Context and cover-up in the matter of Benghazi

Andrew McCarthy:

Benghazi has been the site of several jihadist attacks. The International Red Cross offices there were bombed in May by an al-Qaeda affiliate called the “Imprisoned Omar Abdul Rahman Brigades” — named in honor of the “Blind Sheikh,” whose detention in the U.S., on a life sentence for terrorism convictions, al-Qaeda has repeatedly vowed to avenge.

On June 4, four missiles fired from an unmanned U.S. drone killed 15 people at a jihadist compound in Pakistan. The most prominent was al-Qaeda’s revered Libyan leader, Hassan Mohammed Qaed, better known by his nom de guerre, Abu Yahya al-Libi. It was a severe blow to the terror network, and the intelligence community instantly knew al-Qaeda was determined to avenge it.

The following day, the Abdul Rahman Brigades detonated an explosive outside the American consulate in Benghazi. According to CNN, the attack was specifically “timed to coincide with preparations for the arrival of a senior U.S. State Department official.” The Brigades recorded the attack on video, interspersing scenes of the mayhem with footage of al-Qaeda leaders and 9/11 carnage. In claiming responsibility, the jihadists brayed that they were targeting U.S. diplomats in retaliation for the killing of al-Libi. A week later, the Brigades shot rockets at the British ambassador’s convoy as it moved through Benghazi…

al-Qaeda’s emir, Ayman al-Zawahiri, recorded an acknowledgment of al-Libi’s death that exhorted jihadists, particularly in Libya, to retaliate: “His blood urges you and incites you to fight and kill the crusaders.” Naturally, Zawahiri was targeting September 11 as the moment for vengeance. His recording was released on that morning, intimating that a revenge strike would be the most fitting way for Libyans to mark the day when, eleven years earlier, al-Qaeda killed nearly 3,000 Americans. Obligingly, al-Qaeda affiliates carried out the Benghazi massacre later that day.

Heritage via NRO:

April 6: IED thrown over the fence of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.

April 11: Gun battle erupts between armed groups two-and-a-half miles from the U.S. Consulate, including rocket-propelled grenades.

April 27: Two South African contractors are kidnapped by armed men, released unharmed.

May 1: Deputy Commander of U.S. Embassy Tripoli’s Local Guard Force is carjacked, beaten, and detained by armed youth.

May 1: British Embassy in Tripoli is attacked by a violent mob and set on fire. Other NATO embassies attacked as well.

May 3: The State Department declines a request from personnel concerned about security at the U.S. Embassy in Libya for a DC-3 plane to take them around the country.

May 22: Two rocket-propelled grenades are fired at the Benghazi office of the International Committee of the Red Cross, less than 1 mile from the U.S. Consulate.

June 6: A large IED destroys part of the security perimeter of the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. Creates hole “big enough for 40 men to go through.”

June 10: A car carrying the British ambassador is attacked in Tripoli. Two bodyguards injured.

Late June: The building of the International Red Cross attacked again and closed down, leaving the U.S. flag as the only international one still flying in Benghazi, an obvious target.

August 6: Armed assailants carjack a vehicle with diplomatic plates operated by U.S. personnel.

September 8: A local security officer in Benghazi warns American officials about deteriorating security.

Reuters on Sept 13:

this much is clear: a crowd gathered at dusk, about 7 p.m. (1700 GMT), chanting slogans against the film and angry at Washington’s failure to act against its promoters. At some point, shooting began, with some in the crowd thinking they were under fire from the consulate. Around 10 p.m., rioters surged into the compound

From the state department the other day:

“Stevens hosted a series of meetings on the compound throughout the day, ending with a meeting with a Turkish diplomat that began at 7:30 in the evening, and all was quiet in the area. ‘The ambassador walked guests out at 8:30 or so; there was nobody on the street’.”

Benghazi is clearly a dangerous place and there was ample reason to anticipate something bad happening there on 9-11. Stevens had asked repeatedly for more security and it was denied. Immediately after the his death, sources in the US government lied to Reuters about the attack. The purpose of the cover-up was to preserve an electoral narrative about the superiority of Obama’s approach to foreign policy over Mitt Romney’s. This loathsome behavior is only surpassed by that of the protective media.

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