Libyan Horror, the Religious Left, and Free Speech, and much more on the whole mid-east mess

Posted on September 17, 2012

Libyan Horror, the Religious Left, and Free Speech

By on 9.14.12 @ 6:08AM

Liberal religionists express solidarity with the State Department’s party line.

In the wake of the attacks on the U.S. embassies in Egypt and Libya, and especially the murders in Libya, will the Religious Left defend free speech or align with demands that Islam’s critics be silenced?

Some U.S. religionists seem angrier over the elusive anti-Islamic film that supposedly provoked Islamist mobs into mayhem and murder than over the attacks themselves. That Koran burning Terry Jones, the bizarre pastor of a small Florida congregation evidently touted the film, has also enraged Religious Leftists, who have implied moral equivalence between insulting Islam and murder.

Already fortified by two decades or more of multiculturalism, 9-11 only amplified the Religious Left’s zeal for accommodation of every variant of Islam. Radical Islam, with its fierce intolerance for the sexually liberated and free thinkers, not to mention empowered women, should terrify liberal religionists in the West. But the Religious left has fairly studiously avoided direct critique even of Taliban-style theology, preferring more vaguely to disparage religious extremism.

The implication is sometimes that zealous Christians in America are as threatening as al Qaeda. In fact, the Religious Left always has fired far more specific and frequent rhetorical salvos at conservative Christians, evangelical and Catholic, who are deemed the main obstacle to the Religious Left’s cultural and sexual agenda. Never mind that ardent Muslims, with widespread support even in moderate Muslim societies, favor capital punishment for sexual malefactors and religious dissenters. The Religious Left, despite its global rhetoric, was always more concerned about domestic politics than human rights for anybody in Iran or Saudi Arabia.

And it has always been a source of pride among liberal religionists that they are supposedly more attuned to the sensitivities of other religions, primarily Islam, than are more provincial conservative Christians. The head of Southern Methodist University’s seminary carefully explained the latest situation yesterday.

“American Muslims understand that built into the fabric of their religious convictions is the tenet that representing the Prophet Muhammad in any way would be abhorrent,” said William Lawrence, dean of United Methodism’s Perkins School of Theology in Dallas. “Conversely, American Christians are very familiar and quite comfortable with depictions of Jesus dying on the cross. But it’s not the role of American Christians to tell others what the tenets of their religion should be simply because they don’t recognize them in their own religious traditions. So this should prompt an important discussion about why such a tenet is significant in Islam.”

Should Muslims be able to ban depictions of Muhammad through civil law or intimidation? Lawrence didn’t say. Instead he continued: “In our society we have a very high level of commitment to freedom of speech, including the freedom to say something utterly reprehensible. But in many other parts of the world, that freedom isn’t constitutionally assured. In those societies, the actions of the U.S. film producers (behind ‘Innocence of Muslims’) just wouldn’t be tolerated.”

True enough, but does the United Methodist seminary dean have any preference for either perspective, i.e. free speech versus blasphemy laws? If so, he demurred.
Instead, Lawrence concluded in neutral terms: “It has been interesting to see the U.S. Secretary of State and President Obama — as well as political leaders in Yemen, Egypt and Libya, whose political systems are still in development — condemn the content of the film while at the same time condemn the violence that has erupted over it. And it is encouraging to see the leaders of those countries say that the people of the United States aren’t to blame over the work of one person.”

Should we be “encouraged” that majority Muslims societies still generate rage, however contrived or exploited, over an obscure film half a world away that may or may not exist? Lawrence evidently discerns common ground between Muslim Arabs and Americans leaders who equally denounce murder and the production of low quality insulting pseudo films.

More specific than the United Methodist seminary dean was liberal Baptist clergy Welton Gaddy of the Interfaith Alliance, which was founded in the 1990s primarily to combat the Religious Right. Writing for the Washington Post, he surmised “how much work is left to be done before we fully eradicate the prejudice and heal from the wounds inflicted 11 years ago.” The implication is that anti-Islam sentiment in America since 9-11 is as much if not more the problem than radical Islamic terror.

Noting “violence and hatred cannot be the basis for dialogue between the U.S. and the Arab world (really??), Gaddy lamented that “anti-Muslim bigotry that has become all too pervasive in the United States.” The maker of the “hateful anti-Muslim film knew full well that it would provoke anger” among Muslims, he lamented. “We saw what hate brought on Sept. 11, 2001 and we saw what hate looked like when Terry Jones threatened to burn a Koran last year,” he opined, as though destroying a holy book were morally on par with murder.

Gaddy explained that Libya has emerged from years of dictatorship so Libyans would misunderstand that an American film must have government approval. “We will do well to intensify our efforts to promote respect for religious freedom and strive for interreligious understanding every day, which will help create a new context for the inevitable misstatement or offensive remark that provides a framework within which the wrong quickly can be resolved.”

But does “religious freedom” for Gaddy and others on the Religious Left include the right, as guaranteed in America’s Constitution, to attack Islam through film or publicity stunts? Of course Americans have long endured a media and arts culture that routinely mocks Christianity. Should only attacks on Islam merit special regard and protection?

The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, birthed by Eleanor Roosevelt, and once universally revered by secular and religious liberals, unequivocally declares in Article 18: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.” And Article 19 says: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

Should critics of Islam, whether thoughtful or stupid, have full freedom of religion and freedom of expression? Enmeshed by radical multiculturalism, and intimidated by violent overseas mobs as well as by domestic political correctness, the Religious Left, among others, seems increasingly ambivalent about these rights.

