October 10, 2012. Chaos and violence continue, Nouri spends crazy in
Russia, while Iraq claims they can't pay Kuwait what they owe, the $4
billion plus contract not going to the US is noted by international
observers but the US State Dept plays dumb, the administration's lies
about the attack on the US Consulate in Libya get some exposure, and
US House Rep Mike
Kelly: And I'm kind of surprised. You know, I come from western
Pennsylvania and people look at things in maybe a little different
fashion. When I'm not down here in Washington DC amid all these brains
and all the intelligence and you get back home and you talk to people,
if I were to say to you, Lt Col Wood, "What does 9-11 mean to you?"
Lt Col Andrew Wood: This last 9-11?
US House Rep Mike Kelly: No, just 9-11. Like I would say "December 7th, what does December 7th --," 9-11?
Lt Col Andrew Wood: It's an attack on the United States of America.
US House Rep Mike Kelly: Mr. Nordstrom?
Eric Nordstrom: The same.
US House Rep Mike Kelly: Ms. Lamb?
Charlene R. Lamb: The same.
US House Rep Mike Kelly: Ambassador?
Patrick Kennedy: Absolutely, sir.
House Rep Mike Kelly: Okay, so if you can all connect the dots right
here, why in the heck did it take so long for all these highly briefed
and intelligent people to figure out that it actually wasn't a
15-minute YouTube video? And that it actually was a 9-11 event? A
terrorist attack? I don't know that this stuff about what's classified
and not classified is getting confusing for me because I sat in a
members only briefing and I -- Mr. Chairman, I ask you -- and this is on
September the 20th with Secretary [Hillary] Clinton and some other
personnel -- is this something we're allowed to talk about or not
allowed to talk about?
Darrell Issa: Uh, if it was in a classified setting, the only thing
that I would think that would be appropriate is any inconsistencies
you've seen in testimonies today you could relate. Otherwise, the
specifics, I couldn't judge it --
House Rep Mike Kelly: Okay. Well it comes down to this: What caused
this? And Ms. Lamb, I read through your testimony and it would be
horrible to sit there and watch it, in real time, what was going on.
And I read another account -- this is kind of strange -- that same night
-- this is about the Ambassador. At 8:30 pm, the Ambassador said
goodnight to a visiting Turkish diplomat. Outside the compound. And
the streets are empty. But at 9:45 pm, noises, gunfire and an explosion
were heard by the agents located in the TOC building and -- TOC in
building B. It is absolutely preposterous to me that we would watch
Ambassador Rice go out and say what happened five days later, that I
would sit in a briefing and was [told], 'No, you have it all wrong.
This is not a terrorist attack. This is a result of a 15-minute
YouTube.' Now we are either in denial or, unfortunately, and I know
some of the members are concerned because I got to tell you, it's very
unfortunate that terrorists don't recognize that this is an election
year. And they tend to just do what they want anytime they want to us.
And when we have a weakened position around the world, and when we
leave our embassies and our consulates as unprotected as we do and then
we say, "You know what? This is terrible because this is 27 days before
an election, why are we bringing it up now?" And I ask the same
question, where the heck were we before 9-11, this 9-11? Why weren't
we questioning it then? My goodness, 230 security incidents in Libya
between June of 2011 and July of 2012. Of those attacks, 48 took place
in Benghazi. 2 of which at the US diplomatic compound and the scene of
the September 11, 2012 attacks and we are still saying, 'I think it's
the result of the video that was on YouTube'? And this is based on
intelligence? Now, listen, I gotta' ask you Ambassador Kinney because
you say you couldn't possibly have had a different idea about it than
Secretary Rice did when she went before the nation on September 16th.
I'm going to tell you, this thing smells. From every single angle. If
it waddles like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck. And for you
to come in here and say, "Well, it was based on some of the things I
knew but I can't tell you all that I knew"? We've got four Americans
dead. And I'm gonna' tell you. It's very upsetting for me to go back
home and look at those people in the eye. People who don't do what we
do hear with all the intelligence and all the briefings, just guys that
go out and work every day and women that go out and work every day and
they can come home and they can figure it out? But we're still trying
to figure it out? And you watch it in real time? And the account
wasn't there that night of the ambassador saying goodbye to a Turkish
friend outside the gates and everything was quiet? But, my goodness,
those terrorists or those Islamic extremists got a hold of that video
and between 8:30 and 9:40 they decided to just go crazy? And Africa's
on fire? And, Mr. Nordstrom, thank you for pointing out, as Mr. [Mitt]
Romney did, that hope is not a strategy. And I feel sorry for you and
Lt Col Wood to have to come here because it is you who are on the
ground. You're not watching in some far away room in real time, you're
people are there in real time. We've watched our colleagues be killed.
