Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Mystery of Benghazi

When Willard Romney began hammering Obama over alleged confusion regarding the Benghazi attacks,  I thought this was just another campaign tactic. If the State Department had miscalculated the danger or neglected the security of a consulate in a dangerous part of the world, then of course Obama should eventually fess up and admit that mistakes were made. Meanwhile, Obama seemed correct in vowing to investigate and pushing back on Romney for distorting the tragic event for political gain.

Recently, more information has surfaced regarding the attack, in the form of bits and pieces of unsubstantiated reports and rumors. Nevertheless, bits and pieces of rumors is often all we have to work with if we don't trust corporate news media to do an accurate and thorough job of investigating. And of course, it's a given that the government would be holding back on the full truth, and various agencies within the government may not even be on the same page. Thinking people simply have to work hard connecting the dots and piecing the true picture together.

Two conflicting stories have surfaced regarding the Benghazi attack: One alleges that Obama had been planning an "October surprise" by allowing an abduction of Ambassador Christopher Stevens to be staged, followed by a "miraculous" rescue by Navy Seals. 

The other story sounds a bit more plausible, wherein Stevens was in Benghazi to direct the flow of arms to Al Qaeda fighters operating in Syria. The attack was allegedly by Iranian special forces commandos. Iran would have sufficient motive given that economic sanctions are a virtual act of war against them, and the US intervention in Syria is widely seen as a step along the path leading to all-out attack on Iran.

There are several reasons to expect that details of the attack would be shrouded in murky haze; For one, the US does not openly admit to the training and hiring of Al Qaeda terrorists, despite heavy reliance on them for toppling Gaddafi, and now employing them as a proxy army in Syria. We are still operating under the official fiction that Al Qaeda is a terrorist organization that sponsored the 9/11 attacks in the US, and that they are an enemy that justifies the costly "war on terror".

It's also clear that the US would not want a spotlight directed on the intervention in Syria; the official line is that "freedom fighters" rose up spontaneously against the Assad regime, while the reality is that the bloody mess is largely due to foreign instigation. Syria is that last major ally remaining for Iran, and is probably the primary reason that Iran has not yet been attacked by the US or Israel. Given the incessant beating of war drums against Iran, the geopolitical reasons for US intervention in Syria are clearly discernible.

Another tidbit that seems to come from multiple sources suggests that a faction of the CIA has gone rogue and is operating at odds with administration policy. One extreme version suggests that Romney's people have links with the rogue CIA faction, and that the CIA may have played a role in setting up the ambassador's murder to embarrass Obama.

I'm skeptical of the more extreme rumors, but unfortunately there are powerful forces behind concealing the truth. Recent history in Libya should also be kept in mind: The US and NATO employed Al Qaeda mercenaries to attack Libya and remove a relatively progressive and stable regime. Libya has been pushed back to the 12th century dark ages, thanks to our tax dollars at work. The nation has been split into two power centers with much instability. It's fair to ask questions about just what Ambassador Steven's assignment was in Benghazi. Word has it that he worked for the CIA for many years as specialist on Iran.

Also, it's customary for embassies to rely on the host country for security. Marines are stationed for symbolic reasons, but no one expects them to defend against a determined assault. On this point, Romney sounds particularly silly for suggesting that Obama should have rushed in reinforcements.

I seriously doubt that Romney knows anything of the dark intrigue in Benghazi, and Obama may not be so much in the loop either. For them, Benghazi was just a flash point in a nasty election campaign. The American people have good reason to ask more questions, particularly as this ties in to the prospect for expanded war in the Middle East.


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