolishing Obama administration misstatements, distortions, and outright fabrications when it comes to the September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya that killed Amb. Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

Obama admin officials quickly insisted that the attack was a spontaneously coordinated moment of outrage sparked by the YouTube vid "The Innocence of Muslims" despite facts that undercut such a position. Eventually, Obama's spokespeople acknowledged not only that the event was a terrorist attack coordinated by a group with ties to al Qaeda but that they had been warned about such sorts of attacks

Now, Lake reports, it turns out that within 24 hours of the attack, U.S. officials not only had information about who carried out the attack, but enough information to "target" at least one of the participants in the attack.

The intelligence officials who spoke to The Daily Beast did so anonymously because they weren’t authorized to speak to the press. They said U.S. intelligence agencies developed leads on four of the participants of the attacks within 24 hours of the fire fight that took place mainly at an annex near the Benghazi consulate. For one of those individuals, the U.S. agencies were able to find his location after his use of social media. “We had two kinds of intelligence on one guy,” this official said. “We believe we had enough to target him.”

Another U.S. intelligence official said, “There was very good information on this in the first 24 hours. These guys have a return address. There are camps of people and a wide variety of things we could do.” 

A spokesman for the National Security Council declined to comment for the story. But another U.S. intelligence official said, “I can’t get into specific numbers but soon after the attack we had a pretty good bead on some individuals involved in the attack.” 

Read the whole thing.

This sort of official dissembling is as appalling as it is standard-operating procedure for U.S. governments. Why would it take several weeks for Obama and his administration - the one that was going to be so transparent about everything, right? - to come even vaguely clean about the attack? And even in yesterday's U.N. talk, Obama seemed to be suggesting that recent and rampant anti-American actions in the Middle East had more to do with "The Innocence of Muslims" than with larger issues of U.S. policy in the area.

Some reasons spring to mind, including:

1. Using "The Innocence of Muslims" as the proximate cause for a spontaneous attack - as opposed to a cover for an attack on September 11 (of all dates, for christ's sake) minimizes the adminstration's responsibility for screwup after screwup. Hey, it's not American policy that's causing the problem, it's thoughtless YouTube provocateurs that are stirring up anti-American hatred in the Middle East.

CNN has gotten into hot water with the adminstration for airing portions of Stevens' journal in which he discusses rotten security for him and the American mission in Libya (a State Department official has called this act of journalism "disgusting"). But even assuming the "Innocence" was the cause of the attack on the consulate, that doesn't exonerate American incompetence in protecting its people there.

2. Similarly, focusing on "Muslim Rage" as the root cause of any and all attacks on Mohammed or Islam also allows Obama to play the role he seems to like best: above-it-all soother of pain and bringer of light to dark situations. That's precisely what he did at the U.N. yesterday, speaking out of both sides of his mouth by invoking universal rights such as free speech while also pushing for self-censorship. But what if the concept of an unstoppable "Muslim Rage" at the decadent, secular West is simply a form of Orientalism? That is, it's a fundamentally Western conceit that reduces a huge swath of the world to a pre-rational mob that will have to be dealt with as children or animals?

In a great 2001 Reason piece, Charles Paul Freund argued that the 9/11 attacks and the jihadist mind-set showed that actors such as Osama bin Laden and other radical Islamists were actually enacting the mirror version of the Orientalist critique at the West. The point of this sort of activity is always twofold: First, it revs up the need for drastic and extreme actions (because compromise or cohabitation is impossible given your enemy's thinking) and second, it sanctions any and all violence in the service of the greater good.

Focusing on supposedly immutable Muslim Rage (they hate us for our freedom, our dirty dancing, our same-sex legal rights, etc.) is a great tool for both the Obama administration and retrograde mullahs, clerics, imams, and tyrannical governments. Whether it is in fact a motive force here is incredibly dubious. Certainly it wasn't in Benghazi, which was the work - we know now - of specific terrorist agents.

