By Michael Collins
“My tendency is to cut folks a little bit of slack when they’re in that circumstance rather than try to question their judgment from the comfort of a campaign office,” the president said. “It appears that Governor Romney didn’t have his facts right,” he continued, according to the transcript. Pres. Barack Obama, NBC, September 13, 2012
This is an intelligent and appropriate stance in response to the Benghazi murders and the Egyptian crowd attack on the U.S. Embassy. Image
Despite the headlines, the murders in Benghazi, U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and U.S. personnel, and the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Cairo may be due to causes other than the anti-Muslim film trailer.
Before we’re subject to a knee jerk reaction to the initial presentation of events, let’s consider a few of the known facts.
The man in charge of the police function in Benghazi, Libya, site of the murder of four United States personnel was reported to have said this:Wissam Buhmeid, the commander of the Tripoli government-sanctioned Libya’s Shield Brigade, effectively a police force for Benghazi, maintained that it was anger over the Mohamed video which made the guards abandon their post. “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.” Revealed: Inside Story of U.S. Envoy’s Assassination, The Independent, Sept 13, 2012
Buhmeid is using the film trailer to excuse his own police for lax security. He may or may not know the motivations of his officers but he’s is demonstrably correct on what allowed events to move forward – lax security. With that as a given, maybe we should look a step beyond and ask if the lax security was planned by Mr. Buhmeid and others in the Libyan government.
Senior officials are increasingly convinced, however, that the ferocious nature of the Benghazi attack, in which rocket-propelled grenades were used, indicated it was not the result of spontaneous anger due to the video, called Innocence of Muslims. Patrick Kennedy, Under-Secretary at the State Department, said he was convinced the assault was planned due to its extensive nature and the proliferation of weapons. Revealed: Inside Story of U.S. Envoy’s Assassination, The Independent, Sept 13, 2012
The initial word from the State Department is that the attack looked preplanned and had little to do with the trailer.
The preplanned harassment of U.S. personnel is even more apparent in the riots outside of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo. The Cairo police and Egyptian Army are more than willing to exert real force for crowd control. The Army stood aside as Tahrir Square demonstrators were assaulted by weapon carrying thugs in the original antigovernment protests last year.
“The crowd grew throughout the evening with thousands standing outside the embassy. Dozens of riot police lined up along the embassy walls but did not stop protesters as they continued to climb and stand on the wall.” Egyptian Protesters Scale U.S. Embassy Wall in Cairo, AP, September 11, 2012
Libya looks like a preplanned event. The neglect of Egyptian police to stop an attack on the U.S. Embassy was undeniably preplanned.
The media and those who accept media assumptions without question see these attacks as a result of the anti-Muslim film trailer. How do they know?
You can’t have it both ways. If these were preplanned anti-U.S. events, then the trailer was just an excuse. The media and uncritical observers are simply furthering the storyline of the planners. If the event were spontaneous reactions to an offensive video, then any evidence of preplanning has to be thrown out. Right now, it can’t. It’s there for the Cairo embassy attacks and strongly suspected for the murders in Benghazi, the focus should be on the President of Egypt and the leader of Benghazi police.