Vocativ deep web analysts discovered the ISIS posts on web forums where the extremists frequently share information….(read more)
At least 16 people died and 50 were wounded in Libya in four days of clashes between rival factions in the southern city of Sabha, a health official said on Sunday.
According to residents and local reports, the latest bout of violence erupted between two tribes after an incident in which a monkey that belonged to a shopkeeper from the Gaddadfa tribe attacked a group of schoolgirls who were passing by.
The monkey pulled off one of the girls’ head scarf, leading men from the Awlad Suleiman tribe to retaliate by killing three people from the Gaddadfa tribe as well as the monkey, according to a resident who spoke to Reuters.
City officials could not be reached to confirm the accounts.
“There was an escalation on the second and third days with the use of tanks, mortars and other heavy weapons,” the resident told Reuters by telephone, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the denigrating security situation. Read the rest of this entry »
Byron York writes:
…In the most recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, 73 percent of registered voters said the country is on the wrong track, while just 18 percent said it is headed in the right direction. The 73 percent figure is the second-highest in the president’s nearly eight years in office.
The poll was no outlier. These are the wrong-track numbers for the last ten polls in the RealClearPolitics average of polls: 67, 70, 67, 71, 73, 69, 79, 68, 60 and 66.
And yet, in spite of clear evidence that a majority of Americans believe the U.S. is headed in the wrong direction, the president exhorted the nation, “Thank you for this incredible journey — let’s keep it going.”
Obama spoke as if broad areas of American life are better than ever, even if there remains work to be done. Read the rest of this entry »
Jim McDermott Retires – Seattle Times
[Also see – Before he reached out to the IRS, Rep. Jim McDermott reached out to Saddam Hussein – spectator.org]
[More – We don’t call him “Baghdad Jim” for nothing – Michelle Malkin]
REWIND: March 26, 2008, Michelle Malkin writes:
Back in 2002, Stephen Hayes reported on how Baghdad Democrats David Bonior, Jim McDermott, and Mike Thompson took a trip to Iraq in the run up to the invasion and followed up with a report on how Saddam’s cash paid for the junkets.
Now, the AP has a new report on the payments:
Federal prosecutors say Saddam Hussein’s intelligence agency secretly financed a trip to Iraq for three U.S. lawmakers during the run-up to the U.S.-led invasion.
An indictment in Detroit accuses Muthanna Al-Hanooti of arranging for three members of Congress to travel to Iraq in October 2002 at the behest of Saddam’s regime. Prosecutors say Iraqi intelligence officials paid for the trip through an intermediary.
In exchange, Al-Hanooti allegedly received 2 million barrels of Iraqi oil. Read the rest of this entry »
Vocativ deep web analysts discovered the ISIS posts on web forums where the extremists frequently share information….(read more)
From Michael Bay comes 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. In theatres January 15th. When everything went wrong, six men had the courage to do what was right.
Nonetheless, the committee’s work is utterly serious, its preparations extensive (and extensively stonewalled by Mrs. Clinton’s team) and its mission vital to our fight against still-metastasizing Islamist terrorism. Much is at stake. The hearing’s focus must be on the key policy and leadership implications of the mistakes made before, during and after the murders of Amb. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans on Sept. 11 three years ago.
Before the attack, there was ample warning that the U.S. consulate in Benghazi wasn’t secure, with terrorist threats in the area multiplying. Even the International Red Cross had pulled out of Benghazi. After a string of requests from the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli for more security, in mid-August came a joint Embassy-CIA recommendation to move the State Department’s people into the CIA’s Benghazi compound. The State Department in Washington was invariably unresponsive, even though, as Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey later testified, the rising terrorist threat in Libya was well known.
[Order John Bolton’s book “Surrender is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad” from Amazon.com]
Given her self-proclaimed central role in deposing dictator Moammar Gadhafi, why was Mrs. Clinton so detached from the deteriorating situation in Libya? She has so far dodged the issue, pawning off such “technical” matters on her subordinates. Working in the State Department in 1990 when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, I saw firsthand how Secretary of State James Baker dived into every detail of safeguarding U.S. diplomats stranded in Kuwait City. If earlier secretaries of state have been perfectly prepared to get their fingernails dirty in operational details when those under their responsibility were threatened, why wasn’t Mrs. Clinton?
