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leveymg

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Member since: Wed May 5, 2004, 09:44 AM
Number of posts: 36,418

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Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll (for spies) Dig it>



This one goes out to David Petraeus and Paula Broadwell. Perfect mood music and lyrics for those Special Ops you shared.

Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick

In the deserts of Sudan and the gardens of Japan
From Milan to Yucatan, ev'ry woman, ev'ry man

Hit me your rhythm stick, hit me, hit me
Je t'adore, ich liebe dich, hit me, hit me, hit me
Hit me with your rhythm stick
Hit me slowly, hit me quick
Hit me, hit me, hit me

In the wilds of Borneo and the vineyards of Bordeaux
Eskimo, Arapaho, move their body to and fro

Hit me with your rhythm stick, hit me, hit me
Das ist gut, c'est fantastique, hit me, hit me, hit me

Hit me with your rhythm stick
It's nice to be a lunatic
Hit me, hit me, hit me

Hit me, hit me, hit

In the dock of Tiger Bay, on the road to Mandalay
From Bombay to Santa Fé, o'er the hills and far away

Hit me with your rhythm stick, hit me, hit me
C'est si bon, mm? Ist es nicht? Hit me, hit me, hit me
Hit me with your rhythm stick
Two fat persons, click, click, click
Hit me, hit me, hit me
Hit me, hit me, hit me - hit me, hit me ....

Petraeus was the Original Official Source of Iraq "Biotrailers" WMD Deception

Adapted from original post:
PETRAEUS' IRAQ WMD DECEPTION: How the General Earned His Stripes With Bush-Cheney
Posted by leveymg in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue Sep 11th 2007, 08:26 AM

In the last few days, it's come to light that Gen. Petraeus was the original source for incorrect information released to the U.S. media in May 2003 that mobile biological warfare trailers had been located in Iraq. False intelligence findings were indeed substituted for a 122-page DIA report suppressed by the Pentagon.

During the next year, the Bush-Cheney Administration continued to make false assertions that Saddam Hussein had a biotoxins program in place before the invasion, and that certain trailers found in Iraq proved that claim.

We now learn that a team of Defense Intelligence Agency investigators concluded on May 26 (2003) that the trailers found had no connection to a biowarfare program, but, nonetheless, Pentagon spokesmen and the Administration continued to make unfounded allegations that the mobile labs had been manufacturing anthrax, smallpox, and other deadly germs.

Gen. Petraeus appears to have taken no steps to correct the record after he falsely stated to reporters on May 13 that there is a "reasonable degree of certainty that this is in fact a mobile biological agent production trailer."

We should all ask why this part of Petraeus' history has been glossed over. Why has Congress and the media not pointed this out about the General before? (On edit Nov. 10, 2012: isn’t it finally about time, now, that the American people learned that the General is not the paragon of integrity he has long been made out to be by those who have created and nurtured his Cult of Personality?)

***

Here’s the money quote from Petraeus’ official statement, as reported on May 13, 2003 by the US Information Service: http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/iraq/2003/05/iraq-030513-usia01.htm

"The suspected mobile biological agent production lab found on 9 May
in our area was found by one of our infantry units during operations
at the al-Kindi Rocket and Missile Research and Development Center,"
Major General David Petraeus said May 13 during a briefing from Mosul.
"Our own chemical section looked at the trailer and confirmed it as a
trailer that was very close to identical to the first trailer that was
found by Special Forces southeast of here last week."
Petraeus said he spoke with experts May 13, and they have a
"reasonable degree of certainty that this is in fact a mobile
biological agent production trailer."


It's not so much what Petraeus said in his initial official announcement on May 13, as what he did or didn't say publicly in the following weeks and months as the Administration repeated and embellished its story about Iraq WMDs. Petraeus went along with it, and kept his mouth shut. This sort of loyalty has its rewards in the Bush-Cheney Adminstration.

If the General -- widely portrayed as an icon of intelligence and integrity -- had made a good-faith effort to publicly correct the record, then his initial statement could be considered a mistake. Lots of them got made in Iraq, and his mistatement would be, perhaps, forgivable.

But, as he did not speak up and contradict the statements of superiors -- something that recently fired Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Peter Pace did do occasionally (see, http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/6/10/14... ) -- the General is part of the most serious fraud in U.S. history.

If one wonders what steps the Bush-Cheney cabal took to plant false evidence to justify the invasion after the fact, one need look no further than Petraeus' pronouncement that his troops had found the long-rumoured "mobile biological agent production trailer."

***

Is it really overreaching to call him a liar?

Statements made by Petraeus in 2003 strike one as being disingenuous, to say the very least, unless it can be show that he subsequently took positive steps to correct the misinformation (disinformation?) attributed to him.

Gen. Petraeus and Steven Cambone Quoted on Location of Iraqi Biowarfare Trailers

As initially reported by the US Department of State Information Agency, the State Department press release also made reference to statements made by Undersecretary of State Steven Cambone, who was later directly implicated in the Iraq WMD disinformation campaign:

Washington File
13 May 2003
<b>U.S. Troops Find Second Biological Weapons Trailer Near Mosul</b>

(Defense Department Report) (520)
Washington -- Troops from the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division - - stationed in northern Iraq and headquartered in Mosul -- have found what military authorities believe may be a second mobile biological weapons laboratory, says the division commander.


SNIP

The trailer found May 9 has been moved to Baghdad International Airport for security and for further examination by a team of experts coming from the United States, he said.

Petraeus also said that, based on a preliminary examination by his chemical experts, the lab had not been completed. "Several welds were not finished, and shipping plugs were still in place", he noted, adding that a water pump, forward air compressor, canvas cover and some of the piping had been looted.

The trailer found April 19 by U.S. troops outside the northern Iraqi city of Tall Kayf is also undergoing extensive testing and evaluation in Baghdad. At a special Pentagon briefing May 7, Stephen Cambone, the under secretary of defense for intelligence, said that it was seized at a Kurdish checkpoint in northern Iraq. It had been freshly painted in a military camouflage pattern and thoroughly washed with a caustic solution to hide the work conducted in the lab.

"The experts have been through it. And they have not found another plausible use for it," Cambone said. "So while some of the equipment on the trailer could have been for purposes other than biological weapons agent production, U.S. and U.K. tactical experts have concluded that the unit does not appear to perform any function beyond ... the production of biological agents.''

U.S. intelligence officials have said they believe Iraq had 18 mobile chemical and biological laboratories, but finding them will be a laborious process. Cambone said that, for example, U.S. troops found an Iraqi fighter jet that had been literally buried in the desert to hide it from coalition troops, an indication of Iraq's extensive
efforts at deception.