And the question doesn't become "What is it that we didn't know?" It
is because we have become lax. We have dumbed down. We have turned down
That was from this
morning's House Oversight Committee hearing in the September 11, 2012
terrorist attack on the US Consulate in Libya in which Glen Doherty,
Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith and Tyrone Woods were killed.
Darrell Issa is the Committee Chair. Appearing before them were the
State Dept's Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Programs
Charlene R. Lamb, the State Dept's always less than truthful Patrick
Kennedy (Under Secretary for Management), Regional Security Officer Eric
Nordstrom, and the US military's Lt Col Andrew Wood.
days after the attack on the consulate, the White House spun that it
was due to a 'movie' that turned out to be a YouTube clip -- not before
the compliant press was offering up least one individual who was
yammering away that he'd seen the entire movie. Susan Rice went on the
Sunday public affairs shows five days after the atack to continue to
insist that the YouTube video caused a protest in Libya, the protesters
got out of hand and that was what happened to the US Consulate in Libya
and why four Americans were killed.
that period, we got speeches about tolerance and bad YouTube and the
White House tried to bully YouTube into taking the clip down. The lies
never stopped. Nor did US President Barack Obama's campaigning -- which
incorporated the lies. Immediatly after the attacks -- which are seen
as an attack by al Qaeda -- Barack jetted off to Las Vegas for
fundraisers and campaign rallies. It was in Las Vegas that he boasted,
"A day after 9/11, we are reminded that a new tower rises above the New
York skyline, but al Qaeda is on the path to defeat and bin Laden is
Guess when you're claiming to have
finished off al Qaeda, the truth that it was a terrorist attack on the
Libyan consulate doesn't fit with your spin or your campaign rhetoric.
And that's how a lie takes hold. Barack would then rush off to a
campaign event in Colorado where he would repeat the same boast, "And
while a new tower rises above the New York skyline, al Qaeda is on the
path to defeat, and Osama bin Laden is dead."
Four days later in his weekly address (September 15th), he would note the attack, refer to the "angry mob" and declare:
tragic attack takes place at a time of turmoil and protest in many
different countries. I have made it clear that the United States has a
profound respect for people of all faiths. We stand for religious
freedom. And we reject the denigration of any religion – including
Yet there is never any justification
for violence. There is no religion that condones the targeting of
innocent men and women. There is no excuse for attacks on our Embassies
and Consulates. And so long as I am Commander-in-Chief, the United
States will never tolerate efforts to harm our fellow Americans.
it wasn't an "angry mob" and it wasn't a reaction of offense to a
YouTube video that led to the attack. Barack was wording carefully the
way Bush did. Because Barack knew he was selling a lie. So he uses
inference to indicate that the attack was a mob of protesters, angered
that a video had insulted their religion. The next day, September
16th, Susan Rice would appear on CBS Face The Nation
SCHIEFFER: And joining us now, Susan Rice, the U.N. ambassador, our
U.N. ambassador. Madam Ambassador, he says this is something that has
been in the planning stages for months. I understand you have been
saying that you think it was spontaneous? Are we not on the same page
RICE (Ambassador to the United Nations): Bob, let me tell you what we
understand to be the assessment at present. First of all, very
importantly, as you discussed with the President, there is an
investigation that the United States government will launch led by the
FBI, that has begun and--
BOB SCHIEFFER (overlapping): But they are not there.
RICE: They are not on the ground yet, but they have already begun
looking at all sorts of evidence of-- of various sorts already available
to them and to us. And they will get on the ground and continue the
investigation. So we'll want to see the results of that investigation to
draw any definitive conclusions. But based on the best information we
have to date, what our assessment is as of the present is in fact what
began spontaneously in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired
some hours earlier in Cairo where, of course, as you know, there was a
violent protest outside of our embassy--
BOB SCHIEFFER: Mm-Hm.
