Why the FBI have not gone to Benghazi

Yesterday the news came out that the FBI had not gone to Benghazi to investigate the consulate attack, more than two weeks after it had occurred. Now the New York Times tells us why: Benghazi—the second largest city in Libya, the center of the anti-Kaddafi rebellion that the U.S. and in particular J. Christopher Stevens helped come to power—is too dangerous for FBI agents.

Let’s sum up the tale so far:

First, the U.S., based on the manifest falsehood that its jihadist enemies are its democracy-loving friends, aids its jihadist enemies in Libya, overthrowing and killing the former leader with whom the U.S. had made peace in order to install the jihadists in power.

Then, second, these jihadist enemies invade our consulate (an act of war) and kill our ambassador who had been the special friend and facilitator of these jihadist enemies.

Then, third, the U.S. treats this jihadist act of war as a standard crime, rather than as an act of war, sending the FBI to investigate it.

Finally, the FBI can’t investigate it, because the city where this standard “crime” (not act of war) occurred is so rife with anti-American hostility that it’s too dangerous for any Americans, let alone FBI agents, to go there. The U.S. is still treating as a crime an act of war which occurred in a city that is in effect enemy territory.

Any chance that Romney the management consultant and Ryan the budget specialist, both of whom went along with our criminal intervention in Libya, could grasp what is happening here or oppose it in meaningful terms?

Here’s the first part of the Times article:

Security Fears Hobble Inquiry of Libya Attack

BENGHAZI, Libya—Sixteen days after the death of four Americans in an attack on a United States diplomatic mission here, fears about the near-total lack of security have kept F.B.I. agents from visiting the scene of the killings and forced them to try to piece together the complicated crime from Tripoli, more than 400 miles away.

Investigators are so worried about the tenuous security, people involved in the investigation say, that they have been unwilling to risk taking some potential Libyan witnesses into the American Embassy in Tripoli. Instead, the investigators have resorted to the awkward solution of questioning some witnesses in cars outside the embassy, which is operating under emergency staffing and was evacuated of even more diplomats on Thursday because of a heightened security alert.

“It’s a cavalcade of obstacles right now,” said a senior American law enforcement official who is receiving regular updates on the Benghazi investigation and who described the crime scene, which has been trampled on, looted and burned, as so badly “degraded” that even once F.B.I. agents do eventually gain access “it’ll be very difficult to see what evidence can be attributed to the bad guys.”

Piecing together exactly how Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans died here would be difficult even under the best of conditions. But the volatile security situation in post-Qaddafi Libya has added to the challenge of determining whether it was purely a local group of extremists who initiated the fatal assault or whether the attackers had ties to international terrorist groups, as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton suggested Wednesday may be the case.

The Libyan government has advised the F.B.I. that it cannot assure the safety of the American investigators in Benghazi. So agents have been conducting interviews from afar, relying on local Libyan authorities to help identify and arrange meetings with witnesses to the attack and working closely with the Libyans to gauge the veracity of any of those accounts.

“There’s a chance we never make it in there,” said a senior law enforcement official.

Also hampering the investigation is fear among Libyan witnesses about revealing their identities or accounts in front of Libyan guards protecting the American investigators, because the potential witnesses fear other Libyans might leak their participation and draw retribution from the attackers. [cont.]

One person with knowledge of the inquiry said the investigators had gathered some information pointing to the involvement of members of Ansar al-Shariah, the same local extremist group that other witnesses have identified as participating in the attack. Benghazi residents and the leaders of the large militias that have constituted the city’s only police force insist that the attackers were purely local. They note that many of the brigades that have sprung up in the city have the ability to conduct such an attack on short notice and that a few homegrown groups—like Ansar al-Shariah—have the ideological disposition to do it as well. [cont.]

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 28, 2012 12:09 PM | Send

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