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September 12, 2012

Caution on Libya News

Reports are flying about that the U.S. Ambassador who was killed by a Libyan mob was then dragged through the streets.

Obviously, this is extremely disturbing and - in the context of past incidents of this nature suffered by Americans in that part of the world - potentially inflammatory news.

...your most disgraceful case was in Somalia; where- after vigorous propaganda about the power of the USA and its post cold war leadership of the new world order- you moved tens of thousands of international force, including twenty eight thousands American solders into Somalia. However, when tens of your solders were killed in minor battles and one American Pilot was dragged in the streets of Mogadishu you left the area carrying disappointment, humiliation, defeat and your dead with you. Clinton appeared in front of the whole world threatening and promising revenge, but these threats were merely a preparation for withdrawal.

You have been disgraced by Allah and you withdrew; the extent of your impotence and weaknesses became very clear. It was a pleasure for the "heart" of every Muslim and a remedy to the "chests" of believing nations to see you defeated in the three Islamic cities of Beirut, Aden and Mogadishu.

- Osama Bin Laden

There's just one problem: we don't know if it's true, yet. The first reports are already being walked back:

UPDATE2: AFP is reporting that this is a photo of the US Ambassador being HELPED by Libyans, not being dragged through the streets as we previously reported:

graphic.jpg

Given that I don’t speak Arabic and the fact that Hillary Clinton said they were carrying him to the hospital in her statement a few moments ago, I accept this to be the case instead.

The truth is that we don't know exactly what happened yet. We don't know if he was dragged through the streets by some, helped by others. Which don't know which report is accurate, and it's entirely possible that - as is the case with so many early reports -neither one is accurate.

And yes, it's incredibly tiresome of me not to jump on the outrage bandwagon, but it seems to me that as horrifying as this series of events undoubtedly is, we don't help it by jumping to conclusions on limited information.

I am outraged at the attack: that it occurred in the first place, and at the lily livered response of the US Embassy in Cairo. I started to write about this, this morning but in the end I concluded that we just don't know enough of the context yet. So I won't have much to say about it until we know more, and I can be sure I'm commenting from knowledge rather than rumor.

Thanks to the Right Scoop for their commitment to accuracy. And please pray for the souls of those killed in this horrific debacle and for their families as well.

I can't imagine how they are feeling right now. I pray to God that I never will.

Posted by Cassandra at September 12, 2012 12:21 PM

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Comments

I DO understand quite a bit of Arabic, and would love to hear and or read accompanying audio to this. Personally, I don't really buy the "helping him to the hospital" bit. But, like you, I'm willing to withhold judgment for now.

Posted by: MikeD at September 12, 2012 01:56 PM

I think it's fair to say that I view the reports that he was actually being helped with just as much suspicion as I do the ones that he was dragged through the streets :p

FWIW, that's hard for me to do, emotionally. I am predisposed to believe the worst from mobs anywhere, and especially in that part of the world. But that's why we have brains as well as emotions: to temper our instinctive reactions.

I initially had the same reaction I imagine most folks had: fury, and disgust. It always takes a while for me to remember just how misleading initial reports often are and how much misinformation is spread in the initial hours after an event like this. With the aptly-named "Twitter", blogs, and the intertubes, that has gotten worse rather than better.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 12, 2012 02:13 PM

"I am outraged at the attack: that it occurred in the first place, and at the lily livered response of the US Embassy in Cairo. I started to write about this, this morning but in the end I concluded that we just don't know enough of the context yet. So I won't have much to say about it until we know more, and I can be sure I'm commenting from knowledge rather than rumor."

As is often said, there's never enough time to do something right. Yet there's always enough time to do it again. M'lady you've got this sorted just right.

Another minor observation. If I were top drag someone to aid, I'd probably do so by hoisting them either via a fireman's carry, or via a hold under their arms.

On the other hand, were I wanting to defile their [soon to be?] corpse, my method for doing so would probably be to drag them by their ankles.

Just sayin'.