The Picture That Should Cost Obama His Job

by Roger Kimball

Rounded up at midnight by brownshirted men for making a movie that embarrasses El Presidente? Also read J. Christian Adams: Roundup of Basseley Nakoula No Big Deal

Obama should resign for violating his oath of office

Via The Right Scoop:

Glenn Reynolds, aka Instapundit, writes today that Obama should  resign for violating his oath of office and resorting to intimidation  and thuggery against the man affiliated with the so-called anti-Islam  movie:

INSTAPUNDIT– WHY BARACK OBAMA SHOULD RESIGN. Just for the record, this is what it  looked like for a man who made a film that made the Obama Administration uncomfortable:

Here’s the key bit:“Just after midnight Saturday morning, authorities descended on the  Cerritos home of the man believed to be the filmmaker behind the  anti-Muslim movie that has sparked protests and rioting in the Muslim  world.”LeadingMeme

When taking office, the President does not swear to create jobs. He  does not swear to “grow the economy.” He does not swear to institute “fairness.” The only oath the President takes is this one:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

By sending — literally — brownshirted enforcers to engage in — literally — a midnight knock at the door of a man for the non-crime of  embarrassing the President of the United States and his administration,  President Obama violated that oath. You can try to pretty this up (It’s  just about possible probation violations! Sure.), or make  excuses or draw distinctions, but that’s what’s happened. It is a  betrayal of his duties as President, and a disgrace.


From The Other McCain:

First they came for the lousy auteurs…

From Powerline:  Obama Cracks Down on Free Speech:

From Hogwash:

UPDATE–John Nolte writes at Breitbart that the Obama Administration should reconsider its support for the in aptly named film about killing Osama bin Ladin, Zero Dark Thirty, and put pressure on Sony to cancel the movie’s release.

And I’m certain no one in Hollywood would be alarmed if the government were to pressure Sony not to release its film. Why would they if they won’t stand up for the “Innocence of Muslims” filmmaker being persecuted by our government and media overlords today?    You know, because movies create terrorism.

Uh, huh.

From Donald Sensing:  Words cannot express this tyranny:

This president is implementing dhimmitude on us without a second  thought. He is appeasing Islamists everywhere, pure and simple. So the  attacks will intensify and continue for longer than ever. Islamists  everywhere now know with certainty that they have Obama on the ropes.
Moreover, our Candidate in Chief will do anything to stay on the fundraiser schedule. He doesn’t have to stay in DC and do crisis management if he simply denies there’s a crisis.
There is no possible justification for voting for this man in November. None, period.
Update: It seems uneasily relevant that Friday I commissioned my son as a US Air Force officer.

Related reading:

The Benghazi Blackout.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made decision NOT to staff embassies with Marines  (Right, Wing-Nut)

And while I originally declared that Barack Obama’s dereliction of duty was a primary cause of  the Benghazi Massacre, it appears as if the  blood of Chris Stevens is all over Hillary Clinton’s clammy hands as  well.  Fox News military analyst Col. David Hunt:
Hunt told Breitbart News that the new State Department Rules of Engagement  for Libya, approved and signed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton  since the 2011 fall of Khadafi’s regime, severely compromised the safety and security of murdered Ambassador Stevens and all American diplomatic staff in Libya. He also stated that the decision not to staff Benghazi with Marines was  made by Secretary of State Clinton when she attached her signature to  the State Department Rules of Engagement for Libya document. Breitbart  News has subsequently learned that under those rules of engagement, Secretary Clinton prohibited Marines from providing security at any American diplomatic installation in Libya. (continue at Right, Wing-Nut)

The U.S. Dead Horse:

When Obama arrived in Cairo to  tell the Muslims of the world that America does not want to fight, let  alone win, he was declaring that America was now the weak horse. What  the bearded men understood was that the competition was over and that  Islam has won. The Islamists can always win by default if they can  convince the fast, strong and agile American horse not to run.

“When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they  will like the strong horse,” Osama Bin Laden famously said. The deceased mass murderer had a point, even if it wasn’t a very original one.  (continue at Gatestone Institute)

Despite Four Previous Benghazi Attacks – US Refused Even “Standard Security” at Consulate (Video)

Flashback: Obama Administration Pushes UN Resolution That Bans Criticism of Islam

Christopher Stevens Feeds the Crocodile

Special Report The filmmaker may be a criminal (but not of the type that would warrant the death penalty). Yet the DOJ’s actions outting him have indeed marked this man for death. (all to play into the hands of barbarians who are simply using the crude movie not as a cause, but rather as an excuse, to kill!)

Feds Put Target on Filmmaker’s Back

Ross  Kaminsky 9.14.12

A frightening violation of human rights by Eric Holder’s corrupt Justice Department.

Furious anti-American protests enter their sixth day: Protesters clash with police outside U.S. Consulate in Pakistan

Pakistani police use a water cannon to disperse the protesters marching toward the U.S. consulate during a demonstration in Karachi, Pakistan

Police fired tear gas and water cannon at the protesters after they broke through a barricade, while private security guards fired shots in the air to disperse the crowd in the southern city of Pakistan. Ali Ahmar, a spokesman for the Shiite Muslim group that organised the rally, said one protester was killed. But police officer Iqbal Mahmood said they had no information about a death.

Anti-American protests could go on for DAYS, warns Defense Secretary Panetta

Warning: US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (R) speaks to the press aboard his aircraft en route to official visits to Japan, China and New ZealandU.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says the turmoil raging across the Muslim world is likely to continue into the days ahead, but he says the violence expected by the U.S. appears to be leveling off.Washington – Hunt For U.S. Ambassador’s Killers In Libya Complicated By Overstretched CIA Yesterday  09:30 PMWashington – The U.S. is sending more spies, Marines and drones to Libya, trying to speed the search for those who killed the U.S. ambassador and… Read More »

U.S. pulls embassy staff out of Tunisia and Sudan warning American tourists to stay away

Fierce: Protesters in downtown Cairo gather round a burning car as anti-U.S. riots continueThe announcements came as the Libyan government revealed that Al Qaeda might have been responsible for the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that killed the American ambassador and three others.

