House Lawmakers Want Libya, Egypt Aid Stripped from Bill
by Todd Beamon
September 12, 2012
Several Republican House lawmakers said that aid to Libya and Egypt should be stripped from a six-month federal funding bill set for a vote on Thursday.
The lawmakers expressed outrage on Wednesday at the Obama administration’s response to the attacks on the U.S. embassies in those countries, which killed four Americans at the consulate in Benghazi, including U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, The Hill reports.
They suggested that the inclusion of foreign aid could influence their votes.
“It makes it easier to vote ‘no’ ” on the spending bill, freshman Louisiana Rep. Jeff Landry said at a news conference with conservative House Republicans at the Capitol.
The House on Thursday plans to vote on a continuing resolution that would extend federal funding through March. The move would prevent a government shutdown before the election or during a lame-duck session of Congress this fall.
While conservatives pushed to avoid a shutdown fight, they have also raised alarms about the inclusion of additional welfare funding in the bill, The Hill reports.
“It would show a tremendous amount of leadership from this administration, in light of the recent developments, if the president were to come back and demand that the amount of money that is in the [continuing resolution] for Libya and Egypt be stripped,” Landry told The Hill. “That would be tremendous leadership.”
Lawmakers said they would bring up the issue at a meeting of the conservative Republican Study Committee on Wednesday, but they acknowledged it would be difficult to remove the foreign aid so close to the vote on the bill.
Read more: http://goo.gl/GOfqi
Violent Coordination: Attacks in Egypt and Libya Weren't Random
by Katie Pavlich
September 12, 2012
Intelligence experts and U.S. government officials are starting to view the attack in Libya that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others in Benghazi as a coordinated attack.
Sources, including officials at the Pentagon and the State Department, are discussing the possibility that it was a planned operation, and some say several developments seem to support the possibility.
The incident does not appear to be a random mob scene, but rather an opportunity that militants seized, sources say. The attackers used a rocket-propelled grenade, a weapon not traditionally carried by protesters, but commonly used by terrorists.
The attack is believed to have come in two waves. The first wave got inside of the compound, and a second wave penetrated a secure location inside the building. This development raises questions about how the attackers knew the location of that secure facility, sources say.
On Sept. 11, al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri put out a video eulogizing Abu Yahya al-Libi, an Islamist terrorist and high-ranking al-Qaida member, who was killed in a drone attack in June. Sources have said they believe the Libyan incident might have been revenge for the death of al-Libi.Members of the Senate intelligence committee also believe this was an Al Qaeda attack.
Sen. Bill Nelson, Florida Democrat, said the attacks "have the markings of revenge by al Qaeda." He said they could be connected to the killing in June of Abu Yahya al-Libi, a top leader of the terrorist network.
"In light of Monday night's Internet-video statement by the head of al Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, who urged Libyans to attack Americans to avenge the recent death of al-Libi, I am asking my colleagues on the Senate intelligence committee to immediately investigate what role al Qaeda or its affiliates may have played in the attacks in Libya and Egypt, and to urge appropriate action," Mr. Nelson said in a statement.Read more: http://goo.gl/Y3Y5y
Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson Issues Statement on Libya & Cairo Attacks
by Becket Adams
September 13, 2012
Following Tuesday’s attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and the murder of Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith, and two United States Marines, Libertarian presidential candidate and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson issued the following statement:
It is tragic when Americans serving their country are murdered, and we both mourn their loss and honor their service.
Part of honoring that service is to ask the obvious question: What U.S. interest is being served by putting our people — and our money — in places where U.S. personnel can be killed by extremists over a video? We launched millions of dollars worth of missiles to bring down Gaddafi, and this is what we get. We hail and encourage the outbreak of an Arab Spring in Egypt, send them billions of dollars we can’t afford, — and our embassy is breached and our flag desecrated.
In Afghanistan, we continue to put our troops in harm’s way 10 years after our post-9/11 mission was complete. Why?
The airwaves are filled today with political chest-pounding and calls for decisive action. The most decisive and prudent action we can take today is to stop trying to manage governments and peoples on the other side of the globe who don’t want to be managed, get our people out of impossible situations that have no direct U.S. interest, and immediately stop sending money to regimes who clearly cannot or will not control their own countries.
Protecting America with a strong national defense and a rational foreign policy is our leaders’ most basic responsibility. But let us not confuse national security with senseless intervention where our interests are clearly not being served.Read more: http://goo.gl/xSaI6
|History Repeating Itself?|
Protesters storm U.S. Embassy in Yemen
by Ahmed Al-Haj
September 13, 2012
SANAA, YEMEN — 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 on Thursday, the latest in a series of attacks on American diplomatic missions in the Middle East.
The protesters breached the usually tight security around the embassy and reached the compound grounds but did not enter the main building housing the offices. Once inside the compound, they 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."
Before storming the grounds, demonstrators removed the embassy's sign on the outer wall, set tires ablaze and pelted the compound with rocks.
It was similar to an attack on the U.S. Embassy in the Egyptian capital of Cairo on Tuesday night. A mob of Libyans also attacked the U.S. consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi on Tuesday, killing American Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
In Egypt, protesters were clashing with police near the U.S. Embassy in the capital Cairo for the third day in a row.
The violence has raised worries that further protests could break out around the Muslim world as anger spreads over the movie.
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.
Read more: http://goo.gl/jFAUV