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov )



So, what can be said about this? The corporate media apparently (still, as of Nov. 20, 2102) doesn't see it as significant that the same General who seemed to confirm the Administration's lies about Iraq WMDs was promoted to command the escalation of the Iraq war (and then the surge in Afghanistan, and then, after his appointment in 2011 as Director of the CIA, overseeing the botched regime change operations in Libya and Syria.) Petraeus is smart -- smart enough to hedge his statements, providing himself cover if later the deception is found out. These are the very qualities that would make a good politician, which is exactly why he was chosen as the front man for The Surge.

About this, one can also say, if he had integrity, he would have corrected a manifestly false claim in a timely fashion. As far as one can tell, he never did. At the very least, Petraeus should now be asked to "clarify" his statement.

***

At the beginning of this sordid affair is Steve Cambone, Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence. Cambone was Rumsfeld's closest lieutenant, and in command of the unit within the Pentagon, the Office of Special Plans (OSP) that was later shown to have a central role in the "stovepiping" of cherry-picked intelligence to Cheney's White House Iraq Group (WHIG) in the deception campaign that created the casus belli for the Iraq invasion. http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title...

Powell, Cheney and Bush went on to repeat Cambone and Petraeus' claims despite the DIA's finding that trailers had no role as biolabs.

In late May, 2003, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) concluded that the trailers were not biolabs. The resulting report was circulated at high levels in Washington, and then classified. It's findings were not released until October 2004, when they were made part of the final report of the Iraq Survey Group. For more than a year, Dick Cheney, George Tenet, Steven Cambone, and others continued to assert that the trailers were proof that Iraq was developing biological weapons. That disinformation had originally been provided by "Curveball", an Iraqi defector tied closely to Ahmad Chalabi's INC organization. It now appears that the DIA technical experts report was suppressed, and the Administration instead relied on a rival group of analysts and the findings of Petraeus' own "chemical experts" to make their case about the trailers.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...
Lacking Biolabs, Trailers Carried Case for War
Administration Pushed Notion of Banned Iraqi Weapons Despite Evidence to Contrary

By Joby Warrick
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 12, 2006; A01


On May 29, 2003, 50 days after the fall of Baghdad, President Bush proclaimed a fresh victory for his administration in Iraq: Two small trailers captured by U.S. and Kurdish troops had turned out to be long-sought mobile "biological laboratories." He declared, "We have found the weapons of mass destruction." The claim, repeated by top administration officials for months afterward, was hailed at the time as a vindication of the decision to go to war. But even as Bush spoke, U.S. intelligence officials possessed powerful evidence that it was not true.

A secret fact-finding mission to Iraq -- not made public until now -- had already concluded that the trailers had nothing to do with biological weapons. Leaders of the Pentagon-sponsored mission transmitted their unanimous findings to Washington in a field report on May 27, 2003, two days before the president's statement. The three-page field report and a 122-page final report three weeks later were stamped "secret" and shelved. Meanwhile, for nearly a year, administration and intelligence officials continued to publicly assert that the trailers were weapons factories.

The authors of the reports were nine U.S. and British civilian experts -- scientists and engineers with extensive experience in all the technical fields involved in making bioweapons -- who were dispatched to Baghdad by the Defense Intelligence Agency for an analysis of the trailers. Their actions and findings were described to a Washington Post reporter in interviews with six government officials and weapons experts who participated in the mission or had direct knowledge of it.

SNIP

The contents of the final report, "Final Technical Engineering Exploitation Report on Iraqi Suspected Biological Weapons-Associated Trailers," remain classified. But interviews reveal that the technical team was unequivocal in its conclusion that the trailers were not intended to manufacture biological weapons. Those interviewed took care not to discuss the classified portions of their work.

SNIP"


Warrick's revealing article in the Washington Post continues:


The story of the technical team and its reports adds a new dimension to the debate over the U.S. government's handling of intelligence related to banned Iraqi weapons programs. The trailers -- along with aluminum tubes acquired by Iraq for what was claimed to be a nuclear weapons program -- were primary pieces of evidence offered by the Bush administration before the war to support its contention that Iraq was making weapons of mass destruction.

SNIP

Spokesmen for the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency declined to comment on the specific findings of the technical report because it remains classified. A spokesman for the DIA asserted that the team's findings were neither ignored nor suppressed, but were incorporated in the work of the Iraqi Survey Group, which led the official search for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. The survey group's final report in September 2004 -- 15 months after the technical report was written -- said the trailers were "impractical" for biological weapons production and were "almost certainly intended" for manufacturing hydrogen for weather balloons.


What appears to have happened is that the DIA report came to a conclusion that contradicted the very public statements that had been made by Petraeus, Cambone and others, so it was stamped secret, and shelved until someone gave it to David Kay, who made it part of the final version of Iraq Survey Group report released, 15 months later. Whoever ordered that report classified and buried, also withheld it for several months from Kay, head of the US Government's investigation into alleged Iraqi WMD programs.

Is it conceivable that Gen. Petraeus was unaware of the DIA report and the controversy over the purpose of the trailers? Not particularly likely, as he was in charge of intelligence for the Army group in Iraq, a role that Cambone had overall within DoD as Assistant Secretary for Intelligence. Petraeus was in the midst of a heated controversy about the trailers, and he took sides. That Post report also tells us:

Intelligence analysts involved in high-level discussions about the trailers noted that the technical team was among several groups that analyzed the suspected mobile labs throughout the spring and summer of 2003. Two teams of military experts who viewed the trailers soon after their discovery concluded that the facilities were weapons labs, a finding that strongly influenced views of intelligence officials in Washington, the analysts said. "It was hotly debated, and there were experts making arguments on both sides," said one former senior official who spoke on the condition that he not be identified.


Note Patraeus's statement that his own technicians looked at the trailer and four days later, the General said he spoke with "experts". Petraeus then endorsed that side's position, announcing that there was a "reasonable degree of certainty that this is in fact a mobile biological agent production trailer."

In effect, Petreaus repeated what he was told on May 13. Who were these unnamed "experts"? One can safely conclude that they are the very same "teams of military experts" whose false findings about Iraq WMDs were embraced by the Administration. At the same time, Petraeus lent his weight in favor of that position, establishing his credentials as a reliable member of Cambone's team. This would later be rewarded. According to The Post, the CIA also jumped on the bandwagon, endorsing the Cambone-Petraeus findings:

The technical team's findings had no apparent impact on the intelligence agencies' public statements on the trailers. A day after the team's report was transmitted to Washington -- May 28, 2003 -- the CIA publicly released its first formal assessment of the trailers, reflecting the views of its Washington analysts. That white paper, which also bore the DIA seal, contended that U.S. officials were "confident" that the trailers were used for "mobile biological weapons production."

