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Report: Ambassador Chris Stevens Said He was On Al Qaeda Hit List

“… Witnesses tell CBS News that there was never an anti-American protest outside of the consulate. Instead, they say, it came under planned attack, in direct contradiction of the Administration’s account of the incident.” [CBS NEWS]

AFTER TESTIMONY in front of the Senate yesterday by director of the National Counterterrorism Center Matthew Olsen, who was the first to state the Benghazi raid was a terrorist attack, questions continue to linger on what the Administration and U.S. intelligence officials contend was an unplanned terrorist attack. Coming on 9/11, it’s hard for many to accept this at face value. Now we learn from CNN that Ambassador Chris Stevens “mentioned” he was on an Al Qaeda hit list.

Last Sunday, Libya’s President Mohamed Magariaf on “Face the Nation” emphatically stated it was a “preplanned, determined– predetermined” attack.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Was this a long-planned attack, as far as you know? Or what– what do you know about that?

MOHAMED YOUSEF EL-MAGARIAF: The way these perpetrators acted and moved, I think we– and they’re choosing the specific date for this so-called demonstration, I think we have no– this leaves us with no doubt that this has preplanned, determined– predetermined.

BOB SCHIEFFER: And you believe that this was the work of al Qaeda and you believe that it was led by foreigners. Is that– is that what you are telling us?

MOHAMED YOUSEF EL-MAGARIAF: It was planned– definitely, it was planned by foreigners, by people who– who entered the country a few months ago, and they were planning this criminal act since their– since their arrival.

CBS “This Morning” went so far as to report there would be no answers from the Obama administration “until after the election.” Secy. Clinton will give a classified, closed session briefing to Congress today, but as of Wednesday, the F.B.I. reportedly still hadn’t investigated the crime scene yet, so what she can reveal is unknown.

The Washington Post reported last week that there was early evidence of a planned attack.

Even as evidence was being assembled, the early indications were that the assault had been planned and the attackers had cannily taken advantage of the protest at the consulate.

“Was this a spontaneous act of violence, was this capitalizing on the opportunity posed by [a protest], or was this separate and apart from al-Qaeda?” asked Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), a member of the House intelligence committee. “Any of those are possible,” Schiff said, but accounts of the attack and the firepower employed “indicate something more than a spontaneous protest.”

The AP has reported that Ambassador Chris Stevens was found breathing, but there were no ambulances or any first aid equipment anywhere inside the consulate. The report goes on to say that Libyans drove him to the hospital without knowing who he was.

From McClatchy on Wednesday, one of the few outlets driving the questions surrounding the Benghazi attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens:

Questions about the consulate’s security — and whether the attack was spontaneous or planned in advance by al Qaida or an allied group without being detected by U.S. intelligence — are sensitive ones for President Barack Obama. His claims that his policies have made Americans safer and devastated the core of al Qaida are key planks of his campaign for re-election in November.

His administration has insisted that the assault was spontaneous and grew from a protest inspired by a demonstration at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo against the shoddy online video that denigrates the Prophet Muhammad, the founder of the Islamic faith, and was made in the United States.

The head of Libya’s interim government, key U.S. lawmakers and experts contend that the attack appeared long-planned, complex and well-coordinated, matching descriptions given to McClatchy last week by the consulate’s landlord and a wounded security guard, who denied there was a protest at the time and said the attackers carried the banner of Ansar al Shariah, an Islamist militia.

It’s important to remember the general security situation in Libya since the fall of Gadhafi. Again, from McClatchy:

…Libya remains plagued by armed groups nearly a year after the U.S.-backed ouster of the late dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Yet the facility was primarily defended by local guards who may have been complicit.

… Since the fall of Gadhafi last year, Libya’s security has been dependent on a group of armed militias, including Ansar al Shariah, that represent a wide variety of political strains and interests and remain heavily armed with weapons looted from Gadhafi storehouses. Interior Ministry forces and the Supreme Security Committee have been accused of complicity in recent attacks by Islamic fundamentalists on mosques and shrines affiliated with the moderate Sufi strain of Islam.

Sen. Susan Collins was blunt during Matthew Olsen’s testimony.

“We are relying on foreign nationals, perhaps on a British security firm that has been told to be unarmed, and other more questionable and less secure means of protecting our American personnel,” Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said during the hearing. “I’m just stunned and appalled that there wasn’t better security . . . given the high threat environment.” [McClatchy]

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16 Responses to Report: Ambassador Chris Stevens Said He was On Al Qaeda Hit List

  1. Sasha September 20, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

    Why wait until after the election to release the report?
    The media will be too busy reporting on the 47%

    Which will history remember? 47%, or the fact that the White House lied to America for an entire week about why our ambassador was murdered?

    • angels81 September 20, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

      Show the facts! What facts can you show us where the White House has lied about what happened? Got any links you can direct us to?

      I’m one of the 47% who would like to see the proof.

      • Cujo359 September 20, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

        Go here. Read.

      • Sasha September 20, 2012 at 3:11 pm #

        The shorter. They said it was about a movie, knowing it was a planned terrorist attack on 9/11, that had nothing to do with a movie. Intel was given to the US 3 days before. AlQaeda took responsibility immediately and the PM of Libya said there were no prior protests and the protests that day were a distraction for the attacks. All while Susan Rice went on a media tour blaming… The Film. The White House finally had to report what was being reported around the world.