//Regardless, as the details surface the old hun will bitterly cling to his Carter=>Obama analogies.//

Posted by: bthun at September 12, 2012 04:07 PM

Another minor observation. If I were top drag someone to aid, I'd probably do so by hoisting them either via a fireman's carry, or via a hold under their arms.

You know, that struck me too Bthun. Though I'm not terribly confident in my ability to interpret body language from a single photograph. That man looks like he's trying to be careful to me.

The spouse came home early and when I told him of the rumors that the Ambassador's body had been dragged through the streets (and the AFP report) I described the photo to him.

His first reaction was, "If they were dragging him through the streets, they'd have him by the feet, head down."

Posted by: Cassandra at September 12, 2012 04:22 PM

It always takes a while for me to remember just how misleading initial reports often are and how much misinformation is spread in the initial hours after an event like this. With the aptly-named "Twitter", blogs, and the intertubes, that has gotten worse rather than better.

I needed this reminder and dose of patience right now. Thank you.

I think it was Churchill who said that a lie can get halfway around the world before the truth has time to get its pants on.

Posted by: colagirl at September 12, 2012 04:25 PM

It looks like they are helping him up. Arms under his chest.

Prayers here in Chez Engineer. It takes a special breed to be a diplomat in a third world country, and if the bystanders helped him, good for them.

Posted by: Carolyn at September 12, 2012 04:48 PM

We don't know if he was dragged through the streets by some, helped by others.

It's fair to ask, though, why he would have needed any such help in the first place, and why he and three of his staffers felt constrained to leave the consulate at all.

If I were top drag someone to aid, I'd probably do so by hoisting them either via a fireman's carry, or via a hold under their arms.

There is another image that might show our Ambassador in just such a carry. Or it might be further desecration. Or it might be somebody else altogether.

The upright head in the first image implies, but does not prove, that he was alive at that time.

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at September 12, 2012 06:40 PM

The Ambassador was suffocated, but his fellows were shot. So goes the latest rumor I've heard.

I'm having trouble understanding a couple of points about this. First is how do the "reporters" know about the suffocation?

Second, why shoot three and suffocate the other? There are other, more effective ways of inflicting...discomfort...on a victim in his last hours.

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at September 12, 2012 06:44 PM

Mr.Hines

All good points which further illustrates that we, the stateside public, have far more questions than confirmed facts.

Other than POTUS #39 => POTUS #44.

Posted by: bthun at September 12, 2012 07:00 PM

I'm trying to be good, but I can't help thinking about how much I'd like to push the movie-maker out of plane 2,000 feet over Benghazi strapped to five thousand pounds of bacon. Not happy.

Posted by: spd rdr at September 12, 2012 07:15 PM

I'm trying to be good, but I can't help thinking about how much I'd like to push the movie-maker out of plane 2,000 feet over Benghazi....

If the rumors of the movie's role in these atrocities are accurate, I'd prefer to see a steady diet of just those movies, each more insulting than the prior.

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at September 12, 2012 08:03 PM

Was the motivation the movie in question, or would the Religion of the Perpetually Outraged simply use any reason to attack the Western infidel?


Posted by: Charles Martel at September 12, 2012 09:04 PM

Latest I've been hearing is that:

a) it's looking like this was a pre-planned attack by extremists that just happened to coincide with the flap over the movie,

b) while the three staffers were indeed shot, the ambassador may have been asphyxiated (mistranslated at first as suffocated?) by smoke while trying to rescue people from the burning consulate,

c) average Libyans may be pissed about the movie, but quite a few are as appalled by the attack as we are if this is any indication:

http://imgur.com/a/tlCyI

It's the response from Egypt that I'm more worried over, personally; they've been a lot more ambivalent about condemning the attack on our embassy there.

Posted by: Matt at September 12, 2012 09:12 PM

Funny coincidence that they would choose September 11 to stage a "demonstration" about some obscure movie on You tube, that they are so tenderly outraged about.

