CNN's Security Clearance examines national and global security, terrorism and intelligence, as well as the economic, military, political and diplomatic effects of it around the globe -- and how it impacts daily life.
"The month of October 2011 stands as an historical monument to heroism and apocalypse in the Libyan desert as the people of Sirte, hometown to Col. Gaddafi, staged a desperate, doomed fight to protect their families and homes from the might of NATO and its allied bands of Libyan rebels.
With history all to often written by the victors, the tragic tale of how unknown thousands of the residents of Sirte, men and women, fought house to house until the bitter end is the 21st Century’s first saga of doomed heroism, a tragic historical drama that brings to mind the Jews of Warsaw, Ireland’s Easter Uprising or the Paris Communardes.
With multiple international news channels carrying 24 hour coverage the whole world saw a few glimpses of how ruthless the NATO crusade in Libya was, how nowhere was safe, not hospital, school or apartment complex. With missiles raining down an apocalypse from the heavens, night and day, thousands of tons in a few months of high explosive hell, still, the people of Sirte refused to surrender. ... "
" — Always a larger-than-life character, it's no surprise that even in death Muammar Gaddafi continues to make outrageous headlines. This time round the late Libyan leader is at the centre of a first-class political thriller starring a corrupt president, an untrustworthy Syrian and mysterious and deadly foreign agents. SIMON ALLISON tries and fails to separate fact from conspiracy.
First, a recap of what we thought we knew about Muammar Gaddafi's last day: In October last year, the strongman who had ruled Libya for almost four decades was holed up in his hometown of Sirte, having lost the support of his people and control of his country. He was protected by the remnants of his once-mighty army, but the city was surrounded by hostile militias and everyone knew it was only a matter of time before they came for him. His options were limited to that most primal of binary dilemmas: fight or flight.
He chose the latter. On 20 October, a convoy of vehicles with Gaddafi on board tried to race out of Sirte and into the desert wilderness, aiming to get across the border and into a potentially friendly country: Chad, perhaps, or Niger. Gaddafi didn't make it very far, however. On the outskirts of Sirte, the convoy was bombed by French warplanes and an American drone. An injured Gaddafi stumbled out of his vehicle and sought refuge under some nearby concrete drainage pipes.
It was here that he was found by the chasing rebel militia, which beat the crap out of him (and filmed it on their smartphones. There's an app for that). Shortly afterward, Gaddafi died - either from the beatings, his injuries or a combination of both. His body was subsequently displayed proudly in a meat locker in Misrata, a cathartic moment for a Libya that needed to forget the past and move ahead with its difficult but exciting future. ... "
"While much of the media has done a pretty good job of covering the terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi, including the fact that the White House lacks credibility with respect to a week-long narrative that blamed the attack on a YouTube video, nothing we've seen thus far from the media indicates that Obama will be made to pay a political for a week of lies told by this administration. And this is a purely political and partisan choice the media's making … and a dangerous one. (...) "
"As he launched a bus tour across Iowa, vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan made clear that in the "debate phase" of the campaign - as he's calling the final stretch - he'll go after President Obama not only for Obama's economic policies, but also for his foreign policy and positions on social issues.
Ryan spoke Monday evening here, the first stop of a two-day bus tour that will cover the eastern edge of this Midwestern swing state. Building on two weeks of criticism from the Romney campaign over Obama's handling of a growing crisis in the Middle East, Ryan said attacks against the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, were "not just an isolated incident," but rather symptomatic of a larger problem.
"If you turn on the TV today you can see that the Obama foreign policy is unraveling before our eyes," Ryan said. "It's not just an isolated incident where we lost four Americans in Libya -- that's a tragedy. But it's part of a bigger story of the unraveling of this agenda all over the world. We've distanced our ally Israel, we are not advancing our interests in the Middle East, and the president is promising that we're going to have these devastating cuts to our national defense." (...) "
President Obama has betrayed the American people. His administration is dissembling and engaging in a systematic cover-up. The reason: Mr. Obama does not want the public to know he bears heavy responsibility for the recent terrorist attack against the U.S. Consulate in Libya. He has American blood on his hands — blood he cannot wash away.
