Using Water As A Weapon Of War

Herschel Smith · 03 Aug 2014 · 7 Comments

Next City: In a war, anything can be a weapon. In a particularly ruthless war, such as the conflict that has been raging in Syria for more than three years, those weapons are often turned against civilians, making any semblance of normal life impossible. Such is the case, experts say, with the way the nation’s water supply is being manipulated to inflict suffering on the population. According to an article posted by Chatham House, a London-based independent policy institute, water…… [read more]

White House Informed Of Militant Claim Two Hours After Benghazi Attack

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 10 months ago

We’ve already discussed how the Obama administration lied about not knowing that the Benghazi attack was an assault by an militant Islamic group.  My own military readers informed us that this was a planned assault with fighters already in position, using a complex ambush with combined arms.  This assessment was made by my readers within 24 hours of the assault using nothing but open source information.  I have been unequivocal in calling the suggestion that the administration waited for information and analysis a lie.  I still do not retract my charge.

Now comes more evidence.

Officials at the White House and State Department were advised two hours after attackers assaulted the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11 that an Islamic militant group had claimed credit for the attack, official emails show.

The emails, obtained by Reuters from government sources not connected with U.S. spy agencies or the State Department and who requested anonymity, specifically mention that the Libyan group called Ansar al-Sharia had asserted responsibility for the attacks.

The brief emails also show how U.S. diplomats described the attack, even as it was still under way, to Washington.

U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the Benghazi assault, which President Barack Obama and other U.S. officials ultimately acknowledged was a “terrorist” attack carried out by militants with suspected links to al Qaeda affiliates or sympathizers.

Administration spokesmen, including White House spokesman Jay Carney, citing an unclassified assessment prepared by the CIA, maintained for days that the attacks likely were a spontaneous protest against an anti-Muslim film.

[ ... ]

The records obtained by Reuters consist of three emails dispatched by the State Department’s Operations Center to multiple government offices, including addresses at the White House, Pentagon, intelligence community and FBI, on the afternoon of September 11.

The first email, timed at 4:05 p.m. Washington time – or 10:05 p.m. Benghazi time, 20-30 minutes after the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission allegedly began – carried the subject line “U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi Under Attack” and the notation “SBU”, meaning “Sensitive But Unclassified.”

The text said the State Department’s regional security office had reported that the diplomatic mission in Benghazi was “under attack. Embassy in Tripoli reports approximately 20 armed people fired shots; explosions have been heard as well.”

The message continued: “Ambassador Stevens, who is currently in Benghazi, and four … personnel are in the compound safe haven. The 17th of February militia is providing security support.”

A second email, headed “Update 1: U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi” and timed 4:54 p.m. Washington time, said that the Embassy in Tripoli had reported that “the firing at the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi had stopped and the compound had been cleared.” It said a “response team” was at the site attempting to locate missing personnel.

A third email, also marked SBU and sent at 6:07 p.m. Washington time, carried the subject line: “Update 2: Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibility for Benghazi Attack.”

The message reported: “Embassy Tripoli reports the group claimed responsibility on Facebook and Twitter and has called for an attack on Embassy Tripoli.”

While some information identifying recipients of this message was redacted from copies of the messages obtained by Reuters, a government source said that one of the addresses to which the message was sent was the White House Situation Room, the president’s secure command post.

Other addressees included intelligence and military units as well as one used by the FBI command center, the source said.

And as I had pointed out, some two weeks after the assault Obama went before the U.N. claiming that it was a result of that crackpot video.

Again, exactly when they used the word “terror” isn’t relevant.  The assault would have inflicted terror regardless of whether it was a result of mob behavior or a planned attack.  The point is that Obama put the blame squarely on a spontaneous mob acting from rage as a result of the video.

He knew better.  And you knew better within 24 hours because my military readers told you so.  In this case, the facts are getting in the way of the narrative.

What’s The Problem With Obama’s Response To Benghazi?

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 10 months ago

Too much focus has been given to whether the administration called the attacks on the American consulate at Benghazi an act of terror.  Parsing the questions is important both to frame our objections to Obama’s behavior after this incident and to point out larger problems with his foreign policy.

It’s well known that the administration rejected requests for increased security at the consulate.  The administration’s assumptions regarding the nature of the world has caused them to be unprepared for the Islamists at every turn over the last four years.  But their refusal to protect Americans, as shameful and loathsome as that is, constitutes a different issue than the one I am addressing.

