It Just Doesn’t Make Sense

From “Petraeus Says U. S. Tried to Avoid Tipping Off Terrorists After Libya Attack,” Eric Schmitt, NYT:

“David H. Petraeus…told lawmakers on Friday…that the administration refrained from saying it suspected that the perpetrators of the attack were Al Qaeda affiliates and sympathizers to avoid tipping off the groups.”

But the local Al Qaeda group Ansar al-Sharia proudly announced they had carried out the attack just a few hours after it happened.  So just in case they thought we didn’t know, they told us.  You can’t tip off someone when they are publicly boasting.

The other aspect of Petraeus’ argument that makes no sense is that the original talking points that referenced Al Qaeda were drafted by intelligence professionals and later changed to say “extremists” by “someone outside the the intelligence community,” according to Congressman Peter King (R-NY).

Petraeus’ claim would be much more credible if some political, diplomatic, or military person wrote talking points saying Al Qaeda, and the intelligence community changed them.  But here we have the reverse.


CIA in Libya: Eye on the Wrong Ball

From “Ansar al-Sharia’s Role in Benghazi Attacks Still a Mystery,” Eli Lake, The Daily Beast:

“One of the main participants in the Sept. 11 anniversary assault on the U. S. diplomatic mission and Central Intelligence Agency annex in Benghazi is a group formed earlier this year called Ansar al-Sharia, according to the current U. S. intelligence assessment of the attack.

“Before the attack, the U. S. intelligence community didn’t consider Ansar al-Sharia a threat to American interests, and the group wasn’t a priority target for the CIA officers monitoring jihadists in Libya, according to U. S. intelligence officials with knowledge of the investigations into the Benghazi attacks.

“Because Ansar al-Sharia wasn’t designated as a terrorist group or thought to have significant connections to al Qaeda, there were fewer resources deployed to monitor the organization’s members, these officials say.

“Some analysts in the intelligence community disagreed with the official assessment, however.   A public report released in August by the Library of Congress at the direction of a Pentagon organization that focuses on counter-terrorism research concluded that Ansar al-Sharia ‘increasingly embodied al Qaeda’s presence in Libya.’  But this wasn’t the prevailing view.

“One U. S. intelligence contractor working on the investigation into the Benghazi attacks said, ‘We were not focused on these guys.’