• We must be clear-eyed, even in our grief.

    September 15, 2012

    Tags: , , ,
    Posted in: Democracy, Embassy/State

    Hillary Clinton said regarding the tragic deaths in Libya “We must be clear-eyed, even in our grief” and so even in our sadness over the loss of lives it is important to not stop thinking.

    The anti-US attacks across the Middle East have spread– American School burned in Tunis, violence in Yemen and Egypt, Sudan, maybe more between the time I write this and when you read it. It is at the same time critical that the American government face the reality of its policies in the Middle East (more about that here.)

    It is in this same spirit that it is time for Clinton and others to stop, just please stop, prevaricating and playing with words in the teeth of this tragedy. It does not help and it makes it worse.

    SEAL Team

    Many wondered why the media was reporting from early this week the deaths of four Americans at the Benghazi Consulate, while Clinton continuously only mentioned two (Ambassador Stevens and computer person Sean Smith). Well, that’s because she did not want to tell us that the other two who lost their lives were “former” Navy SEALS now acting as State Department “contractors.” Even Friday, when Clinton finally acknowledged the SEALS’ deaths following widespread press reports, she only mentioned that one’s role was as security for the Ambassador.

    Clinton pointedly did not mention what the other SEAL was doing in Libya.

    That is because the other deceased man was in Libya on an intel mission, search and destroy. The SEAL told ABC News that he was in Libya in the field tracking down and blowing up so-called MANPADS, shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles. The US saw its way to allowing those weapons to be used against Qaddafi and now wants to take them back so they are not used against us.

    And, with respect to the deceased and Mrs. Clinton, I would look hard at the depiction of the man as a “former” SEAL and thus a “contractor.” Send such a man into Libya as a SEAL and he is a foreign soldier at war with a sovereign nation supposedly our friend. Have him “quit” the Navy and be hired for the same duties as a “contractor” and on paper it is just the same as if he was the Consulate janitor. Just the same I guess if you are a Washington lawyer, but to the people on the ground the cat can’t change stripes that fast.

    Purpose of the Attacks?

    There’s more. The State Department has been quick to say the attacks were carried out by, Clinton’s words, “by a small and savage group– not the people or Government of Libya.” The U.S. quickly promoted the meme that the attackers were terrorists, or angry about 9/11, or about that damn film. They were out to just kill Americans in their jihadi rage and the attack was not planned. The US says no Libyan government collusion.

    However, the UK’s Independent tells a different story, noting that the Consulate attackers made off with documents listing names of Libyans who are working with Americans, and documents related to oil contracts. This strongly suggests the attack itself may have been a diversion to steal these documents and the Ambassador’s death, in U.S. terms, merely collateral damage.

    (And for those offended by my referring to the death of a US Ambassador as collateral damage, imagine how the families of America’s drone death mistakes might feel, and then shut the hell up.)

    As for the unorganized nature of the attack, the Independent also tells us that concurrent with the Consulate attack, the Consulate safe house, located elsewhere in the city, came under accurate, aimed mortar fire. This was no unplanned attack. The newspaper also said according to “senior diplomatic sources, the US State Department had credible information 48 hours before mobs charged the consulate in Benghazi, and the embassy in Cairo, that American missions may be targeted, but no warnings were given for diplomats to go on high alert.” CNN confirms the warning to Cairo.

    Why They Hate Us

    Libya closed its air space over Benghazi airport because of heavy anti-aircraft fire by Islamists aiming at U.S. reconnaissance drones flying over the city. US Marines have been sent to Tripoli and Sanna to reinforce the embassies there. US warships have moved closer to the Libyan coast line, and another American president is once again threatening “justice.” We all know that American justice in this regard means killing.

    Meanwhile, ignoring the complexity of the situation in Libya and America’s rough relationship there, the CIA chief quickly wraps it all up by blaming who else, al Qaeda again. Sure, whatever, blame the freaking Joker.

    And what does Clinton say for the United States? She said as part of her eulogy for the deceased:

    I am enormously proud of the men and women who risk their lives every day in the service of our country and our values. They help make the United States the greatest force for peace, progress, and human dignity that the world has ever known.

    At this tragic time, with America prevaricating on what really happened in Libya, with mobs across the world seeking to burn American embassies, really– really, does anyone outside of Clinton’s own staff truly believe that the “United States the greatest force for peace, progress, and human dignity that the world has ever known”?

    And because they don’t, and because they are right not to believe it, the violence will continue unless and until America changes its words and deeds. I am not saying it is right, but I am saying it is what will happen.