Was the bloody attack on U.S. diplomats preventable? Libyan security official claims he warned Americans THREE DAYS before assault

Terrible prelude: A vehicle set on fire during the violent assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on TuesdayJamal Mabrouk, of the February 17th Brigade, said that he and another official met with U.S. envoys and told them that the deteriorating security situation in the country was hurting the economy.

American ‘Jihadist’ teenager charged with terror plot to blow up Chicago bar with car bomb

A plot to detonate a bomb in a Chicago bar has been uncovered authorities announced todayFBI agents have arrested a man they say planned to set off a car bomb outside a bar in downtown Chicago.White House warns of ‘deeply destructive’ $100bn spending cuts to the military and other core areas after congress failed to strike budget deal

Targeted: The $109 billion in cuts would affect the military although troops, pictured, and war-fighting accounts will be exemptThe report, issued on Friday, says the automatic cuts, mandated by the failure of last year’s congressional deficit ‘supercommittee’ to strike a budget deal, would require a cut of 9 per cent to most Pentagon programs and 8 per cent in many domestic programs.

FBI Warns of Violence in America Over Anti-Islamic Movie

By  (@PierreTABC) ,  (@dana_hughes)  and  (@kdolak)

ABC NEWS Sept. 13, 2012

A U.S. intelligence bulletin warned today that the violent outrage aimed at U.S. embassies spawned by a movie mocking the Prophet Mohammed could be spread to America by extremist groups eager to “exploit anger.”

The Joint Intelligence Bulletin issued by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security said “the risk of violence could increase both at home and abroad as the film continues to gain attention.”

“First responders should remain aware of the potential for spontaneous large crowds and protests that could overwhelm resources and should be vigilant for possible efforts to encourage peaceful protesters to commit acts of violence,” the warning said.

It urged “faith-based organizations to promptly report suspicious activities that could indicate pre-operational plotting against Jewish, Coptic, Islamic, or any other faith-based communities.”

It added, however, that there was no information regarding any specific threats.

The bulletin warned that “violent extremist groups in the United States could exploit anger over the film to advance their recruitment efforts.”

It goes on to note that angry protests in Benghazi, where four Americans were killed, and Cairo “mirror past incidents prompted by events perceived as anti-Islamic, which spurred sudden violence against U.S. interests overseas.”

The bulletin was issued as fresh violence erupted at U.S. embassies in Yemen and Egypt, and the State Department said that 50 overseas missions have been given additional security and warned U.S. citizens in their area to be “extra vigilant.” Some embassies warned of protests on Friday, the Muslim sabbath.

PHOTO: A riot policeman passes burning vehicles during clashes outside the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, early Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012, as part of widespread anger across the Muslim world about a film ridiculing Islam's Prophet Muhammad.

AP Photo/Hussein Tallal
A riot policeman passes burning vehicles during clashes outside the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt, early Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012, as part of widespread anger across the Muslim world about a film ridiculing Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.
American Embassies Under Siege Across Middle East Watch Video
U.S. Ambassador Killed in Libya: New Details Watch Video

PHOTOS: Protests Spread After Attack on U.S. Consulate

President Obama called the presidents of Egypt and Libya where he thanked them for their help but reminded them of the importance of protecting American embassies and consulates. And in Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai canceled an overseas trip because of brewing anger over the film, “Innocence of Muslims,” which ridicules Islam’s founder the Prophet Mohammed.

Two U.S. Navy missile destroyers, the USS Laboon and USS McFaul, were moved near the coast of Libya as an extra precaution.

Libyan officials said several people have been arrested for the attack on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Information Management Officer Sean Smith, security personnel and former Navy SEALs Tyrone S. Woods and Glen A. Doherty but U.S. officials have not confirmed that.

Wanis el-Sharef, eastern Libya’s deputy interior minister, told the Associated Press the attacks were suspected to have been timed to mark the 9/11 anniversary and that the militants used civilians protesting the movie as cover for their action.

Western intelligence sources told ABC News that it appears the movie was the “catalyst,” but it would not be surprising if a militant group “would seek to take advantage for an opportunity to strike.”

FBI agents from New York were being dispatched to Libya to assist in the investigation.

The worst violence today erupted in Sana’a, Yemen, where thousands of angry protesters circled the U.S. embassy and breached its outer wall, but were prevented from entering the embassy compound.

“Smoke is rising, they just flooded the security barriers. [There are] no casualties. [There is] shooting. It’s crazy,” a senior Yemeni official told ABC News.

Yemeni forces threw tear gas as protesters were seen scrambling over fences and the main gate, firing gunshots as they tried to stop the demonstrators.

Protesters in Sana’a removed the embassy’s sign on the outer wall and set tires ablaze, The Associated Press reported. Once inside the compound, they took down and burned the U.S. flag. Security guards at the embassy fired warning shots to stop them.

Was State Department warned of Libya attack? Officials deny they had 48  hours notice of embassy assault amid reports Americans died after ‘security  breach’

  • State  Department describes reports they had credible intelligence waring of attack as  ‘absolutely wrong’
  • Investigators looking into possibility that spy aided  militants in Tuesday’s deadly attack on U.S. consulate in Benghazi
  • Officials  have said attacks are too ‘coordinated’ to be simple angry  mob
  • Joint Intelligence  Bulletin warns violence could hit U.S. and asks religious organisations to guard  against attacks
  • Four killed  as protesters march on U.S. Embassy compound in Sana’a,  Yemen
  • Hundreds of  protesters angered by an anti-Islam film stormed the U.S. Embassy compound in  Yemen’s capital and burned the American flag
  • Sensitive  documents have gone missing from compound, including names of Libyans working  with Americans

By Beth Stebner, Hugo Gye, Jill Reilly and Thomas Durante

UPDATED:09:43 EST, 14 September 2012

The State Department has angrily denied  claims that it had intelligence warning its  consulate in Libya would be  attacked 48 hours before extremists stormed the building and shot three staff  members dead.

