American Bombs in the Muslim World: The Real Reason Why U.S. Citizens Were Killed in Libya
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John Brennan, the Avenger
However, in this political season, the Republicans want to gain some political advantage by stirring up doubts about President Barack Obama’s toughness on terrorism – and the Obama administration is looking for ways to blunt those rhetorical attacks by launching retaliatory strikes in Libya or elsewhere.
Thus, it was small comfort to learn that Teflon-coated John Brennan, Obama’s counterterrorism adviser, had flown to Tripoli, hoping to unearth some interim Libyan government officials to consult with on the Benghazi attack. With the embassy’s help, he no doubt identified Libyan officials with some claim to purview over “terrorism.”
But Brennan is not about investigation. Retribution is his bag. It is likely that some Libyan interlocutor was brought forth who would give him carte blanche to retaliate against any and all those “suspected” of having had some role in the Benghazi murders.
So, look for “surgical” drone strike or Abbottabad-style special forces attack – possibly before the Nov. 6 election – on whomever is labeled a “suspect.” Sound wild? It is. However, considering Brennan’s penchant for acting-first-thinking-later, plus the entrée and extraordinary influence he enjoys with President Obama, drone and/or special forces attacks are, in my opinion, more likely than not. (This is the same Brennan, after all, who compiles for Obama lists of nominees for assassination by drone.)
If in Tuesday’s debate with ex-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Obama is pressed, as expected on his supposed weakness in handling Benghazi, attacks on “terrorists,” real or “suspect,” become still more likely. Brennan and other White House functionaries might succeed in persuading the President that such attacks would be just what the doctor ordered for his wheezing poll numbers.
But what about tit-for-tat terrorist retaliation for those kinds of attacks? Not to worry. With some luck, the inevitable terrorist response might not be possible until after the voting. Obama’s advisers would hardly have to remind him of the big but brief bounce after killing al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
Mindless vengeance has been a popular political sell since 9/11. And so have drones. Both dovetail neatly with Brennan’s simplistic approach to terrorism; namely, just kill the “bad guys” – the comic-book moniker so often used for “suspected” militants, terrorists, insurgents and still other folks with an enduring hatred for America.
Where is Helen Thomas when we need her! She was the only journalist not to genuflect before Brennan’s inanities, and had the temerity to ask him directly to explain what motivates terrorists.
At an awkward press conference on Jan. 7, 2010, two weeks after Umar Farouk Abdulmuttalab (the so-called “underwear bomber”) slipped through Brennan’s counter-terrorism net and nearly brought down an airliner over Detroit, Helen Thomas tried to move the discussion beyond preventive gimmicks like improved body-imaging scanners and “behavior detection officers” at airports. She asked Brennan about motivation; why did Abdulmuttalab do what he did.
Thomas: “And what is the motivation? We never hear what you find out on why.”
Brennan: “Al Qaeda is an organization that is dedicated to murder and wanton slaughter of innocents. … They attract individuals like Mr. Abdulmutallab and use them for these types of attacks. He was motivated by a sense of religious sort of drive. Unfortunately, al-Qaeda has perverted Islam, and has corrupted the concept of Islam, so that he’s (sic) able to attract these individuals. But al Qaeda has the agenda of destruction and death.”
Thomas: “And you’re saying it’s because of religion?”
Brennan: “I’m saying it’s because of an al-Qaeda organization that used the banner of religion in a very perverse and corrupt way.”
Brennan: “I think this is a – long issue, but al-Qaeda is just determined to carry out attacks here against the homeland.”