Throughout the summer and fall of 2003, the trailers became simply "mobile biological laboratories" in speeches and press statements by administration officials. In late June, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell declared that the "confidence level is increasing" that the trailers were intended for biowarfare. In September, Vice President Cheney pronounced the trailers to be "mobile biological facilities," and said they could have been used to produce anthrax or smallpox.

By autumn, leaders of the Iraqi Survey Group were publicly expressing doubts about the trailers in news reports. David Kay, the group's first leader, told Congress on Oct. 2 that he had found no banned weapons in Iraq and was unable to verify the claim that the disputed trailers were weapons labs. Still, as late as February 2004, then-CIA Director George J. Tenet continued to assert that the mobile-labs theory remained plausible. Although there was "no consensus" among intelligence officials, the trailers "could be made to work" as weapons labs, he said in a speech Feb. 5.



***



Tenet, now a faculty member at Georgetown's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, declined to comment for that story.

Kay, in an interview, said senior CIA officials had advised him upon accepting the survey group's leadership in June 2003 that some experts in the DIA were "backsliding" on whether the trailers were weapons labs. But Kay said he was not apprised of the technical team's findings until late 2003, near the end of his time as the group's leader.

"If I had known that we had such a team in Iraq," Kay said, "I would certainly have given their findings more weight."

How could everyone from Petraeus on the ground to the President of the United States allow themselves to be so "misled" about the trailers?

The answer goes back to the original source of the deception, an Iraqi defector the CIA codenamed, "Curveball."

Even before the trailers were seized in spring 2003, the mobile labs had achieved mythic stature. As early as the mid-1990s, weapons inspectors from the United Nations chased phantom mobile labs that were said to be mounted on trucks, rail cars -- and even a specific brand of ice cream trucks, according to a story originating with Chalabi being spun by then UN weapons inspector Scott Ridder -- churning out tons of anthrax by night and moving to new locations each day. No such labs were found, but many officials believed the stories, thanks in large part they claim to elaborate tales told by Iraqi defectors.

The CIA's star informant, an Iraqi with the code name Curveball, was a self-proclaimed chemical engineer who defected to Germany in 1999 and requested asylum. For four years, the Baghdad native passed secrets about alleged Iraqi banned weapons to the CIA indirectly, through Germany's intelligence service. Curveball provided descriptions of mobile labs and said he had supervised work in one of them. He even described a catastrophic 1998 accident in one lab that left 12 Iraqis dead.

Curveball's detailed descriptions -- which were officially discredited in 2004 -- helped CIA artists create color diagrams of the labs, which Powell later used to argue the case for military intervention in Iraq before the U.N. Security Council.

"We have firsthand descriptions of biological weapons factories on wheels and on rails," Powell said in the Feb. 5, 2003, speech. Thanks to those descriptions, he said, "We know what the fermenters look like. We know what the tanks, pumps, compressors and other parts look like."

***

Who was Curveball, and why was he given credibility? http://www.antiwar.com/justin/?articleid=5...

He was, to begin with, the brother of one of Ahmed Chalabi's top lieutenants. US intelligence officials did not have direct access to him: the one American who had ever met him had already marked him as, at best, unreliable. The response to these concerns came from the deputy director of the CIA's Iraqi weapons of mass destruction task force in the form of an e-mail message dated Feb. 4, 2003:

"As I said last night, let's keep in mind the fact that this war's going to happen regardless of what Curveball said or didn't say, and the powers that be probably aren't terribly interested in whether Curveball knows what he's talking about."


How did Curveball manage to gain credibility with key segments of the intelligence community, and his claims were accepted without being verified? According to the WMD report:

"With respect to Curveball – the primary source of our intelligence on Iraq's BW program – the Defense HUMINT Service disclaimed any responsibility for validating the asset, arguing that credibility determinations were for analysts and that the collectors were merely 'conduits' for the reporting.

"This abdication of operational responsibility represented a serious failure in tradecraft.

"Although lack of direct physical access to the source made vetting and validating Curveball more difficult, it did not make it impossible. While Defense HUMINT neglected its validation responsibilities, elements of the CIA's D O understood the necessity of validating Curveball's information and made efforts to do so; indeed, they found indications that caused them to have doubts about Curveball's reliability. The system nonetheless 'broke down' because of analysts' strong conviction about the truth of Curveball's information and because the DO's concerns were not heard outside the DO."

This level of intelligence failure does not happen all by itself: multiple high-ranking officials made it happen, and made sure the "analysts" were fed on multiple sources of disinformation, not just the self-serving lies planted by Chalabi's organization. Since the late 1990s, the INC was being actively promoted by the neoconservatives within and around the Bush administration and allies in Congress, such as John McCain and Joe Lieberman. After the 2000 election, the Iraq regime change program was concentrated primarily in the office of Vice President Cheney and the various Washington institutions that fed the civilian offices of the Pentagon with scores of political appointees, and like-minded contractors and "consultants."

And, further, who were the CIA DO officers who were warning about Curveball's information?

One of them was a program manager named Valerie Plame.



***

Finally, why was the DIA and CIA unable to verify Curveball's claims about mobile labs?

The Robb-Silberman Commission found:
http://www.wmd.gov/report/report.html#chap...
Biological Warfare Finding 1

The DIA's Defense HUMINT Service's failure even to attempt to validate Curveball's reporting was a major failure in operational tradecraft.

The problems with the Intelligence Community's performance on Curveball began almost immediately after the source first became known to the U.S. government in early 2000. As noted above, Curveball was not a source who worked directly with the United States; rather, the Intelligence Community obtained information about Curveball through a foreign service. The foreign service would not provide the United States with direct access to Curveball, claiming that Curveball would refuse to speak to Americans. 274 Instead, the foreign intelligence service debriefed Curveball and passed the debriefing information to DIA's Defense HUMINT Service, the human intelligence collection agency of the Department of Defense.


And, which foreign intelligence service might they be alluding to here? According to the Washington Post of May 21, 2005:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...
Similarly, the president's intelligence commission, chaired by former appellate judge Laurence H. Silberman and former senator Charles S. Robb (D-Va.), disclosed that senior intelligence officials had serious questions about "Curveball," the code name for an Iraqi informant who provided the key information on Hussein's alleged mobile biological facilities.