A spokesman has described claims that the  attacks were the result of a ‘continuing security breach’ and diplomats should  have been warned before the attacks as ‘completely wrong.’

British newspaper The Independent had claimed  that the State Department had credible information warning of attacks on  embassies 48 hours before mobs stormed the outposts in Libya and Cairo.

However, a spokesman told Politico: ‘This is absolutely wrong.  We are not aware of any actionable intelligence indicating that an attack on the  U.S. Mission in Benghazi was planned or imminent.’

Diplomats had long been on their guard in  Benghazi, a city that was the cradle of Libya’s Western-backed revolution but  also home to Islamists who have attacked foreign envoys.

Yet a long night of mayhem in which the U.S.  consulate was overrun and torched, the ambassador lost and dying alone in the  smoke while rescuers ran into a deadly ambush as they sought to save survivors,  seemed to overwhelm U.S. security procedures.

Scroll down for video

Inside job: Investigators are looking into the possibility that the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi Tuesday night, pictured, was aided by a spy Inside job: Investigators are looking into the  possibility that the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi Tuesday night,  pictured, was aided by a spy
Inside job? Officials have said Tuesday's attacks have been 'too coordinated or professional' to be unplanned and could have relied on a mole to give the extremists valuable informationPlanned? Officials have said Tuesday’s attacks have been  ‘too coordinated or professional’ to be unplanned and could have relied on a  mole to give the extremists valuable information
US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, who was killed in an attack on the US consulate in BenghaziUS Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, who was  killed in an attack on the US consulate in Benghazi

Killed in the attack were U.S.  Ambassador  Chris Stevens, information management officer Sean Smith, and private security  guards Glen Doherty and Tyrone S. Woods.

Libyan authorities  said four people  were  arrested at their homes Thursday, but he refused to give any further  details.

He said it was too early to say if the  suspects belonged to a  particular group or what their motive was. Libya’s new  prime minister,  Mustafa Abu-Shakour, said authorities were looking for more  suspects.

Accounts from Libyan and U.S.  officials, and  from locals who watched what began as a protest on  Tuesday against a crudely  made American film that insults the Prophet  Mohammad spiral into violence and a  military-style assault on U.S.  troops, point to a series of unfortunate choices  amid the confusion and  fear.

The actions of Libyan former rebel  fighters  assigned to help guard the lightly fortified compound may also  face scrutiny.  Libyan officers suggested that sympathy for the popular  anger at the slight to  their religion, as well as simple fear under  heavy fire, meant the guards may  have done little to defend the walls.

Much remains unknown, notably the  extent to  which armed militants may have prepared in advance for an  attack as opposed to  merely profiting from the opportunity of an angry  crowd spinning out of control  in a country where guns are everywhere.

However, this much is clear: a crowd  gathered at dusk, about 7 p.m. (1700 GMT), chanting slogans against the  film  and angry at Washington’s failure to act against its promoters. At  some point,  shooting began, with some in the crowd thinking they were  under fire from the  consulate. Around 10 p.m., rioters surged into the  compound, bullets and  grenades flew, and fires started.

Among the assailants, Libyans  identified  units of a heavily armed local Islamist group, Ansar  al-Sharia, which  sympathizes with al Qaeda and derides Libya’s  U.S.-backed bid for  democracy.

Eventually, some three dozen  Americans drove  off to a safe house, knowing one diplomat was dead and  Ambassador Christopher  Stevens missing. When an eight-man rescue team  flew in from Tripoli, they and  their Libyan escorts were pinned down  with the survivors by another attack in  which two more Americans died.


Meanwhile, Stevens, 52, had been  found by  local people and taken, unrecognized, to a hospital, around 1  a.m. A doctor  failed to revive him and pronounced him dead of smoke  inhalation.

Around dawn, at 7 a.m., the  beleaguered  American survivors, with their battered military rescue  party, were finally  escorted back to Benghazi airport by a convoy of  Libyan militia fighters in  dozens of vehicles, to be flown to Tripoli  and safety.

Glen Doherty
Loss: Sean Smith, 34, an Air Force veteran who had worked as an information management officer for 10 years in diplomatic posts, was also killed

Losses: Private security guards Glen Doherty, left, and  Sean Smith, an Air Force veteran who had worked as an information management  officer for 10 years in diplomatic posts, was also killed; both were former Navy  SEALs

The fact that the attack took place  on the  11th anniversary of al Qaeda’s September 11 attacks on the United States, and  that the ambassador, normally based in the capital Tripoli, was present in  person, has prompted speculation that it may have be  elaborately planned in  advance by the likes of Ansar al-Sharia.

Three months ago to the day, the  British  ambassador survived a rocket attack as his convoy approached  London’s Benghazi  consulate and there has been other violence against  foreigners, mostly blamed  on anti-Western Islamists, with some possible  involvement by angry loyalists of  the late Muammar Gaddafi.

Diplomats say foreign staffing in  Benghazi  has generally been kept low to reduce the security risks. But  the city is home  to key oil installations, Libya’s economic mainstay,  and a local source said  Stevens had been expected at meetings with state oil executives on Wednesday,  explaining at least part of his visit.

Some of those who took part in the  initial  demonstration in Benghazi insisted it was a spontaneous,  unplanned public  protest which had begun relatively peacefully. Anger  over the film also saw an  unruly protest at the U.S. embassy across the  Egyptian border in Cairo on  Tuesday evening, with protesters scaling the walls.