[Read the full text here, at WSJ]
Libya was no backwater for Mrs. Clinton. It was one of President Obama’s highest foreign-policy priorities, touted by the administration as evidence of successfully “leading from behind,” averting a Gadhafi bloodbath through “humanitarian intervention,” and with democracy and stability to follow. So acknowledging that precisely the opposite was happening, and appropriately increasing security in Libya, would demonstrate failure. That was politically unacceptable.
As the crisis unfolded that day in Benghazi, with violence also erupting in Tunis, Cairo and potentially elsewhere, Mrs. Clinton disappeared. Instead of staying at her desk, “on the bridge” of the State Department’s seventh floor, Mrs. Clinton literally left the building. Why? Read the rest of this entry »
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton faces questions from the House Select Committee on Benghazi Thursday. WSJ’s Shelby Holliday breaks down all you need to know, including the main characters and various plot lines of this Capitol Hill drama.
Representative Trey Gowdy, Republican of South Carolina, said Hillary Clinton’s “unusual email arrangement” complicated the investigation into the attack in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012.
Wouldn’t you like to know why four Americans were murdered in Benghazi? #idliketoask #stophillaryfb.com/stophillarypac | http://www.stophillarypac.org
Just as email-gate looked to be winding down, RadarOnline.com has exclusively learned a person claiming to be a computer specialist has come forward with the stunning news that 32,000 emails from Hillary Clinton‘s private email account are up for sale. The price
tag — a whopping $500,000!
Promising to give the trove of the former Secretary of State’s emails to the highest bidder, the specialist is showing subject lines as proof of what appear to be legitimate messages.
“Hillary or someone from her camp erased the outbox containing her emails, but forgot to erase the emails that were in her sent box,” an insider reveals to Radar of the Presidential contender’s latest nightmare. Read the rest of this entry »
David Francis writes: So far, the State Department, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, has released just a small sampling of 55,000 pages of email from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s home internet server. The timing of the releases have been less than ideal: The first batch was released on the afternoon of May 22, the Friday before the long Memorial Day weekend. The second came late in the evening, on June 30, less than an ideal time for reporters to dig in to find a story.
According to U.S. District Judge Richard Leon, the pace of the releases, just like their timing, is also less than ideal.
“Now, any person should be able to review that in one day — one day,” the judge said at a Wednesday hearing, while reviewing an Associated Press request for the release of just over 60 emails. “Even the least ambitious bureaucrat could do this.”
[Read the full text here, at ForeignPolicy.com, and more at the New York Daily News]
[Noah Rothman on the Media’s Favorite Framing Device: ‘Republican Reaction’ Stories]
House Select Committee on Benghazi Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., charged on Friday that the State Department gave his committee thousands of pages of press clippings in response to a subpoena that was issued in March.
For some reason, Gowdy said, some of those press clippings included articles about actor Richard Gere….(read more)
Paul Coombs writes: I spent the morning of London’s Pride parade hand-stitching dildos onto a flag.
I’d been using the sex-toy motif in my work before I made a flag of Isis out of them and brought it to the march. Previously, I’ve attached dildos onto postcards from each country where homosexuality is still illegal to point out that the laws of these places regards its gay residents as mere sex objects.
The decision to make the flag was a simple one: a sense of outrage at Isis’s brutal advance across North Africa, Libya, Syria and Iraq. Medieval ideologies and barbarism were being spread and recorded
through that most modern of expressions, social media, with that flag ever-present. It has become a potent symbol of brutality, fear and sexual oppression. If I wanted to try and stimulate a dialogue about
the ridiculousness of this ideology, the flag was key.
It was important that I didn’t try to replicate the writing on the flag, because the words and their subject – Islam – are not the target. But if I showed as little respect to this flag as Isis shows to the religion and people they claim to represent so that when people saw it they would think, “dildos”? Would that be a crazy idea?
The Pride festival is a pure celebration of the finest aspects of humanity: of tolerance, togetherness, acceptance and liberation, the polar opposite of what Isis stands for. If there was anywhere where my flag had a voice, it was there. And I had an invitation to march in the parade with a friend involved with “Alien Sex Club”, an art project exploring the HIV syndemic by John Walter. Read the rest of this entry »
Mokhtar Belmokhtar and other fighters were killed in the operation, a statement from Libya‘s government said.
However, there have been several false reports of his death in the past.
The Pentagon said it had targeted a “mid-level” al-Qaeda operative, giving few details.
It said Saturday’s operation had been successful but did not name the target, saying officials were still assessing whether it had been successful.
