Terrorist attack: ask the obvious questions

Osama Bin Laden compound. A terrorist attack to kill an ambassador, but not to avenge this?
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On September 11, 2012, America experienced another terrorist attack, but this time it was on foreign soil. To be clear, our embassies in foreign lands are supposed to be “American.” They are a little piece of real estate that is an extension of American soil in whatever land they are located. Many questions are arising amidst this tragedy.

Why did the security forces abandon ship?

Before I ask the most obvious questions, let me ask some less obvious questions first, starting with: Why did the security forces assigned to our embassy abandon ship?

Wissam Buhmeid, the commander of the Tripoli government-sanctioned Libya’s Shield Brigade, stated:

There were definitely people from the security forces who let the attack happen because they were themselves offended by the film; they would absolutely put their loyalty to the Prophet over the consulate. The deaths are all nothing compared to insulting the Prophet.

Really? That might be the explanation that is being widely accepted. But is it true? It is true that the security forces abandoned ship, but the “why” is what doesn’t quite make sense to me. Of course the explanation is easy to accept, given past violent occurrences surrounding Mohammed. But in this case, is it true or just a convenient excuse? I can’t answer that but I can think of another question or two: Why weren’t the security forces attacked before they abandoned ship? In other words, if this was a spontaneous attack and security forces were in place, why didn’t the terrorists attack them first, as would have been expected? Perhaps I’m in the minority, but it seems a little strange to me that the security forces just ran away unharmed.

How did the terrorists find the safe house?

Then there is the statement by Captain Fathi al-Obeidi, part of an American rescue team dispatched from Tripoli:

I don’t know how they found the place to carry out the attack. It was planned, the accuracy with which the mortars hit us was too good for any ordinary revolutionaries…It began to rain down on us, about six mortars fell directly on the path to the villa.

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, also said in an interview on MSNBC:

This was a well-armed, well-coordinated event…It had both indirect and direct fire, and it had military maneuvers that were all part of this very organized attack.

Terrorists avenge a cleric but not Osama bin Laden?

Osama Bin Laden compound. A terrorist attack to kill an ambassador, but not to avenge this?

Map of Osama bin Laden’s compound near Abbotabad, Pakistan. Credit: US Department of Defense

According to Mathieu Guidere, a professor of Islamic studies at the University of Toulouse in France and an expert on Islamist radicals, the attack appeared to be motivated by a recent call by Ayman al-Zawahiri, the al-Qaeda leader, to avenge the killing of Hassan Mohammed Qaed, better known as Abu Yahya al-Libi, a Libyan-born cleric who was a key aide to Osama bin Laden.

Really? So, are we to believe that al-Qaeda orchestrated an attack to avenge the killing of a Libyan-born cleric but not Osama bin Laden? If that seems a little odd to you, it should.

To sum up the four curiosities above:

  1. The security forces let the attack happen and abandoned ship as the terrorists came in.
  2. The attackers were most likely not ordinary revolutionaries. They were terrorists, and they planned their attack well.
  3. The terrorists should not have been able to find the safe house. And:
  4. The terrorists planned an attack to avenge the death of a cleric but not Osama bin Laden, the terrorist in chief.

No live ammunition?

Now perhaps one of the most disturbing questions, and one with conflicting answers: Were the security forces guarding the embassy allowed to carry live ammo? Some reliable sources say No; others say Yes, and still others play hide-n’-seek about it. As is the case with government debacles, we may never know the truth.

Nightwatch, as well as other reliable sources, reported that U.S. Marine blogs stated that Ambassador to Egypt, Anne Patterson, did not permit U.S. Marines defending the American embassy in Egypt to carry live ammunition. The Washington Free Beacon has continued to post updates about this particular question.

Lt. Col. Chris Hughes at the Pentagon disputed this report and said:

…the ambassador and RSO (Regional Security Officer) have been completely and appropriately engaged with the security situation. No restrictions on weapons or weapons status have been imposed. This information comes from the Det. Commander at AMEMB (American Embassy) Cairo.

Regardless of the truth in this particular instance, apparently Ambassadors have the authority to determine whether U.S. Marines guarding our embassies are allowed to carry live ammo. While this may be the accepted protocol, it is patently outrageous. As is the case with many of our so-called leaders, a legitimate question is: What are they thinking? Or maybe I should ask: What are they smoking? If the truth turns out that Ambassador Patterson did not allow U.S. Marines in harm’s way to carry live ammo, she should be immediately (and without any mercy) brought up on nothing less than criminal charges.

Other questions

Are there other disturbing questions regarding this terrorist attack? Yes – one of them being who knew what and when. The Independent quoted senior diplomatic sources as saying:

…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…

This statement lays considerable blame at the feet of none other than our Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who, if found guilty should be brought up on criminal charges as well.

One more disturbing question. Has the Obama foreign policy’s naiveté encouraged this kind of terrorism?

Former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and current candidate for Senate Pete Hoekstra told Newsmax.TV in an interview:

…clearly, with what’s happened on Tuesday, radical Jihadists have identified weaknesses, they tested those weakness, they found out that we were weak and that they could be successful. They will continue to test our ability to defend American interests and the willingness for the ability of these other governments to protect American interests.
With a presidential election in the near future, and an incumbent president claiming foreign policy as a strong suit, perhaps this is the question we should be asking ourselves now: Has the Obama foreign policy of apologizing for America, bowing to Muslim leaders, and apologizing more been effective in protecting America?

Ronald Reagan believed that you should only negotiate with foreign countries from a position of strength. Reagan’s foreign policies ended the Cold War. It could be argued that President George W. Bush held similar beliefs. It can’t be argued that “W” kept us safe after 9/11. Barack Obama doesn’t agree with Reagan or Bush and has acted accordingly. Of course, it can be argued that Obama’s policies have made us look weak in the eyes of the terrorists – a position that emboldens the terrorists and makes us vulnerable.

So, here’s the last question: do you want to be safe? Do you want to pass down a prosperous and free nation to our progeny?

Or do you want to vote for Obama?

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