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White House told of militant claim two hours after Libya attack: emails

By Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON | Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:11pm EDT

(Reuters) – Officials at the White House and State Department were advised two hours after attackers assaulted the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11 that an Islamic militant group had claimed credit for the attack, official emails show.

The emails, obtained by Reuters from government sources not connected with U.S. spy agencies or the State Department and who requested anonymity, specifically mention that the Libyan group called Ansar al-Sharia had asserted responsibility for the attacks.

The brief emails also show how U.S. diplomats described the attack, even as it was still under way, to Washington.

U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the Benghazi assault, which President Barack Obama and other U.S. officials ultimately acknowledged was a “terrorist” attack carried out by militants with suspected links to al Qaeda affiliates or sympathizers.

Administration spokesmen, including White House spokesman Jay Carney, citing an unclassified assessment prepared by the CIA, maintained for days that the attacks likely were a spontaneous protest against an anti-Muslim film.

While officials did mention the possible involvement of “extremists,” they did not lay blame on any specific militant groups or possible links to al Qaeda or its affiliates until intelligence officials publicly alleged that on September 28.

There were indications that extremists with possible al Qaeda connections were involved, but also evidence that the attacks could have erupted spontaneously, they said, adding that government experts wanted to be cautious about pointing fingers prematurely.

U.S. intelligence officials have emphasized since shortly after the attack that early intelligence reporting about the attack was mixed.

Spokesmen for the White House and State Department had no immediate response to requests for comments on the emails.

MISSIVES FROM LIBYA

The records obtained by Reuters consist of three emails dispatched by the State Department’s Operations Center to multiple government offices, including addresses at the White House, Pentagon, intelligence community and FBI, on the afternoon of September 11.

The first email, timed at 4:05 p.m. Washington time – or 10:05 p.m. Benghazi time, 20-30 minutes after the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission allegedly began – carried the subject line “U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi Under Attack” and the notation “SBU”, meaning “Sensitive But Unclassified.”

The text said the State Department’s regional security office had reported that the diplomatic mission in Benghazi was “under attack. Embassy in Tripoli reports approximately 20 armed people fired shots; explosions have been heard as well.”

The message continued: “Ambassador Stevens, who is currently in Benghazi, and four … personnel are in the compound safe haven. The 17th of February militia is providing security support.”

A second email, headed “Update 1: U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi” and timed 4:54 p.m. Washington time, said that the Embassy in Tripoli had reported that “the firing at the U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi had stopped and the compound had been cleared.” It said a “response team” was at the site attempting to locate missing personnel.

A third email, also marked SBU and sent at 6:07 p.m. Washington time, carried the subject line: “Update 2: Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibility for Benghazi Attack.”

The message reported: “Embassy Tripoli reports the group claimed responsibility on Facebook and Twitter and has called for an attack on Embassy Tripoli.”

While some information identifying recipients of this message was redacted from copies of the messages obtained by Reuters, a government source said that one of the addresses to which the message was sent was the White House Situation Room, the president’s secure command post.

Other addressees included intelligence and military units as well as one used by the FBI command center, the source said.

It was not known what other messages were received by agencies in Washington from Libya that day about who might have been behind the attacks.

Intelligence experts caution that initial reports from the scene of any attack or disaster are often inaccurate.

By the morning of September 12, the day after the Benghazi attack, Reuters reported that there were indications that members of both Ansar al-Sharia, a militia based in the Benghazi area, and al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the North African affiliate of al Qaeda’s faltering central command, may have been involved in organizing the attacks.

One U.S. intelligence official said that during the first classified briefing about Benghazi given to members of Congress, officials “carefully laid out the full range of sparsely available information, relying on the best analysis available at the time.”

The official added, however, that the initial analysis of the attack that was presented to legislators was mixed.

“Briefers said extremists were involved in attacks that appeared spontaneous, there may have been a variety of motivating factors, and possible links to groups such as (al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and Ansar al-Sharia) were being looked at closely,” the official said.

(Additional reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Mary Milliken and Jim Loney)

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Iran says it treats Israeli military threats as American

DUBAI | Wed Sep 5, 2012 7:01am EDT

(Reuters) – Iran makes no distinction between U.S. and Israeli interests and will retaliate against both countries if attacked, an Iranian military commander said on Wednesday.

The comments came after the White House denied an Israeli news report that it was negotiating with Tehran to keep out of a future Israel-Iran war and as U.S. President Barack Obama fends off accusations from his election rival that he is too soft on Tehran.

“The Zionist regime separated from America has no meaning, and we must not recognize Israel as separate from America,” Ali Fadavi, naval commander in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was quoted as saying by the Fars news agency.

“On this basis, today only the Americans have taken a threatening stance towards the Islamic Republic,” Fadavi said. “If the Americans commit the smallest folly they will not leave the region safely.”

Iran – which has missiles that could reach Israel and U.S. targets in the region – has conducted military exercises and unveiled upgraded weapons in recent months, aiming to show it can defend itself against any strike against its nuclear sites.

Israel – thought to be the only country in the Middle East with nuclear weapons – says the prospect of a nuclear armed Iran would pose a threat to its existence. Tehran denies it is developing weapons and says its nuclear program is peaceful.