The CIA clandestine service's European division chief had met in 2002 with a German intelligence officer whose service was handling Curveball. The German said his service "was not sure whether Curveball was actually telling the truth," according to the commission report. When it appeared that Curveball's material would be in Bush's State of the Union speech, the CIA Berlin station chief was asked to get the Germans to allow him to question Curveball directly. On the day before the president's speech, the Berlin station chief warned about using Curveball's information on the mobile biological units in Bush's speech. The station chief warned that the German intelligence service considered Curveball "problematical" and said its officers had been unable to confirm his assertions. The station chief recommended that CIA headquarters give "serious consideration" before using that unverified information, according to the commission report.

The next day, Bush told the world: "We know that Iraq, in the late 1990s, had several mobile weapons labs . . . designed to produce germ warfare agents and can be moved from place to a place to evade inspectors." He attributed that information to "three Iraqi defectors." A week later, Powell said in an address to the United Nations that the information on mobile labs came from four defectors, and he described one as "an eyewitness . . . who supervised one of these facilities" and was at the site when an accident killed 12 technicians.

Within a year, doubts emerged about the truthfulness of all four, and the "eyewitness" turned out to be Curveball, the informant the CIA station chief had red-flagged as unreliable. Curveball was subsequently determined to be a fabricator who had been fired from the Iraqi facility years before the alleged accident, according to the commission and Senate reports.


But, the Commission's conclusions seem to glance over some obvious issues that need to be addressed. If Curveball were "unwilling" to talk to Americans, normal CIA spycraft would have told any trained intelligence officer that there are relatively easy ways to get around that. One, obviously, would be to work more closely with the Germans in questioning that source, and to "look over their shoulders" by verifying the information the source provided.

Another would be to find out who Curveball was willing to talk to, and then to make the man believe he was talking to someone other than the CIA. In any case, this does not seem to have been an insurmountable hurdle, if indeed the CIA European Division head and the Chief of Berlin Station had really wanted to verify that information.

In any case, the job of interviewing Curveball should have been tasked to specialists within the Directorate of Operations most familiar with Iraq's WMD program, which would have been Valerie Plame and her colleagues. The reason that wasn't done -- and that task was instead given to certain individuals in the Pentagon is one of the great over-arching questions that still haven't been fully answered in the fraud that led up to the Iraq invasion.

The terrible irony is that nobody seems to have raised questions about the fraud that connects General Petreaus to the Iraq WMD deception and the Plame case. Why has official Washington failed to look behind the mask that continues to portray him as a man of unquestionable integrity? That's the true intelligence failure in this story.

_________________










Doesn't the Bible encourage a rich man to have a "second wife"? He's been doing G-d's work.

Like this guy:

And, that guy:

(Response to "October Surprise" rumor post suggesting Romney has a "sixth son"

To misquote Paul McCartney and John Lennon: "And in the end . . ."

the education you is take is equal to the . . ."



Somehow, we all survived Middle School. Bonus points for Florida.

?w=420

VOA: Thousands of Libyan Anti-Aircraft Missiles Loose. Video shows Syrian Rebels with SA-7.

News / Middle East http://www.voanews.com/content/syrian-rebels-step-up-efforts-to-get-anti-aircraft-missiles/1489899.html

Syrian Rebels Step Up Efforts to Get Anti-Aircraft Missiles

ON EDIT: Syrian opposition groups now have MANPADS. Video at 00:43, tall man with light blue pants in background row with SA-7.


Jamie Dettmer
August 16, 2012
ALEPPO, Syria - Syrian rebels are redoubling their efforts to acquire portable anti-aircraft missiles following government airstrikes on cities and towns in the north of the country. In the latest such strike, a Syrian Air Force jet bombed the rebel-held town of Azaz near the Turkish border, killing at least 50 people and wounding more than 100. Rebel commanders and activists say their buyers are now scouring the arms black markets in the region to get the shoulder-fired missiles that can counter the government airstrikes.

According to opposition activist “Tony” al-Taieb, who works with the rebel military council in Aleppo, representatives with cash from rich Syrian exiles are negotiating to buy the portable surface-to-air missiles, often called SAMS or MANPADS, for “Man-Portable-Air-Defense-System.”

SNIP

“We need a no-fly zone and, failing that, anti-aircraft missiles,” says Zaher Sherkat, a 32-year-old commander of the rebel Abu Bakr brigade. The unit is now down to about 120 fighters after losing 20 men in the Aleppo fighting. “We have had 20 ‘martyrs’ from my brigade and about 30 wounded,” he says.

SNIP

Despite press reports that rebels already have a small supply of MANPADS missiles, rebel commanders insist they don’t. And there have been no verified media reports of rebels firing such missiles.

SNIP

The U.S. and other western governments sympathetic to the anti-Assad rebellion have so far declined to supply the rebels with portable anti-aircraft missiles. One reason cited is that such missiles, capable of shooting down a commercial aircraft, could fall into the hands of terrorists or foreign Jihadists now reported infiltrating into Syria. At a recent meeting with reporters in Washington, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Andrew Shapiro said the U.S. government hadn’t seen any evidence of MANPADS missiles getting into Syria from Libya, but acknowledged such a possibility was an area of concern. U.S. officials estimate that the late Moammar Gaddafi’s Libya may have had as many as 20,000 MANPADS missile systems and that several thousand of them turned up missing during the civil war there last year. Al-Taieb, the Aleppo opposition activist, would not talk about the possibility that Syrian rebels were buying some of the Libyan missiles.

“In the coming days we will have a consignment of MANPADS, Insha'Allah,” says al-Taieb. Asked whether if rebels managed to secure MANPADS, would they have trouble moving them into Turkey and then across the border, he responded: “The Turkish government turns a blind eye to some things but not others.”


Times of London: Shipload of Looted Libyan Missiles Arrives in Turkey on Way to Syria

Three days after the attack that killed the US Ambassador to Libya, The Times (UK) carried a story that a Libyan freighter loaded with stolen SA-7 antiaircraft missiles had offloaded at a Turkish port.

That September 14 article was captioned, “Syrian rebels squabble over weapons as biggest shipload arrives from Libya.” http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/world/middleeast/article3537770.ece

The report states that a Libyan ship, 'The Intisaar', docked at the Turkish port of Iskenderun after "papers stamped by the port authority” were issued to “the ship's captain, Omar Mousaeeb." Mousaeeb is identified as "a Libyan from Benghazi and the head of an organization called the Libyan National Council for Relief and Support," reportedly delivering supplies to armed opposition groups in Syria.

If accurate, that account provides some of the most solid, detailed evidence yet of how the Eastern Libyan city of Benghazi has become the North African transit hub for weapons and foreign fighters arriving for regime change operations in Syria.

