Belmont Club

Misdirection

“The deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya may have been a planned operation and not a spontaneous protest that turned violent, U.S. officials told the New York Times and CNN on Wednesday.” Yahoo News reveals that the initial belief that the assaults were caused a spontaneous mob maddened by an anti-Muslim video may not have been true.

Initial reports suggested that protesters in Benghazi, Libya, were angry about an online video that mocked the Muslim Prophet Muhammad, and then attacked the consulate, killing U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other foreign service workers. But now, according to the New York Times, officials suspect that “an organized group had either been waiting for an opportunity to exploit like the protests over the video or perhaps even generated the protests as a cover for their attack.” U.S. sources told CNN that they don’t think Stevens was a specific target of the attack.

This astonishing development may come as a surprise to a university professor who Tweeted that the producer of the video deemed a hate statement should be jailed. A University of Pennsylvania professor wrote, “Good Morning. How soon is Sam Bacile going to be in jail folks? I need him to go now. When Americans die because you are stupid…” Just who she was referring to as the object of ‘stupid’ is unclear.

But this was mild stuff. Other Twitter posts were calling for the arrest and lynching of those associated with inflammatory film. Said one Tweet “so…I generally don’t call for mob justice on Twitter, but Terry Jones needs to die.” And who else besides one might ask?

Information that al-Qaeda was operating to a plan must come like a bombshell to these individuals. All the same Grace Wyler at the Business Insider writes that “Mitt Romney Is Getting Completely Shredded For His Response To The US Embassy Attacks”. Reporters eager to get the truth were caught on an open microphone coordinating the questions they would put to Romney.

REPORTER 1: Yeah that’s the question. I would just say do you regret your question.

REPORTER 2: Your question? Your statement?

REPORTER 1: I mean your statement. Not even the tone, because then he can go off on …

REPORTER 2: And then if he does, if we can just follow up and say ‘but this morning your answer is continuing to sound…’ – *becomes unintelligble*

REPORTER 1: You can’t say that.. I’m just trying to make sure that we’re just talking about, no matter who he calls on we’re covered on the one question.

REPORTER 2: Do you stand by your statement or regret your statement?

It was like asking Romney, ‘when did you stop beating your wife?’ It might not have been true, or even relevant, but that is not what Talking Points are about. E.D. Morel observed that ‘Truth is the first casualty of war.’ He might have added that the Narrative is war’s inevitable victor. Eventually a Story is established. Whether it is true or not is beside the point. Napoleon Bonaparte, who knew a thing or two about warfare and historical events declared ‘what is history but a fable agreed upon?’

But it is always a fable with a purpose. Winston Churchill emphasized that the real purpose of contrived narrative was to obscure the truth and ensure that nobody got to it through the thicket of false trails. Describing efforts to protect Operation Overlord from discovery Churchill wrote that “in war-time, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies”.

So the question implied by the presence of a Lie is usually ‘what truth is it protecting?’

In the case of the attacks on the Libyan and Egyptian diplomatic facilities “the Lie” of an anti-Islamic video was manifestly to serve as smokescreen to let militants to approach under the cover of a mob raised for the purpose. That was the purpose of the first lie. But what is the purpose of the second? What goal is accomplished by the feverish finger pointing at Romney? What is this contrived outrage intended to obscure?

The truth is a dangerous business. Recently the doctor who helped American intelligence find Bin Laden described his reward for helping America: torture by the ISI.

In an exclusive interview with Fox News, Shakil Afridi, the medical doctor who helped pinpoint bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound before last year’s raid by SEAL Team 6, described brutal torture at the hands of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, and said the agency is openly hostile to the U.S. … Pakistan’s powerful spy agency regards America as its “worst enemy,” and the government’s claims that it is cooperating with the US are a sham to extract billions of dollars in American aid, according to the CIA informant jailed for his role in hunting down Usama bin Laden …

“I was told by others that the ISI advises militants to make things up to tell CIA interrogators, pretend this and that,” Afridi told Fox News.

Why not? America is no longer in the business of taking prisoners after the humanitarian decision to freeze admissions into Guantanamo so it will have to drink from the ISI fountain for time to come. But maybe the reason for icing Guantanamo too is a lie. Suppose the whole purpose for replacing detention with a program rendition and execution by drone is to attain goals other than stated. At least one day we’ll know the truth. The press will tell us.


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