3. Both the Muslim Rage and Western insensitivity lines of argument allow the Obama administration to maintain its foreign policy status quo, which is not so very different from what the Bush administration was pursuing. The U.S. pullout from Iraq (such as it is, given the thousands of troops and contractors still working there) followed a timetable set by the Bush administration and Obama's Afghanistan plans are following the same sort of vaguely defined nation-building mission until the exact moment we pull out that Bush had started. Throughout the Middle East and in North Africa as the Arab Spring unfolded, Obama was slow to voice support for any of the nascent revolts until it was clear who was going to win (and the rebel victory in places such as Egypt ultimately took down American clients).

By minimizing the role of al Qaeda in Benghazi, Obama can simultaneously continue to claim that al Qaeda is weakened (despite its proxies' ability to kill American diplomats) while not having to revisit the exact reasons for a massive and ongoing U.S. military presence all over the region. If in fact, al Qaeda is no longer the threat it once was, shouldn't the U.S.'s presence in the region be receding? Especially if, as Obama pledged at the U.N. yesterday, we won't be dictating the outcomes of democratic elections in the region? And if al Qaeda is still powerful in the region, then what the hell have we been doing the past decade-plus? Are we still on the globo-cop beat foresworn by George W. Bush as he entered the White House in a pre-9/11 world? And if so, why do so many Americans and other residents of the world seem unhappy with our foreign policy?

If the Benghazi attack was simply the result of a YouTube vid or "Muslim Rage," then, there's no reason to revisit official government policy which, according to the newly elected Egyptian President Morsi, has been pretty consistent: “Successive American administrations essentially purchased with American taxpayer money the dislike, if not the hatred, of the peoples of the region.” (Note, of course, that Morsi isn't requesting a reduction in that taxpayer money.) We can keep on keeping on. And so can our enemies interested in destabilizing the region and blaming the Great Satan for all the woes of the Middle East and beyond.

Given all the reasons it has to misdirect attention if not actively lie about what happened and why in Libya, I can't imagine the Obama administration getting more honest about foreign policy any time soon. Lucky for Obama that his competition for president won't be able to hold him accountable (Romney after all seems hell-bent on bombing stuff for whatever reason). But that lack of accountability is bad news for the rest of us, here and abroad.

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  • sarcasmic||

    tl;dr

  • MWG||

    I agree. Could we get this in video format? I prefer my HR material spoon fed to me.

  • sarcasmic||

    Can the video auto start? Pressing play is such a bother.

  • MWG||

    Now you're just being rediculous.

  • Ted S.||

    I hate auto start. I've got bandwidth caps, and don't want to use it up on a bunch of auto-starting videos.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    It's an excellent read, well worth it. Sums up everything that's wrong with statists with concrete examples. Lies only beget more lies to cover 'em up, but it's all in the name of making the great unwashed understand why they still need guidance from the elite.

  • Paul.||

    tl;dr

    You should have, it was a good post.

  • sarcasmic||

    I eventually did, and I want my five minutes back.

  • Tim||

    2008 : "HOPE AND CHANGE"

    2012 : "NOT MY FAULT"

  • NeonCat||

    I thought it was "STILL BUSH'S FAULT"

  • Tim||

    Which one?
    Both!

  • Lost_In_Translation||

    No, it's

    2008: Hope and Change
    2012: Hope for no Change

  • Mike M.||

    Truman: "The buck stops here."

    Obama: "The buck stopped with Bush!"

  • Rich||

    Why would it take several weeks for Obama and his administration - the one that was going to be so transparent about everything, right? - to come even vaguely clean about the attack?

    "Because we can."

  • Virginian||

    Sorry, the correct answer is "Because fuck you, that's why"

  • Whiterun Guard||

    This is more of a "Because you'll vote for me anyway, bitches!"

  • R C Dean||

    Because coming clean makes them look very bad, indeed.

    They managed the news cycles to minimize damage to the CREEP. Mission accomplished, motherfuckers.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I don't even get Democrats voting for Obama this time. He's godawful on foreign policy, and the economy speaks for itself. Can't keep marching towards enlightened socialism without a halfway decent economy, you know.

  • Lost_In_Translation||

    Yeah, but considering there's just Romney (NO ONE ELSE shouts the media), they can swallow their yummy tears and vote for more misery.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Even Romney is likely marginally better than Obama. This administration has reached new lows.

