More than ten months after the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, Ansar al Sharia is even more entrenched in Libyan society. Members of Ansar al Sharia in Benghazi were reportedly part of the al Qaeda-linked jihadist coalition that killed four Americans, including a U.S. ambassador.
The State Department released its annual Country Reports on Terrorism 2012 survey on Thursday. The section on the Middle East and North Africa includes a report on terror attacks in Libya. All told, there were eleven terrorism-related attacks last year in Libya prior to the 9/11 attack in Benghazi that took the life of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods. Six of those eleven attacks took place in Benghazi:
The complexity of Washington scandals as they unfold usually involves many moments at which it is possible to lose sight of the forest for the trees. Two such instances have come into sharper relief in recent weeks. One is that we still have no good explanation for U.N. ambassador Susan Rice’s talking points for her round of talk show appearances the Sunday after the 9/11/12 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi.
So, what about the video? The White House last week released nearly 100 pages of emails detailing some of the discussions within the Obama administration that resulted in major revisions to talking points about the Benghazi attacks drafted by the Central Intelligence Agency.
Liberal former congressman Dennis Kucinich blamed President Obama's Libya policy for the death of four Americans in Benghazi. Kucinich also said the Obama administration politicized the response to Benghazi because they "were in the circumference of an election, and when you get on the eve of an election, everything becomes political. "
CIA director David Petraeus was surprised when he read the freshly rewritten talking points an aide had emailed him in the early afternoon of Saturday, September 15. One day earlier, analysts with the CIA’s Office of Terrorism Analysis had drafted a set of unclassified talking points policymakers could use to discuss the attacks in Benghazi, Libya. But this new version—produced with input from senior Obama administration policymakers—was a shadow of the original.
Even as the White House strove last week to move beyond questions about the Benghazi attacks of Tuesday, September 11, 2012, fresh evidence emerged that senior Obama administration officials knowingly misled the country about what had happened in the days following the assaults.
The White House announced that it intends to nominate Deborah K. Jones to be the next U.S. ambassador to Libya. If confirmed, she'll be the first ambassador to that country since Chris Stevens was murdered in Benghaz, Libya on September 11, 2012.
"Ambassador Deborah K. Jones, Nominee for Ambassador to Libya, Department of State," the White House announcement reads.
John Brennan, President Obama’s nominee to run the Central Intelligence Agency, is getting renewed scrutiny for a highly questionable claim he made during his confirmation hearings last week. On Tuesday, two Republicans on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Marco Rubio and James Risch, wrote to Brennan to request additional information concerning Ali Harzi, a suspect in the attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi.
There weren't many memorable lines in President Obama's State of the Union speech. Indeed, only one leapt out at me: "As long as I’m commander in chief, we will do whatever we must to protect those who serve their country abroad."