Glenn Greenwald: Obama’s Libya response highlights his foreign policy mentality
October 4, 2012
Extreme secrecy, extrajudicial assassinations, and a self-perpetuating militarism are driving Benghazi responses.
Three new articles - one today from the New York Times, one today from Associated Press, and another on Tuesday from the Washington Post - describe the approach being planned by the Obama administration to the consulate attack in Benghazi. All three highlight the standard and now-familiar attributes of Obama’s approach to foreign policy.
The Times describes how the Pentagon and CIA are “laying the groundwork for operations to kill or capture militants implicated in the deadly attack on a diplomatic mission in Libya”, while “the top-secret Joint Special Operations Command is compiling so-called target packages of detailed information about the suspects.” That could “include drone strikes, Special Operations raids like the one that killed Osama bin Laden and joint missions with Libyan authorities.” The Post adds that “the White House has held a series of secret meetings in recent months to examine the threat posed by al-Qaida’s franchise in North Africa and consider for the first time whether to prepare for unilateral strikes.”
Meanwhile, AP - under the headline “White House Widening Covert War in North Africa” - describes how, even before the consulate attack, “small teams of special operations forces arrived at American embassies throughout North Africa” in order, among other things, to “set up a network that could quickly strike a terrorist target”. That is because “the administration has been worried for some time about a growing threat posed by al-Qaida and its offshoots in North Africa.” The Post similarly reports that this is all being driven by “concern that al-Qaida’s African affiliate has become more dangerous since gaining control of large pockets of territory in Mali and acquiring weapons from post-revolution Libya.”
Changing White House response
Last week, I wrote about the false, self-serving claims initially emanating from the White House about the Benghazi attack, and how much that tracked the process that produced similarly false claims from Obama officials about the bin Laden killing. On Monday, Jon Stewart mocked the inability of Obama officials to keep their story straight on these attacks, while today, Mother Jones’ Adam Serwer proposes five questions about Libya which Obama should be asked in tonight’s (last night’s) presidential debate.
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