Born in Algeria, Belmokhtar was a former senior figure in al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), but left to form his own militia. Read the rest of this entry »
Andrew Stiles reports: A charity run by Czech supermodel Petra Nemcova donated $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation in 2014 after Bill Clinton agreed to accept a lifetime achievement award from the organization…
The New York Times reports…
To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Petra Nemcova, a Czech model who survived the disaster by clinging to a palm tree, decided to pull out all the stops for the annual fund-raiser of her school-building charity, the Happy Hearts Fund…
…She booked Cipriani 42nd Street, which greeted guests with Bellini cocktails on silver trays. She flew in Sheryl Crow with her band and crew for a 20-minute set. She special-ordered heart-shaped floral centerpieces, heart-shaped chocolate parfaits, heart-shaped tiramisù and, because orange is the charity’s color, an orange carpet rather than a red one… Read the rest of this entry »
The State Department released Friday its first round of emails from Hillary Clinton’s time as Secretary of State, offering a new look at her handling of the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
The roughly 300 emails, about 850 pages, are part of the 30,000 that she turned over to State from her private email server, which she used almost exclusively to conduct both private and public business during her time at State.
“The emails we release today do not change the essential facts or our understanding of the events before, during, or after the attacks,” the State Department tweeted shortly after the announcement.
Facing considerable backlash and deep skepticism over her use of a private server as she makes her second bid for the White House, Clinton asked State to make her emails public this past March, and repeated her public push to have them released on the campaign trail this week.
The State Department initially planned to release them in January 2016, but a federal judge ruled this week that there should be a “rolling production” of the emails, and they must be disclosed publicly in batches before then. Clinton called for State to expedite their release this week in Iowa, saying “nobody has a bigger interest in getting [the emails] released than I do.”
— Trey Gowdy
A congressional panel investigating the Benghazi attacks, meanwhile, has had the emails related to Benghazi and Libya since February.
Details of Clinton’s email habits that have trickled out over the past few months suggest she used email sparingly, mostly for logistics and to forward information to aides. She’s said previously that she was careful to never use email to exchange classified information, and the initial batch isn’t expected to show otherwise — the highest classification of messages was “sensitive but unclassified.”
On Thursday, the New York Times published a portion of the emails relating to Benghazi, which include a handful from controversial Clinton ally Sidney Blumenthal tipping Clinton off to volatile conditions on the ground in Libya, including one blaming the Benghazi attacks on an anti-Muslim video, which he later walked back. Read the rest of this entry »
An Italian coast guard ship brought the bodies of 24 victims of what could be the Mediterranean’s deadliest migrant tragedy to Malta on Monday, according to the Maltese army. Mark Kelly reports.
CATANIA, Italy — Manuela Mesco reports: Last week, people smugglers near Tripoli loaded almost 900 Africans and Middle Easterners onto a rickety, wooden fishing boat, turning away as many as 200 others who had hoped to board and make the passage to Italy. The migrants had endured weeks or months of deprivation, with some detained and beaten for months by the smugglers.
— Enrico Vitiello, a 22-year-old medical assistant who was aboard one of the rescue vessels
Their ordeal became a tragedy as the ship sank on the weekend, leaving an estimated 850 people dead in what now appears to be the gravest single episode in the mass exodus of migrants across the Mediterranean to Europe.
The 66-foot boat was dangerously overloaded, with many on board—especially women and children—squeezing into the lower decks for the journey. Mohammed Ali Malek, a 27-year-old Tunisian, took the helm and headed for Italy.
On Saturday, about 60 miles from the Libyan coast, the boat issued a distress call—possibly in a true emergency, possibly using a common practice for drawing rescue vessels to take migrants to Italy. Officials at the Italian Coast Guard command center in Rome, consulting a giant screen that tracks the location of all private and official vessels in the area, immediately ordered the King Jacob, a Portuguese merchant ship, to the scene.
— Giuseppe Pomilla, a doctor on the scene
As it approached, according to Coast Guard officials, the migrants rushed to one side of their decrepit boat, making it list dangerously. Around the same time, the two vessels collided and the migrants’ boat quickly tipped over, according to accounts from survivors and Italian prosecutors. It sank so quickly that hundreds of people crammed into the lower decks had no chance to escape.
The Italians quickly dispatched 17 other vessels, including Coast Guard cutters, Maltese Navy ships and fishing boats, to the scene to search for survivors. They found wooden fragments, floating life jackets, an oil slick, and many bodies.