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  • Recent Comments

    • teri said...


      Obama added to the motif of “necessary” retaliation and increased security in the area, while showing complete blindness to any legitimate reason that the people in the Middle East and Africa might be angry and tired of the US fucking with their countries, interfering in their politics, and engaging in random acts of war. (Dropping bombs onto various countries which whom we are not at war IS an invasive act of war, even if you “only” do it with drones. Likewise sanctions, which cause the deaths of thousands of civilians, are an act of war. Sending in the CIA to covertly topple another country’s government is an act of war. Let’s be honest here.)

      Receiving the ambassador’s body, Obama said:

      “The president, speaking to silent mourners in a cavernous hangar at Andrews Air Force Base just outside Washington, D.C., said, ‘Even as voices of suspicion and mistrust seek to divide countries and cultures from one another, the United States of America will never retreat from the world. Even in our grief, we will be resolute.’ ”


      And if you want to know just how dim we are, how incapable of imagining the viewpoint of the people who have suffered under our drone attacks, troop incursions, and interference in their governments, scroll down and check out the comments attached to the above article.

      09/15/12 1:38 PM | Comment Link

    • teri said...


      “[…]Historian William Blum last year wrote that, since 1945, the US has attempted to overthrow more than 50 governments, most of them democratically elected. It has attempted to suppress a populist or national movement in 20 countries. It has grossly interfered in democratic elections in at least 30 countries. It has dropped bombs on the people of more than 30 countries. And it has attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.[…]”


      09/15/12 1:48 PM | Comment Link

    • Josh said...


      Great article, Peter.

      09/15/12 2:44 PM | Comment Link

    • XrayMike79 said...


      My eyes are burning from the truth in this post. Thanks for your great insight!

      Thanks for mentioning Blum’s name. I was looking for his work, but forgot the name.

      09/15/12 5:07 PM | Comment Link

    • Willow said...


      Insightful as always–I have one quibble. In my view, MANPADs are tremendously dangerous and, due to their portability, can easily be used to kill civilians far from the original conflict zone. (Landmines run a close second for lethality and long-term dangers). I believe both should be banned.

      While I agree that the USG should not have turned a blind eye to the risks posed by MANPADs in the rush to overthrow the Hitler-clone of 2011, I strongly support any action to retrieve and destroy these things — here’s one covert “search and destroy” effort that’s actually worthwhile.

      09/15/12 5:15 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...


      Al Jazeera posted on its site today a very interesting discussion on “What is fueling Anti-American protests” with host, Shihab Rattansi, featuring Drs. Tariq Ramadan and Flynt Leverett, a former CIA official, as well as with Michelle Dunn, a former US state department official.

      There’s a brief segment before this with Rashad Hussein, US rep to Organization of Islamic Cooperation. The comments by Drs Leverett and Ramadan are particularly interesting touching on points mentioned above:


      09/15/12 5:40 PM | Comment Link

    • jo6pac said...


      Thanks for the truth Peter

      09/15/12 8:07 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...



      WIRED: The diplomats at the consulate received no indication of an attack brewing when it reviewed its security posture ahead of Tuesday’s 9/11 anniversary. The compound lacked a Marine guard force, as is present at U.S. embassies in foreign capitals. Nor did it have other typical diplomatic security features, such as bulletproof glass and reinforced doors.

      Meanwhile, the guys with the guns. CNN said the FBI has determined there would be no advantage in sending people into a dangerous zone, and it was not clear when conditions might offer enough stability to send teams in.

      09/15/12 11:22 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      HC: “I am enormously proud of the men and women who risk their lives every day in the service of our country and our values. They help make the United States the greatest force for peace, progress, and human dignity that the world has ever known.”

      For those innocent people who are thinking of joining this farce, listen to one of those people who risked her life in the service of her country:

      “As one who has served my country, loyally and well, as a covert CIA operations officer focused on stopping nuclear weapon proliferation until the Bush administration decided to betray my secret identity as payback for my husband questioning the White House’s justification for the Iraq War. The lesson was simple: If you offer the public a true story that is at odds with what the government wants you to know, they will stop at nothing to destroy you, your reputation, and the reputations of the people around you.”

      Of course, Hillary can believe what she wants like, “I did not have sex with that woman.”

      09/15/12 11:50 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Our current political and military players are so addled with hubris that predicting the outcome of our latest folly in the Middle East is pure speculation.

      09/21/12 1:09 PM | Comment Link

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