As I’ve pointed out before, I published an assessment within one day of the attacks in which, despite focusing on issues related mostly to how we move forward with increased security, my own military readers concluded that this was a well-planned, well-coordinated attack with ensconced fighters, involving a complex ambush with the use of combined arms.

Take careful note.  The use of combined arms is deadly to your own fighters if it isn’t a well-rehearsed engagement.  Firing mortars or light [or heavy] machine guns at your own fighters kills them, and you must know where they are and what they’re doing at all times.

My article was well-visited that day by the State Department, Department of Homeland Security, DoD network domains, and others that were in a position to make a difference with the administration.  Glenn Reynolds linked the post, and the traffic his site drives isn’t the only interesting feature of his attention.  The quality of his traffic is even more remarkable.

So within 24 hours everyone knew that this wasn’t the action of an angry mob.  The administration also knew that very quickly from information to which only they would have been aware, as Former Spook points out.

In recent posts, we’ve asked the fundamental question about the terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi, which resulted in the deaths of four Americans: what did the  administration know, and when did they know it?

As we’ve noted, there was a steady stream of intelligence reporting on the attack, delivered at the FLASH/CRITIC level.  Messages assigned that priority must be delivered to the President within 10 minutes of receipt.  This traffic captured conversations between the Islamist factions responsible for the attack, before and during the assault on our compound.  That’s why administration claims that incident was some sort of “demonstration gone bad” are nothing more than a lie.

Ditto for Joe Biden’s claim that Benghazi was some sort of intelligence failure.  By all accounts, the spooks did their job, and it was apparent within minutes  that our consulate was under attack by terrorists, not ordinary Libyans incensed over that internet video.  If Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has any shred of integrity remaining, he should resign immediately in protest over how his community is being “used” to conceal leadership failures of the first magnitude.

But terrorist phone traffic wasn’t the only source of information on the night of September 11, 2012.  According to Fox News military analyst Colonel David Hunt (who spent most of his Army career in special forces), various U.S. command centers–in the U.S. and overseas–received a running account of the attack –while it unfolded–from a State Department official inside the consulate.  Hunt detailed who was listening in during a recent interview with Boston radio host Howie Carr.

See his article for a continuation of the discussion.  So as we’ve observed, the administration knew.  But then as I mentioned above, so did you.  It didn’t take weeks or months of review, investigation and field work to know how this transpired.  My military readers told you within 24 hours.

And yet … some two weeks after the attack on the consulate, Obama went before the United Nations and gave that silly, sophomoric speech.

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.

[ ... ]

There are no words that excuse the killing of innocents. There is no video that justifies an attack on an Embassy.

He very clearly blamed the attack on a video and pointed to mob-like behavior and outrage.  This is his lie.

He knew better.  Everyone knew better.  Yes, he and his administration has four deaths for which to answer.  They are on his conscience.  His foreign policy is an abysmal  failure.  Furthermore, as my own readers pointed out within one day of the attack, we lacked an effective QRF (Quick Reaction Force).  We were unprepared.  This is yet another problem.

Those are problems indeed.  But they belong in a different category, and parsing them is necessary when moderators and main stream media types talk about ridiculous things like when the administration used the word “terror.”  The word means nothing.  The attack would have inflicted terror regardless of whether it was a pre-planned attack or the actions of a mob.  In pointing to a video, Obama lied. The lie demands an answer separate from the failures of Obama’s foreign policy.

UPDATE #1: Seeing the problems ahead, it appears that the administration is returning to the lie, as a dog to its own vomit.

UPDATE #2: The CIA is lying for Obama, just as had been predicted.  And it is a lie – make no mistake about it.  Also see Bing West on the CIA-NYT lie.  What, now, does this say about General David Petraeus who currently heads up the CIA?

UPDATE #3: No, Katrina, you’ve accepted the lie too uncritically.

UPDATE #4: Romney’s response apparently can be found here.  Take note, though.  Look carefully at the dates.  Obama’s camp is claiming that the intelligence community didn’t change the briefs until September 22nd.  For the sake of argument, let’s grant the point.  Obama gave his speech to the U.N. on September 25th.  Even if [what I am calling] the lie is true, Obama is caught in yet another lie.  He knew before his U.N. speech.


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