  • ||

    Even Romney is likely marginally better than Obama.

    I'll believe that when I see it.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I base that less on the man and more on the dissatisfaction with the status quo. If he does absolutely nothing to lessen government overreach (or, more to the point, to improve3 the economy), he'll see the loss of whatever gains the GOP gets in the Congress and likely only get one term.

  • Killazontherun||

    You are witnessing the worst president in your lifetime. That should suffice as a proof.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Sure, but things have been getting worse and worse. I don't think we've hit bottom just yet, though I still hold out hope for some improvements.

  • ||

    I am witnessing the worst president in my lifetime.... until the NEXT president.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Carter was the previous nadir for me, though W gave him a real good run for his money. Too young for LBJ. I never expected Obama to be worse than Carter, but he has so far exceeded my expectations. Unfortunately.

  • dbobway||

    What do we have to lose! So let's try.

  • Major Pain||

    You won't.

    He's fundamentally unelectable, the last choice in a string of unelectables the Republicans cobbled up from some very mixed motivations.

    Don't even worry about it. Obama is crushing him.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    I blame conservatives for runaway spending and liberals for loss of civil liberties, because conservatives will vote for Republicans who spend and liberals will vote for Democrats who spy.

  • Paul.||

    They managed the news cycles to minimize damage to the CREEP. Mission accomplished, motherfuckers.

    And with their usefull idiots in the press turning this into a lets-chill-the-first-amendment-a-little discussion, it looks as though Obama has pulled this off for the time being.

  • Bardas Phocas||

    The negros ARABS were perfectly happy until those outsiders YOUTUBERS came and riled em up.

  • Tim||

    The Fort Hood attack was "workplace violence"

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Soon, Tony and shrike will come to this thread, and tell us we're a bunch of racist hillbillies for criticizing Obama's UN speech.

  • Restoras||

    I hope so. Now it turns out that the Obama Administration may have known the Benghazi attack was a terrorist operation/assination attempt within 24 hours of the event. So, Obama and his stooges have been lying to us (not that we didn't know this) for the past two weeks.

  • Restoras||

    Guess I should have read Gillespies whole piece more carefully...

  • Mr. FIFY||

    No, you're on to something, Restoras.

  • Killazontherun||

    That's the sort of intel that can ruin a Jay-Z party. Hard to blame Obama doing everything in his power to bury it.

  • fish||

    I wouldn't worry they probably couldn't get through it either.

  • Corporate Drone||

    (Romney after all seems hell-bent on bombing stuff for whatever reason).

    You say that like it's a bad thing.

  • Tim||

    I had to kill Osama Bin Laden because he made a mistake. Now it's time to erase that mistake.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    a State Department official has called this act of journalism "disgusting"

    They're disrupting the narrative. If that's not un-American, I don't know what is.

  • Killazontherun||

    CNN just wonders in to the ruins and finds the journal days after. Yeah, their first concern as Obama put it is security and making sure nothing falls into the hands of our enemies. It would all be just peachy if CNN weren't such douches challenging them on it.

  • Lisa||

    I am not a fan of Gillespie's foreign policy critiques. They are philosophical, not empirical.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Beats reading leftist foreign policy screeds.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Actually, the constant, "everything they do is because we have been mean to them" in Nick's articles reads very much like leftist foreign policy screeds.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Well, that's true.

  • ||

    Except he doesn't care if we hurt their feelings, he only cares that we're over there and killing random people.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Except he doesn't care if we hurt their feelings, he only cares that we're over there and killing random people.

    THIS.

    It isn't the killing of terrorists that is the problem. It's the killing of dozens of innocent people for every terrorists killed that is the problem. And to point out that there will be natural blowback from that is not America hating; it's assessing reality for what it is.

  • ||

    It has varying degrees of validity though, given that blowback is ostensibly responsible for violence in countries and regions where we weren't operating or had any notable military or political presence until we got our shit blown up (say, Afghanistan). It holds up better in places, like, say, Iraq. Even in Libya though, it rings a little hollow given that the whole wide world was united in universal celebration of our "liberation" mission there, and, at least so the narrative goes, we carried out the entire operation without putting a single American soldier on the ground or taking one innocent civilian life. "Thanks for liberating us with your multi-national coalition of do-gooders! Now fuck you, we want to blow you up!"