Islamic radicals recently besieged our diplomatic mission in Benghazi. The U.S. ambassador was killed, along with three other Americans. The compound was leveled. Our flag was taken down and desecrated. The jihadists raised the black flag of al Qaeda. The assault took place on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Al Qaeda in North Africa immediately announced responsibility for the carnage. Libya's government said the raid had been planned and coordinated for months. Even a 9-year-old could grasp that this was a premeditated terrorist atrocity.
Not so the Obama administration. The White House immediately insisted that the attack was a response to an anti-Muslim video produced in the United States that supposedly incited religious passions. The video, however, has been circulating on YouTube since early July. It is badly dubbed and obviously the work of amateurs. If it was so inflammatory, why didn’t riots erupt in the summer? This is because it had nothing to do with the raid. It was a cheap — and cynical — pretense to commit murder and mayhem. Even Libya’s leaders have publicly said that the video did not inspire the attack — Islamist hatred did.
This hasn’t stopped the administration from deceiving the American people. White House spokesman Jay Carney said the video was to blame. U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice has claimed the attack was the result of a “spontaneous” uprising. For weeks, Mr. Obama has refused to call the assault an act of terrorism, preferring to repeatedly denounce the video. The reason is simple: Focusing on the video is a crude attempt to distract from the real scandal — Mr. Obama’s reckless, almost criminal policies. ..."
A French secret serviceman acting on the express orders of Nicolas Sarkozy is suspected of murdering Colonel Gaddafi, it was sensationally claimed today.
He is said to have infiltrated a violent mob mutilating the captured Libyan dictator last year and shot him in the head.
The motive, according to well-placed sources in the North African country, was to stop Gaddafi being interrogated about his highly suspicious links with Sarkozy, who was President of France at the time.
Nicolas Sarkozy, France's former president, allegedly ordered the murder of former Libyan dictator Colonel Gaddafi
Other former western leaders, including ex British Prime Minister Tony Blair, were also extremely close to Gaddafi, visiting him regularly and helping to facilitate multi-million pounds business deals.
Sarkozy, who once welcomed Gaddafi as a 'brother leader' during a state visit to Paris, was said to have received millions from the Libyan despot to fund his election campaign in 2007.
The conspiracy theory will be of huge concern to Britain which sent RAF jet to bomb Libya last year with the sole intention of 'saving civilian lives'. (...)"
"After supporting the uprisings in Libya, Egypt and other Arab nations, the Obama Administration has run into a road block, which can only be described a self fulfilling prophesy. Egypt and Yemen have challenged American values, with particular emphasis on free speech contained in the first amendment. For over a week after the protests, including the planned and organized attack on the US consulate, were blamed on an anti-Islam 14 minute video. President Obama mentioned the video six times during his speech to the UN General Assembly and last Sunday the US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, made the tour to Sunday news shows spreading the same message. That is what we saw play out the last two weeks, as a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world. I have made it clear that the United States government had nothing to do with this video, and I believe its message must be rejected by all who respect our common humanity. It is an insult not only to Muslims, but to America as well – for as the city outside these walls makes clear, we are a country that has welcomed people of every race and religion. We are home to Muslims who worship across our country. We not only respect the freedom of religion – we have laws that protect individuals from being harmed because of how they look or what they believe. We understand why people take offense to this video because millions of our citizens are among them. Allvoices ... "
The United States has all but abandoned their intelligence gathering mission on the ground in Benghazi, removing all US officials from the Libyan city where Ambassador Chris Stevens was executed three weeks earlier in an apparent terrorist attack.
The Syrian insurgency will never win its war because its means are unsupported even among the opposition, political analyst Dan Glazebrook told RT. But thanks to a flood of weapons from the West, they will continue to destabilize the country.
RT: With Washington now pledging $45 million worth of extra support to the rebels, how much longer can the opposition keep up the fight without direct foreign intervention?