With the approach of U.S. elections in November, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for a tougher stance against Iran – implicitly knocking Obama’s emphasis on diplomatic and sanctions pressure to halt Iranian nuclear work.

While Israel would expect U.S. backing if it decided to strike Iran, the top U.S. general has suggested Washington would not be drawn into a conflict.

“I don’t want to be complicit if they choose to do it,” Britain’s Guardian newspaper quoted Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey as saying.

Netanyahu abruptly ended a meeting of Israel’s security cabinet on Wednesday, saying someone in the forum had leaked details of its discussions on Iran.

Any decision to go to war against Iran would, by Israeli law, require the approval of the security cabinet. One government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said no such decisions had been on the table at Tuesday’s meeting.

(Reporting By Yeganeh Torbati; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

Reuters

Obama Ban on Youth Farm Chores Part of Larger Power Grab

Dredging up Dickensian horrors of child labor, the Obama administration has ordered the Labor Department to apply child labor laws to family farms. The new rules would make it illegal for children to perform a large number of labor tasks that have been performed by farm families for centuries. Traditionally, adults and children alike helped with planting and harvesting in the spring and fall, but the federal government is now determined not only to make this a historical footnote, but a criminal offense.

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Kurt Nimmo
Prison Planet.com
April 25, 2012

Under the rules, children under 18 would be prevented by the federal government from working “in the storing, marketing and transporting of farm product raw materials” and prohibited “places of employment would include country grain elevators, grain bins, silos, feed lots, stockyards, livestock exchanges and livestock auctions.”

In addition to making it far more difficult for families to work their farms, the new rules will revoke the government’s approval of safety training and certification taught by independent groups like 4-H and FFA and replace them with a 90-hour federal government training course, the Daily Caller reports.

In other words, the federal government will forcibly insert itself in the business of teaching animal husbandry and crop management, disciplines traditionally passed on by families and local communities.

Government apparatchiks will now oversee the business of local farming the same way Stalin did when he collectivized farms and “socialized” production at gunpoint in the Soviet Union. Resistance by farmers and peasants to Stalin’s efforts resulted in the government cutting off food rations, which resulted in widespread famine (the “terror-famine in Ukraine” killed around 12 million people) and millions were sent to forced labor camps.

The Labor Department’s effort to further erode the family farm falls on the heels of an unconstitutional executive order Obama issued last year establishing so-called rural councils.

“According to this new executive order, the Obama administration plans to stick its itchy little fingers into just about every aspect of rural life,” the Economic Collapse Blog noted at the time. “One of the stated goals of the White House Rural Council is to do the following….”

Coordinate and increase the effectiveness of Federal engagement with rural stakeholders, including agricultural organizations, small businesses, education and training institutions, health-care providers, telecommunications services providers, research and land grant institutions, law enforcement, State, local, and tribal governments, and nongovernmental organizations regarding the needs of rural America.

Obama’s plan to make life miserable for family farmers coincides with an effort by the United Nations under Agenda 21. Section one of the executive order mentions “sustainable rural communities,” language right out of Agenda 21. (For more on the draconian aspects of Agenda 21 and the plan to roll back modern civilization under the aegis of “sustainability,” see Rosa Koire’s Behind the Green Mask: U.N. Agenda 21.)

The federal government has recently moved to clamp down on family farms. For instance, last year the Department of Transportation proposed new burdensome rules for farmers. Incidentally, DOT Secretary Ray LaHood holds a seat on the newly created White House Rural Council.

In Late May, the DOT proposed a rule change for farm equipment, and if it this allowed to take effect, it will place significant regulatory pressure on small farms and family farms all across America – costing them thousands of dollars and possibly forcing many of them out of business,” writes Mike Opelka. “The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), part of the Department of Transportation (DOT), wants new standards that would require all farmers and everyone on the farm to obtain a CDL (Commercial Drivers License) in order to operate any farming equipment. The agency is going to accomplish this by reclassifying all farm vehicles and implements as Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMVs).”

Late last year, House Republicans moved to prevent the EPA from further burdening farmers with a rule that would ban “farm dust.” Outrage in response to the proposed regulation came fast and furious and EPA boss Lisa Jackson was forced to back down as Democrats complained that the government was not targeting small family farms with the proposed regulation.

A concerted effort by the federal government to attack small family farms cannot be denied. Infowars.com has covered dozens of efforts, including the attack on Rawesome Foods in California, numerous efforts by the feds to attack raw milk and dairy farmers (including attacks by the FDA on Amish farmers), and a recent effort by the Department of Natural Resources in Michigan to destroy open-range pig farms.

In addition to attempting to micromanage – and run out of business – family farms through federal labor regulations, the government is trying to insert itself in the relationship between parents and their children.

The ongoing attacks on family farming are not merely misguided efforts by control freak bureaucrats. They are part of a larger “comprehensive plan of action” to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations to institute “sustainable development,” a philosophy designed to bring humanity under tight control of the global elite.

As George H. W. Bush said on September 11, 1990, the plan is “based entirely on social control mechanisms.” For the elite, controlling food – especially healthy and natural food produced by family farms – is a primary objective in their plan for global conquest.

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