  • The Hammer||

    Team Obama's fuckup got an American Ambassador murdered and they threw another American citizen under the bus to try to deflect blame. Empiricism in cases like this doesn't generate enough copy.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    The Hammer FTW.

  • ||

    They are philosophical, not empirical.

    They're moral critiques, which are the best I've heard of our current foreign policy. And I'm not sure what would qualify as a "empirical" foreign policy, when our foreign policy doesn't seem to be based on empiricism.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Focusing on supposedly immutable Muslim Rage (they hate us for our freedom, our dirty dancing, our same-sex legal rights, etc.) is a great tool for both the Obama administration and retrograde mullahs, clerics, imams, and tyrannical governments. Whether it is in fact a motive force here is incredibly dubious.

    But we can't deny a religious component. Weren't the original 9/11 attacks at least partially rationalized in the Middle East as due to American boots on the ground in the holy lands of Saudi Arabia? While we're looking at U.S. foreign policy as a factor, we can't scrub Islam and how some use it out of the equation altogether.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Shut up you racist hillbilly.

  • Tman||

    Yeah, I don't get what Nick is trying to say here. We can simply take the leaders of the muslim world at their word and you can reach the conclusion that they hate us for "our freedom, our dirty dancing, our same-sex legal rights, etc.". In fact, all of these things are antithetical to what is taught in the Koran.

    If this isn't the reason they hate us, then why do they keep telling us this is the reason they hate us?

    How many times do we need to hear from Muslim clerics preach "DEATH TO AMERICA FOR ITS SINFUL AND UN-ISLAMIC WAYS!!!" before we take them seriously?

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    The Muslim rage leaders and the American rage leaders are all in the same boat, trying furiously to convince all the little people to support them because the other rage leaders are TEH EVUL. They have far more in common with each other than with us peons.

    I doubt either set of leaders wants to actually "win", and that's why our war on terror and their war on infidels are best kept at this high simmer but never let boil over.

  • Tman||

    Well, look at Israel. Ahmadinnerjacket takes every opportunity available to remind everyone that as soon as they get a nuke Israel will be turned to glass, even if it means they have to break a few muslim eggs in the process.

    And he gets cheered on by the Mullahs (if not entirely controlled by said mullahs). Shouldn't Israel take him at his word?

    The point being that I think most Americans would be perfectly fine with letting Muslims overseas rage until they are blue in the face as long as they aren't plowing airliners in to skyscrapers or blowing up shopping malls. Once they go from verbal rhetoric to actual physical assault we have no choice but to respond.

    Israel can't keep the gloves on forever. They have survived multiple attempts from Muslims trying to eradicate their state, and sooner or later it will be irresponsible for them not to react.

  • Raven Nation||

    Reminds of one of Schirer's lines in "Decline and Fall of the Third Reich." He pointed out that during WWII and just after, a lot of people were saying "Who knew that Hitler was going to do what he did?" To which Schirer's response was: "Everybody should have, he'd been telling people for 20 years."

  • ||

    Except when Hitler started conquering countries, no one (except the countries being attacked) did anything about it. Also, Hitler started conquering nearby countries before he went after France and Britain.

    In Iran's case, any attack would cause multiple declarations of war on them, and the nation their government most wants to destroy isn't right next to it.

  • Raven Nation||

    True. But my point was only that, as in Hitler's case, Iranian leaders have made no secrets of their goals.

  • ||

    I don't doubt they'd like to if they could. But I doubt they have any way to do so. Their first attempt would get them an epic smackdown.

  • ||

    I don't doubt they'd like to if they could.

    Which sort of undermines the argument for their being rational actors who are justifiably retaliating for civilian casualties and the occupation of their lands. Contra Gillespie, not every incident of terrorism in the middle east is "blowback" from American foreign policy. Evidenced most readily by the fact that they just as enthusiastically blow each other up as they do us "outsider" infidels.