This has been happening right under the nose of U.S. diplomatic and intelligence officers posted in Benghazi. The late Ambassador, Chris Andrews, arrived in Benghazi aboard a freighter in April 2011, and promptly set up shop coordinating Islamic militia groups in the overthrow of Muammar Gadhaffi’s regime.

According to the article, there were 400 tons of weapons, including an unspecified number of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, aboard the ship. This is merely the largest in a number of weapons shipments that have arrived in Turkey with the seeming coordination and complicity by Turkish authorities.

After the overthrow of the Libyan government, huge weapons stockpiles were looted and went unaccounted for, most of them falling into the hands of militant groups. The Times quotes Libyan officials that "more than 5,000 of the missiles had vanished." The article references an incident earlier this year in which a Libyan ship carrying "a large consignment of Libyan weapons, including PRGs and heavy ammunition," was seized by the Lebanese authorities in Lebanon’s northern territorial waters.

U.S. officials have repeatedly stated concern that advanced weaponry from Libyan stockpiles, such as MANPADS (portable missiles that can be used to shoot down airliners), have not been accounted for. It was reported that one of the reasons for the continued presence of the Ambassador and the large CIA station in Benghazi are concerns about militant groups outside of Libya obtaining these weapons. In fact, a retired Navy Seal who died with the Ambassador stated to ABC that he was in Libya on a mission to locate these missiles. See, ABC, The Blotter, American Killed in Libya was on Intel Mission to Track Weapons, http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/glen-doherty-navy-seal-killed-libya-intel-mission/story?id=17229037#.UGXzzq6QSEd

One of the Americans killed alongside Ambassador Christopher Stevens in an attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya Tuesday told ABC News before his death that he was working with the State Department on an intelligence mission to round up dangerous weapons in the war-torn nation.

SA-7 Strella


Libyan rebels with SA-7 (2011)


Libya Attack Casts Unwanted Spotlight on CIA and Blackwater Role in Syria

According to yesterday’s NYT, the CIA station in Benghazi numbered a dozen Agency officers and contractors at the time of the attack that left the U.S. Ambassador and two other Americans killed. That is an unusually large CIA provincial post for a country where the US is not presently involved in hostilities. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/24/world/africa/attack-in-libya-was-major-blow-to-cia-efforts.html?pagewanted=all

The forced evacuation of the Benghazi post was called “a catastrophic intelligence loss,” by one American official interviewed who has served in Libya.

Why did the CIA have such a large presence in that Eastern Libyan city which has long been the center of radical Salafi and Jihadi terrorist groups in Libya? The answer lies only partly in surveillance. There is also the role of the United States in providing equipment, training and coordination to Libyans for Jihad operations against the Shi’ia-dominated regime in Syria, regime change activities publicly admitted to by the Obama Administration in early April after a leak revealed that Blackwater mercenaries have been carrying out that role. See, http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/02/u-s-aid-to-syrian-opposition-includes-specialized-communications-equipment/; http://articles.businessinsider.com/2012-03-20/news/31212864_1_stratfor-provides-syrian-opposition-regime-change#ixzz27OhmbKHi

Unexpectedly Large CIA Presence in Benghazi

The New York Times provides some additional insight into the CIA contingent that operated secretly out of a compound near the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi:

Within months of the start of Libyan revolution in February 2011, the C.I.A. began building a meaningful but covert presence in Benghazi, a locus of the rebel efforts to oust the government of Colonel Qaddafi.

As was previously reported, the late Ambassador Stevens arrived covertly in Benghazi in April of last year and immediately set to work coordinating rebel groups in the area in efforts that ultimately led to the overthrow of the Gadhafi regime in August. Until the night of the September 11th attack this year, Stevens worked closely with various militant groups, and apparently felt comfortable operating openly in the area without a substantial security detail.

Given the size and established presence of the US diplomatic and intelligence presence in Eastern Libya, and the apparently close relationship with militant groups there, it is particularly shocking that a Libyan Islamicist group with links to al-Qaeda was able to mount with complete surprise what most now see as a well-planned and coordinated military attack. Officials have accused al Qaeda in the Magreb of carrying out the surprise assault on the Consulate and the nearby CIA compound to which consular staff evacuated, which itself came under lethal and well-aimed attack. The effect of this has reportedly derailed some US policy planning, and “has dealt the Central Intelligence Agency a major setback in its intelligence-gathering efforts at a time of increasing instability in the North African nation.”

Leak Revealed Former Blackwater Director, US Congresswoman, and Romney Advisor Involved with Libyan Jihadists and Syrian Regime Change Operation

In March, a leak of emails from Stratfor, a private international security firm revealed that “Mr. Smith,” a former director of Blackwater, had a role in organizing the Libyan opposition in early 2011, and was subsequently sent later last year to contact Syrian rebels in Turkey. See, http://articles.businessinsider.com/2012-03-20/news/31212864_1_stratfor-provides-syrian-opposition-regime-change#ixzz27POcdOi8

As we will see, below, practically all those publicly identified in this curious episode have suddenly exited from sight, including an 8-term US Congresswoman.

The last emails about Smith were sent on December 13, shortly before the Stratfor mail servers were hacked. In one email, Mr. Burton (head of counterrorism at the company) summarizes the activities of Mr. Smith and some of his associates in Syria late last year: http://english.al-akhbar.com/gi-files/5331882got-moment-syria-757-478-7383-post-i-think

"**Source and Dr. Walid Phares are getting air cover from Congresswoman [Sue] Myrick to engage Syrian opposition in Turkey (non-MB and non-Qatari) on a fact finding mission for Congress.
** The true mission is how they can help in regime change.
** Source intends to offer his services to help protect the opposition members, like he had underway in Libya."

As was subsequently determined, Jamie F. Smith, the chief executive of the security firm SCG International, is a former director of Blackwater. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCG_International_Risk

SCG emails reveal that in 2011 its operatives were involved in training the Libyan resistance and were allegedly on the scene in August to confirm the killing of Gadaffi .(doc-id 3980511) http://english.al-akhbar.com/gi-files/3980511more-insight-libya-confirmation-gadhafi-dead-ly700

In an early email sent to Stratfor on February 11, 2011, Smith talked-up the company's intelligence gathering and said his own "background is CIA and our company is comprised of former DOD [i.e. Department of Defense], CIA and former law enforcement personnel.” (doc-id 257534) http://english.al-akhbar.com/gi-files/257534thank-you-please-do-not-publish-email-your-website

“We provide services for those same groups in the form of training, security and information collection," Smith stated to Stratfor (doc-id 5441475) If these emails are accurate, that places privatized CIA operatives in the thick of regime change operations in Syria, as well as Libya, long before these activities were acknowledged by the Obama Administration. Public exposure of covert operations is never good for business, and one must also bear in mind that for every intelligence failure there is usually an expendable scapegoat or someone claiming to be one.