Local journalists also saw an  eclectic  gathering of people infuriated by religious sentiment but few  of them bearing  arms and most not appearing affiliated with hardline  Islamist groups.

“When we had heard that there was a  film  that was insulting to the Prophet, we, as members of the public,  and not as  militia brigades, we came to the consulate here to protest  and hold a small  demonstration,” said a 17-year-old student named Hamam, who spoke to Reuters at  the devastated compound on Wednesday.

By his account, while some  demonstrators  fired rifles in the air – a far from uncommon sight in  postwar Libya – a rumor  spread that a protester had been wounded by  firing from inside the consulate  and Hamam and many others went off to  retrieve guns which, like many Libyans,  they keep at home for security.

“So we started shooting at them,”  Hamam  said. “And then some other people also threw homemade bombs over  the fences and  started fires in the buildings. There was some Libyan  security for the embassy,  but when the bombs went off they ran off.”

Abdel-Salam al-Bargathi, who runs the security operations of the former rebel February 17 Brigade, which  effectively  forms the police force for Benghazi while the new  authorities work to establish  new institutions, said he heard explosions start around 8:30 p.m. from his  headquarters a mile or so away.

“There was a lot of chaos and  confusion when  the clashes began,” he said. By 9 p.m., he was receiving  calls from his units  at the scene that rocket-propelled grenades were  being fired at the consulate.  A power cut had plunged the area into  darkness.

“People started running into each  other and  nobody knew who was who,” Bargathi told Reuters, saying that  around this time  he began ordering preparations to be made for an  evacuation.

Tellingly, he and another senior  officer,  Wissam Buhmeid, the commander of the pro-government local  defense force, the  Libya’s Shield Brigade, stressed that the Libyan  guards on the consulate –  estimated by Bargathi at up to 40 or more –  may have felt little will to defend  the compound from what they, and  many other Libyans, judged to be justified  religious indignation.

“I first of all place the blame on  the  United States itself for allowing such a movie to be produced. This  was the  product of the anger of Muslims,” Buhmeid said, noting also that the guards had  only light weapons in the face of rockets.

“I saw utter chaos. The power went  out and  it was completely dark,” he said. “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 and injuries and attacks  are all nothing compared to  insulting the Prophet.”

Read more:

Fury: Chanting 'death to America,' hundreds of protesters angered by an anti-Islam film stormed the U.S. Fury: Chanting ‘death to America,’ hundreds of  protesters angered by an anti-Islam film stormed the U.S. Embassy compound in  Yemen’s capital and burned the American flag. It was the latest in a series of  attacks on American diplomatic missions in the Middle EastBargathi, of the police command, said the  killings had taken the protest too far, but said: “What we saw was a very  natural reaction to the insult to the Prophet. We condemn the  deaths but the  insult to the Prophet made people very angry.”Ali Fetori, 59, an accountant who lives near  the embassy, said: “The  security people … just all ran away and the people in  charge were the  young men with guns and bombs.”U.S. officials said the consulate’s  perimeter was breached 15 minutes after the crowd tried to storm in at  around  10 p.m. The main villa was set on fire, with three Americans  inside – the  ambassador, IT specialist Sean Smith and a security  officer.

“They became separated from each  other due  to the heavy dark smoke while they were trying to evacuate the burning  building,” one senior official said. The security officer made  it outside.

“They found Sean. He was already  dead. And  they pulled him from the building. They were unable, however,  to locate Chris,  before they were driven from the building, due to the  heavy fire and smoke and  the continuing small arms fire.”

Ali Khamis, a gardener, said he was  in his  room at the consulate when the attack happened. “They came into  the compound,  through all the gates. They were shouting ‘Allahu akbar’  and they were shooting  in the air when they came in,” he said.

Hamam, the young protester, said he  had seen  an American “totally covered in soot and black” lying  apparently dead in the  compound. Some people he said were chanting,  “Allahu akbar (God is great), We  are victorious over the infidels.”

Photographs published on the Internet  appeared to show Stevens unconscious and begrimed, being held by local men.

Ziad Abu Zaid, who was the duty  doctor in  the emergency room at Benghazi Medical Centre, said local  civilians had brought  in a man they said was American around 1 a.m. “He  came in a state of cardiac  arrest,” Abu Zaid said. “I performed CPR for  45 minutes, but he died of  asphyxiation due to smoke inhalation.”

Fervent belief: Protesters climb a fence surrounding the U.S. embassy in Sana'a as they fight to discredit the 'blasphemous' film

Fervent belief: Protesters climb a fence surrounding the  U.S. embassy in Sana’a as they fight to discredit the ‘blasphemous’ film

Only when someone told him the  patient had  come from the consulate did he make out Stevens’s locally  well-known features  beneath the smoke and grime that obscured his face,  he said.

Libyan officials said the surviving  Americans withdrew to a safe house. It would be normal security  procedure in  countries like Libya for international personnel to have a  secure, secret  location prepared for just such an eventuality.

Captain Fathi al-Obeidi, commander of a  special operations force for the February 17 Brigade, told Reuters  that he took  a call about 1:30 a.m. from Tripoli telling him that a  helicopter was on its  way from the capital’s Mitiga airport with a  rescue squad of eight U.S. troops  – he described them as marines.

After he met them at Benghazi airport with a  convoy of 10 vehicles, mostly pickup trucks, one mounted with an anti-aircraft  cannon, the U.S. force directed Obeidi and his men to the GPS coordinates of a  farmhouse to find the survivors there.

Here, two more things went wrong.  First,  Obeidi found four times as many Americans at the single-storey,  fortified house  as he had been told expect – 37, not just 10. So he did  not have enough  transport. Then, the villa came under massive attack.