  • Robert||

    France y Britain declared war on Germany.

  • Robert||

    I still blame Britain.

  • The Hammer||

    Sure, Tman, as long as you ignore that "Imperialist" word they keep using.

  • Tman||

    What do you mean Hammer? Just trying to understand what you're getting at.

  • BoxyBoxyBoxyBoxy||

    I think what he is getting at is that their rhetoric, at least, is to some extent a response to our foreign policy.

  • Tman||

    I agree that some of their rhetoric get fueled by our foreign policy, but this clash between modern Western Civilization and the Islamic culture was somewhat inevitable regardless of our foreign policy.

    Whether or not we made it more or less messy is a reasonable argument, but Muslim clerics can't expect to keep their women in chains forever, nor can they expect their culture to last in a world that is so interconnected.

    And now that those stuck in primitive Islamic cultures are getting a taste of what modern free society has to offer the clash in unavoidable.

  • The Hammer||

    And now that those stuck in primitive Islamic cultures are getting a taste of what modern free society has to offer the clash in unavoidable.

    Yep, and if their people could get iphones and porn and Netflix without having vivid recent memories of family members grievously injured or killed by drone strikes, modern free society would be winning in a walkover.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Today's most ignorant and delsional comment brought to you by The Hammer.

  • The Hammer||

    I mean "DEATH TO AMERICA FOR ITS SINFUL AND UN-ISLAMIC WAYS!!!" is not all of the rhetoric they use. Sure, some people might still try to attack the US just because of its existence and refusal to adopt Sharia law, but it makes their message a lot more effective when they can point down the street and say "remember, before the drone strike, when there was a building where that crater is? Who sent that drone?"

  • Tman||

    I agree with that. The drone strikes are not helping. But you have to admit that pretty much any military response to the attacks we've had against America and our allies by Islamic fundamentalists was going to be used as a rhetorical whip to the masses by the clerics.

    The point is this conflict is unavoidable, and until they lose it will continue.

  • The Hammer||

    And my point is that it was not 'unavoidable,' we got suckered into it. If we hadn't been baited into actually invading various foreign countries, the Islamic fundamentalists would be roughly equivalent in size and scope to the Westboro Baptist Church, and the conflict would've resolved itself.

  • Tman||

    I disagree. We didn't get "suckered" in to anything. Our very existence as a modern culture that doesn't subjugate women and provides an emphasis on things like free speech and liberty is in direct conflict with the goals of the Islamic culture.

    Islamic fundamentalists are in charge of of the muslim world at this time, partly due to oil wealth and partly due to the fact that they repress non-islamic culture. The conflict between these two cultures was unavoidable.

  • ||

    I think few people here would claim there's NO religious component, but the Reason writers, as well as most (though certainly not all) of the commentariat are of the opinion that our presence in the Middle East is the single biggest factor in our current conflicts.

  • ant1sthenes||

    I think it's a question of distinguishing between what makes people disgusted with another group of people, and what makes them move halfway around the world to plot out an elaborate attack that will take their own lives, just so that they kill as many of those people as possible.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Can't keep marching towards enlightened socialism without a halfway decent economy, you know.

    IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

  • Tim||

    Many people like to point to Gulf War I as a triumph but really, it set us on a glide path to all the shit we are dealing with today.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "Many people like to point to Gulf War I as a triumph but really, it set us on a glide path to all the shit we are dealing with today."

    Which is pretty much the same shit we were dealing with before the Gulf War.

  • Tim||

    Not really, it put Americans into Saudi, led to Saddam's attempt to kill Daddy Bush, which lead to Junior wanting to kill him, etc

  • Paul.||

    Funny, I was taught from a very young age that the 'glidepath' we're on was started with the british and the Americans drawing arbitrary borders on a map of the middle east with a sharpie.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    + 1 Durand Line

  • ||

  • Paul.||

    What... the... fuck...

    Everything about the making and promotion of the "Innocence" video screams provocation, and as for the alleged central figure in all this, one Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, he is the classic cutout. The real authors of "Innocence" are cackling with glee somewhere, now that they’ve achieved their goal. With attention diverted away from the video and it’s makers, they can relax, enjoy their victory – and think about where to strike next.

