Ed's Blog

"Some people know everything, but that's all they know."




Much remains that the Obama administration still hasn’t told us about the terrorist attack on 9/11/12 in Benghazi, Libya. All the facts about last week’s attack on an oil refinery at In Amenis, Algeria have yet to come out. One thing is certain; Al Qaeda is back with a vengeance. Killing them by the thousands hasn’t prevented their proliferation. Perhaps, if the Obama administration hadn’t dismantled the CIA’s detainee and interrogation efforts, we wouldn’t be quite so vulnerable.  (Read the full column at EWRoss.com)


Filed under: Terrorism, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

27 Responses

  1. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    I thought our President announced he had them on the run and they were disbanding ???

    By Paul Daly

  2. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Who ever said Al Qaeda was gone. If this administration ever believed that to be the case, they were miss informed or are having wish full dreams.

    By Ernie Oliveira

  3. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    It’s difficult to get information from dead people.

    By David Allison

  4. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Mr. Allison.

    Zombies can grunt. Does that count?

    By Bruce Tichenor

  5. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    This hypothesis is not supported by the facts. Rather every tattered group of yokels throughout the Arabic speaking world claims to be affiliated with Al Quaeda regardless of whether there even is any legitimate connection at all.

    It’s like watching the Romans look for Spartacus. I am Spartacus, shouts one… only to be followed by dozens of others claiming the same.

    As for the Algerians, they are a sovereign nation and have no legal, moral, or other obligation to consult with other nations regarding the manner in which they will respond to an illegal action on their sovereign territory. The fact that expatriates who were working in their country were affected is of zero relevance to the issue at hand.

    If I had been taken hostage when I was working as a civilian in the Middle East, the U.S. would not have needed to be consulted by local law enforcement if they attempted to liberate me. The fact that the Algerians did not do a very good job is regrettable, but that’s as far as it goes.

    By Kenneth Bobu

  6. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    The problem of terrorism is not a unilateral decision as America is known for. Support from the developing states, mostly African states, is germane and long overdue because of the political and economic crises the continent is contending with. The only haven for the terrorists for now is to attack from Africa against thier perceived enemies. The issue in In Amenis, Mali crisis, and the Middle East insurrection need holistic approach. Blaming Obama is like fuelling the problems we should provide a way out for

    By Lere Amusan

  7. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    They’re never going away …

    By Nicholas “Nick” Voss

  8. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Maybe to Obama administration hasn’t told us things about this incident. The Bush administration never explained why they gave Bin Laden’s family, in the US, safe conduct out after 9/11/01, without even detaining them for questioning. The Bush administration never made clear the connection between the 9/11/01 terror plot and Iraq. Nor were more WMDs found after the UN weapons inspectors, with our help, destroyed them prior to our last invasion. So, maybe Obama’s administration dropped the ball? Before you post your conspiracy-theory-toned-tripe, consider that there are still bigger questions, that are part of a justification for a very long war and occupation, that still go unanswered. The Iraq war has not been the in-and-out, 6-week operation Cheney described! Why aren’t you asking these questions?

    By kent meiswinkel

  9. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    I wish our U.S. Armed Forces fully withdraw out of the Middle East and let them handle their own affairs, and all the American jobs come back to the United States to get this economy up. Our military personnel is in harms way with their hands tied behind their backs, wounded need caring and lives have been already wasted for nothing. If OBL is truly dead there is no reason to be in no parts of the Middle East, let it go it is costing us too much pain. And I have ill feelings about trimming the military during this time of conflict (War), I blame both parties Democrats and Republicans for all the mess politics is a dirty job forsaking every U.S citizens (working class and poor).

    By Floyd Williams

  10. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Western Apathy in the Middle East…again…

    Ed, good post, and I am glad that you brought up the subject matter because it deserves wider discussion among people in our industry. As Lara Logan pointed out in a conference a few months ago, Al Queda is growing at a time that many in America want to believe that the present administration has decimated the organization and it is now time to correct the blunder of the previous administration by withdrawing the troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and presumably let the Middle Easterners fight among themselves as usual while the West presumably goes back to enjoying enjoy the peaceful confines of Europe and North America as we did before prior to 9/11/2001.