“We had to literally slalom among the corpses,” Enrico Vitiello, a 22-year-old medical assistant who was aboard one of the rescue vessels, said on Tuesday. “They were everywhere.”
[read the full text here, at WSJ]
Giuseppe Pomilla, a doctor, reached the scene around 1 a.m. on Sunday to hear “desperate screaming” from people in the water. “We found a man waving and screaming,” he said. “Then we found another one in the water. We didn’t know if he was dead or alive. When we pulled him onto the boat, he just started to cry.” The survivors had spent hours in the water before being rescued, he added.
Only 28 people—all male—were pulled from the water alive, along with 24 bodies. One young man managed to save himself because he had learned how to swim not long before departing for his journey, according to statements he gave to workers at the International Organization for Migration. Four of the survivors were minors, two from Somalia and two from Bengal, said aid group Save the Children. Italian prosecutors estimate that about 850 others drowned, about half of them Eritreans, the rest Syrians, Somalis and others. Read the rest of this entry »
Kirsten Powers writes:
What do you call it when 12 men are drowned at sea for praying to Jesus?
Answer: Religious persecution.
Yet, when a throng of Muslims threw a dozen Christians overboard a migrant ship traveling from Libya to Italy, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi missed the opportunity to label it as such. Standing next to President Obama at their joint news conference Friday, Renzi dismissed it as a one-off event and said, “The problem is not a problem of (a) clash of religions.”
While the prime minister plunged his head into the sand, Italian authorities arrested and charged the Muslim migrants with “multiple aggravated murder motivated by religious hate,” according to the BBC.
As Renzi was questioned about the incident, Obama was mute on the killings. He failed to interject any sense of outrage or even tepid concern for the targeting of Christians for their faith. If a Christian mob on a ship bound for Italy threw 12 Muslims to their death for praying to Allah, does anyone think the president would have been so disinterested?
[Order Kirsten Powers’ upcoming book “The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech” from Amazon.com]
When three North Carolina Muslims were gunned down by a virulent atheist, Obama rightly spoke out against the horrifying killings. But he just can’t seem to find any passion for the mass persecution of Middle Eastern Christians or the eradication of Christianity from its birthplace.
Religious persecution of Christians is rampant worldwide, as Pew has noted, but nowhere is it more prevalent than in the Middle East and Northern Africa, where followers of Jesus are the targets of religious cleansing. Pope Francis has repeatedly decried the persecution and begged the world for help, but it has had little impact. Read the rest of this entry »
#ISIS released a video threatening Christians and executing by gunshot and beheading Ethiopian Christians in Libya. pic.twitter.com/jSLVPKl22X
— SITE Intel Group (@siteintelgroup) April 19, 2015
via SITE Intel Group
A major rescue operation is under way after the vessel carrying “between 500 and 700 migrants” capsized at midnight local time, south of the Italian island of Lampedusa.
So far 28 people have been rescued.
Earlier this week, four hundred people are feared to have drowned when their vessel capsized north of Libya.
Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that many people were feared dead.
@Armed_Forces_MT assisting rescue op after boat wt 650 immigrants capsized in #Libya waters. Less than 50 rescued so far. Many feared dead.
— Joseph Muscat (@JosephMuscat_JM) April 19, 2015
Italian ships, the Maltese Navy and commercial vessels are all involved in the rescue operation in Libyan waters.
The Times of Malta newspaper reported that the migrants fell overboard when they rushed to draw the attention of a passing merchant ship.
Twenty-eight migrants have been rescued but hundreds are feared dead after a boat carrying as many as 700 migrants capsized last night.
The incident happened in an area just off Libyan waters, 120 miles south of Lampedusa.
The emergency was declared at about midnight when the migrants are believed to have moved to one side of the boat, capsizing it, when a merchant ship approached.
The incident bears similarities to another case last week when some 400 migrants are believed to have perished. Only some 150 were rescued.
A number of bodies were washed ashore in Libya.
Mark Micallef, a journalist with the paper, told the BBC such incidents were “not at all uncommon”.
“We have seen this sort of scenario happen all over again, where a boat gets capsized right at the moment of rescue. Read the rest of this entry »
Alex Moe and Carrie Dann report: Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, the chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, has sent a letter to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s attorney requesting that she turn over her private email server to the State Department‘s Inspector General or to another neutral third party.