Easily dissolved shell companies are like bathroom tissue in this game. Erik Prince, himself, made just that claim before he changed Blackwater’s business name to Xe (later spun off Academi), packed his bags, and moved his headquarters to Dubai. It is not surprising, therefore, that Mr. Smith’s company is also exiting stage right. The future of SCG International has been called into question by the fraud conviction of Mr Smith and the $9.5 million judgement against Mr. Smith and SCG as detailed here: http://hamptonroads.com/2012/07/despite-fraud-air-force-kept-using-va-beach-contractor

Smith wrote in a December 13, 2011 email to Stratfor’s VP for counter-terrorism, Fred Burton. Smith claimed that he "and Walid Phares were getting air cover from Congresswoman [Sue] Myrick to engage Syrian opposition in Turkey (non-MB and non-Qatari) on a fact finding mission for Congress.” In early February this year, Myrich an 8-term Republican incumbent suddenly and without real explanation announced she would not run again. Interesting coincidence, certainly. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/02/07/1062548/-NC-09-Republican-Rep-Sue-Myrick-will-retire

Burton is a former Deputy Chief of the Department of State's counterterrorism division for the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS). Blackwater/Xe, which now operates under the name Academi, recently received part of a multi-billion dollar State Department contract to provide the same types of services as SCG. Foggy Bottom and Langley can be peculiarly forgiving.

Walid Phares, named by the source as part of the “fact finding team,” is a Lebanese-American citizen and has served as a co-chair to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s Middle East advisory group.
A profile of Walid Phares published in Salon details Phares’ history with right-wing militias during the Lebanese civil war and subsequent activist role in conservative U.S. foreign policy circles. http://www.salon.com/2011/10/07/romneys_scary_middle_east_advisor/

Benghazi Attack Latest in a Long History of Blowback to CIA from Operations in Libya

The Agency has had a long and checquered history in its dealings with Libyan terrorists and strongmen, and its own US citizen go-betweens. On Saturday, Sept. 22, Edwin P. Wilson, a retired CIA officer, died. He was 84. Wilson was branded a traitor and convicted of shipping arms to Libya, had his conviction overturned after he served 22 years in prison

In 2004, a federal Judge overturned the conviction finding that the prosecution had knowingly submitted a false affidavit that omitted nearly 90 meetings Wilson had with CIA superiors during the period he allegedly had gone rogue, selling 40,000 pounds of plastic explosives to Libyans, according to the Washington Post obituary: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/edwin-wilson-former-cia-operative-convicted-of-selling-arms-to-libya-dies-at-84/2012/09/22/3f97da2e-04f1-11e2-9132-f2750cd65f97_story.html

Wilson who set up front companies abroad for the CIA and posed as a rich American businessman was convicted in 1983 for shipping 20 tons of C-4 plastic explosives to Libya. At trial, he said he did it to ingratiate himself with the Libyan government at the CIA’s request.

A federal judge threw out that conviction in 2003, saying the government failed to correct information about Wilson’s service to the CIA that it admitted internally was false.

It was never fully revealed what happened to the 20 tons of C4, but at the time Libya was providing safe refuge to a number of terrorist groups, such as Abu Nidal, who like Gadhafi, performed services for both sides during the long twilight of the Cold War and always welcomed cash payment.

So, in other words, the court found, the US Government really was feeding tons of plastic explosives to terrorists in Libya through CIA cutouts in the 1980s. Gadhaffi himself emerged from semi-pariah status after he cooperated with the Bush Administration in execution of its torture and rendition program.

That seems to have established a tradition of such things with regard to Libya, given that Libya also provides many of the Jihadi fighters from its eastern region around Benghazi that have been showing up in Syria, blowing up things there, as they also did in Iraq while we occupied that country.

Libya Long a Center of Terrorists for Hire

This brings us forward to the sudden death of Ambassador Stevens two short weeks ago. It is obvious that Chris Stevens was an extraordinarily brave and devoted Foreign Service Officer who died in service to his country. But, he also was the victim of another tradition, the less noble practice of the United States of employing terrorists against what is declared within in Washington to be our enemies. We saw that in the Balkins and breakaway Muslim TransCausasus regions of the former Southern Soviet Union during the 1990s, when US Special Forces and covert operators worked side-by-side with Osama bin Laden and other Saudi paramilitary to drive out the Russian and Serbian remnants, and took control over the enormous energy riches of that region. Among the US Special Forces operators in Kosovo in 1998 was a Navy Seal named Erik Prince, who soon thereafter resigned from the military and founded Blackwater, the history of which is intrinsically tied to al-Qaeda. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/12/04/810764/-Erik-Prince-American-Bin-Laden-CIA-Asset-Money-Gunmen

Chris Stevens was of course aware of our alliance with bin Laden and al-Qaeda in the Balkins, as he was of the history of Libyan Jihadis when he arrived on a Greek freighter in Benghazi in April, 2011 to organize these groups into an effective fighting force to depose Muammar Ghadafi. If Mr. Smith is to be believed, he was there at the same time, running a Blackwater spin-off operation as part of the same regime change operation. Neither went in without knowing they were dealing with terrorists. As Vice Consul in 2008, Stevens had catalogued the Jihadi militants in Eastern Libya, including the groups then sending large numbers of Libyan suicide bombers working with al-Qaeda to wage war on the Shi’ia and U.S. forces in Iraq.

Just as history brought Erik Prince and Osama bin Laden together in Kosovo, so too did events conspire to produce blowback in Benghazi. We can only hope that the bloodbath being brewed up in Syria by these same terrorists and mercenaries does not again explode in our well-scrubbed hands.

(Please see, Part 1, Blowback in Benghazi, Attack Linked to Regime Change Operations in Libya and Syria, http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021343355 , crossposted at http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/09/14/1131854/-Blowback-in-Benghazi-Attack-Linked-to-Regime-Change-Operations-in-Libya-and-Syria )




A spot of exercise, and some fresh air, does a body good.

Boy, those live fire exercises in the Golan must have been quite a show.

Blowback in Benghazi: Attack Linked to Regime Change Operations in Libya and Syria

Questions have been asked why Ambassador Chris Stevens had such a small security entourage when he visited Benghazi in Eastern Libya. The answer to that is that Stevens believed that he was safe because he routinely worked with Libyan militant groups in the area. He was the US coordinator in Bengahzi during the uprising against Ghadaffi, coordinating the same groups of Libyan Jihadi groups that now provide much of the manpower to overthrow the Syrian regime.