DZ: We have to get over the idea that there is no foreign direct intervention. There is a foreign direct intervention already now – and there has been for many, many months. There were groups on the ground calling themselves part of the Free Syrian Army, but there are entire units made up of Libyans, of Lebanese, of people from Jordan, of people from Saudi Arabia. They have been armed and also equipped and trained by the SAS and by the CIA, at camps in Turkey.
In fact if the situation in Libya – the war in Libya last year – is anything to go on, from what we know happened there, they were probably under the direct command of British and US Army officers. So I do not think it’s true to say that the current situation is one without direct foreign intervention. ..."
This weekend a detailed article (i) suggested that a: “French secret serviceman, acting on the express orders of the then President Sarkozy, is suspected of ”the murder of Colonel Quaddafi”, on 20th October last year.
Whilst bearing in mind that the NATO-backed insurgents now in power, who have near destroyed much of Libya, de-stabilised, terrorized and hope to carve up Libya’s resources for their, rather than the country’s benefit, have every reason to wish to disassociate themselves from the butchery of Colonel Quaddafi’s terrible death, the new allegations illuminate interesting points.
The French assassin, it is claimed, infiltrated the mob rabidly manhandling the Colonel, and shot him in the head.
“The motive, according to well placed (Libyan) sources”, was to prevent any chance of interrogation into Sarkozy’s links with Colonel Quaddafi.
The Mail previously revealed (ii) quoting a French governmental briefing note published by an investigative website, that fifty million euros has been: “laundered though bank accounts in Panama and Switzerland … from Colonel Quaddafi, to fund (Sarkozy’s 2007) election as President”, which if correct: “would have broken political financing laws.” Sarkozy’s: “numerous visits to Libya” were also cited.
DERNA, Libya (Reuters) - From the mountains of Afghanistan and the streets of Baghdad to the iron cages of Guantanamo Bay, Libyans from Derna have made their small city a big name in global jihad.Now,...
"Reporters Without Borders is very worried by the signs of a decline in respect for freedom of information – including visa problems, filming bans, arbitrary arrest and deportation – since the election of the General National Congress on 7 July.
Several foreign journalists have told Reporters Without Borders they have had difficulties getting visas to visit Libya, especially after the 11 September attack on the US consulate in Benghazi.
Those who managed to go have had problems with the militias, especially when trying to take photos or film the peaceful protests against US ambassador Chris Stevens’ death.
The Supreme Security Committee (SSC) has also arrested journalists arbitrarily.
Its victims include the British filmmaker and journalist Sharron Ward and her Libyan interpreter, who were detained while filming at a camp for internally displaced persons (IDPs) at Janzour, 12 km west of Tripoli, on 19 July and were held for nearly eight hours. Ward was then detained again for three days, from 21 to 23 July, before being deported.
"Foreign and national journalists must be able to work freely in post-Gaddafi Libya," Reporters Without Borders said. "Abuse of power should be a thing of the past. It is true the country is in full transition but the Supreme Security Committee’s high-handed behaviour is disturbing. We call on the new government, above all the interior ministry, to investigate these incidents and to return the equipment that was arbitrarily confiscated from these journalists." ... "
"The story below is written by my dear friend and veteran journalist for the Sunday Times, Hala Jaber.
It is a tribute to her friend and colleague, the martyr Maya Nasser, who was assassinated by NATO/GCC-funded terrorist “rebels” after receiving numerous death threats.
The piece was originally published in the Sunday Times here but is protected by a firewall. I copy-pasted the piece in full from Hala’s Facebook wall. The piece in full below:
Oh Maya, I wish I’d taken your last call
Our reporter fled to safety when rebels mounted a huge attack on the defence ministry. Her fellow journalist was shot dead
Hala Jaber, Damascus Published: 30 September 2012
I WAS woken by an enormous explosion. The first thing I saw was a flash. The bomb sounded so close that I thought my hotel was under attack.
Heart racing, I peered out of the window of my fourth-floor room, only to see jabbering security staff pointing at the Ministry of Defence building opposite.