    I can't turn my fucking tv or radio on and NOT hear a news source mention the video as the source of all our foreign policy woes. Not sure what this dipshit is talking about...

    His logic is breathtakingly thin. This is precisely what the administration wants us to believe: That a bunch of irresponsible videographers are the source of all of our foreign policy failures... not our foreign policy.

    Justin "administration mouthpiece" Raimondo indeed.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    The video was the root cause of 9/11 as well.

  • Paul.||

    The President of the United States no doubt has better intelligence on the origins of the Innocence video than I do, but for him to pay so much attention to it in this high profile speech indicates — at least to me — that his information comports roughly with my guess: that it was and is a deliberate ploy to direct violence at American interests throughout the world, including embassies and US government personnel.

    *head in hands*

  • vndk8r||

    Stevens was set up from the get go. I think he went to Benghazi to meet someone which was why he had little protection. His assignee knew his proclivities, made a date, and let the bad guys know where.

    The bad guys indeed planned this take down, probably surprised that the security detail was small, if there was one, luckier than they could have believed so they kidnapped Stevens, abused him for hours, when the uninformed rescuers showed up, the fight went heavy.

    State does not want this to come out. The abuse suffered by the Ambassador will never be revealed, the autopsy report will be bottomed in the outbox, the brutality and reasons for the attack obscured by bureaucracy. They were caught flatfooted by the event, but they pretty much knew what was going on from the beginning.

    The Federales can't (or won't) say that Stevens was gay, on his way to an encounter, and realized the mistake too late because it involved homosexual activity. The jihadis knew all about this poor guy, it was one of the main reasons they went after him, to embarrass the Government.

    My sense of it is that the Administration is caught on the horns of a dilemma that they created. Stevens was a star, great at his job, but he was politically encumbered. Now, no one wants to speak the politically incorrect truth, perhaps out of respect to the family which is certainly a concern.

    In that business, nothing is ever what it appears to be, it is always something else, but it is the way wars start.

  • Romulus Augustus||

    Monday, Nov.5: "I'm announcing that last night special forces of the U.S. military, on my express order, courageously made, killed those responsible for the murder of Ambassador Stevens. This was done only after double and triple checking all the evidence that has accumulated in co-ordination with intelligence services and military
    assets. That this was finally achievable on the eve of the presidential election is only coincidental. God bless America and our men and women in uniform. Good Night."

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    Gotta loev those bought nad paid for politicians! LOL!

    www.motherfuckingfucketyfuckFUCK.com/FUCK

  • Tim||

    Wow Dude that really makes sense. When you think about it.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    WigFoo approves of this message.

  • submandave||

    While one can certainly make the argument that BHO has little changed GWB foreign policy vis-a-vis Iraq/Afghanistan, it is my opinion that this was more a matter of convenience and expedience than agreement. Above all, Obama is lazy policy-wise. While I believe he really wanted to pull the Iraq troops home earlier, he was content to let them come home on the Bush timetable and avoid the fight. To support this, look at how his administration dragged their feet on achieving a SOFA with Iraq until it was too late to stop the full departure. The Afghanistan surge was just politics until he could fix an arbitrary date to magically declare "mission complete" and bug out.

  • Raven Nation||

    I think I agree with you on BHO being lazy but I still think it's BS he and the Dems didn't change things. They had super-majorities in Congress for two years. They could have changed any policy. If they were really morally outraged as they expressed during the W years, they would have got the troops out, closed Guantanamo, etc. I think most (not all) of the Dems who were anti-war 2003-2008 were just politically, expediently, anti-war.

    Someone up thread asked how any Democrat could vote for Obama again but this issue is the question. Forget the economy which most leftists believe is either improving, was much worse than they knew, or is still Bush's fault. If leftists and Dems voted for BHO based on his foreign policy positions in 2008, how can they possibly vote for him now?

  • ||

    he was content to let them come home on the Bush timetable

    Except that he wanted 10,000 troops to stay there in contravention of the Bush-determined pull-out date.