“The Committee must have objective assurances it, and by extension the House of Representatives as a whole, has received all relevant information requested and necessary for a thorough investigation into what happened before, during and after the attacks in Benghazi, Libya,” he wrote in the letter. “More broadly, the equities in these emails extend beyond this Committee. The House of Representatives and the American people are entitled to a complete accounting of the Secretary’s official record during her time as Secretary of State.”
“Should Secretary Clinton continue to maintain that the server and its contents are hers alone, I will inform the Speaker of the House of Representatives so that he can use the full powers of the House to take the necessary steps to protect the best interests of the American people,” he added. Read the rest of this entry »
During a news conference last week, Clinton did not go into the details of how the review of her email was conducted, but said it was “thorough” and that she went “above and beyond” what she was required to do in turning over many of her emails to the State Department.
“We went through a thorough process to identify all of my work-related emails and deliver them to the State Department,” she said, adding that all other emails were personal and pertained to matters such as “yoga routines,” “family vacations,” and “planning Chelsea’s wedding.”
After the news conference, Clinton’s team distributed a lengthy question-and-answer document that detailed the “multi-step” process. The process appeared to have included an extensive, nuanced search of Clinton’s inbox, but the document did not make clear how many of the emails were opened and read in the review.
On Sunday, Clinton’s spokesman clarified that “every email was read” and that the steps they outlined in the document “were in addition to reading them all, not in lieu of reading them all.”
According to the document, here is a summary of how Clinton’s attorneys, who were tasked with the job, said they sorted through her emails:
First, a search was done of all emails Clinton received from a .gov or state.gov account during the period she was secretary of state — from 2009 to 2013.
Then, with the remaining emails, a search was done for names of 100 State Department and other U.S. government officials who Clinton may have had correspondence with during her tenure. Read the rest of this entry »
Flora Drury For Mailonline: ISIS in Libya have released pictures of armed fighters burning musical instruments as the extremist group continues its propaganda assault in the north African country.
Pictures of the heavily armed masked militants watching while a pile of drums burnt in the Libyan desert were released earlier today – purportedly by the ‘media wing’ of the local group.
It is understood the brightly coloured instruments had been confiscated by the religious police, and were destroyed near the port city of Derna, in eastern Libya.
‘Unislamic’: The group claims it burned the drums because it believes music is against their religion
Seized: A statement said the instruments were ‘burnt in accordance with Islamic law’
A message released with the pictures explains: ‘Hesbah seized these un-Islamic musical instruments in the state of Warqa (we call it the city of Derna).
It adds they were ‘burnt in accordance with Islamic law’.
Whether or not it actually is has been a point of some debate in the Islamic world, but Libya’s ISIS recruits are not the first to burn instruments. Read the rest of this entry »
A spokesman for Egypt’s military said Egyptian aircraft had targeted Islamic State training camps and weapons and ammunitions stores in a bombing raid around dawn. The planes returned to their bases in Egypt safely, the spokesman said in a post on his Facebook page.
The announcement was accompanied by video footage that the spokesman said showed Egyptian fighter jets taking off at night in preparation for airstrikes on “ISIS in Libya,” according to text accompanying the video.
“We assure that we will take revenge for Egyptian blood and that taking punishment against criminal killers is our right and duty,” an announcer said in an official Egyptian military video posted on the same Facebook page.
Omar al Sinki, the minister of the interior in Libya’s Tobruk-based government, said Egypt’s air force had struck 7 targets in Derna early Monday. He added that the strikes had been coordinated with the anti-Islamist forces based in eastern Libya and that General Khalifa Haftar, the nominal leader of those forces, was in Cairo on Monday “coordinating” with Egypt’s armed forces and that the campaign would be sustained.
“There will be more coordinated airstrikes in the future with Libya and Egypt operating side by side,” he said
A spokesman for Egypt’s defense ministry declined to comment on Monday beyond what the military posted on Facebook, although a news conference was planned for later Monday.
For the first time, Egypt has publicly acknowledged military action in Libya: http://t.co/hFrnvy6w9Z pic.twitter.com/0eOwETg63P
— Tristan Lejeune (@TristanLejeune) February 16, 2015
Saqer al Joroushi, the commander of Libya’s air force, was quoted by Egyptian state media saying “at least 50” militants had been killed in the airstrikes, in addition to several being arrested. He said Egypt had conducted the strikes “with full respect to the sovereignty of Libya.” He also said Libya wouldn’t allow any ground operations by the Egyptian armed forces.