This time, there was little doubt in  the  minds of Libyans who experienced it that this was a well-organized  assault by  men who had mastered the complexities of military mortar  fire.

“This attack was planned,” Obeid  said. “The  accuracy with which the mortars hit us was too good for any  ordinary  revolutionaries.”

While some Libyan officials suggested that  former soldiers from Gaddafi’s army may have been involved in  Benghazi, some of  the Islamist fighters also have substantial military  experience from years  spent fighting with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Though Libya’s deputy interior  minister  described the locating of the safe house as a “critical  security breach,” the  attack may not have been planned for long in  advance. The assailants would have  had some hours to follow the fleeing  Americans and set up an ambush after the  consulate attack. “It began to rain down on us,” Obeidi said just as the  rescue force was  preparing to leave. “About six mortars fell directly on the  path to the  villa,” he said.

One American fell wounded by him. A  mortar  struck the building itself, throwing from the roof another  American posted  there onto the men below. “I was being bombarded by calls from all over the  country by Libyan  government officials who wanted me to hurry and get them  out,” he said.  “But … I needed more men and more cars’.

Two Americans, including one of the eight  security personnel sent from Tripoli, were killed and several wounded.

Finally, dozens more vehicles from  the  Libyan security forces arrived, the attackers melted away and, as  the sun came  up over the desert, they reached Benghazi airport, from  where the surviving  Americans and the bodies were flown out.

Following the deadly attacks in  Libya,  investigators are looking into whether a mole gained access to  sensitive  information, helping Libyan extremists in their deadly attack  Tuesday  night.

Fury: Muslim men in Bangladesh burned an American flag during protests against an anti-Mohammed film on ThursdayFury: Muslim men in Bangladesh burned an American flag  during protests against an anti-Mohammed film on Thursday
Clash: Fights between protesters and riot police left burnt-out vehicles near the American embassy in CairoClash: Fights between protesters and riot police left  burnt-out vehicles near the American embassy in Cairo

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A high-ranking Libyan official then  insinuated that the spy tipped off the rebels, sending them to the  nearby safe  house, where two more Americans were killed and one injured  in the  melee.

Eastern Libya’s deputy interior  minister,  Wanis el-Sharef, said a mob first stormed the consulate  Tuesday night and then,  hours later, raided a safe house in the compound just as U.S. and Libyan  security arrived to evacuate the staff.

That  suggested, el-Sharef said, that  infiltrators within the security forces  may have tipped off the militants to  the safe house’s location.

Documents containing delicate  information  have been lost in the attack, the Independent. These  documents are believed to  contain the names of Libyans who are also  working for Americans, as well as  information on oil contracts.

It is also believed that the attacks could be  retribution for a drone  strike which killed a top al-Qaeda official in  Pakistan, who was said to be Libyan.

One security guard told how he was hit by a  grenade in the attack and then, a he was lying on the ground, bleeding and in  excruciating pain when a bearded gunman came down the wall and shot him  twice  in the right leg, screaming: ‘You infidel, you are defending  infidels!’

‘Later, someone asked me who I was. I said I  was the gardener and then I passed out. I woke up in hospital,’  said the guard,  who spoke to The Associated Press from his bed at a  Benghazi  hospital.

The witness account came as protests of the  mysterious film, Innocence of Muslims, continued in the Middle East.

An angry throng broke into the U.S.  Embassy  in Yemen, and clashes between security forces and demonstrators  near the  fortress-like embassy compound in the heart of Cairo left  nearly 200 people  injured and two police trucks burned.

Speaking at his Benghazi office,  el-Sharef,  who was running the Interior Ministry’s operations room  commanding security  forces in the city during the attack, gave the most  detailed account to date to  come out of Libya of what happened the night of the attack. His version,  however, leaves some questions unanswered  and does not provide a definitive  explanation on the motives behind the  attack and the identity of the  perpetrators.

Meanwhile, top officials warned  Thursday  that the violence which has engulfed the Middle East following  the release of a  film mocking the Prophet Mohammed could spread to the  U.S.

The Joint Intelligence Bulletin  suggested  that as well as widespread protests, the furore could be used  by extremists to  radicalise American Muslims.

The report, issued by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, follows three days of angry  demonstrations in  Muslim countries directed at U.S. embassies, which led to the killing of the  American ambassador to Libya on Tuesday night.

The report warned that ‘the risk of violence  could increase both at home  and abroad as the film continues to gain  attention’, according to ABC  News.

It continued: ‘First responders should remain  aware of the potential for  spontaneous large crowds and protests that could  overwhelm resources and should be vigilant for possible efforts to encourage  peaceful  protesters to commit acts of violence.’

Officials were particularly cautious about  the risk of Islamic radicals exploiting the outrage over the film to engineer  attacks against mainstream society and other faiths.

They suggested that ‘violent extremist groups  in the United States could exploit anger over the film to advance their  recruitment efforts’, and asked religious bodies to prevent ‘plotting against  Jewish, Coptic, Islamic, or any other faith-based communities’.

The bulletin comes as the rising anger  provoked by the film has seen  protestors storm U.S. embassies in Muslim  countries from Egypt to Yemen, where four people have been killed and dozens  others injured.

Chanting ‘death to America’, hundreds of  protestors marched on the U.S. Embassy  compound in Yemen’s capital today, where  they burned the American flag,  used stones to smash windows, and set fire to  cars, before breaking  through the main gate of the heavily fortified compound  in eastern  Sana’a.

Security has  been ramped up at U.S.  embassies and consulates around the world, and at least one cemetery for  American veterans, while President Obama called  the leaders of Libya and Egypt  to continue helping him to ensure the  safety of diplomatic  personnel.