    However, the regional geopolitical atmospheric trends in the Arab World during the 20th Century make this an untenable belief. What many people do not understand is that the pan-Arab movement is an idea that emerged during the 1920s as the Major Western Colonial powers added to their holdings in Africa by taking over the territories of the defunct Ottoman Empire after WWI where the modern day political boundaries were created by arbitrarily drawing lines on a map that was (and still is) at odds with historical tribal boundaries and blood ties.

    Obviously, the colonization of Africa and the Middle East by the Industrialized North has caused resentment that has not dissipated over time while modern communications has generated the means for crystallizing the pan Arab movement in a manner that could not be achieved in the pre satellite television era. In other words, the pan Arab movement has a dynamic of its’ own that doesn’t come and go as one American President is replaced by another—it is an existing trend that is exasperated by modern media that is sympathetic to Islamist ideals which needs to be counterbalanced with constructive Western engagement on all levels. However, this constructive Western engagement appears to be unlikely as the apathetic consumption oriented and entertainment driven Western culture simply wants to depart from the Middle East believing that all is well.

    By George McMillan

  11. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    The current ‘mistake’ of the West is that this pan Arab movement that basically began with the advent of the Muslim Brotherhood in the late 1920s wanted to better develop and organize both the Arab-Muslim, as well as the non-Arab Muslim, Worlds into a much larger and more powerful fully Industrialized and unified geopolitical entity for the express purpose of beating back the Colonial powers and retaking Southern Europe which they see as their right in order to redress the ‘wrongs’ of the crusades, the Spanish Inquisition and post Colonial Imperialism.

    The ‘Al Queda’ movement of Osama has seemingly reigniting this pan Arab movement on a global scale made possible with the emergence of pan Arab satellite television in a quest to unite the Muslim World against modern Western democratic and economic development ideals that the both the University Intellectuals of the Western Left and the Muslim World perceive as the new Western Imperialism which they refer to by the pejorative of Western ‘Globalization.’

    This trend began by the Muslim Brotherhood movement has seemingly combined with the Al Queda phenomenon and has apparently become a growing pan Arab World dynamic that is simply not going tol wither away by the mere withdrawal of Western Troops because once the Western Troops leave the area, so will the Western Media spotlight, and the importance of the area will diminish in the minds of the Western voter, with the overall effect that Western influence and support of the secular movements in the Middle east will be crushed under the weight of this militant movement that is well funded with petro dollars. Rather than withering away like the spectre of Communism, the Al Queda movement is growing with the express purpose of taking over 10 Downing Street and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue by the twin tactics of intimidating secular groups and governments in the Middle East and North Africa on one hand, while also immigrating to the West in “onesies” and “twosies” on the other. The West should probably be paying more attention to this movement and be more supportive of the more peaceful secular governments in North Africa and Western Asia, however, I am skeptical that enough Western interest will be extended into this region.

    By George McMillan

  12. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Don’t find this commentary useful, nor your spamming LinkedIn with it. Your analysis is suspicious because it appears to be motivated by a desire to prove a preconceived domestic political agenda rather than serve as part of the support for formulating useful policy going forward.

    By Andrew Rohrer

  13. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Has it ever gone away? We can never defeat AQ, but we sure can pound them into a 3rd Tier threat. This should be told clearly. GWOT will never end, it will change in location, will evolve but will not end and it shouldn’t.

    By Nuno Felix

  14. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Mokhtar Belmokhtar, the guy they think directed the attack used to be an Al Quaeda leader but he had a falling out with other leaders. He formed his own group called “Signed-in-Blood” Battalion.

    By David Allison

  15. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    There will always be a problem fighting an ideologically motivated enemy, as this tragic incident proves, because we can’t rationalise with the enemy. They (Terrorists) are prepared to fight and die for their cause, and therefore tracking a new (off-shoot) group from AQIM is tough. With a policy of non negotiation there is no room for debate anyway. These group members are often linked by family / clan or tribe and are therefore largely related to one another. So, how would you penetrate such a group?