He separately told the Saudi Arabia-owned Al Arabiya television station that Libya’s own air forces had launched attacks on Islamic State targets in the coastal city of Sirte, a stronghold of those loyal to ousted longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi, and nearby towns. However, a resident of Sirte said he had seen no evidence of an aerial attack on the city.
In a statement on its Facebook page, Libya Dawn, a more moderate Islamist group that controls the Libyan capital Tripoli, “deplored the violation of sovereignty” and said children had been killed in bombing of Derna. Read the rest of this entry »
Hasani Gittens reports: The terrorists known as ISIS released a video on Sunday that seems to show the militant group beheading 21 Egyptian Christians kidnapped in Libya.
The Egyptians, dressed in orange jump suits, were beheaded after being forced down on the ground on a beach. An early caption in the video says the location is “Wilayat Tarabulus by the Mediterranean Sea,” which suggests that it was filmed near Tripoli.
Each of the victims, who are all male, is paired with a masked, knife-wielding terrorist and, after a brief statement by the ISIS leader, they are all beheaded.
The names of the 21 Christians executed by ISIS, as translated by @maitelsadany via @Anba_Ermia. pic.twitter.com/a4OsZl47T3 (HT @spulliam)
— Russell Moore (@drmoore) February 15, 2015
The video is called “A Message signed with blood to the nation of the cross” and was released by the group’s Al-Hayat Media Center, according to Flashpoint Intelligence, a global security firm and NBC News consultant. Read the rest of this entry »
Jeffrey Scott Shapiro and Kelly Riddell report: The chairman of a special House committee created to investigate the 2012 Benghazi tragedy on Monday instructed his staff to review secretly recorded tapes and intelligence reports that detail Hillary Rodham Clinton’s role in advocating and executing the war in Libya, opening the door for a possible expansion of his probe.
Rep. Trey Gowdy’s decision to seek a review of the materials, first highlighted in a series of Washington Times stories last week, carries consequences for the 2016 election in which Mrs. Clinton is expected to seek the presidency. It could also move the committee to examine the strained relationship between the State Department and Pentagon, which sharply disagreed over the 2011 war in Libya and the response to the terrorist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi a year later.
The Times reported last week that U.S. intelligence did not support Mrs. Clinton’s story of an impending genocide in Libya that she used to sell the war against Moammar Gadhafi’s regime. The newspaper also unveiled secretly recorded tapes from Libya that showed that the Pentagon and Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich so distrusted her stewardship of the war that they opened their own diplomatic channels with the Gadhafi regime.
The tapes included candid conversations and allegations that Mrs. Clinton took the U.S. to war on false pretenses and was not listening to the advice of military commanders or career intelligence officers.
“Chairman Gowdy and the committee are aware of the details reported by The Washington Times, and we are reviewing them as part of the committee’s inquiry into Benghazi,” Benghazi Committee spokesman Jamal Ware announced Monday.
The emergence of the tapes and a new line of inquiry immediately had repercussions, especially on the political front where the 2016 president race has heated up.
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, a 2016 GOP hopeful who has been intensely critical of Mrs. Clinton’s handling of the 2011 Libya intervention, said the stories demonstrate she is not the right person to lead the country or the nation’s military.
“Hillary’s judgment has to be questioned – her eagerness for war in Libya should preclude her from being considered the next Commander in Chief,” said Sen. Paul, who opposed the Libyan intervention at the onset. Read the rest of this entry »
Gunmen stormed a luxury Libyan hotel popular with foreigners Tuesday, killing at least three guards and taking hostages, a security official said.
Essam Al-Naas, a spokesman for a Tripoli security agency, said a standoff continued Tuesday afternoon at the Corinthia Hotel, which sits along the Mediterranean Sea.
A hotel staffer said five masked attackers wearing bulletproof vests stormed the hotel after security at the gates tried to stop them. He said they entered the hotel and fired randomly at the staff in the lobby.
The staffer said the gunmen fired in his direction when he opened his door to look out. He said he joined the rest of the staff and foreign guests fleeing out the hotel’s back doors into the parking lot.
When they got there, he said a car bomb exploded in the parking lot, only a hundred meters (yards) away. He said this came after a protection force entered the lobby and opened fire on the attackers. He said two guards were immediately killed. The staffer spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared retribution…(read more)
TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — A Libyan security official says a car bomb exploded outside a luxurious hotel in the capital Tripoli.
The official says the bomb exploded outside the Corinthia hotel early Tuesday morning, rocking Tripoli’s old city.