Chaos: Yemeni protestors break a door of the U.S. Embassy with a pole after ripping off the metal plaque Chaos: Yemeni protestors break a door of the U.S.  Embassy with a pole after ripping off the metal plaque

Fragile defences: Dozens of protesters smash the building's windows to show their anger at the film's perceived Islamophobic messageFragile defences: Dozens of protesters smash the  building’s windows to show their anger at the film’s perceived Islamophobic  message

Attack: Yemeni protesters storm the US embassy during a protest. Yemen's embassy in Washington said no casualties were reported Attack: Yemeni protesters storm the U.S. embassy during  a protest today. Yemen’s embassy in Washington said no casualties were reported

Blazing fire: Yemeni forces drive back the protesters as they approached the main gate of the missionBlazing fire: Yemeni forces drive back the protesters as  they approached the main gate of the mission

Breaking in: Demonstrators break a widow of the U.S. Embassy - tyres blazed outside the compound and protesters scaled the wallsBreaking in: Demonstrators break a widow of the U.S.  Embassy – tyres blazed outside the compound and protesters scaled the  walls

Heavy smoke rises from the U.S. Embassy compound in Sana'a, Yemen, amid angry clashes between protestors and riot policeHeavy smoke rises from the U.S. Embassy compound in  Sana’a, Yemen, amid angry clashes between protestors and riot police

One of those killed in  Benghazi alongside U.S.  Ambassador Christopher Stevens was 42-year-old Glen Doherty, a family friend told CBS  Boston today.

Libyan authorities have made four arrests in  the investigation into the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi in which the  U.S. ambassador and three embassy staff were killed, the deputy interior  minister said on Thursday.

‘Four men are in custody and we are  interrogating them because they are suspected of helping instigate the events at  the U.S. consulate,’ Wanis Sharif told Reuters.

He gave no more details.

There  were protests in Tunisia, Sudan  and Morocco overnight, and  the demonstrations have reached Cairo and  Baghdad.

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Bloody: A blood-soaked protester shouts slogans after sustaining injuries from a confrontation with riot police who fired tear gas at them outside the embassyBloody: A blood-soaked protester shouts slogans after  sustaining injuries from a confrontation with riot police who fired tear gas at  them outside the embassy
Climbiing: Yemeni demonstrators scale the front gate of the U.S. embassy in Sana'a after the Muslim nation became the latest to be marred by street protests over a film ridiculing the prophet MohammedClimbiing: Yemeni demonstrators scale the front gate of  the U.S. embassy in Sana’a after the Muslim nation became the latest to be  marred by street protests over a film ridiculing the prophet Mohammed

On Thursday, riot police in Indonesia were  standing  guard outside the U.S. Ambassador’s Jakarta residence in anticipation  of further action.

Once inside the compound in Sana’a, Yemeni  protestors brought down the U.S. flag, burned it and  replaced it with a black  banner bearing Islam’s declaration of faith – ‘There is no God but  Allah.’

CNN  reported that four people were killed  in the clashes, and dozens of other  security officials and protesters were injured.

Before storming the grounds, demonstrators  removed the embassy’s sign on the outer wall, set tires ablaze and pelted the  compound with rocks.

Yemeni security forces who rushed to the  scene fired in the air and used tear gas to disperse the demonstrators and were  eventually able to  drive them out of the compound. It was not immediately clear  whether  anyone was inside the embassy at the time of the attack.

Emergency aid: Yemeni medics take an injured protester on a motorcycle to the hospitalEmergency aid: Yemeni medics take an injured protester  on a motorcycle to the hospital
Streets of chaos: Protesters throw stones at riot police near the U.S. embassy in Sana'a after riots spread into the streetsStreets of chaos: Protesters throw stones at riot police  near the U.S. embassy in Sana’a after riots spread into the streets

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Heavy smokes rises from the US embassy in Sana'a
Yemeni protesters try to break the security camera

Dangerous: Heavy smokes rises from the U.S.  embassy in  Sana’a as Yemeni protesters try to break the security camera  at the compound

Fighting with fire: Protesters burn tyres - the violence has raised worries that further protests could break out around the Muslim world as anger spreads over the filmFighting with fire: Protesters burn tyres – the violence  has raised worries that further protests could break out around the Muslim world  as anger spreads over the film
Written on stone: A graffiti artist writes 'Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah!' on a wallWritten on stone: A graffiti artist writes ‘Muhammad is  the Messenger of Allah!’ on a wall

Some protestors held aloft banners declaring  ‘Allah is Greatest’. Tires blazed outside the compound and protesters scaled the  walls.

‘We can see a fire inside the compound and  security forces are firing in  the air. The demonstrators are fleeing and then  charging back,’ one  witness said.

It was similar to an attack on the US Embassy  in the Egyptian capital of Cairo on Tuesday night.

Witnesses said there were some injuries on  both sides but gave no exact figures.

Yemen, a key U.S. ally, is home of al Qaeda  in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP),  which is viewed by Washington as the most  dangerous branch of the  militant network established by Osama bin  Laden.

Yemen is fighting an al Qaeda-backed  insurrection largely in the south of the country. Its embassy in Washington did  not report any casualties.

An embassy statement said Yemen’s  government  condemned the attack by protesters angry at a film seen as  insulting to Islam,  adding security forces had restored order at the  complex.