  • Drake||

    It's not just laziness, it's cowardice and indifference. He had to know the Afghanistan mission is a waste of money and blood. He just doesn't care how much money we waste or how many soldiers die for nothing. They probably aren't Democrats anyhow.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    But what if the concept of an unstoppable "Muslim Rage" at the decadent, secular West is simply a form of Orientalism? That is, it's a fundamentally Western conceit that reduces a huge swath of the world to a pre-rational mob that will have to be dealt with as children or animals?

    Really, Nick? The world is burning and you pull out some tired old Edward Said shit?

    The mental gymnastics one goes through to avoid uncomfortable truths will always amaze me.

  • ||

    Really, Nick? The world is burning and you pull out some tired old Edward Said shit?

    The mental gymnastics one goes through to avoid uncomfortable truths will always amaze me.

  • Drake||

    The Administration simply wants to keep the facts quiet. They ignored intelligence warnings (and the calender) and left their Ambassador unprotected. He was targeted for attack, raped (which the Administration really doesn't want to mention, then executed.

  • Gray Ghost||

    What is it with Muslim extremists and homosexual rape anyway? They sexually assaulted Khadafi before he died. So too, the Navy SEAL Neil Roberts (at least, that's how I'm interpreting the account in Not a Good Day to Die of the footage of Roberts, face down, being surrounded by several Taliban, and eventually his corpse being found with his pants down.) Add to that the story in Charlie Wilson's War from the mujaheddin days of Afghans treating Soviet prisoners as concubines.

    I do find it amazing that there is absolutely no mention in the MSM of the treatment of Ambassador Stevens, nor how he died. (I hadn't heard your statement about a sexual assault, Drake.) Nor the rumor that the man may have been gay. Insert obligatory disclaimer here, but if true, is assigning a homo- or bisexual man, closeted or not, to be Ambassador to a fiercely Islamic country really that good of an idea?

  • Drake||

    http://www.inquisitr.com/33050.....rts-claim/

    As to the appropriateness of assigning a gay Ambassador to the Middle East, that depends on his ability to keep it on the DL. Lots of gay Arabs, who vehemently deny being gay. They just don't like women because they are unclean and stuff - so they hang out with men, bath with them, sleep with them, etc...

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    My favorite spin is that kindly Libyans carried the Ambassador to the hospital after he suffocated on the burning video. Or something.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    I see 2 ways to deal with the Mid East mess:

    1) We completely pull out of the region, including the ending of all foreign aid to the region. This would entail drilling everywhere and anywhere within our borders, and increasing oil imports from Canada and Mexico and any non-Muslim countries.

    or

    2) If they want to call us infidel imperialists, then let's be real infidel imperialists. We just take their land and their oil for real, and install strip clubs and brothels in Mecca.

  • vrjavala||

    Just like Obama thought "Fast and Furious" would abridge 2nd Amendment, so also he would like to abridge 1st Amenfmant by blaming the Libyan massacre on an amateur movie trailer on youtube.

  • vrjavala||

    Just like Obama thought "Fast and Furious" would abridge 2nd Amendment, so also he would like to abridge 1st Amenfmant by blaming the Libyan massacre on an amateur movie trailer on youtube.

  • vrjavala||

    Just like Obama thought "Fast and Furious" would abridge 2nd Amendment, so also he would like to abridge 1st Amenfmant by blaming the Libyan massacre on an amateur movie trailer on youtube.

  • vrjavala||

    Just like Obama thought "Fast and Furious" would abridge 2nd Amendment, so also he would like to abridge 1st Amenfmant by blaming the Libyan massacre on an amateur movie trailer on youtube.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "Hey, it's not American policy that's causing the problem, it's thoughtless YouTube provocateurs that are stirring up anti-American hatred in the Middle East"

    All you're doing, Gillespie, is playing into the Islamist negationist game by driving out a scapegoat.

    Hey, it's not the inherently fanatical, control-obsessed religious dogma that's responsible for the way these people behave, let's just heap it on that ever reliable proxy, American foreign policy, it's not like anyone's made a Godwin's law pertaining to that yet. Nevermind all those countires our government has meddled in that DON'T respond with uncontrollable violent rage every time someone openmly disagrees with them.