The official provided no further information. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press. Read the rest of this entry »
Michael Tomasky almost makes a good case here, but his credibility is strained by some perplexing comments. For example, the worst kind of wishful thinking is revealed in statements like this: “If states were to alter their conceptions of sharia law so that blasphemy and apostasy were lesser crimes, or preferably not crimes at all…” Well, of course we prefer they’re “not crimes at all”. Islamic legal scholars are pretty much on record preferring otherwise. I’d prefer that fresh coffee be delivered to my desk each morning by a team of pink unicorns. Who wouldn’t? But in the real world, I still have to go out and get my own coffee. To adherents and advocates of sharia law — perhaps not in its western world incarnations and deviations – but certainly in the Islamic world, to recommend liberalizing sharia to the point of irrelevance is itself arguably blasphemous. Or at the least, unrealistic to the point of being dangerously blind. Perhaps I’m wrong, maybe sharia has more potential to be flexible than I’m aware of. But current global trends certainly suggests otherwise.
Further, Tomasky’s flimsy defense of CAIR is questionable, and his call for maturity is rank snobbery disguised as insight: “Groups like CAIR and leading intellectuals and imams have been denouncing acts like these for years. It’s just that they don’t often make the news when they do it. So let’s please just grow out of that one,” he writes. Really? Let’s not grow out of that one, Mr. Tomasky. Terrorist front-group CAIR pays lip service to such things, but their blood-soaked insincerity is as ripe and thick as their FBI rap sheet. Let’s not even pretend that CAIR is a legitimate organization, if we’re trying to have a serious discussion. Those complaints aside? It’s a good article. And a worthwhile debate to have. Anyone willing to defend blasphemy, and advocate reform, is one of the good guys. Read the whole thing here, at The Daily Beast.
Michael Tomasky writes: Today, Saudi Arabia will flog a blogger for blasphemy. We may not be able to stop terrorists from killing, but can we pressure states?
As you go about your business today and think once or twice (as I hope you will) of Charb and his colleagues in Paris, spare another thought for Raif Badawi. He is, or was, a blogger in Saudi Arabia. Not the most agreeable place to ply the trade, as he learned in 2012 when he was arrested and charged with using his web site, “Free Saudi Liberals,” to engage in electronic insult of Islam. I read on Jonathan Turley’s blog that today, Friday, he will receive the first dose of his sentence in the form of 50 lashes.
Badawi’s crime was to run a web site that “violates Islamic values and propagates liberal thought.” Interesting that those who sat in judgment of him found those two sets of beliefs to be incompatible. He was originally sentenced to seven years and 600 lashes. A huge international outcry ensued. He was retried, and sure enough his sentence was adjusted. It was increased—to 10 years and 1,000 lashes. But give the Kingdom credit for its sense of mercy: The lashes will be administered only 50 at a time.
Like Nick Kristof, I have been gratified to see that my Twitter feed has been bursting to the rafters with tweets from Muslims and Arabs condemning the Paris attacks in the strongest possible terms. Gratified but not surprised. Anyone who’s paid attention has known for some time now that there are millions of Muslims and Arabs (obviously, not all Muslims are Arabs, and vice versa) who espouse and fight for liberal secular values. I know some. They’re some of the most courageous people I’ve ever met.
It’s high time—and if this tragedy has prodded Western culture to turn this particular corner, then that’s one good thing that will have come of it—that we stop demanding of Muslims and Arabs that they denounce acts of terrorism just because they’re Muslims and Arabs. Read the rest of this entry »
Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the slain 32-year-old suspected killer of a Canadian Forces soldier near Parliament Hill, was a labourer and small-time criminal – a man who had had a religious awakening and seemed to have become mentally unstable.
Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau was born in 1982 and was the son of Bulgasem Zehaf, a Quebec businessman who appears to have fought in 2011 in Libya, and Susan Bibeau, the deputy chairperson of a division of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board. The two were divorced in 1999.
Ms. Bibeau did not answer e-mails Wednesday, and staff at her offices declined to comment. No one answered the door at her Montreal townhouse. Mr. Zehaf also could not be reached.
Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau grew up in Eastern Canada, including Ottawa and Montreal, and had spent time in Libya before moving to Western Canada to become a miner and labourer, according to friend Dave Bathurst.