Relationship: Yemen, a key U.S. ally, is home of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which is viewed by Washington as the most dangerous branch of the militant network established by Osama bin LadenRelationship: Yemen, a key U.S. ally, is home of Al  Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which is viewed by Washington as the most  dangerous branch of the militant network established by Osama bin  Laden
Demonstrations: A Yemeni protestor, left, holds a white flag with Islamic inscription in Arabic that reads, 'No God but Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet,' in front of the U.S. embassy Demonstrations: A Yemeni protestor, left, holds a white  flag with Islamic inscription in Arabic that reads, ‘No God but Allah, and  Mohammed is his prophet,’ in front of the U.S. embassy
Mass fury: A Yemeni protester waves the flag as thousands of people gather at the main gate of the missionMass fury: A Yemeni protester waves the flag as  thousands of people gather at the main gate of the mission

Clashing sides: The furious activists storming the embassy in the Yemeni capital were fired at by security forces, according to local media reportsClashing sides: The furious activists storming the  embassy in the Yemeni capital were fired at by security forces, according to  local media reports

Protection: Protesters climb a fence as security guards tried to hold them off by firing into the airProtection: Protesters climb a fence as security guards  tried to hold them off by firing into the air

Dramatic: The demonstrators try to break into the embassy by tearing up the roof and pounding it with makeshift weaponsDramatic: The demonstrators try to break into the  embassy by tearing up the roof and pounding it with makeshift weapons
Yemeni youths raise Islamist flags
others walk on U.S. and Israeli national flags

Trampled underfoot: While some youths raise Islamist  flags, left, others walk on U.S. and Israeli national flags

Yemeni protesters storm the US embassyRefuted: An embassy statement said Yemen’s government  condemned the attack by protesters

AngryAngry: A protestors smashes a window and picks through  the glass in an attempt to enter a building in the embassy


Well-armed Libyan extremists launched a  sustained attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Tuesday, killing  four State Department employees, including the American ambassador to Libya  Chris Stevens and foreign service officer Sean Smith, and wounding three  others.

The consulate, like all other U.S. diplomatic  missions around the world, conducted a pre-9/11 anniversary security check. It  found no imminent threat and therefore no need to boost security around the  anniversary, according to senior U.S. officials, who spoke on condition of  anonymity because the reporting of the incident is still preliminary.

The consulate consists of a main  building  and a nearby annex, each of which are protected by local Libyan guard force, a  physical perimeter barrier and a ‘robust’ American  security presence inside the  compounds. All times are local Benghazi  time, and accounts are from  officials

10:00pmTuesday – The main consulate building  begins began taking fire from  unknown Libyan extremists. There are about 25 to  30 employees in the  consulate and the annex at the time of the  attack.

10:15  pm- Attackers gain access to main consulate building and set compound on  fire. In the ensuring chaos, many escape the building, but Stevens,  Smith and  a regional security officer remain inside. They become  separated due to heavy  smoke and confusion while trying to evacuate. The security officer makes it  outside and he and others from the consulate  and annex go back into the  building to try to rescue Stevens and Smith.  They find Smith dead and pull him  out but are forced by the flames,  smoke and gunfire to withdraw before they can  locate Stevens.

10:45pm – A group of security officers from the annex try to take the consulate  building back from the attackers, but they are repelled. Everyone  rescued is  brought to the annex.

Midnight – The annex comes under heavy fire from the attackers. The shooting lasts more than two hours during which the other two Americans are killed and two  Americans are wounded.

2:30anWednesday – Libyan and U.S. security  forces retake the annex. Officials believe that Stevens got out or was pulled  out of the main consulate  building during the battle for the annex and was  taken to the hospital.  The officials do not know if Stevens was alive when he  arrived at the  hospital.

6:00am- U.S. officials are told that Stevens  is dead but are not able to  confirm it immediately because they have not seen  the body. The body is  returned to U.S. personnel at the Benghazi airport at  dawn.

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Chaos: Smoke rises from the US embassy building in Tunis during a protest against Nakalou's film

Chaos: Smoke rises from the US embassy building in Tunis  during a protest against Nakalou’s film

To Terry, Texas USA, 15/9/2012 20:42 ,  Turns out this  clown gave one million dollars to Obama Campaign…   Its all over the web  google it.   LOL

–                                                                                            Hooter                                            ,                                                                                            Atlanta,                                             16/9/2012 03:02

HE IS NOT A CALIFORNIAN FILMMAKER. He is EGYPTIAN living  in California, there is a big difference. Greetings from San Diego.

–                                                                                            At65SocalRetired                                            ,                                                                                            Manchester,                                             16/9/2012 02:57

– AngryBruin , Portland Maine USA, 16/9/2012 02:00  You  are 100% correct. There is no way that some stupid YouTube video caused the  violence, and killings going on around the globe. This was planned and  orchestrated. While the clown in chief is dazzling us with his expertise in  foreign affairs his number one fans ( the media) are blaming it all on one man.  It’s their job to make sure that BO and Hillary keep their hands clean and take  no blame. God forbid they tell the REAL truth about what’s going on. The liberal  left wing wackos BO has appointed to office are doing a super bang up job in the  middle east. Not allowing Marines to use real bullets, ignoring violence  warnings, apologizing. I guess free speech is on it’s way out too, must be part  of the “change” BO promised us. Brace yourself for more “change” if this Marxist  gets 4 more years. A visit from the FBI for making a video reflecting your  opinion is what you get under BO’s term. Scarey!

–                                                                                            MaggieM                                            ,                                                                                            Scottsdale, United  States,                                             16/9/2012 02:53

Any excuse will do to riot, kill, and burn flags these  days.

–                                                                                            Me                                            ,                                                                                            and my dog x, United  Kingdom,                                             16/9/2012 02:49

He is an EYGPTIAN criminal. NOT an American! Hopefully  he will be deported ASAP.

–                                                                                            Kate  Ford                                            ,                                                                                            USA,                                             16/9/2012 03:40

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People, take note of the attempt by the Obama  administration and other “progressives” to make this all about this man, and to  persecute him and prosecute him over it, under flimsy pretexts over “parole  violations”.  If you have a free mind, who they are and what they will do to  this country if allowed to get away with it, are as clear as day.

–                                                                                            Landru                                            ,                                                                                            Virginia-USA,                                             16/9/2012 03:34

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