Some background: The Ambassador arrived clandestinely in Benghazi in April 2011 on a Greek freighter and took up residence in that city to coordinate the US role in the anti-Ghadafi uprising centered in that city. It was his presence there, to a major degree, that ultimately convinced President Obama to okay US involvement in the NATO airstrikes that destroyed the regime's armored column approaching that city.

In a statement of condolence issued by the Libyan Ambassador to the United States, Stevens "served as the principal liaison of the U.S. to the opposition in Libya and he helped coordinate the U.S. response" to events on the ground, including efforts to rebuild and integrate radical Islamists into the government. http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2012/09/12/u-s-ambassador-to-libya-3-others-killed-in-rocket-attack-witness-says/

Francis Townsend, a ranking Bush White House counterterrorism advisor was close to Stevens, CNN reported: http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2012/09/12/townsend-libya-suffers-fragile-security/?iref=obinsite

She counted Stevens as a friend and said she spent time with him just two weeks ago.

"I was in Tripoli on a business trip," she said. "He was not only a friend, but I think to give our viewers some context, Chris Stevens had a particular sort of affinity for Benghazi," she said. "He [was] in D.C. in 2007 when I was in the White House...He was there with me when I traveled to speak to Moammar Ghadafi. [Stevens] knew the rebels in Benghazi. He felt very comfortable there.


Prior to his appointment as US Ambassador to Libya, he has been posted in virtually every major Mideast country involved in the current civil war in Syria. From the Wiki:

Stevens joined the United States Foreign Service in 1991. His previous overseas assignments included: Deputy Principal officer and Political Section Chief in Jerusalem; political officer in Damascus; consular/political officer in Cairo; and consular/economic officer in Riyadh. In Washington, Ambassador Stevens served as Director of the Office of Multilateral Nuclear and Security Affairs; Pearson Fellow with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; special assistant to the Under Secretary for Political Affairs; Iran desk officer; and staff assistant in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.

He served twice previously in Libya, as the Deputy Chief of Mission from 2007 to 2009 and as Special Representative to the National Transitional Council from March 2011 to November 2011 during the Libyan revolution. He arrived in Tripoli in May 2012 as the U.S. Ambassador to Libya.


The assault on the US Consulate in Benghazi appears to have been well-coordinated involving experienced fighters. Initial accounts point to an al-Qaeda affiliated group that has carried out other armed attacks on western targets in the area, as having been responsible.

(CNN) -- A pro-al Qaeda group responsible for a previous armed assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is the chief suspect in Tuesday's attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya, sources tracking militant Islamist groups in eastern Libya say.

They also note that the attack immediately followed a call from al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri for revenge for the death in June of a senior Libyan member of the terror group Abu Yahya al-Libi.

The group suspected to be behind the assault -- the Imprisoned Omar Abdul Rahman Brigades -- first surfaced in May, when it claimed responsibility for an attack on the International Red Cross office in Benghazi. The following month the group claimed responsibility for detonating an explosive device outside the U.S. Consulate, and later released a video of that attack.

Read more: http://www.wptv.com/dpp/news/world/omar-abdul-rahman-brigades-ambassador-christopher-stevens-targeted-by-pro-al-qaeda-group#ixzz26IvGSLtY


That group, however, is only a fragment of a far larger conglomeration of Jihadi terrorist groups that have originate in, and openly train and operate, in eastern Libya. Little has apparently been done to suppress these groups, which have been up until now free of the sort of armed drone attacks against similar groups in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Yemen. Ironically, Stevens catalogued a number of al-Qaeda groups in a 2008 State Dept. cable he put together at the time many of these groups were still actively carrying out their holy war against US and Shi'ia targets in Iraq.

CNN also reports:

Derna has for years been a recruiting ground for al Qaeda. In his 2008 cable, Stephens described the area as "a wellspring of Libyan foreign fighters" for al Qaeda in Iraq, and outlined how high youth unemployment, discrimination by the Gadhafi regime and the influence of veteran Libyan jihadists from Afghanistan all played a role in radicalizing a new generation.

In recent months, hardline Salafists have increasingly asserted themselves in eastern Libya. In June hundreds of fighters wielding AK-47s and black Islamist banners converged on Benghazi to call for the imposition of sharia law. This spring al-Zawahiri's associate Azuz was confident enough to address a large gathering in the town square of Derna, an online video of which has been seen by CNN.

Collectively, some of the Salafist and jihadist elements in eastern Libya began to become known as Ansar al Sharia, or "Partisans of Sharia." According to reports, eyewitnesses have claimed Ansar al Sharia was responsible for organizing the demonstration outside the U.S. Consulate. But Benotman told CNN Ansar al Sharia is not really a grouping at all but rather a term applied to an amorphous coalition of Islamist and Salafist groups in eastern Libya with no leadership structure.


The Libyan Province which contains Benghazi and Derna was noted in a 2007 West Point study of the origin of the majority of suicide bombers in Iraq.

A December 2007 West Point study examining the background of foreign guerrilla fighters — jihadis or mujahedin, including suicide bombers — crossing the Syrian border into Iraq during the 2006-2007 timeframe, under the auspices of the international terrorist organization Al Qaeda. This study is based on a mass of about 600 Al Qaeda personnel files which were captured by US forces in the fall of 2007. The resulting study [1] permits us to make important findings about the mentality and belief structures of the northeastern Libyan population that is furnishing the basis for the rebellion, permitting important conclusions about the political nature of the anti-Qaddafi revolt in these areas.

The most striking finding which emerges from the West Point study is that the corridor which goes from Benghazi to Tobruk, passing through the city of Darnah (also transliterated as Derna) them represents one of the greatest concentrations of jihadi terrorists to be found anywhere in the world, and by some measures can be regarded as the leading source of suicide bombers anywhere on the planet. Darnah, with one terrorist fighter sent into Iraq to kill Americans for every 1,000 to 1,500 persons of population, emerges as suicide bomber heaven, easily surpassing the closest competitor, which was Riyad, Saudi Arabia.