Black smoke was billowing into the sky from the General Staff Command, where the minister of defence has his office. It should have been one of the safest places in Syria, but as I dressed hurriedly with shaking hands, the rat-tat-tat of random machinegun fire suggested it was in chaos.
It was 7.01am on Wednesday — 5.01am in London, too early to call the office, so I tweeted: “Huge explosion now followed by sound of gunfire and siren of ambulances.”
At 7.09am, another explosion shook the hotel. I dashed out of my room and opened the door to a terrace, where I stood alone, feeling strangely isolated. I tweeted what I saw, as much out of a need to feel connected to the world as a wish to impart the news.
The hotel’s security staff warned me to go back inside. “There are snipers everywhere,” they said, pointing to a gunman on top of the state television building to my right. (...) "
"A former foreign policy official in George W. Bush’s administration said Congress must immediately hold hearings to prevent the Obama administration from covering up its national security failures leading up to the murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens.
Richard Grenell, Bush’s director of communications and public diplomacy for the U.S. permanent representative to the U.N., told Newsmax these hearings must occur “immediately” because "we’ve already seen the State Department scrubbing some of its information from its website."
Grenell was referring to a State Department memo a week before the eleventh anniversary of 9/11 that said the U.S. had no intelligence to indicate attacks could happen on that day. That memo has since been erased from the State Department’s website.
He also condemned the mainstream media for being “completely complicit in trying to make this all about a film, a YouTube video that had been out since June.” (...) "
"PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe on Wednesday accused the UN Security Council of wielding an "insatiable appetite for war" as he condemned NATO's campaign that helped topple Libya's Muammar Gaddafi. The 88-year-old firebrand critic of the West told the UN General Assembly that NATO's "military hegemony" in Libya showed how the alliance's members are "inspired by the arrogant belief that they are the most powerful among us." He began by departing from his prepared speech to respond to US President Barack Obama’s address to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday in which he paid tribute to his slain envoy to Libya, Chris Stevens, who was killed in a terrorist raid on the US Consulate in Benghazi on September 11. Mugabe told world leaders: “May I preface my speech with reference to the most glowing and most moving speech we listened to from the President of the United States, the import of which was to get us to condemn the tragic death of the US ambassador to Libya. I’m sure we were all moved, we agree it was a tragic death and we condemn it. “But a year ago, we saw a barbaric and brutal death of the head of state of Libya, a representative of his country, a member of the African Union. That death occurred in the context in which NATO was operating supposedly in order to protect civilians. “As we in spirit join the United States in condemning Stevens’ death, shall the United States also join us in condemning that barbaric death of the head of state of Libya, Gaddafi?” Mugabe said Gaddafi’s death was “a great loss to Africa, a tragic loss to Africa”. “The [NATO] mission was strictly to protect civilians, but it turned out that there was a hunt, a brutal hunt for Gaddafi and his family. They were sought; NATO caught up with them and they suffered the brutal deaths that we know about.” The African Union's peacemaking efforts in Libya were "defied, ignored and humiliated," he added. ... "
"Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, has apparently been assigned to take the fall for Benghazigate; you know - the trumped-up scandal about your government lying to you about terrorism, al Queda and hateful movie trailers?
It became painfully obvious that we were going to need a fall guy after this harsh WSJ editorial:
In his United Nations speech on Tuesday, President Obama talked about the September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya and declared that "there should be no doubt that we will be relentless in tracking down the killers and bringing them to justice." What he didn't say is how relentless he'll be in tracking down the security lapses and intelligence failures that contributed to the murders. Let's say there's some doubt about that.
Then they go on to describe exactly just how much doubt:
None of the initial explanations offered by the White House and State Department since the assault on the Benghazi consulate has held up. (snip)
Administration officials also maintained that the diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt (snip) were properly defended and that the U.S. had no reason to prepare for any attack. "The office of the director of National Intelligence has said we have no actionable intelligence that an attack on our post in Benghazi was planned or imminent," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last week, calling the security measures in place there "robust."
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