Mr. Bathurst said he met Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau in a Burnaby, B.C., mosque about three years ago. He said his friend did not at first appear to have extremist views or inclinations toward violence – but at times exhibited a disturbing side. Read the rest of this entry »
A US federal grand jury issued a new indictment on Tuesday that includes a possible death penalty against Ahmed Abu Khatallah, a Libyan militant accused of involvement in the September 2012 attacks on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.
The indictment supersedes earlier accusations brought against Khatallah in July, and adds 17 new charges, including allegations he led an extremist militia group and conspired with others to attack the facilities and kill U.S. citizens.
Khatallah was captured in Libya in June by a US military and FBI team and transported to the United States aboard a U.S. Navy ship to face charges in Washington federal court.
A lawyer for Khatallah did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
Four Americans were killed in the attack, including the US Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens. The attack ignited a political firestorm in Washington that could still resonate if Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State at the time of the attack, runs for president as expected in 2016.
From The Corner, a clip from this evening’s Special Report. Harsh words from long-time Washington D.C. insider Dr. Krauthammer:
There “is a sense in the country,” says Charles Krauthammer, “that we have a presidency that is falling apart” — call it a “crisis of competence.”
[Charles Krauthammer’s bestselling book “Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics” is available at Amazon.com]
On Special Report, the panelist explained how chaos abroad and at home — much of it caused by the decisions of the current administration — is giving Americans reason to worry.
WASHINGTON — The Daily Caller reports: The Republican chairman of the new Benghazi select committee pledged Wednesday during the first public hearing to conduct an investigation “worthy of the memory of those who died and worthy of the trust of our fellow citizens.”
“I remain hopeful there are still things left in our country that can transcend politics,” South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, the chairman of the committee, said in his opening statement in a Capitol Hill hearing room. “I remain convinced our fellow citizens deserve all of the facts of what happened before, during, and after the attacks in Benghazi and they deserve an investigative process worthy of the memory of those who died and worthy of the trust of our fellow citizens.”
Earlier this year, lawmakers in the House passed a bill to establish the new committee to investigate the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya that left four Americans dead, including Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya. Read the rest of this entry »
#Libya: Backwards Islamist militia men celebrate taking over #Tripoli airport by climbing on a plane pic.twitter.com/2sE2hzpH9h
— Volksbüro (@Volksburo) August 23, 2014
Photos have surfaced on Twitter of smiling men celebrating in front of airplanes, alleged to be images of the capture of Tripoli’s airport by jihadist forces. The seizure of the Libyan capital’s airport–and eleven of its commercial jetliners–has caused concern that the Islamists will use the planes for an attack on September 11…
Frances Martel has the story at Breitbart.com
The Hammer: Dr. Charles Krauthammer, discussing the president’s handling of ISIS, on Special Report.
“And what do we see?” Krauthammer then proceeded to list attacks by Islamic jihadists in Somalia, Nigeria, Niger, Libya, Yemen, and, of course, Syria and Iraq. “It’s everywhere.”
[Charles Krauthammer‘s book “Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics”, available at Amazon]
“He will not explain or concede that it is a worldwide movement, and he will not concede that what he’s done for these five years — underestimating, underplaying…(read more)
Islamists throw pool party at US Embassy compound in Libya http://t.co/wNgOHcJ89o#DawnofLibya#worldpic.twitter.com/4GerpZcqj1
— Jessica Chasmar (@JessicaChasmar) August 31, 2014
Susan Rice is preparing talking points that Islamists took over US embassy in response to Rams cutting Michael Sam. pic.twitter.com/QmC7Ygao0M
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) August 31, 2014
[Also see Matt K. Lewis’: Barack Obama has already checked out of his job]
“The degree to which Barack Obama is now phoning it in – sleepwalking perfunctorily through his second term, amid golf rounds and dinner parties – is astonishing…”
TIME reports: One person died and six were injured after a rocket assault hit Libya’s main international airport on Monday evening.
Tripoli International Airport had been closed a day before the attack because of fighting between an alliance of militia groups and rebels hailing from the western Zintan region, who have been in control of the airport for the past two years. Read the rest of this entry »
Here’s indictment against Benghazi suspect Abu Khattala. He was in D.C. federal court today. http://t.co/VWqfu5Ni0Z pic.twitter.com/x1XvRosDmh
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) June 28, 2014
If the rap on Bush 43 was that he wanted to be policeman to the world, Obama seems to have the same ambition—only to do it on the cheap. Bush failed at his “mission accomplished” while spending a lot of money; Obama is failing while spending less. Read the rest of this entry »
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