RICE: --sparked by this hateful video. But soon after that spontaneous
protest began outside of our consulate in Benghazi, we believe that it
looks like extremist elements, individuals, joined in that-- in that
effort with heavy weapons of the sort that are, unfortunately, readily
now available in Libya post-revolution. And that it spun from there into
something much, much more violent.
BOB SCHIEFFER: But you do not agree with him that this was something that had been plotted out several months ago?
RICE: We do not-- we do not have information at present that leads us
to conclude that this was premeditated or preplanned.
She'd go NBC's Meet The Press the same day
and declare, "This is a response to a hateful and offensive video that
was widely disseminated throughout the Arab and Muslim world Obviously,
our view is that there is absolutely no excuse for violence and that --
what has happened is condemnable, but this is a -- spontenaeous
reaction to a video, and it's not dissimilar but, perhaps, on a slightly
larger scale than what we have seen in the past with The Satanic Verses
with the cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad. Now, the United States has
made very clear and the president has been very plain that our top
priority is the protection of American personnel in our facilities and
bringing to justice those who attacked our facilitiy in Benghazi."
by host David Gregory, Susan Rice stuck to the lie and insisted "our
current assessment is that what happened in Benghazi was in fact
initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours
before in Cairo, almost a copycat of -- of the demonstrations against
our facility in Cairo, which were prompted, of course by the video."
She'd go on other shows that day and stick to the cover story, the lie,
that a YouTube video caused an angry group of protesters to attack the
US Consulate in Libya, resulting in the deaths of four Americans.
Pointing the finger at a man who was seen as a hate merchant (the one
responsible for the video -- I say "seen as a hate merchant" because I
haven't viewed the video and have no intention of every watching it)
gave the White House a scapegoat. And they really needed one because
security precautions were not taken.
Carney picked up the lie ("It is in response to a video, a film that we
have judged to be reprehensible and disgusting," September 14th press
briefing). But it's Carney's spinning on September 18th that really
took it to another level:
Q Jay, I
want to go back to Libya. On September 10th, you put out a press
release saying that the President had a meeting with senior officials to
figure out the security posture around the 9/11 anniversary. And in
that press release you said that "steps were taken to protect U.S.
persons and facilities abroad. The President reiterated that
departments and agencies must do everything possible to protect the
American people both at home and abroad." So in retrospect, given the
tragedy, did the administration drop the ball on what you promised on
September 10th that you had improved security at these installations?
CARNEY: They were numerous steps taken, as there have been every year
on the anniversary of 9/11, and as there have been at different times on
the calendar when it is judged by the experts that taking additional
steps, security steps, is the right thing to do. As for specific
measures taken at specific facilities, diplomatic facilities, I would
refer you to the State Department.
Separate from the FBI investigation you mentioned to Mary a few moments
ago, is there any sort of inquiry going on here at the White House
among the President's national security team to get to the bottom of --
you told the American people on September 10th, "We've taken steps to
protect Americans here at home and abroad." Obviously, with four
Americans tragically being killed, the steps were not good enough. So
is there an inquiry going on here to figure out what went wrong?
CARNEY: Well, I think that you're conveniently conflating two things,
which is the anniversary of 9/11 and the incidents that took place,
which are under investigation in terms of what --
Q Which happened on the anniversary.
MR. CARNEY: -- which are under investigation, and the cause and motivation behind them will be decided by that investigation.
is certainly -- I would point you to what Ambassador Rice said and
others have said about what we know thus far about the video and its
influence on the protests that occurred in Cairo, in Benghazi and
elsewhere. And all I can tell you is that steps are taken, both seen
and unseen, in advance of and in preparation for times like the
anniversary of 9/11 when it is judged that there might be greater
threats. And those steps are based on the threat assessments that we
have at the time. But I would refer you in terms of specific security
for specific facilities to the State Department.
18th, two days later, and Carney was pointing to Susan Rice's b.s. to
provide cover for an administration -- one in which the president was
already accused of not receiving the daily intelligence briefing because
he allegedly wanted to do other things. Susan Rice put out the story
the White House wanted. Once the story was out there, the White House
would repeatedly reference Rice.
