How Sexy is Benghazi?
By Pepe Escobar
November 15, 2012 "Asia
-- The Love Pentagon - as in the
Petraeus-Broadwell-Kelley-Allen-FBI shirtless torso guy - is the
farce that keeps on giving. But this should really not be about
sex, lies and emails. This should be about Benghazi.
Scandal or not, General David Petraeus finally accepted to
testify, at a still unspecified date, to the Senate Intelligence
Committee, about the 9/11, 2012 attack on the US consulate in
Libya in which ambassador Chris Stevens and three other
Americans were killed; he may eventually be asked about what the
CIA had been up to before, during and after the attack.
As for President Obama, in his first press conference after
re-election he has warned Republicans - who have been trying to
twist Benghazi to their own purposes for weeks now - to "go
after me"; for them to go after UN ambassador Susan Rice, "who
had nothing to do with Benghazi, and was simply making a
presentation based on intelligence that she had received", and
to "besmirch her reputation", that's "outrageous."
More than Republicans having a problem with the President, it's
more like Petraeus having a problem with the nation. Deeply in
denial Republicans will obviously freak out when Petraeus tells
the Senate exactly what he told the White House two months ago.
The General - and later Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, plus
Susan Rice - they all said the Benghazi attack was to be blamed
on that pathetic Prophet Muhammad YouTube video.
By that time Petraeus' steamy affair his Biog Babe, Paula
Broadwell, was already history. But he arguably didn't know he
was already ensnared by the Tampa socialite Jill Kelley-inspired
FBI investigation over Paula's harassing emails. And then, last
week, the investigation miraculously surfaced, immediately after
Election Day and just as he's scheduled to testify to the
Senate. He may have failed in his calculations to save his job.
But there's no reason to doubt he will pull off a smooth
performance at his Benghazi special.
A lean, mean killing machine
The notion that the now disgraced General will come clean
regarding the current CIA modus operandi is as fanciful as Paula
Broadwell playing Snow White. Since Petraeus was appointed
director of the CIA by Obama, the agency has morphed into a
full-blown paramilitary killing machine - not exactly a haven
for HUMINT (human intelligence). It's all about secret, shadowy
black ops, unmonitored by the Executive, the Legislative, the
Judiciary, the media; virtually out of control.
This hardcore militarization of the CIA implies the agency never
acknowledging the Drone Wars. Not to mention how its targeted
assassinations, from the Horn of Africa to the Arabian Peninsula
and the Pakistani tribal areas, are chosen; and who is lucky
enough to live (or die) another day. What makes is even more
absurd is that the CIA is also entrusted by the White House to
impartially analyze its own shadow war enterprise.
That inevitably brings us back to Benghazi - and that bombshell
report quoting an anonymous Washington source stating that
the consulate had a "CIA annex", where three Libyan militia
warriors, as in Salafi-jihadis, were being "detained", aka
undergoing Dick Cheney-style recreational water activities.
As for the interrogation sessions, that was the responsibility
of contractors, a shady collection of "former" Special Ops - as
the CIA itself later reminded public opinion that it "has not
had detention authority since January 2009, when Executive Order
13491 was issued."
Yet other previous "guests" in Benghazi included fighters from
across Northern Africa and the Middle East. To sum it all up;
this "annex" was the CIA's top black hole in all of Northern
So here we have a "secret" CIA safe house attached to a
consulate - and obviously not responding to the State Department
- staffed with "former" or current Special Forces contractors
accepting "renditions" and engaging in "detention" and certainly
torture practices that are illegal under American law. They were
all there working for Petraeus - and not Hillary Clinton.
And this may not have been the only one of such holiday resorts
- as Special Forces keep roaming Northern Africa and the CIA
happens to keep a safe house also in Somalia.
Let's bet a cellar full of Chateau Petrus that The General will
keep absolutely mum about all this in his upcoming Senate
testimony. The General will repeat that the Prophet Muhammad
video did it in Benghazi.
And then there's Boobghazi
Boobghazi still beats Benghazi in all the ratings. No wonder;
what with Biog Babe Paula and her virtual catfight with steamy
Lebanese-American Jill Kelley, aka Jill Khawam, aka Gilberte J
Kelley, aka Gigi Khawam, aka Gigi Kelley and her unpaid "social
event planning" gig at the CENTCOM base in Tampa, Florida, not
to mention the excruciatingly laborious exchange of up to 30
emails a day, everyday, with General John Allen over no less
than three years. No wonder Allen could not keep his steady
hands on that pesky Taliban problem.
The Tampa Bay Times is having a field day after another
describing the morphing of "South Tampa's decades-long
reputation for genteel hospitality toward the military"; the
paper says that "ground zero" for the new sexy shenanigans "is
not the Pentagon, but a mansion on Bayshore Boulevard inhabited
by a family with lavish appetites and gigantic debts"; that is,
With so much salacious turpitude on offer, it's hard to
concentrate on foreign policy. Yet Benghazi may be just the hors
d'oeuvre to what's brewing in Syria.
Benghazi - as well as the middle of the desert backwater Darnah
- fueled the NATO rebel war in Libya with countless
Salafi-jihadis, including those directly linked to al-Qaeda via
the "former" Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG).
There is no question that ambassador Chris Stevens was in close
contact with this powerful "rebel" strand - including Islamist
superstar Abdelhakim Belhadj. After Colonel Gaddafi was
captured, sodomized and killed by the "rebels" - with ample
previous support of American missiles and Qatari Special Forces
on the ground - Libyan Islamists, with Belhaj on the forefront,
started to smuggle fully weaponized Salafi-jihadis for the
Syrian rebels fighting the Assad government.
It took a while but finally Hillary and the State Department
woke up to the potential blowback. This was one of the key
reasons why Hillary pressed for a remix of the Syrian opposition
leadership, enshrined this past weekend in Doha.
At his press conference, Obama stuck to platitudes on Syria, as
in "we have been extensively engaged with the international
community" and "constantly consulting with the opposition" as
well as Turkey, Jordan and Israel (significantly, Obama did not
mention key anti-Assad Gulf Cooperation Council players Saudi
Arabia and Qatar). He warned about "extremist elements" within
the Syrian opposition, and did not commit to weaponize them. At
least on the record.
This Friday a new Syria donors' conference - the follow-up to
Hillary's Friends of Syria bash - begins in London. That's when
the West will be formally introduced to the new opposition
leader, Moaz al-Khatib - which Western corporate media, in
unison, is frantically selling as a "moderate", with "impeccable
revolutionary credentials", who will, in his own words, lead
Syria towards a "civic state".
This is as ridiculous as the Boobghazi farce. Al-Khatib has
already said that Syria's problems will be solved with
"weapons". France - which under Hollande remains as pathetically
neo-colonial as under King Sarko - already recognized him and
the new opposition set-up, essentially created under pressure by
the US and Qatar compounded with vague promises of cash.
Al-Khatib - the former imam of the Umayyad mosque in Damascus, a
position he would have never obtained without being vetted by
Syrian intelligence - is known to have called for jihad to
rescue the Muslim world (here
it is, in Arabic, but nothing Google Translate could not
handle). And then
he is sure that Facebook is a US-Israeli plot.
With frenemies like the US, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and
Turkey, Syria certainly does not need enemies. As for blowback,
brace yourselves; what happened in Benghazi is just the hors
d'oeuvres to be offered by increasingly rampaging frenemies of
the US. Can't count on Petraeus and Allen to defend the
homeland? Well, there's always four-star groupie Jill Kelley.
Pepe Escobar is the author of
Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid
War (Nimble Books, 2007) and
Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His
most recent book is
Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).
He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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