        The same day Jay Carney admitted the attacks were planned, Obama went on Letterman and continued the narrative that the film was responsible for the attacks. Even going as far as to call the filmmaker a shadowy character who offended the Muslim world.
        They must have decided to release the true story during Obama’s daily intelligence briefing…
        In true “shoot first, aim later”… style..

        and now you have the media in a tizzy.

  2. fangio September 20, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

    Why was he in a building that had no physical security infrastructure; no walls, no bullet proof glass, no escape route? Why during a four hour gun battle were there no re-enforcements? All you have to be is a casual reader of any decent newspaper to know that Libya is a dangerous place with heavily armed militas just about everywhere. Why do you need a temporary consulate anyway; isn’t an Embassy in Tripoli enough. Some of this seems hauntingly like another 9/11; people know things but don’t act on what they know.

    • Cujo359 September 20, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

      The trouble with security is that it works on the philosophy of building walls and keeping the “threat” on one side and the “target” on the other. Since in this case that meant the ambassador, that would not have worked well. Diplomacy can’t be done well from behind walls, at least not the way Chris Stevens is said to have done it. They probably could have had some better preparations, but the basic problem would remain – it’s really hard to be “secure”, and not isolate yourself from the population you’re supposed to be engaged with.

  3. Sasha September 20, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

    Will the taxpayers now get a refund on the Obama Apology ad’s running in the Middle East?

    • secularhumanizinevoluter September 20, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

      Will Bushco give a refund for the destruction of the twin towers and the invasion of Iraq? PLEASE keep posting this drivel, what’s next? Ranting about pedophile campaign personnel?

  4. casualobserver September 20, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

    Yes, it was totally unplanned according to the account filed by the longtime resident BBC correspondent. The report indicated the local Al Qaeda chapter always gets together once a month for pot luck followed by passing around the hookah while voting on the latest YouTube offerings. The report indicates they always meet near the US Embassy so that they can pirate off the Embassy’s wifi router. And just like many American men keep a set of golf clubs in their trunk for a spur of the moment game, Al Qaeda men likewise keep a half dozen RPGs in their trunk for a spur of the moment terrorist attack. All quite unremarkable.

    • Cujo359 September 20, 2012 at 5:23 pm #

      As I wrote the other day, the Obama Administration’s story about this attack struck me as being more like the plot of a Dukes Of Hazard episode than something government officials should be asserting in public. Implausibility doesn’t make what they’re saying false, of course. That air of unreality, when combined with the Libyans, the BBC (really), and Al Jazeera all finding evidence of planning in this attack leads me to think that the OA is, in fact, talking nonsense.

  5. Sasha September 20, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

    Modified old cold war joke:

    After his Inauguration, Former President Bush and President Obama sat down in the oval office and joked around for a few seconds, made some small talk and then Bush looked dead serious. He stood up, walked toward a wall, pushed a bookshelf aside and opened a safe. From it, he pulled two sealed white envelopes marked in bold letters, ENVELOPE I and ENVELOPE II. Bush turned around, faced his replacement and with a smile handed him the two envelopes.

    Obama, a bit puzzled looked at Bush and asked, “I was given the nuclear launch codes earlier. So, what is this?”

    Bush, “Well, these envelopes have vital instructions in them. It is about your political survival. All I can tell you, is to open ENVELOPE I when you reach your first serious political crisis.” Then, Bush stood up, hugged Obama and left.

    Sure enough, the first crisis hit and criticism started to pour in. Obama was cornered and feared for his political life. He remembered the two envelopes, ran to his office and opened the safe, got ENVELOPE I out, just like Bush recommended.

    Inside ENVELOPE I was a small hand-written note. It read, “Blame Everything Thing On Your Predecessor. Good Luck”

    Obama immediately called a press conference and said, “I inherited every bit of this mess. This god awful mess is Bush’s.” Everyone was happy and the crisis passed without being blamed on Obama.

    As luck would have it a few years later, a second crisis hit, as severe as the first one. Everyone was gunning for Obama. A panicky Obama remembered ENVELOPE II. He ran as fast as he could to the oval office and with shaky hands opened the safe, pulled the envelope, and hastily and anxiously opened it and read: “Sit Down Obama. It Is Time To Write Two Letters.”

  6. Sasha September 20, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

    it looks like Obama may want to open W’s 2nd letter…

    • secularhumanizinevoluter September 21, 2012 at 9:10 am #

      Guess he’ll be able to do that on the first day of his second term huh?

      • Sasha September 21, 2012 at 11:12 am #

        IF that turns out to be the case, I won’t mind.
        It would be rather nice to see a U.S. President impeached for legitimate reasons.

        Now I must get back to watching the Muslim riots.
        Did you see the guy burning the new “Obama flag”?
        I see that much like everything else he does, those ads really worked out well…

        …shoot first, aim later…

  7. fangio September 20, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

    It is interesting that once again, as with Iraq, it is McClatchey ( then Knight-Ridder ) that is out front and dependable when it comes to dealing with an administrations lies.


  1. Did Ratings or Duty to Public Pressure CNN to Cross Lines on Stevens Journal? | FavStocks - September 23, 2012

    [...] that Stevens had “also mentioned [Stevens] being on an al Qaeda hit list,” which I wrote about earlier last week, though couldn’t inform via a source, because CNN hadn’t revealed it yet. What no one [...]

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