Reporting on today's hearing, Jake Tapper and Mary Bruce (ABC News) note
Lt Col Wood testified he was removed from Libya in August "against his
wishes and, he says, the wishes of the late Ambassador Chris Stevens."
that when he heard of the attack on the Benghazi post on September 11,
it was "instantly recognizable" that it had been a terrorist attack.
because of my prior knowledge there," Wood said. "I almost expected the
attack to come. We were the last flag flying. It was a matter of time."
cable, written by then Amb. Gene Cretz, noted that three Mobile
Security Detachments [MSD], consisting of 18 personnel, and the Site
Security Team [SST], consisting of 16 personnel, were about to leave
their temporary assignments. He said that the Libya mission needed both
an extension of those forces and an increase in the number of permanent
security officials in Libya.
We're going to note another exchange in today's hearing:
House Rep Dennis Ross: Mr. Nordstrum, earlier in your testimony you
were discussing your recollection of the conversation that you had had
with two agents in the room regarding the denial of the extension of the
SST. Now it was your understanding that you were not to request an
extension at that point, is that correct?
Eric Nordstrom: That's correct.
US House Rep Dennis Ross: And who was on the other end of the line that told you that?
Eric Nordstrom: I was on the telephone call with DS Lamb [DSLAM?].
US House Rep Dennis Ross: Was Ms. Lamb on the phone call with you?
Eric Nordstrom: That is DS Lamb.
US House Rep Dennis Ross: Okay, sorry. So she did tell you that?
Eric Nordstrom: That's correct.
House Rep Dennis Ross: Okay. Now she, just the other day in an
interview with the Committee, indicated that on your July 9th cable to
Washington requesting security personnel, you didn't formally request an
SST extension, in fact, you just made a recommendation. Can you
explain that there's a difference between recommendation and request?
Eric Nordstrom: In Post felt that that was a pretty clear request for resources.
US House Rep Dennis Ross: Had you done it before with the idea that it was a request?
Eric Nordstrom: I believe it was also titled "Request For Continued TDY Staffing."
US House Rep Dennis Ross: And it was a denial of that extension?
Eric Nordstrom: Well actually, we never actually received a response.
US House Rep Dennis Ross: Other than -- other than that phone conference that you were on?
Eric Nordstrom: Correct. We never received a response to that cable.
House Rep Dennis Ross: And as a result of that phone conference where
you were denied, did you seek any further effort to follow up or make a
Nordstrom: I believe actually, to clarify, the telephone call was
prior to sending in the cable. What we decided since we continued to get
resistance, instead of specifically asking for SST or MSD or whatever,
we just said, 'You know what, give us the thirteen bodies, where ever
they come from.' And that's the way in which we crafted the cable.
House Rep Dennis Ross: Now Ms. Lamb, you testified in an interview
with this Committee that you trusted your RSOs in the field such as Mr.
Nordstrom. Now how do you square that statement with you telling Mr.
Nordstrom that you would not support an extension of the SST?
Charlene Lamb: The cable that he sent in indicated that any of the categories --
US House Rep Dennis Ross: But before the cable was the phone conversation.
Charlene Lamb: That's -- that's correct.
US House Rep Dennis Ross: And you wouldn't support his request or recommendation at that time.
Lamb: Because we had Department of State diplomatic security assets
that could do the same functions of the remaining --
US House Rep Dennis Ross: And that was explained to him as well?
Charlene Lamb: Yes, sir.
US House Rep Dennis Ross: Now, Lt Col Wood, I understand that you were the senior officer of the SST team. Is that correct?
Lt Col Andrew Wood: That's correct, sir.
House Rep Dennis Ross: And do you have any reason to believe that if
you had to go up your chain of command at AFRICOM for a request from the
State Dept that they extend the tour of duty of an SST, that your chain
of command would not grant that?
Col Andrew Wood: Absolutely Gen [Carter F.] Ham was fully supportive of
extending the SST as long as they felt they needed them.
US House Rep Dennis Ross: So the resources were available for the SST?
Lt Col Andrew Wood: Absolutely.
US House Rep Dennis Ross: And had they been there, they would have made a difference, would they not?
