Thursday, September 13, 2012

Why Did The Obama Administration Miss The Signs Of An Embassy Attack on 9/11?

While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.
from Statement by the President on the Attack in Benghazi


The President is among the most sophisticated consumers of intelligence on the planet
National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor

The question is: just how 'senseless' was this violence, considering the evidence that this was in fact organized  in advance and not spontaneous.
Max Boot writes about other indications the embassy riots were planned and not spontaneous:
Indeed, evidence is emerging of the planning that went into both assaults, with USA Today reporting: “The protest outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo was announced Aug. 30 by Jamaa Islamiya, a State Department-designated terrorist group, to protest the ongoing imprisonment of its spiritual leader, Sheikh Omar abdel Rahman. He is serving a life sentence in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.”

Meanwhile the New York Times is reporting: “The Obama administration suspects that the fiery attack in Libya that killed the American ambassador and three other diplomats may have been planned rather than a spontaneous mob getting out of control…” The Times article further notes: “About 24 hours before the consulate attack… Al Qaeda posted to militant forums on the Web a video in which its leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, acknowledged the death in an American drone strike in June of his Libyan deputy, Abu Yahya al-Libi, and called on Libyans to avenge the death.”

This conforms squarely with recent experience in Afghanistan, where seemingly spontaneous riots and attacks in response to Koran-burnings were actually carried out with considerable planning and complicity from the insurgency.
The involvement of Jamaa Islamiya should remind us of the difficulty the Obama administration has in distinguishing friends from enemies. Alana Goodman notes in June, the Obama administration invited a member of the terrorist group to the White House.

Indeed, there does appear to be a serious problem behind the failure of the Obama administration to prepare for the embassy attacks.

In his list of The 10 Most Important Stories of the Embassy Attacks, Doug Ross notes that
Barack Obama skipped the Presidential Daily Brief (PDB) the entire week leading up to 9/11:
Marc A. Thiessen confirms that Obama in the days leading up to September 11, the last briefing attended by Obama was on September 5. In addition:
The president was scheduled to hold the intelligence meeting at 10:50 a.m. Wednesday, the day after the attacks, but it was canceled so that he could comfort grieving employees at the State Department — as well he should. But instead of rescheduling the intelligence briefing for later in the day, Obama apparently chose to skip it altogether and attend a Las Vegas fundraiser for his re-election campaign. One day after a terrorist attack.
In fact, Obama prefers to read the briefs instead --
In the eyes of this administration, it is a virtue that the president does not meet every day with senior intelligence officials. This president, you see, does not need briefers. He can forgo his daily intelligence meeting because he is, in [National Security Council spokesman Tommy] Vietor’s words, “among the most sophisticated consumers of intelligence on the planet.”
If only.

On September 10, the day before the embassy attacks, the following appeared on Pajamas Media: Jihadis Threaten to Burn U.S. Embassy in Cairo:
Jihadi groups in Egypt, including Islamic Jihad, the Sunni Group, and Al Gamaa Al Islamiyya have issued a statement threatening to burn the U.S. Embassy in Cairo to the ground.

According to El Fagr, they are calling for the immediate release of the Islamic jihadis who are imprisonment and in detention centers in the U.S. including Guantanamo Bay: “The group, which consists of many members from al-Qaeda, called [especially] for the quick release of the jihadi [mujahid] sheikh, Omar Abdul Rahman [the "Blind Sheikh"], whom they described as a scholar and jihadi who sacrificed his life for the Egyptian Umma, who was ignored by the Mubarak regime, and [President] Morsi is refusing to intervene on his behalf and release him, despite promising that he would. The Islamic Group has threatened to burn the U.S. Embassy in Cairo with those in it, and taking hostage those who remain [alive], unless the Blind Sheikh is immediately released.”
Meanwhile, in Benghazi, the US embassy was not properly protected:
A Marine Corps official who would not speak for the record told Danger Room that the Corps did not and currently does not have assets in Benghazi.
While the pro-Obama apologists rally around him telling us how really smart Obama is, it would be nice to see him actually leading.

  • Leading and not skipping intelligence briefings
  • Leading and not playing golf
  • Leading and not unable to find time to meet Netanyahu on Iran -- but able to find time for Letterman
  • Leading and not rushing off to Las Vegas
  • Leading and not being caught flatfooted on the anniversary of 9/11

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Empress Trudy said...

As a practical matter how does Sec State Clinton excuse having an utterly unprotected diplomatic mission in one of the top 5 most violent unstable countries in the world?

Daled Amos said...

Has anyone given a suitable explanation for this?