My guess is these guys were all wound up to do something on September 11, and this was the story they wanted to tell. Interesting also that President Gutsy Call has been "spiking the ball" regarding the death of Osama bin Laden, yet maybe these guys don't appreciate it?

There was talk that they were shouting at the Embassy in Cairo that they were now all "Osama".

"Obama , Obama, we are now all Osama!"

I haven't heard yet how they can BLAME BUSH! for this, yet there is talk that further escalations on the part of our newest pals in Cairo and Benghazi will be Romney's fault.


Some things never change.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at September 12, 2012 11:07 PM

The Daily Caller is reporting this morning that Obama is Mr. Free Speech this morning, all about how Americans will say and film what they like and Muslims can stuff it. Must have gotten some brutal overnight focus-group reports. That's probably Romney's fault, too.

Posted by: Texan99 at September 13, 2012 10:39 AM

I'm trying to be good, but I can't help thinking about how much I'd like to push the movie-maker out of plane 2,000 feet over Benghazi....

As soon as the "artists" of Piss Christ, Dung Mary, & the Atheist.org Billboards, the DNC delegates who were booing any mention of God, the Chick-Fil-A protestors, etc. see similar treatment, and not before.

If Christians can be expected to be subjected to "denigration of their religious feelings" without resorting to violence, then so can the Muslims.

The answer to the barbarians at the gate is boiling oil, not sacrifical lamb.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at September 13, 2012 12:14 PM

"That's probably Romney's fault, too."
Not to mention the perennial Shrub. And I'm disappointed in the lack of attribution being given, thus far, to Darth Chaney and Darth Rove.

The White House, Journolisters, and rabid reality based Jack Handy's just have to know the two Darth's were involved someway, somehow.

Teflon MomJeans® bears no responsibility, ever, for anything...
He is not, in any way, responsible...
He is not the person your editorial is looking for...
Let the Gangsters Pass...

Posted by: Sith Lord Palpatine at September 13, 2012 12:18 PM

"Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at September 13, 2012 12:14 PM"

Amen, and pass the matches.

Posted by: bthun at September 13, 2012 12:25 PM

It's fair to ask, though, why he would have needed any such help in the first place, and why he and three of his staffers felt constrained to leave the consulate at all.

Well, it's beginning to sound as though this was a coordinated terrorist attack. In which case it seems unfair to blame the Libyans, at least until all the facts are in.

FWIW, I don't see anything bad about the photos you linked, Eric. The 2nd one looks like he's been slung over someone's shoulder - WAY different than being dragged head down through the streets.

To me, the unfolding story only confirms how unclear things were this time yesterday or earlier. All of which should, I think, incline us to caution.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 13, 2012 12:57 PM

If the rumors of the movie's role in these atrocities are accurate, I'd prefer to see a steady diet of just those movies, each more insulting than the prior.

Again, it's beginning to seem as though they weren't accurate. If it was a planned attack, that doesn't square with the idea that the mob went up in flames. Pre-planned and spontaneous don't jibe.

But regardless, I would not want to see a steady diet of profane and sacreligious "art", any more than I want to see a steady diet of "Piss Christ" or the Madonna festooned with excrement. Wrong is wrong.

Different question from "should it be legal", but arguably every bit as important.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 13, 2012 01:00 PM

On the otter heiny, I support holding this administration to the standard they PROFESS to uphold (abhorring any attempt to denigrate religion).

When Obama condemns similar acts against Christian targets, maybe I'll believe him. Not before.

Posted by: Cassandra at September 13, 2012 01:02 PM

Government more intrusive into your life?

TSA and Patriot Act. Check.

Government gets to tell you how your medical care is to be administered?

ACA and all the rest. Check.


Feel like your 1st amendment rights are being trampled?

Now we are threatened with censure if we "blaspheme" someone's religion outside of our own country, by excercising our free speech rights. Check.


Have the terrorists won?

You make the call!!

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at September 13, 2012 01:44 PM

"You make the call!!"

Hello,....Ghostbusters?
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at September 13, 2012 02:41 PM

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