    The strength of AQ affiliates is that they can literally spring up anywhere, get a small start-up loan, acquire the basics, down-load the doctrine, and start getting practical (Anarchic) experience, even better if they can get some veterans of other conflict areas, as in the Algeria case.

    On that basis we (The West) have our work cut out just reacting to the dynamic (generic Global AQ) threat; we’ll never get ahead. Simply put, we cannot fight them all.
    The solution is instead to empower the threatened States they inhabit, train and develop (if they agree) their Armed Forces to better meet the threat and, offer specialist assistance as / when necessary to meet the need. This is being done in Africa already, with some success in support of UN DPKO missions. In short ‘Build Capacity not Dependency’ and, at the same time continue the essential UN Humanitarian missions (WFP, UNICEF, UNHCR et al) and widespread Development assistance (UNDP etc) to reduce the poverty / disease / corruption and insecurity in the region. It’s a long road…..

    By Hugh Milner

  16. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Apathy and failure to understand the radical and non-radical Muslim Mindset, along with liberal/prograssive ideas about how to treat those who would want to kill you are at the root of the problem. Understanding that western democratic ideals and principles alnog with judeo-Christian values does not resonate in the minds of middleeastern autocrats and religious leaders. The 1928 slogan of the Muslim Brotherhood was…and still is….”Allah is our goal. Muhammad is our model; the Koran is our constitution; Jihad is our means and martyrdom is the way of Allah and is our aspiration.” Did you read, “…the Koran is our constitution?” The Koran (Qur’an) is the basis of Islamic or Shari’ah Law. That “book,” according to Muslim theology, contains the word of their God, which is timeless and infallible. Islamic theology and the political ideology are inseparable. There is no separation of church and state in the Muslim world. The Qur’an proscribes fighting and is filled with terms like fight, slay, kill, subdue, subjugate and enslave. It provides Muslims with rules for a complete way of life which in reality is diametrically opposed to democracy or any form of representative government of the people and by the people.

    By Roland St. Germain

  17. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Since the qur’an is their gidebook for all things both political and religious, A quick look at some of the main tenets (articles/amendments) of Islamic law upon which Muslims and their nations have based their constitutional authority is required. Realize that in Islam, it is the interpretation by Islamic scholars/jurists/imams/ayatollahs of the Qur’an that establishes the Islamic rule of law. So what does the Qur’an say?

    • This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. (Qur’an 5:3)
    • Nothing have we omitted from the Book. (Qur’an 6:38)
    • And We have sent down to thee, a Book explaining all things. (Qur’an 16:89)
    • So take what the Messenger assigns to you, and deny yourselves that which he withholds from you. And fear Allah; for Allah is strict in Punishment. (Qur’an 59:7)
    • And if any fail to judge by the light of what Allah has revealed, they are not better than those who rebel. (Qur’an 5:50)
    • And if any fail to judge by the light of what Allah has revealed, they are no better than wrong-doers. (Qur’an 5:48)
    • And if any fail to judge by the light of what Allah has revealed, they are no better than unbelievers. (Qur’an 5:47)
    • “When Allah and His messenger have decided a matter, no believer, male or female, has a choice in the affair.” (Qur’an 33:36)
    • Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not. (Qur’an 2:216)
    In plain English this text states:
    a. God (Allah) has chosen a religion for all mankind which is Islam,
    b. That the Qur’an is the Word of Allah and is infallible, timeless, complete and covers all things,
    c. That Muhammad must be believed and obeyed implicitly and those who do not will be punished by God,
    d. If you do not believe implicitly in the Qur’an which is the basis for Islamic law you are a rebel, a wrong doer, an unbeliever, and will be punished,
    e. This determination has been decided by God (Allah) and his Prophet Muhammad and can never be changed and
    f. Allah commands that you fight.

