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.
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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