According to West Point authors Joseph Felter and Brian Fishman, Saudi Arabia took first place as regards absolute numbers of jihadis sent to combat the United States and other coalition members in Iraq during the time frame in question. Libya, a country less than one fourth as populous, took second place. Saudi Arabia sent 41% of the fighters. According to Felter and Fishman, “Libya was the next most common country of origin, with 18.8% (112) of the fighters listing their nationality stating they hailed from Libya.” Other much larger countries were far behind: “Syria, Yemen, and Algeria were the next most common origin countries with 8.2% (49), 8.1% (48), and 7.2% (43), respectively. Moroccans accounted for 6.1% (36) of the records and Jordanians 1.9% (11).” [2]

This means that almost one fifth of the foreign fighters entering Iraq across the Syrian border came from Libya, a country of just over 6 million people. A higher proportion of Libyans were interested in fighting in Iraq than any other country contributing mujahedin. Felter and Fishman point out: “Almost 19 percent of the fighters in the Sinjar Records came from Libya alone. Furthermore, Libya contributed far more fighters per capita than any other nationality in the Sinjar Records, including Saudi Arabia.” [3]

(1) Joseph Felter and Brian Fishman, “Al Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighter in Iraq: A First Look at the Sinjar Records,” (West Point, NY: Harmony Project, Combating Terrorism Center, Department of Social Sciences, US Military Academy, December 2007). Cited as West Point Study.

(2) Op. cit.

(3) West Point Study, pp. 8-9.

Also, see, Daya Gamage, “Libyan rebellion has radical Islamist fervor: Benghazi link to Islamic militancy, U.S. Military Document Reveals,” Asian Tribune, March 17, 2011. http://www.asiantribune.com/news/2011/03/17/libyan-rebellion-has-radical-islamist-fervor-benghazi-link-islamic-militancyus-milit


Indeed, eastern Libya is a primary recruiting ground for Jihadi terrorists being drawn into the U.S. and Saudi/GCC regime change operation in Syria. The unfortunate death of the Ambassador Wednesday can be viewed as yet another instance of the sort of blowback that occurred on a larger scale 11 years earlier when US intelligence allowed al Qaeda cell members -- who had fought in Bosnia and Kosovo in operations coordinated by U.S. intelligence -- into the U.S. and failed to stop them before they carried the killings of thousands of Americans. Our continued involvement in the bloody religious war in Syria, and our apparent failure to learn from repeated fatal mistakes in cooperating with terrorists in covert wars, virtually assures that this will not be the last such instance of blowback.


Cross-posted with comments at DailyKos: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/09/14/1131854/-Blowback-in-Benghazi-Attack-Linked-to-Regime-Change-Operations-in-Libya-and-Syria?showAll=yes
Please also see related post, http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/09/13/1131254/-Coordinated-Attack-on-Ambassador-and-US-Troops-Points-to-Safe-Haven-in-Libya-for-al-Qaeda?showAll=yes

Attack on Ambassador and US Troops Points to Safe Haven in Libya for al-Qaeda

The attack which took the lives of the American Ambassador in Libya was far larger and better organized than first revealed, according to emerging reports, and points to the fact that Al Qaeda forces that have been training in Libya for operations against Syria have been given a safe zone free of US drone attacks.

According to Reuters, US forces attempting to mount a helicopter rescue operation ran into fierce, accurate ambush as they arrived in Benghazi. Two U.S. soldiers were killed.

BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - A squad of U.S. troops dispatched by helicopter across the Libyan desert to rescue besieged diplomats from Benghazi on Wednesday ran into a fierce overnight ambush that left a further two Americans dead, Libyan officials told Reuters.

<snip>

Miscommunication which understated the number of American survivors awaiting rescue - there were 37, nearly four times as many as the Libyan commander expected - also meant survivors and rescuers found themselves short of transport to escape this second battle, delaying an eventual dawn break for the airport.

Captain Fathi al-Obeidi, whose special operations unit was ordered by Libya's authorities to meet an eight-man force at Benghazi airport, said that after his men and the U.S. squad had found the American survivors who had evacuated the blazing consulate, the ostensibly secret location in an isolated villa came under an intense and highly accurate mortar barrage.

<snip>

"I really believe that this attack was planned," he said, adding to suggestions by other Libyan officials that at least some of the hostility towards the Americans was the work of experienced combatants. "The accuracy with which the mortars hit us was too good for any regular revolutionaries."

<snip>

http://www.cnbc.com/id/49009776


Meanwhile, a CNN article points out that the US has not been mounting antiterrorism operations, such as drone strikes, in area of Libya known to be a staging ground for Al Qaeda-linked groups. Libya is the source of many of the Jihadist foreign fighters operating to topple the regime in Syria, which is dominated by Shi’ia Muslims.

The US has created safe areas in several countries where Jihadis have free range of operation, and apparently, aren't attacked by armed drones. These are the same countries where we have participated in regime change operations.

This, of course, has created a dilemma, and presents the same problem US intelligence faced in its operations with Saudi-backed militant groups, including al-Qaeda, in Bosnia and Kosovo. Given, if we were to take out al-Qaeda and linked groups inside Libya, we would be destroying the very same Saudi-GCC financed militias that we now help in our effort to overthrow the Syrian regime:

Libyan and Western security officials tell CNN that al Qaeda has taken advantage of a security vacuum to build up a presence in eastern Libya.

A senior Libyan official told CNN in June that the United States had flown surveillance missions with drones over suspected jihadist training camps in eastern Libya. The official said that, to the best of his knowledge, they had not been used to fire missiles at militant training camps in the area.

Another Libyan official told CNN at the same time that five radical Islamist militant commanders were operating in the Derna area, with 200 to 300 men under their command in camps in the area. Ironically, Christopher Stephens -- the U.S. ambassador killed in Tuesday's attack -- had written extensively about the rise of Salafist factions in and around Derna in a 2008 diplomatic cable.

As CNN has previously reported, one of militant commanders, according to several sources, is Abdulbasit Azuz, a long-time associate of al-Zawahiri. Azuz was dispatched by al-Zawahiri to Libya from Pakistan's tribal areas in the spring of 2011 to create a foothold for al Qaeda in Libya, the sources say.

Azuz is a veteran jihadist who fought the Soviet-backed government in Afghanistan in the early 1990s, according to several sources.

Read more: http://www.wptv.com/dpp/news/world/omar-abdul-rahman-brigades-ambassador-christopher-stevens-targeted-by-pro-al-qaeda-group#ixzz26LWt3Yw8



Cross-posted with a number of comments and new material in the thread at DailyKos: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/09/13/1131254/-Coordinated-Attack-on-Ambassador-and-US-Troops-Points-to-Safe-Haven-in-Libya-for-al-Qaeda?showAll=yes

Oh, G-d, not another one of these.

Thank you for your concern. We can all see the sky is falling. Now, please go tell someone else somewhere else what they can and can't say here.



Response to post: "Stop the defeatist threads, non-members view this site, and it can could lower voter's enthusiasm."
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