    So Muslims believe that they are the Chosen people; that the Qur’an is eternal and infallible; that non believers will suffer the punishment of Allah; Muhammad’s words are law and that there are no options in the matter of individual choice of worship. “Shari’ah law is a tyrant’s dream handed to him on a silver platter by God!” Ask the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and their religious leader Ayatollah Khamenei if that statement is not so.

    By Roland St. Germain

  18. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Roland, thank you for taking the time to post that, the Arab Spring is going to bring about a lot of changing alliances and it looks like the US citizens are apathetic to a potential massive threat.

    By George McMillan

  19. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Amen George, as the song of the sixties stated, “The times they are a changing.” It will take another 9-11 say, at a mega mall or student union building in a major metropolitan area before the elites in Washington and on American college campuses wake up to the threat.

    By Roland St. Germain

  20. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    You are spot correct on this. If this great Conspirator had not assisted with an escape route for the Al-Qaeda group to disburse and hide until the foreign forces had left. This provided them with the liberties to spread their extremism and broaden their base! That does not sound like any enemy was defeated, that we could have completely squashed, until their rescue source came in to control the Ground Commanders from a conference room chair and teleconference video monitor! And the negligent irresponsible order not to help our own in Benghazi. Do we really know what we have here? Is it ‘Leadership or Compromise’?There are more than 24 cells inside of our U.S. Border! Research the internet about this.

    jim Schombs, Ret. USN SEAL, CWO2.

  21. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    It is Arab “Spring”‘s “blessings”!

    By Florin Ehls

  22. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Ed. Obama seems to have no idea what’s going on in the Middle East. with Chuck Hagel at defense, The situation may just well worsen. ptin awaits on the sidelines.

    By David Rich

  23. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Yes. As terrorists and radical regimes target commercial entities like refineries, oil fields, and shipping lanes, the entire world economy can be affected. Even embassies play a major role in trade relations.

    By George O. Gelinas III

  24. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Its amazing, the Seals can go rescue a doctor in Afganistan yet we couldn’t send rescue for the folks in Benghazi. Don’t know if the real story will ever be told, even if Clinton testifies someday.

    By Calvin Vander Molen

  25. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Ed, it seems to me that given the reports the Amenis group consisted of individuals from at least a dozen countries that Al Qaeda was perhaps scraping the bottom of its human resources in West Africa.
    It could be a “back with a vengeance” operation, but also a “last gasp”.

    By Greg Chalik

  26. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    Van der Molen, Secretary Clinton did testify, and she left the critics twirling in the wind. There is no ‘there’ there, and there never was. The very notion that we could have mounted any kind of rescue is simply not supported by the facts, and is even more aggressively rejected by the timeline for response.

    We’ve been over this a dozen times in this forum, and other than those with zero operational understanding, or a Clancyesque view of the way our intelligence and SW community works, there is no argument to be made that this could have been prevented once started.

    Incidentally, let me point out that the classified comments which will be forwarded with the written responses are also going to clearly outline the fact that we have hundreds of diplomatic missions and personnel that are woefully isolated and could not possibly be saved if the same style of attack were launched against such a facility.

    Diplomatic missions are not military bases, nor are they designed to fend off an organized attack at company strength. That won’t be changing anytime soon, and this is not some sort of conspiracy, as much as you might have preferred it to be one. Why, I cannot for the life of me grasp – after all, what you are suggesting is barbarous, and not in keeping with the finest traditions of our intelligence community, our diplomatic corps brothers and sisters, nor our forces that respond to such incidents.

    By Kenneth Bobu

    • EWRoss says:

      I spent 20 years in the army and was a senior executive in DoD for 23 years. One thing we could have done was dispatch fighters from Sigonella, Itally, to make low level passes over the consulate and the annex in Benghazi creating a sonic boom over them. This woulld have had no militarily significant affect, but it could have had a psychological one, dispursing the terrorists before that had an opportunity to kill the last two Americans that died 7 hours into the incident. “If we could save just one life,” the administration says when talking about gun control. Perhaps we could have saved two. We’ll never know.

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