Lt Col Andrew Wood: They made a difference every day they were there, when I was there, sir. They were a deterrent effect.
Turning to Iraq where Alsumaria reports
violence today included a Baghdad roadside bombing which injured a
police officer, a Baghdad armed clash at a checkpoint which left 1
soldier dead, and there were 12 mass arrests.
has had a wave of executions, at least 23 since Thursday with more
death row prisoners just moved from Tikrit to Baghdad. Today Human Rights Watch issued a call
for a moratorium on the death penalty in Iraq:
Serious questions about whether Iraq's justice system meets international fair trial standards highlight the urgent need for a moratorium on capital punishment.
Iraqi authorities executed six prisoners with no prior notice on
October 4, 2012, eleven prisoners on October 7, and another six
prisoners on October 8. According to a statement released by Justice
Ministry officials on October 8, Iraq has executed 23 people convicted
of "criminal and terrorist offenses" since October 4, bringing the total
as of Monday's executions to 119 in 2012 and making the country a
leading user of the death penalty in the region.
Iraqi authorities' insistence on carrying out this outrageous string of
executions, while unwilling to reveal all but the barest of
information, underlines the opaque and troubling nature of Iraq's
justice system," said Joe Stork,
deputy director of the Middle East and North Africa division at Human
Rights Watch. "Rather than executing people, Iraq should focus on
reforming its security and judicial systems to protect its citizens from
increasing human rights violations."
officials contend, when challenged about the death penalty, that it is
rooted in cultural tradition. But the prevalence of unfair trials and
torture in detention, particularly in national security and
terrorism-related cases, raises serious concerns and makes the lack of
transparency in Iraq's imposition of the death penalty particularly
egregious, Human Rights Watch said.
Justice Ministry provided few details about the people it executed in
the first week of October. A statement released that day named only one,
Abd al-Rahman Yassin Turky, saying he had been convicted for detonating
a car bomb close to the Foreign Ministry in 2009. The ministry's
statement said that another of those executed was one of the prisoners
who escaped from Tikrit prison at the end of September, who had been
"recently re-apprehended by security forces." The statement provided no
further details on the identities of those executed, saying only that
all had been convicted of offenses punishable under the counterterrorism
law. The Ministry provided no details about the people executed on
October 7, stating only that they had been convicted of terrorism after
"carrying out killings and explosions against the Iraqi people." In a
statement released on October 8, the ministry provided the initials of
two of those executed, claiming they had been convicted of kidnapping
and murder. The other four persons were convicted of terrorism charges,
according to the statement, which otherwise gave no identifying
information about the people executed on Monday.
government should disclose the identities, locations, and status of all
prisoners on death row, the crimes for which they have been convicted,
the evidence supporting their conviction, and details of any impending
executions," Stork said.
They also need to put a moratorium in place on false boasting. AFP reports
"Iraq insisted on Wednesday its oil output could reach up to 10 million
barrels per day by 2020, far highter than a prediction from the
International Energy Agency which outlined several risks." Whether this
is possible or not, it is a comedown from the previous promise by Nouri
al-Maliki's Cabinet that they'd be at 17 million barrels per day in
four years. And of the IEA report, Kirsten Korosec (Smart Planet) observes
outlook provided by the IEA isn't all sunshine and rainbows. How this
plays out will be highly dependent on the speed at which impediments to
investment are removed, market conditions and Iraq's ability to maintain
political stability and develop its workforce, the IEA said. It also
will require substantial investment in oil infrastructure, roads and the
country's decrepit electricity grid.
electricity grid is especially problematic. Prolonged power outages
occur daily in many parts of the country. The IEA estimates Iraq needs
70 percent more net power generation capacity to meet demand. The
country will have to install 70 gigawatts of generation capacity and
move away from a predominantly oil-fired power mix to efficient
gas-fired generation, the IEA said.
means, Iraq will have to invest a lot into the energy sector — an
average of $25 billion per year through 2020 — if it hopes to meet its
All that oil, all that income, and the Iraqi government wants to whine it can't pay its bills? A. Saleh (Kuwait Times) reports
that, pleading that rebuilding Iraq's infrastructure will be costly,
Iraq is moving to reduce the compensation payments they owe to Kuwait.
just don't have the money, you understand, to pay compensation for
their war on Kuwait, even though the United Nations has ordered
compensation be paid. They just don't have the money. But Prensa Latina observes
"Russia will deliver gun-missile Pantsir-S and combat helicopters
Mi-28NE air-defense systems to Iraq in arms deals worth $4.2 billion
signed earlier this year, said the government today." Defense World adds
"The contracts, among the biggest ever signed between Iraq and Russia,
were signed in April, July and August by Iraq's acting defense minister,
according to documents released on Tuesday during al-Maliki's visit."