    Oversimplified or not, there's more truth to the "Muslim Rage" and "They hate our Freedoms" argument than there is to the "they hate us cuz we want their oil" reflex.
    Salman Rushdie was not the subject of an international hit because he was after Iran's oil.
    Kurt Westeergard was not murdered because the U.S invaded MidEast countries.
    Molly Norris was not forced into a life of anonymity because of our foreign policy.
    That British elementary school classroom was threatened with violent reprisal because they named a teddy bear "Mohammed", not because they accidentally killed civilians.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    These things all happened because the wide majority of the Islamic world believe that their dogma overrides any degree of right that could be allowed to any human, let alone the nonbelievers whom the Quran generally treats as less than worthless. They hate the notion that people who are not Muslims have the ability to make any sort of comment or observation about their religious views, and they universally respond EVERY. FUCKING. TIME. with violence and force.

    "We're going to destroy stuff and kill people until you drastically alter the very fundamental core of your livelihoodsimply because we don't want to look at or hear things we disagree with."
    If that's not, "Hating the Freedom of others" then fucking nothing in this world is.

    Have ya ever noticed how, for every one person who buries their head and makes the claims that this sort of behavior ISN'T indicative of the majority of Muslims, there's an ex-Muslim like Ibn Warraq or Ayaan Hirsi Ali stating that actually, yes, this is succinct summary?

  • ||

    Well said. I've never understood why non-interventionist foreign policy has to entail Pollyannaism vis-a-vis Islamic fundamentalist nut bags. Seems most libertarians are more concerned about the Jewish lobby and the Christian coalition here in America than they are about a religious group that, you know, actually blows shit up and kills people over their religion.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    The best way to discover this is to actually spend time reading the things Muslims say or do or believe, instead of being told secondhand.
    To that end, read this article and the comments attached to it, and know that this is the FIRST Google result of any kind to pop up to the search "Kurt Westeergard Dead":

    http://www.zimbio.com/Kurt+Wes.....urns+death

    Obligatory: Now, I'm not saying ALL Muslims are raging psychopaths or anything like that, just that it's idiotic to be doling out excuses for this sort of behavior or to attempt to minimalize it to a minority group when this sort of thing is EXACTLY what is proscribed in the religion's doctrine.

  • Robert||

    I think there's a much more specific reason: Saying it was terrorism would imply that regime change in Libya was a bad thing rather than a good one. Saying it was about a movie...well, you know, there are critics everywhere regardless of regime, it has nothing to do with whose gov't they're under.

  • Adamsmith1776||

    Its really pretty simple. The one good think people said about Bush after 9-11 was that at least he kept us safe. To have a terrorist attack on 9-11 right before the election would make people realize that BHO's policies have failed. Sure he killed Osama, a U.S. Citizen in Yemen, and countless others in drone strikes hidden from public view, but this was a massive failure, and interfere with his highest duty and objective--getting himself re-elected.

  • educatedowl||

    great article. well-documented and provocative! we have such a "transparent" administration!!

  • educatedowl||

    great article. well-documented and provocative! we have such a "transparent" administration!!

  • Rufus J. Firefly||

    "The Republicans and their neoconservative avatars find this useful in a different way: it gives them the chance to score points off the Obama administration for alleged "weakness" in the face of Islamist terror. Matt Welch, editor-in-chief of Reason magazine, gave voice to this talking point when he wished for "a more American response" to the riots from US diplomats and the White House. From Mitt Romney’s perspective, this new turn in the Benghazi "investigation" absolves him from weighing in too early, and retrospectively gives his initial critique a modicum of credibility."

    Did Raimondo just equate neocons with Reason?

    Wow.

  • jason||

    This is election time and Obama still have better chances to win this time again.

  • dj kumquat||

    ronmey "hell bent on bombing stuff?" the article is full of links referencing points being made, and yet, no link here?!? sloppy to be tossing around this level of allegation without sourcing, mr gillespie. you wouldn't let the lamestream media news/opinion makers get away with the sort of journalism.

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