Ilya Arkhipov (Bloomberg News) explains
, "The deals are the biggest military contacts since the 2003 U.S.-led overthrow of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein." M.K. Bahdrakumar (Asia Times) shared
stunning news will send US politicians into a tizzy. Reports say the
phone kept ringing in Maliki's office in Baghdad as soon as it
transpired that he was to travel to Moscow and something big could be in
the works. Queries were coming in from the US State Department and the
National Security Council as to what warranted such a trip at this point
The point is, Maliki still remains an enigma for
Washington. He is no doubt a friend of the US, but he is also possibly
more than a friend of Iran. Now, it seems, he is also fond of Russia -
as Saddam Hussein used to be.
At the State Dept yesterday, spokesperson Victoria Nuland appeared eager to prove she could lie about things other than Libya
Yes. I wonder if you could comment on the military sale deal with –
between Iraq and Russia. Because last week I asked about the – what kind
of sales are in the pipeline and why they are taking so long. I'm
talking about the FMF – the military sales to Iraq program, the American
military sale. But it seems that they are taking a step ahead and
concluding a deal with Russia.MS. NULAND: Well, first of
all, with regard to U.S.-Iraqi military support, Iraq overall has
initiated some 467 foreign military sales cases with the United States.
If all of these go forward, it will be worth over $12.3 billion, so
obviously our own military support relationship with Iraq is very broad
and very deep.We've seen the press reporting that one of
the subjects on Prime Minister Maliki's agenda for his Moscow trip is
military sales, but I'll have to send you to the Russians for what it is
in particular they're talking about.QUESTION: But aren't
you at least annoyed that Iraq, after so much U.S. investment in blood
and treasure, is actually going to conduct a deal or sign a deal with
Russia on – over military sales going back – a throwback to the Cold War
era?MS. NULAND: Again, Said, we're doing some $12.3
billion worth of military business with Iraq, so I don't think one needs
to be concerned about that relationship being anything but the
strongest. With regard to what they may be seeking from the Russians, I
would send you to the Russians and to the Iraqis.
spinning, Nuland, keep spinning. A four billion dollar deal? Do you
know how many jobs that would mean in the US? Do you realize how many
trillions the US government has poured into Iraq (most for war, yes, but
it was the illegal war that allowed them to put the chicken s**t exile
Nouri al-Maliki into place as a leader)? Do you realize how many
billions the State Dept continues to spend in Iraq? And Russia got the
four billion contract? Good for Russian workers and their economy but
don't pretend that a four billion dollar contract wouldn't have resulted
in a ton of jobs in the United States. Dmitry Babich (Voice of Russia) offers
"Interestingly, Iraq's unexpectedly independent stance sheds a new
light on the American occupation of Iraq and its consequences.
Obviously, instead of a strong ally, free of Iranian influence and
completely drawn into the orbit of American influence, Washington has
got in Baghdad the exact opposite of its desires." The White House that
overturned the 2010 Iraq election results to keep Nouri prime minister
can't even get a moderate return on their investment.
Amid a visit to Russia, Mr. Maliki has warned Turkey not to blow-up its differences with Syria and drag NATO into the conflict.
veiled support for the Syrian government came soon after Baghdad
revived its military ties with Moscow. Mr. Maliki, a close ally of Iran,
asserted that Syria was not threatening Turkey, which should not seek
Thursday's vice presidential debate in Kentucky reads like bad joke:
The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) has pledged to "provide the best possible information to viewers and listeners,"
but continues to refuse an open and fair debate with all candidates on
enough ballots to win -- guaranteeing we will not see any women, poor,
or working people behind the podium.
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